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. fpl_tp95
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Bit of advice needed

    Mccarthy, Nyland

    TAA, Taylor, Mitchell __ __

    Auba, Son, ASM, Souceck, Salah

    Werner, Ings, Brewster

    Considering

    A) Vinagre and Dier

    B) Justin and Saiss

    Any thoughts? General thoughts on team also helpful

    1. polis
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      B slightly more nailed for week 1 but Justin also a transfer waiting to happen.

      Solid team.

    2. Manani
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      change Justin to KWP?
      I don't like Justin as he will lose his place once pierera comes back

      1. fpl_tp95
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I had KWP in but not sure on doubling up on Saints. Agree about Justin though. I'm most worried about Vinagre not playing at this point though

  2. MoSalalalalalalalalah
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Heard that Shelvey is injured, can anyone confirm?

    1. Bun Rab L3D2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Scout tweets.

      1. MoSalalalalalalalalah
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        FFS scout? or FPL?

        1. Bun Rab L3D2
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          FFS. It's the top tweet.

  3. Here Comes The Son ★
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    McCarthy
    Trent, Doherty, Egan, Justin
    Son, Alli, Barnes, Auba
    Ings, Mitrovic

    Nyland, Rashford, Mitchell, 4.5

    Little bit different but can I get some thoughts on this team? I know there's a rotation risk with Doherty but think he might be worth it. Worst case I'll have Justin coming off the bench most weeks.

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Different but decent. Wilson over Mitro if possible. Also, benching a player for GW2 could be risky given the current climate

      1. Here Comes The Son ★
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Yeah it is... I could go Werner over Rashford (This is what I had previously) - Just have this feeling that having a stacked midfield is the way this year.

      2. polis
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Disagree. I don't think you can try and play this season preempting players that may be out.

  4. Wozzza72
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Havertz and James Rod to start GW1???

      1. polis
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Yes. No. Maybe. No one knows.

    • RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Best option here?

      A. Doherty+Saiss+Antonio (1m ITB)
      B. Davies+Vinagre+Ings (0.5 ITB)

      McCarthy
      TAA, Egan, XXX, XXX
      Salah, Auba, Havertz, ASM
      Werner, XXX
      (4.0, Bissouma, 4.5, 4.0)

      A allows Salah+Antonio >> Bruno+Martial for a hit. B would probably be Ings>> Martial.

      1. Bun Rab L3D2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I like B. Worried Antonio may be moved out to the wing.

      2. polis
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Do you think Antonio scores week 1? If so, A.

        If not, then you're basically taking a 0 for him (assuming you split the -4 across the two players out)

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Probably

          1. polis
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Then A

    • FPL_ROTATOR
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Thoughts on the below please??

      McCarthy
      TAA / Saiss / Robertson / Doherty
      Salah (VC) / Auba (C) / ASM / Son
      Adams / Mitrovic

      Bench: Steer, Calvert-Lewin, Ferguson, Gordon

      Debating on Podence for ASM & Coady for Saiss

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Don’t like the front line personally.

      2. polis
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Benching DCL is a bit nuts. Could easily score v Spurs. I think Everton could shape up for a solid season.

        1. FPL_ROTATOR
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Very true, always wary of Everton away from home against any 'top 6' side though, DCL is in more because of Everton's easier fixtures week 2-4.

      3. Xhaka Kahn't
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Interesting team.

        Looks good as long as you know what your plan is to upgrade your front line when the time comes.

        1. FPL_ROTATOR
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Thanks! Yes I am looking at a strategy of...

          Auba > Pulisic
          Adams > Jiminez

          For the start of gameweek 3 due to their fixtures over gameweek 3-5.

    • Bossworld
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I'm not actively playing this year. Can I get by without any City cover?

      Ryan
      KWP - TAA - [C. Taylor]
      Auba (TC) - Soucek - [Fernandes] - Salah
      Wilson - Mitrovic - Werner

      Walton - Dendoncker - Dallas - Mitchell.

      I wanted Rhian Brewster to enable Dendoncker > Foden but he could move to the Championship after GW1 and I'm not touching my team after that point.

    • davies
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Who would you rather play every week?

      A) Soucek
      B) Taylor

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        B

      2. Bun Rab L3D2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        A. Random set piece goals incoming.

    • Manani
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Armstrong out for GW1 apparently

      1. Strchld
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        What?

      2. Bun Rab L3D2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Come back from international duty with an injury.

    • Niho992
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      This could be Harry Kane season. Also, Mou 2nd season. Let's go.

      1. sunzip14
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Kane+Son+Davies here. All eggs on Spurs basket 😀

      2. Galza
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I think there’s a guy on here who’s got 4 Spuds.

        He’ll be glad to see this... 🙂

        1. NABIL - 1 season 1der
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          o/ 🙂

          1. Galza
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Hats off to you pal. GL...

            1. NABIL - 1 season 1der
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Thanks man!

            2. NABIL - 1 season 1der
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              And GL to you too

      3. moz_1983
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Absolutely. He missed almost a third of last season and still scored 18. His form when he returned towards the end of the season was great, he has great fixtures in the first batch of games. No brainer.

