Following article features Josip K’s and admin’s expert FPL picks for the new Premier League season 2015/2016. Josip K already gave suggestions on who to pick from Liverpool and Southampton squads, and some of his recommendations are featured in his final FPL draft. Admin decided to go without Hazard as he included Aguero in starting squad. Deadline is approaching fast, you only have couple of more hours to make final tweaks in your team so his expert FPL picks could help you out.
Expert FPL picks – full list
Cech (5.5m, Arsenal, selected by 34.5% of FPL managers): There is no doubt that Cech is a world-class goalkeeper and this season he will be back on the centre stage after being pushed out by Courtois (5.5m) at Chelsea. In terms of FPL value, it’s really hard to decide between those two. The young Belgium is playing for a side known for it’s strong, pragmatic (which often means defensive, counter-attacking) style, but I think I’m going to stick with Cech for now as he really impressed during the pre-season. Arsenal has a more mature and complete squad than the one that suffered those embarrassing thrashings away from home two seasons ago. Their defending has finally improved. The emergence of Coquelin and Bellerin helped the Gunners improve from 5 clean sheets in first 20 matches to 8 CS in last 18 rounds (same as Chelsea in the second part of the season). Now that Cech is here, their defensive puzzle looks (almost) complete.
Guzan (4.5m, Aston Villa, 8.2%): Second goalkeeper is a position where everyone wants to save some money. However, I still want a goalkeeper who WILL start and not just fill the place with zero points. You might use him if your first goalkeeper falls out of form, gets injured, suspended or faces a very difficult side and avoid making another transfer.
I’ve gone with Mignolet as my number 1 GK pick that will rarely get rotated. I consider him an elite prospect because of his 14 clean sheets last season and with Liverpool adding more quality in defense he is a must pick for me at £5.0m. That is £0.5m less than you would pay for other elite goalkeepers and that extra money can be better spent elsewhere.
For my backup FPL GK I went for Hennessey of Crystal Palace. This is only because Speroni got injured. Now Hennessey is likely going to slide in the first team until he gets back. At £4.0m he is the cheapest starting GK. I need Hennessey in Gameweek 3 to jump in instead of Mignolet when Liverpool plays away at Arsenal. This is a good reason why I went for him other than attractive price. Crystal Palace plays at home against Aston Villa and I reckon they have a better chance of keeping a clean sheet than Liverpool at Arsenal.
Baines (6.5m, Everton, 15.7%): A bit expensive choice for a defender? Not so sure. I know Everton probably won’t get that much clean sheets but their star left-back can always contribute offensively. Last season he had 4.5 points per game, 2 goals, 9 assists, 9 clean sheets and finished with a value above 7.0m for a fifth time in a row. He’s also their top free-kick, corner and penalty taker. I had a dilemma between him and Coleman (6.0) but decided to pay that extra 0.5 and get the PL’s best left-back.
Clyne (5.5m, Liverpool, 42%): A real long-term solution for your team’s defence, Clyne is currently the most selected defender in FPL as he seems to represent real value for money: 5.5m for a defender with a total score of 142 (third best in the league behind Chelsea duo Ivanović and Terry), 5.9m value at the end of the season, 4.1 points per game and 13 clean sheets in 35 games. He’s a new signing for Liverpool but I think he should integrate quickly – he knows the league very well, he started in all of their pre-season matches and should be Rodgers first choice right-back. If you chose to wait until the GW6 to avoid matches against Arsenal and Man Utd, his price might already go up. Also, if you still want a more conservative solution, I suggest taking Azpilicueta (6.0) who is on top of my shortlist should anything go wrong.
O’Shea (4.5m, Sunderland, 12.7%): An experienced centre-back and team captain. This season he will get a new partner in Kaboul (4.5m) who is also on my shortlist. I decided to save some money and do a bit of cheap experimenting in defence. I chose three players who have a low price and a favourable early fixture list. The other two are Micah Richards (4.5m, Aston Villa, 4.7 %) and Tyrone Mings (4.5, Bournemouth, 2.7%). Richards was once a brightest prospect among young England defenders, but lost his place at Man City with the arrival of Zabaleta. He didn’t impress last season on a short-term loan in Serie A, but now he has a chance to restart his Premier League career. However, until I see him in PL action once again, he will be on the bench alongside Mings (although Mings might get a nod over O’Shea due to a home game). Bournemouth’s record signing is a tall, versatile and athletic left-back who became a professional just two years ago (as a 20 year-old!) after almost having quit football. I think he definitely wants to prove a point at the big stage.
I’ve spent a lot of time figuring the defensive 5 in my FPL team. I wanted a cheap back line but at the same time one that has a lot of clean sheet potential. Add to that some differential and it is not easy to make everything work. Finally I found 5 defenders that combine all of the above and as a bonus, all of them have a nice set of fixtures at the beginning.
