Gameweek 1 of the Premier League is in the books, but all that really means is teams have 37 more matches to play. With the transfer window still open, squads can look dramatically different in Gameweek 1 than they will later in the season. Fantasy contributors like Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen, and Jason Puncheon all joined new clubs after the first gameweek last season.
This does not mean all the information learned from Week 1 is useless. Had you looked at last season’s Gameweek 1 stats, you would have noticed that bargain buys Seamus Coleman, Wilfried Bony, and Adam Johnson all had multiple shot attempts in their first matches of the season. Each of these players would go on to take plenty more and score multiple goals for their fantasy owners. Just be sure to pay close attention to each situation. Sure, Stevan Jovetic may look enticing after his five-shot performance in Gameweek 1 last weekend, but it's important to remember that his opportunity to play came mostly because Sergio Aguero was dealing with some match fitness issues following the World Cup. Aguero eventually came on for Jovetic and promptly scored a goal. With this in mind, here are some players that made some noise last weekend and will look to continue their fine performances in Gameweek 1.
Julian Speroni vs. West Ham United
Speroni started the season off with a tough matchup against Arsenal. He did his part to keep Crystal Palace in the hunt to steal a point by making four saves, but ultimately was one save short as the Eagles lost on a stoppage time goal. This weekend, Speroni and the Eagles get a much easier matchup against West Ham. The Hammers could only manage four shots on target in their first match of the season and will likely offer less pressure as they come to Selhurst Park. West Ham’s squad is currently lacking a top-rate finisher, which should give Speroni an easier go at it this weekend.
Honorable Mention: Lukasz Fabianski vs Burnley – Fabianski looked great leading Swansea to a win at Old Trafford and will now get an easier test with Burnley coming to town.
Ashley Williams vs. Burnley
The Swansea City defense did their job last weekend as the Swans went in to Old Trafford and defeated Manchester United. Much of that was due to Williams and his 15 clearances. The Swansea captain may not need to be as active defensively to help keep a clean sheet against newly-promoted Burnley this week, which may allow him to be more involved in the attack and build on a performance that saw him assist on a shot attempt last weekend.
Honorable Mention: James Chester vs. Stoke City – A goal and clean sheet in Gameweek 1 make Chester a good pickup for Gameweek Two against a Stoke City squad not known for scoring many goals.
James Ward-Prowse vs. West Brom
With what seemed like half of the Southampton squad leaving to join Liverpool this summer, a lot of interest was put into seeing who would step up on the Saints' attack. Ward-Prowse answered those questions with his three-shot performance last weekend against Liverpool and his former teammates. The youngster has been looking for his time to shine, and it seems that the mass exodus has brought that time now. He should get regular looks in the Southampton attack, and that will be nice for fantasy owners this week against West Brom. Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster was unable to stop any shots on target last weekend and typically posts below league-average save percentages. Ward-Prowse put two of his three attempts on target last weekend, and a similar display this weekend could be big for fantasy owners.
Honorable Mention: Tom Ince vs. Stoke City – Ince looked great with four shot attempts last weekend and will look for his first goal as a member of Hull City against Stoke.
Emmanuel Riviere vs. Aston Villa
Newcastle have been called Little France, so it was not much of a surprise when they brought on French striker Riviere this summer. He started in Gameweek 1 and promptly led the Magpies in shot attempts. While none of his attempts were able to find the back of the net against Manchester City, he should have an easier time trying to score against Aston Villa this weekend. Riviere will be keen to impress his new club and fans and will again pressure the opposing net with plenty of shot opportunities.
Honorable Mention: Graziano Pelle vs. West Brom – The departures of much of the Southampton attack has opened the doors for a bunch of players, including the newly signed Pelle. His two-shot performance from last weekend could also translate to goals this weekend against the Baggies.