Pro Pundits - Simon

Former FPL world champion reveals tips and team for Gameweek 1

Former Fantasy Premier League world champion and four-time finisher in the top 7k Simon March gives us the lowdown on his thinking for the new campaign.


I am told that there are some important things going on in the world right now; a Brexit here, an election there, some protests, some riots, the odd wildfire and a global pandemic to name but a few. Unfortunately, I have little time for all that right now as the new Fantasy Premier League season and, as us Fantasy managers know, this is no time to get distracted.

Since nobody can realistically be expected to talk or think about anything else right now, I thought I’d use this article to take you through my thinking for my Gameweek 1 squad and my approach in general when it comes to kicking off this new FPL season.

Planning for a Unique Season

Every new season has its challenges but this one has more than most. Firstly, there’s the issue that a huge chunk of FPL’s best players won’t even play their opening match until Gameweek 2.

Then there’s the fixture intensity that the players will face, particularly those competing in Europe, and then there’s the aforementioned pandemic with the potential to decimate our options at any given moment through illness and quarantine.

It probably goes without saying that having a decent bench will be useful this season but having flexibility in your team may be even more important.

That means having players at a range of prices, across the pitch, who can be swapped out easily should the need arise.

It also means not over-investing in a single area of the squad or, more important, under-investing in others, leaving you with a dearth of replacement options when you need them.

A Balanced Squad

Should FPL managers sign Kane or Son for upcoming Bournemouth match?

If I do have any sort of overarching philosophy when it comes to FPL, it would go something like this; ‘I like to have a squad with lots of players who can each score in lots of different ways.’

So, in practice, that means that I like a good spread of different teams (ideally ones that attack and/or defend well) and at least nine starting players who have the potential to score consistently, in more than one way. That could be a midfielder on set-pieces, a forward on penalties or a defender with attacking threat.

When I’ve stuck to that plan, I’ve tended to do alright. When I’ve not done so well, it’s usually because I’ve tried, instead, to fit in too many premium options at the expense of a more balanced squad.

The effect of this is to put too much pressure on just a handful of players to deliver each Gameweek. Think, for example, a few seasons back when we were trying to fit in two 12.0 forwards in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sergio Aguero (£10.5m). It was great for a while, and then, as soon as they stopped scoring regularly, it wasn’t.

I also think that this is a good way in general to approach the unique challenges of this season. Circumstances are such, I believe, that too much reliance on too few players has the potential to backfire heavily whereas a broader spread of points makes us less susceptible to unforeseeable events.

Players Missing Gameweek 1

How De Bruyne and Sterling compare as FPL assets for 2020/21?

Regarding the players missing Gameweek 1, most notably those playing for Manchester United and Manchester City, my well-deliberated plan is, essentially, to ignore it.

While, were they to be playing, the likes of Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) would probably be among the first names on my Gameweek 1 team sheet, I’m not approaching the season with any specific plan to bring them in in Gameweek 2.

Partly, this is because I think there are good alternatives to them (though I’ll no doubt want either or both at some point) but, also, I don’t think there will be as much of a rush to get these players in for Gameweek 2 as we might be currently anticipating.

Inevitably, at least one Gameweek 1 player will unexpectedly bag a brace or a hat-trick and, naturally, this player will become the priority bandwagon for Gameweek 2. As the saying goes; ‘If you want to make the FPL gods laugh, show them your transfer plans.’

My Gameweek 1 Squad

Without further ado, here is my squad for Gameweek 1. Of course, there will almost certainly be changes between now and the deadline, but this is the direction in which I’m currently heading.

“Everybody’s Gangsta the Week Before the Deadline”

Having now justified my team in writing, I can see I’m taking a few more risks than I normally might. I certainly wouldn’t rule out some last-minute changes. But I also have a feeling that this season might be the season to take some risks so I’m pretty happy with what I have for now. Roll on Saturday.


Simon is a former FPL world champion, claiming the coveted price in the 2014/15. But there is more to this man than one season of good fortune. Since 2009, Simon has finished in the top 7k four times, only ending up outside the world’s top 60k once in an 11-campaign career.

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942 Comments Post a Comment
  1. mr messi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 24 days ago

    Are there any 5m alternatives to Soucek? Any decent options seem to be 5.5m

    1. Thescaff
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Ceballos?

    2. NABIL - 1 season 1der
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      No there isn't one. Maybe Ritchie but lots of question mark

      1. Hairy Potter
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Agree. Ritchie is carrying a knock, but if fit might get the nod ahead of Fraser for GW1 at least.

