With the opening fixture of the Premier League season fast approaching, we’ve put together this article to focus on players we feel you should be using most of your budget on. These are players who are not only likely to flourish throughout the earlier stages of the season, but also shouldn’t need to be transferred out of your fantasy squad any time soon. Read more below to find out who to put into your lineup before the fantasy transfer window closes!
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Who to Buy
David de Gea (Manchester United)
Despite finishing 5th overall, Manchester United conceded equal fewest goals in the Premier League last season. David de Gea had his best season yet in the top flight, taking away fifteen clean sheets, and, in terms of both fantasy points and actual performances, has only gotten better with every passing season.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
Reigning champions Leicester were another side who conceded few last season. Kasper Schmeichel was much improved, holding his own as Leicester’s “number 1”. He kept fifteen clean sheets over the duration of last season and with the exception of midfielder N’golo Kante’s transfer to Chelsea, his defense remains largely unchanged.
Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)
Left-back Christian Fuchs was both a solid cornerstone to Leicester’s back four and a threat from set pieces last season. Fuchs tallied fifteen clean sheets along with four assists thanks to his role as a corner taker. With fixtures against Hull City and Swansea within the opening three matches, sides which are looking to be two of the weaker offensively dangerous sides in the Premier League next season, he seems a solid addition.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Luke Shaw was absent from the United defense for almost all of last season after a Champions League group stage match against PSV in September saw him leaving the pitch with a double leg fracture. He did, however, earn three clean sheets and an assist in the five matches in which he did play. Coming into this season he is a very integral part of Mourinho’s process to strengthen and drill the defense, featuring in Manchester United’s Community Shield victory last weekend. Fixtures against Bournemouth and Hull in the opening three matches should see him potentially score some decent points from clean sheets.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Azpilicueta was the fifteenth highest scoring defender in the Premier League last season, scoring marginally fewer points this time around than in Chelsea’s 2014/2015 title winning season. Chelsea clearly had a rough year and considering Azpilicueta only tallied eight clean sheets across the whole season, his point score is reasonably impressive. He played, and likely will continue playing under manager Antonio Conte, a much more attacking style of football, scoring two goals and assisting five last season. With Chelsea expected to bounce back to be one of the strongest teams in the league this season, expect him to be a decent investment in tallying both defensive and offensive points.
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is another defender who’s attacking prowess caught the eye of many fantasy managers last season. He made the step up to consistent first team football playing in the right-back position and earnt the most points of all Premier League defenders in the 2015/2016 EPL fantasy season. His balance of pace, defensive quality, and ability to be dangerous helping out on the wings saw him tally eighteen clean sheets, six assists, and even score one goal throughout his thirty eight appearances. While Arsenal have a difficult start to the season, with matches against Liverpool and champions Leicester over their first two fixtures, he should no doubt provide a decent investment over the duration of the season.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk was one of the Premier League’s best centre-backs in fantasy football last season, finishing as the twelfth highest point earning defender. Not only has he solidified Southampton’s back four in his first season at the club, but proved to be a danger going forward for set pieces, scoring three goals. Southampton have made no summer transfers to indicate they will change much defensively before the start of the season, so expect them to continue being one of the lowest conceding sides in the Premier League.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Eden Hazard was potentially the biggest single flop for fantasy managers last season. Before the 2015/2016 campaign he averaged over two-hundred points per season, racking up more than most in the Premier League. Though he only managed five goals and four assists last season, the 25 years old has seemed revitalized and is adapting quickly to Antonio Conte’s way of football in Chelsea’s preseason. He remains the third most expensive midfielder in EPL fantasy, but with many shying away from him due to his poor year, Hazard should be a decent investment.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
Without his three month injury spell last season, Dimitri Payet would almost certainly have finished on par with Riyad Mahrez as the best midfielder in fantasy. He tallied nine goals and thirteen assists for West Ham last season, and has consistently shown he has the quality to not only create magic from open play, but also score from the trickiest set pieces. His performances for France during the Euros shows he’s only getting better and he’s likely to remain at West Ham for the time being.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Alexis Sanchez was another player who missed a chunk of last season to injury. Despite this, he finished as the seventh best EPL fantasy midfielder last season with thirteen goals and five assists. As a midfielder, the Chilean international will score five points for each goal he scores instead of the usual four points per goal that a striker receives. Though he is the most expensive midfielder in EPL fantasy, he should be worth the prices tag as one of the best offensive midfielders in the Premier League. Only 5% of teams currently have him selected and as such he could earn you vital points others will be without.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Raheem Sterling didn’t quite have the impact that Manchester City fans were hoping after his £50 million move to the Etihad last summer. Despite his poor overall campaign, he did manage six goals and three assists in about half the game time the leading attacking midfielders in the Premier League had. We should, however, see him thrive and utilised to his best under Pep Guardiola, who is a huge admirer of him, and, most importantly, he has a very decent price tag for a winger from a top side.
Dusan Tadic (Southampton)
Dusan Tadic was severly underutilised by Ronald Koeman and Southampton last season. He was benched eleven times throughout all thirty-eight Premier League fixtures and nonetheless scored eight goals and assisted thirteen. Most notably, he became only the fourth player to ever achieve three of more assists in one Premier League match in Southampton’s 4-2 win over Manchester City. He will thrive under new manager Claude Paul and has a very modest price tag for a player of his calibre.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
Ibrahimovic was French Ligue 1 top goalscorer last season, scoring thirty-eight goals for PSG, seventeen more than second top scorer Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon. Mourinho’s “crowd-pleasing” signing has already shown promising signs for his future at the club, securing his first piece of silverware with them by scoring the match-winning goal in the 2016 FA Community Shield. He has a tonne of experience playing at the highest levels throughout his career and, unlike certain other players at United, seems to be improving with age. With fixtures against Bournemouth and Hull within the first three matches, he should almost certainly prove to be a decent investment.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Jamie Vardy and Leicester City have become legends in English football history, and not without reason. Most would agree that Jamie Vardy was the man who led the charges and gave Leicester City faith in their unbelievable 2015/2016 Premier League title win. He seemed invincible and an invaluable asset to most fantasy teams last year, where he finished the 2nd highest points earner overall, scoring twenty four goals and assisting eight. With the reigning champions having an easier opening to the Premier League campaign than most, facing weaker sides such as Hull City, Burnley and Swansea within their opening five fixtures, expect him to soon deliver on this season’s higher price tag.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Not much explanation is required for the inclusion of Sergio Aguero. He finished 6th in total fantasy points overall and fell one goal short of the Golden Boot last season, scoring an incredible twenty-four goals, despite missing a decent chunk of the season due injury. His most notable appearance came in Man City’s 6-1 victory over Newcastle United, where he scored five goals, one of the single highest fantasy point scores for a single player ever, especially for those lucky enough to have played him as triple captain in the same match.
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— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) 8 August 2016