FF - Gameweek 2

Fantasy Football tips and advice: FPL Gameweek 2 transfers, selections and captain choices

The fantasy football season is underway with Gameweek 1 bringing mixed results for many.

Mohamed Salah did not disappoint, neither did Erling Haaland, but Gabriel Jesus - you're never more than six feet away from someone who has the Arsenal forward in their team - failed to provide an impact on his debut.

The Team of the Week was filled with those players owned by a low percentage of players. Fabian Schär rewarded the 2.4% who put faith in him with 15 points while Bournemouth duo Lloyd Kelly and Jefferson Lerma returned double figures - both owned by less than 1.0%.

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You probably don't know anyone with Pascal Groß in their team, apart from the Brighton fan in your office who joined the work mini-league for the first time. Not truly bothered about the game, they captained him. They're now 20 points clear at the top.

"It's great this fantasy football," they claim. "Yeah! Haha," is the reply - hiding the internal screaming after Harry Kane returned two points despite Spurs scoring four.

But all is not lost after just one week and focus turns to this weekend with a number of intriguing looking games on offer.

Fantasy football set-piece takers

When is the FPL Gameweek 2 deadline?

The FPL Gameweek 2 deadline is Saturday August 13 at 11:00 BST, with the first game kicking off at 12:30 BST.

How do the FPL chips work?

  • Bench Boost: This counts the points of those on your bench alongside your starting XI - this can only be used once a season
  • Triple Captain: The captain earns 3x the amount of points for that gameweek - this can only be used once a season
  • Free Hit: This allows unlimited changes for one gameweek only. A team reverts back to how it was before once this has been played - this can only be used once a season

Who has the best fixtures in Gameweek 2?

Strength of schedule in the Premier League

Fixtures play a big part in fantasy football selections, apart from those couple of players who command the huge prices.

According to FPL's Fixture Difficulty Rating - the higher the number, the tougher the game - the teams are split as follows:

  • 2: Aston Villa (Everton H), Everton (Aston Villa A), Fulham (Wolves A), Leeds (Southampton A), Liverpool (Crystal Palace H), Manchester City (Bournemouth H), Manchester United (Brentford A), Newcastle (Brighton A), Southampton (Leeds H), West Ham (Nottingham Forest A), Wolves (Fulham H)
  • 3: Arsenal (Leicester H), Brentford (Manchester United H), Brighton (Newcastle H), Chelsea (Tottenham H), Nottingham Forest (West Ham H)
  • 4: Leicester (Arsenal A), Tottenham (Chelsea A)
  • 5: Bournemouth (Manchester City A), Crystal Palace (Liverpool A)

From the big hitters, Manchester City will be popular among fantasy football players (when aren't they?) as they face recently promoted Bournemouth at home.

Liverpool host Crystal Palace, while Arsenal will fancy their chances of success in a home contest against Leicester - the Foxes threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Brentford on opening weekend.

What are the best transfers for Gameweek 2?

Erling Haaland celebrates against West Ham

While there were unlimited transfers available prior to the season beginning, we know that there will be teams making changes ahead of Gameweek 2.

This can be down to a number of reasons - players not lining up as expected, new signings coming into the league or a top-performing players from opening weekend being just a few.

As usual, FPL teams have one free transfer given per week, with the ability to hold two free transfers at any one time if you don't make a change prior to the deadline.

For those looking to make a transfer or two for Gameweek 2, who are the best players to target?

Jack Harrison

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Leeds
  • Fixture: Southampton (A)
  • FPL Price: £6.0m
Leeds winger Jack Harrison

Jack Harrison has been the subject of interest from Newcastle this summer but Leeds have no intention of selling. His performance against Wolves was a reminder why.

The winger returned six points as they won 2-1 at Elland Road on opening weekend - grabbing the assist on Rodrigo's equaliser in the first-half.

He's a player who is overlooked when it comes to Leeds assets but he has produced. He scored eight goals last season and eight the season before - there were ten assists in the 20/21 campaign.

Harrison registered a huge seven key passes in the win against Wolves, underlining his importance to this team going forward. He finished the game with an expected assists (xA) figure of 0.68.