    3. ManofKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      No is the short answer - a few 4.5 DMs but for attacking threat you need to up to 5.5

    4. BoomXhakaLaca1
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Noble for pens?

      1. nico05
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 23 days ago

        Is Noble still nailed he tended to miss game time as the season went on I felt

    5. polis
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Think I'm going Ceballos for 1 week.

    6. jjesus
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 23 days ago

      Podence

  2. adstomko
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 24 days ago

    Big 3 up-front. Thoughts?

    Ramsdale
    Trent, Mina, Davies, KWP
    Auba, Alli, Rodríguez
    Vardy, Werner, Ings
    (Button, Mitchell, Lemina, Gordon)

    1. Mayor of Flair
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Think I like it.

      Apart from Rodriguez, Greenwood for me.

    2. NABIL - 1 season 1der
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Everton fan? 🙂 Nice team, GL

      1. adstomko
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Nope. I think they'll start well

        1. Egg noodle
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Spurs clean sheet is very likely in GW1 though, might make you rage

          1. stxrty
              2 months, 23 days ago

              Very likely? Hmm.

    3. Oggle22
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      G2G any advice?
      Mccarthy
      TAA KWP Saliba
      Salah Son Havertz Aubam Ceballos
      Werner Mitrovic

      Button Mitchell Brewster Taylor

      Cheers

      1. Lukakus Unit
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 23 days ago

        I'd go for a more nailed choice than Saliba (since Taylor won't play GW1 and it's highly unlikely Brewster will).

    4. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Salah,Aubamayang dilemma.

      Only want one for the opening 2 weeks.

      1. Aubamayang (c) for weeks 1 and 2.

      2. Salah (c) wk 1 . Martial (c) wk 2.

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        2 for me

      2. NABIL - 1 season 1der
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Auba before salah so 1

      3. Hairy Potter
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        I like 2 personally.

        1. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          Yeh it’s just whether Auba v WestHam is better than Salah v Chelsea in wk 2 .

    5. John wick
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Current draft
      Taa justin Taylor Mitchell Wp
      Salah auba Asm ziyech romeu
      mitrovic werner ings
      bank 0.5

      Planing to do ings to martial ingw 2
      Want havertz Taa to robbo and ziyech to havertz

      Plss suggest

      1. NABIL - 1 season 1der
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Need GKs 😉

        Pretty template so good to go!

        1. John wick
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          Ryan button....

          Only question is Taa to robboo essential
          And is havertz essential for gw1 or wait watch

          Can do ziyech to alli

      2. Reeceviljoen
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 23 days ago

        Havtz all the way + Robbo

    6. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 24 days ago

      Michy Batshuayi has completed his season-long loan move to Crystal Palace from Chelsea.

      https://twitter.com/SkySportsNews/status/1304094497106808834

      1. NABIL - 1 season 1der
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Will he start GW1 though

        1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 24 days ago

          possibly, played for belgium and scored twice so is fit

      2. polis
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 23 days ago

        Nice. Probably the standout 6.0 striker pick.

        1. Zim0
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          A lot of options for me.
          Adams
          Watkins
          Batman
          Mitro
          Ayew
          JayRod
          Nketiah

          1. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 23 days ago

            Agree there is quite a few at this price point

      3. Vazza
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Could be a game changer

      4. southernrocker1
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Wolves 5.5 mids, any takers? Who is nailed? I know Podence has been mentioned by a few.

      5. bso
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Would love some more articles from Laterizer...great strategist.

      6. dshv
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        Asm or doucoure ?

        1. polis
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Would say ASM until it's clear how Everton setting up formation wise.

      7. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 24 days ago

        just a suggestion ,
        call james rodrigues HAMES
        stops the confusion with
        j rod burnley
        reece james chelsea
        daniel james utd

        1. polis
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          James should suffice. Surely no one is selecting any of the other 3?

      8. Kristobal
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 23 days ago

        Best attacking 4.5 defender with CS potential?

        1. danlynch13
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Kwp lamptey Dallas

      9. danlynch13
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 23 days ago

        Which is better?

