With the first weekend of the Premier League in the books, it’s time to look at the players who are moving in and out of fantasy teams in the league’s official game.
Fresh off a clean-sheet, one-assist effort in his Premier League debut for Liverpool, 18-year-old defender Joe Gomez is the most-added player as of today. At the extremely low price of £4.6, Gomez is the rare starting defender for a big club who can also provide significant salary relief. He certainly played well enough to keep his starting spot in the short term, but 18-year-old defenders in the Premier League are rare breeds, so expecting him to hold onto the job for the entire season is risky.
West Ham’s Reece Oxford also made his Premier League debut this past weekend, though he makes Gomez look like a seasoned veteran. At only 16 years old, Oxford is the seventh youngest player to ever start a match in England’s top flight. Getting the call against a strong Arsenal team at the Emirates, Oxford played well above his age and finished the day with a solid six fantasy points, an excellent return for only £4.0. However, it’s important to note that Oxford plays as a defensive midfielder, despite his designation as a defender, and got his points for the clean sheet (four) and playing at least 60 minutes (two). West Ham aren’t considered a terribly strong defensive side, so while the savings he provides at the minimum price can certainly help, he could very well return zero points more often than anything above that.
Leicester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez exploded in Gameweek 1 to the tune of 15 fantasy points thanks to his brace against Sunderland. He is the highest added midfielder so far, and at a price of only £5.6, he provides excellent savings for a player expected to maintain his attacking spot for a club that has shown over the past few months they can score with the best of them. However, they continue to struggle defensively, so the midfield clean-sheet points aren’t likely to be plentiful.
The most added forward is Everton’s Arouna Kone, who came off the bench in the opener and finished with a goal and an assist for an 11-point haul. 45,126 fantasy managers have already added him to their squads, and while his £5.0 price tag is attractive for a player with that kind of upside, his starts will continue to be very limited and the chance of a repeat performance from what we saw against Watford on Saturday is unlikely.
Here are the 30 most added players as of today:
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On the flip side, fantasy managers have made the quick pull on a few upper-tier players following disappointing opening fixtures. Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois is understandably the highest dropped player after picking up a red card in the opener, as he is suspended for Gameweek 2. Leighton Baines will be sidelined for a number of weeks with an ankle injury he suffered in training, something the club announced just before kickoff Saturday (and after roster locks, thank you very much), which is the cause of his decline.
However, we still see other big name players tossed to the side, including Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, though even with nearly 32,000 managers deciding to drop him, he still remains the highest owned player in the game. Other popular players on the ownership decline include Memphis Depay, Jordan Henderson, Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas. Each of them are expected to be very solid fantasy options this season, but disappointing opening fixtures have left fantasy owners looking elsewhere.
If you’re starting to think about upper-tier differential picks, this might be a good place to start: