Premier League Fantasy Football 2018/2019 ‘Ones to Watch’
The World Cup may have only just finished but with English football’s annual curtain raiser the Community Shield under two weeks away, it’s time to start looking forward to the 2018/2019 Premier League season. And with that, it’s time to sort out your Fantasy team for the upcoming season!
No matter if you’re an old hack at Fantasy or if you’re just starting out (in which case – head over to our Beginner’s Guide to Playing Premier League Fantasy Football), everybody needs a tip or two. We’re by no means experts, but we do take this stupid game far too seriously. So here are our ‘ones to watch’ for the 2018/2019 Premier League Fantasy football season.
Goalkeepers to Pick in Premier League Fantasy 2018/2019
Historically, Goalkeepers always cause us the most headaches when playing Fantasy. Opting for one of the big team ‘keepers always seems like a good plan until you’re struggling to find that extra £1mil for a premium Forward. It’s also been the case in the past where the likes of Southampton and West Brom would keep more clean sheets than Liverpool.
Having said that, like last year, the price differences between the top ranked and the bottom ranked really aren’t that much. And it is also worth pointing out that the top 6 keepers in Fantasy last season came from the top 7 teams in the league. Not only that, if you combined Karius and Mignolet, they would have had the second most clean sheets in the league behind Ederson. Essentially, (while it’s not always been the case) the bigger the side, the more clean sheets and more points you’ll get.
With that in mind, we’d be going for Ederson (5.5) this season. Apart from Arsenal on the opening weekend, City’s fixtures are kind at the start of the season, and while David De Gea (6.0) is always going to be a safe bet, we don’t like the noises coming out of Mourinho this summer and are expecting a bit of a drop off in United’s form.
Once you have your top dog, check the upcoming fixtures and see whose work nicely in tandem. For value, there’s aren’t actually any obvious standouts in the opening weeks. But if you’re going to be playing them as back-up anyway, we can’t look past Lukasz Fabianski (4.5) at West Ham. He kept 9 clean sheets last year with a poor Swansea side and we expect West Ham to push on. The likes of Jordan Pickford (5.0) is worth looking at too if you want strong fixture match-ups, as does Ben Foster (4.5) who just moved to Watford.
Defenders to Pick in Premier League Fantasy 2018/2019
This year, we think Defenders are where things get really tough in Fantasy. Despite their relatively poor season, Chelsea Defenders Cesar Azpilicueta (6.5) and Marcos Alonso (6.5) took the top spots in points scoring, largely thanks to Alonso’s 7 goals and Azpilicueta’s very handy 6 assists. But once again this year, the game’s top Defenders are generally very highly priced.
That said, there are a couple of must-haves. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander Arnold (5.0) is just far too cheap to ignore, as is teammate Dejan Lovren (5.0), assuming he starts ahead of Matip. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that Lovren will almost certainly miss the opening couple of weeks after his World Cup exploits with Croatia. Given Pochettino’s partiality to full back rotations, Jan Vertonghen (6.0) is your safest best at Spurs, while at City Benjamin Mendy (6.0) could be this season’s must-have defender given he’s fit and gets forward. He’ll almost certainly play every week too.
On the cheaper side of town, Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.0) at Palace is a potential bargain given it looks like he’s nailed down the right-back spot in pre-season. Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels (4.5) has been productive over the years (even if the Cherries were very leaky last season) and Cédric Soares (4.5) could be worth a punt if Southampton find the defensive form they had before last season. Huddersfield kept some clean sheets at Home last season and Mathias Jorgensen (4.5) is their best option, while any of the Burnley boys at 5.0 should be in your squad too.
Midfielders to Pick in Premier League Fantasy 2018/2019
Now this is where you can get creative. There are tons of Midfield options this season in Fantasy and there’s aren’t really any which are ‘absolute musts’. That said, there are some you should definitely be considering at the very least.
But before we get into the nitty gritty, first you need to make a decision on one man. Yes, Mo Salah (13.0). Unsurprisingly at that price, he’s the most expensive player on the game. But given he broke ever record going last season, it’s hardly surprising. We’re absolutely NOT saying he’s been priced out. BUT if you’re going to have him, you’re going to have to build your team around him and you’re going to have to suffer elsewhere. While it’s probably impossible to replicate the form of last season, even 75% of that production will make him worth the money.
Salah aside, the Midfield category was locked down by Man City players in 2017/2018 and we see no reason for that to change. The arrival of Riyad Mahrez (9.0) does complicate things a little, as does the Raheem Sterling (11.0) price hike, but Kevin De Bruyne (10.0) and David Silva (8.5) (at that price especially) will keep your weekly score ticking over nicely.
Elsewhere in the top bracket, Christian Eriksen (9.5) had a superb season last year, while Heung-Min Son (8.5) could be a bargain if he chips in like he did last season. As always, Eden Hazard (10.5) is worth keeping an eye on in Sarri’s new system now Chelsea have kept advances from Real Madrid at bay.
But with all that money being spent on the studs, you’re going to need to get thrifty with at least a couple of midfielders. We likes the look of Leicester’s new signing James Maddison (6.5) given he created more chances in Championship than any other player last season for Norwich, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan (7.0) could prove to be this season’s bargain if he can connect with Aubameyang like he did at Dortmund. Though his post-Christmas form was dreadful last season, Richarlison’s (6.5) big move to Everton also makes him one to put on the watch-list.
If you need some filler, Wolves’ Rúben Neves (5.0) seems like a steal seeing as he chipped in with 6 goals in the Championship, as does Fulham’s Tom Cairney (5.0). As tempting as it may be, we’d say it’s best to avoid Jack Wilshere (5.0), however. He’s only played more than 30 games once since 2011 and very rarely gets on the score sheet. But we would suggest keeping an eye on Gerard Deulofeu (5.5) at Watford.
Forwards to Pick in Premier League Fantasy 2018/2019
We’re a firm believer in taking a least of the big boys when it comes to Forwards – probably even two. And for 2018/2019, there are plenty of options – the most obvious being Harry Kane (12.5). Again the most expensive Forward on the game, we don’t really need to sell the Spurs man to you given he’s bagged at least 25 goals for the last three seasons.
Other options include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (11.0) who ended last season in superb form, Sergio Agüero (11.0) who hit 20 goals for the fourth season in a row last campaign, and United’s main man Romelu Lukaku (11.0). Out of the three, we’d go for Aubameyang purely for his form and the fact that Agüero isn’t getting any younger. That said, Arsenal’s opening two fixtures are tricky to say the least (City and Chelsea).
But we think the most value can be found in the next bracket down. Roberto Firmino (9.5) quietly chipped in with 15 goals and 8 assists last season and we’ve no reason to think he’ll produce much less, while Jamie Vardy (9.0) also quietly had another fantastic season chalking up 20 goals for the second time his career. The only worry with Vardy is his age and Mahrez’s departure.
There’s a fair few mid-value forwards too with Marko Arnautovic (7.0) a complete bargain. Now he’s staying at Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha (7.0) is well worth a look too, as is Cenk Tosun (7.0) who looked good towards the end of the season.
Have any Premier League Fantasy tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!