In the following article, we discuss some of the stand out players from the first couple of Gameweeks and several of the other stronger performing players. We will also look ahead at their forthcoming fixtures to assess whether they are likely to continue with their early season form.
Besides Mo Salah (£12.6m) and Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) making an explosive start to the season on the opening weekend, there have been some other notable performances. We have also witnessed some very high FPL scoring.
We’ve had an abundance of low cost and mid price options emerge, strengthening the appeal of an early wildcard. With so many assets performing well it can be hard to know where to look and what direction to go in.
Hopefully this article will help clear our thoughts and narrow down the best picks ahead of gameweek three and beyond.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.2m) – 16.2% TSB
Although Calvert-Lewin has scored a goal in both of Everton’s opening two fixtures he could quite easily have had another three or four goals to his name. The addition of both Demarai Gray (£5.5m) and Andros Townsend (£5.5m) to the Everton team is providing the service that DCL craves. That service is supplemented by Lucas Digne (£5.5m). Calvert-Lewis made a blistering start to the 2020/21 season and he has once again started this campaign off strongly.
Calvert-Lewis has accumulated 14 points in the opening two Gameweeks with only Michail Antonio (£7.8m) and Danny Ings (£8.1m) scoring more points among the forwards. He has had nine attempts on goal which is the third highest number of attempts on goal in the Premier League.
Only Michail Antonio has had more attempts than him among forwards. Six of those attempts have been on target which is the joint highest in the PL. He has had three big chances and only Antonio has registered more. Having already scored two goals, DCL has an expected goals (xG) total of 2.23, which is the second highest in the PL.
What raises his appeal is the fact that Calvert-Lewin is now on penalty duty. He comfortably slotted home a spot kick in the 2-2 draw at Leeds in GW2.
Looking at the fixture ticker on Fantasy Football Hub, The Toffees have a favourable run of fixtures and are ranked seventh for the easiest overall fixtures between GW3 to GW8. You will see from the graphic below that Everton have home games against Burnley, Norwich and West Ham. While they face Brighton, Aston Villa and Manchester Utd on the road.
Three of those teams feature in the bottom half of the table for xG while both Burnley and Norwich feature in the bottom four teams for expected goals conceded (xGC). Given the fixtures, there is every chance that DCL can repeat his early season heroics from last season. The Hub predictor has DCL scoring 21 points over the next four GWs with a projected 5.2 points against Brighton in GW3.
Paul Pogba (£7.7m) – 18.3% TSB
Paul Pogba has made a sensational start to the season with five assists in his first two games. He is the joint fourth highest FPL points scorer with 20 points. Besides his five assists he has also picked up two bonus points.
Not only is Pogba creating chances for his colleagues but he is also producing plenty of attempts on goal himself. He is currently ranked fifth among the midfielders for his six attempts on goal, the best of which was the guilt edge chance that he spurned against Leeds.
Pogba also has the sixth highest xG at 0.87. Even though Pogba has the most assists to his name by some distance he is still only ranked fourth among midfielders with an expected assists (xA) total of 0.76.
Manchester Utd are ranked sixth for the easiest overall fixtures over the next six Gameweeks. They face Newcastle, Aston Villa and Everton at Old Trafford whilst they have games at Wolves, West Ham and Leicester on the road.
Five of those teams have conceded at least three goals over their opening games, while Manchester Utd are the second highest goal scorers and have an xG of 4.0. With the likes of Marcus Rashford (£9.4m), Edinson Cavani (£8.5m) and Anthony Martial (£7.8m) all returning to bolster the Utd attack, they are going to be a formidable force.
At the center of their creativity will be Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba. There is nothing to prevent Pogba continuing his fine form. The Hub’s predictor has Pogba scoring 15.4 points over the next four GWs but based on his first couple of appearances, that seems a cautious figure.
Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) – 6.6% TSB
Who would have thought that after just two Gameweeks, a goalkeeper would have been the joint third highest FPL points scorer? Lloris sits proudly third in the table with 21 points with only Antonio and Said Benrahma (£6.3m) with more points.
A tally achieved with two clean sheets, three save points and six bonus points. Tottenham are not exactly renowned for their tight defence, however, their backline produced an impressive defensive performance against the current champions, Manchester City.
With Tottenham having conceded the highest number of shots in the Premier League (43), it is not difficult to see how LLoris has made the joint fifth highest number of saves (10). This has contributed to him picking up the three save points and six bonus points.
Looking ahead to Tottenham’s next six fixtures, they provide plenty of scope for more clean sheets. They face Watford, Chelsea and Villa at home. Spurs have away games at Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Newcastle. Only Chelsea have an xG in the top half of the rankings whilst three of Spurs opponents feature in the bottom five teams for xG.
However, one word of caution, Spurs have an xGC of 3.4 so they are clearly over-performing defensively. The Hub’s predictor has LLoris scoring 15.1 points over the next four GWs with a projected score of 4.2 against Watford.
Mason Greenwood (£7.6m) – 12.3% TSB
With both Rashford and Cavani missing through injury, Greenwood has been fortunate enough to play the full 180 minutes. Although he played through the middle against Leeds, he started the Southampton game out wide before moving into the middle late in the second half.
Greenwood has continued with the fine form that he showed at the latter end of last season by scoring a goal in both games. He was also unfortunate not to have picked up an assist when Pogba spurned a great opportunity against Leeds, after being put through by Greenwood.
