The Premier League returns on Friday evening and with it Fantasy Football after a few months absence.
Unsurprisingly Mohammed Salah and Bruno Fernandes are among the most popular picks this season, with both in over 40% of drafts already!
Unfortunately the combined cost for the pair is 24.5m, roughly a quarter of your budget. To compliment the big hitters, you will need a few bargains and below is five good options.
Emile Smith-Rowe: Arsenal (Midfielder, 5.5)
Emile Smith-Rowe became a regular in the Arsenal midfield from around January time last season and his inclusion brought about an upturn in the Gunners form.
Two goals and five assists is a modest return; however he will likely kick on from that and has been entrusted with the number 10 shirt this season.
At just 5.5 Smith-Rowe is a really good fifth or even fourth choice midfield option and will be among the cheaper routes into one of the better sides.
Nicolas Pepe’s form also went under the radar last term, with the Ivorian scoring 10 Premier League goals and is another good option; however he is 2.0 more expensive than Smith-Rowe.
Ivan Toney: Brentford (Forward, 6.5)
Ivan Toney will be looking to be the 2021-22 Teemu Pukki and Patrick Bamford by being a bargain forward pick in a newly promoted side.
Toney was superb last season and his 31 goals, a record at Championship level, helped guide Brentford to a first ever Premier League campaign.
6.0 would have been an ideal starting price for Toney; however even at 6.5 he is an excellent option and will surely compete with the likes of Callum Wilson and Michail Antonio at a similar price point.
Raphinha: Leeds United (Midfielder, 6.5)
Leeds United enjoyed an excellent first season back in the Premier League last term and the form of Brazilian winger Raphinha was one of the main reasons.
After an initial slow start, where he was in and out of the XI, once the Brazilian found his feet, he was one of the stand out wingers in the whole division.
Six goals and 10 assists is impressive for a first Premier League campaign and he can consider himself unlucky not to have returned more than this.
It was assumed he would come in around 7.5 this term; however the FPL gods have been kind to us and at 6.5, Raphinha is a real bargian.
Alternatively, his Leeds United team mate Jack Harrison is another great pick and 0.5 cheaper.
Harvey Barnes: Leicester City (Midfielder, 7.0)
Injury prematurely ended Harves Barnes’ 2020-21 season, yet he still managed to produce career best figures of nine goals and six assists.
Barnes has featured heavily in pre-season for the Foxes and he’ll be desperate to put the disappointment of missing out on a FA Cup final and Euro squad behind him.
In an attacking side Barnes will always be in the game and unlike previous campaigns, Leicester haven’t lost any key players to top four clubs.
Another cheap option for the Foxes is Kelechi Iheanacho, whose form in the second half of the previous campaign was comparable with anyone in the Premier League
Diogo Jota: Liverpool (Midfielder, 7.5)
I was very surprised to find out Diogo Jota had remained a 7.5 FPL asset this season, with the Portuguese midfielder a semi-regular in one of the best Premier League sides.
There is the rotation risk with Jota; however when in the side he showed how good he was last term, scoring nine goals in an injury hit campaign.
For context that is just two short of Sadio Mane and just seven behind Mohammed Salah’s return without penalties at almost half the price.
Jota’s peak appeal will come in January though, when both Mane and Salah are away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
However I am sure he will be in a lot of sides come GW1 as either a cheap alternative to Salah, or alongside the Egyptian.