Do you forget about Fantasy Premier League 3 weeks into the season and give up competing with your mates in your mini-league? Then this is the article for you.
If you want more potential GW1 squads, review of the new FPL players, starting XI predictions and more, check out our extensive 2018/19 FPL Guide:
The Whole Season Team
If you’re gonna forget about FPL early on, you best come prepared
“Yusuf’s Team” won Fantasy Premier League last season, with 2512 points, but if you had picked out this team at the start of the season, you’d end up with 2560 points without doing a single change!
Total Cost (Start of season): £100m
2401 points from the starters, 143 points coming off the bench and 16 sweet Vice Captain points from Mahrez in the two gameweeks Salah didn’t play. No Triple Captain, no Bench Boost, no Wildcards, no nothing. It would still be more than enough to win every league you’re in, overall included.
So what can we do to re-create this magical formula and win everything there is to win in FPL? Let’s go through this 17/18 FPL Champion squad, player by player and see if we can find their 18/19 counterparts!
17/18 GKs: Pope (Elliot)
Last year was kind of an anamoly and I think the perfect storm of the unknown Pope taking over from an injured Heaton and having a £4.0 GK to start the season won’t be repeated. It wasn’t the highest scoring GK pair however. Pairing De Gea with any £4.0 GK would have scored 10 more points, but would obviously cost more. I think we need to bite the bullet and spend the extra money to get a premium GK to take us through the season.
So how about De Gea? His price has gone up to £6.0, as the only goalkeeper to reach that mark in FPL. He had his best season ever last year, with a surprisingly high 115 saves. He had a terrible World Cup and probably won’t match his historic 17/18 season, but is he still the best GK option?
Neither Lloris, Courtois or Ederson needed to make many saves last season. Lloris had the most out of the three with 87 saves and even that was just 10th most in the whole league. They did rack up a lot of clean sheets however, with 15, 15 and 16 respectively. Not as many as De Gea however, who had the Golden Glove winning 18.
Jose Mourinho is no stranger to parking the bus and his teams get more clean sheets as a result. That will likely keep happening. We’ll go with De Gea.
None of the £4.0 GKs are all that interesting, but it won’t matter with De Gea playing from the get go. Hamer from Huddersfield has a history playing for Charlton, just like Nick Pope, so he gets the nod.
18/19 GKs: De Gea (Hamer)
17/18 Defenders: Azpilicueta, Otamendi, Davies, (Lascelles, Mariappa)
The defence is easier to replicate.
Azpilicueta is one of the most consistent players in FPL and he is priced like he always is at £6.5, so why not pick him this year as well?
He gets competition from teammate Alonso, who also costs £6.5, down from £7.0 last season. Some people have speculated that with Sarri introducing a back four, Alonso won’t be quite as effective or even nailed. That’s not necessarily true however. Assuming Sarri uses Alonso and Azpilicueta like he did Ghoulam and Hysaj in Napoli, Alonso is the one who will be getting forward and collecting points. For that reason, we’re getting Alonso.
Otamendi ended up being a certain starter for a top team, costing only £5.5. Now he’s worth £6.5 and out of the picture, but his new centre back partner Laporte is £5.5 and is their best centre back in my eyes. Pep Guardiola might not feel the same way and there is a better, more sure starter for £5.5 and you don’t have to travel far to find him.
Bailly was Jose Mourinho’s main man in defence to start last season, but a freak ankle injury and botched recovery hampered the rest of his season. When he returned, he didn’t get playing time as Mourinho tried to help out his other defenders prepare for the World Cup. This is probably why he’s only a £5.5 defender. He should be nailed on this year, unless Mourinho wants to ruin another promising talent.
Davies stood out as rampaging left-back last season, who chipped in with goals and assist when he got to play. The same could be said for Robertson, who took over a clear starting role later on in the season. He costs £0.5 more than Davies did, but in return, you get a more certain starter.
Lascelles chipped in whenever Davies didn’t play last season, and at least one good bench player is important if you want to keep the same team throughout the season. Lascelles was a nailed on £4.5 starter for a team supposed to battle relegation, but ended up safely in mid-table. Newcastle have been a mid-table team historically and so has Southampton, who have a sure starter for £4.5 in Cedric.
Cedric played as a wing-back in Mark Hughes’ new 3-4-3 system, which they likely will continue to trot out this season. Cedric’s is an offensive minded side-back, so this formation fits him. Even with his offensive tendencies, he had to wait a while for his first assist last season. At the end of the season, he added two more.
Our final bench spot is a cheapie, just like Mariappa last season. Many potential £4.0 defenders have come and gone, namely Bednarek, Peltier and Schelotto, but either through new signings, injury or not being nailed, they’ve all fallen through.
The only constant £4.0 defender through pre-season has been Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. They have consistently played with the same back four in pre-season, and Wan-Bissaka has slotted in at right back next to the other starters every time. After Roy Hogdson took over, Palace were solid defensively and with the promising Wan-Bissaka a sure starter, he is our final pick in defence.
18/19 Defenders: Alonso, Robertson, Bailly, (Cedric, Wan-Bissaka)
17/18 Midfielders: Salah, Sterling, Mahrez, Groß, (Milivojevic)
We won’t see another performance like Salah, especially not for £9.0.
So who could be our 18/19 version of Salah? Well.. Salah himself I guess, but he’s £13.0 this season. I have a cheaper candidate, who can feature as both our 18/19 version of Salah AND Sterling.
