FPL first-draft team reveals: 5-2-3 with Haaland and Jesus

With Fantasy Premier League (FPL) live for 2022/23, we’ll be welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits and Hall of Famers for the new campaign.

We’ll be hearing from a different writer every day in the aftermath of the FPL relaunch, to get their thoughts on the pricing and to see their initial picks.

Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.

Next up is seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar, who will be writing for us every Gameweek throughout the season.

The 2022/23 season kicks off in under a month and, with Fantasy Premier League (FPL) launching last week, managers are already examining the price list and fixture schedule to see if they can gain an edge. In this article, I will be sharing my very early thoughts on the season ahead, alongside my first draft.

Chip strategy and short-term planning

Everything you need to know about the FFS World Cup of FPL

The first thing to catch everyone’s eye is the unlimited post-World Cup transfers, heading into Gameweek 17. This effectively means that you have three Wildcards for the first half of the season – initial team, first Wildcard chip and Gameweek 17. So managers can be more aggressive early on.

One of the most annoying things about the Bench Boost chip is having to carry money on your bench in subsequent weeks. Previously, the only time you could use it in the same week as unlimited transfers was Gameweek 1, where those wanting to delay their first Wildcard could be restricted by this bench cash when chasing early bandwagons.

Now, you can effectively plan a Gameweek 1 Bench Boost and swiftly use the first Wildcard, knowing that there will also be unlimited transfers in December.

Alternatively, your first Wildcard could build towards a Bench Boost in Gameweek 16, before using unlimited transfers to assign more money to your first XI.

Using a Bench Boost in the first half of the season gives flexibility when building your team in the second half. You can Wildcard a strong XI on the week of a big Double, rather than using it just beforehand. I am really not a fan of the chip and am therefore tempted to get rid of it early.

In terms of fixture swings, I have not yet found any real standouts as we had around Gameweek 8 of last season. But the World Cup transfers provide an opportunity to attack the short-term matches.

European congestion

Another consequence of a winter World Cup is that the Champions League group stage is being squeezed into a much shorter window. To illustrate this, Holly Shand has produced this excellent image.

Every midweek from Gameweek 4 has either a league outing, European fixture or international break just days later. This fixture pile-up will definitely require rotation from continental competitors.

Is ‘big at the back’ a trap?

READ MORE: FPL first-draft team reveals: 5-3-2 with Haaland and Salah
READ MORE: FPL first-draft team reveals: Big at the back, Jesus up front