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. Twister Sunday
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Playing FPL draft for the first time this season. When will we find out the outcome of waiver requests? Also, what happens after that? is it first com, first served on free agents? Cheers.

    1. Blue&White85
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Waivers are usually 24 hours before deadline I think (can’t remember for sure). Priority goes to the lowest placed so if you attempt to do a waiver for a player and someone else has that as their first choice waiver, whoever is lower in league gets them. After the waiver deadline, you are free to sign anyone left up to the Gameweek deadline.

      1. Twister Sunday
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Great stuff, cheers, appreciated.

      2. Blue&White85
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        So I guess if you are doing multiple waivers in a week Make sure you prioritise them do the one you want most is 1.

        1. Twister Sunday
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Cheers, will do

  2. Blue&White85
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Which option please?

    A. ASM & Jimenez
    B. Rodriguez & Wilson

  3. wilson007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Doherty or Mitrovic?

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

      Doh

    2. Blue&White85
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Doherty.

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

      Mizro

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

    Will bissouma start?

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

      Ooh I just realised I hit the 10 club!!!!

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

        Me too

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

          Oops, only 9

  5. grennans2
      1 month, 10 days ago

      If you could only have 1 for the first 3 GWs...

      A) Salah
      B) Aubameyang

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

        B

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

        A

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

        A

      4. Blue&White85
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        B

    • OldBenKenobi
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Ben Davies or Reece James for GW1?

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

        Suppa short term? Reece.

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

          WCing GW2

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

        Neither, go cheaper and upgrade elsewhere.

    • adstomko
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Minamino worth a punt?
      Think he could snatch a goal at the end.

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

        No

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

        for one week, yes

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

        Better don't

    • Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A. Justin
      B. Lewis

      1. Saliba
      2. Holding

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

        A1

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

        A1

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

        Arsenal defence is a minefield with not knowing who will play. I think it's for good reason that you have not seen any Arsenal defenders (bar Tierney) in any Pro Pundit teams.

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

        Lol holding definitely better option. Take it from an arsenal fan. Both will likely start if back 3 which I think is what will be played but holding more nailed as saliba is still 19 and Arteta will not want too much pressure on him too fast.

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

      Should I go:

      A. Kane, James Rodriguez, Brewster
      B. Ings, Alli, Wilson

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

        B surely

    • Serendipity
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Season's almost here, good luck everyone!

      Toying with which one to bench, I think the odds say Soucek, agree with this? Confirmation came that he's available to play, however. Have McCarthy in goal. Thanks in advance.

      Soucek (NEW H)
      Egan (WOL H),
      KWP (CRY A),
      Justin (WBA A)

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

        Why benching Soucek for basically only game he's worth having?

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

          This.

        2. Blue&White85
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Agree, downgrade to 4.5 if not playing.

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

          Valid point. Except for this fixture he was pretty much a permanent 1st/2nd sub to rely on in this pandemic where the first two bench options are more likely to be needed in any GW than previously.

          Based on the comments, I'm leaning towards benching KWP now, cheers.

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

        Soucek would be the first one I'd play. Probably bench either KWP or Justin out of the rest

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

          Yeah, if you play double Saints defence, they will certainly find a way to concede.

    • Infected by ebolasie
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      A lot of people jumping onto Havertz all of a sudden, did something happen?

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

        Frank gave a press conference

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

        Not that I can think of. Werner is enough Chelsea for me right now

    • PogBruno
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Best GK upto 5.0??

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

        Ramsdale
        McCarthy
        Ryan

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

          No love for Pickford with MF additions and better fixtures than Ramsdale?

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

            So many new signings in such a short space of time - Everton are a wait and see for me

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

        Rams/McCarthy

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

        I went with Rams.

    • KINGS
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Anyone taking punt on Bamford?

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

        He is the worst striker ever to play in the premier league

        I’m not sure he will even start

    • Jdpz
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Pulisic or Havertz?

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

          Puli

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

          both

      • OldBenKenobi
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Can anyone confirm Chelsea’s no.1 GK?

      • Strchld
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Which one to downgrade to get Havertz over Alli? Need 0.5m.
        Maybe one of 5.0 defender to 4.5? Or Taylor to 4.0?

        McCarthy (Button)
        TAA - Davies - Saiss - Egan (Taylor)
        Salah - Auba - Alli - ASM (Bissouma)
        Werner - Ings (4.5)

        Plan would be:

        GW2 Salah and Ings > Bruno and Martial for a hit -4
        GW3 Auba > Sterling or KdB

        1. Strchld
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Maybe Saiss to Justin? How many weeks Justin should be starting?

      • Hryszko
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        How am I looking? Pretty set on this team now for GW1, 2.0m ITB to use to go Auba > KDB and Wilson > Martial. Any changes?

