With Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) days away, we’re welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors for the new campaign.
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 former FPL champion Simon March, who talks through his latest Gameweek 1 plans.
It’s not often we’re presented with a genuine game-changer in FPL but, this season, I think we might actually have one. Because of the break for the World Cup after Gameweek 16 and the unlimited transfers that FPL managers will have available to them before the restart, playing an early Wildcard is a more viable option than ever.
With this in mind, I almost feel like we owe it to ourselves to approach the opening Gameweeks as aggressively as possible. With my team, I’m intending to approach the first half-dozen Gameweeks of a season in a way that I might normally approach the final six Gameweeks of a typical campaign. Not only does that mean that I’m focusing disproportionately on players with good fixtures during this period but, also, that I’m willing to be less flexible in terms of team structure and take a few more risks than I might normally do, given the handy bailout option that the first Wildcard presents if I get things really wrong.
Of course, I’m not 100% committing to a Wildcard in Gameweek 7 – I’ll have been able to switch out a third of the squad by then just using free transfers – but treating the first six fixtures like a mini-season is the kind of low risk/high reward opportunity that I love in FPL
With all that said, here’s my FPL draft for 2022/23.
I’ve gone for Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0) in goal due to his fixtures and Arsenal’s demonstrable strength at the back, which we might expect to improve further with the addition of William Saliba (£4.5m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m). In addition to clean sheets, Ramsdale has a tendency to collect bonus points (14 last season, second only to Liverpool’s Alisson Becker (£5.5m) who managed 15).
My current back-up goalkeeper is Brighton’s own back-up, Jason Steele (£4.0m), because it offers cover if I go for the ‘downgrade’ of Ramsdale to Brighton’s number one, Robert Sanchez (£4.5m), to save money at some point down the line.
I’ve seen enough FPL now to be convinced that two £4.5m goalkeepers is the optimum strategy (provided you pick the right ones, of course) but, since I’m focused on getting everything possible out of the opening six Gameweeks, I’m shelving that approach in favour of trying to maximise the points I can get out of them and, for me, Ramsdale offers the best value route to doing that. I just have to hope he doesn’t get injured in that period.