The popular Fantasy Premier League game continues to grow annually with over 11 million teams registered last season. Following the dreaded summer break, football is finally back as clubs, fans and Fantasy managers will now have a clear picture of who will represent them in the 2023/24 season.
After all the pandemic-affected seasons and the winter World Cup schedule in each of the last four campaigns, this is likely to be the first ‘normal’ Premier League season in a good while.
Hence, everyone involved is recharged and ready for another nine months of pure entertainment.
Game week 1 of a fresh season usually brings the unfamiliarity of new signings, underperforming favourites and yet unknown gems. The FootballCastle has got you covered as you will find all the relevant tips and must-haves for your squad ahead of the free transfer deadline at 18:30 BST on Friday 11 August.
André Onana (£5.0m)
The Cameroonian offers a cheap route into a Manchester United defence that kept the most clean sheets last season and has now been bolstered by a man who should improve the entire team.
Their 11 clean sheets at Old Trafford were unmatched in 2022/23 and Onana has a decent pair of home games against Wolves and Nottingham Forest to get through his first month.
Mark Flekken (£4.5m)
The Dutchman is an eye-catching choice for a cheap starting goalkeeper as he is expected to replace David Raya in the Brentford posts. Thomas Frank’s side boast a solid defence and Flekken has the ability to deliver clean sheets as well as save points.
The three-time Premier League Golden Glove winner is always one of the top-rated in the game and he can be trusted to get some early-season returns against promoted Burnley and Sheffield United in the first three GWs.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.0m)
Save for a rocky period last season, Alexander-Arnold has always been an FPL must-have and his price is worth the investment after a switch to midfield saw him deliver one goal and seven assists in his final ten games of 2022/23.
The new Liverpool vice-captain is set to maximise his attacking threat regardless of the strength of the opposition and he is sure to receive clean sheet points.
James Tarkowski (£4.5m)
Tarkowski faces a kind start to the campaign and his 2.1 per cent ownership makes for better reading when you factor in his considerable set-piece threat.
Sean Dyche has now had a full pre-season program to work with his Everton players who produced the third-most shots from set-pieces (80) since his arrival in February. You can expect Tarkowski to get on the end of a fair number of wicked deliveries and also contribute to keeping important clean sheets.
Pervis Estupiñán (£5.0m)
A goal, seven assists and ten clean sheets is not a bad debut season for Brighton’s left-back who can benefit from a good run of early fixtures against Luton, Wolves and West Ham.
The Seagulls’ dynamic football fits the attacking left-back to a tee and you can’t look past a couple of returns in the first three GWs.
George Baldock (£4.0m)
The budget defender has a chance to shock a few unaware managers with returns against Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest or Everton in the first four GWs. Baldock will get into decent attacking positions from wing-back as Sheffield United look to get into a good groove early on.
Veteran FPL users won’t have forgotten his 142-points debut season in 2019/20.
Bukayo Saka (£8.5m)
The most-selected midfielder ahead of the new FPL season ended up with 14 goals and 12 assists last term and a kind opening run of fixtures against Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Fulham should benefit the winger.
Saka is set to improve his showings from last season and penalty duties in the absence of Gabriel Jesus would also make him central to their attacking output.
Diogo Jota (£8.0m)
The Portuguese forward notched four goals and three assists during pre-season and offers a cheaper route into the Liverpool frontline compared to Salah.
Jota is a very effective attacker when fit and he looks set to play a big role in a new-look team this season.
Marcus Rashford (£9.0m)
Rashford is one of the first names on Erik Ten Hag’s team sheet and two favourable home games in the first three GWs should see him get off to a good start. Indeed, 13 of his 17 goals last term came at Old Trafford where he hopes to put Wolves and Nottingham Forest to the sword.
A worthy differential captaincy option.
Mohamed Salah’s (£12.5m)
Astonishingly, only about 24 per cent of managers have the Egyptian in their squad while others are sure to miss out on his customary early-season glut of goals.
Despite their inconsistencies last term, Salah was Liverpool’s go-to FPL asset as he totalled at least 230 points for the sixth straight campaign. The forward holds the record for goals scored (eight) on opening day and could well extend his record against GW1 opponents Chelsea who he has seven goals and two assists in his career.
James Maddison (£7.5m)
The former Leicester playmaker is a popular FPL pick after recording double figures for goals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career. Maddison is a massive threat from open play and set-pieces and he produced two assists in the final pre-season game to prove he can quickly settle in to become an influential player.
Ange Postecoglou’s attack-minded football suits the 26-year-old with a particularly kind schedule from GW3 onwards.
Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m)
The Manchester United captain is primed to deliver points at home against Wolves as Ten Hag seeks to kick on in his second season.
Bruno is his team’s creative fulcrum and also their penalty taker which makes him your safest bet into the Man United goals this season.
Bryan Mbeumo (£6.5m)
The Cameroon international is an understated differential given his price and having been reclassified as a midfielder in FPL. Only 12.1 per cent of managers seem to be aware of his huge value as he is likely to be on taking penalties during Ivan Toney’s suspension and is now psychologically the main man in attack.
His form without the English striker also causes more than mere optimism.
Darwin Núñez (£7.5m)
The Liverpool striker recorded nine goals and five assists in the league and is set to improve in his second campaign having delivered four goals with an assist in pre-season.
If he can sort his composure in front of goal, Núñez is expected to become a consistent starter as the only specialist centre-forward in their ranks after he was handed the number nine shirt this season.
Callum Wilson (£8.0m)
9.8 per cent of Wilson’s owners will be hoping he starts this season how he ended the last, with 13 goal involvements in the final 10 game weeks as he recorded his second-highest FPL points tally (157).
The Newcastle striker is on penalties and prolific enough to record some returns amidst games against Man City and Liverpool in the first three fixtures.
Ollie Watkins (£8.0m)
After delivering a career-high 175 FPL points in 2022/23, Watkins has become a popular alternative to the injured Gabriel Jesus by scoring four times during pre-season.
The Aston Villa striker can kick on from his average of 5.6 points per match after Unai Emery took over and he is fixture-proof regardless of tough opposition.
Erling Haaland (£14.0m)
The most selected player once again is now £2.5m more expensive but worth every single penny after his record-breaking 36 goals and nine assists for 272 FPL points.
Haaland should get into the groove against Burnley and anything close to his stunning start to last season will prove 86.6 per cent of managers right. Much easier to have the Norwegian than risk missing out on a chunk of points weekly.
João Pedro (£5.5m)
The Brazilian is set to play a crucial part in the game after signing for Brighton and getting the number nine shirt. Pedro looks settled in the Seagulls’ attack and has taken penalty duties from Pascal Gross.
Four home games in the first six GWs will give him enough time to settle into his new surroundings and deliver some attacking returns.
Nicolas Jackson (£7.0m)
The previously unknown entity ended last season as the most in-form player in La Liga and carried it into pre-season with Chelsea where he scored three and assisted two goals, with two each coming in the Premier League Summer Series.
Jackson looks like the solution to Chelsea’s well-documented striker search as his speed, linkup play and determination should see him thrive in the English top flight.