27 essential Fantasy Premier League tips from old winners and experts
Want to boss the work fantasy football league this season? Of course you do – because you know that if Mike from accounts wins again, you'll be furiously trawling for jobs on LinkedIn faster than he can squeal 'Ryan Fraser!' again.
Read on with these insightful Premier League fantasy football tips. Heed advice from people who've taken home the trophy and write about it weekly on the best players to pick, how to use the Fantasy Premier League features best and much more. Remember: the deadline is Friday, August 9 at 19:00 (BST).
When you're done, there's plenty more content to feast on. The team at @FantasyYIRMA are back with their Fantasy Premier League bargains: cheap defenders, midfielders and forwards; we've got you covered with these excellent (and awful) fantasy football team name ideas; while Niall Hawthorne tells you the nine things that will definitely happen to you this fantasy football season.
Don't miss them...
Part one: Player tips
Lucas Digne, Everton (DF, £6.0m)
The Frenchman scored 158 fantasy points in 2018/19 – the joint-7th-highest total among defenders – and showed phenomenal attacking potential in recording five fantasy assists and scoring four goals. With 13 clean sheets on top, you're getting peak Leighton Baines for the price of current Antonio Rudiger.
Ricardo Pereira, Leicester (DF, £6.0m)
Like Digne, Pereira is a defender with the mindset of a wide midfielder. The Portuguese pocketed 10 clean sheets and six assists last term but should better his tally of two goals and 22 bonus points this time around.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea (DF, £6.0m)
‘Dave’ hasn't been available for this price since the 2016/17 season (truly, Maurizio Sarri's impact on this Chelsea side is historic). Azpilicueta recorded one goal, six assists and 16 clean sheets last season, but his price has dropped £0.5m this year. FPL managers tend to favour lightning-quick full-backs – of which the Spaniard is famously not one – but he is worth more than this and has been the most consistent source of defensive returns for half a decade.
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs. Andy Robertson, Liverpool (both DF, £7.0m)
Oh, but those young flyboys and their incorrigible attacking antics. Everyone wants to own at least one – but which? If not for Robertson, Alexander-Arnold's 13 fantasy assists would make him a shoo-in. His Scottish team-mate, however, scored a massive 213 points with 12 assists of his own.
TAA is the more attractive option; the least-owned of Liverpool’s top defensive trio (29%) and the only one with both offensive and defensive upside. He played ‘just’ 2,460 minutes last season in securing the third-highest DF total last season.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton (MF, £8.0m)
Last season, Sigurdsson trailed only Crystal Palace's penalty machine Luka Milivojevic on a points-per-million basis. Everton have six winnable matches before hosting Manchester City on September 29, including promoted sides Aston Villa and Sheffield United. They also open the season at Crystal Palace – against whom Sigurdsson has three goals and four assists in just nine appearances. He may be the Iceman, but he should start hot and stay hot.
Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth (MF, £7.5m)
- Following consecutive fantasy coverage across seven years and more than 250 gameweeks, FantasyYIRMA are confident in saying they’ve wasted a large portion of their adult lives on fantasy football
Fraser's price has put a few people off, but £7.5m is pittance for the player who trailed only Raheem Sterling in assists last season. Even better, Fraser actually led the EPL in Expected Assists (that's xA for you non-nerds) and should be priced level with Sigurdsson (£8.0m) based on his potential this term. Plus, he gets two promoted sides in the first two weeks. You can always sell him in September.
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City (MF, £9.5m)
Two years ago, De Bruyne scored eight goals with 18 fantasy assists. One injury-riddled campaign later and his 12% ownership is 12th for midfielders, behind both Bernardo Silva and Sterling. He hasn't opened a season for less than £10m in four years, but can be had for a snip this term. City's schedule doesn't get choppy until November, by which time you'll have had ample time to regret not buying him at the start.
Mo Salah, Liverpool (MF, £12.5m) vs. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City (MF, £12.0m)
Everyone has tried to fit both Salah and Sterling into their side, but fielding a backline of four Sebastien Squillacis for it is tough to stomach. Mo may have a couple Golden Boots and a player-of-the-year gong and… well, actually that's plenty of reason to take him over Sterling.
It’s no knock on the sublime City ‘midfielder’ – and really, get them both if you can – but Salah's early exit from the AFCON, coupled with Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino’s late returns to training, means Klopp will once again count heavily on his Egyptian king.
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City (FW, £12.0m)
Every year Aguero is doubted by the haters and the losers. This season there are fewer high-quality discount options up front, so investing in one – or preferably two – proven scorers is key. Aguero has managed five 20+ goal seasons on the bounce despite never breaking 2,600 minutes in a campaign. How good is he? Last season he played 700 fewer minutes than Salah but scored just one fewer goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (FW, £11.0m)
If you hate advanced stats, you probably haven't read this far (and also kick puppies or something). But Auba led the Premier League in Expected Goals (23.55) and should have won the Golden Boot instead of getting a 33% slice. The 30-year-old has bagged 22+ goals in three of his last four seasons – including a massive 31 in 2016/16 for Dortmund – and also led all forwards in bonus points last season (32).
Sebastian Haller, West Ham (FW, £7.5m)
Haller may not fit the profile of the 20+ goalscorer FPL managers typically covet, but he does fit the mould of last season's breakout forward Raul Jimenez. Like the Mexican, he's capable of scoring and assisting goals in equal measure. Last term he netted 15 and laid on nine more for team-mates. Expect Haller to claim the majority of minutes leading the Hammers’ line, and all the spoils that come with it.
Callum Wilson, Bournemouth (FW, £8.0m) vs. Harry Kane, Tottenham (FW, £11.0m)
Wilson finally had his breakout season – added in no small part by Fraser also enjoying one of his own – but is priced up at just £8.0m. The Cherries open against two promoted sides and face only one top-six team in their opening seven fixtures. Kane (£11.0m) has stiffer competition in Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester. Take Wilson early, then capitalise on Kane's mid- and late-season heroics... well, later.
Part two: 10 key tips for success
The expert Fantasy Football Scout site (whose members include three previous FPL winners, including 2018/19 champion Adam Levy; they also won the FPL league of leagues again) have shared their top tips per position for the season ahead. Take a look at these and you won't go too far wrong...