The Premier League finally returns this weekend, and with that comes the welcome return of fantasy football. It has been a long three months without top-flight football in England, but many passionate fans have been setting up their teams and are now finally settled on their teams for the first round of fixtures.
One of the most important aspects that fantasy fans must ask themselves is before the first week of fixtures is who to name their captain as ahead of the big kick-off. Let’s examine some of the best options available to players.
Mohamed Salah (12.5m)
Last season’s top scorer in the Premier League has already been picked by nearly 40% of players for their respective teams. Salah ended the previous season with a successive golden boot after scoring 22 goals in the top-flight, and he is heavily expected to start the 2019-20 season in excellent form.
Granted, this is a premium option among fantasy players since the Egyptian costs £12.5 million, but if selected as captain on the first weekend, players will be quickly getting a head start.
Salah’s Liverpool host Norwich on the opening match-day. The Premier League newcomers travel to Anfield, and many expect the Reds to dispatch of their opponents comfortably. The bookmakers make Liverpool 1/7 favourites to win the game. Despite winning the Championship last season, the Canaries conceded 57 goals last season and failed to keep a clean sheet in their final six fixtures last season. This poor defensive record has continued over pre-season as they have only kept one clean sheet in their four fixtures.
Salah will likely get a host of chances and will play a starring role in what should be a comfortable opening day win for Liverpool.
Raheem Sterling (12m)
Raheem Sterling enjoyed an excellent pre-season by scoring five goals over four fixtures, including the Community Shield success. He will play a crucial role for the Citizens at the beginning of the season since both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are both yet to reach their pinnacle of fitness. Not just this, but Sterling was a dream for fantasy players last season as he only failed to register a single point on only 12 of the 32 match-days that he appeared for City.
West Ham is the perfect first game of the season for Sterling also. The Englishman has scored more goals against the Hammers than against any other Premier League side. He scored in this fixture at the London Stadium last season, and also scored a brace in the Citizens win over West Ham in the Asia Trophy during pre-season.
Harry Kane (11m)
The 2018-19 season was somewhat of a disappointment when it came to the Spurs striker for fantasy players. Kane only scored 17 goals in the injury-hit campaign, which was the lowest tally that he has recorded since bursting onto the scene in the 2014-15 season. He is priced at £11 million this season, and that price seems just too good for players to turn down, with over 28.3% of players opting to remain patient with the Spurs man.
He has looked sharp throughout pre-season and could be set for a return to over 20 goals for the coming season if he remains fully fit throughout the campaign. Spurs open the season at their new home against last season’s playoff winners Aston Villa. No promoted team conceded more than Villa’s tally of 61, and after a summer of change at the Midlands club it could be a good time to be playing against Dean Smith’s side. The game will mark the first full season at the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Spurs, and Harry Kane will be looking to start the season with a couple of goals. You wouldn’t bet against it.
Callum Wilson (8m)
Wilson enjoyed an excellent last season by scoring 14 goals and contributing 12 assists. His total of 168 points was his highest ever in fantasy football, even though he was injured for several game weeks. He could prove to be a fine differential captain pick as the Cherries welcome relegation favourites Sheffield United to the Vitality. Stats and heatmaps from last season suggest Wilson see far more action in the penalty that any other Bournemouth player, and certainly justifies his 8m price tag. Wilson could quickly teach Chris Wilder’s side the harsh difference between the Championship and the Premier League.