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The 31st season of the English Premier League has already begun. This season, it will be interesting to see whether Manchester City will be able to defend their Premier League title with other teams like Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal trying to improve their squads by making numerous signings in the current transfer window. This weekend is packed with some other interesting clashes such as Everton vs Chelsea, Manchester United vs Brighton, and West Ham vs Manchester City. As this exciting season of football is about to begin, FPL managers must also be quite excited about the fact that a new Fantasy Premier League season will be starting this weekend as well.
What is Fantasy Premier League?
Fantasy Premier League or FPL, it is basically an online strategy game that casts you in the role of a fantasy manager. Each manager is given the task to pick a squad of English Premier League players who score points based on their real-life performance in the matches. The game also consists of chips such as Free Hit, Triple Captain, Bench Boost, and Wildcard that can be used by each manager in the season. There is an option to create mini-leagues where people can compete against each other.
Fantasy Premier League is one of the most trending games currently and is played by more than 8 million people in the world. 5 years ago, the total number of managers were around 4 million but now the number has more than doubled. Also, the popularity of English top-flight football has skyrocketed over the past decade in India. There are around 2-3 lakh FPL managers in the country as of 2020, and India ranks sixth among the countries with the highest number of FPL managers.
With a lot of new player arrivals and some major price changes this season, it might be a bit difficult, especially for new FPL managers, to build the perfect squad for starting the FPL season with a bang. Hence, now we’ll be looking at some must-haves and a few differentials as well to make things easier.
Players to watch out for in Fantasy Premier League 2022/23 season
Among goalkeepers, some of the safest options are Ederson (5.5 million) and Alisson (5.5 million) as City and Liverpool both are great defensively and will most probably keep the maximum clean sheets among all the teams. However, many FPL managers don’t like to spend much on goalkeepers and might opt for decent cheaper options such as David Raya (4.5 million) and Robert Sanchez (4.5 million). In the 5 million bracket, some other good options include Edouard Mendy, Aaron Ramsdale, and Emiliano Martinez.
Danny Ward, who costs just 4 million, is a pretty good differential option as Kasper Schmeichel has left Leicester for OGC Nice in the Ligue 1, and Ward is most likely to be the starting choice keeper for Leicester this season. Jordan Pickford is another cheap differential whose price has dropped from 5 million to 4.5 this season. Everton have bought in defender James Tarkowski from Burnley, who just got relegated from Premier League, and are looking much stronger in terms of defence.
The Liverpool full-backs, Trent Alexander Arnold (7.5 million), and Andy Robertson (7 million) are definitely the must-haves for this season. Both of them have been consistent since the last 2-3 seasons and have been producing huge points in Fantasy Premier League due to their attacking contributions along with the regular clean sheet points. Joao Cancelo (7 million) is another defender who can be considered as a must-have since he is also known for giving major attacking returns along with clean sheet points regularly.
Moreover, Cancelo might be the only Man City defender who is nailed on for the season as he is versatile and can play right-back as well as left-back positions. Reece James (6 million) is another defender whose attacking threat is really high due to the fact that Chelsea play three centre-backs and two wing-backs. James mostly operates as the right wing-back for Chelsea and has the ability to produce huge numbers in Fantasy Premier League. Neco Williams, who is just 4 million, is also turning out to be a must-have as he can be a really good bench option and is also the first choice right-back for the newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
Matty Cash (5 million) is a great differential pick as Aston Villa are looking solid in defence with Martinez behind the goal. Also, Cash has proved last season that he can score goals and provide assists as well.
Another similar option is Kieran Trippier (5 million) who is known for taking superb free-kicks from a long distance and can deliver some good Fantasy Premier League points on a regular basis. Diogo Dalot (4.5 million) is a cheap differential option who might give some regular clean sheet points with De Gea in goal. He is most probably going to be the first choice in right-back and might perform well under new manager Erik Ten Haag. Ivan Perisic is another differential who has the ability to produce attacking returns to a large extent since he has played most of his career as a winger. However, he might turn out to be a risky option as his place is not guaranteed in the Spurs team with Sergio Reguilon also fighting for that left wing-back spot.
The first player that comes to mind is obviously Mohamed Salah (13 million), the FPL God, who has consistently been on top for the last 3-4 FPL seasons. Without a doubt, he is a must-have due to his regular goal-scoring ability and also because he is on penalties for Liverpool. Kevin De Bruyne (12 million) is another midfielder that guarantees FPL points due to his playmaker kind of role. He is known for providing numerous assists and scoring some spectacular freekicks. Son Heung-min (12.5 million) is also a premium midfielder who is in unbelievable form and has recently won the golden boot in the previous Premier League season.
Son’s attacking potential has been increasing every season and he has players like Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski to aid him in the attack. Andreas Pereira (4.5 million) can also be considered a must-have since his move to Fulham from Manchester United kind of guarantees him a starting place in the Fulham lineup for the season. He has been on the radar of many FPL managers as a really cheap and decent bench option for the whole season. Pereira is quite capable of scoring freekicks from a long distance.
