We’re back with our first FPL Player Picks article of the 2022-23 campaign! The season is just ‘round the corner, so here are some potentials for your FPL teams. This week will see much tinkering from fantasy managers as we try to cram as many premium assets into our sides as we can, forcing us to balance budgets with some speculative bargains. FPL is of course a marathon and not a sprint, but getting off to a good start can set the tone for the season, so balancing the wider view with a big score in GW-1 is vital.
Nick Pope (£5.0, NEW vs NOT): Pope looks like a great bit of business. Joining from relegated Burnley, he’s a differential at currently less than 5% ownership. He’s a proven Premier League player, and new-ambition Newcastle faces newly-promoted Nottingham Forest.
Édouard Mendy (£5.0, EVE vs CHE): Another mid-priced goalkeeper who looks good value going into the season. First up for Chelsea is an Everton side that struggled last season and narrowly avoided relegation, not to mention the Toffees lost their best attacker when Richarlison defected to Spurs.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5, FUL vs LIV): TAA goes into the 2022-23 season as the most-owned FPL defender. Too risky to leave out against a promoted Fulham team, he has a fabulously high ceiling, picking up points at both ends of the pitch. And he will be confident in front of goal after netting in the victory over Man City in the Community Shield on Saturday.
Kieran Trippier (£5.0, NEW vs NOT): Trippier had a flying start to his Newcastle career last season, but an opponent stepped on his foot, breaking a bone — He didn’t start again until the final weekend. Tripper offers great points potential due to his set piece delivery, and he also has clean-sheet potential, especially with Pope between the sticks and new defenders in the back line.
Ivan Perisic (£5.5, TOT vs SOU): Tottenham’s new-boy is an experienced player and is expected to start in Tottenham’s midfield. Perisic started for Spurs in Saturday’s preseason match against Roma and looked a real attacking threat. He should also be in line for some clean-sheet points thanks to Conte’s defensive prowess. He could see his minutes managed as he continues his return to full fitness from injury, but he only needs 60 minutes of pitch time to lock in those CS points.
Mo Salah (£13.0, FUL vs LIV): It’s a bold and risky choice to spurn Salah. His stats speak for themselves. He is proven, and he has contributed to Liverpool opening game-week goals in each of his five seasons (7 goals, 2 assists). A fixture against a newly promoted side looks too tasty to turn down. Luis Diaz also offers a viable route into the Reds’ front line and is a full £5.0 cheaper.
Son Heung-Min (£12.0, TOT vs SOU): Son’s price rise now means it’s hard to fit him in if you also want any of the other premiums, but he’s worth his weight in gold if you can. Son scored in the opening game last season and went onto to bag 23 goals and get 7 assists; including a goal at home to Southampton last year.
James Maddison (£8.0, LEI vs BRE): Maddison had a terrific end to last season, notching four goals plus three assists in his last four games. He carries a high-ceiling and will be boosted by the fact that Jamie Vardy is fit and looking sharp, someone who will benefit from Maddison’s creativity.
Leon Bailey (£5.0, BOU vs AST): Bailey comes in as our outsider pick, but he has been turning heads during preseason with his attacking flair, nabbing three goals plus a couple assists. Bailey should be in line to start for Villa in one of their attacking midfield roles against a newly promoted side. He’s fantastically affordable, but we could soon see his price rise.
Harry Kane (£11.5, TOT vs SOU): Kane doesn’t need much introduction but he faces stiff competition in the premium slot from Man City’s new boy, Erling Haaland. Both players will probably be up for the Golden Boot by the end of the season. But Kane looks well-placed to get off the mark with a home fixture against Southampton, while Haaland faces a tougher task away at West Ham.
Gabriel Jesus (£8.0, CRY vs ARS): The highest-owned player in the game (69%) and looks keen to prove himself as the main man at Arsenal. Jesus was priced before his transfer pulled him out of Pep Roulette to make him now one of the first names on Arsenal’s team-sheet. And he has already settled in well, banging in the goals for fun during pre-season, including a hattrick against Sevilla in the Emirates Cup.
Callum Wilson (£7.5, NEW vs NOT): Completing our Newcastle trio, Wilson should pick up where he left off last season — He bagged himself a brace on the final day, and now he should benefit from Tripper’s return. Wilson scored eight goals last term after missing half half of it. He’s a real differential at less than 3% ownership.
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What do you make of our picks this game-week? Which premiums do you have? Which have you abandoned? Any differentials? Please join us in the comments below.