Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 1 Bandwagons To Follow and Avoid

The opening gameweek of the FPL season always throws up several surprise performers. Some of them go on to have stellar seasons like Mohammed Salah. Others seem to teeter out and hang around the Managers neck like an albatross, like FPL’s catfish extraordinaire Theo Walcott. Here’s a list of some of the performers from GW1, whose bandwagons are worth jumping on, and others who are still wait-and-see.

Avoid: Paul Pogba (Transferred in: 497,328)

Pogba had 4-assists from a game-high 5-key passes, a remarkable achievement, and performances. However, Manchester United will not face Leeds every week. Leeds have a style of play that makes them very susceptible to balls in behind, which played straight into United’s hands. This type of performance from Pogba is far less likely to be replicated against Southampton, Wolves, and Newcastle in their next 3. 

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But the main reason Pogba is a wait-and-see is the depth of options available in that United midfield. Mason Greenwoodpriced at 7.5m (same as Pogba), is the current incumbent of the Striker position. An out-of-position player like Greenwood is far more enticing than Pogba. Not to mention that Jadon Sancho will soon be staring on the right flank for United. Priced at 9.4m he’s a fair bit more expensive than Pogba, but his potential for returns is drastically higher as well. Pogba’s performance on Saturday was scintillating, but he has to show the consistency that he has often lacked to become the standout FPL option in a stacked United midfield.

Follow: Ethan Pinnock (Transferred in: 149,376)

Friday was Brentford’s big night. Their first game in the Premier League at their brand new Stadium, and boy did they deliver. People can say all they want about how toothless an injury and COVID-riddled Arsenal side looked, but the truth is Brentford is going to give a lot of problems to every visiting team. They are a team that presses from the front, forcing the opposition to go along with a pair of tall center-halves waiting to get on the end of the clearances. The pairing of Ethan Pinnock(4.5m) and Pontus Jansson(4.5m) is a very formidable and cheap one.

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Not only does it offer great value defensively with a favorable run of games against Crystal Palace, Villa, and Brighton to come, but they also have some goal threat. Pinnock found himself at the end of one of several long throws attempted by Brentford. Pinnock is also a threat from corners, taking 33 shots in the Championship last season and scoring one. In a slew of 4.5m defenders Pinnock and Jansson separate themselves given their upcoming run of fixtures.

Avoid: Richarlison (Transferred in: 302,008)

Richarlison was prolific against Southampton, scoring with his only shot on target and providing another for Calvert-Lewin. Richarlison(7.6m) faces competition from Calvert-Lewin(8.0m), with both priced similarly. Underlying stats-wise Calvert-Lewin was much better than Richarlison, but that isn’t the only reason to avoid the Richarlison bandwagon. 

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There are doubts looming over his availability and the availability of all South American players. Richarlison looks set to be called up by Brazil for the September international break, which might lead him to miss GW4 and GW5 due to the mandatory quarantine requirement for South American countries. Richarlison’s price and position make him difficult to offload in case he misses 2 gameweeks, which makes him a wait-and-see until his availability is confirmed before the international break.

Follow: Marcos Alonso (Transferred in: 199,269)

Alonso is a fan favourite FPL asset. His goal scoring exploits of seasons past are the stuff of FPL folklore. In the last few seasons, he has not been a great asset to own due to the fluctuant nature of his playing time. Under Tuchel, he has found a home at that LWB position he has so often thrived in. Priced at 5.5m in a great Chelsea defence, Alonso should be considered alongside the likes of Shaw and Trent in terms of their points potential.

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For every attacking metric, Alonso ranks in the 90th percentile or higher among all fullbacks in Europe. He also seems to have dibs on free-kicks and is pretty good at them as seen last weekend. The combination of his set-piece potential, a knack for getting in the box, and Chelsea’s excellent defensive record under Tuchel, make Alonso a fascinating FPL asset.

Avoid: Daniel Amartey (Transferred in: 156,395)

There is not much to be said other than Amartey probably will not be playing a lot. Leicester have plenty of injuries in defence which lead to Amartey starting against Wolves in GW1. The clean sheet points however much appreciated, shouldn’t take away from how shaky he looked in the back 4. Amartey was partnered in a 3-5-2 with Vestergaard in the second half, but he didn’t fare much better making 2 bad mistakes across the 90 minutes.

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With Johnny Evans expected back after the International break, Amartey is sure to lose his spot at that point if not before that as Vestergaard comes into the lineup to replace him. His price will undoubtedly drop at that point given his 17.1% ownership, leaving you saddled with a 3.9m albatross on your bench. Leicesters upcoming fixtures against West Ham, Norwich, and Man City also don’t help his case and it’s a pretty straightforward avoid.

Follow: Said Benrahma (Transferred in: 240251)

Benrahma struggled to establish himself in the starting eleven last season, starting only 14 games. However, his growing influence on the Hammers attack was evident against Newcastle, scoring 12 points, scoring one and assisting another. He took three shots and had five shot-creating actions at St. James’ Park.

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His growing role in the attack is a result of the void left by Jesse Lingard, and early signs of his chemistry with Antonio and Coufal are very encouraging. Benrahma also offers good value at 6.1m and is potentially a standout option among an array of midfielders price around 6.0m.

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