Luis Diaz (8 million) seems like a perfect option for those FPL managers who are not willing to spend 13 million for Salah. With the departure of Sadio Mane, and a short-term injury to forward Diogo Jota, Diaz is pretty much nailed on for at least the beginning of the season and is quite a promising player who will lead the attack in a star-studded team like Liverpool. Raheem Sterling’s move from Manchester City to Chelsea already makes him a good choice in FPL as his game time will definitely increase and might have more goal involvements compared to the last few seasons. However, he is priced at 10 million, which might be too much for some FPL managers, but might turn out to be a decent differential option at any point in the season.
Jack Grealish (7 million) is a budget friendly differential whose game-time under Pep Guardiola is a bit of a concern, but his pre-season form and link up with new signing Erling Haaland might make him a good FPL asset. Marcus Rashford who is just 6.5 million this season has the potential to be a major differential since he might be leading the attack with Martial and Sancho as Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United is a bit uncertain at this moment. On the other hand, Gabriel Martinelli (6 million) is also another cheap alternative who will be playing a major role in the Arsenal attack this season. Some other differential options in midfield include Jesse Lingard (6 million), Pedro Neto (5.5 million) and Jarrod Bowen (8.5 million).
Gabriel Jesus’ switch from Manchester City to Arsenal has turned him into a must-have in FPL since now he will be the main man for Arsenal in the attack. Priced at just 8 million, he is a great value pick as he will most probably be taking penalties for Arsenal this season. Also unexpectedly, he is the most-owned FPL player with more than 70% ownership as of now. Harry Kane (11.5 million) is an obvious must-have as we have been seeing his consistency over the years. His linkup with Son has made him an even better FPL choice and as usual he will be taking penalties for Spurs. Erling Haaland (11.5 million) is probably the most exciting player this season who has just arrived in Manchester City from Dortmund. With Aguero and Jesus gone, Haaland will be leading the city attack upfront and is expected to be in the race for golden boot.
We all know that Haaland is an absolute beast who simply bullies his way through defenders, but we have seen in the past how Bundesliga players like Sancho, Pulisic and Werner have struggled to adjust in a competitive league like Premier League. Hence, for the initial gameweeks, Haaland might be a risky FPL option. Jamie Vardy (9.5 million) is another must-have who might not be so popular among the other ones listed, but is definitely a player who delivers regularly. However, Leicester’s initial fixtures are not so favourable since they will be facing Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United inside the first six gameweeks.
Darwin Nunez (9 million), who has just arrived in Liverpool, has dominated in the pre-season games and has impressed many people along with manager Klopp. With Jota out for a few weeks, Nunez is guaranteed to start for Liverpool and seems like a promising talent who can be a surprise differential. Kai Havertz (8 million) who has been listed as a forward in premier league fantasy football this season, will most likely lead the Chelsea attack due to Lukaku’s departure and Timo Werner’s probable loan move to his previous club RB Leipzig. Anthony Martial (7 million) also has the ability to be a major differential since Ronaldo’s future is quite uncertain at United. Moreover, United have also failed to make signings to improve their attack. Hence, Martial might be the main man for United this season. Aleksandar Mitrovic (6.5 million) can be a surprise differential as everyone’s focus is on premium forwards like Jesus, Kane and Haaland.
We have witnessed Mitriovic’s goal-scoring ability previously in the Premier League and on top of that he is currently in some serious form as he was the top goalscorer in Championship last season with 43 goals. Deniz Undav who is just 5.5 million can be a great differential pick and can also be a really cheap option for the bench. Although Maupay and Welbeck are the probable strikers who will be leading Brighton’s attack, Undav has the potential to secure a place in the starting 11 with his good pre-season form.
Tips and Strategies for Fantasy Premier League 2022
A good strategy that is used by a huge number of premier league fantasy football managers is to keep the bench as cheap as possible so that a lot of money can be utilized on buying premium players who will be in the starting 11. Players like Neco Williams, Andreas Pereira, Leon Bailey can be majorly used as bench options. Another major strategy for a good FPL season is to use the chips effectively. Chips like Free Hit and Bench Boost should be used in the second half of the season when there is a possibility of a few double gameweeks. Also premium players like Salah or Kane are the safest options when considering the Triple Captain chip. The Wildcard chip also must not be used in a hurry and should be planned out well. Since 5 substitutions are allowed in this Premier League season, FPL managers can focus more on including premium defenders in their team since defenders are least likely to be rotated in a game. A formation like 5-3-2 can be very suitable for this kind of strategy.
Tips for Gameweek 1
Newly promoted Fulham will be facing Liverpool this weekend, hence captaining Salah or any other Liverpool attacker like Diaz or Nunez can be the safest strategy. Other safe captaincy options are Harry Kane and Son as Spurs will be facing Southampton at home. Keeping Harry Kane for the first gameweek and switching to Haaland can be a smart strategy since City’s fixtures improve from second gameweek onwards. Also, it might be a good decision to wait and watch to get a better idea about the players who are nailed on for City.