Holly Shand shares her five player picks to get your Gameweek 1 off to a bang. Remember there's no fixture for Manchester City, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Burnley...
"In two Premier League appearances against the Cottagers, Aubamayeng has three goals and one assist: that's an average of two attacking returns per game."
The Headline Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0) - Fulham (A)
The highest owned midfielder in the game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to come into Gameweek 1 as the top captain pick. His move to midfield has certainly bolstered his appeal, with more points on offer for both goals and clean sheets. The opening fixture couldn't get any better: a match-up against Championship play-off winners Fulham.
In two Premier League appearances against the Cottagers, Aubamayeng has three goals and one assist: that's an average of two attacking returns per game. Both of the fixtures back in 2018/19 ended 5-1 and 4-1 in the Gunners' favour. While Fulham are a more well-rounded side this time around, there will still be a clear mismatch in ability.
There's no disputing Aubameyang's consistency, having scored 22 goals in each of the last two seasons. He's the talisman of this side and crucially he also takes spot-kicks for the Gunners. It looks set to be an exciting season for Mikel Arteta's rejuvenated side, with Aubameyang at the heart of it all.
Arsenal are available to back at 13/10 to beat Fulham and score three or more goals in the Premier League curtain raiser.
The Budget Pick: Michail Antonio (£6.5) - Newcastle United (H)
Michail Antonio was one of the early front runners as the go-to mid-priced forward, but when the torrid set of opening fixtures were released for West Ham, his ownership suddenly dwindled. However, he's a great option for Gameweek 1 itself, when the Hammers host Newcastle United at the London Stadium.
Newcastle Untied haven't had the best pre-season, with a number of their key players succumbing to injury, including goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. He's been a stalwart in this side, having not missed a minute in either of the last two campaigns, keeping 11 clean sheets each time. It will be down to Karl Darlow to deputise: he has five clean sheets from 19 Premier League starts.
Michail Antonio was one of the shining lights during Project Restart: he led the line for the Hammers in the absence of Sebastien Haller and scored eight goals over nine appearances. One of those goals came in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United. Can he pick up where he left off or will Haller grab his starting berth back?
The VAR Pick: Mohammed Salah (£12.0) - Leeds United (H)
While much of the momentum when it comes to splashing that fantasy cash has gone in favour of Aubameyang, it's actually Mo Salah who I find as the most appealing fantasy asset in Gameweek 1. He's likely to be my captain on opening weekend and it's another appealing fixture, against Championship Champions Leeds United.
It's been a 16 year wait for Leeds United to return to the Premier League and they couldn't have got a tougher test in their opening fixture than facing the current Champions. Mo Salah has a great record against promoted sides and I've fond memories of him grabbing a goal and an assist against Norwich City back in Gameweek 1 of the 2019/20 season.
Another thing in Salah's favour is that he usually takes penalties for Liverpool when James Milner is off the pitch. He converted three last campaign, which helped him to an overall tally of 19 goals for the season. That was slightly down on his previous totals of 22 and 32 goals: he will be determined to reclaim the Golden Boot in this campaign.
You can back VAR and bet on Liverpool to score a penalty against Leeds United at odds of 12/5.
The Sleeper Pick: Jamie Vardy (£10.0) - West Bromwich Albion (A)
It's staggering to see last season's top goalscorer having an ownership of under 20% going into this campaign, with five forwards attracting a higher ownership ahead of him. Jamie Vardy scored an impressive 23 goals in 2019/20 and there's nothing to say that those tallies won't be sustainable going into this season.
Vardy has four goals in eight Premier League appearances against West Brom, with each of those goals coming in the four games he's played at the Hawthorn's. He clearly enjoys scoring goals there and with that sustained consistency, you can expect a repeat performance of this during Gameweek 1.
Leicester City are yet to bring in many big signings for this campaign, but Vardy is the talisman of this team and can produce moments of magic from nowhere to get the team results. He also takes most penalties for Leicester which could provide another welcome boost to his fantasy points. Don't overlook him.
The Wildcard Pick: Timo Werner (£9.5) - Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
Finally, Timo Werner completes the set of player picks for Gameweek 1. Many managers are taking a punt on one of Chelsea's new acquisition, despite him being unproven in the Premier League. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold has higher ownership at the time of writing. Chelsea's business in the transfer window has certainly helped his popularity.
We've already been allowed a sneak preview into this fixture, with Brighton hosting Chelsea in a pre-season friendly at the end of August. It was certainly an emphatic start for Werner: he scored his debut goal for Chelsea within the opening four minutes of the game, which could demonstrate his ability to hit the ground running.
Werner has arrived at Chelsea off the back of his best ever Bundesliga season: he scored 28 goals and grabbed eight assists from 34 appearances. That's a stark improvement on the 16 and 13 goals he achieved in his previous two seasons. Will he be able to transfer these levels of returns in the Premier League?
Back Chelsea to beat Brighton at 8/13 in Gameweek 1.
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