Whilst we wait for this week’s launch to be confirmed, the Official Fantasy Premier League game has released a few selected player prices. Let stake a look.
Paul Pogba 8.0m
Priced to tempt that’s for sure. After a disappointing opening season back at Manchester United I’m expecting more from the world’s most expensive player this time around.
In 2016/17 at times Pogba was asked to operate a little deeper in the United formation, reducing his effectiveness. When he did get forward he showed glimpses of potential but too often lacked end product. If pre-season formations tell us Pogba is to play further forward in an attacking midfield role behind Romelu Lukaku, then I think he could out perform a few midfield players of higher value. Certainly Uniteds very kind set of opening fixtures should see us cover their attack somewhere. With Lukaku likely to be priced very high is his good mate that may get into my first squad draft.
Dwight Gayle 6.5m
Gayle was in a few fantasy players minds prior to game launch. The hope and expectation was he would be the cheap 3rd forward in a front line of expensive choices. While he provided goals in the Championship it remains a big question as to whether he can continue providing them in the more demanding Premier League.
After the tricky opening day against Tottenham he does have a tempting set of opening fixtures. Huddersfield, West Ham United, Swansea , Stoke and Brighton all follow before hosting Liverpool. That is a pretty nice run of games and while I think he is overpriced, he could tempt if I have some money left over.
Dele Alli 9.5m
Alli has been great for back to back seasons and with Harry Kane thought to be price at around 13m, Alli has been priced to give you an alternative.
I can see many a Fantasy player thinking they will pick up Alli over Kane and reinvest the extra few million into their squad. It’s a perfect sense move when you add in the influence of Spurs playing at Wembley and Kane’s August goals scoring trouble of the past. It’s just Kane has become a player I’m worried about not having initially. He is also a player that is difficult to fund bringing in if he starts on fire and I don’t want to double up on Spurs until I see how they adapt. I want to pick Kane, but I want to pick Alli with that discount, clever pricing by FPL for grrrrrrrr.
Alexandre Lacazette 10.5m
Lacazette looks a player who will score fantasy points and Arsenal have a nice enough opening set of fixtures if they can hit the ground running.
His price is a little high for someone just joining the league and doesn’t come here as a proven player at international level. If Alexis Sanchez stays, I think his value is better but should the Gunner star player leave then I think Lacazette will need broad shoulders straight away to score the goals in the Gunners attack. That’s a whole lot of expectation and resulting pressure for any player. One factor that attracts me is the lack of Champions League football this season. We have seen in the last two years not having it can mean a side can focus on fielding their strongest starting 11 for every league game. Lacazettes certain to start and his penalty duties may balance my concerns out. Sensible plan will be to wait and see how he starts but a hot preseason can change things for me.
Joshua King 7.5m
First he loses his focal point in attack to Jermain Defoe (likely), he loses penalties to Defoe (certainly) and he is now classified as a forward rather than the out of position midfield choice he was in 2016/17. I’m not convinced he can replicate his form from early 2017 either. For 7.5m I’m out.
Tom Heaton 5m
Last season’s must have keeper goes up in value. If he can play as well in 2017/18 he will be in the England World Cup squad and will become a January transfer target to bigger clubs.
He will still need to make plenty of saves but I think one of two Premier League side will figure out how to approach Burnley at home this season. When you add they have lost their star central defender I don’t like Heaton’s asking price, even if I understand it.
Anthony Knokaert 6m
We all love looking for bargains from the promoted teams to fill our bench or save money for more glamourous signings.
Knokaert provided 15 goals and 8 assists in the promotion season and seems certain to start for Brighton. I still feel he is a touch overpriced but I have enjoyed watching him. Knokaert strikes me as a player who may take to the EPL, I just wish he was 5.5m
A word of warning as the arrival of Pascal Gross could affect matters. Gross produced 98 key passes in the Bundesliga last season playing in a relegated team. He may play the no10 role and depending on his price, perhaps Gross may be better value.
Cesc Fabregas 7m
Cesc can be a brilliant player, just too good to be sat on a bench most weeks and as was in 2016/17. With those bench duties, few if any fantasy managers will spend 7m on him, but 2017/18 may be different.
