The Premier League finally returned, and it has not disappointed one bit! Five million fantasy managers must have enjoyed the high scoring opening week. Those who misjudged your players: Don’t worry, that is where NMA jumps in to guide you along the journey every week and provide the best possible players to scout.
The coming week could be tricky; we have a few fixtures that could put players in tough spots. This time, fantasy managers must navigate obstacles and gamble, because big games such as Manchester City facing Spurs entail risk, while Man United’s trip to Wolves can also be something to think twice about, and of course, Liverpool winning the Super Cup against Chelsea in Istanbul is another factor to ponder.
As much as possible, let’s focus on maximum points to climb the fantasy league table against rivals. Here are the picks to help you:
Adrain (£4.5, Liverpool v Southampton)
What a fairy-tale story this Spaniard has had, from joining Liverpool for free in the final week of the transfer window to becoming the hero for the Reds in Istanbul.
Due to Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper Allison facing a calf injury, Adrian should benefit and play more minutes than expected. Having him in the team definitely helps managers put cash in the bank and possibly grab more points since we all know how solid Liverpool is at the back. Southampton scoring goals doesn’t sound so appealing anyway.
Caveat: Adrian bruised his ankle during the post-cup victory celebration, so watch late news for his prognosis. If he is ruled out, then either Caoimhin Kelleher or Andy Lonergan would deputize, making him the candidate for a punt.
Mat Ryan (£4.5, Brighton v West Ham)
Brighton’s goalkeeper didn’t really have much to do against disappointing Watford last week, but did make a couple of genius saves that made him one point less than United’s De Gea from topping the position chart. I don’t see West Ham’s attackers creating too much trouble, so clean sheet number two is very much possible.
Lucas Digne (£6.0, Everton v Watford)
Digne may sound a bit pricey, but the Frenchmen has an assist or two under his belt, and since Everton looks relatively stronger in defense this season, Watford will have a tough time to break loose. Plus, Digne is always ready to take set-pieces, which is always a plus.
Lewis Dunk (£4.5, Brighton v West Ham)
Dunk could be a surprisingly popular choice this week due to an opening day assist, clean sheet and maximum bonus points against Watford. He can provide more points against West Ham, and having fixtures such as Southampton and Burnley in the next four game weeks is very appealing.
Enda Stevens (£5.0, Sheffield United v Crystal Palace)
Sheffield had the best defensive record in Championship but yes, the Premier League is another level altogether. Enda Stevens has thrived in the left wing back role for this team, and Palace lack goals up front, so this defender can likely gain a clean sheet and surprising bonus points.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£5.0, Arsenal v Burnley)
The Gunners’ very own academy cadet impressed despite a dull-looking Arsenal, providing a brilliant assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal. He has possible clean sheet chance and assists potential.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0, Liverpool v Southampton)
Do I really need to talk about this player? Yes, he is pricey but totally worth it. The fullback provided 13 assists last season, and he already has another in during the opening game against Norwich. He played for only half an hour against Chelsea on Wednesday, so expect him to deliver in Southampton.
John McGinn (£5.5, Aston Villa v Bournemouth)
McGinn’s super strike against Spurs was no fluke, it was pure quality. He can be a budget gem, and with Bournemouth’s weak defence at Villa Park this weekend, the Scottish international will likely put in another strong showing in the middle of the park.
Richarlison (£8.0, Everton v Watford)
Brazilian Richarlison showed signs of great talent last term; expect him to do the same against a disappointing Watford. The Merseyside club will look to take advantage of such poor form, so expect Richarlison to be in the spotlight.
Anthony Martial (£7.6, Man United v Wolves)
In an impressive performance against Chelsea last week, the Frenchmen got hold of his previous number nine role and also was superb on the left side. Expect him to deliver a decent performance and remain consistent. Wolves are tricky, but a gamble on this player is worth a shot with a relatively good price.
Riyad Mahrez (£8.5, Manchester City v Spurs)
Of course, Raheem Sterling will be everywhere in the world of fantasy, but Mahrez is someone who can also deliver points. With Sane out for a while with an injury, expect the Algerian to play more minutes. Facing Spurs is a tough call, but everybody knows how City can dominate and score goals at home.
Mason Mount (£6.0, Chelsea v Leicester)
Mount has shown a glimpse of his talent, and he seems fantastic on the ball. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knows him well, so this midfielder is likely to start. He has an attack-minded approach and never resists taking a shot. Expect Mount to be the surprise package against a tough Leicester side.
Sadio Mane (£11.5, Liverpool v Southampton)
What should I tell you about Mane? Every fantasy manager or even a neutral fan knows what he can do. He was subbed off during the Chelsea game and will start against a weak Southampton, so just choose him and enjoy the flying points he provides.
Ashley Barnes (£6.5, Burnley v Arsenal)
Barnes is in superb form lately. The Burnley striker’s two goals against Southampton showed his creative ability to put the ball inside the net. At just £6.5, he could be a difference maker.
Teamu Pukki (£6.5, Norwich v Newcastle)
Norwich have the perfect opportunity to start a run of winning form against Newcastle. Expect Emiliano Buendia to supply Teemu Pukki who displayed a fantastic performance in netting at Anfield.
Sergio Aguero (£12.0, Man City v Spurs)
Every fantasy manager loves how consistently Aguero bags so many points. City have a tough match against Spurs, but the Argentinian has had a record of scoring 10 goals in 13 appearances. Rested much of the opening game, he netted a penalty after coming off the bench. Expect him to score and maybe provide an assist because this game will be full of goals.
Due to tricky fixtures coming up this weekend, this is the list of players one can consider having in the team. Yes, mega-superstars are not mentioned over here such as Sterling, Kane or Salah; they’re too obvious. Is there someone else you expect to deliver? Please share what you have in mind in the comments section below!