        McCarthy
        TAA - Kwp - Davies
        Son - Auba - Salah - ASM - Soucek
        Wilson - Werner

        Subs: Steer, Mitchell, Brewster & Taylor

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

          You prefer Wilson to Ings?

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

            Hmm, i don't really know.. think Wilson will do well in GW1, reckon Ings is a better option?

          2. Hryszko
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Plus, i mainly picked Wilson because West Ham have been diabolical at the back..

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

              I’m on a similar set up and going Ings with a view to moving him to Martial GW2 (0.5 ITB)

              Ings is tried and tested just wonder if Wilson will be eased in and might take a game or 2 to settle in and it’s basically a 1 week punt

      • FPL ElasticO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Which combo to go with from start??

        A. Werner & Alli
        B. Werner & Son
        C. Werner & Havertz

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

          ive personally got A+C (minus one Werner 🙂 ) i guess you need to show what you are doing with the extra money from going for Alli over Son.

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

          Easily B.

        3. cravencottage
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          C

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

        A. VVD
        B. Justin + 2.0m itb

        1. EmreCan Hustle
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          What would you do with that 2m?

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

            Don't know... Might come handy in GW2.

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

        Had a look at this Marcal fella Wolves have signed. Seems he played most of his games at LCB for Lyon, not LWB. Isn't he more of a threat to Saiss than Vinagre? Would Wolves be so interested in Telles if they were planning to use Marcal at wing back?

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

          My view is that Saiss is too good to lose his place, while Vinagre is young and unproven. It is normal for players to play different positions for different teams. Would you mess with your back three if you had a defensive record like this?

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

          If Telles joins, that probably indicates that they think Marcal is bench cover only.

      • davewg59
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Whatever the question is can someone convince me Saint- Maximin is the answer. He has been in and out of my team so many times!

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

          Newcastle have good early fixtures.
          Buying Wilson now means they have a striker who can finish his assists
          He is 5.5m and a 4th midfielder enabler - not much else at the price so what’s not to like?

      • EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Why does everyone on here favour Saiss over Coady? Surely Coady is more nailed on?

        1. internal error
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          baps and potential attacking returns

          1. EmreCan Hustle
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Maybe.

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

          I'm on Coady.

          1. EmreCan Hustle
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Same.

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

          Baps

          1. EmreCan Hustle
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            He gets a lot of cards. Would he still get the baps?

        4. The Sarjeant
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I’ve got Coady. Not sure if Marcal will start over Saiss.

      • OldBenKenobi
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        GTG?

        Ramsdale
        TAA Robbo James
        Salah(v) Aub(c) Saka Armstrong
        Werner Antonio Nketiah

        McCarthy Soucek Walker-Peters Justin
        (Bench Boost)

        1. Capitan_K
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Same plan and almost same team 🙂 So i like it. Will James Saka and Nkethia start? :/

      • grennans2
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Thoughts on the below strategy?

          McCarthy
          TAA - Robbo - Doherty - Davies - Justin
          Auba - Son - Havertz - (Bissouma) - (Reed)
          Werner - Ings - (Davis)

          0.5ITB.

          Plan is Ings > Martial straight away with first transfer. Then save to GW3 and do Son & Havertz > KDB & Armstrong.

          Then GW4 do Doherty > VVD for triple LIV defence.

          This is if all goes well with no injuries and price rises obviously!

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

            If you have a plan then stick with it, WC is there for you if you feel it's not working out, GL.

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

            How about GW3 lose Auba instead Havertz? Chelsea have nice fixtures and Arsenal doesnt. Ans If you want also lose Son you could get better player than Armstrong in.

        • jdp219
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I see there are a decent amount of changes to the nav and site structure so maybe I am just missing this, but was wondering if there's some place to see all the Pro Pundits' teams?

          I'm sure I could find them on Twitter or elsewhere, but was hoping for a central hub of sorts.

        • raoulduke71
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Decent?

          ............McCarthy.............
          ...Doherty Trent Robbo...
          Dele Havertz JRod Auba
          ..Wilson Werner Nketiah..

          Walker-Peters/Bissouma/Mitchell

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

            Very, nice team!

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

          Start with Rodriguez and carry the FT
          OR
          Start with Bowen and gw2 get James?

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

          Which is best?

          a)Taylor & Mitro
          b) Ferguson & C.Wilson

          Essentially I've got Lascalles as my other cheap defender & he rotates well with Taylor over the first half of the season. However I'll only be using Taylor a couple of times in the first 7/8 fixtures so wondered whether the money would be better invested up top?

        • interpolnyc
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Ramsdale

            TAA / VVD / Davies
            Son / Hav / ASM / Aub
            Che / DCL / Wern

            Nyl / Mitchell / Stephens / Taylor

            1.5 itb

            gw2 - son for bruno
            gw3 - aub for KDB

          • Silecro
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Start with Alli or Havertz?

            1. interpolnyc
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Havertz