AM's Week 1 Player PicksFriday, August 15, 2014
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Welcome to another season of AM's Player Picks. For those of you new to the Rotoworld PL site, each week you'll find me here on a Thursday with a look at the Premier League weekend ahead, focusing on the fixtures and the players I feel you should be considering for your Yahoo Fantasy Premier League team.
This is my sixth season writing about the Yahoo fantasy game, and I always find the opening weekend the most difficult. Pre-season friendlies are glorified practice sessions, so we have no real idea of this weekend's starting line-ups, nor do we have any true indications of the form or fitness of individual players. There's also no way of knowing which of the new summer signings will adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, so it's tough to produce a list of picks I have 100% confidence in. What I have done is analyse the fixtures and then taken a "safety first" approach, focusing on the teams from seasons past who rarely let us down. In addition, the tight budget means I've included plenty of cheaper options to help you round out your bench.
Here we go ...
Week 1 Fixtures
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Chelsea
Leicester v Everton
Liverpool v Southampton
Man Utd v Swansea
Newcastle v Man City
QPR v Hull
Stoke v Aston Villa
West Brom v Sunderland
West Ham v Tottenham
In terms of attractive match-ups it's the big teams that draw the attention, especially when adopting the safety first approach. Louis van Gaal's Manchester United versus Swansea at Old Trafford, Liverpool up against a depleted Southampton side at Anfield and big-spending Arsenal hosting Crystal Palace at the Emirates all look like comfortable home wins. It's worth noting that Louis van Gaal first Premier League match as Manchester United manager has been chosen for TV coverage here in the UK, so it's the early Saturday kick-off. This means there is a possibility we'll get the line-up prior to the Week 1 Yahoo deadline.
Another side to splash the cash over the summer was Chelsea, and they will be massive favourites to get their campaign off to the perfect start by picking up three points at newly promoted Burnley's Turf Moor. I'm tipping Stoke City to beat Aston Villa at the Britannia, while last season's Premier League champions Manchester City will be expected to defeat Newcastle United at St James' Park.
Everton have enough quality to pick up a win at Leicester City but it could be close battle, while West Brom against Sunderland and QPR hosting Hull are both too tough to call in either side's direction, with score draws likely. I'll be avoiding the potentially fiery London derby between West Ham and Tottenham, with tackles, fouls and cards galore to be expected at Upton Park.
With all that in mind, click over to the next page to view the Week 1 player recommendations.