FPL Preview: Early wildcard dilemmas

By SFC Media time Fri 10 Sep Fantasy Premier League
Photo by Matt Watson | Tino Livramento

We’re only three Gameweeks into the season, but the closure of the transfer window combined with a chaotic international break means many Fantasy Premier League managers will be tempted to pull the trigger on the first wildcard of the season already.

Here, we take a look at which Southampton players have impressed, and which big hitters you should look to target from further afield.

PICK OF THE SAINTS

Goalkeeper:
Alex McCarthy £4.5m

In our season preview four weeks ago, we left the goalkeeper position alone, but McCarthy now has the shirt and represents decent value for a starting keeper at £4.5m.

He has produced seven clean sheets and 90+ points in each of the last two FPL campaigns, and, even without a shutout to date this season, has narrowly missed out on a bonus point for three saves in each of the last two fixtures.

Defender: Tino Livramento £4.1m

As a starting defender at £4.1m, Livramento has already become Saints’ most owned FPL asset and is a popular pick among those early wildcarders.

His form so far would suggest his place is fairly safe, while there is also the prospect of attacking returns – he should have had an assist for Moussa Djenepo at Newcastle a fortnight ago.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Tino Livramento(L) of Southampton and Miguel Almiron of Newcastle during the Premier League match between Newcastle United  and  Southampton at St. James Park on August 28, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Owned by 7.2% of managers, Livramento is Saints' most popular FPL player

Midfielder: Mohamed Elyounoussi £5.5m

Whilst James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) is the safe pick – so rarely does he miss any minutes, never mind games – Elyounoussi has presented himself as an interesting alternative for FPL managers.

Having scored for Norway against Latvia last weekend, he now has five goals in five games for club and country, and is owned by just 0.1% of players.

Forward: Adam Armstrong £6.0m

There is a case to be made for Ché Adams (£7.0m) and Armando Broja (£5.0m), who looks an interesting punt as a third forward to free up funds for premium players, but Armstrong is our pick of Saints’ front men.

That £1.0m saving over Adams is significant, and he hasn’t yet missed a minute in the Premier League. When Broja was introduced at Newcastle, Adams was the man sacrificed and Armstrong got himself an assist by winning the late penalty, adding to his debut goal at Everton.

Adam Armstrong
Attack stats
goalGoals
1
Total shots
7
Shots on target
3
Conversion rate
14%
Mins per goal
270
See all statschevron right

Want to go BIG in other areas? We assess the best wildcard options from elsewhere in the Premier League…

Goalkeeper: Robert Sánchez £4.5m

Our pre-season pick still looks the best budget goalkeeper on offer, with games against Brentford, Crystal Palace and Norwich to come over the next five Gameweeks.

Defender: Lucas Digne £5.4m

A slow start has seen the Frenchman drop in price, but Everton look a team who will rely heavily on crosses this season, and with home games coming up against Burnley, Norwich and Watford, there’s a good chance of attacking returns to go with potential clean sheets.

Defender: Conor Coady £4.5m

Looking for a cheaper option to free up some cash? Wolves have a really enticing run of fixtures ahead – they don’t face any of the Premier League big hitters until December – and have been unfortunate not to keep out Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester United so far.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers at City Ground on August 24, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Wolves have the most attractive run of fixtures in FPL, and Coady rarely misses a minute

Midfielder: Diogo Jota £7.6m

With Roberto Firmino injured (as well as being sidelined by Brazil), Jota becomes an even better option as a midfielder playing up front. Even with Firmino available, the Portuguese started the first two games and scored in both, and even netted for his country in midweek.

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo £12.5m

He’s hard to ignore, isn’t he? We think he starts against Newcastle, which probably makes him the best captaincy option for Gameweek 4. After that, you just leave him in the team and let him do his thing.

Forward: Romelu Lukaku £11.5m

What’s going to be tricky this season is juggling all the premium options. Harry Kane (£12.3m) looks a great option against Crystal Palace this weekend, but longer term Lukaku is the better pick, based on the autumn fixtures. If you can afford it, owning Ronaldo, Lukaku and a mid-price third forward should see your rank soar.

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