This season is starting to feel like a throwback to the good ol’ days of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) where there was a practical overabundance of viable premium options and every one felt like they were essential. Those were the days where titans such as Ronaldo, Henry, Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and Drogba all walked the same patch of earth, each vying for a place in our team on their way to achieving FPL immortality.
Whether we’ll see the likes of those again time will tell but, with Spurs’ Harry Kane (£12.3m) and Son Heung-min (£10.1m), Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m), Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m), Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mane (£11.9m) and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) and, soon, Cristiano Ronaldo all being options and all priced in double-figures, FPL managers will, once again, have some big decisions to make.
Premium-priced players, which for the purposes of this article will refer to players listed at £10.0m and above, are premium for a reason and, while they don’t necessarily guarantee the highest points or, in fact, points at all (I’m looking at you Bruno), they do tend to be the players who net big hauls with the greatest regularity, hence their popularity when it comes to captaincy.
Given that how we manage our premium player choices looks likely to be key to how our teams perform this season, this article will look at a few strategies FPL managers can consider when it comes to selecting the heavy-hitters.
How Many Premiums?
Probably the most common tactic when it comes to premium players in FPL is to begin the season with two heavy-hitters and then, maybe, try and fit a third in there when your team value has increased or viable budget options emerge.
This strategy helps to avoid a potential overreliance on your heavy-hitters to perform week-in/week-out as the budget can still be spread throughout the squad. Typically, when we get into the realms of three or more premiums, the sacrifices in the squad become more evident and the importance of those heavy-hitters delivering increases.
That is not to say that the presence of premium players automatically weakens the rest of the squad. Every season is different and where you have an abundance of high-quality enabling players at relatively low cost, the inclusion of multiple heavy-hitters might not be too much of a negative at all. That is an assessment each of us will have to make, but rarely will a strategy involving heavy investment in the big-money assets avoid the need to make trade-offs entirely.
For me, given that you can only captain one player each week, more than two premiums (assuming they rotate reasonably well) feels somewhat inefficient and I tend to lean towards spreading the money throughout the squad in the hope that I can generate points from multiple sources. I’m a bit like Pep Guardiola is with midfielders when it comes to mid-priced FPL players; I’d fill my squad with them entirely if I could. I definitely don’t like being too dependent on a handful of premium assets to perform. However, this perspective is easier to say than to do, particularly when there are multiple heavy-hitters who you do not own, punishing you with huge scores each Gameweek.
All-In on Premiums
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM GAMEWEEK 3
- Saturday summary in brief
- Sunday summary in brief
- Man City 5-0 Arsenal: Is ‘OOP’ Torres worth the risk?
- Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford: Martinez and Buendia to miss Gameweek 4
- Brighton 0-2 Everton: Injured Calvert-Lewin out of England squad
- Newcastle 2-2 Southampton: Wilson fitness latest as Livramento stars
- Norwich 1-2 Leicester
- West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace
- Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Salah wider as TAA moves central
- Burnley 1-1 Leeds: Bamford on the FPL radar
- Spurs 1-0 Watford: £4.5m Sissoko catches the eye
- Wolves 0-1 Man Utd: Pogba’s FPL appeal dented by deeper role