That man is Sané. Somehow left out of Germany’s World Cup squad, Sané has Ballon D’or potential. The 22 year old, pacey winger was fantastic for Man City last season, but still has another gear or two in him. If he reaches another level as a player, he will start in almost every match, even with Pep as manager. He has a good chance to impress at the start of the season, with de Bruyne, Mendy and Sterling coming back late from the World Cup giving him a better chance of starting right off the bat.
Speaking of Sterling, who exploded onto the scene after years of not quite maximizing his potential, only cost £8.0 at the start of last FPL season. The same could possibly be said a year from now about Pogba.
Pogba has all the talent in the world and could be doing a lot better than the 134 points he got last season. With the addition of Fred next to Matic, Man Utd have shored up their central midfield enough to let Pogba roam forward, which is where he becomes a dangerous Fantasy player. As long as the rumored tension between Pogba and Mourinho is only that, rumored, then Pogba will get close to 200 points, guaranteed.
Mkhitaryan for £7.0 is way too low. He broke onto the FPL scene to start last season, but got dropped quite quickly by Mourinho, who was never his biggest fan. Mkhitaryan’s connection with Aubameyang is well known and will be a great source of goals and assists for both of them. Arsenal players in general are underpriced, after a disappointing last season under Wenger. I even considered Leno in goal and Kolasinac for this defence, but defensively Arsenal still have a way to go. On their day offensively however, Arsenal might play the best offensive football of anyone outside of Man City.
Groß was the brightest star among the promoted teams and finding which newly promoted player to get, can give you an edge against your competition. There are some interesting players from Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff. Sessegnon is the most known out of all of them. One of the brightest young talents in the UK now playing on the wing after being a left back, similarly to Gareth Bale. Cardiff have some interesting defensive options, namely Morrison and Bamba in their backline. Neves from Wolverhampton was the player of the season in the Championship last season and is on set pieces, but as a defensive midfielder he’s won’t set the league on fire, even at £5.0.
I’d rather go with his teammate, Jota. Jota was Wolverhampton’s top scorer and while it was “only” 16 goals, they came from midfield, where he’s listed at £6.5. Only 21 years old, there is a lot of room to improve for the former Atletico Madrid prospect. He took the Championship by storm along with his teammates and Wolves have the best chance of succeeding in the Premier League.
The final pick for midfield, playing the Milivojevic role, is also someone from a promoted team. Cairney takes set pieces and quite possibly penalties for Fulham, which makes him very very interesting for only £5.0. After months of speculation about his departure, he newly signed a 5 year contract with Fulham, meaning he’ll stay and likely play every game for them. He’s not even a defensive midfielder like Neves, as he likes to go forward and play a killer through ball. He had 5 goals and 5 assists last season, despite some injury issues, but through a full season before that, he had 12 goals and 11 assists. I almost feel bad leaving him on the bench.
18/19 Midfielders: Sané, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Jota, (Cairney)
17/18 Forwards: Kane, Firmino, Vardy
Kane continues to produce goals, now even for England at the big stage. He thoroughly outscored the other premium strikers last year, in Lukaku and Aguero who were priced at £11.5 and £11.0 respectively. It wasn’t quite the monster season Kane had in 16/17, but it was pretty darn close, so Kane keeps his £12.5 price tag.
Lukaku and Aguero are now both priced at £11.0, but there is a third, new contender for the same price that we’ll go with as our main man this season, Aubameyang.
Brought in as Arsenal’s big January signing, Auba only got half a season in FPL, but made his mark instantly. He ended up with 10 goals and 4 assists for a pretty lackluster Arsenal team, which netted him 87 points in only 1056 minutes! Kane in comparison, got 3074 minutes, almost three times as much. Aubameyang had a higher points per match than Kane and with the same amount of playing time, he’d outscore him by some odd 40 points. Not bad for a £11.0 striker.
We’re not gonna get fancy when it comes to finding this season’s Firmino, because our 2nd forward is in fact Firmino himself. He’s still only £9.5, even after the outstanding year that made him the 2nd highest points getter among forwards. He really came into his own after Coutinho left, which bodes well for this season. Some regression from Salah is expected, which means Firmino has to step up and get some more game winning goals, because Liverpool will look to challenge Man City for the title.
Finally, we’re going with another player who impressed after Christmas. David Moyes wasn’t West Ham’s future as a manager, but he made a move that might help shape it; putting faith into Arnautovic as a striker. Looking like a flop before the Christmas period, Arnautovic ended up being West Ham’s player of the season. It wasn’t even close. New manager Pellegrini will likely play him in a striker partnership with Chicharito, so expect some more tasty assists from Arnie. He didn’t have a single goal or assists after 15 gameweeks last season! He still ended up 6th for all our current options at forward, more than Jesus, Zaha and Lacazette.
So that’s our best bet for 2018/19 FPL Team of the Season. Our captain will be Sané, who we are backing to have a breakout year and become one of Guardiola’s most trusted disciples. While I don’t expect him to come close to the season Salah just had, I wouldn’t be surprised if he passed the 229 points Sterling got. If Sané is ever benched, you can rest easy with Aubameyang as your vice captain.
It’s no exact science, and you need a lot of luck with subs coming in at the right time, but with solid planning, you can win your own mini-league without doing a thing. Good luck!