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.
Next up is Burning Questions co-host Pras.
Fantasy Premier League is back! That rush when the game opens and you quickly check some prices (personally I went straight into checking the £4.5 midfielders and forwards), the warm fuzzy feeling buying the big hitters, and the beginning of multiple screenshots on your phone. That’s what FPL is about. No doubt the disappointments will come after Gameweek 1 deadline, but let’s enjoy the next few weeks first.
For my first article in the 2022/23 season, I’ll share a very early draft. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a draft – more like the initial gut feel/instinctive picks given the pricing. I will use this to talk about my immediate thinking and some pros and cons of going for this structure. The only guarantee is that this will change as the pre-season friendlies, the Community Shield and incoming transfers inevitably add vital information over the next few weeks.
A couple of macro points first.
The fact that the entire game has unlimited transfers during the World Cup makes this effectively a 16-week game with one Wildcard that must be played during this period. The first Wildcard can therefore be used strategically to either (i) pre-plan for fixture swings or (ii) act as an emergency bailout by going ultra-aggressive initially. I like both ideas.
We have been blessed with a unique situation where the best teams also have the best first few fixtures. In the first seven Gameweeks on the Fantasy Football Scout fixture ticker, Arsenal are #1, Chelsea are #3, Liverpool are #4 and Manchester City are #7 when the matches are sorted by difficulty. We don’t need to be taking unnecessary punts on promoted teams or bottom-half sides with good fixtures; remember the Adam Armstrong (£5.5m) gambles last summer?
Currently, I strongly favour the two-premium structure with Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Erling Haaland (£11.5m) and using the extra funds for more full-backs. However, given the attractive pricing across the board, I do expect a few ‘threemium’ drafts. Andy North and I did a video for Scout this week on the different structures, so do check that out:
I ended the final five Gameweeks of last season with Reece James (£6.0m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m), Joao Cancelo (£7.0m) and Marcos Alonso (£5.5m) in my team. I very much intend to continue this theme with these “game-breakers”. Going back to the ‘good teams and good fixtures’ strategy, I genuinely see points at both ends of the pitch for these players yet again; it’s how the game has evolved now.
My five picks are therefore Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo, Robertson, Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) and Ivan Perisic (£5.5m). Every single one of these guys could have arguably a million more in price and still be good picks.
I am fairly certain I will have the first three but I am still scouting Chelsea for any change in formation/transfer activity to decide whether it is an ‘and/or’ with Reece James (£6.0m) and Chilwell. On Perisic, I want to see his fitness and minutes in pre-season and am ideally hoping that Sergio Reguilon (£4.5m) is sold but the upside is certainly there with him in the Antonio Conte wing-back system.