The new Premier League season is looming, which means it’s time to seriously start thinking about your fantasy football team.
And every seasoned fantasy manager knows that when picking your Dream Team for the coming season, it’s vital to keep one eye on the opening fixtures of the new campaign.
Dream Team 2017/18
And why’s that?
Well, the first Game Week is one of the most crucial in terms of indicating which players to pick for the rest of the campaign.
It makes sense to choose tactically and to make sure the best players in your team are going up against opposition they can score maximum points against.
So, with one beady eye on the fixtures list, which team has an obvious advantage in the opening weeks and months of the new season?
Manchester United, of course.
One of the oldest conspiracies in English football once again rings true this season, with United’s first few fixtures relatively favourable.
Honestly, just imagining the glee on Jose Mourinho’s face when he saw these fixtures makes us physically sick.
United begin the new season by hosting West Ham before heading to relegation candidates Swansea.
They then play Leicester and Stoke to complete their first month of action – while their first “big” game isn’t until they play Liverpool on October 14.
What does this mean for your fantasy team?
Significantly, United have managed to keep a clean sheet in their opening three fixtures in their last two seasons.
And with the relative ease of their opening fixtures this season, it might be worth opting for David De Gea between the sticks for your early stages of the campaign, with at least one or two United defenders backing him up.
So far, it’s hard to determine who Mourinho will go for in his back-line.
While Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly are generally expected to start the season together, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are all in contention, with Jones and Rojo starting together numerous times last season.
Daley Blind is also worth some thought, with the Dutch utility man notching an impressive 168 points on Dream Team last season.
Further forward, we’re expecting new boy Romelu Lukaku to link up well with his good mate Paul Pogba.
Pogba was United’s highest points scorer on Dream Team last season with a staggering 236 points.
Lukaku started last season for Everton slowly, and didn’t score until September.
How did Lukaku get on in fantasy football last season?
- 25 goals and six assists
- 7.50 rating on WhoScored – the tenth best in the Premier League
- 247 Dream Team points
- Fancy Lukaku to shine? Get him in your fantasy football team now
Fans will be hoping for something a little sooner than that from their man.
How does fantasy football work?
The setup for Dream Team is rather simple – as a manger you get a budget of £50m to spend on your team of 11 players.
Game Weeks will run from Friday to Thursday this season and you’ll be allowed to transfer out players who have already played in that Game Week.
How did Pogba perform in fantasy football last season?
- Third-highest rated player (7.72) in the Premier League last season, behind only Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez
- Consistent points scorer throughout the Premier League season
- Scored 236 points Dream Team last season, the third-highest for a midfielder
- Want him in your fantasy football team this season? Sign up now
Each manager gets a maximum of three transfers a month – so it’s important to pay attention to upcoming fixtures.
And if the incentive of beating your mates in our Mini-League system isn’t enough, there’s a whopping £750,000 prizepot at stake too.
Which fantasy football team names are the most popular?
Team names have become almost as important as picking winning sides in recent years, with the punnier the better the general perspective.
So whether it’s Giroud Sandstorm, Neville Wears Prada or Teenage Mutant Ninja Skrtel, check out our foolproof list to help you decide.
Who are the best bargains?
While we’d all like to be able to pick a team of superstars, that £50m budget means you also need to have an eye for a cheeky bargain.
This season there are quite a few intriguing options available, with Vincent Kompany (£3.5m) and Ander Herrera (£3.0m) both at eye-catching prices.
In attack, West Ham new boy and Man United favourite Javier Hernandez is £3.5m which seems like pennies for guaranteed goals.
Keep up to date with all the latest fantasy football news ahead of next season with our fantasy football live blog and sign up to play below…