And just like that, we’re back again.
The Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game has gone live for the 2021/22 season and I’m here with my first impressions.
Liverpool have a great start to the season and that is where my attention went first. Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) got back to his price in the 2019/20 campaign, which seems fair for someone who has scored at least 230 FPL points in the last four years. He’s already in approximately 55% of the early teams and I fully expect him to be very highly owned in Gameweek 1 (if he’s not going to the Olympics), given his first game is up against newly-promoted Norwich City.
Most managers will be going in with Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) at the start of the season and might even add a third Liverpool player out of the fair few options available in midfield and defence, which definitely seems like a viable strategy to me. Alexander-Arnold had a strong finish to the season, clocking four assists and as many clean sheets in the last 10 Gameweeks.
Looking at the prices otherwise, there are definitely a lot of value picks available in defence.
I was expecting both Ruben Dias (£6.0m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) to be at least half a million more in price and they are definitely worth monitoring given that they play for the two most reliable defences in the league. Both teams have a nice fixture swing around the Gameweek 7 mark (a potential Wildcard option) and even deserve some consideration at the start of the season. Chelsea and Manchester City were the top two clubs for clean sheet potential last season, showing up as the best two teams not just for actual shut-outs but for most of the relevant underlying numbers as well.
The third side that showcased great underlying numbers in defence and ended the season strongly was Brighton and Hove Albion, who recorded eight clean sheets in the second half of the campaign (behind only Chelsea and Manchester City). Their starting goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez (£4.5m), could potentially offer great value, as could the lively Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m). The only worry with Sanchez that I have is that he doesn’t seem to make too many saves and doesn’t command too many bonus points, which is why I don’t think the goalkeeper decision is a no-brainer and why he’s competing with the likes of Martin Dubravka (£4.5m) and Dean Henderson (£5.0m) for the initial number one spot in my team.
I really like the £4.5m defender bracket and, in addition to Lamptey, I’ll also be monitoring Wesley Fofana (£4.5m), Ben White (£4.5m), Luke Ayling (£4.5m) and Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m).
In midfield, outside of the premiums, I’ve got my eyes on Jack Grealish (£8.0m) and Raphinha (£6.5m), who just look like great set-and-forget options. Both have an expected assists per 90 minutes (xA/90) average of 0.25 last season, which is behind only Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m).
Grealish (if he stays at Aston Villa) and Raphinha are particularly safe options in the first few weeks, when managers can assess how some of the unknown quantities in that price bracket are doing. I’m a big fan of Bukayo Saka (£6.5m), as well, and I’m expecting him to play a stronger role in our FPL teams this season.
Up front, we have a lot of variety in the congested £7.0m-8.5m price bracket. My favourite in this rung is Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.5m), who had the best ‘goals per 90 minutes’ ratio in the league last season. I also quite like Leicester City’s fixtures at the start of 2021/22.
There are many enticing options in that bracket and I’m expecting those strikers’ spots to be a place where selections will be fairly diverse because there is no stand-out pick.
That’s it from me and my early thoughts on the new FPL prices. In case you want some more discussion, Zophar, BigManBakar and I got together for our reaction stream for the FPL Wire which you can see below.
2021/22 Premier League fixtures
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Source : www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk – https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk%2F2021%2F06%2F23%2Ffpl-price-reveal-and-launch-reaction-from-three-time-top-200-finisher-lateriser%2F