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Fantasy Football tips: Best players, bargain buys and more for 2022/23 FPL season

After a summer with no domestic football - although the Lionesses' success at Wembley provided the entertainment - the fantasy football season returns this weekend.

Betting guide image - USE THIS ONE (but delete caption)

Since the FPL game launched, players have created many different teams in search for that final 15 ready for kick-off.

It's been draft after draft, chopping and changing based on transfers, but we're now at a stage where the large majority are set in place.

However, there is still time to change with the unlimited transfers in place until the Friday deadline.

Here, we look at the best big hitters, alternative players and bargain buys to consider for the 22/23 campaign.

Consider the fixtures

Fixtures should definitely be taken into account when it comes to the short-term selections in fantasy football.

The image below highlights the strength of schedule for each team, with the top representing 'easier' fixtures while those at the bottom have the harder start.

This is based on the final forecasted positions of the opposition, according to the Infogol model. Basically, green is good; red is bad.

Strength of schedule in the Premier League

Who are the big hitters to target and avoid?

We won't take long on this section - you'll know who the best players are when it comes to those with big price tags.

But some justify using a big part of the budget for while others don't - particularly in the midfield and forward areas.

Harry Kane

  • Position: FWD
  • Club: Tottenham
  • FPL price: £11.5m
Harry Kane under Antonio Conte

It feels like Harry Kane is being overlooked when it comes to the Golden Boot, but he is in a really strong position to finish as the league's top goalscorer.

In the 28 Premier League games with Antonio Conte in charge in the 21/22 season, Kane scored 16 goals from an xG of 18.1. That translates to an xG/95 of 0.64, with an actual tally of 0.57.

He's also a penalty taker and is far less prone to rotation than others in Spurs' forward positions. A must-have for the new campaign.

Mohamed Salah

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Liverpool
  • FPL price: £13.0m
Mohamed Salah's 21/22 Premier League stats

I'm not going to waste your time by telling you that Mohamed Salah is good at football.

He's a huge £13.0m on FPL this season but he can once again reward owners with plenty of points - 265 of them came the way of the high percentage of players who had him last season.

In only one of his five seasons with Liverpool has he scored fewer than 20 Premier League goals, that being the 19 on his tally in 2019/20. He's also seen 10+ assists in four of the five.

He has to be in that midfield five.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

  • Position: DEF
  • Club: Liverpool
  • FPL price: £7.5m
Trent Alexander-Arnold in 21/22

With the five substitutions rule coming into effect in the Premier League this season, it could well be defence that leads to mini-leagues triumph.

They feel less open to rotation and targeting the full-backs could be a great way to both regular minutes and points. Trent Alexander-Arnold is well worth the £7.5m investment.

Another one of Liverpool's stars, he's contributed 10+ assists in three of his last four seasons - with the 20/21 campaign just falling short with eight.

Joao Cancelo

  • Position: DEF
  • Club: Manchester City
  • FPL price: £7.0m
Joao Cancelo's 21/22 statistics

Another expensive defender but one worth every penny, Joao Cancelo delivered 201 FPL points in the 21/22 season.

The full-back (on the team sheet, basically a winger in actual play) rewarded owners with 19 clean sheets and 11 fantasy football assists, although he should have had more than the one goal on his tally.

That one goal came from a much bigger 4.37 xG. Add in his 27 bonus points and it's hard to ignore him for the new campaign.

What about Erling Haaland?

Erling Haaland's 21/22 stats

I have no issue with those going for Erling Haaland. It's an exciting addition and one that made me want to make him the first name in my team when the deal was announced.

However, now that the initial excitement has died down, there are a couple of reasons why I'm avoiding him in FPL to start with as I look to use the budget elsewhere.

The first reason to oppose is that it could well take him a season to adjust.

Jack Grealish joined for £100m last summer but his impact was disappointing. It doesn't make him a bad player, just one who needed some time to get used to new surroundings.

The second of which is Haaland's injury record - which is a genuine concern.

The forward missed 16 games across all competitions last season through different injuries and only started 21 of Dortmund's 34 Bundesliga games.

Throw in City's rotation - nobody is immune to that - and he may not get as many games as his scoring rivals.

Who are the best alternative picks?

