The Ultimate Fantasy Football Team Selection Guide
Selecting a fantasy football team can be a difficult and strenuous task. Which strikers are going to fire and produce 30+ goals in the season? Which goalkeeper is going to keep the most clean sheets? And which players are going to be this season’s surprise packages? As fantasy football managers up and down the country decide on their final squad, here’s a guide to your best options.
Tim Howard (£5.5m) and Wojciech Szczesny (£5.5m) are likely to feature between the sticks in the majority of people’s teams. Scoring points with your goalkeeper is always about who can keep the most clean sheets and both excelled last season, Howard keeping the opposition out 15 times and Szczesny 16. Keepers also get a point for every 3 saves they make, and Everton’s number 1 was 3rd in the list of most saves in the league last year with 95 (2.57 per match).
Petr Cech (£6m) will be the first choice for most teams, but be wary of what Thibaut Courtois’s (£6m) rearrival at Stamford Bridge means for Cech’s Chelsea career. Julian Speroni (£5m) is another candidate, having made 12 clean sheets last year- 10 after Tony Pulis took charge.
Adrian (£5m) made the most saves per game last season with 3.45 and could earn lots of bonus points. If it’s clean sheets you’re after though Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) is another safe bet, after the French international kept the opposition out 14 last season. He also saved 2 out of 5 penalties, earning him a bonus 10 points. And should Costel Pantilimon (£4.5m) be first choice at Sunderland, the Romanian could be a good choice having made 3 clean sheets from his 7 appearances for Manchester City last season.
When choosing your defence you’re looking for someone who plays for a side which keeps a lot of clean sheets as well as popping up with the occasional goal and assist. Seamus Coleman (£7m) and Leighton Baines (£7m) led the way last year. Coleman scored 6 goals last season, with Baines netting 5 times as well as both keeping 15 clean sheets.
Man City’s full backs Alexsandar Kolarov (£6m) and Pablo Zabaleta (£6.5m) are wise choices, with both scoring once last year but providing the most assists for defenders in the league- 7 for Kolarov and 6 for Zabaleta. The Argentine had the worst disciplinary record last year however with 11 yellow cards which could affect his points this time round.
Can Mathieu Debuchy (£5.5m) and Luke Shaw (£6m) shine after their moves to bigger clubs? At Arsenal and Manchester united, they should be part of a team that keeps more clean sheets and also be involved in generating more chances.
Another thing to look out for when choosing defenders is the fact that a player is docked a point every time they concede 2 goals in a game. Chelsea did this the fewest last year, conceding 2 or more goals only 5 times, so Gary Cahill (£6.5m) and John Terry (£6.5m) are good options when picking your centre backs. Aston Villa were the worst culprits for conceding last season, so avoid any of their defenders should they not improve this campaign.
Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker (£6m) and Laurent Koscielny (£6m) are other good choices, having conceded more than 2 goals on just 7 occasions as well as scoring 2 goals each also. Vincent Kompany (£6.5m) is another good selection, having scored 4 goals last year as well as keeping 9 clean sheets.
Martin Skrtel (£6m) may appear a good addition to your team after scoring 7 goals last season, but beware as he also scored 4 own goals and conceded on 50 occasions. If Liverpool have a better defensive record this year, Skrtel or new signing Dejan Lovren (£5.5m) could score you a lot of points.
Whilst midfielders pick up 1 point for their team keeping a clean sheet, it’s all about choosing players who can provide plenty of goals and assists. Yaya Toure (£11m) shone last year with a staggering 20 goals and 9 assists but will not come cheap. Likewise, Steven Gerrard (£9m) scored 13 goals, including 10 penalties, and made the most assists in the league with 13.
Should Aaron Ramsey (£9m) stay injury free and maintain the form he showed last year he could be a valuable addition to your side. The Welshman scored 10 goals and made 8 assists last campaign.
Cesc Fabregas (£9m) netted 8 times and made 13 assists in La Liga last season and if he replicates that for Chelsea this campaign he could earn you some valuable points. With all the departures from Southampton, can Steven Davis (£5m) step up to the plate? He managed 2 goals and 7 assists last season and could be a cheaper option.
