A new season of fantasy football is upon us, so come and check out the top 10 Fantasy Premier League bargains for 2016-17.
Recommended selections include players from Arsenal, Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester, Liverpool, Swansea and West Brom.
Ben Foster, West Bromwich Albion – £4.5m
Tony Pulis sides tend to start seasons strongly from a defensive point of view, so Foster could prove magnificent value at that price.
Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley are similarly priced just in front of him, while Craig Dawson could be worth the extra £0.5m given his knack for goals from set pieces.
Given their lack of attacking talent as things stand, the Baggies will certainly have to rely on a strong back line.
Wes Morgan/Robert Huth, Leicester City – £5m
They won the title last season, playing their part in 15 clean sheets in the process – so why so cheap?
It’s clear that people are expecting Leicester to nosedive this season, and they may well do without N’Golo Kanté.
But they had a good thing going before Kanté even arrived, ending the 2014-15 season with 7 wins from their last 9 games, so they could yet prosper without him.
If they can keep the solidity of their defence intact then there could even be a case for including both Morgan and Huth, although the latter will miss the opening game through suspension.
Gabriel, Arsenal – £5m
News that Per Mertesacker is set to miss the first few months of the season with a knee injury has thrust his understudy into the fantasy spotlight.
Barring a new signing, or the promotion of £4.5m Calum Chambers, Gabriel will probably be the man to start the season alongside Laurent Koscielny.
As for the Gunners’ more expensive defenders, they’ll undoubtedly be of interest as the season goes on – but the opening stages can spring plenty of surprises.
Leighton Baines, Everton – £5.5m
Baines hasn’t been a good fantasy pick since the start of the 2014-15 season, when he was assisting goals at a rate of knots.
He missed much of last season through injury, before struggling upon his return in a side that was in free fall under Roberto Martínez.
As such his price has plummeted down from around the £7m mark, a fee which had been testament to the years on end he spent as fantasy football gold.
With the more defensively savvy Ronald Koeman now in charge, Baines should keep more clean sheets and could even be back on penalty duty after a couple of missed efforts from Romelu Lukaku.
If this all proves to be the case, then £5.5m will be an absolute snip.
Max Gradel, Bournemouth – £5.5m
Out injured for much of last season, the former Leeds United winger returned with some dazzling displays in the latter months and has just signed a new contract.
Capable of goals and assists from out wide, Gradel could be one of the key features of a Cherries attack that promises much in terms of personnel.
Callum Wilson, Benik Afobe and Josh King are also worth considering, but Gradel’s the one that could take everyone by surprise.
Andre Gray, Burnley – £6.5m
The 25-year-old looks to be the pick of the promoted strikers, having scored 23 goals in 42 games as the Clarets won last season’s Championship.
He’s also been prolific in pre-season so far, scoring 5 goals in 4 games, and he’ll be licking his lips at a fixture list that sees five of his side’s opening seven games at home.
Shane Long of Southampton is worth a look at the same price, but Saints could be in disarray after losing manager Ronald Koeman and star player Sadio Mané.
Ross Barkley/Kevin Mirallas/Gerard Deulofeu, Everton – £7.5m/£6.5m/£6.5m
It’s hard to pick between these three, since they’ve all looked in sparkling form this pre-season under Ronald Koeman.
Barkley is arguably the likeliest to start every week, but Mirallas and Deulofeu are both versatile enough to figure prominently as well.
Deulofeu has even been playing up front in recent friendlies, scoring in the last two, and his wicked crossing ability from out wide is no secret.
Meanwhile, Mirallas underlined his dead-ball prowess by scoring a cracking free kick at Barnsley, and he’s been on corner duty too.
Much may depend on whether Romelu Lukaku stays or goes – but either way, there’s a strong case to be made for each of these three.
André Ayew/Gylfi Sigurðsson, Swansea City – £7.5m
Both players hit double figures in terms of goals scored last season, with the latter in particular ending the season in electric form.
The Swans kick off the new campaign with games against newly promoted duo Burnley and Hull City, so there could be an argument for starting with both Ayew and Sigurðsson.
However, you might want to wonder how much you wish to rely on a Swansea side that is likely to be up against it even to claim a top-half finish.
Cesc Fàbregas, Chelsea – £7.5m
Following a season of colossal under-achievement at Stamford Bridge, the Spanish play-maker starts with a clean slate under Antonio Conte.
An apparent falling out with José Mourinho led to a dismal start last time out, which Chelsea scarcely recovered from to finish 10th under Guus Hiddink.
There were signs of Fàbregas recapturing his form in the final few months, and he might play further forward with the arrival of N’Golo Kanté.
Fàbregas at his best is a creator of goals to rival Mesut Özil, so be sure to keep an eye on his progress.
Roberto Firmino, Liverpool – £8.5m
After a slow start, the Brazilian exploded into life with a flurry of goals and assists the likes of which bettered even Luis Suárez’s early returns.
He will now start this season as one of the main men at Anfield under Jürgen Klopp, and one who can operate up front or in the number 10 role.
This means he’s likely to be a regular starter even amidst the wealth of attacking options that Klopp’s assembled, and he’s cheaper than players whose stats he has the ability to rival.
Coutinho at £8m looks tempting as well, but he’s arguably more of a luxury player and therefore more susceptible to rotation.
Those were our overall top 10 Fantasy Premier League bargains for the new season. Now check out our top bargains by position…