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Manchester United Team Preview 23/24

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Welcome to The Draft Society’s team-by-team previews, a vital part of the 23/24 Draft Kit! These articles will provide a one-stop-shop for all the important Fantasy EPL themes from a Fantrax perspective. With players to watch, players to avoid, points projections and early season fixtures analysis, we've got it all covered. Our Draft Premier League Team Previews will help set you up to dominate your draft! Next up is Ten Hag's United squad.


Check back often! Our team previews will be updated throughout the summer as any new transfer, injury, or rotation developments come to light.

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Check out our 23/24 Draft Kit for all the pre-season information you could ever need. We've got a Live Draft Aide, Draft Rankings, Team Previews, Cheat Sheets, Strategy Articles, Draft 101, plus so much more!


Manchester United Team Preview 23/24

Check out our in-depth look at Manchester United prospects for the new EPL season below. This information will form a key component to your draft prep and set you up to dominate your draft! After United's 3rd place finish in Ten Hag's first season, will he be able to get them into a proper title challenge this season?


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Fantasy Flashback

Let's review how Manchester United's players fared in 22/23, with an emphasis on their Draft Premier League fantasy assets. But, we'll also discuss any pertinent info regarding managerial tactics, formation, injuries, etc. What can we learn from their performance in the last campaign?


Note: The following table is interactive. Desktop users can apply the Filter, Group, and Sort buttons to arrange the data to their preferences. Mobile users can tap on a player card to view all data points. The table can be reset to its default state by refreshing the page.


Bruno Fernandes was the out-and-out star here. Over 550 fantasy points with only 8 goals and 8 assists is quite some feat. Managers who stuck with him through his slow start, in the first month, were nicely rewarded. Bruno continues to show why he always needs to be selected in the first few picks of any draft. Rashford coming in 2nd with 419 points is a solid showing from what was considered a sleeper forward pick at the time. He finally hit the heights all United fans dreamed of, and provided excellent value to those who traded him in low or drafted him after round 3.


After the two superstars, there was quite a drop-off in fantasy points, with the likes of De Gea, Shaw, and Dalot filling out the "best of the rest". The significant drop-off does show United still don't have that third attacking threat that most teams have. The hope was for one of Sancho, Antony, or even Martial to be that player but none have stepped up....yet. Casemiro also deserves a mention for his very consistent production last season. Coming in later in the window he was a waiver wire pickup, and I saw him go for as little as 0 FAB. His biggest downside was his discipline record, but other than that he was a solid set and forget MID3/4.


Overall Team Performance

United finishing 3rd last season was a delight to many fans. Despite claims of a title charge, last season the real goal was to just finish in the top 4, and maybe win a domestic trophy. As a whole, the attack was a weak point, with United only scoring 58 goals the whole season - on par with teams like Brentford, Fulham, and Leicester. They really need that third attacker to be able to give them the extra 10-15 goals a season that is currently missing. Defensively, De Gea won the golden glove showing United tightening up in the back as the season progressed. They did seem to concede in bunches when they didn't keep a clean sheet, however.

 

Fantasy Forecast

The past is prelude, as they say. So, turning to the 23/24 season, we've got Manchester United player projections, 3 key players to keep an eye on, 3 players we're staying away from, 3 question marks surrounding the club at this moment, and an analysis of United's early-season fixtures.

 

23/24 Player Projections

Below, you'll find our season projections for Manchester United fantasy assets. Our preview projections are created using a number of contributing factors such as past performance, fixture difficulty ratings, anticipated minutes played, and more. PPS (Points Per Start) and ProjTotFPts (Projected Total Points) refer to Fantrax Default Scoring.



As we can see, Bruno is still expected to be the best United asset this season, offering roughly similar value to last season. Bruno should be a top 4 pick, but if you prefer upside and are among the first 3 picks, players such as Kane, Salah, and Haaland will offer a bigger attacking threat.


Rashford is predicted to have a slightly better season, due to United hopefully improving attacking-wise. Rashford will be a "sleeper" pick for the first round/early second round. He could fall to as late as pick 14 but could still offer great value at picks 7-10. If he exceeds his 17-goal mark of last season, he could be a top 3 forward this season.


