The World Cup may have been the most brilliant one in recent memory, but for most football fans, it was merely a captivating entree, for the main course remains club football.

And arguably the finest club competition in the world, The Premier League is set to enthral aficionados for the next ten months.

Of course, with the English top-flight back, that can only mean one thing: Fantasy Premier League (FPL) returns!

Getting off to a flyer in FPL is tantamount to your favourite club winning their opening day fixture and while The Statesman can’t help with the latter, we most certainly can with the former.

Prior to every gameweek, we’ll help you decide which player is worth bringing out your virtual chequebook for.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices (in £ million) marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.

Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford

Jordan Pickford, Everton F.C., Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
England’s No.1 is already on the radar of some big clubs! (Photo: Everton F.C./Facebook)

 

Team: Everton
Fixtures: Wolves (A), Southampton (H), Bournemouth (A), Huddersfield (H) and West Ham (H)
Price: 5.0
Score (2017/18): 145
Ownership: 21.8%

Why yes: England’s standout player at the World Cup, Pickford is primed for a stupendous 2018/19 season. The Toffees, under Marco Silva’s stewardship, have done great business and look set to challenge for the European spots. Fixtures are arguably the easiest you’ll see.

Why no: Pre-season results, admittedly not the most accurate barometer, haven’t been encouraging. Lucas Digne (£5.0 m) and Yerry Mina (£5.5 m) make for compelling arguments as well.

Joe Hart

Joe Hart, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
This man has a point to prove! (File Photo: AFP)

 

Team: Burnley
Fixtures: Southampton (A), Watford (H), Fulham (H), Man United (H) and Wolves (A)
Price: 4.5
Score (2017/18): 59
Ownership: 2.3

Why yes: Hart’s not as bad as he’s been made out to be of late. Still only 31, he’s got plenty of top-flight football left in him. With the Clarets undergoing a goalkeeping crisis at the moment, expect the former England No.1 to prove a point to his doubters this season. Fixtures seem pretty routine on the whole. A great second keeper at the very least.

Why no: When Nick Pope and Tom Heaton return from their respective injuries, Hart will not be a guaranteed starter. European football may distract Sean Dyche’s men from the Premier League.

Defenders

Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
The Reds’ flying Scotsman (R) could be one of the highest-scoring FPL defenders this season! (Photo: Liverpool F.C./Facebook)

 

Team: Liverpool
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Crystal Palace (A), Brighton (H), Leicester (A) and Spurs (A)
Price: 6.0
Score: 111
Ownership: 15.4%

Why yes: After last season’s heroics, Liverpool’s Scottish fullback looks set to follow up in spectacular fashion. The Reds have a far better keeper at the back and that automatically translates into more clean sheets over the course of the campaign.

Why no: Trent-Alexander Arnold (£5.0m) is a cheaper option and currently, Liverpool have a host of injuries in central defence. Remains to be seen if Alisson will live up to the hype.

Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
The jury’s still out on Victor Lindelof (C)! (Photo AFP)

 

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Leicester (H), Brighton (A), Spurs (H), Burnley (A) and Watford (A)
Price: 5.0
Score: 47
Ownership: 0.9%

Why yes: Among the many United players to acquit themselves well at the World Cup, the path is paved for Lindelof to prove the naysayers wrong in his second Premier League season. Fixtures look pretty decent, on paper at least. Leicester have just lost Riyad Mahrez and the Algerian’s absence does leave the Foxes a little toothless in attack.

Why no: Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll know United aren’t in great shape at the moment. The Red Devils do have a bit of an issue at right back with both Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot injured.

Midfielders

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
Will this season be the one in which Bernardo Silva (R) stamps his class? (Photo: Manchester City F.C./Facebook)

 

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Arsenal (A), Huddersfield (H), Wolves (A), Newcastle (H) and Fulham (H)
Price: 7.5
Score (2017/18): 112
Ownership: 4.8%

Why yes: After a difficult debut season, City’s Portuguese magician looks set to take David Silva’s mantle. He was outstanding against Chelsea and there’s no reason why he won’t be able to do the same against another capital club. Could prove to be a massive differential.

Why no: Arsenal look to have shored up at the back and at the Emirates, won’t go down easily. Not a confirmed starter, especially after Riyad Mahrez’s (£9.0 m) arrival.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
Can the combative Chilean go on and emulate his Arsenal heroics for United? (Photo: Manchester United F.C.)

 

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Leicester (H), Brighton (A), Spurs (H), Burnley (A) and Watford (A)
Price: 10.5
Score (2017/18): 152
Ownership: 8.7%

Why yes: A cliche, yes, but is the Chilean like a new signing? Jose Mourinho will certainly hope so and count on the No.7 to lead United’s charge. Might even play as a second striker at times this season.

Why no: At his price, it’s easy to find safer picks. United’s summer troubles have been well documented. Most of the club’s top perfumers either aren’t match fit or are injured.

Forwards

Roberto Firmino

Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
How many no-look goals will we see this season? (Photo: AFP)

 

Team: Liverpool
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Crystal Palace (A), Brighton (H), Leicester (A) and Spurs (A)
Price: 9.5
Score (2017/18): 181
Ownership: 35.5%

Why yes: Must have. Without a doubt. While the likes of Mohamed Salah (£13.0 m) will disrupt your team’s balance, Liverpool’s striker will do anything but.

Why no: Still a slight doubt over whether he’ll start against West Ham due to his involvement at the World Cup.

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Gameweek 1, FPL, Fantasy Football, FPL Tips, FPL Tricks, Manchester United F.C., Liverpool F.C., Alexis Sanchez, Roberto Firmino
The Ivorian winger’s been a man on a mission in pre-season! (Photo: Wilfried Zaha/Twitter)

 

Team: Crystal Palace
Fixtures: Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Watford (A), Southampton (H), Huddersfield (A)
Price: 7.0
Score (2017/18): 136
Ownership: 31.1%

Why yes: Standout talent in pre-season, surprising he wasn’t picked up by a big club. The former United man’s proved he’s capable of leading the line. At his price, a no-brainer.

Why no: With the ineffective Christian Benteke alongside him, it remains to be seen how much damage he can wreak. Isn’t on set-piece duties. West Ham’s Mark Arnautovic (£7.0m) is worth a dekho in the same price bracket.

PS: The Gameweek deadline is Friday, 1900 GMT/2330 IST. You make unlimited transfers till then.