Nailed on FPL Players

Guaranteed to Play? ‘Nailed on’ Fantasy Premier League Players

This guide looks at whether players are guaranteed starters ('nailed on') for their team or not, and it also assumes that players are fully fit and available for selection. 

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Arsenal

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Aubameyang

Forward

11.0

By far their best forward player

Arsenal, led into the season by new manager Unai Emery, appear to have a number of positions up for grabs — with the midfield currently the most unclear. 

Kolasinac (5.0) and Sokratis (5.5) would be expected to start in defence, the likes of Ramsey (7.5), Ozil (8.5), Mkhitaryan (7.0), Xhaka (5.5) and Torreira (5.0) should all play most matches in midfield — but we need to see this in action before confirming them as 'nailed' — and Lacazette (9.5) is probably assured of good minutes up front.

Arsenal have 5 or 6 players to fit into 3 or 4 attacking roles; this could lead to rotation.

New signing Leno (5.0) is expected to battle Cech (5.0) for the goalkeeping spot, with the preferred option unclear at this moment. 

Bournemouth

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Begovic

Goalkeeper

4.5

Played virtually every minute last season, will continue

Ake

Defender

5.0

Played every match last season, one of their best players

With new signing Diego Rico, old FPL favourite Daniels (4.5) is expected to be a rotation a risk — a shame with his attractive price point. 

King (6.5) is arguably the most likely of the rest of the squad to feature in every game and is almost a certain starter — we're waiting for confirmation on this before adding to the table. 

Brighton

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Ryan

Goalkeeper

4.5

One of the best PPM goalkeepers last season

Dunk

Defender

4.5

Scored a joint-record 4 own goals last season

Groß

Midfielder

7.0

Key player

Knockaert (5.5) tends to be involved in every game, although not always in the starting line-up and only completes 90 minutes around half of the time. 

Murray (6.5) continues to lead the Brighton attack, but age means that he won't be able to feature in every game. 

Burnley

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Tarkowski

Defender

5.0

Earned an England call-up thanks to his performances last season

Mee

Defender

5.0

Regularly touches the ball in the opposition penalty area

Ward

Defender

5.0


Cork

Midfielder

5.0

Plays every minute but doesn't offer much of a threat

Defour

Midfielder

5.5

Plays every game but can be subbed early

Burnley have a new beast to tackle this season: Europa League football. This means we will expect rotation.

Ignoring the Europa League, Gudmundsson (6.0) is likely to play whenever possible. 

There is a battle between the sticks; will Heaton (5.0) or Pope (5.0) be favoured? It could be possible that Pope plays in the league and Heaton plays in Europe. 

Lowton (5.0) should feature very often at right back.

Wood (6.5) would be expected to lead the line regularly, but hasn't proven to be a guaranteed starter every match yet. 

Cardiff

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Bamba

Defender

4.5

Played in every match last season

Morrison

Defender

5.0

Huge goal threat

Ecuele Manga

Defender

4.5


Bennett

Defender

4.5


Hoilett

Midfielder

5.5

9 goals, 11 assists in the Championship last season

Ralls

Midfielder

5.0


It's currently unclear who the number one goalkeeper will be; Etheridge (4.5) (last year's number one) or new signing Smithies (4.5)? 

Cardiff have a large squad but also appear to have plenty of nailed-on options too, barring moves in the transfer market. 

Chelsea

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Courtois

Goalkeeper

5.5

Might be transferred

Azpilicueta

Defender

6.5

Fits the profile of a Sarri right back, despite not actually playing his natural position much for Chelsea

Hazard

Midfielder

10.5

Might be transferred

Kante

Midfielder

5.0

Undroppable — the best in the world in his position

New manager Sarri brings some selection headaches for FPL managers, specifically regarding prized assets like Alonso (6.5) (and the threat of Emerson (5.5) in his position).

However, Sarri has been known to avoid a lot of rotation; once his preferred starting XI becomes clear, it's likely he will stick to it. Players like Fabregas (6.5) could see a new lease of life in the expected formation, and new signing Jorginho (5.0) is likely to be a mainstay in the side.    

Crystal Palace

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Tomkins

Defender

4.5


Van Aanholt

Defender

5.5

Huge goal threat, 5+ goals 3 seasons running

Sakho

Defender

5.0

Milivojevic

Midfielder

6.5

10 goals last season, mostly from penalties

Townsend

Midfielder

6.0

Career has a new lease of life under Roy Hodgson

Zaha

Forward

7.0

Reclassified as a forward this season

Crystal Palace offer some of the predictability that FPL managers crave and the extreme meme potential of manager Roy Hodgson. 

McArthur (5.0) should also see lots of minutes, likewise Benteke (6.5).

