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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. Wılly
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    McCarthy
    TAA Robertson Vinagre
    Salah Auba Havertz Soucek
    Werner Wilson Mitrovic

    Keep Robertson or redistribute the money?

    1. Pukki Party
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      keep, good team.

    2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Depends what your bench looks like

      1. Wılly
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Taylor, Bissouma, Mitchell

        1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Then its fine imo!

    3. Jimbo-Jones
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Lovely side - what are plans for Utd/City?

      1. Wılly
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Auba/Salah out, Havertz/Werner out if not catching fire, WC.
        The players in the team can match up to MU or MC assets, so best to wait and see.

    4. Please Answer Me
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Havertz might not start though

      1. Wılly
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        The main thing is he's in contention and a 72m signing won't be a benchwarmer (unless you're Kepa)

    5. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Is Vinagre staying at Wolves?

    6. Dr. Mantis Toboggan
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I've got similar currently, but I don't love the prospect of double Chelsea attack vs double Liverpool defence in GW2.

      You think it's safe to keep Vinagre?

    7. AD2110
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Nice team. Could do Taylor to 4.0 and Havertz to Son?

    8. Heskey Time
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I have very similar team but have opted for ings instead of robbo with goal of salah to Bruno and ings to martial week 2. If ings hits a batty or brace I’ll just do bruno

  2. Mr. Mystic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Does Castagne not pose risk to Justin starting?

    1. Agger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      One plays on the left, the other plays on the right 😉

      1. I Member
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Thought Justin had been playing on the right? That's where Castagne has always played for Atalanta.

    2. Bullet Eder
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      No, they should be on either flank.

    3. Hattrick Harry
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Yes and no, if Justin is ahead of Thomas, he plays. Castagne can play both sides.

  3. Pukki Party
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Thoughts? Too many punts?

    Johnstone
    TAA Robbo Justin Mitchell
    Salah Son Pulisic
    Jimenez Richarlison Nketiah

    Button Bissouma Greenwood Taylor

    1. Wılly
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Be aware that Sancho is close.
      Not keen on Richarlison or Nketiah

      1. Pukki Party
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Thanks.

  4. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Salah home vs Auba away last 6

    Goals 3 vs 0
    Assists 3 vs 0
    Big Chances 4 vs 1

    Auba home vs Auba away last 6

    Goals 7 vs 0
    Assists 2 vs 0
    Big Chances 6 vs 0

    LFC home vs Arsenal away last 6

    Goals 17 vs 6
    Big Chances 15 vs 7
    xG 10.85 vs 5.59

    Auba struggles in away games!

    1. Zim0
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      It's fulham

      1. Sune
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        It's Leeds.

      2. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        "It was perhaps no coincidence, with centre-back Michael Hector (£4.5m) arriving in the January transfer window and having a transformative effect on the Fulham backline.

        The Cottagers kept ten clean sheets in the 20 games that Hector started, conceding on just 17 occasions."

    2. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      auba fail

    3. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Personally surprised that Auba is running away with the captaincy by quite a margin.

      1. Flair
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Yeah, I'm picking him because I don't have Salah but Mo is the clear better option for me.

    4. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Last 6 meaningless.

    5. Nightrain_
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      a day to remember

      7 October 2018
      Fulham 1 - Arsenal 5
      (Aubameyang 2 goals)

    6. Long ago I drew a walrus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      He seemed to do quite well at Wembley recently.

    7. ClassiX
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Liverpool last 6 Home matches: WHU, Bournemouth, Palace, Villa, Burnley, Chelsea
      Arsenal last 6 Away games: ManC, Brighton, Southampton, Wolves, Spurs, Villa

      Last 6 games only matters when you know who the teams were and what condition they were in at the time.

