August 12, 2022
Written by: FPLijah
Gameweek 1 has come and gone, and we can officially say that FPL IS BACK, BABY!!! With Fantasy Premier League kicking off, so did our GW1 teams. After months of planning, research, and building what we thought was a perfect squad, more often than not, we found out that it wasn’t all that perfect. FPL is very similar to sports betting; you need to be very skillful, but also to have luck! If you’ve played this game for a few seasons (like me, FPLijah), you would know that GW1 went as expected: Your mainstays, like Salah as captain coming through, a premium disappointment (e.g., Harry Kane), a 50-50 decision going the wrong way (Mount over Kulusevski as the £8.0m price point midfielder) and a few gems popping up (Mitrovic, Zinchenko, etc.)
Graphic Created by @ABonBallon (Twitter)
As the Gameweek 2 Deadline approaches (Saturday, 13 August, 11 am UK time), Fantasy Premier League managers are extremely active at present. The focus of this article, is transfer activity, and using the Official Fantasy Premier League website, at the time of writing this article, these are the Top 5 most transferred in and most transferred out players ahead of Gameweek 2:
Just a few comments before we dive straight in. When finalizing your GW1 team, before any of the fixtures took place, the thought process behind your selection of each player was valid, and you planned for a handful of fixtures to start the season with, so don’t be too hasty in making transfers or taking hits after just one gameweek. The sample size is extremely small, and sometimes patience is the optimum decision and transfer strategy. Unless your transfer for Gameweek 2 is to bring Erling Haaland or Mohamed Salah into your team, after you took a punt on another premium FPL player, my suggestion is to save your transfer (assuming and hoping you haven’t already blown through your one free transfer, or worse, already taken hits).
Let’s go through each player amongst the Top 5 transfer activity and assess whether we should invest (in the case of transfers in) or jump onto the bandwagon of selling the most transferred out players.
Top Transfers IN this Gameweek:
Haaland (Price: £11.6m; Ownership: 57.0%)
Simply put, if you do not own Erling Haaland going into GW2, I suggest that you find a way to bring him in, or just log off from the Official Fantasy Premier League app/website and all of your social media accounts, find a couch, but don’t sit on it and watch Manchester City this weekend, you would be better off hiding behind that couch because Haaland will undoubtedly have the highest effective ownership in GW2 (ownership + captaincy + triple captaincy %). Haaland has already gone up in price and will likely increase in price again before the GW2 deadline.
Many FPL managers chose to begin the season with Harry Kane as their premium striker, with the booked-in transfer to Haaland for GW2, before a ball was even kicked in GW1. The reason being, was that Kane had a great fixture at home against Southampton, with Haaland facing a tougher opponent (West Ham). FPL managers also took the approach of seeing how Haaland adapts to the Premier League, by watching his performance in GW1, before hopping onto him for his fixture at home to Bournemouth in GW2.
If you’ve watched my Team Selection video for GW1 on YouTube, as well as read my articles and tips on other social media platforms, you would know how I felt regarding this. To recap, booking in a transfer before the season begins already puts you at a disadvantage going into GW2, with injuries and other gems popping up, (very likely to happen in GW1). Secondly, the Community Shield (which was the final pre-season game) between Liverpool and Manchester City was more than enough proof to assess how Haaland would adapt to the league.
Playing against Manchester City’s Premier League Title rival, Liverpool was known to have the best attack and 2nd best defense in the league for the 2021/22 Premier League Season, yet Haaland still amassed an xG (expected goals) of 1.6 and played the entire game (thus eliminating the worry of injury and massively reduced minutes). Haaland was a standout option for GW1, yet content creators and many experienced managers opted for Kane. I predicted Haaland to score 2 in my Team Selection video for GW1, and a brace is exactly what happened.
After 77 minutes, Haaland produced five shots (all in the box), four big chances, ten touches in the box, an xGI (expected goals involvement) of 1.74, 2 goals, and 13 Fantasy Premier points! The Norwegian forward made the Team of the Week, and in his post-match interview, was upset that he didn’t play more minutes to secure a hattrick. The numbers, the eye-test, the words from the man himself, and Manchester City averaging more than four goals per game against newly promoted teams over the past couple of seasons, all point toward owning Haaland in GW2 against Bournemouth. To add, Manchester City is a strong favorite to win this game according to the best betting sites UK.