First his form late in the Championship winning season may see he challenge for a first team spot. Second, Chelsea have Champions League to deal with and we could see Cesc rotate in midfield covering the Premier League side of the fixtures. Selecting him is a gamble and at 7m you don’t want to gamble with starting status or do you?
Christian Benteke 8m
Benteke is a reliable scorer of Premier League goals and his 8m price tags reflects that.
The arrival of Frank De Boer could see Crystal Palace play a more possession based style. With less fast breaks and less crosses into the box that would reduce Bentekes appeal, as would any sign he is not first choice penalty taker.
What he does have is some nice fixtures with an opening home game against Huddersfield very tempting, followed by Liverpool (a), Swansea (H), Burnley (a) and Southampton (h).
Davy Klaassen 7.5m
Long term this player smacks of a fantasy favourite to come.
The former Ajax man scored 14 league goals and assisted 9 times last season. The attacking midfield player could be a set piece option but with Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney on the pitch he may have to wait his turn. Klaasen is known for his tendancy to drive his team forward and his late runs into the box is the stuff of fantasy hotshots.
The opening day game against Burnley is perfect to get a fast start but the fixtures are a nightmare from then on. Maybe Koemanns side will play them with freedom and cause some upsets. Klaasen and Rooney are serial winners and the Toffees may have a little more steel in them in the big games.
With all the new signings and that opening run of fixtures the sensible play to watch his Impact, problem is sometimes I don’t follow my own advice.
Thomas Ince 6m
A talented young player who failed to grasp his first Premier League chance is a little older and a little better a player this time around. He is a very attack minded player who in the early weeks will likely be at his most positive. Couple issues I have, first once again with no proof he can perform at this level I think he is overpriced. Second he is starting at yet one more new club. Finally, Huddersfield seem to be trying to but a whole new team in the summer. Not only have they got to try and marry these players together as a team/in a theory of play in 3-4 weeks but they likely will have to deal with a number of players who got them promoted facing the bench and the dressing room issue that can bring. It’s not as if they are bringing in only player’s with EPL experience and for all of those reasons I’m out.
Harry Maguire 5m
Harry was a good fantasy option last season for less money but a tough set of opening fixtures will put me off the price tag.
Mohamed Salah 9m
Salah will suit the Klopp style of player and he had great stats in Serie A last season. Still for a player who didn’t get it done in his first EPL chance and In a side full of attacking options filling his space, 9m is too high for me. I can get Alli for 9.5m you know!
Leroy Sane 8.5m
Sane started 2016/17 slow but finished t looking like Peps key attacking player. He offered the balance to their attack and raw pace that saw him progress well in his first season. European adventures and Peps tendency to rotate worry come September but with a great set of opening fixtures he may be the best value in the City attack to start the season.
Nathan Redmond 6.5m
Redmond had his good days in the 2016/17 season but there were too few of them. 4 home fixtures in the opening 5 games catches the eye. A new manager though muddy the waters and like too many of the prices so far I think he may be a .5m or 1m overpriced. Still should he prove himself a first team regular in preseason then I will want Saints coverage early.
Manuel Lanzini 7m
Lanzizi seemed to take well in chief creator role when Payet left last season but he didn’t match it with consistent FPL points. 2 goals and no assist in the final 10 fixtures makes the price jump more about potential than anything else. Lanzini eneded the season on 5.9m and add in the lack of output once more make his price a little too much.
Fernando Llorente – 7.5m
4 goals in his final 5 games of 2016/17 and 15 I total for a side that just stayed up is pretty eye-catching. 4 double goal hauls shows his potential for explosive weeks. If Siggy stays which looks a big ask right now then I think we have a forward perfectly priced. Just expensive enough to put others off while just cheap enough for the potential returns in a Swansea side that should be better this season. It’s that Siggy thought that the only issue. The move to Everton is the type of deal that could happen after the opening day. I wouldn’t want to hold Llorente with Siggy sold on Monday 30th July without knowing I have a forward of equal offering for the same price.
So how do you see the opening player prices? Are they over or under priced and are any now certain to be in your draft squads?