Pro Pundits - Tom

FPL first-draft team reveals: 5-3-2 with Haaland and Salah

With Fantasy Premier League (FPL) live for 2022/23, we’ll be welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits and Hall of Famers for the new campaign.

We’ll be hearing from a different writer every day in the aftermath of the FPL relaunch, to get their thoughts on the pricing and to see their initial picks.

Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.

First up is five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman, who is now on board as Scout’s Deputy Editor.

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After four days of price reveals, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) opened its doors for the 2022/23 campaign on Tuesday.

So, in this, my first column of the new season, I thought I’d jot down some initial thoughts on strategy, plus teams/players that have caught my eye, and then build a very rough first draft based around that.

There are still just over four weeks to go until the season gets underway, and lots will change during that time, so I’m treating this as a kind of pre-season Watchlist that I can then develop.


SHORTER-TERM THINKING?

Firstly, the most important takeaway from Tuesday’s launch: Fantasy managers will get unlimited transfers during the six-week hiatus between Gameweeks 16 and 17, when the Premier League takes a break to accommodate the World Cup.

It’s effectively a third chance to completely overhaul your squad, as the two usual Wildcards remain in place.

As you have to use the first one by Gameweek 16, the season is almost split into quarters, which means I think we can afford to be a bit more aggressive and short-term with our initial picks.

This means I’m not really looking beyond Gameweek 6 for my initial set-up, as realistically, the latest I’ll use my first Wildcard – in between Gameweeks 8 and 9 – is the September international break.


As a result, I’m considering Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne (£5.0m) in an attempt to capitalise on those opening four fixtures against Bournemouth, Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham United.

By which point, he can then be moved onto someone in the £4.5m defender pool, a bracket I really like this year.

BEST £4.5M FPL DEFENDERS?

The £4.5m defender category is absolutely stacked with talent this year, and due to the kind pricing of the premium options, I feel it might be ignored.

And I like the idea of moving this spot around during the season to capitalise on certain fixture swings, with the names below all catching my eye over the past few days.

For example, James Justin (£4.5m) and Sven Botman’s (£4.5m) good runs start in Gameweek 6, while Vladimir Coufal’s (£4.5m) is a week later, something I touched on in my recent ‘When to best ‘hop on’ players with good fixtures’ article.

PlayerTeam
Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben WhiteArsenal
Lewis Dunk, Tariq LampteyBrighton and Hove Albion
Marc GuehiCrystal Palace
Timothy Castagne, James JustinLeicester City
Sven BotmanNewcastle United
Vladimir CoufalWest Ham United
Rayan Ait-Nouri, JonnyWolverhampton Wanderers

CHELSEA‘S FPL ASSETS

Given that Chelsea have consistently been one of the best defences in the league under Thomas Tuchel, their assets feel a little under-priced this year. Edouard Mendy (£5.0m), plus both wing-backs at just £6.0m, could offer real value, even if the mooted switch to a back-four formation comes to fruition.

A lot will depend on recruitment and if they can successfully replace Antonio Rudiger, but if they can, a £5.0m starting ‘keeper from a Champions League-level defence feels like a sound investment, especially if you think they can improve on last season’s tally of 15 clean sheets.

The impact of a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation could also boost their attacking output, which is why I have included Mason Mount (£8.0m) in my first draft. However, if Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) completes his move from Manchester City, I have a feeling he could really shake things up, with the prospect of Raphinha (£7.0m) feeding him from the right-flank a mouthwatering one for FPL managers. In that scenario, the winger would almost certainly make it into my Gameweek 1 team.

BEST BUDGET FPL PICKS


So, it’s safe to say a lot will change between now and next month’s Gameweek 1 deadline, but isn’t it fun being back talking FPL again armed with all the info?

Also, a quick shout out to Pras and Andy, who made some really nice points in last night’s ‘How to build a first draft’ video, which I’ve linked below in case you missed it.

FPL 2022/23: Can Dias or Laporte cover Cancelo?

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791 Comments Post a Comment
  1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Nunez over Jesus in this one. Thoughts?
    Yes I know, no Salah can hurt.

    Sanchez (Steele)
    Trent Cancelo James Doherty (Tomiyasu)
    Diaz Kulu Saka Maddison (Andreas)
    Haaland Darwin (Greenwood)

    1. Brimble82
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Not for me. Darwin yet to play a minute.
      Jesus knows what the league is about and will be main man.

      Plus it’s £1m itb

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        sound advice mate! It's just Darwin looks incredibly good and feels like he could haul in a cameo.
        Could go for Jesus instead and save 1m ITB for an easy swap if Nunez starts well.
        Cheers!