Zinchenko (Price: £5.1m; Ownership: 24.6%)
Zinchenko’s official debut as an Arsenal player could not have gone more perfect, both from a football perspective as well as an FPL perspective. Whilst some FPL managers were hesitant in tripling up on Arsenal players so early on, others decided to take the plunge and either go for Ramsdale in goal or Zinchenko in defense. Zinchenko was definitely part of the ‘watch list’ on my end to judge how he fits into the Arsenal system (either an out of position defensive midfielder or at left-back) and see whether or not it was worth investing in him.
An assist, a cleansheet, and all three bonus points say that he is definitely worth bringing in, hence more than half a million transfers in ahead of GW2. I would like to add from an eye-test perspective that Arsenal was extremely lucky to come away with a cleansheet against Crystal Palace. However, Zinchenko (No. 35 in the picture below) had an average position, which was very similar to Martin Odegaard (No. 8 in the picture below).
Zinchenko’s average position alone is definitely enticing as an FPL option at £5.1m, not to mention that his xGI of 0.38 was only bettered by Martinelli amongst Arsenal players.
Mitrovic (Price: £6.6m; Ownership: 15.2%)
As a Liverpool fan myself, watching Mitrovic cause such havoc in GW1 was painful yet beautiful in so many ways. After a few minutes into the game against Liverpool, I looked at a friend of mine and said, “I am scared”. Mitro is definitely scoring today” and that is exactly what he did, scoring one goal from open play and one from the penalty spot, in Fulham’s impressive 2-2 Premier League debut in 2022-23 Season against what we thought was a very solid defense.
Mitrovic ended the 2021/22 Championship Season in record breaking form, scoring 43 goals. It’s safe to say that he brought that form with him into the league this season. With Liverpool as Fulham’s first fixture, Mitrovic was overlooked; however, with Wolves and Brentford as their next 2, I can see Mitrovic continuing in goal scoring form and a bandwagon forming. He has already risen in price, and if he scores again against Wolves, we can expect to see that trend continue linearly. Mitrovic is a solid buy, ahead of GW2.
Fulham can be very happy with that display this afternoon 👏
Even Jürgen Klopp shows his appreciation towards Aleksandar Mitrović’s display in which he scored a brace 🤝
FT: Fulham 2-2 Liverpool pic.twitter.com/kIRIr3Zm6g
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 6, 2022
Martinelli (Price: £6.1m; Ownership: 26.3%)
Martinelli was in absolutely every draft of mine leading up to GW1, playing in the front three of a Top 6 Premier League team, a guaranteed starter (due to the injury of Smith-Rowe), in form after pre-season, and at a ‘cheap-as-chips’ price of £6.0m.
Martinelli missed a huge chance early in the game against Crystal Palace, but made up for it by scoring a goal. No Arsenal player bettered his 0.43 xGI or his 2 big chances. He is going absolutely nowhere from my FPL team at present, with Arsenal’s amazing run of fixtures to come, so Martinelli being in Top 5 list for transfers in, comes at absolutely no surprise.
Kulusevski (Price: £8.1m; Ownership: 11.7%)
All the talk before the season began was about which £8.0m midfielder to get, and it’s safe to say that Kulusevski was massively overlooked as a long-term solution. I’d say the thought process behind it was justified, as Richalison has now joined Spurs, and we had no idea about how that would affect Kulusevski’s game time (we still don’t know due to Richarlison’s ban in GW1). Kulusevski unsurprisingly was involved in the goals, scoring one, assisting one, and snatching all three bonus points, coming away with 13 points in total. Kulusevski is still likely to start against Chelsea in GW2, with Richarlison likely to come off the bench. Kulu is definitely on my ‘watch list’ with fixtures against Wolves, Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Fulham, after Spur’s GW2 fixtures against Chelsea. I personally wouldn’t transfer him in right now with some doubt in mind, and I’d say it’s more FPL managers chasing last gameweek’ points.
