Premier League Fantasy 2016/2017 Tips
Whether you’re a hardcore Fantasy nerd or a humble beginner (in which case – head over to our Beginners Guide to Premier League Fantasy), everybody needs tips for the upcoming season. Now we’re not going to claim we’re by any means at the pro level, but we do take this stupid game far too seriously and also watch way too much football for our own good. So here are our ‘ones to watch’ for the 2016/2017 Premier League Fantasy season.
Goalkeepers are always the toughest to get right. Spending relative big money on one the big boys (Courtois, Cech, De Gea, Lloris etc…) always seems attractive until you need the extra £1mil for a Forward and realise keeping clean sheets is a tough business. Plus there are some bargains out there.
If you want one of the big boys, David De Gea (5.5) would seem the nicest option early doors based on fixtures and the fact Mourinho always sets up not to concede. But we like to start with the premise that the top dogs are priced out, so usually start looking around the £4.5/5mil mark. From there we check the fixtures and see whose fixtures work nicely in tandem.
This season we like the look of Fraser Forster (5.0). In the last two seasons Southampton have kept a fair few clean sheets and their fixtures are fairly handy early on with Home games against Watford, Sunderland and Swansea.
While it’s hard to gage how both will fair in the top flight, if you followed any of the Championship last season, you’ll know how watertight newly promoted Burnley and Boro were. Along with their fixtures, that makes Tom Heaton (4.5) and (if he starts) newly signed Victor Valdes (4.5) nice options. They also both work nicely in tandem with Forster.
With the amount of new top managers in the league, each with their own style, Defenders are where things are most tough this season. Mourinho and Conte, for example, are famed for their defensive demands, but Chelsea were a bit of a shambles at the back last season.
While this should put us off players from both sides, Luke Shaw at 5.5 looks a bargain given his attacking ability, and if you’ve been following any of Chelsea’s preseason Ola Aina (5.0) could surprise by taking Branislav Ivanovic’s (6.0) RB spot. Even if he’s not in your squad, he’s one to watch.
Arsenal always offer up their fair share of clean sheets but with Hector Bellerin a little too pricey at (6.5), you need to keep an eye on Calum Chambers (4.5) who could offer brilliant value for money with injuries to Mertesacker and Gabriel.
On the cheap, we’re looking at Boro’s George Friend and Gareth McAuley (both at 4.5), based on fixtures and Pulis’ knack for clean sheets. Other Defenders to consider are Bacary Sagna at 5.5, who looks a solid choice with City’s fixtures, and we’re praying City can also wrap up John Stones who would be a steal at 5.0.
Now this is where you can get creative. There are a ton of Midfield options this season in Fantasy and we’re not going to say that we think many are a must. However, we do think some are more attractive than others.
Eden Hazard at 10.0 just can’t be ignored. By far the biggest let down in Fantasy history last season, Hazard finished last season on fire and looked every bit as good during the Euros. He’s scoring for fun in preseason and Chelsea can’t possibly be a poor as they were last season. We should also remember he was top points scorer in 2014/2015. Keep your fingers crossed!
We also like Mezut Ozil. At 9.5, the second top scoring Midfielder in the game last season is fairly priced and is most importantly consistent. We’d have liked Arsenal to have more appealing fixtures, but they’re not stinkers and Ozil turns up against most sides no matter their ability. Alexis Sanchez (11.0) is obviously an alternative too.
Other high-end options are naturally 2015/2016 studs, Riyad Mahrez (9.5) and Dele Ali (8.5). While both are clearly ridiculous talents, we’re just a bit cautious of how Leicester and Spurs will fair this season. For us, Ali is the better option given the price and Leicester’s predicted dip in form. On the other end of the scale, West Ham’s Sofiane Feghouli at 5.5 is a complete bargain.
One to keep an eye on but possibly not take straight away is West Brom’s Jonathan Leko (4.5). He’s is a bit of a punt but he could prove to be valuable. The 18 year-old winger played virtually every game in preseason and could provide West Brom with some badly needed attacking options. He looked more than handy at the back end of last season and at 4.5, he could be this season’s real sleeper.
With Forwards, we’re a firm believer in taking a least one stud. This season, you’ve really got two option; Sergio Aguero (13.0) or Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11.5). We completely understand Joes thinking Aguero has been priced out of the game but given it’s Zlatan’s first Prem season and Guardiola is hardly known for setting up shop, we think Aguero is a must have.
By now, that should mean you’re going to need a few bargains. The most obvious in the game is Shane Long at 6.5. He might not be prolific but he had a great Euros and should benefit from Southampton selling Graziano Pelle. The only reservation we have is whether he’ll play 90mins every week given Charlie Austin (6.5) is lurking about.
Other potentially good value options are Troy Deeney at 7.0, last season’s Championship top goalscorer Andre Gray at 6.5, and Alvaro Negredo (6.5) going to Boro is also interesting but we’ll wait to see how he settles before we get too excited. Also keep an eye on how many minutes Divock Origi (7.0) gets in the opening few games.