Premier League fantasy football: The best FPL challenges for the 2022/23 season
We’re less than one week away from the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season which means one thing. It’s FPL time!
Who doesn’t love adding to the excitement of the Premier League by getting involved in fantasy football? You can get bragging rights over your friends, aim to be the best in your country, the top supporter of your club and, of course, the best in the world.
There’s a science to picking the right FPL team and some of the best players no doubt choose their squads after hours of research and spreadsheet compilations.
But some people play FPL for fun, with their own rules. There’s the FPL draft mode which gives you more restrictions but others like to play with rules such as only doing transfers in the actual transfer window, or maybe even picking one team at the start of the draft, and sticking with it.
It’s those types of challenges we’re looking at in this piece, putting together a variety of unique FPL teams that could give you an interesting ride across the 2022/23 campaign. All while keeping within the £100m budget, naturally.
Set Piece Specialists
We start with a stats-based team, picked on the biggest threats from set-pieces. We’re not just talking about the players who take penalties and free-kicks, we’re also looking at corner takers and defenders who like to score – using xG and xA from set plays in 2021/22. Remarkably, both of our goalkeeper picks Nick Pope and Jordan Pickford had xASP (set-play expected assists) of 0.03 and 0.02 respectively last season.
The top scorer for xGSP across the Premier League and Championship (in the case of the newly-promoted clubs) was Aleksandar Mitrovic with 6.15 and for xASP it was unsurprisingly James Ward-Prowse (4). And this team can be achieved without any issues, such as too many players from one club.
All My Single Ladies
For those who want to pick a team capable of challenging their mates but still want to work with a bit of a restriction, how about a team built exclusively from players who cost less than £10m? For goalkeeper and defence that’s not a problem, but it does mean no Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo or Erling Haaland. For this team, we’ve mixed budget options with some of our positional picks and a few favourites.
- 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The goalkeepers to pick and who to avoid
- 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The defenders to pick and who to avoid
- 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The midfielders to pick and who to avoid
- 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The forwards to pick and who to avoid
Back to the stats, here we’re all about those who can get the goals without penalties. There’s nothing wrong with penalties of course, and in a regular FPL team you’ll probably want someone who can score from the spot. But this is a bit of fun and actually adds another level of difficulty, knowing you won’t be relying on penalties for your goals.
To sum it up, we’re basically looking at anyone that has no difference between their xG and NPxG (Non-Penalty Expected Goals) while also ranking high. For example, Diogo Jota’s xG and NPxG were identical (16.81), meaning he didn’t once rely on spot-kicks to get himself into goalscoring positions which he would have been expected to score.
This one was a lot tougher to put together in budget, so we did have to go for some slightly lower NPxG options – though the difference wasn’t too much.
The Other 14
Despite what some people might think, there are more than just six teams in the Premier League. The remaining sides are often put together as ‘The Other 14’ and should not be ignored, so full of talent – and not just regarded as stepping stones for the Premier League’s big boys. So why not put together a team of players from the other 14 sides? That’s exactly what we did above, and we made it even harder by picking at least one player from each of those 14 sides.
Sixy and I Know It
Now disregard everything we’ve just said and do the opposite of the above. Forget that there are 14 others sides in the Premier League and pick exclusively from the Big Six of Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United. With six teams and 15 spots, you can easily fit at least two from each club in, plus three extras. This might be a bit tougher to get into budget though.
xG Always Arrives
For this one we’re relying on a changing of the wind. This team is built around players who underperformed against their xG last season, putting all the worst finishers together. Surely the xG gods will shine down on them this season? We’ve taken Jakub Moder out as a potential option due to him being injured and expected to miss the first half of the season. And you’ll have £15.5m left over.
You Can’t Win Anything With Kids
Oh Alan Hansen. There aren’t many people in football still hearing about a poor opinion they gave over 25 years ago, but Hansen may never live down, “You can’t win anything with kids,” when talking about Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United team. Fergie proved that you can, in fact, win stuff with kids so we’re trying to replicate him in FPL. The one rule is that every player has to be aged 23 and under at the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
And again we’re switching to the opposite, the experienced heads who are starting the season aged 30 and above. That means no Harry Kane, who has only just turned 29, but we can pick from the likes of Son Heung-min and Mohamed Salah who both turned 30 this summer, and 31-year-old Kevin De Bruyne. Result!
Big Chance Energy
This squad has serious Big Chance Energy. We have combined Big Chances and Big Chances created to find the players most frequently involved in the ‘Big’ moments.
A go-to metic for FPL gurus, it’s ability to identify players means that the top ranking players were all expensive. As we could not afford the best 15 players in terms of total output, we used Big Chances + Big Chances created per 90 to find some cheaper, under the radar options as well.
And finally for a bit of fun. How about picking a team of players whose squad numbers are between 1 and 15? And we’re not talking about having three No.9s, we mean one No.1, one No.2, one No.3 and so on. One player donning each number from 1 to 15. Naturally, No.1 will be the goalkeeper, but there are a couple of weird numbers out there – like Joao Cancelo’s No.7. Please remember we’ve got a budget to work within, so this isn’t the best player for every number, just the best team we can put together using these restrictions.
Note: This team only uses players whose 2022/23 squad number has been confirmed at the time of writing.
For the curious: 1. Alisson, 2. Matty Cash, 3. Marc Cucurella, 4. Virgil van Dijk, 5. Jorginho, 6. Gabriel, 7. Gianluca Scamacca, 8. Martin Odegaard, 9. Erling Haaland, 10. James Maddison, 11. Mohamed Salah, 12. Flynn Downes, 13. Alphonse Areola, 14. Eddie Nketiah, 15. Kieran Trippier.