In this FPL watchlist for GW2 we focus on teams that successfully opened the new Premier League season 2015/16. Gameweek 1 was disappointing for a lot of managers so in this FPL watchlist we will give you advice on whom to pick or look at for a GW2 in order to get back on track. Whether you are happy with your score in GW1 or not. Whether you are going to make one transfer or already use your wildcard, you can find useful tips in this watchlist, part 1.
Aston Villa – is there any FPL value?
New signing Jordan Amavi collected 3 bonus points with total BPS score of 32 in 1-0 win over Bournemouth. He is priced at £5.0m which seems to be a bit high for Aston Villa defender. Richards claimed 2 and he is cheaper option at £4.5m. He is also a team captain which makes him a bit more appealing. However Villa has tough next two fixtures against Man Utd (H) and Crystal Palace (A). It is unlikely that they will keep a clean sheet in any of those two, but Gameweek 4 looks favourable to buy Micah Richards or maybe even Ciaran Clark, both priced at £4.5m. They welcome Sunderland at home and that could be a good opportunity to offload non playing defender in your team or to free some cash selling a more expensive one. Bacuna on the right side of the defence had some OOP potential, but when rest of the team healthy he shouldn’t be employed further up the pitch so at £5.0m he doesn’t seem to be worth it.
Westwood started as a least expensive Aston Villa midfielder at £4.5m and recorded most FPL points with an assist under his belt. He is featured on our FPL cheap midfielders list, and should remain on the watchlist. Sinclair started on the left and if can keep that starting job could be really good prospect at £5.0m but he will likely loose that position when Grealish returns. In the best case he’ll get rotated or be used as a super sub. Let’s wait and see.
Gestede got 32 minutes up front which was enough for him to score. We’ll monitor his status for now. At £6.0m he could be a nice pick.
Basically, based on what we’ve seen in Gameweek 1, Villa should have less turbulent season in Premier League than last year when they were fighting for survival. There are couple of decent prospects in this team, but for now let’s keep them on the FPL watchlist before GW2 as they play against Man Utd.
Leicester – Is Mahrez fantasy gold?
Huth has been a popular pick for a defender as a lot of FPL managers eyed a Leicester clean sheet against Sunderland. However it was Mahrez who stole the show. He was expected to play in the whole behind strikers and was recognised by shrewd FPL managers as a great and cheap midfielder prospect. Those managers were not wrong considering how rewarding decision to pick Mahrez turned out to be. However he played on the right, on the opposite side of Albrighton who managed 15 FPL points as well. So if you are considering getting one of them in, Albrighton is a cheaper option at £5.0m but twice as much FPL managers chose Mahrez so far after GW1. Thing to consider is that Leicester played against shockingly poor Sunderland defence and you can’t expect that kind of return from Mahrez and Albrighton in each GW. Nevertheless at the given the price it could be a good idea to get one of them in your FPL team sooner or later.
Crystal Palace – talented and affordable midfielders
McCarthy started on goal with Speroni injured. More FPL managers opted for Hennessey expecting him to start, including myself. This is unfortunate as now we have a non playing GK on the bench with a different playing £4.0m option out there. This is almost a disaster for me as I wanted to bench my main GK Mignolet in a Gameweek 3. Taking McCarthy now would mean wasting free transfer for a goalkeeper that is not certain to remain on the goal when Speroni recovers. Let’s keep an eye on McCarthy’s performances in Gameweek 2 when Palace welcomes Arsenal. If he shows good performance, there is a chance he remains a number 1 GK until then he is on my FPL watchlist.
Souare and Delaney awarded those few managers that picked one of them in their teams with a solid return of 7 and 9 FPL points respectively. Crystal Palace has a difficult schedule until Gameweek 7 as they play against four top 6 EPL teams. This doesn’t make their defenders particularly appealing, but they are cheap and could do well in a Gameweek 3 at home against Aston Villa.
Cabaye had a a great début for Crystal Palace and already looks like a great addition to your FPL team. He collected 3 bonus points and scored a goal, totalling 10 FPL points. His passing was accurate and at £6.5m you won’t find many better midfielders out there if any at all. But there are also a lot of other midfielders from Crystal Palace to consider. Bolasie is one of them. He didn’t play in the opening GW due to the injury but he is the one to keep an eye on. Puncheon managed an assist and looks like a very good option as well with a £0.5m lower price than Cabaye and Bolasie. Zaha scored a goal and he is even cheaper at £5.5m. If you can’t afford one of the above midfielders you can consider taking Zaha. I was surprised to see Mutch in the starting line-up though and not Jedinak. Mutch is on my FPL hidden gems list and is definitely worth considering as a cheap midfielder for the bench if he keeps a starting job. Bolasie will squeeze out Zaha or him, so for now let’s put Mutch on the FPL watchlist before the GW2.