  5. KINGS
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Who would you bench?

    ASM, Armstrong, Mitro, Nketiah

    1. Pukki Party
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Armstrong

    2. Soto Ayam
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Mitro

  6. Atimis
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Changes you would make here?

    Ryan
    TAA/Davies/Egan/KWP
    Auba/Salah/Son/ASM
    Werner/Ings

    Nyland/Brewster/Bissouma/Mitchell

  7. Please Answer Me
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Dier or Davies more nailed?

    1. JamTart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Dier but I'd imagine both nailed

  8. JamTart
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Some tweaks after discussions on here and think I'm closer to being settled:

    McCarthy, Button
    TAA, Davies, Saiss, Egan, Mitchell
    Salah, Auba, Havertz, Alli, Soucek
    Ings, Adams, Brewster

    0.5 ITB for Ings to Martial GW2

    Thoughts?

    1. Djodjo
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Will Davies 100% be starter?

  9. Hotdogs for Tea
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Mitro Bats & Wilson up top ... thank me later 😉

  10. HD7
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ramsdale
    TAA Justin - KWP
    Salah - ASM PEA
    Ings Werner

    Nyland Stephens Taylor Davis

    A) Mitchell, Son
    B) Davies, Alli

    *0.5 in bank to do Ings to Martial for GW2

    1. AF90
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Got pretty much the same team except McCarthy/Egan instead of Ramsdale & KWP! & also leaving 0.5 for Martial.

      I've gone Rodriguez & Doherty as my last 2 spots as with Son I don't feel my defence is strong enough

  11. TAT
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    How does this 3-4-3 look?
    I’m not sure I want to go for this formation, but it sorts out the defence much easier. Also: is DCL or Mitro the better option in this formation?

    McCarthy
    TAA - Egan - Walker-Peters
    Havertz - ASM - Aubameyang - Salah
    Werner - DCL - Adams
    (Button - Mitchell - Bissouma - Taylor)

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      G2G

      1. TAT
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Thoughts on DCL vs Mitro?

  12. Flynny
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Who is more likely to score gw1? Likely to remove for martial gw2.

    A....dcl at spurs (I have spurs defender)

    B....mitro v arsenal

    Thanks

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Maybe gamble on Mitro as you have Spurs def, read somewhere Arsenal are still prone to conceding big chances ...

    2. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Do you not fancy someone like Wilson or Antonio if it’s only for one gw?

  13. RVP 20
    1 month, 10 days ago

    hi everyone, G2G?

    McCarthy (Nyland)
    TAA Davies Mitchell (Taylor Ayling)
    Salah Auba Son ASM Barnes
    Werner Mitrovic (Brewster)

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Nice team

  14. 03farmboy
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ziyech ruled out for knee injury who’s the best replacements??

    1. Wılly
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Havertz/Pulisic

    2. Bubz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Alli if you only have 8m

  15. Jacky boy
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    I feel missing vvd. Do I need to do a little surgery and bring him?

    McCarthy
    TAA Davies Saliba KWP
    Salah Auba Son Havertz
    Werner Nketiah

    4.0 mitchell bissouma vassilev

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      nice lot that.

      1. Jacky boy
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        You mean team or missing vvd part?

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          no I like the team. Nketiah can be Mitro/Che

          1. Jacky boy
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            He is a placeholder for martial.
            Auba to fernandez
            Salah to rashford
            Nketiah to martial
            Till gw 3 for one hit.

    2. Don Kloppeone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Great team

      1. Jacky boy
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Thanks buddy

        1. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          What do you think to my dilemma below mate?

  16. some witty pun
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    whos more likely to play, Holding or Saliba?

    1. Super Saints
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Holding

  17. AF90
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    How does this look?

    McCarthy
    TAA, Doherty, Egan, Justin
    Auba, Salah, ASM, Ròdriguez
    Werner, Ings

    Steer, Brewster, Mitchell, Stephen's

    0.5m in bank for potential Ings -> Martial

  18. adstomko
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Risk Bench Boost GW1, yes or no?