While it's wise to target the most high profile players for each team - they are the ones who may contribute the most points - there are other options out there that will be overlooked by many.

Whether it's those playing out of position, benefitting from a change in system or seeing great form over pre-season, there are fantasy football assets that can more than play their part - providing points that many others won't have.


  • Position: MID
  • Club: Leeds
  • FPL price: £6.0m
Rodrigo's pre-season statistics

Rodrigo has never truly settled at Leeds but Jesse Marsch's appointment as head coach in the second-half of last season started to bring out his best.

In the 12 games under the American coach, Rodrigo netted three times from an xG of 2.5. Now that may not sound impressive but we have to consider the context of Leeds just looking to survive in the division.

This time around, he can enjoy a campaign where he hits double figures. Rodrigo scored five goals in five pre-season outings, and he seems ready to go for the 2022/23 campaign.

Brennan Johnson

  • Position: FWD
  • Club: Nottingham Forest
  • FPL price: £6.0m
Brennan Johnson's 21/22 stats

The fact that only 2.5% of FPL players have Brennan Johnson in their team shows how quickly he has been overlooked ahead of the new campaign.

At £6.0m, he's a great priced option who frees up budget to use elsewhere while contributing as well. He comes into the Premier League on the back of a brilliant Sky Bet Championship season.

The 21-year-old netted 18 goals (13.70 xG) and ten assists (9.45 xA) as Forest were promoted - a hugely talented player who will be a nightmare for some opposition defenders.

Dejan Kulusevski

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Tottenham
  • FPL price: £8.0m
Dejan Kulusevski's 21/22 stats

When it comes to Tottenham assets, everyone is jumping towards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min - understandably so - but we really can't ignore Dejan Kulusevski after his performances during his half-season in 21/22.

In 18 appearances, 14 of which were starts, Kulusevski scored five goals and assisted a further eight. That led to him rewarding FPL owners with a strong 99 points.

Yes, Spurs have signed Richarlison, but Kulusevski's showings during his time at the club means he should retain his place in the starting line-up. Plus, their new recruit is suspended for the first game.

Leon Bailey

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Aston Villa
  • FPL price: £5.0m

Leon Bailey's 21/22 campaign was one hit with injuries, but a strong pre-season can put him in a good position for the new campaign.

The £5.0m midfielder scored three across the course of the summer and could be a strong differential pick with a lot of players not considering him - he's only in 9.6% of FPL teams.

Bailey remains Villa's second-most expensive signing and can make a good impact if he can stay fit.

Kai Havertz

  • Position: FWD
  • Club: Chelsea
  • FPL price: £8.0m
Kai Havertz as a centre forward in 21/22

Kai Havertz moving from a midfielder to a forward on FPL isn't ideal, although that's where he will likely be playing for the majority of this season given Romelu Lukaku's departure.

I have a lot of confidence that Havertz will really come good and he's someone who clearly thrives when given the centre forward role. He has proven to be a goalscorer in this position.

Havertz featured as a centre forward in 26 games last season, scoring 11 goals and providing a further three assists. That's considerably more than the three goals he scored from 18 games as an attacking midfielder.

He's the same price as Gabriel Jesus - who is another strong forward option. However, the Arsenal forward is in 71.3% (yes, 71.3!) of teams - Havertz is a nice differential if you fancy taking on the popular choices from the start.

Pedro Neto

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Wolves
  • FPL price: £5.5m

Raul Jimenez's injury opens the door to some value Wolves assets - the biggest of which appears to be Pedro Neto who is listed as a midfielder on FPL.

Neto netted on final day last season - the defeat at Liverpool - and has followed it up with strikes in pre-season contests against Alaves and Besiktas.

He missed a large part of the 21/22 campaign through injury but can provide attacking returns at a bargain price - particularly as an out-of-position player on fantasy football.

What about the goalkeepers?

Having two good goalkeepers who play regularly can be key to a successful season.

One option is to look at having a £4.0m asset on the bench who is there for no other reason than to free up the budget. However, utilising the extra £0.5m on someone who will play is important.

It allows for flexibility around fixtures, while also being able to make the most of teams in-form.

