Fantasy Premier League newcomers: Jadon Sancho aside, who you should be considering
Fantasy football can be won or lost on small margins, so we pick out the Premier League newcomers to help give you the edge.
The Premier League season is hurtling towards us at a rate of knots, and that makes it prime time to select and tweak your fantasy football teams.
Nathan Collins, Burnley, 4.5m
The towering centre-back became the Potters' youngest ever captain a couple of seasons ago, and that saw him attract serious interest from the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.
He is an aerially dominant, mobile centre-back who will be well protected in Sean Dyche's compact and disciplined system.
That will see him likely to play a part in a fair number of clean sheets, so he's a smart fantasy pick.
Michael Olise, Crystal Palace, 5.5m
Olise is a left-footed creative player who mainly played in the No. 10 role for Reading, but may be used from the right by Patrick Vieira at Palace.
Patson Daka, Leicester City, 7.5m
Zambian striker Daka is one of the most intriguing signings of the summer in the Premier League, and he looks like one of those that is either going to be brilliant or poor with little in between.
Daka has certainly been prolific. Last season, he provided a goal contribution every 66 minutes, and that is something that is obviously music to the ears of fantasy managers.
There are, of course, two pretty major caveats at play. Firstly, his record is from the Austrian Bundesliga and the Premier League is a different animal entirely.
More importantly, though, there is a large obstacle in his way in the shape of a 34-year-old Leicester City legend. Jamie Vardy's grip on the first-choice striker role at Leicester is as tight as they come, and then there is Kelechi Iheanacho too.
Daka, therefore, may have to be patient and take his chances from the bench. However, if he can get going, he could be an absolute snip, however big an 'if' that may be.
Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool, 5.5m
Liverpool needed to strengthen the centre of their defence after losing their Premier League title, and they look to have done so quite astutely in Konate.
The Frenchman was dominant in the air in the Bundesliga last season, and he looks like he has the physicality to step straight into the Premier League.
78% - Of the 742 defenders to play at least 20 games in Europe's top-five leagues since the beginning of 2019-20, only Bruno Alves (81%) has a better aerial duel success rate than Ibrahima Konaté (78%). Red. https://t.co/0pKXWIK88j— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 28, 2021
Should he do that, he will be playing next to the returning Virgil van Dijk, who must be something of a dream defensive partner, even if he is returning from serious injury.
Jadon Sancho, Manchester United, 9.5m
You don't need us or anyone else to tell you just how good Jadon Sancho is and what he can bring to a Fantasy Premier League squad.
In Dortmund he has been a regular goalscorer and creator, and coming from the Bundesliga he will not have any struggles in terms of dealing with the pace of soccer in England.
Of course, if you want Sancho in your squad you are going to have to pay top dollar, and that will mean missing out on someone else, but that's the game.
However, we think Sancho is a pretty much risk-free addition. Manchester United have pursued him for so long he is certain to be given plenty of game-time which he is sure to convert into plenty of game points.
Emiliano Buendia, Aston Villa, 6.5m
We all know that Jack Grealish is the creative force behind Aston Villa's hopes of a good season.
Grealish is very much the Villains' creative fulcrum and that is unlikely to change next season - unless Pep Guardiola gets his way.
Relying on one creative player is rarely a smart strategy, though, and Aston Villa have made the shrewd move of adding Buendia to their ranks.
Buendia is a top creator from set pieces too, but that in itself raises questions for anyone considering adding him to their squad: just how big a role will he be given by Dean Smith?
And should Grealish find his way to the Etihad, Buendia's £6.5million price tag will look quite the snip.
Frank Onyeka, Brentford, 5m
Brentford are a complete unknown in the Premier League, but there is one thing we do know about them: they recruit brilliantly.
In fact, the Bees have not arrived in the top flight through financial power or on the back of individual performances. They are there because they have consistently unearthed absolute gems that others see as a risk.
The Nigerian is a powerful box-to-box midfielder and he will be slotting into a well-established system that appears tailor-made to get the best out his superb running power.
Is he a dead-cert or no-brainer for fantasy managers? Absolutely not. But if you're looking for a low-cost punt to fill a squad space, you could do far worse than Onyeka.