The Best FPL Draft Without The ‘Big Three’
There were three players who proved to be a level above the rest in the world of FPL last season, scoring a combined 774 points in last year’s game. This deadly trio was made up of Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah, and to go without any of these three players in FPL leaves players at a serious handicap. But, if you wish to take an alternative route when trying to beat your friends this season, then this is the best way to do it.
Premium goalkeepers such as Alisson Becker and Nick Pope will score you a lot of points, as shown by them being second and third for goalkeeper points last season. However, there is much more value to be had by going with a cheaper option such as David Raya, who finished first place for keeper points last year despite costing only 4.5 million at the start of the game. That is why, for this year, it is imperative to look for bargains where you can find them.
Mark Flekken of Brentford looks to be the number one keeper option in FPL right now. With Flekken coming in to replace top points scorer David Raya, making the move from Raya to Flekken in FPL seems like the right thing to do. Brentford conceded only 46 goals last season (5th lowest), with Raya being the top save maker of last season with 154 shots stopped. The likelihood is that Flekken is going to be a points magnet in net and is a steal at 4.5 million.
Alphonse Areola / Lukasz Fabianski
What you’re looking for in a backup keeper is for someone to be a solid rotational option for when your starting keeper has an unfavorable fixture. Alphonse Areola and Lukasz Fabianski fit this requirement perfectly and for 4.0-4.5 million, neither are breaking the bank. Fabianski scored the 8th most points for a goalkeeper last season, so having a West Ham United asset as a rotational option is as solid as it gets. The reasoning behind Areola is that there are rumours circulating that he is set to replace the 38 year old Fabianski as West Ham’s starting keeper. With the budget spent in this side there is 0.5 million spare, so if Fabianski is the starting keeper for West Ham, you can spend that extra budget to put him into the team.
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The defender market this year has been balanced very well. If you want to go with the big guns such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, and Kieran Trippier, it will cost you. Finding a balance is crucial, and unlike the midfield and attacking slots, everyone is available. Having defenders who will pick up a consistent stream of points is more valuable than having options who will score low for four weeks in a row and then explode with one or two major points haul, before going back to scoring little to no points. Consistency is key to success, especially when you’re missing out on the three most consistent players in the game.
Trent Alexander Arnold
Trent Alexander Arnold has for years been the most valuable defender in the game. This is because he consistently gets points for assists and pops up with the odd goal from time to time, not to mention Liverpool’s impressive defensive record over the years. At 8.0 million he is very expensive, but he can justify his price tag having provided 59 assists and 11 goals in his last five seasons. Trent is a must have in FPL, especially when you are saving funds by not opting for 14.0 million Erling Haaland.
Luke Shaw is the perfect option to have if you’re looking for a Manchester United defensive option. Scoring 124 points last season, Shaw was an integral FPL asset. United only conceded 35 goals when Shaw was on the pitch last season and racked up 12 clean sheets, making him a strong selection. However, there is also the attacking side of the game to look at and Shaw got himself a goal and 4 assists last season, which is a healthy return which saw him regularly pick up bonus points last season.
John Stones is the best option when looking at bringing in a Manchester City defender. This is primarily because of his new found role in the later half of last season, which saw him contribute to play in midfield areas, and being the only defender in Pep Guardiola’s system who can play this role, his minutes should be fairly guaranteed. Not that there’s ever such a thing as guaranteed minutes under Pep. Stones was City’s top scorer for defenders last season, accumulating 93 points. His price point at 5.5 million is steep, but with City’s opening fixtures being incredibly favourable, including a City defender for those first seven games is necessary.
Pervis Estupinan was a crucial part of Brighton and Hove Albion’s impressive season last year, and it is very likely that he will play a key role again in any success they have this season. Estupinan had an incredible debut FPL season last year, scoring 128 points. Brighton kept 10 clean sheets with him in the side and his attacking returns were fantastic, providing seven assists and scoring a goal. Brighton have a very promising opening set of fixtures and will be looking to secure some big hauls early on. With an ownership of 51.4%, you can’t afford to go without him for 5.0 million.
Pedro Porro is a player who has the potential to explode as an FPL asset this season. Operating very high up the pitch, he has the capabilities to become an FPL point magnet under new Tottenham Hotspur manager, Ange Postecoglou. Tottenham are looking to play with an attacking philosophy for the first time since Mauricio Pochettino, which makes them really exciting from an FPL perspective. In his 13 games last season, Porro had some very impressive attacking numbers, scoring three goals and also having three assists to his name. While Tottenham are no guarantee in the clean sheet department, Porro is a great option who you can bring in when the fixtures are kind. At 5.0 million, he’s worth a gamble.
