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NMA’s Pre-Season Roundup

A summer’s worth of news and analysis, all collated into a single source.

Chelsea Unveil New Signing Kai Havertz - Premier League
The third act of Frank Lampard’s attacking triple-play, Kai Havertz looks set to transform Chelsea’s offense into one of the league’s best this season.
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

With the opening fixtures of the English Premier League’s 2020-21 campaign just days away, it’s crunch time. Fantasy football managers are frantically searching out transfer news, projected lineups, injury reports, player recommendations, sample squads, etc. in order to gain an advantage over their mini-league rivals.

To help simplify that process, we’ve organized all of our pre-season content into one location for you. We’ve even tacked on our thoughts on some of the more significant transfers that didn’t receive individual articles.

You’re welcome!


FPL Guides

How to Beat Your Rivals

NMA’s FPL Mini-League


Fantrax Guide

NMA’s Fantrax Mini-Leagues


Fixture/Season Analysis

Early Fixture Thoughts

10 Questions for the Upcoming Season

Staff Predictions for 2020-21


Positional Recommendations

Best Goalkeepers

Best Defenders

Best Midfielders

Best Forwards


Rate My Team

Rate My GW 1 FPL Team

Rate My GW 1 Fantrax Team


Promoted Clubs

Leeds United


West Brom


Spotlights/Scouting Reports

Timo Werner

Hakim Ziyech

William Saliba

Aaron Ramsdale

Adam Lallana



Other Notable Transfers

Gabriel Magalhaes: Transferred to Arsenal for £27M. Will partner with Saliba to further strengthen Arsenal’s defense and allow Mikel Arteta to cashier some of the deadwood in his squad. Gabriel is left-footed, so he’s a perfect partner for the right-footed Saliba. And as a ball-playing center-half he fits the style of football that Arteta wants to play. Standing 6’ 2”, he’ll help 6’ 4” Saliba dominate opposing forwards.

Thiago Silva: To Chelsea from PSG on a free transfer. Once one of the best center-halves in the world, the seasoned veteran is now 35 years old and in the twilight of his professional football career. He made just 25 appearances in each of the last two full seasons prior to Ligue 1’s pandemic-attenuated 2019-20 campaign. He’ll add steel, experience, and leadership to the Blues back line, but the EPL is much more physically demanding than the French league, so it will be tough for the aging legend to stay fit and feature in every match.

Ben Chillwell: Transferred to Chelsea from Leicester for £45M. He’s a left-back who defends better than Emerson and fills the role of a “modern” high-pressing fullback better than Alonso. Already accustomed to life in the Prem, he’ll arrive at Stamford Bridge ready to start over both of them.

Kai Havertz: Transferred to Chelsea for £70M, the final piece of Frank Lampard’s summer transfer triple-play of offensive players. Primarily an attacking middie but can play anywhere across the front. I’d expect him to mostly line up as a No. 10, but he can also fill in for any of the forwards. The 21 year-old has amassed 36 goals and 25 assists over 118 Bundesliga appearances, so he looks primed for stardom in the EPL. The only question will be (as it always is), how long will it take him to adjust to the English game?

Matt Doherty: Transferred from Wolves to Spurs for £15M. José Mourinho doesn’t rate Serge Aurier, and Doherty will be his solution. Doherty’s defensive stats are not all that different from Aurier’s, but he is injury-resistant and a much more disciplined tackler. In attack, the two players are very different. Whereas Aurier typically bombs down the flank and pumps in crosses, Doherty’s trademark is to cut inside for intricate passing in the central areas of the final third. A much stronger goal threat than Aurier, Doherty’s fantasy value will depend on Mou allowing him the freedom to exploit his attacking instincts rather than shackling him in the name of defensive safety.

Timothy Castagne: Transferred to Leicester for £50M. Brought in to replace the gap left by Ben Chilwell, he’s primarily a right back but can play on either side, just like James Justin. Therefore it will probably be Luke Thomas who gets relegated to the bench.

Donny van de Beek: Transferred to Manchester United for £40M. A box-to-box midfielder that some have compared to Frank Lampard, he can also play as a No. 10. He will not displace Bruno, who is now the undisputed conductor of United’s orchestra. But he adds crucial squad depth and could line up as a third midfielder instead of Pogba or Matic when OGS needs more teeth in the attack. Fun fact: he dates Dennis Bergkamp’s daughter.

Kyle Walker-Peters: Transferred to Southampton for £12M, KWP looks set to start at right back for the Saints, and he’s priced attractively both in FPL and in Fantrax.

Rodrigo: Transferred to Leeds for £26M. He normally plays as a No. 10 but is expected to line up as a striker for Leeds United. More of a creative force than a goal-scoring threat, look for him to produce via assists and bonus points more than goals. A club-record signing, you can bank on him to start as long as he’s fit.

Callum Wilson: Transferred to Newcastle for £20M. A seasoned and proven EPL striker, Wilson will add much-needed end-product to the Magpies’ attack.

Ryan Fraser: Joined Newcastle as a free agent. The signing of his friend and former teammate Wilson was instrumental in sealing his decision. The Toon Army will hope the two can now recreate their productive partnership at St. James Park.

Jamal Lewis: Transferred to Newcastle for £15M, he’ll probably start over Javier Manquillo, but clean sheets could be scarce until Martin Dubravka returns.

Allan: Transferred to Everton for £22M. Not likely to be a significant fantasy asset, but will add steely resolve to the Toffee’s CDM role.

James Rodriguez: Transferred to Everton for £20M. He oozes talent and won the Golden Boot in the 2014 World Cup. But he’s also an assist machine who should significantly amplify the fantasy value of DCL and Richarlison, especially with Allan taking care of business behind him.

Abdoulaye Doucouré: Transferred to Everton for £20M. The former Watford middie will bring energy and physicality to the side, and he’ll chip in with goals and assists too. He is the final piece of Carlo Ancelotti’s total midfield restoration project, so you can probably kiss the fantasy value of players like Andre Gomez and Gylfi Sigurdsson goodbye.

David Button: Transferred to West Brom for an undisclosed fee. Mentioned just to make sure you’re aware that he is no longer Matt Ryan’s back-up.


Pre-Season Friendlies

Sky Sports



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NMA-17 Fantrax League

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NMA-11 Fantrax League

NMA-11 limits you to exactly 11 players, no subs. However, you may choose from a range of allowed formations.

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The Never Manage Alone “BTB” (“Beat the Bloggers”) league has been automatically renewed, so if you were a member last season, there should be no need for you to do anything (except buying your initial roster of course).

If you are new to the league, first set up your account and pick a squad. You can do so by visiting the Official FPL site and registering. Then you can join by clicking on “Leagues” and then “Private Leagues.”

League Name: Never Manage Alone “BTB”

League Code: btojt9


How are your squads shaping up? Are your teams settled, or are you still re-jiggering? Any cheeky game-week 1 players you’re eyeing? Any popular players you’re avoiding? Please join us in the Comments and let us know!