The use of traditional wingers may be becoming less popular with team’s tactics, but choosing wide men could well benefit your team. Adam Johnson (£6.5m) scored 8 goals and made 6 assists last year. If Sunderland do better this campaign he could well play a vital role.
Whilst he can play in central midfield or behind the striker, Christian Eriksen (£8m) was used on the left last season for Tottenham and could be a good choice having scored 7 times and provided 8 assists. Everton’s Kevin Mirallas (£7.5m) has the highest amount of shots per game for a winger though with 2.53, and chipped in last campaign with 8 goals and 8 assists.
Hull’s new signings Robert Snodgrass (£6m) and Tom Ince (£5.5m) could be good, alternate selections, with Snodgrass having netted 6 times last year for Norwich as well as providing 2 assists.
It’s not clear yet whereabouts Arsene Wenger will play new signing Alexis Sanchez (£10.5m), but if the Chilean adapts to the Premier League and can replicate the form which saw him score 19 goals and make 10 assists in La Liga last season, he could score lots of points.
Juan Mata (£9m) should feature in his favoured position this season, and linking up with Rooney and van Persie could see him win plenty of points. People are expecting a big season from Raheem Sterling (£8.5m), and can Eden Hazard (£10m) replicate his 14 goals and 7 assists from last season?
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Newcastle’s new signings, Siem de Jong (£7m) and Remy Cabella (£7.5m). De Jong scored 7 goals in 19 for Ajax last season, whilst Cabella netted 14 times in 37 games for Montpellier. Either could be a surprise package and earn you a lot of points.
The departure of Luis Suarez raises questions about who to pick to lead your front line. Daniel Sturridge (£11.5m) is now Liverpool’s main man, and scored 21 times last year as well as making 7 assists. His England strike partner Wayne Rooney (£10.5m) is another safe bet, having netted 17 times last year and provided 10 assists.
Rooney’s 3.48 shots per game was only bettered by Suarez and Sergio Aguero (£12m), who despite missing a lot of games through injury still managed 17 goals in 23 games. His strike partner at Man City, Edin Dzeko (£8.5m), is another good option having scored 16 times last season.
Will Diego Costa (£10.5m) be the answer to Jose Mourinho’s striker conundrum? He scored 27 goals in La Liga last year, and if he finds form in the Premier League he’d be a great addition to your team.
Emmanuel Adebayor (£8.5m) came back into the Tottenham side after Tim Sherwood’s arrival last season, and impressed scoring 11 goals in 21 games as well as making 4 assists.
Other options include Romelu Lukaku (£9m) or Wilfried Bony (£8.5m), particularly if the latter does make the move to a bigger club.
Can Danny Ings (£6m) and Charlie Austin (£6m) replicate the form they showed last year in the Championship in the Premier League? Ings scored 26 goals in 40 games for Burnley, while Austin netted 17 goals in 28 appearances.
In defence, Ashley Williams (£5m), Curtis Davies (£5m) or Jose Fonte (£5.5m) could be good alternative selections. Jonjo Shelvey (£5.5m) scored 6 goals and made 6 assists for Swansea last season and will be looking to improve on that this time round.
Ashley Young (£5.5m) has seen a new lease of life in pre-season under Louis van Gaal, and with Antonio Valencia (£6m) and Rafael (£5.5m) injured he is expected to start on the right wing for United.
Which new signings could make an impression in their first Premier League season? Former Barcelona forward Bojan (£5.5m) has scored 3 in 3 in pre-season for Stoke and could be an option. Southampton’s new signing Graziano Pelle (£7.5m) was the 2nd top scorer in Eredivisie last season with 23 goals. Their other new signing Dusan Tadic (£7.5m) netted 16 times in the Dutch league and could be a great addition to your midfield.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s hopes on scoring more goals rest on new signing Mauro Zarate (£6.5m). The Argentine scored 18 goals in 28 games and the Hammers will hope he can replicate that form in the Premier League.
All rules and prices are according to the official Barclay’s Premier League Fantasy Football website. Thanks to Squawka for the stats!