The league's most selected players, as of 01/08WWW.FANTASY.PREMIERLEAGUE.COM

With just four days remaining until Crystal Palace and Arsenal kick off the 2022/23 Premier League season, nearly five million fantasy football teams have been registered, with another couple of million likely to follow before the Gameweek 1 deadline. I have spent the past fortnight detailedly following preseason performances and transfer news to construct my team, Aint no Holebas girl. I wanted to use the name Knowing me, knowing you (Zaha) but this exceeded the 20-character team name limit. Big shame. 

“The unique structure of the upcoming season should give way to more creativity and aggressive play”

My team looks very similar to those that I have seen from my friends, and online. There appears to be quite a set template for the start of this year - two of the ‘premium’ players Salah, Son, Kane, and Haaland (most often the first and last) and an expensive defence, with some mid-price midfielders, and budget forwards. This reflects the evolving role of the full-back, as defenders like Alexander-Arnold or James chip in with plenty of goal contributions (14 each last season). This makes defenders the most valuable outfield players in terms of points-per-million. Goalkeepers are equally valuable due to their low prices and the fact that the best goalkeepers play in every game. See the table below; out of the top ten players for this metric last season, there were five defenders and five goalkeepers, and no midfielders or forwards.

The most valuable players from the 2021/22 season, in terms of total points per millionWWW.FANTASY.PREMIERLEAGUE.COM

While many teams look quite homogeneous, the unique structure of the upcoming season should give way to more creativity and aggressive play. After Gameweek 16, there is a six week break for the Qatar World Cup, in which FPLers will be given unlimited transfers until the beginning of Gameweek 17. The first Wildcard chip expires then, so must be used beforehand. Suddenly, a Salah-less team is not as risky as in a normal season, because if all goes to pot, an early Wildcard can be used without too much thought given to long-term planning. Or, it can be used to exploit a few teams’ favourable runs of fixtures, or even just in Gameweek 16 as an extra Free Hit chip (although I really wouldn’t argue for this being the optimal use of the chip).

“Stronger starting XIs and weaker benches are likely to be trendy”

In any case, as per, there are a lot of players, in all price ranges, to contemplate this season. Rashford (6.5m) and Bailey (5.0m) could be really nifty picks if they are starters this season, as surprisingly cheap wingers classified as midfielders. As for some of the more expensive players, it will be very interesting to see which new signings hit the ground running - those with PL experience like Jesus and Sterling, as well as reputable entrants like Haaland and Nuñez.


Mountain View

To Cambridge’s Economics students, please beat me at Fantasy Premier League

Not all of the mid-price midfielders (like Mount, Saka, Maddison, Kulusevski, and more at the 8.0m price point) will keep up their impressive form from the tail-end of last season. Choosing the right ones is another crucial consideration. And finally, with Covid not so much of a threat this time around, stronger starting XIs and weaker benches are likely to be trendy, because needing to call upon the bench due to unforeseeable game cancellations should occur less often.

With my preseason thoughts covered, please join this league - code: rtt82y - Economics students and others alike.  I hope you are looking forward to the new season of FPL as much as I am. May the best man(ager) win.