Only one more sleep until the Premier League is back and that also means that Top Transfer Targets are also back! For those new to my column, every week I go through the ownership tiers to lay out cases for the best additions to your FPL team. There is also a Punty McPunterson each week who is under five percent owned who I’m backing for a big return. With it being week one, this week’s edition will be a reveal of my FPL team while further weeks will follow a more standard format.
I would like to begin with a few notes, however, as this season will be a weird one as COVID will for sure play an impact on the season with some players in doubt already for game week one. I will do my best to ensure that I have the most up to date information on who’s available but if there are any sudden changes and I’m unable to edit an article, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter at ChuckBoothSport to see who the direct replacement should be.
The toughest decisions in my squad were how to manage blanks for Manchester United and Manchester City and going through fixtures, the best decision for my team was to go with Anthony Martial only. The goal is that with a little rotation, I can bank my transfer in game week two to either make a double swap or take a hit in game week three to bring Kevin De Bruyne and others in while Aubameyang goes out. But future transfer planning is always risky so we’ll see how that works out!
Aaron Ramsdale - Sheffield United, 5.0m: With Dean Henderson moving back to Manchester United, Ramsdale comes in to fill the hole between the sticks. Even though Bournemouth was relegated last year, Ramsdale had a strong showing as an active sweeper keeper. Giving Ramsdale a better backline at Sheffield United, the bonus points should roll in, making him worth the .5m more than Alex McCarthy or Mat Ryan.
Orjan Nyland - Aston Villa, 4.0m: While Villa is looking to sign a keeper, Nyland likely opens the season as the starter. That’s enough for me when it comes to a 4.0 option in net.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool, 7.5m: 7.5 million is a bargain for Alexander-Arnold. Even if he doesn’t keep up last year's production of four goals and 13 assists, Liverpool will also keep more clean sheets with a fully fit backline. Alexander-Arnold has been involved in 30 goals in the last two seasons. Just double-digit goal involvement makes him worth his salary and that kind of involvement will be unmatched by any other defender.
Ben Davies - Tottenham, 5.0m: I wanted Matt Doherty but to get my forward line in order, sacrifices had to be made. But while Davies may not be as explosive going forward, Tottenham should see an uptick in clean sheets this year from last year’s eight and with Danny Rose having one foot out the door, there’s no competition for his spot. With the center backs up in the air, Davies becomes the safest entrant into the Spurs defense and any attacking returns that he gets are extra gravy on the side.
Charlie Taylor - Burnley, 4.5m: West Ham may be chasing James Tarkowski but that doesn’t scare me off of the clarets. Fully formed center backs emerge from Sean Dyche’s forehead so I’m sure that a replacement will be added if needed. But Taylor is another underpriced pick at 4.5m. Missing some time due to injury, Taylor owned the right flank for Burnley last year and while he only registered one assist, that will likely go up as he passes A LOT. There’s a lot to like about the Burnley defense and a lot to like about Taylor specifically.
Kyle Walker-Peters - Southampton, 4.5m: Making his loan move from Tottenham permanent, Walker-Peters will be the guy on the right side for Southampton this season. While the Saints defense likely isn’t as good as it was after the restart, the addition of Mohammed Salisu should spur major improvement at the back. Walker-Peters also hasn’t met a cross that he doesn’t like and I’ll never forget his three assists in one game for Tottenham. It's low risk but the rewards could be massive.
Tyrick Mitchell Crystal Palace, 4.0m: The savings 4.0m punt. I would like to take a flier on Jarrad Branthwaite but I’m concerned that if the James Rodriguez signing works out for Everton, he could be a hindrance to bringing in three reasonably priced Toffees.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang - Arsenal, 12.0m: Auba as a midfielder is going to take some getting used to. Auba scoring goals versus Fulham won’t however. I don’t like reading too much into selection statistics but with 46.2 percent of teams including AUbameyang, you almost have to include him to begin the season. He’s also a great captaincy shout to kick off the season.
Mohamed Salah - Liverpool, 12.0m: Ole reliable is back to kick off the season versus a promoted team. Salah has lost some backers to Sadio Mané but I’m keeping the faith (penalties help). Whispers are swirling about Leeds possibly having a lockdown defense this year but I’ll be handing Salah my armband as I look to start the season on the right foot.
James Ward-Prowse - Southampton, 6.0m: The Saints are on the up, and much of that rotates around Ward-Prowse. The chief creator for Southampton, you can make a case that Ward-Prowse underperformed on the attacking end last year but with Ralph Hasenhüttl taking full control of Southampton, Ward-Prowse is in for a massive year.
Allan Saint-Maximin - Newcastle, 5.5m: Possibly the best value midfielder in the game ASM has me giddy to watch Newcastle. Getting someone into your FPL side who you can root for is fun to do and it doesn’t get better than ASM. From his personality to his interactions on Twitter, he’s truly so much fun and it’s clear why he’s becoming a Geordie favorite in such a short time.
Okay… enough fanboy talk, now back to the numbers. Saint-Maximin was involved in seven goals for Newcastle last season, joint second behind John Lundstram in his salary bracket. Lundstram is no longer a nailed-on starter while Joao Moutinho is likely to get his minutes managed at 34 leaving Saint-Maximin a clear path into lineups as a 5.5m mid. Add in that Newcastle also got new toys in Jamal Lewis, Ryan Fraser, and Callum Wilson (who’s also not Joelinton) and there is serious potential for upside here.
Matt Phillips - West Brom, 5.5m: I can’t resist a good punt and Phillips has the Premier League numbers to back it up, chipping in double-digit goal involvements in five of the last six seasons. With four of those being in the Premier League, I like Phillips’ odds to get on the score sheet. Add in that he’s kicking off versus a Leicester side with no Jonny Evans and the stage is set for West Brom to pull a Hull City with Phillips doing a Robert Snodgrass impression.
Aleksandar Mitrović - Fulham, 6.0m: Mitro’s on fire, your defense is terrified! Well… sort of. Fulham will likely be terrible this season but Mitrovic has carried a good goalscoring record with him during his career (including 11 goals during Fulham’s last Premier League cup of coffee). If Rhian Brewster goes on loan in the Premier League, I’ll be downgrading this spot immediately but facing an unsettled Arsenal defense in week one followed by Leeds, Mitrovic could come out of the blocks early.
Timo Werner - Chelsea, 9.5m: I wanted to fade Chelsea in FPL so badly until the rotation was figured out but injuries and the health of Christian Pulisic have made me pivot from Harry Kane to Werner. While he could flop, it's unlikely with the supply that he’ll be getting from everyone around him.
Anthony Martial - Manchester United, 9.0m: I Love Manchester United’s upcoming schedule but I’m not comfortable with 10 million-plus sitting on my bench so here comes Martial. The biggest winner of Bruno and Pogba together was the Frenchman and I’m expecting big things from him this year.
Check back in week two to see if I’m already planning an early wild card or if I can manage to hold off on my transfer!