Premier League

FPL draft guide: The best first round picks - ranked

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Fernandes is an FPL manager's dream
Fernandes is an FPL manager's dream / Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

We are getting tantalisingly close to the beginning of the Premier League season.

You know what that means? Yes, it's time to start thinking about the Fantasy Premier League Draft. The game has become increasingly popular in recent years and whether you are a seasoned veteran or complete novice, selecting a fire first round pick is vital.

Here are the 15 players 90min reckon are most deserving of your love this season...

15. Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish
Grealish may start the season at Manchester City / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Regardless of whether Jack Grealish starts the season at Aston Villa or Manchester City, he is a solid option for FPL draft.

In a campaign disrupted by injury last time out he still chipped in with 12 assists and was also consistently picking up the maximum bonus points on offer. If he stays injury free his output should increase significantly.

14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang surely won't have another season as bad as his last? / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Annoyingly for FPL fans, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been moved back to being a forward after a season spent as a midfielder.

This means he will return less points per goal than last campaign but he could still be a good option for your draft. Prior to netting just 10 times last season, he scored at a truly remarkable rate year after year.

It is well worth gambling on him returning to form.

13. Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy
Vardy is not getting any younger / Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

A couple of things are preventing Jamie Vardy being higher on this list. Firstly, he only managed three goals in the final 14 Premier League games of Leicester's Premier League season.

Secondly, he will also face increased competition for his place this term from Patson Daka. Daka had done well in pre-season too. It might even be worth opting for Kelechi Iheanacho - who finished the 2020/21 campaign in incredible form - over Vardy.

12. Timo Werner

Timo Werner
Werner will surely improve his output this season / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Hear us out on this one.

Timo Werner may not have enjoyed the most fruitful debut Premier League season - netting just six Premier League goals - but as soon as his finishing clicks into place he could easily score a bucket load.

Provided Chelsea fail to bring in a big-name striker this summer, taking a punt on Werner could pay off handsomely.

11. Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford
Rashford will miss the start of the campaign / Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Yes, Marcus Rashford is missing the start of the season. However, unlike in the normal game, only one manager in each league can own a player in FPL Draft.

If you tie down Rashford early on, you will take a short term hit but you will have a reliable, fighting fit asset when he recovers from surgery. In other words: short term pain for long term gain.

10. Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez was rumoured to be discontent at City / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Delving into the dangerous world of Manchester City forwards is always a risk in FPL, as Pep Guardiola is the king of unexpected rotation.

Riyad Mahrez is a fairly safe bet, though. Only 12 midfielders fared better than him in FPL last season and the potential arrival of Jack Grealish is unlikely to affect his playing time at right forward too dramatically.

9. Mason Mount

Mason Mount
Mount was prolific last season / Pool/Getty Images

Chelsea were playfully nicknamed Mason Mount FC last season for good reason. The midfielder enjoyed a terrific campaign improving on his 2019/20 FPL points return in the process.

It is easy to see him posting good numbers again, although he may be subject to increased rotation if some of the Blues' underperforming stars stake a claim for first team football.

8. Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho
Sancho is an unknown quantity in the Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Opting for a player with no Premier League experience as your number one draft pick is a bold move.

Then again, Jadon Sancho is no ordinary newcomer. Despite his tender years United's marquee signing has already posted incredible goals and assists numbers in Germany. Provided he adjusts to his new surroundings he is bound to be one of FPL's top scorers.

7. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling
Sterling had a terrific Euro 2020 / Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images

Much like Mahrez, putting all your eggs in the Raheem Sterling basket is a risky move.

Towards the end of the season Guardiola seemed to lose faith in the forward - who previously had been an FPL legend. His performances at Euro 2020 gave us all a timely reminder of his incredible talent and we would not be surprised to see him get 15+ goals this term.

6. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has had injury problems recently / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne has endured his injury troubles in the past, but on his day he is one of, if not the best player in the Premier League.

He is also a favourite of FPL players with the Belgian registering a stunning 251 points during the 2019/20 campaign. Provided he stays fit you can expect him to return similarly brilliant numbers this time around.

5. Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane
Mane has been one of FPL's best performers in recent seasons / Gareth Copley/Getty Images

One of the toughest decision FPL players have to make each year is whether to select Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.

If the former is not on the board, Mane should be your pick. Over the past three seasons his lowest points return has been 176. Not a lot more has to be said really.

4. Son Heung-min

Heung-Min Son
Son could be flying solo if Harry Kane departs / James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Harry Kane leaving Son Heung-min to fend for himself is bad news for Tottenham fans. Could it be good news for FPL players, though?

If Kane does depart, Son will be afforded an even more central role in the Spurs attack. Wishful thinking suggests this should lead to an increase in his goals and assists, placing him well to defend his title as the fourth highest scoring player in FPL.

3. Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah
Salah is always a reliable choice / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

To be honest, our top three were separated by a coin toss. Kicking off the podium is Mohamed Salah.

Since rejoining the league in 2017 Salah has been freakishly good, never dipping below an FPL points return of 230. Around half of all managers have selected him in the normal game so far and he is a must-have in Draft as well.

2. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes will be aiming for silverware this season / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes is a FPL points machine. A lethal penalty taker playing for a team that gets a lot of spot kicks, he also boosts his tally by racking up open-play goals and assists.

The arrival of Sancho means he has even more firepower to feed this season too.

1. Harry Kane

Harry Kane - Soccer Player
Where will Kane be plying his trade this season? / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Provided Spurs don't banish him to the Under-23s for refusing to play, Harry Kane has to be your number one FPL draft pick this season.

Kane finished top of both the goals and assists charts last time out and if he does move to City, do not be surprised if he betters those numbers.