Jose Sa

  • Position: GKP
  • Club: Wolves
  • FPL price: £5.0m

Only Alisson, Ederson and Hugo Lloris returned more points among goalkeepers on FPL than Jose Sa last season.

The Wolves keeper made 121 saves across the course of the campaign - ranking him fourth in this area among all goalkeepers.

Sa also found himself among the leading goalkeepers when it came to securing bonus points - his 11 ranking him joint-sixth.

Illan Meslier

  • Position: GKP
  • Club: Leeds
  • FPL price: £4.5m
Illan Meslier in 21/22

Leeds were known for their all-out attacking, all over the pitch pressing style under Marcelo Bielsa but we should see more organisation in a defensive sense with Marsch in charge.

Illan Meslier was unsurprisingly a busy goalkeeper last season but still rewarded owners with points, even with the high number of goals they conceded.

He may have only scored 106 points (it should be more in 22/23), but no goalkeeper could top his 142 saves - highlighting how important he is to this Leeds team.

Danny Ward

  • Position: GKP
  • Club: Leicester
  • FPL price: £4.0m

Please check the transfer news before the season gets underway on Friday, but Danny Ward is an intriguing £4.0m option now that Kasper Schmeichel is leaving Leicester.

However, the reports are that the Foxes will only buy someone to be the third-choice, meaning that both Ward and Daniel Iversen will fight it out to be the number one.

The latter isn't even in the game yet, but it looks like a good move getting Ward in now before the inevitable price rises when he starts playing.

Who are the best bargain buys?

There is the balance that needs to be made of bringing in cheap players to allow the budget space for the most expensive assets.

However, when it comes to those with a 'lower value', it's worth targeting those who are going to see some sort of involvement in case injuries or suspension means they will come into a starting XI.

Of course, not all need to be included, but there are five options out there who should be prioritised above others.

Harry Toffolo

  • Position: DEF
  • Club: Nottingham Forest
  • FPL price: £4.5m

It's been a busy summer for Nottingham Forest and Harry Toffolo should fit nicely into the left wing-back role at the club.

He scored six goals and assisted a further eight for Huddersfield as they reached the Sky Bet Championship play-off final last season, showings that led Forest to take him with them to the Premier League.

An injury for another new signing, Omar Richards, means that Toffolo should see plenty of involvement prior to the World Cup break.

Cole Palmer

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Manchester City
  • FPL price: £4.5m

What feels like the biggest gamble of the lot, but who doesn't love one of those for the fantasy football season?

Following Raheem Sterling's and Gabriel Jesus' departures from the club, the talk was about Cole Palmer being promoted for more first team involvement as Riyad Mahrez's backup.

That has proven to be true in pre-season with Palmer coming on for Mahrez in multiple matches. At £4.5m, he will prove a huge bargain if he gets a decent amount of minutes for a team expected to win the title.

Morgan Gibbs-White

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Wolves
  • FPL price: £5.5m
Morgan Gibbs-White's 21/22 stats

Will Morgan Gibbs-White be a Wolves player when the transfer window closes? The good news is that the interest in him has come from other Premier League clubs.

If he stays, he could be someone who benefits massively from the four-at-the-back system that Wolves have been operating with in some of their pre-season games.

During a loan spell at Sheffield United last season, Gibbs-White's Sky Bet Championship campaign brought 12 goals (10.10 xG) and ten assists (10.10 xA).

James Justin

  • Position: DEF
  • Club: Leicester
  • FPL price: £4.5m

James Justin was injured for large parts of last season but should return as a starter for a Leicester side looking to return to the European places.

The bonus with Justin is that he is comfortable at either right-back or left-back and will be one of those eyeing up a spot in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad.

He netted two goals and an assist in the 20/21 campaign but his 2.09 xA shows that he should have seen a higher amount of attacking returns.

Sam Greenwood

  • Position: MID
  • Club: Leeds
  • FPL price: £4.5m

A player who benefitted from Jesse Marsch's arrival at Leeds, Sam Greenwood has adapted well to playing in the new system at Elland Road.

Whether it be as a striker - his natural position - or in centre midfield, Greenwood starting Leeds' must-win final game at Brentford last season shows how trusted he is as a player.

Even with plenty of signings, Greenwood should be a part of the squad and will be someone who gains from the five-sub rule coming into effect.

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