        1. Brimble82
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Plus… you have Diaz, who looked great last season, will get a full pre-season and doesn’t have Mane to contend with.
          I suspect Diaz to come close to Salah, or at least ppm as high.

    2. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      I'm also very excited by Darwin's prospects & could easily be swayed (by pre-season) to starting with him. Obviously a bit of doubt as to how much he shares mins with Jota initially though. Think I will probably also end up going with a placeholder to begin with, maybe a short-term punt on Vardy.

    3. Sparky6670
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Seeing Kulu in lots of squads but he will surely be on the bench a lot?

      Doubt they paid £60m for Richarlison to be a regularly bench warmer

      Kane and Son obviously shoe ins so only 1 spot

      Too much of a punt at £8m

  2. squ1rrel
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Why does everyone have Neto lol? Am I missing something

    1. Brimble82
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      I don’t.

    2. AndyLet'sNotTalkSocial
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      clearly you are

      1. OneMan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        If you can’t be kind, you should keep your comments to yourself, and stop trying to assume your superior as ignorance isn’t smart.

        1. AndyLet'sNotTalkSocial
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          You're saying it's fine to insult those of us who've thoughtfully picked Neto then?

          lol 🙄

          1. OneMan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Nobody insulted you, your the one insulting, this guy asked a simple question. Why are you so aggressive?

    3. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      He's cheap

    4. Top 210 Club
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Snapm just said same thing at the end of the last page. Wolves so bad going forward!

      1. AndyLet'sNotTalkSocial
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Hundreds of morons are asking the exact same question every day while failing to read a single answer. If you don't want him, don't have him. Is it really so complicated? 🙄

        1. Top 210 Club
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Well I wouldn't call myself a moron since I did come 210th once... I think it's a valid question

          1. Brimble82
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            I’d love to finish 210th in just a single week.
            You should lead every comment with;
            “I once finished 210th and my opinion is…”

            None of us would ever be able to challenge!

            1. Top 210 Club
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              It was a one season wonder LOL 🙁

              1. Brimble82
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                I’d still own it!

            2. Arn De Gothia
              • 12 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              I would, lol

              1. Brimble82
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                Right!

                1. Arn De Gothia
                  • 12 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Yupp, onehitwonder

          2. AndyLet'sNotTalkSocial
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            I'm saying the allegedly valid question has been asked hundreds of times. Why does no one read the posts before asking the same damned dumb question?

            1. Top 210 Club
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Fair enough, will do some scrolling.

            2. DeuloRad
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Wtf is your problem? Be angry at the system not the guy dropping in to have a chat. Who reads all the comments people posting a comment? Ridiculous

              1. Brimble82
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                You should defo read back.

                I normally post all my funniest comments on the page before the one you read.

                1. Brimble82
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  And if that’s not an advert for being on FFS more - o don’t know what is!

                  1. DeuloRad
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 9 days ago

                    If I could follow you on FFS I would. Unfortunately, I have to stick to following you in real life, which is really inconvenient while trying to post on FFS all day.

                    1. Brimble82
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 9 days ago

                      Thank God for mobile technology.

                      1. Brimble82
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 9 days ago

                        And long distance telescopic lenses!

    5. Top 210 Club
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Much prefer Wissa or a 5.5 forward

      1. UnluckyXI
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Neto's return in past two seasons were 2 attacking returns in 5 starts last season and 13 in 30 season before.

        He was guaranteed starter and only didn't play due to injury/recovery.

        For 5.5 a player that gets returns every other game is good value at least until we figure out the in form 4.5-5.5 players.

        Also his returns were very spread, don't think he got more than 1 attacking return in a single game so not stat padding against weak opposition

      2. OneMan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        I like Wissa, but his game time last season wasn’t great. Do you think he’ll play more this season ?

  3. waltzingmatildas
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    A) Saka, Kane
    B) Son, Jesus

    1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      tough one..
      A is the safe one
      B feels more fun

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Leaning towards B!

    2. PartyTime
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      B

    3. OneMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      I prefer B, Kane wasn’t outstanding last season, Son was.

    4. EugeMurts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      A

      Jesus is unproven at Arsenal

  4. I Member
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    GW1 Bench Boost!

    Mendy, Raya
    TAA, Robertson, Cash, Doherty, Trippier
    Diaz, Kulusevski, Coutinho, Martinelli, Neto
    Kane (c), Watkins, Wilson

    1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      I like!

    2. TN
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Looks good - although Raya has a tough opening fixture if i can remember correctly, try Meslier instead perhaps.

      Other than that I like it.

