Fantasy Football – Player Picks Ahead of Gameweek 1

Season 2020/21 – Gameweek 1 Preview

Written by @NiallHawthorne


We’re back!

Admittedly it feels like we were never away, and the way the football calendar has shaped up recently, we never really were, but I digress…

We’re back!

This week we were hit with yet another life-altering bombshell in 2020 with the news that ‘Keeping Up with The Kardashians’ were calling it a day and disappearing from our lives forever (or until the spin-off shows start within a week and a half). I can now reveal the reasoning behind Kim Kardashian’s cataclysmic decision – she saw the unmerciful drama, cat-fighting and knicker-wetting of FPL Twitter over the past few weeks, and concluded that there’s no way her family could possibly match that level of emotional incontinence.

Moving swiftly on, welcome back to your favourite calm, composed and measured FPL Preview column where we always take a dispassionate look at everything (except for Trump, Boris, Brexit, COVID and Hugh Jackman, obviously).

Onto GW1!


ED: Many thanks for returning to us at the start of a new season and if it’s your first time here welcome… and really?? Where have you been – this is our 9th Season and 300+ Previews etc etc…

Anyways – always appreciate people taking the chance to read our content. The landscape has changed massively over the years and the sheer volume of quality content out there is incredible.

We’ll continue to provide weekly Previews (Niall Hawthorne) and Reviews (Jack A Goodwin) throughout the season. In addition you can check out the Bang Average Podcast where each week John, Mike P and myself talk all things fantasy across both FPL and Draft formats.

Finally, ahead of the new season we were delighted to be asked to provide fantasy content for FourFourTwo ahead of the New Season. Check the links below for our Preview piece and Fantasy Bargains by position.

Again – thanks for the ongoing support and over to you Mr. Hawthorne!


Ryan @FantasyYIRMA



Defender: Kyle Walker-Peters, Southampton

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Saints (try saying that quickly after a few sherbets) travel to face Crystal Palace on the opening day.

Traditionally on the first day of the season, the home side would be full of misplaced optimism, roared on by the Selhurst Park Ultras, and Christian Benteke would pull his finger out for once, leading to loads of FPL suckers sticking him into their team for GW2 and swearing profusely at him for weeks afterwards.

However, Selhurst Park will be empty, Christian Benteke is injured, and Crystal Palace really aren’t very good. Therefore, I’m expecting Walker-Peters to cement the fullback slot for the season with a clean sheet and possibly a cheeky assist. He’s the second most popular £4.5m defender at time of typing, y’know.


Midfielder: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal

The most eye-catching FPL positional change of the close-season sees one of Europe’s most deadly strikers labelled as a midfielder because he occasionally gets chalk on his boots on the wing.

Who are we to argue?

Indeed, we should take a vow of silence and proceed to shoehorn a 44-goals-in-two-full-seasons-striker into our midfield immediately. If you don’t you’re doing FPL wrong

As 44.5% of players have done so at this point in time, if they’re right and you’re wrong then you’re starting the season playing catch-up immediately. We all know what happens when you’re trying to play catch-up in FPL. You end up with Theo Walcott or *shudder* Andy Carroll in your team.


Forward: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Did you hear the one about the £10.5m FPL striker that used to cost £13m, has an average of 23 goals over the last six seasons, should now at 27 years of age be hitting his (Amazon) prime years, has lovely fixtures to start the season, and is being ignored by 85% of the FPL community?

That’s Harry Kane, that is.

Food for thought, no?


Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Oh look! Niall has tipped a Liverpool player as Captain again! How original! (Got there ahead of you Ryan…)

Of course!

The Egyptian King is averaging 265 points a season in FPL. He’s playing at home to a newly promoted club, and while Leeds United are a big name, they were spanked quite a few times in the Championship last season, and they’re going to the home of the Champions.

With the absence of Manchester United and City players in GW1, you want to get off to the best possible. You need to apply some common sense, so don’t forget the golden rules of FPL.

Golden Rule #1: Always. Captain. Salah.


Outsider: Sam Field, West Bromwich Albion

Regular readers of this column will know that I’m on a cricket-style hat-trick. It may be split over two different seasons, but a hat-trick is a hat-trick.

Daniel Podence (0.0% ownership) scored a goal in GW37

Will Smallbone (0.0% ownership) provided an assist in GW38

So now I need to find somebody that NOBODY owns for GW1 to provide a return and promote me into the pantheon of FPL Legends (I’m told you get a t-shirt!)

Slim pickings, let me tell you. The amount of bench fodder typically selected at this time of the season has resulted in the unloved talent pool being shallower than a Boris Johnson Valentine’s Day message.

However, I’ve decided to play the field, and if my missus is reading this, I need to clarify that I’m referring to Sam Field of West Brom. £5.0m and 0.0% ownership. Want to be part of history? Go on, I dare you…


Written by @NiallHawthorne




Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof


Posted on 10 Sep 2020, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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