Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m), Raheem Sterling (£11.5m), Sadio Mane (£12.0m), Mohamed Salah (£12.0m), Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m), Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) and Nick Pope (£5.5m) are among the first players to be priced up by Fantasy Premier League ahead of the game’s imminent relaunch.
De Bruyne has been handed a starting price of £11.5m, which is up £2.0m on what it was a year ago.
That’s exactly the same as what Sterling will set Fantasy managers back in the coming campaign.
Salah, who finished second behind De Bruyne in the overall points standings, has dropped in price for the second season in a row.
The Egyptian will now be available for £12.0m, having been £12.5m at the beginning of 2019/20 and £13.0m a year before that.
Salah and Mane can’t be split, with the Senegalese winger listed at the same price as his teammate.
Just as importantly, Salah, Mane and Sterling remain FPL midfielders – which pretty much guarantees that there won’t be much deviation from previous seasons’ policy surrounding player classification.
De Bruyne was FPL’s highest-scoring asset of 2019/20, registering 13 goals, 23 assists and 35 bonus en route to his total of 251 points.
He ended the season at £10.6m, having reached a high of £10.8m earlier in the campaign.
Salah racked up 29 attacking returns, finding the back of the net on 19 occasions and losing his grip on the Golden Boot, which he had at least a share of in the previous two seasons.
Both players have been on penalty-taking duties for their respective clubs, of course.
James Milner is first in line for spot-kicks on Merseyside but had limited first-team opportunities last season, with Salah deputising in his stead.
Mane, who was admittedly only one attacking return away from matching Salah’s tally last season, has never outscored the Egypt international for FPL points in their time together at Anfield.
De Bruyne was the beneficiary of penalty misses from several other Manchester City players, meanwhile, assuming control in the second half of the campaign and converting four spot-kicks in league and cup; Sterling’s failure from 12 yards in Gameweek 37+ surely only aiding the Belgian’s long-term prospects.
Sterling had a real rollercoaster season in 2019/20 and drops half a million in price this time around.
No FPL midfielder scored as many goals as the Manchester City winger (20) in 2019/20 and yet for large chunks of 2019/20, he was largely overlooked by the FPL community.
A great spell of form after the restart rekindled interest in a player that had looked off the boil midway through the campaign, with five of his nine double-digit hauls coming from Gameweek 30+ onwards.
A total of 206 points was his lowest in three seasons – a lack of assists accounting for that – but he nevertheless passed the 200-mark for the third straight year.
Handed an even bigger price rise than De Bruyne but still cheaper than the three premium midfielders we have already discussed, Fernandes will set Fantasy managers back £10.5m ahead of 2020/21.
The Portuguese playmaker had a better points-per-match average (8.4) than any FPL asset last season, having recorded eight goals and as many assists in his 14 league starts.
Initially costing £8.0m upon his move to England, Fernandes had risen to a high of £9.1m by Gameweek 37+ after a superb start to his Manchester United career.
We’ll be able to better assess Fernandes’ value when we see how FPL handle both the prices and positions of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, but it’s safe to assume that those three attackers will be handed significant price hikes too.
United, like their cross-city rivals, may not even be in the picture in Gameweek 1, should their start to 2020/21 be delayed by their ongoing involvement in the European competition.
As for Pope, he gets an expected price hike after he topped the goalkeeper standings in 2019/20.
While Fernandes, Sterling, Salah and De Bruyne will still be attractive options to many despite their premium tags, Pope’s rise to £5.5m will likely deter a lot of Fantasy managers.
Alisson and Ederson were the only goalkeepers who cost more than that last season.
The Burnley shotstopper was originally available for £4.5m at the start of 2019/20, rising to a high of £5.2m by the season’s end.
A total of 15 clean sheets and 120 saves helped him to a final score of 170 points.
It should be said that, had he finished the season at £5.5m, he would still have been the best-value goalkeeper in FPL based on the points-per-million metric.
Elsewhere, Vardy has risen to £10.0m after his Golden Boot-winning campaign.
That’s as expensive as the Leicester City striker has ever started a new campaign in FPL, although he did rise to £10.1m in the season just gone.
Vardy averaged fewer points per match (6.0) than the five premium midfielders above in 2019/20 but is cheaper than all of them this time around.
Tomas Soucek has been given an appealing £5.0m price tag, meanwhile.
The West Ham United midfielder scored on three occasions in the final seven Gameweeks and posed a real threat in the air following his move to east London in January.
Leeds United midfielder Pablo Hernandez will cost £6.0m, half a million less than Brighton and Hove Albion summer signing Adam Lallana (£6.5m).
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