FPL Gameweek 1: Tips, Captain, Picks & Team

fpl gw1 tips

We are almost there.

Our favorite competition Fantasy Premier League starts with Gameweek 1 in just a few hours. After well-deserved rest, more than 6 million FPL managers are heading towards the 9-month-long marathon for a good finish in the global ranking and for victory in their mini-leagues.

Are you as excited as we are? We hope so.

We prepared for you a few (but important) pieces of advice before the start of the season, and as usual, our FPL GW1 Tips.

If you are new to FPL and you are not completely familiar with this competition, we highly recommend you read our beginner’s guide: how to play Fantasy Premier League first. Then get back to this article.

Feel free to JOIN our Fantasy Football Reports mini-league by clicking this link or using our league code ti56kl.

Anyway, for our regular readers that are familiar with our content, let’s start with FPL GW1 Tips.

1. Fantasy Premier League 2023/24 Tips for Gameweek 1

  1. Do not leave the selection of your squad for the last minute. If you want to take this season seriously, you should be 80-90% sure about your squad 2-3 days before the first kickoff. Decisions made just a few minutes before the deadline are usually bad, influenced by fear and emotions.
  2. Speaking about emotions, you should eliminate them when selecting your GW1 team. You should build your squad on logic and data.
  3. Use information from the previous seasons when picking your team. Look at players’ points from last season and seasons before. Are there any players that are able to repeat their strong performance year after year? If so, these are strong contenders for your GW1. They are safe options and could be the core of your FPL team throughout the whole season. Take a look at our article about the most reliable FPL players from previous seasons, you will find who these players are.
  4. Look at the best FPL team from last season in our article: The best FPL team 2022/23. It is an analysis ex-post, and it shows which players we should have picked at the beginning of the last season and which was the best formation we should have used.
  5. Do not take unnecessary risks with your GW1 squad. We have very little information about the upcoming season. We recommend you to play it safe, with low risk in the first gameweek. Go for reliable players and try to avoid players that we know nothing about. If you do want to take some risk, make sure you have it under control and that you select a maximum of 1 or 2 “risky” players.
  6. Do not forget to consider players that are on set pieces and penalties. They could offer a great source of fantasy points. Find players who are on penalties and free kicks in our article: Premier League Penalty Takers.
  7. Think long-term. Look at fixtures in GW2, GW3… How does your GW1 squad look for post-GW1 fixtures? Do you have good captaincy options for the following gameweeks?
  8. If you think you found the team you like, your optimal GW1 squad, go through all positions in your squad and challenge every player in your team. Is this player the best option for this position? Do I really need (want) him in my team? Why did I pick him? And if you find yourself doubtful about some players, then maybe it is time to start tinkering again.
  9. Do not forget to ask yourself one very important question: What did I overlook? We are human beings, and we always overlook something when making decision complex like this (selecting our GW1 team). Make sure you analyzed all data, that you went through all players, and that you made your decision best as you could.
  10. FPL GW1 is always in complete chaos. Try to not chase points after it. Take a deep breath after the gameweek is over, and try to save a transfer for the next gameweek (unless some of your players get injured). You will have more information and data to make the right decision then.

Alright, so much for the FPL GW1 Tips. If you are interested in reading more about practical Fantasy Football Tips, go right to our article: 7 key tips for Fantasy Premier League Success.

Notes for the new season:

As we now will see more added time in the new Premier League season (expect something like 4+min in the first half, 8+ min in the second half), this will influence fantasy football selections as well:

  • Players that regularly play the full 90 minutes will now get more game time, so they are more valuable FPL assets
  • We should see less clean sheets (as the game time will be longer), so perhaps you should not tight too much many in the defence

Also, do not forget that GW2 is going to be a blank gameweek where Luton and Burnley do not play. So if you have Kaboré, Bell or Beyer on the bench of your FPL team, be aware that they do not play, so if you will need a bench players in GW2, it could be a problem.

2. Way to improve your Fantasy Premier League skills

Perhaps this is your first FPL season and you are really excited about it. Or you are familiar with FPL but you could not crack that top 10k in previous seasons or beat your mini-league rivals.

