After three months away, Fantasy Premier League is BACK! Here are our hints and tips to give you the edge over your mini-league rivals ahead of that all-important first gameweek deadline…
Last season more than eight million managers around the world competed for the top prize. That means it’s getting harder to improve your overall rank, so it’s crucial you do your homework and follow these three rules:
1. Play the fixture list
Rule number one last season, this season and for the next 20 seasons. Fixtures are critical, and not just who plays who in GW1. Base your original selection on the first six gameweeks – this should prevent the need for wholesale early changes, as you’ll still have good fixtures to come even if a couple of players let you down.
2. Beware international stars
Unless you’re willing to play the long game, it’s best to ignore players who featured in the latter stages of the Euros, or at the Olympics. Lots of these guys have been given an extended break, and may not be thrown straight in. Having one of your starting players come off the bench for their club to score you one point is a pain, as it stops your subs getting on.
3. Balance your budget
A common mistake in FPL is to pick too many good players. No, really. Only 11 men can score you points each week, and a strong bench will probably cause more problems than it solves. Prioritise your starters, and try to pick subs who are the cheapest in their position but still tend to start for their clubs. If you pick wisely, most weeks you won’t need them.
PICK OF THE SAINTS
Defender: Kyle Walker-Peters £5.0m
Let’s just skip the goalkeeper position. Unless you’re willing to gamble on Alex McCarthy or Fraser Forster (both £4.5m), it’s too risky to pick one. That’s why Kyle Walker-Peters is a safe bet – always starts when fit and a major cog in Saints’ attacking wheel.
Romain Perraud (£5.0m) has pedigree for goals and assists in France, while Tino Livramento (£4.0m) could be a decent bench option as the joint-cheapest defender in the game, but Walker-Peters is the tried and trusted option and now has a taste for goals after scoring against Levante in pre-season.
Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse £6.5m
Fresh from his best ever season, the skipper has risen £0.5m in price, but should still be under your consideration. The two great things about Ward-Prowse are his consistent minutes – no anxious wait for the teamsheet to drop – and his set-piece prowess.
Being on free-kicks and corners boosts his assist potential, while the departure of Danny Ings could see him return to Saints’ full-time penalty taker. Ward-Prowse hasn’t missed a minute for the past two seasons and registered a combined 15 goals and assists last season.
Midfielder: Nathan Tella £5.0m
A bit of a wildcard this one, but Tella could have a big part to play in Saints’ season. Though still not a certain starter, his explosiveness makes him an eye-catching option at a modest price.
The fact that the 22-year-old is listed as a midfielder boosts his appeal. That means he scores five points for a goal and one for a clean sheet, even if he’s picked to play up front. A goal and an assist against Fulham in May showcased what he can do.
Forward: Ché Adams £7.0m
Remember when Adams was struggling to score his first Premier League goal? It feels like a lifetime ago now, and this season he’s likely to be the senior man leading the line in the Saints attack.
With nine goals and seven assists in 2020/21, the former Birmingham man came of age and was rewarded with a place in the Scotland squad at the Euros. His rise from non-league has been meteoric, and there’s no reason why he can’t continue that progression and hit double figures in the top flight for the first time.
Forward: Adam Armstrong £6.0m
Saints’ newest recruit enjoyed a prolific season last term, to the point it’s hard to ignore him as an FPL asset – even if there’s still plenty to prove at the highest level.
Only Ivan Toney (£6.5m) with 31 goals outscored Armstrong’s 28 in the Championship, with the latter doing so in a team that finished in the bottom half. All the signs are that the lightning-quick Geordie is tailor-made for Saints, so it’s pretty handy that he comes in slightly cheaper than his former Newcastle teammate.
Remember you can only pick a maximum of three Southampton players, so here’s some names from further afield that can deliver the goods…
Goalkeeper: Robert Sánchez £4.5m
The Spaniard kept 10 clean sheets in 27 appearances last season and will start the new campaign as Brighton’s number one. The Seagulls face Burnley, Watford, Brentford and Crystal Palace in their first six games.
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold £7.5m
Not the most imaginative pick, but Alexander-Arnold is the most expensive defender in the game for a reason. With Andrew Robertson injured, there’s more emphasis on TAA to create from the right flank, and he has a point to prove to get back in the England team. With Virgil van Dijk fit again, Liverpool will keep more clean sheets.
Value pick: Konstantinos Tsimikas £4.0m
Midfielder: Mohamed Salah £12.5m
There’s a theme developing here, but Liverpool’s favourable early season fixtures make Salah the standout captain choice. The Reds face Norwich, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Brentford before the end of September, and Salah is as reliable as they come in FPL.
Value pick: Raphinha £6.5m
Forward: Callum Wilson £7.5m
With Harry Kane’s future uncertain, and Jamie Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seeing the goals dry up a little last season, there’s value to be had up front. Wilson’s 12 Premier League goals last term came from just 23 starts, he takes penalties and has eight goals in 10 meetings with opening day opponents West Ham.
Value pick: Ivan Toney £6.5m
Visit Fantasy Premier League to build your team today, where you can make unlimited transfers before the 6.30pm BST deadline on Friday. Don’t forget to select Saints as your favourite team to join our supporters’ league!
Southampton FPL roll call 2020/21
Fraser Forster £4.5m
Alex McCarthy £4.5m
Kyle Walker-Peters £5.0m
Romain Perraud £5.0m
Jannik Vestergaard £5.0m
Jack Stephens £4.5m
Jan Bednarek £4.5m
Mohammed Salisu £4.5m
Tino Livramento £4.0m
James Ward-Prowse £6.5m
Theo Walcott £6.0m
Nathan Redmond £6.0m
Stuart Armstrong £6.0m
Moussa Djenepo £5.5m
Mohamed Elyounoussi £5.5m
Nathan Tella £5.0m
Oriol Romeu £4.5m
Ibrahima Diallo £4.5m
Will Smallbone £4.5m
Ché Adams £7.0m
Adam Armstrong £6.0m
Shane Long £5.5m
Armando Broja £5.0m
Michael Obafemi £4.5m