Fantasy Football Unplanned: Gameweek 1 Preview

Fantasy Football

It’s back! Oh my how it is back. Weeks of trawling through the player lists, trying to find that bargain that is going to be the difference between an average week and a good one. I’m still no further forward. Welcome to gameweek 1…

The Dilemma

So many issues, so little time. Hopefully, you’ve read my ramblings in assessing some bargains and who has nice fixtures, which I’ll not repeat to save my word count. With that in mind, I think Lukaku is a must have. He loves playing against West Ham anyway, and I don’t think changing his shirt colour from blue to red will be detrimental. Harry Kane couldn’t stop scoring at the end of last season and is rightly the highest value player in the game at £12.5m. He’s a big outlay but should be worth it – assuming Tottenham’s Wembley problems disappear. I’m not considering Alvaro Morata just yet, there’ll be a bedding in period whilst he adapts to the league, and I am curious to see how Lacazette gets on. I have no doubt about his ability but without Ozil and Sanchez through injury/transferitis I worry about his team mates being able to get the ball to him. Firmino at £8.5m could be decent value seeing as he has picked up penalty duties during pre-season, but that is quite expensive for a third striker.

The only doubt in my mind is Manchester City. I have absolutely no idea who will get games in their attacking positions, I mean the obvious answer is everybody will at some point but rotation is my least favourite word in Fantasy Premier League stakes. I am considering Aguero, who you would think is guaranteed to start, but with Gabriel Jesus very much on the scene, I’m not even sure that is a lock anymore. I see no reason why he wouldn’t start Saturday though, away at Brighton, and you’d have to think City will win despite Brighton’s enthusiasm. He’s £1m cheaper than Kane, it’s worth thinking about anyway. Part of my reasoning is I would use the extra funds to bring in Eriksen or Alli in midfield (I’d still want Spurs coverage!) and see how it goes for a few weeks before dipping into the transfer market. But can you dare not have Harry Kane?!

Bargain Bin

Aside from those mentioned last week, I’m adding Alex Iwobi to the list for Friday night. Arsenal host Leicester and with Sanchez, Ramsey and Ozil all expected to miss the game, Iwobi should keep his place after starting last week as part of the front 3 alongside Welbeck and new man Lacazette. He’s only £5.5m and might be nice for a week or two but is certainly not a long term solution. I’ve been banging the Southampton drum for a little while now because they have two home games and I’ve become obsessed with that fact. Redmond and Tadic at £6.5m are decent options or maybe you’ll like the set piece promise of James Ward-Prowse at £5.5m? I’ve opted for Gabbiadini up front at £7m though that may change. He does seem likely to start over Charlie Austin and Shane Long though.

Also Consider…

The deadline is 6.45pm on FRIDAY. Stupid Friday football. There’s a new chip this season that allows you to change your team for one week only, but that’s irrelevant this week. The only chip I would consider is the bench boost, as this is one of three opportunities to pick an entire team of your choice and therefore pick a full bench. It’s ballsy though, with so many uncertainties around.


I’ve opted for Lukaku, it’s a lazy choice but there’s no form to go off really so the big team at home to a mid-table side is my hopeful formula for success. Alternatives? As I mentioned earlier I expect Man City to beat Brighton, Aguero is always a good choice for captain if he is playing. As an outside bet, Willian at £7m might be out of the team in a few weeks but for now, he is surely a lock, and he takes his share of set pieces.

It’s at this time that I normally wish you luck and that all your arrows are green. Well, your arrows will be grey this week regardless. Sorry about that. So, here’s my team as it stands – it changes hourly though…

De Gea, Cedric, Luiz, Dawson, Salah, Eriksen, Willian, Ward-Prowse, Gabbiadini, Aguero, Lukaku (c)

Subs: Elliot, Loftus-Cheek, Mee, Hefele