Although FPL is a game where luck plays a certain role, it is also a game of skill. So, if you would like to improve your FPL game, you can only do it by making better decisions about your team.

These 11 recommendations will help you improve your game:

  1. improve your game by getting quality information – if you do not have the best information, you cannot make the best decision, so you need to sacrifice some time to obtain/read them
  2. learn from points distributions in previous seasons
  3. make your own decisions and do not copy others
  4. always think about the long-term big picture
  5. never let emotions to make decisions instead of you
  6. follow stats like shots or xG
  7. think about moves before you make them
  8. optimize your formation and ask yourself questions like – is this 7.5 million forward going to score more goals than this 6.0 million defender?
  9. Listen to QUALITY podcasts
  10. follow the right people on the FPL Twitter
  11. Read good books about FPL.

Our further reading about improving FPL skills:

3. Key players to own in FPL 2023/24

Key players

  • Haaland – your captain in almost any gameweek
  • Saka – stable output over the last few years, on pens, great fixtures for Arsenal
  • Estupinan – strong finish of previous season, good fixtures for Brighton at the beginning of 2023/24 season

Other strong players to consider

  • Rashford or Bruno – key players for United
  • Gabriel – Arsenal was defensively strong in the last season
  • Alexander Arnold – offers an attacking threat, registered 10 or more attacking returns on each of the last 5 seasons
  • Stones – if you are looking for a City defender to exploit their good fixture run
  • Mitoma – Brighton is strong in the attack, you will likely need their attacking coverage over their good fixture run
  • Onana – if you are looking for a set and forget goalkeeper
  • Mbeumo – while Toney is absent, it will be up to Mbeumo to be Brentford main man in the attack
  • Eze – a key man for Crystal Palace, carries good form from the finish of previous season
  • Joao Pedro – popular budget enabler that allows you to accommodate Salah next to Haaland in your squad

Differentials to consider

  • Chilwell – when he plays, he can deliver points for clean sheets and attacking returns as well
  • Son – We know he can do it. One bad season does not mean he is a bad FPL pick.
  • March – If you do not want to go for Mitoma, March have similar underlying stats in the last season and similar points output
  • Wissa – could do well during Toney absence, but monitor whether Brentford signs a new forward
  • Richarlison – now when Kane is gone to Bayern, he should play up front for the Spurs

Read more:

4. Fixtures to target in Gameweek 1

In which fixtures we could expect a lot of fantasy points? Fixtures to target in GW1 according to bookies odds:

  • Arsenal vs. Nottingham Forest: The Gunners 81 % to win, 53 % to score 2.5+ goals
  • Burnley vs. Manchester City: Citizens 74 % to win, 43 % to score 2.5+ goals
  • Brighton vs. Luton: Brighton 73 % to win, 42 % to score 2.5+ goals
  • Manchester United vs. Wolves: The Red Devils 72 % to win, 41 % to score 2.5+ goals

Teams to target over the next few gameweeks

  • Brighton – best 3 opening fixtures, double up with Estupinan + Mitoma/March/Pedro could be a good strategy, then you can start selling them after GW3
  • Arsenal – Nice run of fixtures up to GW7, especially in GW1 – GW3. Do not be afraid to triple up on Arsenal at the start of the season. Saka is almost essential. Pick one of their defenders next to him (our preferred is Gabriel due to his goal threat) and one attacking player – we really like Trossard, but his uncertainty about starting puts us off. So we would go for Odegaard as our third Arsenal player, who certain spot in the Gunner’s starting XI. Then you can deal with Arsenal’s triple-up lately with your wildcard if they became a problem and when their fixtures worsen.
  • Manchester City – amazing fixture run GW1 – GW7, especially GW4 – GW7. There could be a lot of clean sheets for City in this run, pick one of their defenders next to Haaland in your FPL team.
  • Brentford – tricky fixture against (leaky) Spurs defense in the GW1 but after that, great fixtures up to GW7. We expect Mbeumo, Wissa, and even Brentford defenders to do well at the beginning of the season.
  • Chelsea – no team has better fixtures between GW2 and GW8 than the Blues. But with Nkunku out, their attacker might struggle, so we could focus more on their defensive players, especially Chilwell.

