The first week of the Premier League is over and we saw some huge scores throughout all mini-leagues in Fantasy Premier League. All the big hitters came to the party, there were a few surprising results and lots of talking points.
Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marcus Rashford, and Raheem Sterling all did really well this week, but it is important to remember that it is almost impossible to fit all of them in one team.
I myself scored a steady 86 points and am still assessing the Fantasy Premier League landscape before making any transfers. It is easy to panic with a bad start but remember, it’s only one week and there is no need to get desperate yet.
Here’s my list of 5 common mistakes that FPL managers make that they should avoid post-Gameweek 1.
#1 Don't panic and take multiple point hits
There could have easily been some very good teams out there with very good picks that did not do too well. While most of the big hitters came to the party, there were a few highly owned assets that did not do too well. Alisson, Andrew Robertson, Ryan Fraser, Raul Jimenez, Callum Wilson, Joshua King, Wilfried Zaha, Bernardo Silva, and the likes are all highly owned assets that did not do well in Gameweek 1.
Not performing for one week does not mean they are bad picks. There is no need to go hit-crazy and discount all your preseason research this early and opt for picks that did well in Gameweek 1, especially at the cost of minus points.
For example, one could be weighing up a Fraser to Martial move or a Jimenez/Wilson to Rashford move. In this case, the latter move will most likely come at the cost of a hit if you don’t have any money in the bank.
It is worth noting that both Rashford and Martial have a tough away trip to Wolves next and would not necessarily give the immediate returns that you are looking for.
Even when it comes to the Bournemouth assets, it is worth remembering that they are facing an Aston Villa side that conceded the most shots in the box amongst all Premier League teams in the first week. There could be loads of areas to address in your squad, but you don’t need to address them all in one week.
#2 Don’t Wildcard - you don’t have enough data
Another common mistake a lot of Fantasy Premier League managers make is panicking due to the poor start and wildcarding. One needs to remember that your current overall rank is only a Gameweek rank and a Gameweek rank of under a million week on week will lead to you being in the top 1,000 at the end of the season.
Every manager has bad weeks and you had yours at the beginning of the season when there is no data available anyway. If you do want to wildcard, I would hold on to it for at least two more weeks as I think data needs to last at least 3-6 weeks before it becomes a trend.
One week is not enough to judge performances of your Fantasy Premier League teams. For example, you could be ignoring Chelsea, Norwich and Aston Villa assets based on their GW1 result but all 3 teams showed lots of good signs, have decent fixtures coming up and faced difficult opposition Gameweek 1.
You could easily find yourself wildcarding this week and then wanting to wildcard again in 2-3 weeks time because the picks you made were on one weeks' data instead of 4 weeks' data. This is why I recommend you hold on to your wildcard for a little time more, target the most dangerous players first and play along till you feel like you’ve gathered enough information to wildcard your team.
#3 Don't ignore non-starters and injured players in your team
It is very easy to get swayed by all the big-hitters that have performed and go all-out to get them while ignoring those in your team that are injured or did not start Gameweek 1. If you have an Alisson shaped hole in your team and a second non-playing Goalkeeper, I recommend that you prioritize this transfer over any other transfer.
There is news out already that he is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks and you don’t want to play with 10 players for that period. So the big-hitters or attacking players you are eyeing can wait for a while and you should target a playing keeper in the meantime.
De Gea, Pickford, Adrian, Heaton and Pope would be my recommendation for this spot based on how long you want to wait before you use your first wildcard.
When it comes to the likes of Bernardo Silva, I would still sell them even though he could start Gameweek 2 because we now know that he is prone to rotation. So the bottom line is, address your weakest spots first before moving to the big guns.
#4 Don’t rely on Gameweek 1 Lineups
We have seen a few surprises in lineups in Gameweek 1. Don’t rely on line-ups in Gameweek 1 as permanent line ups.
We saw the likes of Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero, Leandro Trossard, Sadio Mane and Wilfried Zaha miss out in the first week. It is worth noting that some big guns weren’t starting because of tactical reasons while others weren’t up to speed yet.
Brighton manager Graham Potter already told us why Trossard missed out in the first Gameweek.
“Leo was unlucky not to start. We went for Pascal’s experience on the opening day and an away fixture in the Premier League.” – Graham Potter
This tells us that there is a high chance that Trossard could start in the next Gameweek, thus proving my point that when it comes to some of the players mentioned above, don’t rely on lineups in Gameweek 1 as the permanent lineups.
Also, it is wrong to assume that the likes of Kelly, Rico and Lundstram, who are all popular 4.0 defenders who started Gameweek 1 will continue to start.
So don’t lose your squad balance yet and rely on these cheap defenders as yet so that you can buy your big-hitters. Look at trends for a couple of weeks, then figure out which of these players are nailed and if they are in form, buy them.
#5 Don't bench premium players for cheap options because they had one good game
A lot of managers make this very common mistake. Just because the likes of Lucas Moura, Kevin De Bruyne, Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, etc. had a relatively quiet first Gameweek or have a tough fixture this week, we do not bench them for cheaper options. They are premium options for a reason.
It is wrong to assume that the likes of Lewis Dunk, Erik Pieters, Martin Kelly, Divock Origi, etc will continue to do so well. In addition, the last few years have seen open games between top Premier League opposition so there is no reason to bench your attackers from top teams for these big games (namely Man City vs Spurs).
One must remember that not long ago did we see a goal-fest between these two teams in the Champions League. Even when it comes to defenders like Andrew Robertson, it is way too early to lose faith in them.
Robertson had a very good game offensively and was unlucky to not be amongst the points. We must remember that we bought these premium defenders for returns on both sides of the pitch. Be patient with them and don’t lose faith so early.
I hope this article helps take away some of your Gameweek 1 jitters. Hold those knees, don’t panic and in general, be patient.
Where does Haaland rank in Paul Merson's 5 best Premier League transfers so far? Click here