Fantasy Premier League 2017/18: When does it start, what has changed and what are the player prices?

A look ahead to the new fantasy football season

Mark Critchley@mjcritchley
Friday 11 August 2017 08:20
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Whether you are something of a casual who is all but certain to lose interest before the October international break or the type to be sat up bleary-eyed at quarter-past-two in the morning checking Robert Snodgrass' key pass metrics, it is time to start thinking about fantasy football again.

It is all but certain, I'm afraid, that you will receive an e-mail requesting you sign up to an under-populated mini-league in a few weeks' time.

Why put off the inevitable, then? Here's all we know so far about this season's version of the game along with a few tips to give you a head start.

When does Fantasy Premier League start?

Back in May, Fantasy Premier League confirmed that the 2017/18 version of the game will be launched in the week commencing 10 July, i.e. this week.

There is no definitive date as developers will want to use as much time as possible to iron out any potential bugs and issues before the full release.

A mid-week launch on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is thought to be most likely.

What has changed?

There are two major changes to this year’s game that we know about at the time of writing.

1. Free Hit chip

‘Free Hit’ replaces ‘All Out Attack’. This chip, which every user will be allowed to play once during a season, will allow unlimited transfers in a single gameweek.

Those transfers will apply in that gameweek but, crucially, the user’s previous line-up will return the week after. Essentially, Free Hit is the Wildcard chip, but it lasts for only one week.

2. Fantasy Premier League Draft

This is a wholly different way of playing the game and separate from the original version.

Fantasy Premier League Draft involves mini-leagues of up to 16 users where each Premier League player can only be picked by one team.

In other words, there is one Harry Kane, one Alexis Sanchez, one Romelu Lukaku, etc. At the start of the season, managers take turns to pick their players until assembling a full squad of 15.

There are no player prices in FPL Draft and there are no direct transfers between managers. Transfers are instead made through a ‘waiver’ system.

Fantasy Premier League Draft is set to be launched in the week commencing 17 July.

Premier League transfer round-up: Manchester United confirm Lukaku signing

How much will players cost?

As part of their build-up, the Fantasy Premier League organisers have drip-fed player prices over the course of the last few days.

Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette - £10.5m

Bournemouth: Josh King - £7.5m

Brighton: Anthony Knockaert - £6.0m

Burnley: Tom Heaton - £5.0m

Chelsea: Cesc Febregas - £7.0m; Victor Moses - £6.5m

Crystal Palace: Christian Benteke - £8.0m

Everton: Davy Klaassen - £7.5m

Huddersfield: Tom Ince - £6.0m

Leicester: Harry Maguire - £5.0m

Liverpool: Mohamed Salah - £9.0m; James Milner - £6.5m; Roberto Firmino - £8.5m

Manchester City: Leroy Sane - £8.5m; Gabriel Jesus - £10.5m

Manchester United: Paul Pogba - £8.0m

Newcastle: Dwight Gayle - £6.5m

Southampton: Nathan Redmond - £6.5m

Stoke: Joe Allen - £5.5m

Swansea: Fernando Llorente - £7.5m

Tottenham: Dele Alli - £9.5m

Watford: Etienne Capoue - £5.5m

West Bromwich: Gareth McAuley - £5.0m; Chris Brunt - £5.5m

West Ham: Manuel Lanzini - £7.0m

Which players have changed position?

Given last term's trend for midfielders becoming wing-backs, the new version sees several player reclassified.

James Milner: Defender

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Defender

Victor Moses: Defender

Sam McQueen: Defender

Ahmed Musa: Midfielder

Chris Brunt: Midfielder

Modou Barrow: Midfielder

Roberto Firmino: Forward

Josh King: Forward

Jay Rodrgiuez: Forward

Who has a favourable start?

While it is hard to start drafting our squads without price information, we do know each club’s set of opening fixtures and who, on paper, has a favourable start.

Southampton start with two enticing home fixtures against Swansea and West Ham, but are something of an unknown quantity with new manager Mauricio Pellegrino at the helm.

West Bromwich Albion have three home games in their first five. Tony Pulis’ defence will attract a lot of attention, for their goalscoring exploits if nothing else.

Gareth McAuley, Craig Dawson, Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans scored 15 goals between them last term, yet the Baggies kept just six clean sheets.

It looks like it will be worth investing in Manchester United assets too. Jose Mourinho’s men also have three home games in their first five, with West Ham, Leicester and Everton visiting Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku against his former club, anyone?

Who has a tough set of opening fixtures?

Staying with Everton, Ronald Koeman's side follow their opening day home fixture against Stoke with games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and the aforementioned trip to United.

Stoke are not much better off, either. After visiting the blue half of Merseyside, they play Arsenal at home, travel to the Hawthorns and then entertain United.

Sean Dyche's Burnley will be hard-pressed to pick up early points too. The Clarets' first three away fixtures take them to Stamford Bridge, Tottenham's new home at Wembley and then Anfield.

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