The likes of Casemiro, Shaw, Antony, and Sancho should be seen as the "best of the rest". Shaw should be the first of these assets off the board in the 4th-5th round due to his ability to rack up attacking returns, ghost points, and clean sheets. He gets his fair share of set pieces as well. Antony and Sancho are discussed more in depth below, but both can offer good upside if taken in the 5th rounds or later. Casemiro is also mentioned later but is one of the best CDMs you can draft due to his goal involvement and consistency.


Eriksen vs. Mount and AWB vs. Dalot will be tussles that not even our very own DraftLad can predict. As we can see, split starts are predicted but the players in each role will offer similar value. The Eriksen/Mount duo should offer consistent MID3 value with MID2 upside, with the right-back tandem providing consistent DEF2 value with DEF1 upside. Monitor pre-season closely to see which player has the slight edge come the start of the season.


The likes of Varane, Martinez, Garnacho, Martial, Malacia, and Diallo are not really worth drafting until the late late rounds, if at all. These players will either be subject to clean sheet reliance (Varane and Martinez) or rotation/lack of starts (Garnacho, Martial, Malacia, Pellistri, and Diallo). Their combined PPS with their number of starts doesn't match either the defenders or attackers really worth a punt. Varane and Martinez will offer good value in easy matchups but should be available in the 13th round or later. Garnacho and Pellistri will probably need an EPL loan for them to even be worth a 16th-round pick.

 

3 Players to Watch

We've highlighted 3 players (and some honorable mentions) from Manchester United that we're keeping an eye on. Some players mentioned below may be sleepers. Some may be up-and-coming youngsters. Some may be vying for a spot in the XI. Whatever the case, we'll tell you why we're watching these 3 in EPL Draft Fantasy this year.

Casemiro

Position: Midfielder

22/23 Points: 240 (40th best midfielder)

22/23 Points Per Start: 10.0 (24 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: 73-84 (12 Team League: Round 7)

Analysis: Casemiro will be a very underrated fantasy asset this season due to his being classified as a "CDM". His 9.5 points per start are not somethfiing to look past. Casemiro is an integral part of United's setup and is a lock in the XI unless injured or....suspended. His disciplinary record is probably his biggest drawback; 9 total cards last year (2 of them reds). He missed multiple games through suspension, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him rack up another 2-3 red cards this season based on his play style. He is a very aggressive player, for better or worse. His ability to get all over the pitch led to 7.9 ghost points/start, which is a great floor for a player who also got 7 returns last year (4G and 3A). I would expect him to maybe increase that a bit as United improve offensively. His 28 key passes in 24 starts shows he gets involved in the attacking buildup but is also a major threat from set pieces. I am sure Ten Hag will be looking to improve United's scoring from set-plays and Casemiro will be one of the focal points there.


He is worth drafting in the 7th round. He would make an incredible MID3/4 for any team, and should still be available depending where you are in the draft order. If you are set on rostering Casemiro this year, then you may need to reach for him in the 6th round, but I wouldn't consider this too big of a reach.


Christian Eriksen

Position: Midfielder

22/23 Points: 216 (49th best midfielder)

22/23 Points Per Start: 8.4 (25 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: 85-108 (12 Team League: Round 8-9)

Analysis: Eriksen is one of my biggest sleeper picks for this upcoming season. With the addition of Mason Mount to the United squad, everyone is considering Eriksen's career pretty much done. I really don't see a reason for this. Eriksen was one of Ten Hag's mainstays last season, and if it wasn't for an unlucky injury, he probably would have gotten 35+ starts. Ten Hag likes his attributes, and how he makes the United squad tick. He still offers creativity from open play and set pieces, as well as a goal threat, especially vs. weaker teams. Last season Eriksen was going in the 3rd-4th rounds, but this year you can probably get him after the 8th round. He is definitely someone to take a gamble on in the later rounds. A midfielder with an 8.4 PPS, who can get double-digit returns, won't be easy to find in those late rounds. You aren't really taking a huge risk either with this late of a pick, but there is no real reason that Eriksen will lose his spot especially right away. If Mount performs much better, or Eriksen suffers another injury, then maybe the worry will creep in. I do expect Eriksen to be subbed off in almost every match to keep him as fresh as possible, but if you can get him as your MID3-4, then you are in great shape with his kind of upside on a team that should score more goals this year.