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There’s a wide range of quality midfield options this year at much lower prices than anticipated. With Mohammed Salah being the most expensive at 12.5, which was to be expected, the rest are looking like bargains in comparison. Players such as the Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Gabriel Martinelli are all under 9.0 million, yet all were within only 40 points of Salah’s total score.
Marcus Rashford looked back to his best last season after a disappointing 2021/22 season. Scoring 17 goals and providing seven assists last season, it was a sensational campaign for the Manchester United star. United have a fairly strong opening set of fixtures and the 9.0 million midfielder is by far United’s best attacking asset, given their lack of a top quality striker.
Bukayo Saka at 8.5 million looks to be a great deal, having scored 14 goals and accumulating 12 assists last season. He had a breathtaking season and has turned into a consistently high-quality player. Saka totalled 202 points last season, which was 37 behind Mohamed Salah. But for four million less, he is an absolute bargain and has been criminally underpriced by FPL this year. Arsenal have a fantastic opening set of fixtures and if they’re able to replicate last season’s form at the start of the season, Saka could hit the ground running.
Gabriel Martinelli is another Arsenal player of incredible value, who appears to be a lot cheaper than he should be at 8.0 million. Having scored only four points less than teammate Bukayo Saka last season, Martinelli for half a million less is hard to explain, but he is just as crucial an FPL asset as his fellow midfielder. 15 goals and nine assists last season provided Martinelli with a breakout year that he’ll look to replicate this season. Although minutes are more at risk than Saka, due to competition from Leandro Trossard, Martinelli only started three games less than Saka last season. had he played just 60 minutes more, in two of the three, he’d have matched Saka’s points.
Phil Foden at 7.5 million has the potential to explode this season and finally cement himself as a key player for Pep Guardiola. With the departure of Ilkay Gundogan and the likelihood of Riyad Mahrez opting for a move to Saudi Arabia, this is the best opportunity Foden is going to have of making himself a mainstay in the City first-team. 11 goals and seven assists in 1832 minutes is a fantastic return, and if he can play around 1000 minutes more this season then he is going to be one of the top point scorers this season without a doubt.
Even in a majorly underperforming Leicester side that got relegated last season, James Maddison managed to put in a solid FPL performance. Scoring 135 points, it was a decent showing for the new Tottenham signing, scoring 10 goals with 9 assists to add, he could be of incredible value as a Spurs asset. With Spurs’ new attacking philosophy, Maddison is going to be able to have a lot of the ball in positions where he will thrive, and with lethal finishers such as Harry Kane and Heung-min Son in the side, his assist numbers are bound to rise.
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The forward market this year is very strange. You have the monsters of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane priced very high, but apart from that, this is the lowest priced forward market we have seen in FPL in a long time. This makes it very exciting, as it is possible to opt for three forwards of high quality or you can save your budget and maximise your budget in the midfield. Seeing as Kane and Haaland are off limits for this challenge, maximising the goals in the front line is going to be a challenge.
Gabriel Jesus at 8.0 million seems to be a good use of budget on this occasion. In a normal situation where you’d look to own Harry Kane and or Erling Haaland, Jesus probably wouldn’t be considered. However, given the freedom of budget in the front line, the Brazilian makes a strong case. Scoring 11 goals and recording seven assists last season was a decent campaign for the Arsenal forward. Despite minute concerns due to his injury record and the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea, the Brazilian still looks to be the number one choice as Arsenal’s striker. Given their opening fixtures, it is crucial to get the most out of Arsenal’s attacking options.
Cody Gakpo comes into this season looking more like the player Liverpool signed from PSV than he did in his first few games at the club. Playing up front in Jurgen Klopp’s rejuvenated Liverpool side, Gakpo is going to be given plenty of opportunities to cement himself in Liverpool’s starting lineup. Seven goals and three assists is a highly respectable return in less than half a season of game time and with an increase of performance-level from Liverpool, Gakpo could really take off this season and go on to hit 20 league goals. At 7.5 million, he’s worth the gamble at the moment and an alternative move can always be made for his Liverpool teammate Darwin Nunez, if he is the starting option instead as he is also 7.5 million.
Yoane Wissa has the ability and potential to make that striker spot at Brentford his this season, with star striker Ivan Toney serving a lengthy ban. Having started only 16 league games last season for Brentford, Wissa recorded an impressive seven goals and four assists. At 6.0 million, he’s not someone who is going to be starting every week, but when the fixtures align he can happily slot into the first-team and pick up points. Options at this price point that are likely to play as much as Wissa this season are scarce, and none have recorded similar numbers aside from Danny Welbeck and Evan Ferguson at Brighton and Hove Albion. But, there’s minute concerns as both of those will be fighting for their first-team place, as well as new signing Joao Pedro and Deniz Undav, hence Wissa being the more attractive option.
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