Leeds travel to Southampton in Gameweek 2 - a side that conceded four goals and 2.02 expected goals (xG) against Tottenham.

Phil Foden

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Manchester City
  • Fixture: Bournemouth (H)
  • FPL Price: £8.0m
Manchester City's Phil Foden

A lot of the focus going into Manchester City's home contest against Bournemouth will be on Erling Haaland. However, Phil Foden looks a solid pick providing that threat from out wide.

He will be utilised on either side of Haaland this season and played 87 minutes of their 2-0 win at West Ham in Gameweek 1. Despite failing to grab an assist - he finished the game with an xA of 0.47.

Foden is also a set-piece taker - having been one of a few on corner duty in that victory at the London Stadium. This could easily become a game where City rack up the corner count.

City beat the three promoted teams by an aggregate score of 17-1 at the Etihad last season. They should get plenty of opportunities to find the net.

Gabriel Martinelli

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Arsenal
  • Fixture: Leicester (H)
  • FPL Price: £6.1m
Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli has already had a price rise this season - the midfielder moving from £6.0m to £6.1m - and it's not a surprise considering his performance against Crystal Palace.

Martinelli opened the scoring but he was also in the mix to take corners. He's now in a huge total of 25.1% of FPL teams - we'd expect that rate to continue rising as the weeks go by.

Arsenal welcome Leicester in their first home game of the campaign. The Foxes drawing with Brentford on Sunday - although they should have lost based on the xG scoreline (0.58 - 0.97).

Mikel Arteta's side will be pushing for the top-four this season and Martinelli represents the best value of their main attacking options.

Danny Welbeck

  • Position: FWD
  • Club: Brighton
  • Fixture: Newcastle (H)
  • FPL Price: £6.5m
Brighton forward Danny Welbeck

An option to consider if you're searching for a differential forward - Danny Welbeck put in a great performance as Brighton beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The forward grabbed an assist in that win and could have grabbed a goal of his own - he finished the contest with a total of five shots and 0.37 xG.

Newcastle are hugely improved under Eddie Howe but Brighton demonstrated at the weekend why they are a side capable of challenging to be the best of the rest.

Uncertainty surrounds Neal Maupay's future at the club - Welbeck should be the starting striker in their first home game of the season.

Lucas Digne

  • Position: DEF
  • Club: Aston Villa
  • Fixture: Everton (H)
  • FPL Price: £5.0m
Aston Villa's Lucas Digne

One defender who may well go under the radar over the next couple of weeks is Lucas Digne. Aston Villa conceded two in defeat to Bournemouth but that came from a low xG total of 0.57.

Steven Gerrard's side face an Everton team in crisis in terms of attacking options. That led to them failing to score and mustering up just 0.66 xG in their home opener against Chelsea.

Digne took the majority of Villa's corners in that loss at Bournemouth last week and their opponents conceded the joint-highest amount of goals from set-piece situations last season.

The potential for attacking returns is important but Villa have a good chance of a clean sheet. Digne may be worth the gamble in defence.

Who is the best Gameweek 2 captain?

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal against Fulham

It won't be a surprise when it emerges that MOHAMED SALAH and ERLING HAALAND are the two most popular captaincy choices this weekend.

Salah netted a goal as Liverpool beat Fulham while Haaland struck twice on his league debut for City. Both teams have nice home fixtures this weekend.

It's likely that one is in your team, and it's difficult to make an argument against captaining either.

Other potentials for the week include City options KEVIN DE BRUYNE, PHIL FODEN or JOAO CANCELO. Cancelo should deliver clean sheet points and demonstrated his attacking ability last season.

The full-back rewarded owners with 11 assists but just the one goal - although his xG standing at 4.37 shows that it should have been a lot more.

At this early stage of the season, it's worth sticking to the bigger names who are expected to post returns rather than trying to find the differentials.

It may well pay off, but it's unlikely. Given last season's top-two having good fixtures in front of their own supporters, the best move is targeting a City or Liverpool player.

FPL: Gameweek 2 captain choices

Safer options:

  • Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne

Alternative options:

  • Phil Foden, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Joao Cancelo

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