There’s around four weeks until the new 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off, with Brentford hosting Arsenal on the 13th of August.
This means the return of our favourite game, Fantasy Premier League.
Whether you had the glory of winning your mini-league or the humiliation of finishing bottom, we are here to help guide you in the right direction for 2021/22
Here are a few shouts for you to keep an eye on ahead of the new campaign.
Robert Sánchez – Goalkeeper, Brighton (£4.5m)
Brighton’s Sánchez was one of the best surprise packages to come out of the 2020/21 Premier League season, keeping ten clean sheets after taking over from Maty Ryan as the club’s number one goalkeeper at the turn of the year.
The Spaniard was in great form for the Seagulls from the off, and played a big role in diverting Graham Potter’s men away from the relegation zone with some excellent performances between the sticks.
He was included in the Spain squad for Euro 2020, and although he didn’t feature for his nation, the experience of a semi-final finish will surely be invaluable for the 23-year-old who will only get better and better.
Brighton’s start to the season is relatively comfortable looking, with Burnley, Watford, and Brentford in their opening four games. Sánchez is a good cheap shout, as are his Brighton defenders.
Luke Shaw – Defender, Manchester United (£5.5m)
It’s safe to say Shaw’s career is back on the up. After a difficult few years at Manchester United following his horrific leg break, the defender has had one of the best years he could have hoped for.
The 26-year-old helped the Red Devils to a second-place finish in the league last season, chipping in with one goal, five assists, and ten clean sheets. He will be hoping to build on these numbers for his side, who surely must be thinking about a title charge.
Shaw’s Euro 2020 campaign with England was incredible, providing three assists, scoring once, and being part of a side who only conceded two goals throughout.
He will almost certainly have another great season in 2021/22.
Kieran Tierney – Defender, Arsenal (£5.0m)
So far, Kieran Tierney’s Arsenal career has been a bit stop-start, with the Scotsman seemingly always having to deal with minor injury problems.
When he’s been fit, he has been the Gunners’ best player, simple as that.
2021/22 is a big season for the left-back, and he could flourish in the Premier League without any midweek European football to worry about.
The Gunners’ start to the season is fairly mixed, with Brentford, Chelsea, Manchester City, Norwich and Burnley their opening five.
Raphinha – Midfielder, Leeds (£6.5m)
Serious baller alert.
Leeds’ silky Brazilian enjoyed a terrific debut season at Elland Road in the Premier League, scoring six and assisting ten from the wing.
With fans back in stadiums from July 19th, you can be sure the Leeds faithful will be right behind their side, which could take them to an even higher level than their thoroughly impressive ninth place finish.
At £6.5m Raphinha looks like one of this season’s bargains on FPL, and should be considered.
Kai Havertz – Midfielder, Chelsea (£8.5m)
While Kai Havertz didn’t set the world on fire last season for Chelsea, he did prove in spells that the Blues were right to spend so much money on him.
Scoring the winner in the Champions League final would have been the ultimate confidence boost ahead of an important Premier League season for the German.
It’s worth remembering that he has only just turned 22, and spent a lot of last season struggling after testing positive for COVID-19 alongside injury problems. With that being said, four goals and six assists in the league wasn’t an awful return last time out.
Thomas Tuchel likes to play him as a false nine, which is excellent for FPL players as he is still registered as a midfielder.
Callum Wilson – Forward, Newcastle (£7.5m)
It’s challenging to find a striker on FPL that doesn’t break the bank, but at £7.5m Callum Wilson is a very decent shout.
His goals last season effectively kept Newcastle clear of danger in the fight to avoid relegation to the EFL Championship, and the former Bournemouth man will be re-charged ahead of the new campaign, with a long pre-season under his belt after some hamstring issues.
The start of the season looks relatively promising for Wilson, who faces West Ham on the opening day – a side he has eight goals against in his last ten games.
He’s cheaper than the bigger names, but will be in and amongst the goals as usual.
FPL Picks For 2021/22 | Other Players To Watch
- Trent Alexander-Arnold – Defender, Liverpool (£7.5m)
- Lewis Dunk – Defender, Brighton (£5.0m)
- Andreas Christensen – Defender, Chelsea (£5.0m)
- Phil Foden – Midfielder, Man City (£8.0m)
- James Ward-Prowse – Midfielder, Southampton (£6.5m)
- Harvey Barnes – Midfielder, Leicester (£7.0m)
- Ferran Torres – Midfielder, Man City (£7.0m)
- Bukayo Saka – Midfielder, Arsenal (£6.5m)
- Ivan Toney – Forward, Brentford (£6.5m)
- Christian Benteke – Forward, Crystal Palace (£6.5m)
Table-Topping Tips for Fantasy Premier League Managers – FAQs
How should I pick my FPL captain?
In the world of Fantasy Premier League, your captain’s pick can be the making of you, with your skipper stacking up double points each week. One outright FPL champion accrued a remarkable 24 per cent of points from his captain’s choices alone in recent seasons. It therefore pays to think about your pick very carefully.
Aside from the usual suspects (Salah, Kane, Agüero, Sterling), if you’re out for a differential, look for when ‘flat-track bullies’ can excel on the fixture list. Seek out those players who ruthlessly prey on weaker opposition, even if they occasionally go missing in more high-profile games.
When should I play my triple captain?
Watch out for those double gameweeks – but avoid triggering your triple captain chip too late in the day.
Logic suggests the games will begin to stack up for the high point-scoring players by the final few weeks of the season, and that could prove costly.
Don’t be surprised if real-life managers suddenly become your own worse enemy as they rest key players.
That could leave your inspired triple-captain strategy lying in tatters if your main man starts from the bench.
In some seasons, it’s taken until Gameweek 25 for the first double gameweek. When it finally arrives, it’s best to make the most of it, as the longer you wait, the higher the risk of your captain being a gameweek no-show.
When should I play my wildcard?
Provided you don’t opt for the ‘rip it up, start again’ strategy after the opening few weeks of the season, there is no ‘optimum’ time to play your wildcard.
However, being bold and going early could work in your favour. Bigger clubs have free reign to play their strongest squads at the start of the season, without any major cup or European distractions currently on their radar.
Remember, the fixtures will start to pile up by midwinter.
That that could ruin your best laid-plans if your wildcard replacements are constantly being chopped and changed as managers guard against fatigue and injury.
Alternatively, the opening few weeks of the season can be misleading when it comes to judging long-term value.
Early-season form players can easily go off the boil by mid-autumn.
Many a fantasy football manager has boxed themselves in once their 6.0m summer ‘bargain buy’ starts stinking the place out in November.
For that reason, if you opt to play the long game, wait until the late autumn to make wholesale changes once form starts to level out and injuries hit hard.
Before you commit, it’s also worth scanning the fixture list to spot potential red flags.
Do the bulk of your re-tooled squad have more games away from home?
Do you have too many players from one team playing only teams in the top half of the table?
Take that moment to pause before you press to confirm your wildcard.
It could be the best tactical decision you make all season.
Remember you only have two wildcards to use per season – one before and one after Christmas.
Make sure you use them wisely.