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Fantasy football tips: Injured players to avoid at the start of the season

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of the new Premier League season speeding towards us. 

Arsenal and Leicester get the 2017/18 campaign underway on FRIDAY, which means it’s time you really started sorting out your fantasy football team.


Alexis Sanchez will miss the start of the new Premier League season

Have you picked Alexis Sanchez for your Dream Team this season?

Dream Team 2017/18

How does the game work?

  • This year’s fantasy football game will be absolutely FREE for all players to play
  • The total prize pot is an approximated £750,000
  • Game Weeks will run from Friday to Thursday
  • £50m budget on 11 eligible players


Nearly 60% of you have picked Manchester United new boy Romelu Lukaku ahead of the new season, while over 45% of managers have chosen Harry Kane, despite the Spurs man being Dream Team’s most expensive player this season.

We’ve also noticed a few of you have picked Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez – and we’re about to tell you why that’s completely wrong in the least patronising way possible.

Fantasy football tips: Injured players to avoid at the start of the season

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – £7.5m

An abdominal injury has ruled Sanchez out of the star of the new Premier League season

PA:Press Association
Sanchez will miss Arsenal’s first couple of games of the new season

Sanchez was a Dream Team darling last season.

The Chilean not only topped our total points chart with 348 points, he also won the Star Man bonus more times than anyone else.

Which is hardly surprising, considering he notched a t’rrific 30 goals and 15 assists in 51 appearances in all competitions.

How did Sanchez perform in fantasy football last season?

But when picking your team for the new season, we reckon you should steer clear of the Arsenal talisman, at least for the first few weeks.

The forward starts the season with an “abdominal injury”, with manager Arsene Wenger confirming he’ll definitely miss the Gunners’ opening two Premier League games, having also missed the Community Shield win against Chelsea at the weekend.


Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – £7.0m

The Belgium winger injured his ankle in June

Rex Features
Hazard will be a big miss for Chelsea

Chelsea really missed Hazard during their Community Shield loss against Arsenal.

And having fractured his right ankle playing for Belgium in June, the winger looks set to be out for while.

In fact, he could miss at least the first month of the new season.

How did Hazard perform in fantasy football last season?

  • Highest rated player (7.81) in the Premier League last season, beating the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba
  • 22 goals and 9 assists in all competitions
  • Highest points scoring midfielder on Dream Team with 252 points
  • Want him in your fantasy football team this season? Sign up now

But that’s not all; Hazard’s absence from Chelsea’s entire pre-season will likely make it hard for their star man to hit the ground running by the time their Champions League campaign gets underway.

All-in-all, this could be a difficult campaign for the guy who scored 252 points on Dream Team last season.

Danny Rose (Spurs) – £4.5m

Welsh full-back Ben Davies has done well in Rose's absence

Rose has been a big miss for Tottenham

When it comes to points scoring defenders, Rose is the obvious choice.

As the archetype modern full-back, the Spurs man is a fantasy football must-have with his attacking potential.

Unfortunately, the England left-back has been out of action with a knee injury since January, which was probably a blessing in disguise with Man United, City and Inter Milan all keen on signing him.


Rose is expected to miss the first few games of the new season, with Ben Davies a more than adequate back-up in his place.

We’d say go for him in your Dream Team, for now.

Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) – £5.0m

The Southampton defender has been out since January

PA:Press Association
Van Dijk is hot property this summer

Another defensive hero who’s been crocked since January.

Van Dijk reached an incredible 152 points on Dream Team last season, but hasn’t been seen since injuring hit foot challenging Jamie Vardy.

We’ve all been there, to be fair.

Since then, he’s been heavily, heavily linked with a move away from Southampton, with Liverpool and Chelsea favourites to snap him up.

Whether he stays or goes doesn’t really matter; you’d be smart to avoid picking him for the time being, especially considering his massive transfer fee.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) – £4.5m 

The England winger will miss Liverpool's upcoming Champions League qualifier

PA:Press Association
How important will Lallana be to Liverpool’s season?

Lallana’s status as a first-team regular for Liverpool has made him a popular choice for fantasy football managers in recent seasons.

But the midfielder has been ruled out for up to three months after picking up a thigh injury during the Red’s pre-season preparations.

This means he’ll miss the start of their league campaign as well as their upcoming Champions League playoff clash against Hoffenheim.

Don’t believe us?

Just check his Instagram.

Marcos Rojo (Man United) – £3.5m

The defender picked up his injury in last season's Europa League clash against Anderletch

Times Newspapers Ltd
Rojo could be out for a while with a thigh injury

Rojo, injured? Who cares?

You won’t get anywhere with that attitude, especially considering the Man United defender is one of the finest points scorers in his price range.

The Argentinian found himself starting regularly in Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up last season, and consistently picked up points for the managers who chose him.

But whatever you do, avoid him like the plague for the time being.

He suffered a nasty knee ligament injury in the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht last season, although his pal Ander Herrera kept him company over the summer.

Ilkay Gundogan (Man City) – £3.5m

The creative German midfielder should be back in the side soon

PA:Press Association
Gundogan missed a large chuck of last season through injury

Poor ol’ Gundogan didn’t even see in the New Year last season, after suffering a serious knee ligament injury back in December that’s kept him out of Pep Guardiola’s Man City side ever since.

Eight months later and the midfielder has started working his way back into the team, reportedly taking part in pre-season training and is even set to play a part in their final pre-season friendly against La Liga minnows Girona.

Still, probably best to avoid selecting him in your team until he’s fully fit.

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 Silva get on in fantasy football last season?

  • Eight goals and 11 assists in all competitions
  • 153 Dream Team points
  • 7.28 rating on WhoScored – better than Gylfi Sigurdsson and Mousa Dembele
  • Sign up to get him in your team

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 Lallana in Pyjamas, Giroud Sandstorm or Teenage Mutant Ninja Skrtel, take a look at our foolproof list to help you decide.

What else do I need to know?

Remember Dream Team stands above it’s competitors because it factors in every single competition in the season – not just the Premier League.

That means you’ll have to have your wits about you in the League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League too when selecting your players.

Head to Head leagues and Mini Leagues will also be back so you can beat your mates and earn those all important bragging rights.

One player you should seriously consider this season? Sergio Aguero, of course

Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will compete to be City's main striker

AFP or licensors
Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will compete to be City’s main striker

It says a lot about the depth of the Manchester City squad that one of the Premier League’s deadliest ever strikers isn’t a guaranteed starter.
The arrival of Gabriel Jesus in January cast Sergio Aguero’s future into doubt, but the Argentine hitman still managed his best ever scoring last season since arriving in England in 2011.

How did Aguero get on last season on Dream Team?

  • Had his best ever scoring season for Manchester City (30 goals in all competitions)
  • WhoScored rating of 7.33 – better than David Silva (7.28) and Mesut Ozil (7.30)
  • 307 Dream Team points – only bettered by Alexis Sanchez (348)
  • Want Aguero in your fantasy football team? Sign up here

When he’s fit he’s lethal and while Guardiola may prefer Jesus in the long run, partnering the two together seems a devastating possibility for the title favourites.
Aguero’s record in Europe and domestic cup competitions means he has to be considered for your Dream Team again this season.

You can stay up to date with all the latest fantasy football news with our fantasy football live blog and sign up to Dream Team for next season below…