Premier League: Top five fantasy football options this week

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 10: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace at Riverside Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There are a ton of options to choose from in Fantasy Premier League this week. Here are some you’ll want to have.

In the early stages of the fantasy football season, league tables and players are beginning to take shape. But it’s early in the Premier League season, thus there’s more than enough time to rectify a sub-optimal position.

Last year Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were beginning to hit form and every FPL player faced a big decision: is it a blip, or trend? Should I jump on the bandwagon now or will it capitulate under my weight the second I climb aboard?

Obviously the Leicester bandwagon never did tip over as it raced to the finish line and won the Premier League behind those two players. This year, an unlikely goal source such as Etienne Capoue has cropped up as well as disappointing beginnings for Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and others.

Related: Best Liverpool players in fantasy football

This week was the first week of European football as well, and it’ll be interesting to see what teams deal with it best as seven teams who competed in Europe this week are playing fresh sides in England.

Read more: Complete Liverpool FIFA 17 predicted ratings

Fear not. Here are five, plus one Liverpool player to have, that could make the difference for your team this week.

All price values come from the popular Fantasy.PremierLeague.com.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 30: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool FC celebrates a goal during the International Champions Cup match against AC Milan at Levi's Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA – JULY 30: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool FC celebrates a goal during the International Champions Cup match against AC Milan at Levi’s Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Liverpool player to have: MF Roberto Firmino /// @ Chelsea /// £8.4

The chief problem with selecting Liverpool players in fantasy football is that it’s tough to judge who’s going to play in attacking positions on a regular basis.

Sturridge hasn’t been someone that Jurgen Klopp has started week in, week out even when he’s been fit. Philippe Coutinho’s place against Chelsea is even in question with how well the team played against Leicester without him while Adam Lallana is dropped a bit deeper. Plus what happens when Emre Can is fit?

But one player who’s in the team, no question, is Roberto Firmino. Klopp has taken an affinity towards the Brazilian and Firmino has repaid him for his trust. This week against Chelsea, it’s seeming more of a question between whether or not it’ll be Firmino in the false nine instead of Stuordige or out wide instead of Coutinho. He’s a must start.

Against Leicester Firmino was unplayable with two goals. Outside of that, his play was silk. He wasn’t Jermain Defoe, he did everything for Liverpool rather than just poach a goal or two, which is valuable in its own right, but Firmino is the complete package.

Expect Firmino to be involved in anything good for Liverpool against Chelsea.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 10: Fraser Forster of Southampton during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on September 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

5. GK Fraser Forster /// vs. Swansea /// £5.0

The go-to keeper this week has got to be the gargantuan Fraser Forster as Southampton play Swansea at St. Mary’s.

Last season, Southampton were a fantastic defensive team. They’ve yet to keep a clean sheet this term, but a home match against the Swans could change that. If nothing else, this game should tell you if you’re able to trust Forster and Southampton defenders, like Virgil van Dijk, going forward this year.

For those fearing a European hangover, I’d say the opposite. The Premier League campaign hasn’t much gotten up to the standards they figured it to, but a 3-0 thrashing of Sparta Prague alleviates the tension and should get So’ton back in form.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: Wes Morgan during the Leicester City training session at Belvoir Drive Training Complex on September 16 , 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

4. CB Wes Morgan /// vs. Burnley /// £5.0

To keep it egalitarian and not pump this list exclusively with strikers and midfielders, this fella in defense is a good pick for the week.

Looking at defenders, first and foremost you look at the probability for a clean sheet. If the player has potential to grab an assist or a goal, well, that’s a bonus. Don’t pick a defender based on his probability to score because it’s rarely, if ever, more than five times a year.

But the best defenders are ones who have that ability on top of the team defensive standing. Enter Captain Morgan.

Morgan, a reasonably priced defender, has a brilliant chance at a clean sheet against Burnley and is always a threat on set pieces for the champions. He’s already got a goal this season and Leicester are a team that simply put the ball in the box on dead balls, which is growing to be a lost art.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace at Riverside Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 10: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace at Riverside Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

3. ST Christian Benteke /// vs. Stoke City /// £7.5

Benteke opened his scoring at Crystal Palace last week and he’s getting back to his Aston Villa ways.

Palace and Benteke were the easiest pairing in the transfer market this summer. Palace needed a striker, Benteke needed a club that’d play to his strengths. Benteke is a striker, Palace plays a more primitive style of football than Liverpool. Perfection.

This week, Palace welcome Stoke. It’s a litmus test for if Palace are taking that next step into where Stoke occupied last season and for Stoke to see if we’ve overrated them. At any rate, at Selhurst Park, Palace will lump balls in the box endlessly to Benteke.

Pick him and start him with confidence.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City FC and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on September 14, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus

2. MF Kevin de Bruyne /// vs. Bournemouth /// £10.5

As Men in Blazers lovingly refer to him, KEVIN!

I’m an unabashed de Bruyne fan. His quality is evident and smooth. He’ll score and assist while being involved in just about every City attack. Since joining, he’s nearly got either a goal or assist per game and those numbers are equally divided between the two.

In the Manchester derby last weekend, de Bruyne was simply a cut above the rest. The United midfield couldn’t touch him and Daley Blind couldn’t sniff him. KEVIN! popped up all over the field causing havoc wherever he stepped.

De Bruyne opened the scoring then smashed the post, a rebound that was tapped in, and on Fantasy.PremierLeague.com, that’s an assist.

The only inherent fear here is what if Pep Guardiola decides to rest him after his midweek exploits? It’s possible he rotates the squad vs Bournemouth, then you’ll be stuck with him coming off the bench and getting a point.

That happened to me last week. I captained Alexis Sanchez, he entered off the bench and did nothing, bagging me two points with the captaincy. Next to him, I had Roberto Firmino, 15, De Bruyne, 13, Sadio Mane, 12. Nice one.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the UEFA Champions League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and AS Monaco FC at Wembley Stadium on September 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

1. ST Harry Kane /// vs. Sunderland /// £10.9

*checks calendar* *notices it’s not August* *re-selects Harry Kane for fantasy team*

Kane’s August drought is the oddest thing, but no matter, it’s September. Kane is back.

Last week against Stoke City, Kane (rather unconvincingly, to be fair) broke his doughnut hole goal tally this season with an oddly unconfident two touch finish from about three yards out, after missing a chance. That sounds like a lot of qualifiers and not a lot of hope.

BUT. It’s still Kane and a goal is all it could take to get him back in form. Oh, and a home fixture against Super Davey Moyes’ sputtering Sunderland. That certainly won’t hurt.

Pick Kane and reap the rewards, even if his price is lofty.

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