Antony

Position: Forward

22/23 Points: 192.5 (27th best forward)

22/23 Points Per Start: 8.1 (23 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: 49-55 (12 Team League: Round 5)

Analysis: The Brazilian will be coming into the new season as the "favourite" to win the RW role, mainly due to his left-footed shooting ability. Antony had a very mixed first season at United after his big-money move. He had a very hot start, then cooled off significantly and faced form, injury, and rotation issues. I have full confidence that Ten Hag believes that Antony is the future United RW for years to come, and he should show why this season. While Antony only managed 4 goals and 2 assists last season, I expect him to really outdo that this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get 10 goals and close to 8-10 assists. He will definitely be more confident after a full pre-season with United and the EPL experience from last campaign under his belt. United as a whole struggled for goals last season, and Ten Hag knows in order to improve that he will need to get the best out of Antony. He is one who can provide consistent FWD2 value at a decent price.


Honorable Mention(s):

I think there are two players worth mentioning here. First up is one Jadon Sancho. He is a player with all the potential in the world but the confidence of a Sunday league benchwarmer right now. Sancho is really not himself at United, and there are serious fears he will never reach the promise he once showed at Dortmund. He is a player who on his day is unplayable, and if he can put together a run of form, he can be the creative wing player United really need. If Rashford ends up playing through the middle more, I can see Sancho getting a string of starts, but rumours of Hojlund heating up will obviously put even more question marks over Sancho's gametime. He is worth punting on in the 6th-8th rounds, but I wouldn't reach for him given the huge concern over playing time and form. Wan-Bissaka was written off by many, myself included last summer. He was called upon despite heavy rumors of his departure, during Dalot's injury, and he never lost the spot after that. The AWB vs. Dalot battle will be discussed later, but a punt on Wan-Bissaka in the 9th-12th rounds could pay off big time if he locks down that role. Amad Diallo is someone else who could stake a claim in pre-season, after a very successful Championship loan spell, but could just as easily be loaned, sold, or only an off-the-bench option.

 

3 Players to Avoid

It's not all sunshine and rainbows at Old Trafford. At least, not as far as Draft Fantasy Football is concerned. Below, we will also highlight 3 fantasy assets that we're not so thrilled about. These are the 3 Manchester United players you might want to avoid come draft day.


Mason Mount

Position: Midfielder

22/23 Points: 175 (59th best midfielder)

22/23 Points Per Start: 8.7 (20 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: 75-90 (12 Team League: Round 7-8)

Analysis: The former Lampard star boy is now on his way to Old Trafford. Mount will eventually be a decent asset for United, but this isn't the season. He walks into serious competition with Eriksen, and to an extent Fred if he stays. Mount won't be able to just take the spot in the XI without any merit. He had a very poor season last year with only 3 goals and 2 assists in 20 starts. Right now Eriksen is a key player for United, and a reason they were able to get into the top 4. His injury was felt by United with the lack of a "deeper" playmaker available. I think the hope with Mount is he will eventually learn and become Eriksen's replacement in the future. I am sure Ten Hag will want to compete on all fronts, and Mount will probably be a key player during the UCL group stages, cup games, and late in the games when Eriksen is subbed off to rest his legs. I really don't think Mount is worth drafting, but my recommended draft pick of 75ish is the earliest you should consider drafting him. It should be called out that projections do not match my expectations as I think he'll get fewer starts, and Eriksen more.


I think Mount will be a good "off the bench" player and fantasy asset, racking up late key passes and returns, but that doesn't bode well for fantasy managers. He will be a very frustrating player when you see him get 8.5 points in his 25-minute cameo, but only 3.5 in his 57-minute start. If you are set on getting Mount, I would wait to get him for cheaper after a few weeks into the season. For this gamble to pay off you would need Eriksen to get hurt, hit a really poor patch of form, or Mount to be setting the world on fire in his minutes given.


