Now that the final ball of the 2020/21 season has been kicked and the last FPL points have been awarded, we asked the Scout Network and Scout Academy for their best picks of the year and their key targets for the 2021/22 campaign.
Best Picks from 2020/21
I owned John Stones (£5.1m) between Gameweeks 18-24 and played him five times during that period. As well as the 27-point return in Double Gameweek 19, he also returned four clean sheets across the other Gameweeks, totalling 51 points. Nothing beats jumping on and off an asset at exactly the right time and maximising their returns for your side.El Statto
My favourite FPL player of the year is Patrick Bamford (£6.6m).FF Titan
At the beginning of the season, very few (myself included) thought Bamford could make it at this level having previously failed to perform in the top flight with other clubs. I am happy to have brought him in and trusted him for a large part of the season. His price was £5.5m at the start, making him an absolute enabler. He turned out to be a massive points scorer as well, raking in 194 FPL points in total, only behind Harry Kane (£11.9m) among forwards. He won the hearts of the FPL community, too, by acknowledging that he was playing the game himself!
It’s always tough to narrow down the best pick of the season, however Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe‘s (£4.2m) two goals in Double Gameweek 35 was a personal high. Owning him that week justified my Bench Boost and helped to secure a healthy overall rank going into the final few Gameweeks of the season. Smith-Rowe will be one to watch during the 2021/22 season.The Hangover Podcast
My best pick was getting Leandro Trossard (£5.5m) in when I played my Free Hit chip in Blank Gameweek 29. His 14-point haul alongside a double Brighton defence helped me in getting my FPL season back on track. Another memorable pick would be the double Manchester City defence, John Stones (£5.1m) and Ruben Dias (£5.9m), in Double Gameweek 19.Fantasy Football Academy
My season was undoubtedly a learning curve and definitely one to forget, so I don’t have a lot of love going around. However, Son Heung-min (£9.6m) had his best season in a Spurs shirt and offered fantastic value given that all Spurs goals would invariably go through him and Harry Kane (£11.9m).Alfie Pods Fantasy Footy
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) really changed the season for me. Heading into Gameweek 10, the Belgian and Manchester City had been inconsistent and not delivering many attacking returns. But my decision to rotate my premium midfielders and own and captain De Bruyne resulted in some big scores against Burnley and Fulham (one goal and three assists over the two matches). Targeting the fixtures, and it paying off, saw nearly a two million place rise in rank over those two Gameweeks and really kick-started the season for me.FPL Side Net
Despite a disappointing finish to the season, my personal highlight would have to be bringing in John Stones (£5.1m) in Gameweek 18. Two six-point returns over the next three Gameweeks were overshadowed by his goliath 27 points in Gameweek 19, which included a double clean sheet and two goals.FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake
Ending the season in style with a Sadio Mane (£11.8m) Triple Captain in Gameweek 38 won me a number of mini-leagues and therefore he was my pick of the season. However, Gareth Bale (£9.2m) deserves a mention here too. In the second half of the season, he was such a reliable source of points in the fixtures you knew could be targeted, especially those you could captain him in.FPL Talking Points
Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) has been my best signing this season. It’s rare that a defender can score eight goals in one campaign; if John Lundstram (£4.8m) received lordship in 2019/20, we should surely knight Dallas this year? His ability to play in midfield helped him to be the second top goalscorer for Leeds, tied with Jack Harrison (£5.6m). He was a gem for FPL managers this season but could be reclassified as a midfielder next year.Fantasy Football South Africa
Key Player to target in 2021/22
It’s still early days but my radar pick would be Norwich’s Teemu Pukki. The Canaries are back from the Championship and I feel that they would be a lot smarter this time around. I don’t expect them to finish as high as Leeds but I feel that they will have a strong season and stay safe in the division. Pukki scored 11 goals the last time he was in the Premier League and hit 26 last season in the Championship. He will be the focal point of Norwich’s attack and I back him to enjoy another 10-15 goal campaign.FF Titan
Emiliano Buendia is someone I have my eye on for next season. He has been the star of Norwich City’s promotion campaign, returning 15 goals and 16 assists from 39 league games. He was just 22 when Norwich were last in the Premier League but managed seven assists in their relegation year. Hopefully, Norwich will learn from previous seasons and will be stronger this time, making Buendia an even better option.El Statto
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) ended the season with 0.7% ownership in the top 10k. However, come Gameweek 38, he then reminded all FPL managers of his quality with a 13-point performance on the last day of the campaign.FPL Talking Points
After a season of injuries and rotation due to compacted schedules, it was easy to overlook the Belgian, especially with the potential rotation around the Champions League final. However, class is permanent and he will be the first name on my teamsheet at the start of the 2021/22 season.
Phil Foden (£6.1m) has the potential to be one of the first names on my teamsheet next season. He’s finally becoming fairly rotation proof (despite no-one being safe under Pep) and is fulfilling the talent we all know he possesses with three goals in his last four league appearances.FPL Shake ‘n’ Bake
Kai Havertz (£8.3m) could be a breakout star next season. We have seen the German perform more consistently since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel and with more confidence as a ‘false nine’ in the Chelsea front-line. And this could be of real benefit to managers, as the out-of-position midfielder should start next season at a cheaper price than the £8.5m he began 2020/21. With the Euros on the horizon, and a proper pre-season at the club, this could be a very good year for Havertz.FPL Side Net
Pedro Neto (£5.5m) is a player with huge potential. Whilst there is a lot of uncertainty around Wolves currently as they hunt for a new manager, Neto is one I am keeping a close eye on. With the right new manager in place and a return from injury for Raul Jiminez (£8.1m), Neto could go nuclear next season once he’s fit.Alfie Pods Fantasy Footy
My radar pick for next season is Leeds United’s Raphinha (£5.6m). The Brazilian winger has six goals and nine assists to his name in his debut Premier League campaign. We all know how well Marcelo Bielsa’s side played this season and how consistent he is with regards to naming his line-ups, and I feel Leeds can definitely improve further.Fantasy Football Academy
I will be keeping a close eye on Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) at the beginning of the next campaign. While a serious injury brought this season to an abrupt halt, Barnes had already beaten his total goals record from previous years and if he can re-capture that form, there will certainly be a place in my squad for him.FPL Hangover Podcast
There were a number of key injuries during 2020/21 and often on the returning season, these players come back with their A-game in play. We saw this with Kevin De Bruyne when he obtained 59 points in 2018/19, and started the following season on £9.5m. He made a mockery of his price tag and amassed 251 points the very next season!
Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m) missed a third of the campaign due to fitness issues. Before his injury in Gameweek 13, he had registered one goal, three assists (two from penalties won) and two clean sheets. On average these numbers are comparable to most mid-priced defenders, while Brighton looked better at the back when Robert Sanchez stood between the sticks. Albion kept 10 clean sheets from Gameweek 13 onwards, which underscored their improvement.Fantasy Football South Africa
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