        1. FOMFF
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Triple Spurs here. Double Chelsea. Terrified.

    • Ings_is_the_king
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Egan and KWP or Saiss and Taylor? Also whats the lastest update on Vinagre? Cheers.

      • JBG
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Who to replace Armstrong with?

        A) ASM
        B) Mitrovic
        C) Che Adams

        B and C I downgrade him to 4.5 and upgrade Brewster/Davis.

        1. Sandesh_
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          C

          1. JBG
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Thanks!

        2. Ings_is_the_king
            1 month, 16 days ago

            C if no other Saints attack

            1. JBG
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Thanks! Yeah, no other, Armstrong was my Saints attack.

          • Bun Rab L3D2
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            B for nailedness, pens and whatnot.

            1. JBG
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Isn't Cairney on pens?

        3. sunzip14
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Barnes or Havertz for GW1 only?

          1. Bun Rab L3D2
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Havertz is flavour of the day.

          2. Guba
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Are you WC gw2? I'd also consider Hudson Odoi for 1 week only, very likely to get 90 minutes with Ziyech confirmed out and Pulis eased in. Can spread the funds elsewhere.

            In answer to your question though, Havertz.

        4. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Has anyone found any good 4.5 defensive rotations? Seems to be no popular this season

          1. MikeRyko
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Lascalles & Taylor
            Vinagre & Targett

          2. xiMoxiee
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            KWP and Taylor for me

        5. Xhaka Kahn't
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Who gets more points in the first 4-6 GW's

          A) Digne
          B) Callum Wilson?

          1. Scots Gooner
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Digne for me. Think he could be a great option for the first 10 GWs or so. Only 7% ownership too.

        6. How I met your Mata
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          nailed 4.5 midfielders?

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Bissouma is popular

        7. Pedram
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Is Batshuayi going to be a starter right away?

          1. Mayor of Flair
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Don't know but he's horrendous at football

        8. Pukki Party
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Soucek 6.8% ownership is surprisingly low

          1. Pukki Party
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Also, any Fulham fan know what the situation is with Lemina (4.5) and Anguissa (4.5)?

          2. Pedram
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Terrible fixture ahead doesn't help

          3. Dthinger
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            There are rumours he'll miss the first week quarantined

            1. Bushwhacker
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Apparently an "insider" this morning said he's available for Sat.

          4. NABIL - 1 season 1der
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Indeed.

            Sorry mate, think I'm gonna pass Nketiah 🙁 good luck!

        9. the Penman
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Simon March taking risks, FPL General is going 442...what kind of madness is overtaking the big names of FPL?!

          Oh, wait, Joe is playing it boring and predictable? Phew, normality is restored...

        10. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          What’s the latest on Vinagre then?

          1. Bobby Digital
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Wolves turned down the Porto bid.

        11. dshv
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Armstrong or asm ? Have callum

          1. Bobby Digital
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            ASM

          2. Dthinger
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Armstrong looks injured

          3. Bobby Digital
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Armstrong injured.

          4. polis
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Armstrong likely injured, so has to be ASM.

            Or Doucoure?

        12. grennans2
            1 month, 16 days ago

            A or B?

            A) Doherty & Davies
            B) Doherty & Egan

            1. Mayor of Flair
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Egan

          • Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Any chance of Callum Wilson being on pens at Newcastle ?

            Toss up between

            A. Ramsdale mitro
            B. Mcarthy Wilson

            1. Dthinger
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              yes.

              A

          • Samantuka
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Guys please join to my private classic league

            League name : DDD 2020-2021

            League code : adeuyj

          • Weasel Boy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Is a double spurs defence of Dier and Davies wise?

            Could maybe downgrade one and upgrade Ferguson?

            1. Mayor of Flair
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              I don't think so.

              Watford had more CSs than Spurs last season.

            2. sunzip14
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              You might want Son/Alli + Kane if they start well. So, I would just wait to see how they start before doubling up in defense.

          • sunzip14
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Very interesting ones here...
            1) Is Anguissa a starter?
            2) Nyland or Steer, who starts until Heaton is back?

          • pablo discobar
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            GK Mccarthy
            DEF TAA, Dier, Justin,
            MID Son, Salah, Soucek, Auba
            FWD Wilson, Werner, Mitrovic

            Subs (GK Villa 4) Lascalles, Bissouma, Taylor

            GW2 Salah to KDB, Son to Bruno

            GW3 Auba to Salah or Mane

          • Give Me the Mane
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            RMT, please! Any suggestions?

            McCarthy/Nyland
            Robbo/Justin/KWP/Lamptey/Mitchell
            Auba/Salah/Son/Mount/Bissouma
            Ings/DCL/Mitro

            GW2 - Ings to Martial & Mount to Greenwood

            1. Give Me the Mane
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Have 1M ITB

          • Iceball
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Which 2 to pick?
            A) Mitro
            B) Nketiah
            C) Adams

            1. The Sarjeant
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              C & risk B.

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

            Saliba or Holding?

            1. Mayor of Flair
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Holding