A Fantasy Premier League player to consider from every team for 2020-21
The 2020–21 Fantasy Premier League season is here so you need to find the next John Lundstram right now.
Luckily, we’re going to help you. Last season we made some solid predictions by recommending Neal Maupay, Nick Pope and Enda Stevens, and now we’re going through all 20 clubs again to identify the best option from each team.
And since you probably won’t attend any matches this season, you may as well devote your time to FPL.
The Gunners’ total of 13 defenders might be a new record — and that doesn’t include Bukayo Saka, a part-time wing-back.
But Arsenal being Arsenal, they’d manage to concede goals even with all 13 of them lined up along the goal-line, Red Arse style.
Willian (£8m) and Edward Nketiah (£6m) could offer value, but you really can’t look beyond “midfielder” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12m), who doesn’t have to cross the North Circular until Gameweek 3.
Villa had the league’s second-worst defence last year, so their acquisition of zero new goalkeepers doesn’t bode well.
Forwards from the Championship are always worth a punt — Callum Wilson, Troy Deeney and Teemu Pukki all rewarded their early investors once upon a time — and Ollie Watkins (£6.0m) looks nicely priced.
Graham Potter’s side played some lovely football after the restart, and Adam Lallana (overpriced at £6.5m) looks a good IRL asset.
Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) is too good for a relegation-battling side, while Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) remains a big set-piece threat.
Still, the best bargain in Sussex is surely Matt Ryan (£4.5m), currently the most-owned keeper in the game (21%).
Only 90s kids remember when Freddos cost 10p, and only 2019–20 kids will remember that Nick Pope, keeper of 15 clean sheets, cost just £4.5m on FPL last season.
You’d be mad to spend £5.5m on the Englishman now, but a raft of Burnley’s caveman-looking defenders are available for less.
Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) looks the pick of the bunch.
New signing Timo Werner (£9.5m) is the second most-owned player in the game right now (47.9%) and you can’t really argue with that.
Their midfield/winger situation might be more exciting, but we just don’t know how they’ll line up.
An embarrassment of riches.
Palace might struggle again this season, but they have FPL potential everywhere.
Young defender Tyrick Mitchell (£4.0m) looks set to start the opening game against Southampton and could be another Aaron Wan-Bissaka… in an FPL sense, at least.
But what about the attack? Wilfried Zaha (£7m) had a poor 2019–20, but Palace played the whole campaign without a real striker.
With Eberechi Eze and Michy Batshuayi (both £6m) arriving to spice up the forward line, Zaha could be the one to benefit most.
Logic suggests corner taker Lucas Digne (£6m) could add clean sheets to his game thanks to the addition of real central midfielders.
But the romantic option of James Rodriguez (£7.5m) might not be as reckless as it seems.
If the South American is going to do anything in the Premier League, he’s probably going to do it in September, like Angel Di Maria, Robinho and Geovanni.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6m) is a prolific striker who takes penalties, and that’s about all you need to know.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men had the best defence in the Championship, and that’s surely where their value lies.
They have a lot of depth at left-back (too much?), so occasional goalscoring right-back Luke Ayling (£4.5m) could be your best bet.
Should we be worried about Leicester?
Last season’s collapse was painful to watch, and they’ve only made one major signing this summer. Moreover, 36-year-old Wes Morgan could start the first two matches.
At 33 years old, Jamie Vardy (£10m) shouldn’t cost £1.5m more than Danny Ings, so maybe Kelechi Iheanacho (£6m) offers better value as a differential. Maybe.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) is the only player owned by more than half of FPL managers.
They’re not idiots.
Since FPL hasn’t acknowledged the existence of Scott Carson, you’ll have to settle for Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m).
Mohamed Salah (£12m) in GW1 > KDB in GW2 looks the sensible move.
Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) scored more points per game (8.4) than any other player last season. KDB ranks second (7.2) but costs one million virtual pounds extra.
United will keep getting penalties, and Bruno will keep scoring them.
Honourable mentions for Marcus Rashford (£9.5), who takes free kicks, and Mason Greenwood (£7.5m), who is very good.
FPL doesn’t stand for Flailing Penis League, but if it did, Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5m) would be our top pick.
In terms of Fantasy Premier League, he can now aim crosses at Callum Wilson instead of Joelinton, so he’s sure to get decent numbers.
The catch? 20% of managers already own him.
Potential questions marks over the Blades.
The departed Dean Henderson was a big part of their defensive solidity last season, while new keeper Aaron Ramsdale (£5m) only kept five clean sheets for Bournemouth.
Lord Lundstram has suffered a double blow of re-categorisation (now a midfielder) and a £1.5m price hike, so Enda Stevens and George Baldock (£5.5m each) are your best options in a side that works better in real life than FPL.
With his lovely gegenpressing and Tony-from-Hollyoaks haircut, Ralph Hasenhuttl is doing a mightily good job in the Premier League.
Given their modest prices, it wouldn’t be totally crazy to pick three Southampton players.
Danny Ings (£8.5m) is costly but not overpriced, while Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m) looked excellent at the end of last season and is surely better than other defenders in that range. (We’re looking at you, Aston Villa.)
Tottenham did well to pinch Matt Doherty (£6m in virtual money) for just £15m in real money, but Serge Aurier will feel hard done by after his seven assists last season.
It might surprise you that no PL goalkeeper won more points per game over 2019–20 than Hugo Lloris (£5.5m), but Spurs have more tempting options further forward.
Heung-Min Son (£9m) should relish early home fixtures against previously leaky Everton, Newcastle and West Ham sides.
Semi Ajeyi (£5m) is a playmaking six-foot-four centre-back who scored five goals in the Championship last year, which is three more than Charlie Austin managed in his last PL season.
The Hammers’ autumn schedule hints at an October sacking for David Moyes.
Nonetheless, Jarrod Bowen (£6.5m) had a strong pre-season with four goals in two starts, while striking options of Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller (both £6.5m) both seem plausible for a GW1 fixture against Newcastle.
Crap at the end of the season and now shorn of one of their best players, Wolves are a confusing one.
The consensus amongst FPL bosses is that Ruben Vinagre (£4.5m) represents good value while Jonny is out injured, and that’s probably true.
As for big hitters like Raul Jimenez (£8.5m) and Adama Traore (£6.5m), we surely need to wait a few weeks to see if they’re still knackered from last season.