FPL returned with a bang last weekend. The average points total was 53 and plenty of players managed to break the 100 mark, which is pretty impressive!
Some players who were heavily owned going into Gameweek 1 returned a lot of points: Benjamin Mendy, Andy Robertson, Patrick van Aanholt and Richarlison all getting double figures with Mohamed Salah starting with a goal.
But, as always in FPL, there is no time to sit and bask in the glory of your achievements or dwell on players you took out at the last minute. Gameweek 2 will soon be upon us and it’s time to get planning.
A quick note on transfers for Gameweek 2: my general rule is don’t do it. This allows you to take a free transfer into Gameweek 3 which can be useful if you need to make a double change.
You made your Gameweek 1 team for a reason and none of those reasons have changed (unless you picked Phil Jagielka – in which case you have deeper problems to deal with), so changing your carefully handpicked squad based on one week of data seems like a bad play.
Of course, there are exceptions if your team picked up an injury or a suspension but chasing price rises can be a dangerous game. Last year, the big early bandwagon was Granit Xhaka, who did not turn out too well, and the year before was Etienne Capoue with a similar story.
FPL is a game of patience and well-thought-out strategy, so making a kneejerk decision to remove Sergio Aguero because he didn’t score or Gylfi Sigurdsson because Marco Silva sacrificed him following Jagielka’s sending off can come back to haunt you.
All that being said, if you’re desperate to make that transfer, here are some things/players you should definitely consider!
- Aleksandar Mitrovic had the most goal attempts of all forwards but only three of seven were on target
- Harry Kane had just two attempts, both off target
- Callum Wilson had three big chances against Cardiff, including the missed penalty
- Mohamed Salah and Dele Alli both had two big chances, each scoring one
- Salah, Sadio Mane, Mario Lemina and Roberto Pereyra had the most shots of all midfielders with four but only Salah managed three on target
- Marcos Alonso still has the joint (with Davinson Sanchez) most attempts on goal of all defenders, despite playing a more reserved role under Maurizio Sarri
- Cyrus Christie of Fulham made the most attempted crosses of all defenders with 12, but only one was successful
- Jose Holebas was next with 11, managing five successful ones
Best: Man City – Huddersfield (h), Wolves (a), Newcastle (h), Fulham (h), Cardiff (a), Brighton (h)
Manchester City showed that they can win without really moving out of third gear against Arsenal and now they face one of the best fixtures runs possible. They play all three of the promoted sides this year and last year in six consecutive matches. If you haven’t already tripled up on Manchester City, then you should do it now!
We all know the City assets so I won’t go through them in detail but beware of Guardiola Roulette: Sane didn’t start despite having the summer off while Mahrez was pulled at 59 minutes.
Worst: Brighton – Man United (h), Liverpool (a), Fulham (h), Southampton (a), Tottenham (h), Man City (a)
Brighton didn’t get off to the best start as they were easily undone by Watford and they now face a very tough run.
Two easier matches (although no game in the Premier League is easy) are book-ended by doubles against members of last year’s top four. It’s not a good time to own a Seagull.
Mohamed Salah (MID, 13.0m, Crystal Palace away)
It was not a huge start for Mohamed Salah who came away from the game against West Ham with a single goal and no Bonus Points (FPL towers are still releasing weekly articles to explain why he doesn’t get bonus points and people are still pointing out that it’s clearly a stupid system).
However, he was getting in all the right positions and could have scored more, so it doesn’t look like Salah or the system have changed since last year, meaning he will be one of the top points scorers of the year. Ignore him at your peril.
Harry Kane (FWD, 12.5m, Fulham at home)
I don’t believe in the August curse (Kane has yet to score in the opening month of any season for Spurs) which is why he was in my Gameweek 1 team.
However, this is the game that could change my mind if he blanks. Fulham did not look too impressive against Crystal Palace and Spurs will want to make a statement following all the negativity around their transfer window.
Kane needs a goal, Spurs need a win, it just has to happen… Doesn’t it?
Benjamin Mendy (DEF, 6.0m, Huddersfield at home)
It’s rare for me to pick a defender in this section but Mendy was imperious against Arsenal and was hugely involved in their attacking play.
I would expect Manchester City to keep at least five clean sheets in their upcoming run, so he should already have six points per game while any attacking returns are a bonus.
I don’t know if I would go so far as to captain the flying French wingback as it is always a dangerous game to give the armband to a defender but Mendy is a must for the next few weeks and probably for the season.
Ryan Fraser (MID, 5.5m, West Ham away)
Bournemouth cruised to an opening day victory at home to Cardiff with Fraser putting in a star performance capped by a goal. He is hungry to improve his game and his goal tally, so he could be a fourth midfield gem.
In my preseason preview of Bournemouth, I expressed concern about the rotation in their midfield and that hasn’t changed. However, with Stanislas injured, there is an opening for Fraser to establish himself in the side.
Richarlison (MID, 6.6m, Southampton at home)
One of the first players to get a price rise in 2018/19, Richarlison is the talk of FPL after a brace for his new club.
I’m still not convinced by the Brazilian because he was renowned for being wasteful for Watford last year and one good game doesn’t change that.
However, Everton have a strong run of fixtures starting with Mark Hughes’ Saints coming to Goodison and we know that Marco Silva loves Richarlison so he will almost certainly start.
N’Golo Kante (MID, 5.0m, Arsenal at home)
This is a tough one. The usual FPL logic is that defensive midfielders might be great players but make poor FPL assets as they rarely get forward to provide attacking returns and often find their way into the ref’s book instead.
Kante has been a prime example of this since his first season at Leicester; everybody knows how good he is but even with back-to-back title-winning seasons he has managed one goal and five yellows per season, averaging 97 points per season.
However, against Huddersfield, he was the most advanced of Chelsea’s midfield trio and he has spoken out about playing a new role under Sarri.
Are we about to see a new Kante? Is it worth jumping on this bandwagon early? I don’t know, but I’m watching very carefully.
Ben Davies (DEF, 6.0m, Fulham at home)
I’ve always said a Spurs fullback who was guaranteed to start would be FPL gold. In the last few seasons, we’ve had to contend with Kieran Trippier rotating with Kyle Walker/Serge Aurier and Ben Davies rotating with Danny Rose.
However, Rose appears to be out of the picture; Mauricio Pochettino left him out of the squad on Saturday and rumours continue to mount of a move to Europe.
As a result, Davies has a clear run at left back and, considering his impressive start to last season with a fair few clean sheets and assists, now is the time to bring him in.
Seamus Coleman (DEF, 5.5m, Southampton at home)
Everton did not have the best start to the season as they were pegged back twice by newly promoted Wolves. However, it’s unlikely they’ll play 50 minutes with ten men every week!
Coleman had an unusually quiet game against Wolves and was not as marauding as we normally expect but once again this can be attributed to the need to cover for a missing player.
The Toffees carry on an excellent run of fixtures against Southampton, who looked very suspect against Burnley, and Coleman will be given renewed licence to get forward and cause problems.
Alexis Sanchez (MID, 10.5m, Brighton away)
Brighton away doesn’t seem like a hard fixture but the Seagulls only lost four home games last season and kept a reasonably tight ship.
Manchester United got off to a winning start but did not look like a side ready for a title challenge and Sanchez did not look like the player we all remember tearing up the league for Arsenal.
10.5m is too expensive for a player who looks a bit lost and, following Paul Pogba’s post-match comments, I feel there is trouble brewing at Manchester United.
Let us know who your transfers will be or ask for advice from our FPL team in the comments below.
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