As I said in pre-season, things change fast in Fantasy Premier League. So far, we’ve gone from the Salah & Fernandes combo being a must-have, to Lukaku’s arrival making him a valid differential option. Now, only one week later, many managers will be thinking the arrival of Ronaldo has made Fernandes FPL value void, and Lukaku seems to have become an afterthought until GW7. So I’ve decided to take a look at the most realistic premium player combinations available to FPL managers this season. Hopefully, this gives us all a bit of clarity on the best path to take.
Premium Player Combinations
Going forward, I think it’s wise to own two of Salah, Lukaku & Ronaldo. I also think owning Liverpool, Chelsea and United attacking assets are crucial to a successful FPL campaign. Due to budget restraints, it’s difficult to have all three premium assets. So combining one mid-priced player with two premium players from the three teams above seems the best tactic. Ideally, you also want a Manchester City asset, but it’s difficult to justify one with the uncertainty of Pep Roulette. If you can squeeze Torres (7.1m) into your side with any of the combinations below, you could be onto a real winner!
Let’s take a look at some of the best combinations:
Option 1a – Salah (12.5m), Ronaldo (12.5m) & Mason Mount (7.5m)
This seems like the smartest option. taking the two 12.5m premiums and then the consistent but unspectacular Mount. Ronaldo has become a flat track bully in his twilight years, so you can safely captain him against bottom-half teams. Then you can captain Salah for all the other GWs, and have Mount to compensate for the lack of Lukaku. I think Mount will assist a lot of Lukaku’s goals, so this is a great way to reduce the risk of FOMO in regards to Lukaku.
Option 1b – Salah (12.5m), Ronaldo (12.5m) & Havertz (8.3m)
Replacing Mount with Havertz makes this one of the most expensive options, but could be the most explosive. Havertz should provide more of a goal threat than Mount, and typically is in more advanced positions. I was quite bullish on Havertz in pre-season, and if he proves me right, the 8.3m will end up being a bargain.
Option 2a – Ronaldo (12.5m), Lukaku (11.5m) & Jota (7.6m)
This is the riskiest option. If you’ve been playing FPL long enough, you know not owning Salah is a dangerous game. The positive is that with the news of the Firmino injury, Jota looks set to start for at least a few games. And Liverpool’s next few fixtures look very tempting. But this may only be a short-term solution. But when Jota starts, he typically outperforms Salah due to his positioning without Firmino. The problem with this one is, if Salah starts to bang, it’s much harder to find funds to get him.
Option 2b – Fernandes (12.0m), Lukaku (11.5m) & Jota (7.6m)
Same as above but swapping Ronaldo for Fernandes. This combination means it’s easy to swap between premium players within both midfield & attack. But this one scares the life out of me. No Salah or Ronaldo could be FPL suicide.
Option 3a – Salah (12.5m), Lukaku (11.5m) & Greenwood (7.7m)
This is my personal favourite. Choosing Lukaku over Ronaldo frees up an extra 1.0m which could vastly improve your squad. Plus, as I’ve been saying all pre-season, I have a feeling that Greenwood is going to have a big year. And the arrival of Ronaldo hasn’t changed my opinion on that, just yet. Yes, there’s a chance that Ronaldo will suck the FPL points off of his goalscoring teammates, but there is the counterargument that his experience and winning mentality could be priceless for the young attacking player’s development. The downside to this is, Greenwood isn’t much of an assist threat, so you can’t offset Ronaldo’s points with his.
Option 3b – Salah (12.5m), Lukaku (11.5m) & Sancho (9.2m)
On paper, this looks like the winner. I thought having a balanced team might be too difficult when selecting Sancho over his mid-priced alternatives, but it’s actually pretty achievable. To get the best out of Ronaldo this season, decent crosses into the box are going to be crucial. In steps Jadon Sancho. He’s a creative maestro, and if anyone is going to benefit from the arrival of Ronaldo the most, it’s Sancho. So if these two can click, Sancho could offset the lack of Ronaldo in your team by assisting him. I do, however, think there’s a huge risk starting with this combination. But the moment Sancho starts assisting for Ronaldo, this could become the template.
High Risk High Reward
This season, there seems like a real opportunity to switch between the premium players. It’s a very risky tactic and takes a gutsy person to pull the trigger. But if you get the timings right, you could reap the rewards of all their purple patches/easy fixtures. If you decide to try this strategy, I’d recommend surrounding them with cheap, reliable players. As you won’t have enough transfers to be maneuvering both your premium assets and lower-priced differentials all season long.