Everton

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Pickford

Goalkeeper

5.0

Rapid rise to become England's #1 goalie

Keane

Defender

5.0


Coleman

Defender

5.5

Nostalgia pick appearing to provide great value

Sigurdsson

Midfielder

7.5

Expected to take charge of all set pieces

New manager Marco Silva brings some selection headaches. Richarlison (6.5), joining him now at Everton, would be expected to be nailed based on their time together at Watford. 

The defence is a little unclear, but Baines (5.5) would be expected to see regular game time. 

Tosun (7.0) is a likely candidate to be added to the above list.

Fulham

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Ream

Defender

4.5

Offers almost no threat

Odoi

Defender

4.5


Seri

Midfielder

5.5

A coup for the club, should be first name on the teamsheet

Sessegnon

Midfielder

6.5

16 goals, 8 assists at 18-years-old in Championship last year

Cairney

Midfielder

5.0

Set piece taker

Mitrovic

Forward

6.5


McDonald (4.5) played almost every match last season, and Johansen (5.5) too, but both may see rotation this season due to the arrival of Seri. 

Huddersfield

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Lossl

Goalkeeper

4.5

A great value pick last season

Zanka

Defender

4.5


Schindler

Defender

4.5


Mooy

Midfielder

5.5

Saw moderate success last season

It's quite hard to get excited by Huddersfield's fantasy options.

One of Depoitre (5.5) and Mounie (6.0) could offer some value up front if the other gets injured. 

Leicester

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Schmeichel

Goalkeeper

5.0

Could be transferred

Maguire

Defender

5.5

Has an enormous head

Ndidi

Midfielder

5.0

Starting to fill the void left by Kante's departure

Vardy

Forward

9.0

WKD drinker, goal scorer

Leicester have a number of interesting options in their team, but lack clarity with regards to rotation.

Chilwell (5.0) offers good fantasy prospects if he nails down the left-back slot, and with the arrival of Evans (5.0) it's unclear who will be Maguire's centre-back partner(s) out of Evans, Morgan (4.5) and Benalouane (4.0)

With the selling of Mahrez, Gray (5.5) and Maddison (6.5) are both aiming to fill his previous role, and whoever gets the nod may see solid returns...if one manages to become the preferred option. 

Liverpool

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Alisson

Goalkeeper

5.5

Joined for a world record transfer fee

Robertson

Defender

6.0

One of the best left backs in the league

Van Dijk

Defender

6.0

Giant aerial threat

Lovren

Defender

5.0

Klopp's clear preferred partner for Van Dijk

Salah

Midfielder

13.0

Set the single-season FPL points record last year; is quite good

Mane

Midfielder

9.5

Granted the number 10 shirt ahead of the new season

Firmino

Forward

9.5

The only Liverpool player capable of playing the false 9 role adequately

Liverpool have a host of exciting new signings. At least two of them (Fabinho (6.0) and Keita (7.5)) would be expected to be at least close to nailed, but we need to see proof of this as they probably need some time to settle and adjust. Klopp had some rotation in their positions last season.

Shaqiri (7.5), another new signing, is another rotation option for these centre-of-the-park slots, or could also be breathing down Mane's neck at some point.

Overall, Liverpool's line-ups are often fairly predictable, and they are top of our nailed-on table with 7 players. 

Manchester City

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Ederson

Goalkeeper

5.5

Ever-present until the league was won last season

De Bruyne

Midfielder

10.0

Pep's most important player

Fernandinho

Midfielder

5.5

Had a surprisingly good PPM last season

Do not trust Pep. He will play the players he says he won't and he will rest the players he says will start and he will play the players he says he will and he will rest the players he says he will and oh god he's just such a confusing man. 

The issue with Man City players is that they're essential when playing. It takes skill and some luck to ensure you have the right player at the right time, but there's a whole host you could pick from: Mendy (6.5), Otamendi (6.5), Kompany (5.5), Laporte (5.5), Walker (6.5), Sterling (11.0), Sane (9.5), Mahrez (9.0), David Silva (8.5), Bernardo Silva (7.5), Aguero (11.0), Jesus (10.5)

That's more than 11 players alone and they each cost a relatively pricey amount, emphasising the selection headache. 

Manchester United

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

De Gea

Goalkeeper

6.0

Most expensive goalkeeper on the game

Valencia

Defender

6.5

The new team captain

Pogba

Midfielder

8.0

Benched for a period last season but expected to be nailed

Matic

Midfielder

5.0

Mourinho's favourite player

Sanchez

Midfielder

10.5

Could start the season as a striker

Lukaku

Forward

11.0

United's only true out-and-out striker

Mourinho's defensive rotation last season means it's hard to guess who will start out of Smalling (6.0), Jones (5.5), Lindelof (5.0) or Bailly (5.5). There are some attractive price points here if the preferred favourites become clear early on. 

