Fantasy Premier League

Whose FPL prospects have improved after Gameweek 1?

By The Scout 15 Aug 2023
Wan-Bissaka Alvarez

The Scout pinpoints players who appear less risky picks following the opening weekend

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The Scout pinpoints players in Fantasy Premier League whose prospects have improved after Gameweek 1. 

Goalkeepers

Managers have the luxury of two £4.0m-priced goalkeepers who appear to have secured a starting role for their clubs in 2023/24 Fantasy.

Matt Turner is Nottingham Forest’s new No 1 after his summer switch from Arsenal, while Alphonse Areola has been selected ahead of rival Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5m) for the 'keeper’s jersey at West Ham United

Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) could emerge as a strong budget candidate after moving to Chelsea from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Spaniard started his side’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s loan switch to Real Madrid being completed.

A favourable schedule from Gameweek 3 promotes Sanchez as a double-up route along with Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) into the Blues’ defence. 

See: Chilwell can fix FPL managers' defensive issues

Jason Steele and Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) offer further options among the budget starters for Brighton and Crystal Palace respectively.  

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.5m) took significant strides in his battle with Diogo Dalot (£5.0m) for the right-back role at Manchester United.

The Red Devils boasted the best home defensive record in Fantasy last season, keeping 11 clean sheets.

They were the only side to record a home clean sheet in Gameweek 1, with Wan-Bissaka assisting the winner scored by Raphael Varane (£5.0m) against Wolverhampton Wanderers to claim a 12-point haul.

See: FPL experts: Who are the best defenders to target?

Mikel Arteta’s surprising decision to bench Gabriel (£5.0m) for Arsenal’s home match with Nott'm Forest brought the Brazilian’s run of 73 consecutive league starts to an end.

As a result, William Saliba (£5.0m) now appears to be the most secure Arsenal pick at the back. 

The Frenchman is the second most-bought defender in the Gameweek, earning over 200,000 new owners. 

Zinchenko a safe pick?

An injury to new signing Jurrien Timber (£5.0m) should lessen the competition for Oleksandr Zinchenko (also £5.0m) at left-back. 

Elsewhere, the long-term absence of Tyrone Mings (£4.5m) can allow Pau Torres (also £4.5m) to establish himself as a regular for Aston Villa

The Spaniard emerged from the bench to replace Mings in a 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United.

Villa’s upcoming schedule gives them the chance to make amends for their showing at St James’ Park.

Three of their next four matches score just two in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Villa's GW2-5 fixtures
GW Opponent FDR
2 EVE (H) 2
3 BUR (A)  2
4 LIV (A) 4
5 CRY (H) 2

Chelsea's Levi Colwill could be another option at £4.5m, although Pochettino's teamsheets are worth monitoring for now.

Colwill was one of three centre-backs to start against Liverpool as the new head coach opted for a wing-back formation.

It remains to be seen if he will secure a regular role when the Blues move to the Argentinian's preferred four-man defence. 

Midfielders

Harry Kane’s departure from Tottenham Hotspur could boost the prospects of Richarlison (£7.0m) as an “out of position” prospect in Fantasy. 

Listed as a midfielder, the Brazilian featured as a centre-forward in Spurs’ first match under Ange Postecoglou.

Although he failed to score, his forthcoming schedule certainly gives Richarlison the chance to make his mark.

From Gameweek 3, each of Spurs' subsequent three matches score just two in the FDR.

Try our FPL Gameweek 1 quiz

Fantasy midfielders Marcus Rashford (£9.0m) and Diogo Jota (£8.0m) also played as centre-forwards for their clubs in Gameweek 1.

Rashford’s role up front for Man Utd could boost Alejandro Garnacho’s (£5.0m) short-term prospects as an option on the left until new striker Rasmus Hojlund (£7.0m) is fit to feature.

Jota to go big against Cherries?

Jota’s role up front in Liverpool’s encounter with Chelsea came as somewhat of a surprise, with Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez (both £7.5m) expected to battle for the lone striker role.

The Portuguese now has a home meeting with AFC Bournemouth this weekend to deliver a major haul.

Newcastle rotation?

Further down the price bracket, Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon (£5.5m) could be among the standout budget picks. 

The winger started the Magpies’ win over Villa and assisted the opening goal scored by Sandro Tonali (£5.5m).

Nonetheless, he faces tough competition from new team-mate Harvey Barnes (£6.5m), who emerged from the bench to claim a goal and an assist.

Forwards

Brighton’s Joao Pedro (£5.5m) showed why he is the second most-owned forward in Fantasy with a goal and seven points on his debut.

The summer signing allayed any fears over potential early-season rotation by playing for 88 minutes and converting a penalty in the 4-1 win over Luton Town.

His opening-weekend display has helped Joao Pedro move to 26.7 per cent ownership ahead of back-to-back matches against Wolves and West Ham.

More minutes for Alvarez?

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez (£6.5m) could profit from the injury to team-mate Kevin De Bruyne (£10.4m).

See: Guardiola's update on De Bruyne's injury

The Argentinian created a team-high six chances against Burnley and collected an assist in the 3-0 win.

At a cost of £6.5m, Alvarez is making a strong claim as a double-up option alongside Erling Haaland (£14.0m) in the champions’ attack. 

Also in this series

Part 2: The Scout’s FPL Gameweek 2 Ones to watch
Part 3: Foden and Alvarez can thrive in FPL in De Bruyne's absence
Part 4: The Scout’s Gameweek 2 Differentials
Part 5: FPL long view: Plan ahead for Chelsea and Spurs' dream fixtures
Part 6: FPL experts: Do you NEED a Liverpool player for Gameweek 2?
Part 7: FPL long view: Plan ahead for Chelsea and Spurs' dream fixtures
Part 8: Scout Selection: Best FPL team for Gameweek 2
Part 9: Why Salah can outscore Haaland as FPL captain in Gameweek 2
Part 10: Disasi and Colwill ideal James replacements in Fantasy

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