After a short break we are back with our first player picks of the season. It is going to be a little tricky as we are now all playing three fantasy games with two of them needing changing weekly. Therefore what we will do is try and simply look at the best picks for the week ahead alone with an alternative pick or two to start the conversations.
There are just two keeper options for me this week and I'm giving the edge to the Arsenal number 1. Arsenal are bang in form and whilst their individual defenders may not be a match of Chelsea's the whole side are defending as a unit and pressing the ball very well. West Ham have had a poor pre-season, a new manager and just last night I was listening to a phone in where fans were already questioning Slavin Bilic. You are never fully confident of any result on the opening weekend by the head says an Arsenal win and strong clean sheet chance
Option two in goal is from the league's best defence. The keeper was In fine form at the Community Shield and with Chelsea's stuttering pre-season form could rack up a higher number of saves than he normally would. No defending Premier League championship team has ever lost the opening game of the season.
The mighty Serbian let me down when I picked his last season. Partly due to Chelsea's dominance over their opponents meaning teams defended deep but more so was him being almost on the end of chances within the box. He feels due a goal for my side and with the Swansea City side likely to follow the sitting deep plan that worked so well at Arsenal late last season so it may need a set play from Chelsea to get ahead.
This one is one that works in the Togga game (it's now live people please sign up) where you have no budget to worry about and where you must play 4 defenders. Baines may not be the force of old but with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Miralles a doubt he could take penalties and kicks back. Against a Watford side on the road he seems value.
The more I watch him the better he gets. Bellerin looks to be developing into the classic modern day full back. Pace, drive, energy and getting into the final third. I guarantee you Spanish eyes will be watching him closely this season to see if his development continues or stalls. If I think and I do think the Arsenal game is the banker of the weekend then I have to recommend him. Mr Cresswell will have a busy day on Sunday.
It's all for you Darmian, now how many times will we use lines like that through the season? I have a soft spot for the player and feel if he can settle in the UK he will become one of the league's best full backs. Spurs played both AC Milan and Real Madrid midweek before going to Old Trafford Saturday lunchtime, that seems like bad planning.
During the transfer window so far Spurs have failed to add much to their starting 11 in their hopes of achieving a top four finish and you have to expect United to come at them full speed. With Juan Mata tucking in when in possession Damien can overlap and rack up the crosses, corners won etc, that's the theory anyway.
The league's best player and there is a lot expected of Hazard. Over the season I see him kicking on further by adding an increased number of goals to his tally. With the Chelsea side looking a little flat pre-season a tight home win looks more likely than any statement victory. If a set play doesn't win it then maybe a moment of magic from Eden.
Santi Cazorla/Aaron Ramsey
They rotated (along with Mesut Ozil) covering the left hand side of Arsenals attack against Chelsea with perhaps Cazorla/Ozil more so. Cazorla has penalties in his locker while Rambo has the better goal scorer feel to him. It's a tossup but I will go with Cazorla in the official game and Ramsey in the others.
He is no Neymar but he is an excellent fantasy player. In the run in Young was Utd best outfield player last season and quietly racked up the old school AYBF fantasy points. He is a real under the radar pick and a safe starter.
The Cherries dynamic wide man was at the heart of all the good attacking work in the promotion year. It is a step up for him but week one against a brand new Villa side on the road feels like a great fixture for him. I've been with him all summer so I likely will stick with him this week.
Declared fit and he may sit in front of James MacArthur and Miles "jedi master" Jedinak within the Crystal Palace formation. We wait to see if he steals set piece duty and a game on the road for a new team isn't an easy start. He is however a proven fantasy player and Norwich City are pretty much playing the 21013/14 side in this one.
A real alternative pick here. The logic is as follows. Southampton have lost Fraser Forster, Ryan Bertrand, Toby Alderweireld, Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin from last years side. Thats pretty much their whole defence. I'm thinking their defence is going to be less effective this season or early in it at least. So if the magpies are to score who is the value. As club captain last season Wijnaldum lead his side to the dutch league and has a total of 41 goals in 109 games which from midfield is a very high strike rate. At 24 he will only improve and Steve Mcclaren is an attack minded coach. Finally there is that soundbite "have Newcastle fans got new hero" heard early in most seasons.
David Silva/Raheem Sterling
Reports of a virus in the squad, along with a road trip on a Monday evening to a Tony Pulis team doesn't appeal. But If Kun is fit the trio of Silva, Sterling and Kun will cause any side major problems. City will likely dominate the possession and territory racking up phantom points for the duo. Wait on any available team news with this one.
Rooney is not a 30 league goals a season player for me and not really a 20 league goal a season player based on history. What does do is enjoy playing Tottenham with 8 goals in his last 9 against them.
He has lost penalty duties to Mata but has no competition currently for the forwards position. Wayne unless ill or injured will play the full 90 minutes unlike many of his rivals this week.
Theo is classed as a forward in both Fantrax and Togga BOOOOOOOOO. Week 1 though Walcott looks very likely to take the Arsenal forward starting role. We may not get the classic out of position player here but I still think he is a great pick for week 1 against a fragile looking West Ham United back line.
A gut pick this one. The fixture is terrible. Stoke are not only a great home crowd but enjoy bringing the big boys back to earth. Further they smashed the living daylights out of Liverpool on the final day.
It's just you don't often see teams smash up teams back to back do you? James Milner will give more energy to the midfield to match up against Stokes hustle but perhaps the key part is the missing Ryan Shawcross. Shawcross is well suited to facing forwards whose style is that of brute aggression and the aerial game. I'm not seeing a Stokie center back handling big ben in his absence.
I also don't see a Liverpool defence keeping a clean sheet so the reds may need a couple of goals and Brendan Rodgers sides are always attack minded.
Watford look half decent when in possession and Everton have history struggling at home against the league's smaller sides. Lukaku, John Stones, Miralles and Gerard Deulofeu are big doubts and they are key players for the Toffees. I'm not saying Watford win this or even get a point but I do think they score and Deeney is the obvious one to look at. He is captain, on penalties and is a big game player for them. I also think with his history he may just make a little more of his opportunity than others may and I like him to do well this week.
Seeing both Alexis Sanchez and Kun Aguero in training has me wondering whether they may play a part in week 1. Could Kun even start? Diego Costa and King Troll are both out of my picks as hamstring strains are not to be underestimated.