      I think the good fixtures in GW1 really make BB a viable option, although i would prefer to wait for a potential dgw etc especially as players form can't be judged and starting elevens may be different to last season e.g. Kulu may be dropped for Richarlison and Martinelli/Diaz might not start

      1. Sparky6670
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        With Mane gone Diaz should be first choice guaranteed

  5. OneMan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Rashford looks like a bargain.

    1. Keith Kiely
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Maybe wait a few games see how he fits with ETH system and if he can find his form. Try snap him up before the price increase if he’s playing well

      1. OneMan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Good advice, I’ve gone with Kula instead of him now, and swapped out Robertson for James to fund it.

  6. TN
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 9 days ago

    RMT:

    Meslier (Raya)
    Trent James Perisic Cash Tomiyasu
    Son L.Diaz Mahrez (Neto Andreas)
    Jesus Haaland (Greenwood)

    0.5m itb

    1. Keith Kiely
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Good team imo maybe upgrade GK the defensive returns will be solid

      1. TN
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Meslier --> Mendy

        Or

        Meslier --> Ramsdale

        1. Keith Kiely
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Mendy for sure. Some good opening games

  7. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Sterlo to Chelsea seem to be progressing well. Could be decent pick eventually, not sure about starting with him though. Would he be false 9?

  8. PartyTime
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 9 days ago

    This 5 subs rule makes no sense & would frustrate a lot of fpl managers this season. They should’ve just used it for UCL & other cup competitions. As if Pep roulette wasn’t enough.

  9. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Pretty crazy that Chilwell got 3 goals and an assist in just 541 minutes last season

    1. OneMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Have to agree, if he’s nailed I’ll take him in once the season gets underway.

  10. Keith Kiely
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    First draft. What’s first impressions?

    Raya
    AAT / James / Cancelo / Perisic

    Salah/ Diaz / Bruno G / Benrahma

    Jesus / Haaland

    Forrester / Gayle / Andreas / Vestergaard

    Maybe too defensive heavy and lack of playing bench players for rotation?

    1. TN
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Benhrahama! Haven't seen his name in a while, maybe the next Bowen player.

      Solid back four and front two not convinced with the Salah and Diaz combo, would prefer Kulu or Saka over Diaz tbh.

      1. Keith Kiely
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        I was hoping Benrahma to be the break out player for mid priced midfielders. I feel like the team will gel more this year. I was thinking dropping Diaz not to triple up on Liverpool. Once I have a defender and attacking player with them I’m happy

  11. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Kyrgios wins it!

  12. OneMan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    I see a lot of ppl are going for Haaland, interesting if Pep plays the false 9 much this season, as like Aguro if not nailed, it’s a lot of money.

    1. EugeMurts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 days ago

      He’s not nailed so defo a risk. I’m gonna wait and see on him

    2. circusmonkey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      That fear has pushed me to have Jesus instead of Saka. Don't want to be fielding 10!

  13. FredBiffa
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Hello. Any changes you would make?

      Mendy
      Tomi, Cancelo, TAA,James, Peresic
      Salah, Saint Max, Diaz, Kulu
      Haaland

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Poo

      2. Sparky6670
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Downgrade Kulu to help strengthen your bench or keep some money in reserve

    • anish10
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Hows this first draft:

      Sanchez
      TAA / Cancelo / Chilwell / Trippier
      Salah / Diaz / Neto / Saka / Bruno.G
      Halaand

      4.0 / White / 4.5 / 4.5

      1. Heard Island Tangerine Exil…
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        What if Haaland doesn't play one week. Is there a 4.5m starting striker?

    • Heard Island Tangerine Exil…
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Raya

      James * Alexander-Arnold * Cancelo * Chilwell * Digne

      Salah * Luis Díaz * Neto

      Haaland * Toney

      Subs: Balcombe * Murphy * Martinelli * Stansfield

      RMT please. Likely to swap Digne for Tierney ahead of GW3 & wildcard ahead of GW9.

    • deekay83
        1 month, 7 days ago

        Thought on this team please
        Mendy
        Tomiyasu, Matty Cash, Van Dijk, Cancelo
        Saka, Salah, Ward-Prowse, Kuluseveski
        Darwin Nunez, Jesus
        Sub: Raya, Cucurella, Neves, Taylor

      • Leekennard2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 6 days ago

        Raya/Balconbe Trent/James/perisic/concelo/Anderson
        Ward Prouse/Billing/Bowen/De Bruyne/Wilson
        Greenway/Mitrovich/Haaland
        Any and all thoughts please

      • dave446
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        1 month, 2 days ago

        My first draft and to me it seems ok
        But I will take advice
        Allison
        Cash Gabrielle Williams
        Son De Bruyne Gordon Coutinho Diaz
        Mitrovic Jesus
        Raya Antonio Jonny tomiyasu

      • Dale Sartip-Zadeh
          1 month, 13 hours ago

          good reveal

        • Damien Sartip-Zadeh
            1 month, 13 hours ago

            very interesting