There’s a lot of different ways to approach those goalkeeper spots on your FPL roster. Some folks settle on a scrub and a starter and let things ride. Others like to rotate between two starters. And others like to shop for a new netminder based on weekly match-ups. Similarly, some view the position as a place to save money, while others happily lavish cash on their GKs.
Regardless of your favored strategy, you won’t succeed if you don’t pick the right players. To help you do that, we’ve identified the best FPL goalies in each price bracket.
£4.0-4.5 (by David Brian)
At the £4.0 price point, most of us are just looking to save as much money as possible on a keeper that we will earmark for the bench. Don’t try to be clever here by gambling on someone you think will start. The options are either not talented enough to trust, or not nailed-on enough to trust (at least until the season begins and we start to see some S11s).
So keep it simple.
David Button (BRI) ticks all of your bench-fodder boxes, but unlike most of his bargain-bin peers, he is only a Mathew Ryan (£4.5) injury away from starting for a solid defensive unit. That makes pairing these two teammates an inexpensive set-and-forget strategy: Make Ryan your default starter, and if he gets hurt simply sub him for his deputy, no transfers required. Post-publication edit: Button has now joined West Brom, where he will begin the season as a back-up to Sam Johnstone. You will now need to figure out which of Brighton’s other GKs ascends to the #2 spot on the depth chart if you want to play the Ryan/backup approach.
Stepping up to £4.5, the aforementioned Ryan is among the cream of the crop. Last season he registered more points, clean sheets, saves and bonus points than any other GK at that price point. In second place in all those categories is Alex McCarthy (SOU, £4.5), although on a per-game basis the stats for the two netminders were very much the same. If you prefer active management over the fire-and-forget Ryan/Button package, then rotating between Ryan and McCarthy is a great option. Here are their fixtures over the first nine game-weeks:
GK Rotation: Ryan/McCarthy
|||GW 1||GW 2||GW 3||GW 4||GW 5||GW 6||GW 7||GW 8||GW 9|
|||GW 1||GW 2||GW 3||GW 4||GW 5||GW 6||GW 7||GW 8||GW 9|
You’ll need to figure out what to do in GW 10, when Ryan welcomes Liverpool at the same time that McCarthy hosts Manchester United. You could either burn a transfer to bring in a GK with a better match-up, or you could sit tight and hope for save points. At least you’d have nine weeks of performances to inform your decision. Otherwise, pairing these two £4.5 stoppers is an approach that should pay dividends for the entire first quarter of the season.
Another option I’ll mention at £4.5 is Emiliano Martinez (ARS, £4.5). Arsenal’s man between the sticks for the entirety of Project Restart, he racked up more saves than any other goalkeeper over that period, keeping three clean sheets. Bernd Leno’s return to fitness will now inject some uncertainty into Arsenal’s GK picture, but Mikel Arteta may have tipped his hand by giving the nod to Martinez for the Community Shield. With William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes adding further reinforcement to a defense that Arteta had already begun to stiffen, Martinez could be a compelling £4.5 option if he can continue to hold Leno at bay.
£5.0 (by Paul Duckworth)
The picks at this price-point are a bit limited currently (due to injuries and uncertainty of selection). As we’ve seen so far in this article, there is real value in the lower price-point. The best option here at the moment is the former Bournemouth goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United). Ramsdale was kept busy last season with the relegated Bournemouth, making the 3rd most saves in the league (120) as well as 3rd most bonus points among goalkeepers (16). He now moves to a defensively-minded Sheffield United side as their number 1, with Dean Henderson having moved back to Old Trafford.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal) would’ve been the best of the bunch at this price-point, but he missed the last 8 games of the 2019-20 season with a knee injury. As mentioned in the £4.0-£4.5 section, he wasn’t overly missed, deputy Emiliano Martinez impressing in his absence. There is now a real uncertainty about who will start the new season. Should Leno start, he would be a viable option as he’s a strong keeper playing in an ever-improving Arsenal side. Last season, Leno had the 2nd highest saves percentage.
Although Crystal Palace were in torrid form during the restart, shot-stopper Vicente Guaita ended the season with some respectable figures. After Nick Pope, Guaita amassed the next most bonus points (16) and a respectable 10 clean-sheets. Apart from a couple of difficult matches, Crystal Palace are one of the sides having the best opening ten fixtures.
£5.5-6.0 (by Prakhar Patel)
To begin with, this is not a price range I am a fan of personally, as it just ties up too much cash you can play with so much better elsewhere. It makes little sense to spend the extra cash when the top scoring goalie in FPL at the end of every season is usually from the likes of Fabianski or Pope etc. Although, if you’re someone who loves a premium shot-stopper and wants to forget about it for the entire season, here are a few decent options.
Nick Pope ( Burnley, £5.5)
This guy needs little explanation. He was the top scoring GK last season with a whopping 170 points. Only Ederson kept more clean sheets, with Pope scoring most bonus points among shot-stoppers at the end of the season.
You can always count on Burnley’s defensive rigidness and Pope’s incredible save points potential for FPL. They have a mixed bag of fixtures at the beginning of the season until GW7, but they do improve remarkably after that. His current price is a result of his performances over the past two seasons, but he is still cheaper and a better option overall than the likes of Alisson and Ederson in my opinion.
Hugo Lloris ( Tottenham, £5.5)
Spurs kept eight clean sheets last season with seven of them coming after the appointment of Jose Mourinho. I fully expect that sort of defensive form again this season with a really favorable set of opening fixtures. He was also scoring a lot of points on the bonus points system towards the end of last season.
Lloris performed considerably well since the restart by scoring 47 FPL points in those final nine game-weeks, bettered by only Ederson at 51 — though Manchester City played one game more.
He is a solid pick among the premium goalkeepers and plays for a Mourinho side which generally means a lot of clean sheets throughout the course of the season.
Ederson (£6.0m) and Alisson (£6.0m) are the only two goalkeepers in that price range, but it is really hard to justify spending that much cash with there being so many better options at lower prices. The lack of save points and a far less potential to score bonus points are some of the major drawbacks of going for goalkeepers from the top clubs.
What is your favorite GK strategy? Do you rotate, or do you fire and forget? Do you splash the cash, or do you save funds to spend elsewhere? Who are your top FPL GK picks for 2020-21? Please vote in the poll and then share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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