Last updated on August 4th, 2023
Written by Shameer, The Fantasy Pavilion
We are The Fantasy Pavilion, a group of friends from the island of Trinidad and Tobago who are obsessed with FPL. We create content to share our passion for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) games as well as our unique way in which we play. The Fantasy Pavilion has 5 members who all play FPL their way.
The Pavilion’s Pre-season Picks format is going to be four (4) players who we feel are going under the radar during the build-up to the 1st Gameweek within the FPL Community. These players are going to be highly differential and not at all the usual names you see cropping up in the majority of the FPL teams come to the first whistle.
Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea. 5.0m TSB 0.8%
I know, of all the Goalies there are to choose from, we went with Kepa. He may not be the first keeper that comes to mind when you’re selecting your FPL squad but we believe he should firmly be in your drafting thoughts. He is the guaranteed No.1 Goalkeeper after the sale of Edouard Mendy to the Saudi Arabian League. With guaranteed minutes and the history of Chelsea FC being a side that does well defensively (118 pts & 9 CS last season), Kepa is highly likely to score well past his previous season’s tally. Chelsea FC’s new season kicks off with the first 6 GWs against teams with an average FDR (Fixture Difficulty Rating) of 8. (See the FPL Difficulty section of Premier Fantasy Tools to see the full breakdown). With his history stacked against him, Kepa has a lot of doubters but has the potential to be an avenue to weekly points, a proper “Set and Forget” option.
(Note: At the time of writing, Chelsea FC is rumored to have struck a deal to sign Robert Sanchez from Brighton which may skew Kepa’s potential minutes in the upcoming season).
Emerson. West Ham United. 4.5m. TSB: 0.4%
Can this be the year that Emerson finally shows FPL managers why he has played for Italy on the international stage and why he holds the title of being one of the few players having won each of four (4) modern UEFA club competitions? We certainly believe so! In seasons prior, Emerson has served primarily as a backup but from the minutes and form in pre-season, he looks nailed on as West Ham’s starting left back. As an attacking fullback with a left foot that has the propensity to carve out chances, Emerson is on red-hot form during this pre-season. 4 Goal involvements (1G & 3A) while being on set pieces, Emerson is going to provide you with plenty of opportunities for scoring FPL points. West Ham for the first 4 GWs has an average defensive PFT FDR of 7 which only adds to Emerson’s potential points as he can earn his FPL owners both attacking and defensive returns!
Elliot Anderson. Newcastle. 4.5m TSB 5.2%
Is Anderson really under the radar? You won’t be blamed for believing every FPL manager has him in their team with the current hype he’s garnering but Anderson is only owned by 5.2% of FPL managers at the time of writing. Elliot has been given the chance to impress this pre-season after picking up some minutes towards the end of last season and he has certainly not disappointed. Anderson has had 4 Goals & 3 Assists in the 5 pre-season games Newcastle has played with a few of the goal involvements coming within the penalty area. This only means that he will be used as a late-arriving option in the box to try and finish half chances that Newcastle create. With Champions League football beckoning and Newcastle’s minimal investment in their playing squad, we expect Anderson’s PL minutes to significantly increase, and with that your FPL points. We don’t wanna say it but can he be this season’s Almiron at the beginning of the 23/24 FPL season, put him in your squad and rake in the points!
Joao Pedro. Brighton. 5.5m TSB: 5.5%
Look no further for your budget enabler in attack, Joao Pedro is the answer! Brighton’s new summer signing costing them their record fee, Joao is a former “wunderkind” who has been touted for a bright footballing future since he first left Brazil in 2020 to join Watford. He has Premier League experience having already scored 3 goals in the 21/22 season. Joao is quick, runs the channels well, and is perfectly suited to Brighton’s style of play where they create chances galore. On the back of a stellar Championship season with 11 Goals and carrying that form into pre-season with 1G & 1A, Joao is set to hit the league running come GW 1. It’s vital to note that he’s currently on penalties (once Pascal Gross) isn’t on the pitch which only increases his points potential. Using the PFT Offensive FDR, Brighton has an average FDR of 3 across the first 6 GWs, highlighting the absolute gem that Joao could be in your FPL team with future points from the goals he’d inevitably score!
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