Greenwood is the fifth highest scoring midfielder with 18 points. The young England International has shown that he is not frightened to shoot at every opportunity and he is ranked fourth for the number of attempts on goal (8). Three of those attempts being on target.
He has an xG of 0.5 and an xA of 0.57. Besides his two goals he has also picked up 4 bonus points from the opening two GWs. As discussed with Paul Pogba, Utd’s next 6 fixtures are favourable and there is nothing stopping him from continuing his scoring spree.
The only slight concern would be his game time, given the imminent return of Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani. Greenwood is predicted to score 21.4 points over the next four GWs, with 4.6 points predicted against Wolves at Molineux.
Said Benrahma (£6.2m) – 21.5% TSB
After The Hammers scintillating attacking display against Leicester on Monday the FPL transfer activity went into overdrive with both Benrahma and Antonio in great demand.
The Algerian, showed a great deal of promise in pre-season and he has carried that form into the start of the new Premier League season. He has been a revelation and forms an integral part of a very strong Hammers attacking unit. He seems to have built up a great understanding with Michail Antonio and it’s certainly paying dividends.
Benrahma is the second highest FPL points scorer, having amassed 24 points over the first two games. That includes two goals, two assists and four bonus points. With a home fixture against Palace next up, there is a great chance of him continuing his blistering start to the new campaign.
Even though Benrahma has only had 5 attempts on goal, 3 of those attempts have been on target and he has scored 2 goals. He has the joint fourth highest xG amongst midfielders with 1.13. Benrahma has an xA of 0.67 and he has already contributed with two assists.
Having been involved in four of West Ham’s eight goals, his influence is there to be seen. He is clearly getting himself into some promising attacking positions and it can be argued that he is actually over-performing. The question is: is Benrahma’s form sustainable? The Hub’s predictor has Benrahma scoring 16.7 points over the next four GWs, with 4.6 predicted against Crystal Palace in GW3.
Michail Antonio (£7.7m) – 38.5% TSB
Michail Antonio is currently the hottest property in Fantasy Premier League. He spearheads a rampant West Ham attack that has seen them become the Premier League’s highest goal scorers early on. The Hammers are ranked third for the number of attempts on goal (37) whilst they have also created the highest number of big chances (9). West Ham are the highest goal scorers (8) whilst they have an astonishing xG of 5.9. With Palace up next at a full London Stadium, Antonio could certainly continue with his purple patch.
Plagued by injuries over recent seasons, Antonio has certainly hit the ground running this season. He has scored a remarkable 29 FPL points in just two games.
He has already scored 3 goals and created 3 assists on his way to maximum bonus points in both games. Remarkably, he has been involved in 75% of West Ham’s goals. His 11 attempts on goal is the highest in the PL, with 6 of those attempts being on target. He was also unfortunate to see his powerful header come back off the post at Newcastle. Antonio has an xG of 2.76 which again is the highest in the PL.
Antonio has already shown that he is more than capable of providing assists, he has an xA of 1.16 which is the third highest in the League.
Looking at West Ham’s next 6 games and they are ranked third for the easiest overall fixtures. They play Palace, Manchester Utd and Brentford at the London Stadium. Whilst away from home they face Southampton, Leeds and Everton. Only Manchester Utd and Brentford have conceded less than three goals in their opening two games. It provides an excellent opportunity for Antonio and West Ham to continue with their impressive start to the season.
West Ham participate in the Europa League this season but if Antonio can keep himself fit, there is nothing stopping him going on to be a prolific goal scorer this season.
Both Antonio and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been the two stand out forwards so far in this campaign but you will see from the graphic below how Antonio is currently the stand out performer. Calvert-Lewin’s performance is in blue whilst Antonio’s performance is in red.
Besides the six featured stand out players a special mention should also go out to several other players who have produced strong performances. Marcos Alonso (£5.6m) has made a brilliant start to the season for Chelsea with 21 points in his first two games. The only issue with Alonso is the fact that he is likely to play second fiddle to Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) throughout the season.
Four other defenders who have also performed strongly include Reece James (£5.6m) of Chelsea who has accumulated 19 points with a goal and an assist. The Liverpool pairing of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Konstantinos Tsimikas (£4.2m) have also shone with both bagging an assist and bonus points against Burnley. Like Marcos Alonso, Tsimikas is likely to be an understudy to Andy Robertson (£7.0m).
Surprisingly, newly promoted Brentford have kept two clean sheets in their opening fixtures with Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m) shining in The Bees defence. He has accumulated 17 points with two clean sheets, two bonus points and an assist against Arsenal.
Although featuring in a Villa side that are not currently firing Danny Ings has shown his undoubted quality with a goal in both of his Villa appearances. His spectacular bicycle kick goal against Newcastle being an early contender for goal of the season. Another forward making his mark is Diogo Jota (£7.6m).
Even though he has been restricted to 140 minutes over the two games he has provided a goal in both of Liverpool’s games. Accumulating 16 points in the process. Although Jota is likely to share game time, he could have a very productive season in a near full-strength Liverpool team.
All of the featured players have seen their ownership increase significantly this GW. Their prices and ownership are correct as of Thursday evening.
It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds and how the six featured players perform. Whether they can cope with the gruelling demands of the Premier League and European football remains to be seen.
No doubt, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) and Harry Kane (£12.3m) back into the fold, they will become prominent as the season progress. There is also speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo may soon be plying his trade at The Etihad. That would make it a very interesting FPL season, with a plethora of premium assets to choose from.
*Underlying statistics and graphs obtained via the author’s paid subscription to Fantasy Football Hub*