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Premium players form the backbone of any FPL team as they’re expected to score the most points. As the priciest picks, whichever you choose takes up a hefty chunk of your budget meaning careful consideration will need to be given to who you go with.
Ahead of the first Gameweek of the season, I think there’s a few premiums out there jostling for our interest. I’ll sort these into different categories – the must, the maybes, the Wait-N-Sees.
Obviously, you may disagree with me – and that’s OK. Part of the fun of FPL is seeing how different opinions shake out once the game is in play.
To my mind, there’s only one man in this category.
That’s Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (£13.0m), who is the ideal FPL pick.
He’s scored over FPL 200 points in five consecutive seasons, and been the top scoring player in three of those.
All while dominating in the stats.
The Egyptian is also a reliable captain pick in pretty much any Gameweek, and he’s extremely durable in that he rarely gets injured or rested.
He’s the sole must have as it stands to start the season with.
Unless you’re going to make your team lopsided and opt for three Premium players in the so-called “threemium” setup, you’re likely to choose one of these alongside Salah.
The four players are Harry Kane (£11.5m), Son Heung Min (£12.0m), Kevin de Bruyne (£12.0m) and Erling Haaland (£11.5m).
The first three have proven pedigree in terms of FPL, whereas Haaland is an interesting case of a player with an elite background who may still need time to find his feet in the Premier League. However, managers seem to backing the former Dortmund man over the other three: the Norwegian is in just under half of FPL sides at the time of writing, compared to Kane and Son in around a quarter of sides, and De Bruyne’s ownership hovering at around 15%.
This may be a key thing to consider in the beginning: if Haaland hits the ground running in Gameweek 1 against West Ham and you don’t own him, you could be punished if you go with an alternative – especially with that favourable Gameweek 2 matchup against Bournemouth looming.
This logic works the other way too, of course – if you start with Kane, for example, you’re hoping he outscores Haaland in a juicy Gameweek 1 fixture against Southampton and you get the initial advantage over the managers backing the City hitman.
As for who to include, I’d lean toward one of the strikers as it makes a more balanced team rather than having two premium midfielders, but I’m still undecided as to which: without knowing the outcome, there’s no wrong answer. So basically go with whichever you think works best for you.
I’d class Cristiano Ronaldo (£10.5m), Raheem Sterling (£10.0m), Bruno Fernandes (£10.0m) and Jamie Vardy (£9.5m) as both Premiums and also Wait-N-Sees.
That’s for various reasons: either their club has new management in the case of Manchester United, they’re a new signing in the case of Sterling, or there might simply not be room for a player of that price in your squad otherwise in Vardy’s case.
I’d look to have some combination of the others in my initial draft due to the outstanding early fixtures and the fact I’d be happier to captain those guys, however don’t discount this group; they may, at their slightly discounted price, have a role to play in our teams as things develop.
Each gameweek, Tom from Who Got The Assist? FPL podcast will be bringing you tips, transfer recommendations and all the advice you need to win your mini league.