There are 3 forwards priced at £6.0m in Palace team, and for now neither has value, especially with midfield looking dangerous. Wait and see who will get the starting job as a sole striker in a likely 4-5-1 Crystal Palace formation.
Manchester United – get their defenders on your team or FPL watchlist
Man Utd claimed an opening match win over the Spurs but didn’t really impress. Spurs had their chances and Man Utd looked shaky in the defence at times. However they have a really nice schedule until GW 8 and picking their defender looks like a good idea. Romero started on the goal with all the drama surrounding de Gea and he is recognized by a good prospect as he is transferred in by 57859 FPL managers at this point. That is just behind West Ham’s Adrian who had an impressive performance against Arsenal. Darmian is even more popular Man Utd player at this point, he has already seen his price go up and now is available at 5.6. He collected 2 FPL bonus points and that seemed to be a cue for purchasing him. I’ve got Shaw in my team and I am pretty happy to stick with him as he probably has a bit more security at his left back position than Darmian has on the right. Smalling scored max of 3 bonus points. He also got plenty of love from FPL managers even though he is more expensive option at £6.0m. Blind started next to him at CB, but he is likely to be used all over the place and because he is actually listed as a midfielder, isn’t good fantasy prospect at all.
Ashley Young started on the left wing and played whole match. He was very active and attracted some attention from FPL managers. 5946 of them decided to transfer him in until now. He is very cheap at £6.0m for a starting Man Utd midfielder. His status will be in serious jeopardy if Pedro signs from Barcelona, but until then you might want to keep an eye on him. Next two fixtures look particularly promising. He will likely frustrate you more times than not, but this could actually be a good season for him. New signing Memphis Depay didn’t do much in FPL terms as his BPS score was 0. However he was very active and eager to prove himself. He should be a good fantasy player, but I want to see him in action in couple of more matches. For now he is on my FPL watchlist. Good opportunity for him to convince is on Friday at Villa Park. Mata is second player from Man Utd in my team, and I wasn’t particularly pleased with his performance. Next two fixtures look really favourable for him as Man Utd plays against Villa (A) and Newcastle (H) so he stays for now.
Aston Villa and Newcastle are actually teams Wayne Rooney has the best Premier League record against so if you have him in your team you would want to keep it that way and maybe even consider giving him an armband. However, even though I was considering picking him in my starting team, I chose not to eventually as I just wasn’t pleased with his performances last season. I left £2.0m in my bank to transfer him in over Benteke if necessary, but he didn’t convince me to do so in GW 1. He actually recorded an assist, albeit a weird one but didn’t show much more. If you have him in your team feel free to keep him for a while, but if you don’t you might want to wait a bit more before taking him.
West Ham – FPL value all over the pitch
West Ham served the biggest surprise in the GW1 as they defeated Arsenal away from home. They did it in style, keeping a clean sheet. Two players in particular were talking points. Reece Oxford and Dimitri Payet. Oxford showed a lot of maturity at age of 16 and he already convinced 66960 FPL managers to transfer him in after that kind of performance. Slaven Bilic was very brave to trust him in that match and will likely continue to do so. At £4.0m he is a defender out of position playing in midfield and as such it is no wonder why so many managers transferred him in their respective FPL teams. His price will go up soon, so you should consider getting him in for more expensive defender that disappointed you in a GW1. West Ham caught Arsenal on the wrong foot but it is unlikely they will repeat that in Gameweeks 4 and 6 at Liverpool and Manchester City, but their next 4 home matches are really favourable. West Ham welcomes Leicester, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Norwich. All of those teams are beatable and there is a lot of clean sheet potential there. Adrian was a stand-out performer on goal as well. He grabbed 3 FPL bonus points with 6 saves which brought 11 FPL points to his owners. He is the one to consider if you don’t have an adequate first choice GK. With a start like that it is very possible he’ll outscore more expensive GK’s out there. Winston Reid played really well in defence and Cresswell has assist potential. They are other two defenders that could make a good fantasy asset but with a price of £1.0m and £1.5m respectively more than Oxford, there is no need at this point to invest that money in them over young Reece.
Dimitri Payet was the second talking point in West Ham team. He was all over the place, he assisted for the first goal to Kouyate and made Koscielny look funny at one point. However I would give him some more time to prove he has what it takes to be a good FPL player. He had plenty of space plying against Arsenal, especially when Wenger subbed out Coquelin and Debuchy for more attacking players. I want to see him playing against stubborn teams, when he won’t have that much free space to run so for now I am keeping him on my FPL watchlist before GW2.