Lisandro Martinez

Position: Defender

22/23 Points: 153.75 (40th best defender)

22/23 Points Per Start: 6.2 (24 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: 157-192 (12 Team League: Rounds 14-16)

Analysis: Martinez was a very underrated signing for United last season. He was written off completely due to his height, and lack of EPL experience, but quickly proved everyone wrong. He was one of the best players on the pitch week in and week out but missed a decent chunk of games due to injury. While I expect him to get a lot more starts next year, I don't think that will translate to better fantasy points. Between him and Varane, it is really hard to predict who will do better. But I'm hedging my bets with the French star. Similar to Varane, Martinez had almost no attacking returns with just 1 goal. Depending on how Ten Hag sets up, I don't think he'll be the focal point for set-piece targets. His best score of the season was 18, but also had 5 scores of 0 or less in his 24 starts. That isn't exactly reassuring. Him and Varane both struggle with ghost points, so I think it is best to pass on Martinez in the upcoming draft. If you are set on a United defender, and the others are all off the board, I wouldn't take him before the 14th round.


Alejandro Garnacho

Position: Midfielder

22/23 Points: 72.5

22/23 Points Per Start: N/A (5 starts)

Recommended Draft Pick: Avoid

Analysis: There is no reason you should be drafting Garnacho unless you are in a dynasty league or really just don't know who to pick in the final round. The only way he will become even a worthwhile player to roster is if there are plenty of injuries in pre-season, or he gets a loan move somewhere. He will be a star in the future no doubt, but still needs at least a year or two before being considered a first-team potential starter. Garnacho only started 5 of the 19 games he played last season but managed 3 goals and 2 assists. I expect the majority of his minutes to come in the last 20 minutes of the game. He is one you pick up during the busy Christmas period or if there's an injury to the big boys. Unless the rumour mill starts chatting up his potential moves, your draft picks can be better spent elsewhere.


Honorable Mention(s):

Anthony Martial is the only honourable mention for me. United seem desperate to sell him, but with no buyers, there is a good chance he stays at United for yet another season. As the summer progresses, he will start to creep up draft boards if no suitor is found. I would stay clear of him. His injury record is horrendous, his ghost point contribution even worse, and he can barely last a half without getting some sort of a knock. As a fan of the player, I really hope he leaves and finds his feet somewhere else. Let someone else take him only to drop him in a few weeks. Unless he is your FWD4 that you can get in the very late rounds, steer clear.

 

3 Question Marks

Not everything is crystal clear and predictable at Manchester United. These are 3 questions surrounding United that we’re grappling with this preseason. We’ll try to note whether or not (and how much) these questions are affecting our perceptions of Manchester United's fantasy assets.


Wan-Bissaka vs. Dalot - This is the question every single fan and fantasy manager will be desperate for Ten Hag to answer. Dalot has just signed a new long-term contract and Ten Hag has made it clear he is a part of his plans. Dalot was supposed to basically push United to sell Wan-Bissaka, but that just didn't happen. Wan-Bissaka performed at an unexpected level come the end of last season, and there is every chance he starts the season as the #1 choice RB. I really think this is a 50/50 toss-up right now, and these two will be battling week in and week out for that starting role. With United qualifying for the UCL, one will probably be the starter there and the other in the EPL. I am sure throughout the opening few weeks Ten Hag will give them both a chance to shine and win that starting role. Again, it is really on these players to win the spots, and preseason probably won't clear up much.


With regards to fantasy, whoever wins the role will offer lower end DEF1 value, but you will have to gamble on one during the draft, unless you handcuff them both. Based on mocks I have seen Dalot and Wan-Bissaka go between rounds 7-9, usually one right after the other. You will either need luck to be able to get both or need to draft one and have at least 3 other defenders in case you drew a blank with your choice. I am excited to see who wins this battle, and know United are in good hands at RB next year. If I was to gamble on one, though, I think before seeing preseason it would have to be Wan-Bissaka based off his finish to the year despite Dalot being fit for the run-in.


Lack of Depth with UCL - United are back in the Champions Leagues thankfully, and hopefully don't go crashing out in the group stage. To do this, one of two things must happen: certain players must be run into the ground right from the off, or more depth needs to be signed within the next month. Right now United's "B" lineup is very weak, minus a few choices. Ten Hag can't afford the likes of Bruno and Rashford to get burnt out or hurt in the early parts of the season, and neither really have a true backup right now. In the attacking positions, one of Antony/Sancho + Garnacho should see proper UCL minutes, with Hojlund providing decent depth as well. Martial seems almost a non-factor at this point and can't really be relied on to give the heavy hitters a rest.


