Written by Jønathan Kahn. You can catch him on twitter @jkisthe1. Kahn has ranked as high as 211th on the All-Time FPL Manager list!
Salah, Sterling, Digne, Robertson etc. These players are likely to form the cornerstone of almost all FPL teams. But what about the spots around them? Who are the cheap players we can use to fill up remaining spaces? Who are the players flying under the radar that may differentiate from the template? I want to give an early analysis of who to look out for, with the obvious caveat that there are still many players still to be added.
Yerry Mina – EVE (5.5) Ownership, 0.5%
Most teams are likely to have Mina’s colleague, Lucas Digne and with good reason. But if you wanted something different, or even a double up, the Colombian could be your man. The last World Cup showed what a huge goal threat Mina is and he could be set to translate that into the Premier League. The Toffees securing Kurt Zouma would throw a spanner in the works but at this stage, Mina could be a fantastic early option.
Matt Targett – SOT (4.5) Ownership, 0.6%
Included here because of a likely move to Aston Villa, Targett is an FPL favourite of previous seasons. Capable of playing left-back, left wing-back or left-wing the current Southampton man could offer a nice rotation option for those looking for something different from the 4 or 5 at the back template.
Serge Aurier- TOT (5.0) Ownership, 0.5%
Tread with caution initially. The Ivorian has perhaps fallen behind Kieran Trippier in the pecking order but with question marks over Trippier’s future, Aurier could be a bargain route into a top-six defence and one that carries great attacking threat.
Kevin De Bruyne – MCI (9.5) Ownership, 11.9%
His ownership may seem high but Sterling has nearly double the ownership and Bernardo Silva nearly three times as much. Nevertheless, I think de Bruyne could be the one to have. We have Sterling miss the occasional game and Bernardo blows hot and cold. KDB, when fit, plays and is usually involved. He’s seen a price drop because of an injury-hit season last time out. But a quick glance at his history shows that in his two full seasons under Pep he’s averaged around 20 assists per season and any attacking returns usually lead to bonus points. We could perhaps do with him upping his goal output but you know what you are getting with De Bruyne, a steady stream, if not a flood.
Pascal Gross – BRI (6.5) Ownership, 0.9%
Another who saw his season disrupted by injury as well as a changed role, the Austrian playmaker could be set for a renaissance under a new boss. Brighton’s fixtures are a mixed bag, but seven goals and eight assists in 2017/18 is a reminder of what he is capable of. Likely to hog set pieces Gross is another who could provide a steady trickle of points and expect to see high goal involvement.
Roberto Pereyra – WAT (6.0) Ownership, 5.2%
Started last season like a train before fading badly after injury, I’m backing the Argentine to come good again after six goals and four assists last season. Watford do not have the strongest of starts but Pereyra had a good record in tough games last season. The midfield is crowded with options, but Pereyra could jump out
Marko Arnautovic – WHM (7.0) Ownership, 5.2%
21 goals in his last two seasons hint at what the enigmatic Austrian can do. When fit and motivated he can be almost unplayable but that has often been his problem. However, having signed a new contract at the end of the season now could be his time. After a tricky opener, West Ham have a very good few weeks with just a couple of tough fixtures thrown in and it could allow ‘Arnie’ to prosper. Do you risk starting with him, or do you wait until GW3 and swap your BOU striker for him?
Danny Ings – SOT (6.0) Ownership, 2.2%
Another who suffered with injury issues last season, but showed his effectiveness when on the pitch. Ings is likely to be central to Southampton – and he has penalties. The fixtures are mixed again, but we saw Ralph Hassenhuttl start to work his magic last season. So with a full pre-season, Saints could be dark horses and Ings could be at the heart of it.
Olivier Giroud – CHE (7.0) Ownership, 3.5%
This one is up in the air as we don’t yet know who Chelsea’s starting striker will be, and the others haven’t been added yet, but if it is the Frenchman then he could make a mockery of his price. When starting regularly he often weighed in with around 15 goals. If he can get near that this season, 7.0 will seem like a steal. He also has a decent penalty record and Chelsea spot kicks could be up for grabs with Hazard gone.