On the other hand Mauro Zarate is a player I am very much interested in. Without Enner Valencia and Carroll he is going to have a lot of playing time with Sakho. He is £1.0m cheaper than Sakho and looked better against Arsenal, scoring a goal in process. Sakho was a positive surprise last season as he started really well. However his form dropped in time and it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to rediscover his fine form soon. In the meantime Zarate looks like a really good prospect as a third forward in FPL team. At this point he is the best £5.5m forward with Defoe and Deeney. I already identified him as a budget FPL forward to keep an eye on, but now I am seriously considering him with Cameron Jerome not playing whole match. This was my main criteria for a third forward and with that out of window I am willing to spend £0.5m more on a player that has much more goalscoring potential.
Liverpool – plenty of defensive potential
Liverpool managed a narrow win at Stoke, courtesy of fabulous strike by Coutinho. I have a lot of faith in Liverpool players as I started my FPL 2015/2016 campaign with 3 of them in my team. Mignolet was a goalkeeper I identified very early in this FPL goalkeepers article as best value for money. I expect a lot of clean sheets from Liverpool in this season as I believe their defence is stronger with Clyne who replaced Johnson on the right and with Milner – Henderson partnership in the middle. These two players have an amazing work rate, they will rarely loose the ball in dangerous area and help out their defenders when necessary. Liverpool looked even more solid when Rodgers introduced Can instead Lallana. This could be a good solution when they play better teams away from home. Anyway, Gomez scored most FPL points in Liverpool defence as he assisted for the goal. However he is still young and probably not a sure starter all the time. He will be rotated with Moreno on the left which doesn’t make any of them particularly appealing. That is a shame as Gomez is priced at £4.6m. His price went up as 104326 FPL managers decided to get him in after GW1. Lovren had a decent game, but he will also likely get rotated with Sakho. That means we have 2 sure starters in Liverpool defence: Skrtel and Clyne. Clyne has more assisting potential as he will contribute offensively often, but Skrtel has a history of scoring goals and is owned by considerably less managers. Both are available at £5.5m and both are very good option for your defence. I have Mignolet in my team but I might look to add one of them at some point.
In order to do that I will have to sell Henderson or Benteke. Neither of them particularly impressed but I am willing to keep both of them for a while in my team. Liverpool has nice set of starting fixtures. Bournemouth (H) is a good chance for them to score some points. Coutinho scored a winning goal in the Stoke game and attracted 70363 managers to get him in their teams so far. That was a fabulous strike, but Coutinho had somewhat of a roller-coaster ride in terms of FPL last season and I want to see him performing more constantly before transferring him in. Firmino replaced Ibe from the bench so it was hard to see what he has to offer, but he will likely be preferred over him in the future. That means I will wait and see how that situation evolves. For now keeping Firmino and Coutinho deep on my FPL watchlist.
Man City – get Aguero in asap
Man City won easily at WBA with two goals scored by Yaya Toure. In this pre-season Man City scout report I didn’t find him to be a valuable asset to the FPL team but he proved me wrong with that performance. However I still think he is not going to be that good in the long run. He already picked up a minor groin injury. He is going to play against Chelsea, but it will be much harder to score in that match. Many FPL managers transferred him in, but I can see him getting out soon enough. WBA players allowed him way to much space but it is not going to happen a lot. Other stand-out performer was Kompany. He had a bad season last year, but this one should be much better for him and his owners if he can stay healthy. Mangala is £0.5m cheaper but it doesn’t offer goalscoring potential that Kompany has.
Silva was solid as always, he picked up an assist and generally looked better than Sterling. However Sterling is £1.0m cheaper and he will thrive against teams that will leave space for him to exploit. He is the most transferred out Man City player so far. That could be a mistake as I can see him having a good game against Chelsea in the next GW.
Aguero got 28 minutes on the pitch which is very encouraging for me and others who own him. He got in the game when City was already 3-0 up which means he will likely start against Chelsea. He didn’t do much in those minutes he got, but we all know what kind of FPL potential he has. Keep him in your starting line-ups if you have him, if not start planning a strategy for his purchase.
In this FPL watchlist GW2 article, part 1 I identified players I consider a good prospects in terms of FPL value and popular ones that could fail. In part 2 of the article I will explore the same opportunities in teams that lost their opening games and players that didn’t attract that much transfers in. These under the radar players could be nice differentials in the Gameweek 2. Until then please share if you like this article and if you have something to add, please comment below.