    1. OldBenKenobi
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I’m doing it

  19. The Mantis
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A) Ings + Reed
    B) Adams + ASM

    1. OldBenKenobi
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B

    2. Bullet Eder
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      If you need Reed to start then definitely B

      1. OldBenKenobi
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        I assumed that was the case when I suggested B

    3. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B for me too

  20. bruuuno
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A. Salah and 4.5 fwd
    B. Havertz and Ings

    Rest of team

    McCharthy Steer
    TAA Justin KWP Davies Mitchell
    Auba Son Alli Bissouma X
    Werner Mitro X

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B

  21. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    I don't know if Havertz/Pulisic scores more than Robertson this season

    1. Godfrey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Havertz/Pulisic are captain options, that's the difference

    2. Shark Team
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      True

    3. stxrty
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Pulisic is going to be this years highest scorer. 8)

      1. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        He is injury prone this is why I really doubt your words

    4. Jacky boy
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Feel the same about vvd

      1. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        I think I will start with double Pool because we still haven't seen all Chelsea assets playing together so you never know who is gonna thrive and whos not... And if double Liv Def doesn't works then in gw3 with 2 FT you can revert to the other options

        1. Jacky boy
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Don't plan tranfer for defenders.
          Utd and city are prorities

          1. Shark Team
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            I agree TAA and Robbo are set and forget options they can get cs in every game or assist in every game

            1. Shark Team
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Any*

  22. Don Kloppeone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Last try on new article

    A) Son, Bissouma, Werner
    B) Alli, Havertz, Brewster/ Davis

    Literally can’t decide

    1. Jacky boy
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A easy
      And it costs more obviously

    2. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

    3. iL PiStOlErO
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A all the way

  23. Bullet Eder
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Having second thoughts about Bavies. Spurs have about 50 matches early season all over the globe and his injury record is terrible at the best of times. Might just switch out for Coady and leave well alone all season long.

    1. Major League Shocker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 10 days ago

      People will regret not owning Wolves defence. Look at the trendline in

      https://statsbomb.com/2020/09/wolverhampton-wanderers-season-preview-2020-21/

    2. Silent Friend
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      you are not allowed to use F

  24. Tony Martial
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ings, Kane or Vardy?

    For GW 1 only.

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Vardy

    2. Shark Team
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Ings to outscore the other two

  25. Flippo_
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Can Leicester defenders bring more points than the attackers?
    What is your opinion and which players can be considered worthy?

  26. Gudjohnsen
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A. Havertz, Nketiah
    B. Pereira, Ings
    C. Ward-Prowse, Jimenez

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      C

  27. The Finnisher
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ignoring the obvious GW1 miss. Who do you like long term?

    A. Ings and ASM
    B. Wilson and Greenwood

    1. OldBenKenobi
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Prob A

    2. Godfrey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B

      ASM can easily blank for 6/7 GWs in a row

    3. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

    4. dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Adams and greenwood

  28. Please Answer Me
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Why no love for DCL? From GW2 he has great fixtures

    1. Godfrey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Last goal was in March if I'm correct

    2. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I hate him.

      1. TheDragon
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        This - exactly this

    3. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I'm monitoring, could be great value ...

    4. TheDragon
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Post lockdown last season he averaged less than 2 points per game over 10 games

      No idea how Evertons new signings will gel

    5. Shark Team
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      He is my bet. If he scores a goal then he can't stop scoring but I hope he scores that goal in gw1 or 2

    6. Bubz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      In my team

  29. dbeck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Best set

    A) Egan and Bissouma
    B) Dallas and Souckek

    I’ll be benching one

    1. King Sheep
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

    2. Bobby Digital
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

    3. BrazilianGooner
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A

  30. BrazilianGooner
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ramsdale
    TAA Saliba Justin KWP
    Auba Mane Son St-Maximin
    Werner Adams

    Nyland; Brewster, Kalvin, AWB
    1.0 itb

    Possibly my favorite DEF and MF mix for start. Thinking a bit about the first impact of bargains, and yeah, it inclubes a bit of risky.