Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 2: tips, captaincy picks, transfer advice and pitfalls to avoid

Strategy advice and captain tips for FPL Gameweek 2 as injuries affect team decisions early.
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Gameweek 1 of the Fantasy Premier League is finally in the bank and by now, most of you will either be feeling thoroughly thrilled or – in many cases – utterly miserable after every player you picked miss their chances, sat on the bench all day or, in many cases, suffered an immediate injury. It’s certainly not been the easiest first week to navigate.

Happily, we’re here with all the tips and picks you’ll need to set your course for Gameweek 2 – and let’s start by reminding you that there’s a Friday evening match between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United, which means that the deadline for transfers is 18:15 BST on Friday. And our second bit of advice this week? Don’t panic. Really. Your team is probably still fine…

Kevin de Bruyne is one of several players who sustained serious injuries during the first week of action.Kevin de Bruyne is one of several players who sustained serious injuries during the first week of action.
Kevin de Bruyne is one of several players who sustained serious injuries during the first week of action.

Avoiding kneejerk reactions

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It’s easy to get flustered by a frustrating mis-step on Gameweek 1. A lot of people were blindsided by John Stones and Gabriel Magalhães being benched, for instance, and that’s led to a fair few people panicking and making what are probably needless week one transfers.

Let me give you an example of why you should probably avoid making any kneejerk transfers. Back in 2020/21, plenty of people picked Son Heung-Min for their teams, only for Spurs to lose 1-0 at home to Everton on the opening day of the season. Son, and many other Spurs players, were awful, and a ton of players transferred him out, dropping his price. On Gameweek 2, Son smashed four goals past Southampton, registered the highest individual score of the entire season and left a lot of people feeling very foolish indeed.

That may be an extreme example but remember that one bad week doesn’t mean your player is suddenly a bust. Bruno Fernandes will not fail to contribute every week. Gabriel will probably be back in the starting line-up after the unfortunate injury to Arsenal new boy Jürrien Timber. And if you picked any Manchester City players and weren’t prepared for them to mysteriously start on the bench every once in a while, you really haven’t been paying attention to the ways Pep Guardiola works

So the best advice we can give you is to stand pat – unless, of course, your player is seriously injured. Sadly, that happened quite a bit. Aside from Timber – who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and may miss most or all of the season – there were apparent long-term injuries for Kevin de Bruyne and Tyrone Mings, both players with plenty of owners. Timber and De Bruyne’s prices have already dropped by £0.1m, while the same will likely happen with Mings very soon. If you have any of these assets, it’s best to move on immediately to avoid further price hits or having large amounts of money doing zero work in your team.

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If you had De Bruyne, move to the next best high-value midfielder you can afford, such as Bukayo Saka or Marcus Rashford. Mings can easily be swapped for Pau Torres, who will probably be a regular starter now. If you haven’t moved Timber on yet then his price drop makes things a bit tricky – you can’t buy into Gabriel, for example. Waiting a week is probably OK to make a swap to a more expensive defender such as Luke Shaw or Reece James, as is simply making a quick switch to a player like Levi Colwill.

Outside of these injuries – just stick and don’t twist. The player you want who burned bright could be a flash in the pan, the guy who underperformed could still come good. Don’t be one of the Son sellers from 2020, or one of the many who bought Jay Dasilva in early last season after a couple of improbable goals for Brentford. Kneejerks seldom work.

Captaincy picks

For most of the Gameweeks this season, the advice here will be simple – if you have Erling Haaland in your team, you captain him. If you don’t have the mighty lump of Nordic meat in your team, you may be beyond our help already, of course.

This week, however, is one of the very few where there is an obvious and justifiable alternative. If you have Mohamed Salah in your team, then his game at home to Bournemouth is simply a more obvious points-scoring opportunity than City’s game against Newcastle United should be. But if you don’t have Salah, then it’s pretty tough to come up with a reasonable alternative to Haaland, and that’s going to be the default advice for as long as the Norwegian is fit and firing.

3 Added Minutes FC

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Of course, we have to finish with an update on our own team – and thankfully for our credibility, we had a pretty decent opening weekend, notching up 78 points against the global average of 64. We were one of the many teams caught out by Gabriel’s surprise exclusion, but we’re standing by our man for one more week at least – and, indeed, not making any changes whatsoever. Seven of our players registered goals or assists and there’s no particular cause to doubt the four that didn’t just yet.

Barring any late injuries or illnesses – and of course we’ll be keeping tabs on the Friday press conferences to make sure we don’t get caught out by any late info – this is how we’ll be lining up for week two:

For those of you who can’t see that screengrab - we have the techies working on it, but apparently it doesn’t show up for everyone -that reads: Goalkeeper: Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest); Defenders: Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton), Matty Cash (Aston Villa), Gabriel (Arsenal); Midfielders: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, captain), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Moussa Diaby (Aston Villa); Forwards: Erling Haaland (Manchester City, vice-captain), Yoane Wissa (Brentford); Subs: Mark Flekken (Brentford), Sven Botman (Newcastle), Amari’i Bell (Luton), Divin Mubama (West Ham)

Until next week, best of luck and may all of your players’ ligaments remain entirely unruptured...

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