Van Aanholt is owned by just 1.1% FPL managers and he has been a part of my earlier drafts as well. Sunderland has a fairly easy starting fixtures, no top 4 teams until Gameweek 7. They improved their defense with addition of Kaboul in defence and M’Vila in midfield. There are cheaper defenders than PVA in Sunderland defence but I’ve picked him because he is the safest one to start and offers attacking potential.
Bellerin is the player I was really impressed with in the last season. Arsenal added world class goalkeeper to ensure couple of extra clean sheets so I really wanted defender from this team. Bellerin has most attacking potential of all Arsenal defenders. This is a strong argument for picking him. However he is less secure as a starter than Kscielny. This is why I have rotation options in my FPL team. Arsenal has a kind set of fixtures at the season start and Bellerin looks like a solid pick to me.
Azpilicueta is a no brainer really. He is a Chelsea defender and I need to say no more. I actually wanted Ivanovic as he is one of the few, if not only one fixture proof FPL defender but he is significantly more expensive at £7.0m than Azpilicueta. Azpilicueta will get all of the clean sheets Ivanovic gets but with this extra £1.0m you get more room to breathe.
Shaw didn’t have a good season last year, but that is expected to change. Van Gaal now has a 1 year expereince in the Premier League and I truly expect Man Utd to have a better season. They actually had a decent defensive record that can be surpased now. They also have a nice set of fixtures to start new season and I expect Shaw to keep couple of clean sheets, but also to show some magic in offense.
Holebas is my final pick for the defence. I needed a defender that is cheap but also has attacking potential. Holebas could be just the guy. He will spent most of the time on my bench, but can be utilized from time to time.
Hazard (11.5, Chelsea, 57.5 %): Yeah, I couldn’t resist. He did seem a little out of form against Arsenal and had his price go up between two seasons. But then I remembered that goal against Barcelona only few days before. And his last season’s stats: 14 goals, 10 assists (both same as the season before that), 19 clean sheet and 233 total score (best in the league). He faces competition from Sanchez (11.0) as my star midfielder but since Alexis is out, Hazard gets his chance to impress once again.
Walcott (9.0m, Arsenal, 10.5%): The speedy winger/striker has been in a good form since fully recovering from his long-term injury. He is expected to start up front – which is excellent for a FPL midfielder – but even if he doesn’t, he is their danger man at the moment. He is fit, he just signed a new contract and knows his team mates very well. First two Arsenal fixtures are local derbies and the third one is against Liverpool – I think he will be fired up! My second choice is Sterling (9.0m) who could also start up front.
Henderson (7.0m; Liverpool, 25%): One of the bright spots in a rather disappointing campaign for Liverpool last season. It looks like he finally found his game and is starting to grow into his new role as Reds’ captain. He scored 6 goals, provided 10 assists and managed to record 13 clean sheets. Finishing with a total of 162 points, he was the best FPL Liverpool player last season – even better than Sterling – and sixth best midfielder in the league. His pre-season form was also impressive. I think he could lead his side to a revenge victory over Stoke at the start of the season. My second choice for this ”position” was Barkley (6.5m) but he still needs to get some consistency in his game to be more than a shortlist option.
Chamberlain (6.0m, Arsenal, 7%): His ownership really took off after that Community Shield performance! Two days before that match we included him in our FPL hidden gems list and he was owned by 1% of FPL managers at the time. I had Wilshere (6.0m) in my team – his goals for Arsenal and England at the end of last season convinced me that this could be ”the season” – but as soon as I saw that Ox is starting against Chelsea I made the transfer. I knew that Wilshere is probably injured again and that Chamberlain will get his opportunity to shine at the start of the season. 25 minutes into the game, he scores a wonder goal with his ”weaker” foot. I just hope he gets an injury free season. If he does, I wouldn’t be surprised if his price get over 7.0m by the final rounds.
Wanyama (4.5m, Southampton, 20.5 %): I had to save some money and I don’t think you can get a better player than Wanyama for 4.5m: a sitting, ball-winning midfielder who can also score few goals. He is our best recommendation for FPL cheap midfielder. Ibe (5.0m) is another candidate. He’ll get more offensive stats and could have a breakthrough season but isn’t a safe starter so I’ll play the waiting game.
Let’s start with probably a biggest surprise – overlooking Hazard. He was the highest scoring FPL player last season but I doubt he’ll repeat that point total in new Premier League season. If Aguero stays healthy he should take that title. Sanchez could be right there as well. These two players are the ones I will be looking to have in my team. In that case there won’t be room for Hazard. Sanchez won’t play in the opening Gameweek(s) so plenty of FPL managers have opted to take Hazrd, he is now owned by stagering 57.8% teams. This is really scary and considering he opens against Swansea I could get hurt bad. He didn’t look good in the Community Shield match though and I instead took an alternative Chelsea midfielder. No it isn’t Fabregas, nor it is Oscar. I went for non other than Willian. He is not on the same level as Hazard and Fabregas but he looked pretty lively in Community Shield match. He has stamina and strength and although sometimes lacks that final killer pass he is priced at just £7.0m. It is a huge gamble but he leaves me £4.5m to spend elsewhere. He is also owned by just 3% of FPL managers and represents a nice differential.
