Holly Shand is a regular Hub contributor on all things FPL and Footstock. She's been playing Fantasy Premier League for six seasons now, with two top 10k finishes and a further two top 100k finishes. Look out for her popular weekly Members article on Form vs Fixtures which will be back for Gameweek 2 but for now she brings us her FPL fixture analysis of the opening Gameweeks.
Now that the fixtures have finally been released, here's all the analysis on which teams have the best opening fixtures for the season.
With the powerful site fixture ticker in tow, the first four gameweeks are under the spotlight with the teams and players to target for your FPL team.
This window of time takes us to the end of the summer transfer window and an International Break, which is always a popular time for fantasy managers to play their first wildcard. It's always a pivotal period, as the teams and players new to the Premier League bed in and lineups solidify.
It will be a more challenging time than usual to navigate, because at the time of writing, the opening Gameweek will be a Blank Gameweek. Burnley's opening home game against Manchester United and Manchester City's eye-watering fixture against Aston Villa have both been postponed. This is due to the late involvement of the Manchester clubs in Champions League and Europa League action in August. We have to wait and see when these fixtures will take place.
FPL Fixtures - Attack
It's Everton who come top of the site fixture ticker when it comes to the attacking prospects for the opening four gameweeks, although facing Spurs on opening weekend does somewhat dent their appeal. Richarlison (£8.0) carries the most interest here: he has scored 13 goals in each of the last two seasons, but his reclassification to a striker makes him a little less appealing.
Anyone unsure on which mid-priced striker to invest in, will be pleased to see that Southampton have a nice run of opening games, with Danny Ings (£8.5) on many shopping lists. He's seen a steep price increase, but could be fantasy gold once more, providing he stays fit. Don't rule out Stuart Armstrong (£5.5) as an enabler in midfield; he managed nine attacking returns last season from limited minutes.
Another budget midfielder likely to get plenty of suitors now that the fixtures are released is Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.5). He stood out as being potentially underpriced when the game was launched and a favourable spell of opening fixtures make him an ideal 5th midfielder for anyone adopting a 3-5-2 formation for the upcoming season.
Of the sides we typically see towards the top of the Premier League table, it's Arsenal and Liverpool who have the pick of the fixtures, with Chelsea and Spurs following closely behind. Given the absence of both Manchester clubs from Gameweek 1, I can see Mo Salah (£12.0) or Sadio Mane (£12.0), plus Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0) who is now listed as a midfielder being the go-to big hitting midfielders. The switch can easily be made to Manchester City or Manchester United players from there.
Targeting price points is going to become a very popular strategy for the early gameweeks of the season, with the premium forward slot one of those likely to be covered early. Timo Werner (£9.5) or Jamie Vardy (£10.0) will likely be the choice to start with, but some may be swayed to Harry Kane (£10.5) as a gamble.
Of the sides with a Blank Gameweek 1, it's Manchester United who have the best run beyond that: facing Crystal Palace, Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur. Their assets are going to be particularly challenging to deal with, because you'll definitely want them in from Gameweek 2 onwards. Manchester United assets are always popular, with Bruno Fernandes (£10.5) the third highest owned player in the game at the time of writing.
At the other end, Leeds United unfortunately look to be a side to be avoided from the start, given their opening game against Liverpool and then Manchester City in Gameweek 4. We are expecting them to be active in the transfer window though, which means investment after the International Break could be a wise move.
The prospects for Manchester City don't look promising either, although we know many of their players are fixture proof. Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5) and Raheem Sterling (£11.5) will both start the campaign with significant ownership, despite the blank and Wolves and Leicester City in the schedule. If their postponed fixture against Aston Villa is rescheduled within this window of games, you'll need to jump onboard.
FPL Fixtures - Defence