Fantasy Premier League: Six Must-Have Players In GW1

Fantasy Premier League: Six Must-Have Players In GW1
By AbuBakar Siddiq Updated

Fantasy Premier League returns to our lives this Friday. As people scramble to select their lineups for the new season, all week we'll feature the excellent analysis of AbuBakar Siddiq, one of the best minds in the game when it comes to FPL.

Here's @BigManBakar's take on the six players you need in your line-up for your first Fantasy Premier League gameweek.

READ ALSO: Fantasy Premier League 2022-23: Best Fantasy Football Team Names

READ ALSO: Fantasy Premier League: Best Bargains For New Season

Mohamed Salah (£13.0m)

Salah's price is a bit on the expensive side, but he's still the first name on the team sheet for me. He's the most reliable captaincy option in the game, which sets him apart from the rest of the pack, and makes him worth the premium. Salah tends to start strongly as well, and has scored in each of the previous five opening day fixtures.

Trent Alexander Arnold (£7.5m)

No defender created more chances, big chances or had a better expected goal involvement (xGi) per 90 than Alexander Arnold last season.

He should be one of the most nailed players in your team - regardless of price.

READ ALSO: FPL Price Reveals For 2022-23

Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)

I’m actually shocked to see that Robertson is owned by just 10% of Fantasy Premier League managers at the moment – especially given his strong finish to 2021/22.

No defender had a better points per game average than Robertson’s 7.4 since Gameweek 14 last season.

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It was at this point that Robertson hit a serious run of form, and never looked back: in 20 starts, he only failed to register a clean sheet or an attacking return on two occasions, which is remarkable. He also recorded six double digit hauls in that spell.

The consistency & explosiveness that he offers is unlikely to be matched by most midfielders in the £7-8m club. I don't mind doubling up with Alexander Arnold in defence either - as Liverpool have one of the strongest defences in the league and a great fixture run to begin with.

João Cancelo (£7.0m)

Cancelo at £7m is very appealing.

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He's playing for what was statistically the best defence in the league in terms of big chances and xG conceded last season.

Man City have amazing fixtures to begin with as well, so I see Cancelo as a very safe pick.

He had the most shots among all defenders in the league in 21/22, and was third among all Man City players for big chances created as well.

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He's also very under-rated at accumulating bonus which makes him an all round explosive asset.

Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m)

Jesus comes in at a very interesting price. £8m does seem fairly reasonable for a nailed number nine for a top six team with such amazing attacking fixtures. His pre-season form has been the cherry on the top and the early signs are that he will hit the ground running at Arsenal. No player in the league has been able to better his tally of scoring seven goals in pre-season.

Historically, he's always had an impressive expected goal involvement (xGi) per 90 but tends to underperform on his numbers.

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I think he will get plenty of opportunities at Arsenal, especially with the fixtures that they have to begin with. He's a big upgrade on Lacazette.

SEE ALSO: FPL 2022-23: The Biggest FPL Price Changes

Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m)

The Brazilian ended the season strongly and seems to have overtaken Emile Smith-Rowe (£6.0m) for his starting position. Smith Rowe has accumulated just 45 minutes across Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies while Martinelli has been starting regularly and looking sharp every single time he plays.

Arsenal have a great set of fixtures to begin with, so I don’t mind taking the risk as I think his rotation risk in the Fantasy Premier League community is fairly exaggerated.

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He delivered another solid performance against Sevilla in Arsenal's last pre-season friendly - where he recorded three assists which should cement his spot in your team if there was any doubt.

I prefer Martinelli with the additional £2m saving over Saka. Saka is probably a better pick in isolation but there's so many nice things you can do with the extra £2m. I believe buying Martinelli over Saka allows you to have a lot of depth in your squads.

SEE ALSO: FPL: Players To Avoid For Gameweek 1

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