Fantasy Football Gameweek 1 – some last minute words of “wisdom”

We’re back! – image from skysports.com

You may well have been tinkering all week in preparation for the start of this season’s Premier League Fantasy Football. But with the Euros and the Olympics, the footy break has been nicely filled and it feels like the new campaign has come around far quicker than normal this summer. We will be back next week with a more comprehensive tips feature but if you just remembered the Premier League campaign is in fact beginning today (or still find yourself tinkering with your side after weeks of agonising), here are a few final words of “wisdom” ahead of the 11.30 deadline…

While there’s always plenty of time to catch up if you have a rotten time of it in gameweek 1, it’s nice to get off to a good, solid start, just to make sure you remain interested in the Fantasy Football! We’re usually happy with an average score in gameweek 1, just to gauge the league and players during the early stages, so we wouldn’t recommend going too controversial with your team selection. We like at least five big hitters, usually from the midfield and forwards rather than the defenders and we mainly go for proven Premier League Fantasy Football players like Wayne Rooney and Dave Silva. It’s always tempting to have a gamble on the new boys (Santi Cazorla could be a decent choice), but they often need a bit of time to settle in. We also look at the Charity Shield – it’s never surprising when players who shine in this fixture get off to a good start in the league season. Since he hasn’t left Manchester this summer, Carlos Tévez has to be considered. He looked sharp last week and is £2.5m cheaper than his Argentine team-mate Kun Agüero. Manchester City’s opening day home fixture against Southampton is something that ought not be overlooked by Fantasy Football players in gameweek 1.

One other thing to be wary of is the early ‘Double Gameweek’ for both Reading and Chelsea (but mainly Chelsea). We’re a little uneasy about backing the Blues too heavily this season with Bob Matthews in charge, but Chelsea’s double-header in the first gameweek should not be missed. Di Matteo has a glut of midfield options so we wouldn’t invest too heavily in players like Hazard or Oscar just yet. Not only are we unsure of who’ll be given the minutes this week, the new boys will probably need time to settle. With Didier Drogba having departed, Fernando Torres could well find himself becoming the main man for Chelsea up top. Romelu Lukaku is on loan at West Brom so Dan Sturridge is Torres’ only real competition for a central striking role at the minute. It could be his time to step up and with the double gameweek in mind, we’re handing El Niño the captain’s armband. A foolish gamble or an opportunity too good to miss? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech should be guaranteed starts in both games.

Best of luck for the new season.

Our line-up for the opening gameweek