5. Best captain pick in Gameweek 1

Do not overcomplicate the captaincy pick in the Gameweek 1. Just pick the best player in the game or the player you think will score the most points.

For us, we use our captaincy index to help us to determine who to captain in Gameweek 1.

To find more about it, check the article: FPL GW1 Best Captain [Captaincy Index].

According to the index, Erling Haaland is the best GW1 captain. Bruno Fernandes is the number 2 pick and Marcus Rashford number 3.

If you want to learn more about picking a captain in Fantasy Premier League, go to our article: How to pick a captain in FPL.

Differential captain: Saka – the fixture against the leaky Nottingham defense is just so tempting to captain him over Haaland.

6. What bookies odds say about GW1

At Fantasy Football Reports, we often use bookmakers odds to help us with our fantasy decisions.

We convert them into probabilities with our Odds to probability calculator, to get an overview of: who is most likely to score each GW, and which teams are most likely to keep a clean sheet.

Clean Sheet Odds for GW1

You can check the GW1 clean sheet odds here. Bookies favor mainly  Manchester City, Brighton and Manchester United to perform well defensively in the first gameweek of the season.

They also expect only 5.12 clean sheets in the GW1, which is less than 5.45 clean sheets per gameweek that we witnessed last season.

That suggests that there could be fewer clean sheets in the GW1 than we are used to in an average gameweek. It also suggests that GW1 could be a high-scoring and chaotic gameweek.

Speaking about clean sheets, we found out that there are teams that are able to keep almost the same amount of clean sheets every season. They could be greate source of defensive points in FPL. Check which teams we talk about in the article: Most stable defensive teams.

Anytime Goalscorer Odds GW1

According to Premier League Goalscoring Odds, Haaland is the player that is most likely to score a goal in the GW1. Rashford and Kane follow.

Other probabilities to check before gameweek 1:

7. Bench fodders for your FPL team

Which cheap players will likely start for their teams? These players could be cheap options for your bench if you plan to maximize the budget of your starting XI (and we recommend you do that).

  • Goalkeepers: Turner (4.0, Nottingham Forest) could be starting 4.0n goalkeeper, but be careful as Nottingham is still interest in singing Dean Henderson from Manchester United. Areola (4.0m, West Ham) – likely starts the season as the Number 2 West Ham goalkeeper, but could get a chance later in the season
  • Defenders: Pinnock, Henry and Botman are great 4.5m option. In the 4.0m price bracket: Kaboré, Bell and Beyer are expected to be regular starters for their teams (but all 3 have a blank gameweek in GW2).
  • Midfielders: Chukwuemeka (4.5m, Chelsea) should start at Nkunku who is injured – but it would force you to make a transfer later in the season. Nakamka (4.5m, Luton) should be a regular starter for the whole season, but he is a defensive MID (so do not expect attacking returns) and have a blank gameweek in GW2. Anderson (4.5m, Newcastle) – excellent form in the preseason, could potential start few games at the beginning of the season, but he is not a regular starter over the long run
  • Forwards: Osula (4.5m, Sheffield) should start GW1 as Sheffield has many injuries among forwards. Once other Sheffield forwards are fit, he will not be a regular starter. Mubama, Ui-Jo should get some game time from the bench – but neither of them is a regular starter

8. Scout team selection for FPL GW1

We have a separate article for our scout team selection for Gameweek 1. You can find it here: FPL GW1 Team.

9. Fantasy Premier League Tips

Find more tips, strategies and picks for Fantasy Premier League in these articles:

Hopefully, our FPL GW1 Tips helped to get you in the picture before the first kick-off. However, at the end of the day, it is all about you and your decision-making process. We want to inspire you, show you things to focus on and what to not overlook.

Now it is up to you to make your own research to complete your GW1 squad and make the right decisions about your FPL team.

Good luck in Gameweek 1!

Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Five top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.

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