Gameweek 1 Tips for Premier League Fantasy
The new Premier League season is just days away and with it the return of (real) fantasy football contests. As you tweak your lineups to perfection, we’ve highlighted five key talking points ahead of Gameweek 1.
Whether it is your FPL squad or lineups for Footstock contests, selecting players who will make the starting 11 of their respective team has always been something of a minefield. But 2020 has turned the difficulty setting up a level with the introduction of COVID-19.
Footstock users might consider themselves fortunate the most concentrated outbreak seems to be within the Manchester City squad, who are without a game in GW1 regardless. But Tomas Soucek of West Ham and Wolves’ Adama Traore are both doubts due to guidelines on self-isolation. Will there be more cases confirmed before the weekend is over?
Up for Promotion
As ever going into the first week of the season, many of the biggest unknowns revolve around the promoted sides. Fans of the Championship may feel they have measured up the Premier League’s new arrivals, but there are often early-season surprises. Who will be this season’s Norwich City, or even Blackpool?
None of the new arrivals have been granted an easy opener, with Fulham hosting Arsenal, West Brom welcoming Leicester, and Leeds facing a real baptism of fire with a trip to the champions at Anfield. But if any of them do get off to a flyer, expect their main assets to be in high demand on the Footstock market. Grady for a grand, anyone?
Monsters Inc. Epics
The huge GW1 Monster contest puts a new spin on Footstock tournament tactics, as it combines the new star budget system with the traditional Amateur “No Legendaries” rule. That opens up the possibility of squeezing more than one Epic into your 21-star budget. Do you go with a Liverpool duo? And if so, is it the attacking flair of Salah and Mane? The flying full-backs, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold? Or a more balanced blend?
Those kind of decisions could be make or break when it comes to bagging a share of the minimum £5,000 prize pool, regardless of whether you won yourself a ticket in the virtual qualifiers or are stumping up the £25 entry fee.
Loving the Single Life
With all eyes understandably trained on the big pots of the multi-game contests, you might easily forget about their single-match counterparts. But they are well worth a closer look, for several reasons. Firstly, entries are open right up to kick-off, so there’s no need to gamble on lineups. Secondly, the split into groups of around 20 entrants means the competition for the top spots is far less fierce.
Finally, they can provide a useful opportunity to “hedge your bets”: gone Arsenal-heavy in your multi entries? Why not back Fulham in a single-match contest and give yourself a chance of cashing whatever the result of the lunchtime kick-off?
On the Way to 100K
Perhaps most excitingly of all, this weekend will see the massive Footstock 100K Freeroll get underway. While targeting that top prize of £25,000 is, of course, irresistible, the absence of the Manchester clubs from this weekend’s fixtures provides the perfect opportunity for collections of all sizes to go for the weekly prize. All the more so given that it has been boosted to £750 (and a highly coveted Footstock F.C. shirt) for gameweek 1!