Between now and the GW1 deadline, FPL managers will be chopping and changing trying to get that perfect team.
There are some players who just have to be in your side, the ‘must-haves’. A must-have player is one you simply can’t risk going without, due to high effective ownership.
Some examples from previous seasons include Mohamed Salah, namely his 303-point in the 2017/18 campaign, and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
However, you can’t include everyone from this list due to budget limitations, which can hurt you massively. So the challenge is deciding which ‘must-haves’ are most important.
10. Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is the least owned on this list at 15% ownership. His £12.0m price tag has clearly resulted in him being somewhat overlooked.
The Belgian scored 15 times last season as well as providing 8 goals for his teammates, averaging 0.94 returns per 90 (third most in the league).
He also had the highest xA per 90 (0.39), making 88 key passes (second most) and 5.68 shot-creating actions per 90 (most).
Man City have excellent opening fixtures, facing only one top 10 finishers from last season. Not a bad start for one of the best players in the world right now
9. Gabriel Jesus
Jesus has looked impressive in pre-season for Arsenal, scoring four in as many outings.
The Brazilian had 0.77 returns per 90 last term and could turn the Gunners into a top-four side.
Knowing the league, he should both score and create goals, with 0.86 goal-creating actions per 90 last season (second most).
With Arsenal’s early fixtures it’s wise to have one of their attacking assets. They play four teams with an FDR of two in their first 6 games.
Right now he’s the most owned player in the game and if he hits the ground running a lot of managers will be left in the dust.
8. Luis Diaz
Diaz is well-liked due to being a cheap attacking asset for one of the best front lines in the league last season. Liverpool scored 94, which was only bettered by Manchester City (99).
Without Sadio Mane in the team, the Reds are left with just one out-and-out left forward, so he could be nailed.
From their first 7 matches, only Man Utd is a real test, who they’ve beaten on the last three occasions.
He’s that good of an option people are arguing he could even cover Mohamed Salah for points.
7. Erling Haaland
After scoring on his debut against Bayern Munich, the excitement surrounding Haaland has increased.
Currently the second most owned player, the Norwegian is untested on these shores but it seems people are taking the risk.
He has the poacher’s instinct, scoring a goal per 90 last season in Germany and, like Diaz, he plays for a team that creates so many chances. Man City averaged the second most shots per 90 (18.5) and goal-creating actions per 90 (3.7).
The champions have good early fixtures, facing defences that should be no match for Haaland’s finishing and movement.
6. Harry Kane
Kane is part of one of the most formidable attacks in the league. Scoring 17 and claiming 9 assists, he had the third most returns last term (0.7 per 90).
He’s on penalties, scoring four, but had the highest non-penalty xG in the league (17.1) and took the second most shots (131).
Spurs have good fixtures, facing only one of last season’s top 6 in their opening 6 matches.
5. Heung-Min Son
Another potential ‘must-have’ is Kane’s teammate, Son. The Korean scored the most non-penalty goals last term (23) as well as 7 assists, averaging 0.7 per 90.
Whilst Kane is listed as a forward, he’s often found in deeper positions, whereas Son is often higher up the pitch.
Read More: Top 10 Underpriced Players in FPL 2022/23
Tottenham’s first game is against Southampton who Son has a tremendous record against. He has scored 12 goals against his GW1 opponents in 15 matches against them.
Out of the two Spurs premiums, it’s hard to choose, so maybe our analysis on who to pick out of Son vs Kane will help decide.
4. Joao Cancelo
Cancelo is the most popular City defender in FPL, with 45% ownership.
He scored 201 points and at £6.0m was the 6th most valuable player last season, scoring 28.7 points per million.
His price has increased to £7.0m but he’s still a must-have player. This is due to his inclusion in the league’s best defence coupled with his attacking output. The Portugal star scored once, registering 11 assists.
As mentioned above, Man City face one top 10 sides from last year in their first 6 games and Cancelo could easily rack up plenty of early points.
3. Reece James
James is £6.0m this year, which is considered a bargain by many. If it weren’t for injuries last campaign he would definitely be priced at around £7.0m.
Managers want him for his attacking returns, getting 0.4 assists per 90 (third most), but he also covers Chelsea’s solid defence.
The Blues kept 16 clean sheets and had the third lowest xGA (36) so he has the potential to score highly at both ends of the pitch.
In their first 7 matches, only Tottenham and West Ham qualified for Europe, with Chelsea keeping three clean sheets in their four meetings across the season.
2. Mohamed Salah
Salah was last season’s highest scorer in FPL, amassing 265 points. He’s also the third most selected, owned by 61% of total players and is a season-long captaincy option.
The Egyptian was joint-top scorer in the league with 23 goals and is consequently the most expensive player in the game (£13.0m).
Despite his high price, he’s worth it, scoring the second most points per game last season (7.6).
Additionally, Liverpool have a good start to the season, starting with Fulham. Salah scored against every team they meet in their first 6 matches that they also met in the last campaign.
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold
The player that you absolutely have to own this season is Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The full-back is the most owned defender with 54% ownership and was also the highest scoring defender last term (208 points).
He got 13 assists, the most of any defender, along with two goals. A tally that’s better than most midfield and forward assets at the same price.
In fact, no other player costing £7.5m or less got more assists than TAA.
Only 5 players hit the 200 point mark in the last campaign. At a cost of just £7.5m you can afford an attacking defender in a defensively solid team.
|Name||Team||Price||Pick %||21/22 Points|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Man City||£12.0m||15%||196|
|Erling Haaland||Man City||£11.5m||45%||N/A|
|Joao Cancelo||Man City||£7.0m||45%||201|
Want to know the chances of each of these players starting in GW1?
Then check out our Fantasy Premier League team news page where we list every team’s predicted lineup and each player’s percentage chance of starting.