It’s the time of the year when you are constantly spending time by thinking all of the possible combinations and strategies to edge out the competition in your mini league, but why don’t you think a little bigger this time, why don’t you actually try to start off in such great manner that you might be in the prestigious top ten thousand fantasy managers by the end of this season. Anyone can become a fantasy manager and pick the best players at the very start but the true secret to success is planning for the immediate next fixtures too, rather than only the first game week and that’s what we are going to study the strategy & tips for Gameweek 1 of season 2020-21.
After hours and hours of analysis, we have come to some key takeaways that we would like to share with you first before heading into the players to watch:
Gameweek 1 Tips
- 4 Teams are not playing the Gameweek 1. Manchester United, Manchester City, Burnley and Aston Villa.
- Easy fixtures for Chelsea in the first five game weeks compared to Arsenal and City (They start off this season with a delay and will have a future double game week which we will look at in the future).
- Spurs have the easiest fixtures out of the Big 6 (Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs)
- Burnley are facing teams which are pretty defensive themselves and would be in contention for some early clean sheets.
- Players from Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Brighton and Leeds have difficult fixtures and with lack of evidence this season without some decent friendly games, it is a risk to include players from these teams.
- Newcastle is a very, very good early option as they have strengthened their core line up with some good budget options with big probable returns.
I am sure that you would have already added some Liverpool players in your line up, but there is actually a very worrying dip in their form since they got knocked out by Atletico last season, and were constantly struggling against well-structured team after the season resumed, if there were not some beautiful individual performances by the likes of Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander Arnold, they would have had a pretty rough time. They haven’t strengthened their squad depth this year at all and with three hard first five game week fixtures (Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton), I would personally recommend to not go with their expensive players at the start and would like to present some other players that might be far better options to start with.
Players to consider
1- Aaron Ramsdale (5.0):
Sheffield was perhaps one of the toughest teams to break last season thanks to the heroics of Dean Henderson, and Ramsdale will try to pick up right from there. Ramsdale made some pretty heroic saves to show his acrobatic shot stopping skills last season with Bournemouth and with a better defense in front, could be one of the best budget options.
2- Timo Werner (9.5):
FPL Managers can stop worrying about the Chelsea striker curse because Werner won’t be wearing the famous number 9 shirt that messed up some of the most prolific strikers to join Chelsea, he will be instead donning the famous number 11, that Didier Drogba also wore during his time at Chelsea. Werner is famous for playing in a fluid attacking structure and can provide assists and goals out of nowhere due to his excellent finishing in the box, he is actually a must buy this season as he would be a guaranteed starter that costs far less than some of the other expensive options.
3- Dele Alli (8.0):
Alli is one of Jose Mourinho’s favorite player and during the latter’s early days at Spurs, we saw what he could do when he is at his best and during the pre-season games, we actually saw some shades of the old Alli. It feels like Spurs are actually playing through Alli and he is at the heart of every goal they scored, which could prove to be an immense bargain if he play in a similar fashion when the season starts. At only 8.0, he actually looks like a better option than Heung-min-Son who actually scored more goals this preseason but was primarily playing as the main striker which would be taken by Harry Kane when he is in the squad.
4- Matt Doherty (6.0):
Doherty is already a FPL favorite and with him actually linking up with Harry Kane for the crosses this season, it might be better than ever for FPL managers. As we have seen from last season Mourinho allows more freedom to his right back rather than the left one, and Aurier landed some great assists, and now with Doherty taking that spot, he is actually one of the best options instead of the more expensive TAA and Andy Robertson.
5- William Saliba (4.5):
Saliba looks set to start for his new team in the first game week against Fulham due to David Luiz’s neck injury and could cement his place in the team early on in the season. Saliba and Gabriel could make a great defensive pairing if they develop some good communication at the start of the season.
I would like to share some players that you should avoid at the start of this season too, especially the first five game weeks:
1- Mohammad Salah (12.0):
Salah absolutely deserves the price this season but his record against some of the top sides isn’t actually something to rely on, and with Liverpool facing Chelsea, Arsenal and their bitter rivals Everton at the very start of the season, it would be better to not bring in the prolific goal scorer until we are done with these games.
2- Trent Alexander Arnold (7.5):
There is no doubt that Trent is a player that is still a must pick despite him being the most expensive defender in the game this season, but as previously mentioned, Liverpool got some tricky fixtures to deal with in the first five game weeks and it would be better to look elsewhere first.
3- Ainsley Maitland-Niles (5.0):
Maitland-Niles looked great during Arsenals win against Liverpool in the community shield but there is still no certainty that he would be starting week in week out, if he does he could prove to be a great bargain for FPL managers as he is tremendous at his job going forward and linking up with wingers at either side of the game.
4- Aleksander Mitrovic (6.0):
A player with probably one of the highest ownership right now, but the last time he was in PL he was actually really wasteful in front of the goal and considering how Fulham are relegation favorites early in the season, I won’t be expecting much from him.
My Strategy for Gameweek 1
I would also like to share & reveal my own personal plan with you too, here is my Gameweek 1 team:
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale (SHU)
Defenders: William Saliba (ARS), Matt Doherty (TOT) and Reece James (CHE)
Midfielders: Aubameyang (ARS), Dele Alli (TOT), Kai Havertz (CHE) and James Rodriguez (EVE)
Forwards: Callum Wilson (NEW), Harry Kane (TOT) and Timo Werner (CHE)
Bench: Button, Tyrick Mitchell, Walker-Peters and Dale Stephens
Captain: Aubameyang or Kane (An excellent record against Everton worth considering)
As you can see I am going for players that might be playing every week and they are the least expensive options in their categories except Walker Peters whom I might be looking to rotate with Saliba in the coming Gameweeks. James Rodriguez might raise some brows but we can’t ignore the fact that he had some of the best games of his career under Ancelotti and this might be the start of his resurgence with fairly easy fixtures at the start of the season. I might have brought him after the game against Spurs but currently I am planning to bring Martial in for Werner in the second Gameweek and that would also give me an extra 0.5 to operate in the third Gameweek which I would most probably use to bring in Luke Shaw for Saliba or James. Nothing is set in stone obviously and I might look to change a few things in my plan after watching the first week games, nevertheless it is an exciting season ahead of us and I would be back next week to share my insights for Gameweek 2 with you as we would be getting the United and City players back in the game.