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 analysis top five must-own FPL picks.

No player is essential in FPL, but there are certainly an elite group of FPL picks who should never be far from your thoughts.

The biggest hurdle to navigate at the start of this fantasy season is the Blank Gameweek 1 for Manchester City and Manchester United: two sides with fantasy assets who will be big contenders for the FPL picks of the season. Here are my top five.

1. Mohamed Salah (£12.0m)

When it comes to consistency in Fantasy Premier League, there's one man who dominates over the past three seasons, Mo Salah (£12.0m). He's won the Golden Boot twice in his time at Liverpool and has excelled for both goals and assists over this period. The Egyption has a mammoth 101 offensive returns in his last three seasons with 73 goals and 28 assists. That's an impressive total, especially when compared with the next highest player Raheem Sterling, who has just 77 attacking returns in comparison. Only Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) had a higher xG last campaign. Liverpool were the best side in the Premier League last campaign by some margin, with Salah playing a part in 29 of their 85 goals, that's a goal involvement rate of over 33%. With Liverpool looking to strengthen in the transfer window, I'd only expect more of the same for 2020/21. Within the fantasy community right now, much of the discussion around Liverpool assets revolves around going without Mo Salah in Gameweek 1, in favour of defensive assets and premium players from other clubs. However, it's a risky move to ignore such a consistent player. When it comes to our premium fantasy assets, the captaincy conversation always has to be one of the key considerations, with Salah looking like a highly viable option for three of the opening four gameweeks, with home games against Leeds United and Arsenal, plus a trip to Villa Park.

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m)

Whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) has been teetering on the edge of being one of the top FPL picks since joining Arsenal in early 2018, his reclassification as a midfielder this season has now cemented his position among that elite group of fantasy assets. He's successfully broken the 200 point barrier in two consecutive seasons as a forward. With midfielders earning an additional point for every goal scored and clean sheet kept, those tallies could easily have taken him closer to the 250 point mark. He's the talisman of this Arsenal side, which is arguably going from strength to strength under Mikel Arteta. Confidence was much needed for the Gunners and their recent wins in the FA Cup and Community Shield, defeating very good Chelsea and Liverpool sides, will do wonders for their attitude going into this campaign. Aubameyang is a consistent goalscorer although he often gets a poor reputation in the fantasy community due to his inconsistency in seemingly straightforward fixtures and having the tendency to spend some games hugging the left touchline. It seems that Alexandre Lacazette (£8.5m) could be set to depart Arsenal in this transfer window, which could pave the way for Aubameyang to become the central striker and he's also on penalties for the Gunners. With Fulham and West Ham United their opening two games, his ownership will be significant come Gameweek 1.
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