Last updated on August 19th, 2021
By Matthew Petersen; Twitter: @Matt_Petersen13
The new Premier League season got off to an absolutely flying start. The weekend started off with Brentford upsetting Arsenal 2-0 on Friday evening to make the perfect start to life in the Premier League and the gameweek ended with Spurs and new boss Nuno Espirito Santo getting the better of Manchester City and new £100m man Jack Grealish. Elsewhere, there were convincing wins for title favourites Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, giving us an idea of what’s to come this season. On the FPL front, this was one of the highest-scoring GW1’s as long as I’ve been playing the game, with an average of 69 points to start the season. With form now coming into play, and teams slowly starting to find their strongest teams, let’s take a look at the best performers from GW1 and who are some good options to consider for GW2, based on performances, fixture, form and who passed the “eye-test”.
Gameweek 1 top 3 standout performers:
Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) – 20 points (3 goals, 3 BPS); 57.2% ownership
Mohammed Salah (£12.5m) – 17 points (1 goal, 2 assists, 3BPS); 55.7% ownership
Paul Pogba (£7.6m) – 16 points (4 assists, 2 BPS); 12.2% ownership
Let’s take a look at the players who make our ones to watch list, reviewing their GW1 performance and their potential for GW2.
1. Jack Grealish – £8.0m (MID); 22.4% ownership
GW1 review – 1 point (90 minutes, yellow card)
GW2 preview – Norwich (H)
Man City need to bounce back from their GW1 loss vs Spurs. Unfortunately for new boys Norwich, fresh off a 3-0 loss vs Liverpool, they now have to face the wrath of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. One man who can benefit from this is Jack Grealish. He looked promising against Spurs, willing to take defenders on and drawing fouls in his usual manner. Grealish will be looking to kickstart his own City career after a relatively slow start by his own high standards. Considering Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) is likely to return to the starting XI, Grealish could be moved into his favoured role on the left of the front 3. City do play Arsenal and Leicester in GW3 and GW4 respectively but Grealish is capable of returns against any team.
2. Michail Antonio – £7.6m (FOR); 27.2% ownership
GW1 review – 13 points (90 minutes, 1 goal, 2 assists, missed penalty, 3 BPS)
GW2 preview – Leicester (H)
Antonio has now firmly established himself as West Ham’s starting striker, even switching his shirt number to number 9 for this season. Antonio returned an impressive 13 points in GW1, despite a missed penalty in the game, and with a game against a fairly depleted Leicester defense, despite the signing of Jannik Vestergaard (£5.0m), he could find himself on the scoresheet again this week. He formed a formidable partnership with Saïd Benrahma (£6.0m, 12 points) and the two will look to continue where they left off against Leicester. Antonio emerges as a fixture-proof asset who will likely provide the majority of West Ham’s attacking potency. West Ham do have favourable fixtures going beyond GW2 so Antonio should definitely be on your watchlist.
3. Diogo Jota – £7.5m (MID); 12.8% ownership
GW1 review – 8 points (60 minutes, 1 goal)
GW2 preview – Burnley (H)
Diogo Jota started in the front 3 ahead of Roberto Firmino (£9.0m) and scored Liverpool’s first goal of the new campaign. Playing out-of-position (OOP) as a forward despite being a midfielder for FPL, Jota offers a serious points threat, whether playing as a starter or coming off the bench. His price is less than midfield teammates Mo Salah and Sadio Mané (£12.0m) and after his GW1 performance, he might warrant another start against a Burnley side where Liverpool can expect to do a lot of the attacking. Liverpool have a good run of fixtures in their next 4 games so Jota is worth keeping an eye on.
4. Bryan Mbeumo – £5.5m (MID); 1.2% ownership
GW1 review – 3 points (85 minutes)
GW2 preview – Crystal Palace (A)
Mbeumo’s Brentford got life in the Premier League off to the best possible start with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal and Mbeumo showed his quality, providing brilliant support to Toney (£6.5m) in the frontline as a second striker, also playing as an OOP midfielder. Mbeumo had an effort cannon off the post in the 1st half vs Arsenal and with a game against an unsettled Crystal Palace backline, Brentford’s attacking style of play favours Mbeumo and could see him get his first PL goal this weekend. Brentford proved they are up for the big occasion and with some favourable fixtures coming up, Mbeumo can prove to be a brilliant differential option.
5. Matt Ritchie – £5.0m (DEF); 0.3% ownership
GW1 review – 3 points (90 minutes, 1 assist)
GW2 preview – Aston Villa (A)
Ritchie registered an assist in Newcastle’s 4-2 loss vs West Ham. Despite the loss, Newcastle looked good going forward and Ritchie was a contributor to that. Playing either at LB or LWB, Ritchie often finds himself bombing forward at any opportunity and is a good option in defence. With a game against Aston Villa coming up, Ritchie could add to his assist tally after Villa’s shaky defensive start in their 3-2 loss vs Watford. Ritchie is also a set-piece threat for Newcastle, taking corners and some free-kicks too. Keep an eye out for him as Newcastle pick up their form through the season.
6. Romelu Lukaku – £11.5m (FOR); 12.0% ownership
GW1 review – N/A (quarantining)
GW2 preview – Arsenal (A)
Chelsea are fresh off a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace and with £97.5m signing Romelu Lukaku back in the PL after 2 years with Inter Milan, he will be raring to go with the same club who sold him all the way back in 2014. With over 100 goals in the PL to his name, the big Belgian will be keen to add to that total and Arsenal might be the perfect opponents following their opening day loss to Brentford. Lukaku comes with a proven pedigree and can certainly score against anyone on his day. He has the ability to punish any owner who does not have him so that ownership percentage could well be doubled or tripled soon.
To see the ones to watch listed at the beginning of the season, see my first article with the link below: