I usually like to set up my FPL team with a 4.5 / 4.0 goalkeeper combo from the same team. This means if the first choice 4.5 keeper gets injured the back up 4.0 keeper will take their place, both for their club and my fantasy football team. Spending the minimum 8.5 on keepers enables me to invest more of my budget on the rest of my squad.
However this may not be possible this season due to pricing and fixtures. Below are the keepers I would consider at each price point, depending on your personal preference. Fixtures for GW1-4 and GW5-8 are listed next to each name.
De Gea (6.0): [LEI, bha, TOT, bur] [wat, WOL, whm, NEW]
The top point scorer last season with 172 pts, De Gea came top for clean sheets (18) and 4th for saves (115). United only play one of the top six in their opening 8 games, and always look good for clean sheets under Mourinho.
However United will be without several key players to start the season, and there may be cheaper United defenders available to cover their clean sheets.
Ederson (5.5): [ars, HUD, wol, NEW] [FUL, bri, CAR, liv]
Ederson kept 16 clean sheets last season on his way to 158 pts. City will inevitably keep clean sheets in a glorious run of fixtures from GW2-7.
However Ederson only made 58 saves last season so save pts won’t happen often. He also takes up a valuable City slot in your team.
Others: Other options include, Allison, Courtois and Lloris who all come in at 5.5. I’d avoid these for the following reasons: Allison has a great run of fixtures for the first 4 GWs but then plays three top 6 teams GWs5-8 (maybe consider if you’re planning to WC early); Courtois is rumoured to be off to Madrid; and Spurs had most of their 1st team involved in the latter stages of the world cup, meaning they may not be fully ready to go come the start of the season.
If opting for a premium keeper I would advise selecting a 4.0 keeper to sit on your bench. It’s a waste of budget to go with a 4.5 keeper who you will never play. In the unlikely event your starting keeper gets injured you’ll just have to use a transfer to replace him.
Mid Price (5.0)
Heaton (5.0): [sou, WAT, ful, MNU] [wol, BOU, car, HUD]
Pope suffered what is thought to be a serious shoulder injury against Aberdeen in the Europa league, which is likely to rule him out for the start of the season. This means Heaton will start the season if he overcomes a slight calf injury. Burnley had a notoriously solid defence last season keeping 11 clean sheets, with Pope making 113 saves to rack up the save points.
However Burnley’s European commitments at the start of the season may expose their lack of squad depth, and mean they’re not quite as solid defensively as last season.
I’ve not listed fixtures here as this pick depends on Schemeicel making the move to Chelsea. Courtois is rumoured to be off to Real Madrid and Schmeichel is a potential replacement. A 5.0 priced keeper at Chelsea would be too good to turn down.
Rotation Options (4.5 / 4.5)
Having analysed the fixtures, for me these are the best 4.5 / 4.5 rotation pairings i could find. Each of them offer favourable fixtures for the first 8 GWs up until the second international break, and consist of teams that should finish around mid table.
Begovic (BOU) / Fabianski (WHM): [CAR, BOU, EVE, WOL] [ LEI, bur, CPL, bri]
Foster (WAT) / Rui Patricio (WOL): [BHA, bur, CPL, whm] [BUR, ful, SOU, BOU]
McCarthy (SOU) / Fabianski (WHM): [BUR, BOU, LEI, WOL] [BHA, CHE, wol, bha]
I like the fixtures from the BOU / WHM rotation the best, however I’m concerned about Bournemouth’s inability to keep clean sheets. If going with the SOU / WHM pairing keep a look out as to who is likely to start in goal for SOU, McCarthy, Gunn or Forster. Because of the above two points I’m leaning towards the WAT / WOL rotation for the start of the season if i go down this route. Both these two teams have good goalkeepers who should rack up the save points, and I’m hoping there will be 3-4 clean sheets for the rotation over GW1-8.
Cut Price (4.5 / 4.0)
Begovic / Boruc: [CAR, whm, EVE, che] [LEI, bur, CPL, wat]
The only decent 4.5 / 4.0 pairing I could find was Bournemouth due to this years pricing and early fixtures. Although they have good fixtures, Begovic only managed 6 clean sheets last season, indicating you’ll have to rely on save points if going this route. Although my preferred strategy I am tempted this season to go with one of the 4.5 / 4.5 rotation options outlined above.
I am currently considering three options to start the season:
- If Courtois leaves Chelsea and is replaced by Schmeichel, a Chelsea keeper at 5.0 will probably be too good to turn down. In this scenario I’ll pair Schmeichel with a 4,0 bench keeper for a 9.0 overall outlay (the same outlay as if I were rotating two 4.5s).
- If I desperately need an extra 0.5 to be invested in my outfield players, I’ll consider the 4.5 / 4.0 pairing of Bournemouth keepers. Not my favourite option though, due to their defensive record last season.
- If the first two scenarios don’t materialise I’ll go with one of the 4.5 / 4.5 rotations, my favourite at the moment being Foster and Rui Patricio. This pairing should be good for save points and a few clean sheets before the first wildcard.