Top Transfers OUT this Gameweek:
Kane (Price: £11.4m; Ownership 18.8%)
If we’re being honest, Harry Kane would’ve made the most transferred out list, regardless of whether or not he scored in GW1, with FPL managers all scrambling to bring in Haaland for GW2 (either by a booked transfer before the season began to target that fixture against Bournemouth, or to what was witnessed in GW1 from Haaland).
It absolutely did not help that Tottenham Hotspurs scored four goals, and Kane was not directly involved in a single one. It’s this reason in particular that sees Harry Kane as the No.1 most transferred out player. Had he scored and looked in great form, it would’ve given FPL managers a decision to make, however that was not meant to be. Other than Son, players like Emerson and Sessegnon took more shots at goal than Kane which is worrying. As mentioned earlier in the article, I would advise not making a transfer in GW2, unless you’re selling Kane for Haaland.
Jesus (Price: £8.0m; Ownership 70.8%)
Gabriel Jesus made history going into GW1, breaking a record held by Mohamed Salah, as the highest-ever owned player in FPL History. Despite his 300,000+ transfers out at present, his ownership at 70.8% is still the highest in the game.
Mass sales of Jesus are reactionary, to put it lightly. He looked good against Crystal Palace, despite just his one effort at goal. The goals will come! Arsenal face Leicester, Bournemouth, Fulham, and Aston Villa in the next four fixtures. I will say this again; the goals will come! I understand Jesus making the list of most transferred out players, as a ton of FPL managers (especially managers new to the game) are quite impatient, but I do completely disagree with this transfer. Keep Jesus!
Perisic (Price: £5.5m; Ownership 20.2%)
I hope that you do watch my YouTube videos or follow me on my social media platforms, because I clearly stated that Perisic was a doubt heading in GW1, after watching Conte’s press conference. He was nowhere near my final team selection, despite his high ownership. Ryan Sessegnon started for Spurs in GW1 and got off to a flyer, by scoring a goal, making the doubts on Perisic’s minutes even greater. He is an easy sell, in my opinion.
Son (Price: £12.0m; Ownership 21.8%)
Some FPL managers tried to go against the template by going for Son in midfield. By accommodating Son, managers left out either Salah, or Kane or Haaland, making it quite difficult to bring in the Norwegian striker ahead of GW2. Son grabbed himself just one assist in Tottenham’s 4-1 win against Southampton; however that was enough for people to jump ship due to Son’s price tag of £12.0m. I’m unable to tell you exactly who Son was directly transferred to, but I have a feeling a hit or was taken, with Haaland as the priority asset in GW2. The likes of Son and Kane are fixture proof and I will not be surprised in the slightest if either (or both of them) make the Team of the Week, even against Chelsea. We just can’t own them all. I feel like Salah and Haaland are essential FPL assets currently, and by going for either Son or Kane as well, other areas in the squad will be weakened. A hokey-pokey of Premium FPL assets may be the play this season to target specific fixtures.
Cash (Price: £5.0m; Ownership 17.5%)
A weird stat, but when writing this article, I just realized that Matty Cash was the 5th most transferred out player heading into the final gameweek of last season, and he’s now also the 5th most transferred out player after the 1st gameweek of the season. If you’re into superstition, I’d also like to inform you that he scored in the final gameweek of the season. You can do whatever you want with that information.
At £5.0m, there were quite a few options. The most tempting would’ve been Kyle Walker, although risky with the impending transfer of Sergio Gomez as left back to Manchester City. After Bournemouth defeated Aston Villa in GW1, the Villa defence does look like a no-go zone at present. Aston Villa have Everton, Crystal Palace, West Ham, Arsenal and Manchester City in their next 5 fixtures. I agree with Matty Cash being on the most transferred out list.
Try not to make a transfer this gameweek unless that transfer is for Salah or Haaland (depending on who you punted to go without in GW1), as both of them will be the most captained players with the highest effective ownership in GW2.
That sums up my thoughts on the Top 5 Transfer Activity for Gameweek 2. Look out for more articles by myself (FPLijah).
If you have any questions regarding your team or strategy or for more information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.