Updated: May 20
Getting your team selection correct in Draft Premier League is just as essential as your pre-season draft or your weekly waiver wire claims. And this is why we’re here to help with our Gameweek 1 Start and Sit article! We're here to talk you through some of the big Fantasy EPL decisions you may need to make for the upcoming fixtures.
This article dovetails particularly well with the Fantrax Weekly Player Projections! Go check it out for more weekly player evaluations!
Gameweek 1 Start and Sit
Whether you’re an obsessed EPL fan like our Draft Society team, or a casual player new to the world of Fantasy EPL, you know to start your attacking players against relegation threatened sides. We’re not going to waste your time dealing with the obvious! The goal of this article is to delve into notable players across each Fantrax position and let you know if you should be starting or sitting those particular players.
For our Gameweek 1 Start and Sit candidates, we’re going to highlight one player in detail for each section, as well as suggesting another alternate. Let us get to it!
Marcos Alonso vs. CRY
While Ben Chilwell has likely over-taken Alonso for the starting left wing-back role this season, he will likely be rested for Chelsea's season opener after returning late to pre-season following his involvement in the Euros. In his probable absence, we're projecting Alonso to get 14.5 fantasy and 9.4 ghost points against a much-changed Palace side, good enough for 3rd overall for defenders for gameweek 1. According to bookie odds, Chelsea have a very high (55%) chance of keeping a clean sheet. This is not merely a clean sheet-chasing play however, Alonso is one of the very best attacking full backs when given the minutes. Without Mount & potentially Reece James, Alonso may also have a sizeable share of set pieces.
Calum Chambers vs. BRF
Joel Veltman vs. BUR
Michael Keane vs. SOU
Sergio Reguilon vs. MCI
Reguilon is generally thought of as an attack-minded left back. Unfortunately, when you're playing against Manchester City, your attacking will be greatly limited. Not to mention, your defensive game will be challenged as well; Reguilon will likely be up against Riyad Mahrez, who has been in scintillating preseason form, and is particularly known for terrorizing defensively-weak full backs. The projections further indicate Reguilon is a good spot to be benched, only estimating him to score 3.9 fantasy points, behind 5.6 ghost points. The primary driver there is Tottenham's small likelihood of keeping a clean sheet (15%) and strong likelihood of giving up multiple goals (estimated at 1.7 by bookie odds).
Nelson Semedo vs. LEI
Luke Ayling vs. MUN
Andros Townsend vs. SOU
After leaving Crystal Palace, Townsend comes into a slightly-changed Everton side under new management in Rafael Benítez. While he may be a Premier League journeyman at age 30, Townsend remains a quality footballer, at least when it comes to accruing fantasy points. In the probable absence of James Rodriguez this coming weekend, and possibly beyond, Townsend will be asked to provide some of the missing creative spark for his new side. His matchup this weekend also looks particularly inviting: Southampton finished the season poorly last year, and have lost both Danny Ings to Aston Villa and likely Jannik Vestergaard to Leicester City this offseason. Their other talisman, James Ward-Prowse, may also miss the first game due to injury. Against a weakened opponent, Everton are expected to score 1.4 goals with Townsend personally having a 18% chance to score, and likely higher to assist. On top of any potential returns, Townsend should be expected to score quality ghost points (9.9 from our projections, 12.8 total fantasy points).
Anwar El Ghazi vs. WAT Solly March vs. BUR Ayoze Perez vs. WOL
Stuart Dallas vs. MUN
Dallas starts the season with a tough away matchup to Manchester United. While United may not be at full strength, with Marcus Rashford out post-surgery and Sancho potentially not fit to start the opener, they should still have plenty of fire power and midfield prowess to make things difficult for Leeds and Dallas. If Junior Firpo is not fit to start, although Bielsa hinted he may be today, Dallas may slot in at left back, otherwise he'll be competing in the middle of the field with Rodrigo and Mateusz Klich for minutes. While I expect him to start, the projections aren't favorable for him: 6.7 fantasy points with 5.1 ghost points. As a 98% owned asset in Fantrax, we'd suggest many managers look for alternative midfielders with better upsides this week.
Dele Alli vs. MCI Yves Bissouma vs. BUR Milot Rashia vs. LIV
Said Benrahma vs. NEW
Benrahma has been on a tear in preseason games recently and West Ham fans are excited to see what he can do in his sophomore season. Losing Lingard will surely hurt West Ham, but hopefully Benrahma can capture some of that same creative spark (and impeccable form). Against a poor defensive side in Newcastle, Benrahma is projected to score 12.0 fantasy points with 8.7 ghost points. He's a great start this week, and we expect his value to keep going up from draft day.
Alexandre Lacazette vs. BRF Leon Bailey vs. WAT
Wilfred Zaha vs. CHE
Zaha is a great player who I expect to have a great season in a reinvigorated attack under new manager Patrick Vieira. However, away to the defensively-astute Chelsea is not the best way to start the season for Zaha. Among likely starters, Zaha has one of the lower projections of only 7 fantasy points and 5.1 ghost points. While this is admittedly not a terrible potential score, we suggest looking to your other forwards this week if you have decent alternatives.
Steven Bergwijn vs. MCI Teemu Pukki vs. LIV
Check out our Fantrax Weekly Player Projections page for more player evaluations for the upcoming week!
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