Goalkeeper analysis is first in our FPL 2016 pre season articles. We will take a closer look at the GK options that FPL managers have at this point. While it is still fairly early, I don’t expect a lot of goalkeeper transfers. Therefore it does make sense to start pre-season FPL tips with goalkeeper tips. Obviously, if some changes occur (transfers, injuries, etc) this article will be updated.
FPL starting goalkeepers
First, let’s introduce all of the starting goalkeepers ordered by teams in alphabetical order.
Cech is a starting goalkeeper at Arsenal. He actually finished top in the FPL points scored last season. He accumulated the total of 159 points in 3060 minutes of action which is just over 80 minutes on average. He managed 16 clean sheets. It is clear that he will be the first choice this season again. While Cech is healthy, David Ospina has no value at £5.0.
Cech is available at £5.5 and he is definitely worth considering. Arsenal opens the season versus Liverpool (H) and Leicester (A). This shouldn’t be a problem if you are looking for a reliable goalkeeper for the season. Combine him with a cheaper starting goalkeeper that has favorable first two matches and you are pretty much safe.
Artur Boruc did not have a memorable season in FPL 2015 as I expected. He finished as an 11th placed GK in FPL point total. However, he had a debut season in a newly promoted team that was expected to get relegated. Furthermore they got plagued with injuries early on, which didn’t help either. I expect him to do better this season but Bournemouth has an ugly looking set of starting fixtures. Might be a good idea to avoid drafting him in the starting team.
Heaton is an interesting £4.5 goalkeeper option, but Burnley has a difficult start to the season. Swansea (H) and Hull (H) in gameweeks 1 and 4 should be considered fairly easy. But Burnley has to face Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester in between. Might be a good idea to play wait and see the game with a newly promoted Burnley team when it comes to their defense.
I am very excited to see Chelsea under Conte management. I respect what he did at Juventus and Italy NT. His tactics could work at Stamford Bridge and I expect a lot of clean sheets. Chelsea has a great GK in Courtois. He managed only 69 FPL points last season, but it was in just 2018 minutes (53 mpg) of action. If healthy, he will go well over that easily. With a fairly comfortable set of fixtures until GW6, he does make sense as the main goalkeeper in your starting team.
Palace has an abundance of capable goalkeepers at this point now when they acquired Mandanda. McCarthy started last season and Hennessey replaced him after 7 matches. Speroni was marginalized as he was injured for a while. All of them are priced at £4.5, but at this point, it is not 100% clear who will get the starting job. It should be Mandanda, but I guess you never know with Pardew. This is a shame as Crystal Palace has a fairly easy ride until GW9.
Koeman is the new manager at Everton and he has two decent goalkeepers at his disposal. Both of them are priced at £5.0, but I consider Stekelenburg as a first option. He was on a loan at Southampton last season and played 1530 minutes in total (17 matches). Koeman brought him last year as a replacement while Forster was recovering. He did a decent job with 6 clean sheets under his belt.
Everton opens up a new season at home against Spurs, but after that, they don’t face a top team until GW8. If Koeman can fix Toffee’s defensive issues, Stekelenburg can be a very decent FPL goalkeeper to own from the start.
McGregor is expected to miss out some serious time due to the injury. This makes Jakupovic an interesting fantasy prospect. He is available at the minimal price of £4.0. This means you can invest some additional cash elsewhere. He can be a good backup GK in your team, but make sure you pick a good starting goalkeeper.
Schmeichel was a premium FPL goalkeeper last year, especially in the second part of the season. His starting price is higher now – you can get him for £5.0m. Losing Kante in the middle of the pitch and UCL matches should hurt his value a bit. Leicester has a decent set of fixtures at the start, though, and getting Schmeichel does have sense.
Mignolet was my starting FPL goalkeeper last season and he did nothing to impress. He should keep the starting job at Liverpool in front of newly acquired GK Loris Karius. However, Liverpool is handed a tough start to the new season. They face Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea away from home in the opening five matches. I would skip Mignolet for now.
I am excited to see City in action with Guardiola in charge. He will apply his proven tactics in his new team for sure. This should translate into a less business for a goalkeeper which means more clean sheets for Joe Hart. Combine that with a nice looking fixture list at the season start, Hart has a lot of FPL potential. He is available at £5.5, but could prove to be a good GK pick alongside a cheap backup.
De Gea is yet another £5.5m FPL goalkeeper. But he might be worth it as well. You know what to expect from Mourinho’s team. De Gea should rack up plenty of clean sheets this season again. Nice set of fixtures to open the season.
It is always difficult to assess newly promoted team in the preseason, but Middlesbrough has a very kind set of fixtures on the season start. This makes Valdes (£4.5) an appealing GK choice. He is owned by 11.2% of FPL managers at this point. Valdes’ career is in a downtrend but he still has a couple of good years ahead of him. He will have a point to prove. Combine that with an enthusiasm and determination newly promoted teams usually have. The result is a very interesting GK option to rotate with another £4.5 shot-stopper.
I am not the biggest fan of their new manager Puel, however, Southampton is a very decent team. I especially rate Forster (available at £5.0) but the mixed set of fixtures on the start are putting me off a bit. Man Utd, Arsenal, West Ham, Leicester and Man City are the first five away matches for Southampton. Make sure you get an adequate backup GK to rotate in gameweeks 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9.
Spurs will be looking to repeat a great season and they have a fairly decent set of opening fixtures. They don’t have a difficult away match until GW11 when they travel to face their local rivals – Arsenal. This makes Lloris an interesting GK to own in your starting team.
