Premier League fantasy football 2018-19 tips, picks: midfielders, forwards, defenders, goalkeepers for Gameweek 1
Take a look at our transfer tricks and hints for the new Premier League season, as we get set to do it all again – here are the players you should sign
The dust has barely settled on World Cup, but for us despairing football fans the 2018-19 Premier League season kicks off in just over three weeks – and that means it’s already time to start thinking about our fantasy teams.
Sure, we’re barely into preseason but users are already frantically trying to figure out the perfect line-up on the official Fantasy Premier League game.
Most of you will know the score, but if you don’t already, here are some reminders of the rules.
Users get £100 million to select a squad of 15 players, consisting of two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards.
You can select up to three players from a single Premier League team, with 11 players selected for each Gameweek deadline to form your team.
The Gameweek 1 deadline is on Friday, August 10 at 9pm GMT – so let’s get busy in the transfer market:
After a strong finish to last season, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11 million, 87 points last season) will be in the minds of most fantasy managers.
With 10 goals and four assists in 13 appearances following his January move from Borussia Dortmund, he should be in contention for the Golden Boot – at a cheaper price than some of his rivals.
Harry Kane (£12.5 million, 217 points) is a no-brainer if you want guaranteed goals – but he’s never scored for Spurs in August, and will miss preseason after captaining England to fourth place at the World Cup. Do you transfer him in now or wait a few weeks?
Another unsurprisingly popular choice is Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (£9.5 million, 181 points) who has been selected by 37.7 per cent of users. The Brazilian had 15 goals and eight assists in the Premier League last season and Liverpool look in even better shape to challenge this time around.
Despite his reputation as a flat-track bully, Romelu Lukaku (£11 million, 162 points) always guarantees goals – there were 16 of them and seven assists last season – but he could also miss the start of the season after finishing third with Belgium at Russia 2018.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (£11 million, 169 points) is a perennial fantasy football favourite but he’s had to share the main striker role with Gabriel Jesus under Pep Guardiola.
Still, 21 goals and six assists last season is nothing to shake a stick at, but the Argentine tends to inexplicably find himself dropped to the bench on occasion by Guardiola, leaving fantasy users tearing their hair out.
Many users (30.6 per cent) are taking a punt on Wilfried Zaha (£7 million, 136 points) and with a full season under Roy Hodgson, he should be able to top his nine goals and seven assists from 2017-18.
You can get Everton’s Cenk Tosun (£7 million, 55 points) for the same price, and he’s proving a popular choice as the seventh most selected forward (12.2 per cent).
Other cheaper options include Chris Wood (£6.5 million, 104 points) who had 10 goals and one assist for Burnley and Glenn Murray (£6.5 million, 111 points), who scored 12 times for Brighton. There’s also Ayoze Perez (£6.5 million, 124 points) who got eight goals and four assists for Newcastle.
Leroy Sane (£9.5 million, 179 points) should start the season refreshed after his bizarre snub from the Germany World Cup squad.
He’ll be desperate to prove Joachim Low wrong – and 17. 8 per cent of users are backing him to, though that’s not as many users (26.5 per cent) who are choosing his City teammate Kevin de Bruyne (£10 million, 209 points).
That seems like a cheap price for a player who got eight goals and 18 assists last season, though De Bruyne may sit the start of the season out following his World Cup run with Belgium.
Pretty much everyone is going to lump for Mohamed Salah (£13 million, 303 points), but there’s a reason why. He was the surprise Golden Boot winner with 32 goals last season in a stunning debut campaign for Liverpool.
Salah should also be reasonably fresh after Egypt failed to get out of their World Cup group. But was he a one-season wonder? Most of you don’t think so – he’s been chosen by 46.9 per cent of users.
Another World Cup star that fantasy users are snapping up is Jesse Lingard (£7 million, 128 points) – he had a breakthrough season with eight goals and six assists, though faces a delayed start.
The third most-backed midfielder (21.6 per cent) behind Salah and De Bruyne is Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7 million, 107 points). He was a goal and assist machine in his final season in Germany, and fantasy users seem to think Unai Emery may get the best out of him at Arsenal.
Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen (£9.5 million, 199 points) is a popular choice (16.5 per cent) with 11 goals and 10 assists last season, while Son Heung-min (£8.5 million, 178 points) chipped in with 12 goals and eight assists.
It’s tempting to think Alexis Sanchez (£10.5 million, 152 points) may bounce back and have a blinding season after struggling at Manchester United since his January move.
Caution should be urged regarding Eden Hazard (£10.5 million, 173 points) – he’ll be having a long holiday and could also be off to Real Madrid. If Chelsea don’t sell him, he may sulk like he did under Mourinho.