        A) Doherty + ASM + Ings
        B) KWP + Son + C.Wilson

        1. AgentRed
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          B

        2. nico05
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          B

        3. moogmcd
            2 months, 23 days ago

            I've gone with B

        4. 0james0
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Really like my team, but I have a few doubts. Advice appreciated:

          Mccarthy, Nyland

          TAA, Robertson, Saiss, KWP, Shaw

          Auba, Havertz, ASM, Stephens, Rashford

          Werner, Ings, 4.5m striker

          I like the idea of going into GW2 with united players already in the team. Although swapping Son for Rashford was my original plan, as its not ideal having to start Stephens GW1, but I'm not convinced Son will do anything against Everton anyway.

          I'm concerned with having a striker as my bench fodder, but I can't see long term any bottom range forwards out scoring Robertson who would be the likely sacrafice. Either that, or I turn a defender into a pointless 4.0 and downgrade another into a 4.5, all to get me a Mitrovic, or Nkeita, which doesn't seem that attractive anyway.

          I feel I'm very defence heavy, which goes against my normal tactic (which hasn't ever really worked, so might not be a bad thing)

          I'm considering downgrading Saiss to a 4.5m, to give me funds to bring in Martial for Ings GW2. But I'm not actually sure if a 4.5m plus Martial will put score Saiss and Ings anyway. But Saiss just doesn't seem to be a pick for many, so makes me think is he worth the 5m.

        5. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          A. Doherty KWP Justin
          B. Dier Egan Saiss

          1. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 23 days ago

            A all three great picks to start the season imo

        6. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Thoughts on Doherty, really worried about his game time!?

          1. nico05
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 23 days ago

            He's deffo nailed

        7. Werner Bros
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          A: Martial Son Taylor
          B: DCL Bruno Saiss

          for A Martial will be Ings in GW1
          for B Bruno will be Son in GW1

          Rest of team
          McCarthy Nyland
          TAA Dier Justin Mitchell XXX
          Salah Auba ASM Bissouma XXX
          Werner Davis XXX

        8. stewoolley
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Opinions please, I don’t see many people picking Kane?

          McCarthy
          TAA Doherty Justin
          Saka Auba Salah Soucek
          Kane Werner Adams

          Nyland/KWP/Mitchell/Bissouma

        9. ymx
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Stephens or Bissouma??

        10. Ronnies
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Think I'm done;

          0.5m ITB for Ings --> Martial GW2

          McCarthy
          TAA, Egan, Saiss, Justin
          Salah, Aubameyang, Havertz, ASM
          Werner, Ings

          Nyland, Mitchell, Bissouma, Davis

          Thoughts ?
          Cheers!

        11. MOZIL
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          most nailed Chelsea's defender? Alonso??

        12. AbsolutelyNoIdea
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Anyone going with Ben White?

        13. Kristobal
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Thoughts on Burnleys first choice on LB?

          Charlie Taylor or Erik Pieters?

        14. danlynch13
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Any thoughts on this?

          A) ASM + Mitro
          B) Soucek + Wilson

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 23 days ago

            B

        15. primal33
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Currently on this:

          McCarthy (Nyland)
          TAA KWP Dier (Justin Mitchell)
          Salah Auba Havertz Soucek (Bissouma)
          Werner Ings Mitrovic

          After gameweek 1:
          Salah + Ings > KdB + Martial

          GTG?

        16. sionred
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 23 days ago

          Is there a good chance Nyland will start the first few games? Looks like Villa want Martinez but a deal isn't close yet

          1. Villa Velour
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 23 days ago

            Medical supposedly booked for tomorrow...

        17. notchester
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 22 days ago

          Rate my team please.

          McCarthy
          Digne - Saliba - Doherty - Justin
          Son - Bowen - Auba (c)
          Batshuayi - Werner (v) - DCL

          Button - Mitchell - Gordon - Rashford (+2.5 itb)

          GW 2: Bowen > Foden
          GW 3: Saliba > Taylor
          GW 4: Son > KDB

        18. BarryVilasBoas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 22 days ago

          Thoughts: Wk1

          McCarthy
          TAA Doh James
          Son SaintMax Deli Auba
          Ings Werner Wilson

        19. Kane Toads
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 22 days ago

          RMT:

          Ryan

          TAA Egan James Taylor(bur)
          Salah Auba Alli Son
          Ayew Mitro

          Button/Stephens/Obafemi/Dallas

          Alli > Bruno for GW2
          …any thoughts?