The 2022-23 Fantasy Premier League campaign got off to a more than decent start with the two most-talked-about premium assets delivering big. While new star man Erling Haaland marked his official PL debut with 2 goals, 3 bonus points and a total of 13 FPL points, it was business as usual for Mo Salah as the Egyptian brought the 62% of managers who owned him 12 FPL points, courtesy of 1 goal, 1 assist and 2 bonus points. That’s four consecutive gameweek 1 hauls for the Liverpool man now, which just underlines once more how good of a fantasy asset he really is.
Neither of the previously mentioned two heavy hitters managed to outscore Brighton’s Pascal Gross and Newcastle’s Fabian Schär, though. Boasting ownerships well below 3% overall in the build-up to GW1, the budget picks delivered big with 15 FPL points each. It was a good week for differential fantasy picks in general, as three more players with an ownership below 4% made it into the Team of the Week: Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly (12 points), Chelsea’s Jorginho (11 points) and Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma (10 points). A mix therefore, in terms of ownership, which only makes the preparation for gameweek 2 and beyond more exciting.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 2 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, August 13th.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per August 12th)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Alisson (LIV), De Gea (MUN), Mendy (CHE)||Mendy (CHE), Ward (LEI), Ederson (MCI)|
|DEF||Perisic (TOT), Cash (AST), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)||Zinchenko (ARS), Schär (NEW), Saliba (ARS)||Perisic subbed on, Zinchenko haul, Schär goal|
|MID||Son (TOT), Coutinho (AST), Diaz (LIV)||Kulusevski (TOT), Martinelli (ARS), Gross (BRI)||Kulusevski starter + haul, Martinelli starter + haul|
|FOR||Kane (TOT), Jesus (ARS), Greenwood (LEE)||Haaland (MCI), Mitrovic (FUL), Darwin (LIV)||Transferred in forwards all hauled in GW1|
After his brace away at West Ham, Erling Haaland (£11.6m) is top of the list for a majority of fantasy managers this weekend. The Skyblues are playing their first home game of the season against promoted Bournemouth and despite the Cherries’ excellent showing against Aston Villa in GW1, it’s hard to see them coming away with anything on Saturday. As for Haaland, we’ve just got a single gameweek to go on so far, but we’re going to let the stats do the talking here. Apart from his 2 goals and 13 FPL points, the Norwegian wonder kid was first amongst all players in the league for Shots in the Box, Big Chances, Expected Goals and Non-penalty Expected Goal Involvement. Add to that the fact that he is on penalties and we might, MIGHT, just have our first near-essential fantasy pick after just 90 minutes of Premier League action.
From one of the top performers in GW1 to one of the more disappointing fantasy assets, from an FPL point of view, at least. Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) went into gameweek 1 as the single most-owned player in the official game, but ended up having a rather quiet afternoon at Selhurst Park. While the Gunners beat Crystal Palace 0-2, the Brazilian forward was not nearly as involved in attack as many managers would’ve hoped for, recording an Expected Goal ratio of just 0.08. Nevertheless, Arsenal looked good attacking and Jesus is definitely their number-one-man up front, plus the difficulty of an away game against Patrick Vieira’s Palace should not be underestimated. The Gunners have a nice run of fixtures coming up and we don’t doubt that Jesus will start returning for his owners soon, very possibly this weekend already as Leicester visit the Emirates Stadium. The Foxes conceded twice at home to Brentford and even though we have just the one game to go on so far, it looks like last season’s defensive woes are not entirely behind them yet. As a result, Gabriel Jesus looks like a wise pick on both the short and the long term.
The budget enabler
Pascal Groß (£5.5m) was one of the big surprises in gameweek 1 as the German playmaker recorded a fantastic 15 FPL points. He scored a brace against Manchester United at Old Trafford to give Brighton their first-ever victory at the Theatre of Dreams, kicking off his and his side’s 2022-23 in incredible style. The resulting 15 FPL points were enough for Groß to become gameweek 1’s joint-highest points scorer, sharing the honour with Newcastle’s Fabian Schär. Up next are Newcastle at home, which is no longer an “easy” fixture since the state of Saudi Arabia has started to pour £millions into the Tyneside club. The Magpies got off to a good start as well, beating promoted Nottingham Forest 2-0 at home, but as far as Groß is concerned, we’re also looking past this fixture. While a second consecutive victory in a row in more than possible for the Seagulls, they also have a decent set of fixtures following gameweek 2, including home games against Leeds and Palace, and away games versus Fulham and Bournemouth coming up in the next six. Groß won’t be scoring braces every week, but at just £5.5m, he looks like a very good budget-enabling pick.
We previously mentioned Haaland’s superior underlying stats in terms of goal threat, but the best performance in terms of chance creation was delivered by Leeds’ winger Jack Harrison (£6.0m). The kindly priced Englishman created six chances in gameweek 1, more than any other player in the league, and got 1 assist out of his labour. He ended the game against Wolves at home with 6 FPL points, as he also added 2 bonus points to his totals, despite getting a yellow card as well. Leeds have an appealing run of fixtures coming up all the way up until gameweek 10, so if the 25-year-old can keep up this pace, there will surely be more points waiting for him and the 1.2% of fantasy managers who currently own him over the coming weeks. His GW2 fixture has potential as the Whites go to leaky Southampton, and at a price of just £6.0m, Harrison could very well end up representing excellent (differential) value for money on the medium and long term.
The captaincy debate will mainly be between Erling Haaland and Mo Salah this week, as both highly owned premium fantasy assets have favourable home games coming up. The Norwegian will be looking to continue scoring against Bournemouth after a perfect Premier League debut in gameweek 1, while the Egyptian will once again lead the Liverpool attack against Crystal Palace at Anfield. Neither of the two is a bad pick, but we had to choose and therefore, we’re placing the armband on Haaland for gameweek 2.
Not convinced by either of these two superstars? No problem, because the likes of Darwin Nuñez (at home vs Palace), Gabriel Jesus (at home vs Leicester) and even Joao Cancelo (at home to Bournemouth) provide excellent albeit slightly more differential alternatives, from a captaincy POV at least. If you’re looking for a riskier move in gameweek 2, you could also opt for Patrick Bamford (away at Southampton) or Jarrod Bowen (away vs Nottingham Forest).
For more in-depth discussions on the Fantasy Premier League game check out our FPL forum.