The season is here. When league play kicks off on Saturday, it will have been 97 days since we last saw Premier League clubs face off. Thanks to the World Cup, the time has gone by quickly.
Many of you have just settled down from setting your fantasy World Cup lineups. If you find yourself behind in research for your fantasy Premier League team, do not worry, RotoWire is here for you. Be sure to check out our positional rankings (Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders, Forwards) for where a player would rank for the rest of the season.
Having these players will go a long way to getting you to the top of your league standings. However, this is just a part of it. Owning the guys on the top of these lists will eat into your salary cap and leave you looking for cheap options to fill out the rest of your lineup. If you are looking for long-term cheap options, give my Pre-Season Bargain Bin a read. It details some players that could provide significant fantasy value over the course of the season while coming at just a fraction of a top player’s cost.
If you are looking for players for this specific gameweek, you have come to the right place. The players listed below are all below-average cost and have a great opportunity to pick up some significant fantasy points. When looking for a one-week bargain, it is important to find the right matchups. It is also important to know the status of the rest of the squad. A couple of injuries could thrust a player into the spotlight for a week. And with that, here is Gameweek One of the Bargain Bin!
Hugo Lloris vs. West Ham
Lloris and Tottenham start off league play with an excellent home matchup against West Ham. The Hammers will be without top striker Andy Carroll and will depend on an attack that will more than likely feature a bunch of new summer signings. Last season, West Ham scored the third-fewest away goals of any Premier League club. The numbers from the pre-season do not give any reason to believe that will change for this weekend. In their six pre-season matches away from Boleyn Ground, the Hammers scored four goals. This included being shutout in half of those matches. Tottenham will have a good chance to start out the 2014-15 season with a clean sheet.
Honorable Mention: Asmir Begovic vs. Aston Villa – Villa were anemic without Christian Benteke and he is still out with an Achilles injury.
Mathieu Debuchy vs. Crystal Palace
Debuchy came over to Arsenal after spending the last season and a half with Newcastle. The move to Arsenal is an instant boost to his fantasy value thanks to the Gunners' ability to keep clean sheets. In fact, Arsenal tied with Chelsea last season for allowing the fewest goals in home matches. In Gameweek One, the Gunners will face a Crystal Palace squad that scored the third-fewest away goals last season. Sure, the Eagles bolstered their attack a little, but it certainly will not be enough for the Gunners’ strong back line.
In addition to the clean sheet potential, Debuchy will have some opportunities to provide fantasy production on the attack. Last season he tied for the league-lead among defenders for shots on target, finished fourth in shot attempts, and tied for fifth in assists. Arsenal will certainly let him push forward on the attack and he could find himself involved in an Arsenal goal.
Honorable Mention: Steven Caulker vs. Hull City – An attack-minded defender against a relegation nominee. This could either be a high-scoring match with Caulker involved somehow, or both teams will play it safe and finish 0-0.
We have built a statue to Ross Barkley here. Barkley is more of a requirement than a recommendation, so he will not be detailed each week. This will serve as a weekly reminder to make sure he is on your roster before his price goes up.
Jordan Henderson vs. Southampton
Henderson has had a sensational pre-season for Liverpool. He has consistently put pressure on the attack and has been rewarded with two goals. This comes after a season in which Henderson scored four goals while assisting on another seven. With Adam Lallana set to miss the match, Henderson could continue to play a prominent role in the Liverpool attack. While doing so, he will get to feature against a Southampton squad that lost two of their best defenders from last season (one to Liverpool no less) and were not as good defensively by the end of the season as they were during their hot start. Henderson should factor in on a Liverpool squad that looks set to score multiple times Saturday.
Honorable Mention: Remy Cabella vs. Manchester City – Has a tough matchup against City, but the City defense struggled on the road last season, and Newcastle will look for Cabella to fill the role Yohan Cabaye vacated last season.
Stevan Jovetic vs. Newcastle United
Jovetic spent much of last season on the sideline due to various leg injuries. Healthy now, he is starting to show why Manchester City invested in him last season. He managed to score four goals during the Guinness International Champions Cup thanks to a considerable amount of playing time. With Alvaro Negredo ruled out and Sergio Aguero looking doubtful due to lack of training, Jovetic could see his role up front remain for Gameweek 1. The Manchester City attack looks potent once again, and Jovetic would certainly capitalize on an unexpected increase in playing time to start the season.
Honorable Mention: Brown Ideye vs. Sunderland – Look for him to score in his West Brom debut.