The 2022/23 Premier League campaign starts in less than a week which can only mean one thing. Fantasy Premier League is back!
The top managers will probably have drafted and redrafted their team hundreds of times trying to get it right ahead of Friday’s 6:30pm BST deadline, with unlimited transfers up until the start of the season. But who’s in your team?
For some, goalkeeper will be the least of their worries when it comes to picking an FPL team, as there is less scope for points outside of clean sheets – but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them completely.
There are two modes of thought when it comes to picking your FPL goalkeepers: you either go for one star and the cheapest option as back up, or you go for two decent goalkeepers that you can rotate.
So who do you choose? Which goalkeeper prices stand out for good and bad reasons? Who do you want to pick and who is best to avoid?
We’ve done the work for you, looking through the players released so far, so read on for our early FPL advice.
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To pick: Jose Sa
2021/22 score: 146
We’ll start with a pretty obvious choice, in our opinion.
Of the two aforementioned modes of through for goalkeepers, Jose Sa works more in the latter (two decent goalkeepers) but is still a very good option if you want to save your money. The Wolves shot-stopper was the fourth-best goalkeeper in FPL last season, with only Alisson, Hugo Lloris and Ederson managing more than his 146 points.
As well as keeping 11 clean sheets across the campaign, Sa also made 121 saves, earning 27 extra points and a further 11 in bonuses.
First five matches: Leeds (A), Fulham (H), Tottenham (A), Newcastle (H), Bournemouth (A)
To avoid: Illan Meslier
2021/22 score: 106
At the start of last season Illan Meslier was a popular pick for FPL managers as he had built up a reputation as a shot-stopper, making 140 saves in 2020/21 which worked towards his total of 154. But last season, while he made more saves (143) he didn’t have the same effect.
Just about making it to 100+ points last season, the amount of saves Meslier normally makes may not be worth it (or at least not as much as it should be). Sure, his lower points were in part down to Leeds’ having a leakier defence as Marcelo Bielsa struggled, but they aren’t yet a stable side under Jesse Marsch. There’ll be better options – a running theme in this piece.
First five matches: Wolves (H), Southampton (A), Chelsea (H), Brighton (A), Everton (H)
To pick: Robert Sanchez
2021/22 score: 126
Talking of a better option, how about Robert Sanchez? The Brighton shot-stopper was something of a surprise package in FPL last season, amassing 126 points in a Brighton side that is very much improving under Graham Potter.
Nevertheless, they are still at risk defensively, but that’s where Sanchez comes in. In the Premier League last season, Sanchez made 101 saves and earned eight bonus points to go with his 11 clean sheets. On average it wasn’t as good as his 2020/21 season, but Brighton are on the up.
First five matches: Man Utd (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Leeds (H), Fulham (A)
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To avoid: Martin Dubravka
2021/22 score: 96
Martin Dubravka wasn’t a bad cheap option in FPL last season and would have racked up more points had he not started the campaign injured, eventually regaining his place from Karl Darlow. But this season it might not be worth it, even if you want someone to fill the bench.
That’s because Dubravka probably isn’t going to play much this season after Newcastle signed Nick Pope. You don’t sign Pope to make him back-up, and you want a cheap goalkeeper that at least has a chance of playing just in case of injury.
First five matches: Nottingham Forest (H), Brighton (A), Man City (H), Wolves (A), Liverpool (A)
To pick: Edouard Mendy
2021/22 score: 130
If you’re rotating two decent goalkeepers, perhaps alongside Sa, why not combine the Wolves shot-stopper with Edouard Mendy. That may not sound like a wild pick but there were some concerns surrounding Mendy last season as Chelsea’s defence faltered.
Despite that, Mendy still managed to pick up 130 points last season with 14 clean sheets, and with Thomas Tuchel rebuilding his defence the Senegalese shot-stopper may be more protected. Mendy is also the most-picked goalkeeper right now, being in almost a quarter of all teams (22.7%) so why not join them?
First five matches: Everton (A), Tottenham (H), Leeds (A), Leicester (H), Southampton (A)
To avoid: Alex McCarthy
2021/22 score: 55
Another cheap option to avoid, Alex McCarthy definitely looks a desirable option at £4.5m but steer clear. McCarthy was Southampton’s first-choice goalkeeper when fit last season but his place may be in jeopardy after Gavin Bazunu’s signing.
Even if McCarthy continues as No.1, he doesn’t inspire confidence. Last season he kept just five clean sheets and made 44 saves in 17 matches, conceding 27 goals. Plus, Southampton’s defence was extremely leaky and look at that opening run. It’s not worth it.
First five matches: Tottenham (A), Leeds (H), Leicester (A), Man Utd (H), Chelsea (H)