FPL has launched ahead of the 2021/22 season and I am delighted to be back writing for you and extending my partnership with Fantasy Football Scout.
In this two-part article, I will be sharing my initial impressions of the prices across various positions.
I’ll begin with the players at the back and the stand-out goalkeepers and defenders.
Picks I like
- Dean Henderson (£5.0m)
- Robert Sanchez (£4.5m)
- David Raya Martin (£4.5m)
- Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m)
The premium goalkeepers of Edouard Mendy, Alisson and Ederson have been priced at £6.0m as expected so there is not really much to discuss there. Emiliano Martinez has seen a big price hike to £5.5m, the same as Nick Pope, which puts them out of the equation for me.
The £5.0m bracket though has some interesting options, however. Both the Manchester United goalkeepers, Dean Henderson and David de Gea, have been priced at £5.0m, which is half a million less than the rest of their defence. If the Englishman continues his role between the sticks, there’s value there. The odd rotation with the Spaniard does concern me though.
Kasper Schmeichel at £5.0m looks attractive at first glance but Wesley Fofana at £4.5m is a far better entry point. The same goes with Illan Meslier (£5.0m), with the rest of the Leeds defence priced at £4.5m.
Now, the £4.5m goalkeepers are really the ones that interest me as I rarely invest more than that between the posts. Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) is already close to 30% ownership and seems like the go-to option but he did not have too many saves to make last season and wasn’t great for bonus, either.
Watford kept 23 clean sheets in the Championship so the duo of Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) and Ben Foster (£4.0m) covers you quite well. David Raya (£4.5m) is one to monitor, too: Brentford had the best expected goals conceded (xGC) total in the English second tier and the goalkeeper averaged 2.1 saves per game, which bodes well for bonus points.
Premium picks I like
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m)
- Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)
- Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m)
- Ben Chilwell (£6.0m)
- Ruben Dias (£6.0m)
- Lucas Digne (£5.5m)
- Luke Shaw (£5.5m)
One, or even two of the Liverpool trio appeal given the Reds’ run of fixtures and the likely return of Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) and Joe Gomez (£5.0m) to the side.
Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) cemented the left-wing back role in the latter part of the season and is underpriced by £0.5m in my opinion. The same applies for Ruben Dias (£6.0m), as the Portuguese is likely to start every game for Manchester City when fit and offers set-and-forget clean sheet potential every week.
Lucas Digne and Luke Shaw are the creative engines for their sides and also take plenty of set pieces, which supplements their clean sheet potential. Both look bargains at £5.5m given the kind run of fixtures at the start.
Budget picks I like
- Vladimir Coufal (£5.0m)
- Andreas Christensen (£5.0m)
- Kieran Tierney (£5.0m)
- Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m)
- Ben White (£4.5m)
- Wesley Fofana (£4.5m)
- Luke Ayling (£4.5m)
- Eric Dier (£4.5m)
- Davinson Sanchez (£4.5m)
- Danny Rose (£4.5m)
- Francisco Sierralta (£4.5m)
- Conor Coady (£4.5m)
- Brandon Williams (£4.0m)
The £4.5m defender bracket is what really jumped out to me when I first looked at the prices. I traditionally favour going with three premium defenders who play every week but just looking at the value on offer in this price bracket has me rethinking my strategy. The likes of Ben White/Tariq Lamptey (both £4.5m) rotate quite well with Wesley Fofana (£4.5m), for example.
Vladimir Coufal is a great pick at £5.0m and I’m hoping the Hammers’ European exploits don’t have a significant impact on their league form.
Thiago Silva (£5.5m) is likely to see spells on the sidelines this season with injury so Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) could be a budget entry into the Chelsea defence.
Arsenal have no European commitments to worry about in 2021/22 which makes me have more faith in Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) staying fit. The left-back offers a lot of attacking potential and is one of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s teamsheet when available for selection.
Brighton’s encouraging opening fixtures has me considering a double-up and Lamptey offers significant attacking potential, as well, if he can fight off competition from Joel Veltman (£4.5m) for the right wing-back role.
Luke Ayling (£4.5m) is the go-to Leeds defender now that Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) is classified as a midfielder.
The identity of the new Spurs manager, much to everyone’s amusement, is yet to be determined but one of Eric Dier (£4.5m) or Davinson Sanchez (£4.5m) should cement their place as first-choice centre-back so there’s value there.
Watford have a good defensive record and new signing Danny Rose (£4.5m) is expected to take over the left-back role from Adam Masina (£4.5m). Francisco Sierralta (£4.5m) is the more nailed option and the Chilean also offers a bit of goal threat. Max Aarons (£4.5m) is undoubtedly the pick from Norwich but I have little confidence in the Canaries’ backline.
Conor Coady (£4.5m) should see consistent game-time under the new manager and is half a million cheaper than both Romain Saiss (£5.0m) and Willy Boly (£5.0m).
Brandon Williams (£4.0m) is one worth watching, as Ryan Bertrand has been linked with a move to Leicester and Southampton have been enquiring about the youngster.
I hope you enjoyed reading this opening piece of the season, which continues in the coming days with my first impressions of the midfielders and forwards.
Having not played the European Championship Fantasy game, I am raring to go and will be bringing you a lot more content from now till the season kick-off. We also did an FPL Wire podcast with initial impressions on the prices, which you can check out below.
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