Shaw (5.0) will start the season at left-back but it's unclear as to whether Young (6.0) will replace him when he returns. New signing Dalot (5.5) provides competition for Valencia, but Mourinho is loyal to the Ecuadorian — the team's new captain. 

Newcastle

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Dubravka

Goalkeeper

5.0

Almost rivalled De Gea for PPM after joining Newcastle

Lascelles

Defender

5.0

An important player in the Newcastle defence

Yedlin

Defender

4.5

Very rarely rotated

Kenedy

Midfielder

5.0

On loan, but a key player since joining

Newcastle's defence tends to include Dummett (4.5) at left-back and Clark (4.5) or Lejeune (4.5) alongside Lascelles, but it's not clear who Rafa Benitez's preferred partner is. 

New signing Ki Sung-Yeung (5.0) will likely be close to ever-present, but that isn't confirmed at this time.

Ritchie (6.0), Astu (5.5) and Perez (6.5) all provide interesting fantasy options — but only when they're in the team. Ritchie is the most nailed of the three, but has been linked with a move away.

Southampton

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Bertrand

Defender

5.0

Likely to be left wing-back in a back 5

Cedric

Defender

4.5

Likely to be right wing-back in a back 5

Southampton are a tricky one. Honestly, I kinda forgot they didn't get relegated.

Their purchase of young goalkeeper Gunn (4.5) puts some doubt in the goalkeeping situation, but McCarthy (4.5) is currently favourite for the #1 shirt.

The centre-backs will probably include new signing Vestergaard (5.0), a giant, but his partner(s) at this time is unclear.

Midfield sees a lot of rotation, although new signing Eyounoussi (6.5) ​will probably see good game time. 

Austin (6.0) should be guaranteed minutes when he's fit, but he's rarely fit and has genuine competition from Gabbiadini (6.0)

Spurs

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Lloris

Goalkeeper

5.5

First name on the team sheet

Vertonghen

Defender

6.0


Sanchez

Defender

6.0

Ousted Alderweireld from the team last season

Alli

Midfielder

9.0

Still managed 175 points last year in a season in which he disappointed

Eriksen

Midfielder

9.5

Their creative force in both open play and from set pieces

Kane

Forward

12.5

Never scored in August but if this is the sole reason you don't pick him then you are stupid

Spurs have a lot of interesting options under Pochettino, but like with Manchester City, it's a case of timing your transfers correctly.

Davies (6.0) is a great points scorer at left-back when Rose (6.0) is not in the team. 

Trippier (6.0) proved his worth for England at the World Cup, but is under rotation threat from Aurier (6.0).

Son (8.5) is often guaranteed play time, but with his departure to the Asian Games (and potentially to military service in the future too) this could open up chances for Lamela (6.5) or Lucas Moura (7.0)

Watford

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Doucoure

Midfielder

6.0

A great points scorer last season, but debatable as to whether he could repeat the feat

Chalobah

Midfielder

4.5


With Foster (4.5) joining from relegated West Brom, it's not yet clear whether he or Gomes (4.5) is first choice goalkeeper.

Watford have a huge roster of defenders meaning rotation is inevitable. Kiko Femenia (4.5) is probably the pick of the bunch, being played out of position towards the end of the 17/18 season.

In midfield, a mixture of rotation and injury problems means it's also not clear who is nailed on from the bunch. 

With four half-decent (but none amazing) forward options, rotation is expected here too. 

West Ham

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Fabianksi

Goalkeeper

4.5

An important new signing for the club

Arnautovic

Forward

7.0

Reclassified as a forward this season

West Ham have a large number of defensive options, but Cresswell (5.5) and Fredericks (5.0) are potentially exciting options if they deliver regular starts.

With injuries and a number of new midfield signings, it's unclear who will be favoured. However, you would anticipate the likes of Wilshere (5.0)Yarmolenko (7.0) and Felipe Anderson (7.0) to be most likely to see game time. 

Wolves

Player

Position

Starting Cost

Notes

Patricio

Goalkeeper

4.5

Just another Portuguese world-beater signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers

Doherty

Defender

4.5

Attacking wing-back on the right flank

Coady

Defender

4.5

Boly

Defender

4.5

Neves

Midfielder

5.0

Takes penalties

Jota

Midfielder

6.5

Potentially listed incorrectly; arguably a forward

I'm sure everyone will agree there is absolutely nothing strange about the fact the Wolves owner also owns a large part of super agent Jorge Mendes's company, with an increasing number of Mendes's superstar players heading for the glamours of Wolverhampton.

Wolves saw a number of close-to-ever-present players last season. It's currently unclear how new signing Moutinho will affect the rotation of other midfielders. The likes of Cavaleiro (5.5), Costa (5.0) and Bonatini (5.0) provide potentially mouthwatering options if they pick up similar game time to last season — although all were regularly used as substitutes. 


READ NEXT: Fantasy Premier League Beginner Guide

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