Walcott is a guy I chose as my first FPL captain in the new season. Although in this FPL captain for Gameweek 1 article he was my 3rd captain choice, I actually transferred out both Rooney and Hazard so it is only logical to go with Walcott. He will likely start up front today, as I doubt Wenger will make many alternations to the team that defeated Chelsea six days ago. He has a nice record against West Ham and I can’t see him not scoring today. This could be his best season if he avoids injuries.
I chose Henderson over Milner from Liverpool team as he is a captain and at the end of the day he will likely play a bit more minutes because of it. He makes a solid partnership with Milner and he is likely to have another great FPL season. He should have a better defence behind him then last season so he might be interested in going forward even more. Liverpool has decent starting fixtures and I expect them to start strong. In that case Henderson will pick up FPL points.
Mata is a very influential Man Utd player and the one that is likely to collect plenty of assists and goals given that Rooney is the only attacker this team has. Depay could join Rooney further up the pitch than Mata but he has to show first that he can play in the Premier League. Rooney is a scary player not to have in your team due to his ownership level but I think Mata could do better in the season opener.
Finally for a 5th midfielder I went for Wanyama. He will get a lot of minutes and that is what I want from my cheap bench warmer. He can score an occasional goal and he is identified as a best Fpl cheap midifelder earlier.
Rooney (10.5m, Man Utd, 40%): The most selected forward at the moment alongside Benteke. Really an obvious choice given the fact that Costa (11.0m) and Aguero (13.0m) are likely to miss the first game. With the new signings, Rooney should no longer be dragged around the midfield and is expected to lead the offensive line of the team. Man Utd’s captain (who also takes penalties) has a very good record against the Spurs – 10 goals in 15 games. He will be looking to continue the tradition and get into a early season goalscoring form, as he usually does.
Lukaku (8.0, Everton, 11.3%): At age 22, Lukaku clearly hasn’t yet reached the top of his game. But still he already boasts 42 goals and 22 assists in his 104 PL games during the past three seasons. He seems built for Premier League and it is a question of time when he will spearhead the attack of one of the top teams. For now, he can be struggling when his team doesn’t play well. However, I decided to give him a chance because I think that he will be eager to rediscover his form after a mediocre last season. Everton’s got some pretty tough match opponents coming up (after Watford in the first round) but I think those big teams will give space for some counter-attacks – situations where Lukaku’s impact is devastating. The bad news is that he seems to be carrying a hamstring injury so I’m waiting for more news and thinking about replacing him with his fellow countryman Benteke (8.5m).
Berahino (6.5m, West Brom, 19.7%): England youth international and one of major PL transfer targets this summer seems to be staying at West Brom to form a striker partnership with experienced Ricky Lambert (6.0m). He scored 20 goals in all competition for West Brom last season and had a FPL total score of 148 (fifth best forward in the league – just two points behind injury-troubled Costa). Yet he will cost you no more that 6.5m. I think he’s worth it so I’m going to give him a chance. If he fails to shine, I will be looking at Aston Villa’s Jordan Ayew (6.0) – or maybe even Lambert – as potential replacements.
Benteke is the forward I have most faith for Gameweek 1. Costa is doubt, Aguero might not play and Rooney is significantly more expensive than Benteke. One more I considered is Kane, but he is also more expensive and has tougher match at Man Utd than Beneteke has at Stoke. I believe Stoke is ready for a beating and Beneteke will look to shine. If he doesn’t leave an impression I expect, I have and additional £2.0m in the bank to bring in Rooney or Kane for Gameweek 2.
Aguero is player you really want to have in your FPL team. He won’t start today but he might get couple of minutes. Still his ownership is fairly low and plenty of FPL managers are looking to bring him in until Gameweek 4. This was my idea initially but I decided I don’t want to wait and risk his price going up. It is already high at £13.0m but I believe it is worth it. Considering I would transfer him in in the Gameweek 2, 3 or 4 anyway, I decided to spend that free transfer elswhere. This way if he doesn’t play I feel I have a deep team to cover his absence in first couple of Gameweeks without problems.
My 3rd forward is Jerome. He gets the nod today due to do decent fixture, but that won’t be the case today. I identified him as a best budget FPL forward and I am sticking to it.
There you have it, this was a list of Josip K’s and admin’s expert FPL picks for the season that is starting in few hours. Hope you liked it, if you did please share. If you have something to add, please comment below. Thanks for reading and all the best in new FPL season from Fantasy Sports info team!