Game week one
Your initial team selection is always a headache. You end up second guessing yourself at every turn and swapping players in and out for weeks. For my team this year I set my team up for a few weeks so that if bandwagons or must haves appear then I have the flexibility to get any players I may need. For the opening game week I have opted for a 3-4-3 formation. The way I approached this was after selecting my core, I analysed the players available with my budget and created what is my most researched team to date. Below I’ll be listing the players and the reasoning behind them being in my team.
One of the first names on my team sheet. Look in to the stats; West Brom had the fourth best clean sheets last season and I expect them to improve on that. Pulis plays that way and despite it being frustrating to watch as a fan, for fantasy points it’s great. With our opening games a must have for me at a bargain price.
Based on opening games and the new manager I did have Valencia in my team. Even though Valencia might outscore Shaw early on I do think Shaw is safer from rotation and after a few games Valencia might be replaced. They both have an attacking threat and are worth a spot in my team.
A one week punt from the champions. Opted for him over Morgan because he might have more of an attacking threat. If Williams is fit or Kone signs they will replace him next week but if neither is an option Simpson can happily stay in my team till one of them is fit.
The new City man is their cheapest route in to their defence. I think he will start and with their opening games he could rack up early points. I can always replace him if he’s dropped or if City struggle to keep clean sheets. One to watch.
After a conversation with Callum Smith I looked in to his stats and positioning and he was straight in to my team. I always liked him at the Blues and Norwich and my thinking is that with better players around him and a positioning higher up the pitch; Nathan is a punt that if he doesn’t pay off I can easily replace him.
A last minute addition to my team after reading what Pardew said about his new player. He was full of praise and that in addition to him form at the end of the season with Newcastle and preseason with Palace; he looks the real deal. Has great fixtures and the toughest of those is again Spurs (his former employers) another that should start well.
My premium midfielder spot has a lot of completion. I wanted Firmino and Alexis as mentioned but Eden get is due to his summer form at the Euros and the fact he has played up top in preseason. Be it wide or centrally with West Ham, Watford, Burnley and Swansea in the first four games he could start with a bang.
I had Lukaku in my team as soon as I saw the fixtures but with the rumours of him moving elsewhere and not really being ready to start the season I needed an alternative. I opted for Gerard over Barkley who I was also considering due to his preseason form and the fact that Koeman has said he could be deployed as a forward.
As much as Zlatan excites me and as happy as I am to see him in the league I do believe for that price Kane come the end of the season will outscore him points wise. But with United having such attractive opening fixtures (the hardest being the derby) meant he will start the season for me and has been in my team since the start with Aguero.
Jamie was a last minute change yesterday; the one player I was tweeting about. I originally had Alexis in my team due to the fact he could be playing up front and on his day is a must have. But I changed him for Vardy because of the opening fixtures. He plays Hull, Arsenal (who he was linked with and turned down), Swansea and Burnley in the first five games. A must have for me. As much as I said I wasn’t going to gamble early on Vardy is my captain this week because Hull have a depleated squad and I hope he can run riot in the early kick off.
The first name on my team sheet and for most others. He can be gold as long as he stays fit and with the attraction of Pep now being in charge; I am expecting him to not only maintain but also improve on his form for the past two seasons. He is also a solid captain pick all season long. He was my captain for this opening week since I saw the fixtures but for the reasons above I made the change last minute.
An honourable mention goes to Terry, Alexis, Firmino & Kane who I wanted in my team and who had been in their at some point.