Defensively, United have decent full-back depth but lack CB depth. In midfield, Mount will offer great depth, but a proper backup to Casemiro is still really needed. My fear is these players start to burn out early, and it affects their fantasy value and, of course, United results. Ten Hag will need to manage minutes early on if depth isn't signed, which is not something fantasy managers want to see with some of their top picks. This is something you should monitor as draft season approaches. A lack of depth should ding the more injury-prone players such as Rashford and Antony. If United stay the way they are, expect either fantasy burnout or their results as a whole to suffer.


Hojlund Shaking Up the Attack- Rumours are heating up of Rasmus Hojlund getting closer to a move to Manchester United. Hojlund is a young talent at only 20 years of age, and not too much experience in the big leagues, but has raw talent Ten Hag will look to develop. Last season he managed 9 goals in his 32 appearances in Serie A with Atalanta. That isn't the most impressive return, but again Ten Hag is buying Hojlund as a long-term solution to United's #9 issue. I would expect Hojlund to get a decent amount of starts in his first season to try and find his feet in the EPL, although I expect him to be eased in, with Rashford probably starting the season through the middle.


Hojlund basically takes away a starting spot from one of Antony/Sancho whenever he is in the XI. I expect Antony to win the RW battle but the likes of Sancho and even Amad could pose a threat and rotation risk. Preseason will be good to monitor who Ten Hag may favour going into the season this year. Timing of when Hojlund joins will also affect his overall starts. If he comes in just a week or so before the season starts I wouldn't expect him to get into the XI for at least the first 4-5 weeks. He will be a tough fantasy asset to value as well given his lack of potency in front of goal, rotation risk, and United's somewhat inconsistent attack. I would advise against making Hojlund your FWD1 this summer and consider him closer to a lower-end FWD2/FWD3 with upside. If he does come in though, I would significantly decrease Sancho's value, and slightly Antony's as well. Rashford may get less returns due to less striker minutes but will probbly get more ghosts on the wing.

 

Early-Season Fixture Difficulty

The way that teams come out the gate has big implications in EPL Draft. A red-hot start creates red-hot trade targets. A dismal start means plummeting player values and losses for your fantasy team. Check out our thoughts on Manchester United's early-season fixtures and our analysis of the fantasy implications they will have.

The colors above represent fixture difficulty by position with red being the most difficult and green being most favorable. The number in parentheses represents the average fantasy points (in Fantrax Default Scoring) scored by players in that position.

United have a mixed schedule to start the season. The likes of Wolves and Spurs underperformed last year and it remains to be seen how they will start the season. Forest should be a tougher opponent in their second year after promotion. Arsenal are easily the toughest fixture here. Honestly, I have no idea what form of Brighton will show this season. This perfectly shows the "mixed" schedule. Lots of uncertainty, but also not a walk in the park.


These early fixtures shouldn't impact at all where you draft any of the big boys, or even secondary assets such as Antony, Shaw, Sancho, Casemiro, and Dalot/AWB. It should, however, play a factor when choosing whether to select the likes of Varane, Martinez, and the United goalie. Personally, aside from Varane, I would target streamer-level players with a friendlier first few fixtures. There is every chance no clean sheets are kept in the first 5 weeks even if United do get the results for which they hope. This mixed start should create an opportunity after week 5 to potentially buy low on some of the non-elite assets if they have underperformed. Something to monitor in the early weeks - if certain assets like Antony haven't hit the ground running, or if Shaw has failed to keep a clean sheet or get an attacking return, you could pounce.


 

23/24 Man United Predicted Lineup

The following lineup represents our prediction for the most likely line-up for the long-term for Man United in the upcoming season. We can't account for injuries or new transfers, but this should provide a reasonable guide for who will be the preferred starters for the majority of Premier League matches this season


Hojlund's arrival, however slow his integration might be has effectively solved United's number 9 issue for now, which makes Rashford a lock at the RW. That said, early in the season, or if the Dane is struggling, you could see Rashford deployed centrally. ETH even tried Sancho as a false nine in pre-season. Mount vs Eriksen in the middle of the park should be an intriguing battle, which we think the Englishman will win. AWB and Dalot have both had very uninspiring pre-seasons and we could end up seeing a true timeshare between them with Dalot featuring against weaker and AWB against stronger opposition.



 
 
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