Butland is a very talented young goalkeeper but his price rose to £5.0 this season. With a fairly tricky season start fixtures, I would recommend looking elsewhere despite his high ownership at the moment.
Sunderland is a limited team when you look at their squad list. They lost their manager Sam Allardyce and Moyes has just been appointed. This makes any predictions even more difficult. The opening match is Man City (A) which certainly doesn’t make Vito Mannone appealing GK to own at the start.
Swansea is a balanced team and their GK Fabianski fits well here. He had a solid two seasons after signing for this team. His price of £5.0 sounds just about right and I don’t see a tremendous value here. Should be a decent pick, but if you are looking to rotate two goalkeepers, you can find a cheaper option elsewhere.
Gomes had a great season with Watford last year. He is available at £5.0 now, but I wouldn’t pick him in the starting team. Watford has to face Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd at home in first 5 matches. In between are Southampton (A) and West Ham (A). Doesn’t look like Gomes will return enough FPL points at the season start to justify his price.
WBA offers two £4.5 goalkeepers to choose from. Both of them are pretty solid, but I would assume Foster has a starting job. This team has great fixtures at the season start. They are not facing a top team until GW8. Add to that defensive minded approach WBA manager has, and you have a great £4.5 goalkeeper for your team.
Finally, we have Adrian from West Ham available at £5.0. He had a decent season and he should definitely be an interesting option again. But starting fixtures are not kind for West Ham. Chelsea (A) and Man City (A) in gameweeks 1 and 3 respectively should cool down many FPL managers.
FPL goalkeeper strategies
Basically, you have 3 strategies at your disposal.
One of them is picking a premium goalkeeper to start every match with a £4.0 goalkeeper on the bench. You can invest some more in the backup GK and have a decent option at £4.5. However, this 0.5m could be a serious difference maker elsewhere. On top of that, there is Jakupovic from Hull (£4.0) that should start until McGregor returns. This could give you some rotation options.
With a backup set, there is a matter of picking a premium goalkeeper. There are five £5.5 goalkeepers out there and every one of them should have a good season. Cech, Courtois, Hart, de Gea and Lloris are all looking like a good prospect. Each of them should be at the top of the total score list at the season end. Who to pick is up to you, but I will give my recommendation later on in this article.
If you can’t spare £5.5, there are a couple of good £5.0 options as well. Schmeichel, Forster and Butland all have FPL value.
Bottom line, this strategy is preferred by the FPL managers that have a bit of risk aversion as eliminates (or reduces) a possibility of leaving a high scoring goalkeeper on the bench. It also saves some time when preparing for the upcoming gameweek.
Second FPL GK strategy would be finding a pair of £4.5 goalkeepers that rotate well.
For example, pairing two of the following goalkeepers: Boruc (BOU), Mandanda (CRY), Valdes (MID) and Foster (WBA) would give you a fairly easy fixture in first 10 gameweeks (except for GW9 when all of these 4 teams are playing against an elite opponent).
This strategy has one obvious downside: you can leave a high scoring GK on the bench more often than not which is very frustrating.
The third strategy would be going extremely cheap: getting a reliable £4.5 goalkeeper as a starter and a £4.0 bench warmer. This makes sense for managers that are looking to build a strong attacking team with elite forwards and AM’s.
Best FPL goalkeepers – expected point return
To sum everything up following are my picks for the best FPL goalkeepers in the 2016/2017 season. I am picking one from each price category – £5.5, £5.0 and £4.5
Best £5.5 FPL 2016 goalkeeper
So like I mentioned above, if you are looking to get a £5.5m goalkeeper in your starting team, there is an array of 5 possible candidates. Cech (ARS), Courtois (CHE), Hart (MCI), de Gea (MUN) and Lloris (TOT). Each of them should be a quality pick. Cech is maybe the least risky option as Arsenal should have the turbulent free season. Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd have all changed their managers so there’s a certain level of risk involved there. Nevertheless, United’s de Gea might be the one to stand out the most of the 5. This is because Mourinho will insist on defensive stability in his new team. Conte is new to the league so we are yet to see if he will be able to inspire the team to bounce back from the horrible last season. Guardiola is without BPL experience as well, bur I am under the impression that his team needs less fixing. Bottom line: I am tipping de Gea to rack up the most FPL points among these 5 elite goalkeepers, with Cech coming close in the second place.
Best £5.0 FPL 2016 goalkeeper
There is a lot of £5.0 goalkeepers to choose from. The one that stands out the most to me is Forster (SOU). He is an excellent shot-stopper with a solid defense in front of him. The downside is the new manager in town, inexperienced in the league, but Southampton is a decent team and I doubt Puel will manage to mess everything up in the first season in charge. I guess we will see, but if you agree with me and looking to pick Forster in a starting team, you better find a good backup for first 5 Southampton away games.
Leicester’s Schmeichel and Liverpool’s Mignolet are also priced at £5.0. However, I would pass as Mignolet had a pretty bad season last year and Leicester would probably lose more key players by the transfer deadline.
Best £4.5 FPL 2016 goalkeeper
Plenty of interesting £4.5m goalkeepers out there, but the one that stands out most for me is Ben Foster (WBA). He is an excellent goalkeeper who plays in a team led by Pulis. This guy likes to play tight at the back and keep it clean. This can only be a plus for Foster. He was injured for the most of the last season, but I expect him to have a great FPL 2016/17 campaign.
How do you feel about these picks? What is your goalkeeper duo at this point? Keep me posted in the comments below. Thanks for reading.