Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 1 Preview – Leeds United, Liverpool and Aston Villa players ones to sign early

After last season’s unpredictability and empty stadiums, it was refreshing to see order on the pitch as Man City won the league and England lost on penalties. Further order comes in the return of Fantasy Premier League and our Who’s Hot, Who’s Not column.

Never pessimistic, here at The Yorkshire Post we’re delighted to be re-launching our weekly Fantasy Football previews as it returns this weekend. Once again, we’ll be picking out gems like Stuart Dallas, Ilkay Gundogan and Patrick Bamford who all did so well in last season’s game.

Romelu Lukaku, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho’s big-money moves have shaken up the FPL template and the uncertainty of Harry Kane’s future casts doubts over his inclusion in teams as the season starts.

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Nobody knows who’ll start slow or find form fast, but one thing’s for certain – We’re going to be all over it!

Raphinha. Worth a punt in Fantasy? (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

This week’s transfer deadline is Friday 13th August at 6.30pm.

Captain Picks

Mo Salah (£12.5m) vs Norwich (A)

No player had more shots in the box, shots on target or chances from open play than Mo Salah last season, who averaged over six points per game in the process. Liverpool haven’t lost to Norwich since 1994 and have scored three or more goals against them in seven of their last nine games against them, all of which makes the Egyptian prime captain material.

Captain's pick - Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (Picture: PA)

Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) vs Leeds (H)

As last season’s top point scorer, Fernandes looks well worth the hefty price-tag. The Portuguese international created the most chances in the league last season and has fond memories of facing Leeds at Old Trafford as Fernandes scored twice and assisted once against them last season in a 6-2 win. On set-piece and penalty duty too, you can never rule Bruno out of the captain debate.

The Pick Of The Mid-Priced Forwards

For the rest of our picks to start the season well, we’re going to focus on the less expesive players who will make or break your season!

Everton's Richarlison. (Picture: Peter Powell/PA Wire)

Danny Ings (Aston Villa, £8.0m)

Ings has scored 34 goals over the last two seasons and after a reported £25m move away from Southampton to Aston Villa, he scored on his new team’s debut in a pre-season friendly. Although Ings has competition for a spot up front from Ollie Watkins, Dean Smith has dabbled with 4-4-2 in friendlies which can accommodate them both and Watkins has experience playing on the wing from his Brentford days which could leave Ings space to perform in the middle. Villa start the season against Watford, Newcastle and Brentford.

Michail Antonio (West Ham, £7.5m)

Averaging a goal or an assist every 131 minutes, if Antonio can stay fit he will prove to be a bargain at £7.5m. He’s scored three times and assisted once in pre-season and West Ham start the season against Newcastle, Leicester and Crystal Palace – three teams who are not famous for their defensive prowess.

Newcastle United's Matt Richie (Picture: PA)

Richarlison (Everton, £7.5m)

Straight back into the Everton attack after winning gold Olympics, Richarlison is set to lead the Toffees’ line as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury continues to be monitored. The Brazilian contributed to 13 goals last season, down from 18 the season before, but with Southampton, Leeds and Brighton up first, Richarlison has a great chance to start the season well.

Making The Most Of The Middling Midfielders

Raphinha (Leeds, £6.5m)

Although Jack Harrison outscored him last season, Raphinha’s stats make him worth the extra £0.5m. No Leeds midfielder had more shots, shots in the box, shots on target or created more chances than the Brazilian last season, making him well worth £6.5m. Outside the ‘top six’, no team created more chances than Leeds last season, displaying their attacking potential.

Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa, £6.5m)

Behind Ivan Toney (41), Emiliano Buendia had the most goal contributions (31) in the Championship last season and following a move to Aston Villa, the Argentine is set to be the team’s main creative outlet following Jack Grealish’s move away from the club. With favourable fixtures and previous Premier League experience, we’re expecting Buendia to start the season well.

Said Benrahma (West Ham, £6.0m)

After having a solid pre-season, Said Benrahma looks set to fill West Ham’s Jesse Lingard-sized hole in their attack. The Algerian has scored twice and assisted thrice over the summer and has made the second-striker spot his own. If he can rediscover his 17-goal form from two seasons ago, he’ll prove to be a bargain.

The Bargains At The Back

Konstantinos Tsimikas (Liverpool, £4.0m)

With Andy Robertson out injured with ligament damage, Tsimikas is set to step in at left-back in his absence. The Greek international has had his fair share of pre-season, having assisted three times over the summer but more importantly, he is the joint cheapest player in the game which makes him essential.

Joel Veltman (Brighton, £4.5m)

Since Tariq Lamptey is out injured, Veltman is expected to start the season occupying Brighton’s attacking right-wing-back spot, enabling him to join the attack whist benefitting from clean sheet points. Behind Chelsea and Man City, Brighton conceded the third fewest expected goals in the league last season.

Matt Ritchie (Newcastle, £5.0m)

Listed as a defender, Ritchie can play anyway down the left or even centrally behind the striker. Often on set-pieces too, the Scot scored against Norwich in Newcastle’s final pre-season game and looks set to star the season as an essential part of the team.