Beware jumping on the Riyad Mahrez (£9 million, 195 points) bandwagon too – yes, he had 12 goals and 13 assists for Leicester, but he is likely to get a lot less games at City.
Sadio Mane (£9.5 million, 147 points) is also a toss up – he can look unstoppable one game for Liverpool, and ordinary the next, and had some injury problems last year.
Ryan Sessegnon (£6.5 million) is a bargain worth taking a gamble on. The 18-year-old was a sensation with Fulham in the Championship last season, scoring 16 goals and chipping in with eight assists, which would’ve been worth 104 points.
Another promoted player worth a look is Ruben Neves (£5 million) – he was the star of the Championship with Wolves, and 15.3 per cent of users like the look of him.
Wolves’ Diogo Jota (£6.5 million) is also worth considering. The Portuguese scored 17 goals and set up five for Wolves in the Championships – that would have been worth 100 fantasy points.
Jota’s compatriot and club teammate Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.5 million) had nine goals and 12 assists with Wolves, worth 81 points, last season.
Everton’s Ademola Lookman (£5.5 million, 10 points) could be a bargain after starring with five goals and three assists in seven starts following a January move to Germany’s RB Leipzig. The 20-year-old will get a look in under Marco Silva.
England’s unexpected run to the semi-finals in Russia has had a knock-on effect, with fantasy users going mad for Kieran Trippier (£6 million, 113 points) and Harry Maguire (£5.5 million, 117 points).
The Tottenham right back and Leicester centre back will surely play important roles for their clubs this season but may miss out on the first game or two.
Liverpool’s full backs are proving popular, too. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5 million, 83 points) should kick on this season, while Andy Robertson (£6 million, 111 points) was one of the bargains of the season.
Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso (£6.5 million, 165 points) will set you back a bit but it will be worth it if he gets seven goals and 13 clean sheets again. Remains to be seen if he will fit new boss Maurizio Sarri’s system as well as Antonio Conte’s.
Selecting Benjamin Mendy (£6.0 million, 20 points last year) could be a risk that pays off. Even though he didn’t play at the World Cup, he did travel with France as part of their squad, and Didier Deschamps wouldn’t have picked him on sentiment.
He looked like a fantastic addition down the left for City before a knee injury ruled him out for most of last season, but with Fabien Delph also going deep at Russia 2018, Guardiola could throw Mendy in from the start.
If you fancy a potential bargain, you might want to take a punt on Luke Shaw (£5.0 million, 48 points).
I know we’ve been here before with Shaw, but the left back has been working on his fitness and arrived in the US for Manchester United’s preseason tour looking trim.
The 23-year-old knows this is a make or break season, and he should be getting a run of games early in the season with Ashley Young missing the US tour after his exploits with England at the World Cup.
Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels (£4.5 million, 94 points) is a solid, cheap option who gets a few goals, and he’s the fourth most-selected defender.
With five goals and 14 assist for Wolves last season in the Championship, Barry Douglas (£5 million) is the highest scoring defender coming up with a promoted side. Those efforts would’ve been worth 72 fantasy points alone.
David de Gea (£6 million, 172 points) is a no-brainer for choice of goalkeeper, and plenty of you seem to agree – he’s been selected by 32 per cent of users.
The Manchester United star had 18 clean sheets last season – his most ever in a single campaign – and is widely regarded as the best in the Premier League.
Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5 million, 157 points) had nine clean sheets in an impressive season despite relegation with Swansea, and plenty of fantasy users (over 25 per cent) have grabbed him after Manuel Pellegrini signed the experienced goalkeeper for West Ham.
If you are brave enough to bank on Thibaut Courtois (£5.5 million, 136 points) staying at Chelsea, then 15 clean sheets is nothing to sniff at, and he was the best goalkeeper at the World Cup.
With 16 clean sheets, Ederson (£5.5 million, 158 points) nearly outshined De Gea last season with City, while Hugo Lloris (£5.5 million, 144 points) had 15 clean sheets for Spurs – though he does have a howler in his locker, as we saw in the World Cup final.
Burnley’s Nick Pope (£5 million, 152 points) is a fine back up choice, with 11 clean sheets last season. You may like his England teammate Jordan Pickford (£5 million, 145 points) as your No 1 after his World Cup displays, but he only had 10 shutouts in 2018-19.
The reliable Petr Cech (£5 million, 124 points) could be a huge gamble with Unai Emery bringing in Bernd Leno (£5 million), presumably to replace him.
Kasper Schmeichel (£5 million, 123 points) was one of the best goalkeepers at Russia 2018, and is reportedly in the frame to replace Courtois at Chelsea should the Belgian go to the Bernabeu.