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Fantasy football tips: The 7 players to avoid picking at the start of the season

Although the temptation is there to pick the best players right from the start, it’s important to consider a number of factors when it comes to deciding on your Dream Team for the start of the season.

A few of last season’s standout performers are actually ones who should be avoided at the start of this campaign, with patience a virtue in deciding when it’s best to pick them for fantasy football.


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1 Harry Kane – Spurs

The World Cup golden boot winner is one to avoid at the start of the season

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The World Cup golden boot winner is one to avoid at the start of the season

Despite scoring a mammoth 376 points in last season’s game and winning the Golden Boot in Russia, the 24-year-old is one to avoid at the start of the season.

Kane is a notorious slow-starter in the Premier League and therefore alarm bells should be ringing for those Dream Team managers who are considering him from the off.

The Spurs man is likely to miss the first two games of the season due to his late involvement in the World Cup.

Kane is joint with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the most expensive player in fantasy football this season at £8m.

It would be a smart move to spend your budget instead on a striker who is guaranteed to start the first few games of the season.

2 Sokratis – Arsenal

The Greek defender is part of an Arsenal team that has a torrid start on paper

Getty - Contributor
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The Greek defender is part of an Arsenal team that has a torrid start on paper

Sokratis is expected to walk straight into Unai Emery’s starting eleven this season and partner either Callum Chambers or Shkodran Mustafi in the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

The 30-year-old will hope to add much-needed experience to the Gunners’ back-line after years of defensive uncertainty for the north London side.

Whilst Sokratis’s pedigree cannot be questioned, he is an unknown quantity to the demands of English football, with his lack of pace likely to prove a stumbling-block.

The former Borussia Dortmund man is available in this season’s fantasy football game for just £3.5m, presenting an enticing option for Dream Team managers.

It would however be wise to spend your cash elsewhere as you look to see how the new arrival settles into life in the Premier League.

Arsenal also face arguably the toughest start of any team in the league. The Gunners host Man City on the opening weekend, before travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

3 Harry Maguire – Leicester City

The centre-back was a colossal for England at the World Cup

REUTERS
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The centre-back was a colossal for England at the World Cup

Maguire quickly became a cult hero following his impressive performances for England at the World Cup.

The 25-year-old centre-back was a revelation for Leicester last season and scored an impressive 110 points in fantasy football.

Maguire is the name on everybody’s lips right now and at just £3.5m, he will likely prove a popular choice for Dream Team managers right from the start.

Despite his low price, it would be wise to avoid investing in Maguire straight away, as the Leicester man is set to miss the start of the Premier League season.

Due to his late involvement with England over the summer, Maguire won’t be ready to feature in the Foxes’ opening fixtures which kick-off with a trip to Old Trafford.

4 Kevin De Bruyne – Man City

The Belgium wizard won’t feature in Man City’s pre-season schedule

PA:Empics Sport
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The Belgium wizard won’t feature in Man City’s pre-season schedule

We never thought we would be advising against picking de Bruyne for fantasy football, but just hear us out…

The Man City magician had a remarkable campaign last season, picking up 284 points and finishing as the third highest points scorer in Dream Team.

De Bruyne is usually a must have in any fantasy football team, however on this occasion it would be wise to shop elsewhere at the start of the season.

As Belgium reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, the Man City man has been without a pre-season break and so is unlikely to feature in Pep Guardiola’s side’s opening games.

As the third most expensive player in Dream Team, the playmaker will set you back £6.5m, with that cash better spent on a player who will appear at the start of the season.

5 Paul Pogba – Man United

The enigmatic midfielder made it all the way to the World Cup final

REUTERS
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The enigmatic midfielder made it all the way to the World Cup final

Pogba looked a man possessed in Russia this summer and was a key part of France’s final triumph over Croatia.

Despite his inconsistent performances for United last season, the Frenchman still finished with a hefty 135 points in Dream Team.

Pogba is likely to be another popular selection in fantasy football, however the 25-year-old is one to avoid from the start of the season.

The former Juventus man thrives off confidence and often needs a run of good games to find his rhythm.

It remains to be seen how Pogba will cope again this season in the rigid system adopted by Jose Mourinho.

The smart move would be to take the £5m Pogba would cost you and invest it elsewhere in Dream Team.

We also won’t see United’s record-signing in action at the start of the season due to his late involvement at the World Cup.

6 Nick Pope – Burnley

His fine form last season was rewarded with a place in the England World Cup squad

PA:Empics Sport
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His fine form last season was rewarded with a place in the England World Cup squad

Pope’s rise to stardom was one of the subplots of the season and was a crucial factor in Burnley’s impressive 7th place finish in the league.

The 26-year-old was an unknown name at the start of the campaign but was thrust into first team action following a lengthy injury to existing No1 Tom Heaton.

Pope stepped up in the absence of Heaton and had a remarkable season, picking up 106 points in fantasy football.

The Englishman is however at risk of losing the No1 jersey to the returning Heaton.

With his price-tag just £2.5m, he is an appealing prospect for Dream Team managers, but it would be wise to wait and see who Sean Dyche selects as his first-choice goalkeeper.

7 Romelu Lukaku – Man United

The Belgium had an impressive first season at Old Trafford

PA:Press Association
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The Belgium had an impressive first season at Old Trafford

Lukaku, just like his club-mate Pogba, is also a player to avoid selecting at the start of the season.

The Belgium failed to disappoint in his first season at Old Trafford, scoring 16 and chipping in with seven assists in 34 Premier League games for Jose Mourinho’s side.

The 25-year-old was an instant hit for Dream Team managers and vindicated the faith that was shown in him, ending the season on an impressive 254 points.

Lukaku however is likely to be absent from United’s first-team at the start of the season, after his involvement in the World Cup with Belgium.

How do you sign up to play fantasy football?

Whilst the new season doesn’t get underway until August 11 you can already pre-register for the Dream Team game here.

If you’re new to Dream Team the steps are very simple:

  • Register to play Dream Team for free here
  • Download the Dream Team app to keep up with all the latest tips, news and gossip at your finger tips

The likes of Harry Kane will eventually have to be offered big wages to stay at the club

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Kane will be back on Spurs duty

How does Premier League fantasy football work?

Every single season the Premier League gets more intriguing – and playing Dream Team really is the perfect way to enhance your experience of it.

You’ll be assigned a total budget of £50m for each side you pick and you’ll be able pick a maximum of 10 free teams.

The Game Weeks run from Friday to Thursday, effectively meaning the new Game Week starts after the last Europa League games are completed.

Arsenal and Chelsea will be in the Europa League again

PA:Press Association
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Arsenal and Chelsea will be in the Europa League again

You get three transfers a month on the first Friday of every month so using them wisely is essential.

Every player on the game will be assigned a price at the start of the season which will then vary and fluctuate on a weekly basis dependent on their performances.

For example, last season we valued Mo Salah at £4m at the start of the season but the Egyptian King rocketed to over £11m by the end after his stunning goalscoring form.


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