With the new Premier League season under way, Sky Sports News has launched a weekly column bringing you essential tips from the best Fantasy Premier League managers in the world.
In our third column, Holly Shand and FPL Heisenberg – who between them have five top 10k finishes – look at what we learned from Gameweek 2, discuss Liverpool’s faltering start and whether Kevin De Bruyne is now a must-own player.
You can also join the official Sky Sports Fantasy League, with code e7ft7m.
What did you learn from GW2?
Holly Shand: Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) will be fantasy gold this season. He managed four attacking returns and dominated the underlying numbers for shots in the box (7) and expected goals (1.44). A triple up on Man City assets looks essential, while Manchester United is a fixture to target against given their poor start to the season.
FPL Heisenberg: We’ve learned that Jesus is a captaincy contender, Reece James (£6m) looks frighteningly dangerous when playing at right wing-back and no player is absolutely essential after low scores for two popular captain picks in 8 and Mo Salah (£13m) .
Are you concerned about Liverpool defensively?
FPL Heisenberg: Slightly, with injury issues at centre-back, but with their run of fixtures I’m expecting the clean sheets to come. I’m also confident the attacking returns for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andy Robertson (£7m) will come soon too as they are both getting forward well in open play and taking set-pieces and corners. It’s only a matter of time before they deliver.
Holly Shand: I’m still confident in holding Alexander-Arnold, who excelled creatively in Gameweek 2, but the double-up with Robertson feels a bit much right now. I’ll review the situation after the Manchester United game.
Should we be worried about Salah?
Holly Shand: Not at all – his time will come. He’s had five shots and created nine chances across his opening two games. He has scored nine goals in ten appearances against Manchester United in all competitions as well.
FPL: Heisenberg: No, he’ll always return points. However, there’s definitely a solid argument for going without Salah and spreading the funds to make the rest of your squad better. For example, Salah to Luis Diaz (£8m) would give you £5m to improve your squad. Word of warning here though, given how widely-owned Salah is, if he does well in a Gameweek where lots have him as captain, you could get a big red arrow. It all depends on your risk-appetite!
Is Kevin De Bruyne joining Erling Haaland as a must-own?
Holly Shand: Owning Erling Haaland (£11.7m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.1m) is a huge chunk of your fantasy budget, especially when the Man City defense looks to be solid right now: they are the only side to concede zero big chances. Remember you can’t captain them both in a Gameweek either so choose one and stick by them.
FPL Heisenberg: De Bruyne was fantastic against Bournemouth but if you have both your premiums from Man City that limits your captaincy options. Whereas, if you have a premium asset from Liverpool and Man City, that gives you more opportunities to target the easier fixture when deciding on who to captain. If you fancy De Bruyne to outscore the likes of Salah over the next five or six Gameweeks then go for him, but I’ll be keeping the faith with Salah a little while longer personally.
Is it time to back Ivan Toney and Brentford?
FPL Heisenberg: If you’re looking for a mid-priced FPL Forward then look no further than Ivan Toney (£7.1m). Great fixtures, nailed on to play 90 minutes week in week out, on penalties and is involved with goals and assists from open play. His assist for strike-partner Bryan Mbeumo (£6m) for Brentford’s fourth against Man United was an exceptional pass that even De Bruyne would be proud of.
Holly Shand: Toney could be a great option this season as the talisman of a Brentford team who have started the season high on confidence. If you are searching for a Darwin Nunez (£9m) replacement and already have Jesus, then Toney is the next best option.
Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli?
Holly Shand: Even a frustrated Bukayo Saka (£8m) owner, it may be time to admit defeat that he isn’t worth the extra outlay over Gabriel Martinelli (£6.3m), who is really excelling in his link-up play with Jesus. This pair have shared corners but Saka is thought to be on penalties. Saka may be given more license to get forward if Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.4m) comes back in for Ben White (£4.5m).
FPL Heisenberg: I tipped Martinelli over Saka in the pre-season Sky Sports FPL column and so far it’s proven to be the correct decision. This really was a no-brainer for me, I always felt that Martinelli was the better FPL asset. Martinelli has scored in both games and now costs £6.3m. However, I want more from him and I’m hoping for a double-digit return against Bournemouth.
How do we replace Darwin Nunez?
FPL Heisenberg: We touched on him earlier but the front runner here is Toney. You can then bank the £2m saved on Nunez and use that to reinvest the money into improving your squad in future Gameweeks. However, if you haven’t got Harry Kane (£11.4m) or Haaland, this could be an opportunity to get one of them in if you can find the funds.
Holly Shand: Jesus is the go-to Nunez replacement, having dominated in Gameweek 2. If you can get funds from elsewhere, going up to Kane or Haaland would make sense. For those needing to go for a cheaper option, Toney and Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.6m) are my favorite options.
What should we do with underperforming midfielders like Pedro Neto and Leon Bailey?
Holly Shand: Pedro Neto (£5.5m) owners should look to bench him this week if possible and then give him time to deliver across Gameweeks 4-6 when Wolves face Newcastle, Bournemouth and Southampton. Leon Bailey (£4.9m) is a sell now or bench if you have the squad depth. Many of the options at this price point don’t impress so it may need to be a two-transfer move to upgrade him by downgrading another player elsewhere.
FPL Heisenberg: If you’re looking for a replacement for your cheap midfielder then look no further than Pascal Gross (£5.6m). Brighton have favorable fixtures over the next six Gameweeks and he only costs £5.6m. Gross might be on penalties, has taken seven of Brighton’s nine corners and has the highest entries into the box of any midfielder. He’s getting into the box regularly and getting on the end of big chances too which is encouraging for his FPL points potential. Goals and assists coming in for the German midfielder.
Join the official Sky Sports Fantasy League, with code e7ft7m.