The month of August is a tricky time for FPL players. The transfer window is still open -- players are still coming and going. Some are unavailable because of holdout or niggling summer injury. It's not until the first international break that you can know who you want to play for most of the season.
That's why you need this post -- a quick list of who is "ownable" and unownable" for the first 3 weeks of the season.
- Petr Cech - In a draft league, you might even want to draft David Ospina to protect yourself.
- Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi - It's likely these three will play most minutes in defense.
- Laurent Koscielny - He will be out for the first two matches.
- Alexis Sanchez - Sad, right? The top scorer last year should not be bought to start this year.
- Mesut Ozil
- After you get past 5-6 guys, it is impossible to know who else will start. You don't want to take a chance on that.
- Alexandre Lacazette - Hopes are high for this guy, but how many goals can he actually score in the Premier League?
- Charlie Daniels, Nathan Ake - We know. We're suckers for the Cherries. But Daniels has been a consistent FPL scorer during his time in the PL, and we all remember how much Nathan Ake thrived while with Bournemouth last year.
- Jermain Defoe - At 8 pounds, play him! Plus, doesn't he feel like a perfect fit for Bournemouth?
- Josh King - Just don't expect to be as amazing as last year.
- Junior Stanislas - When he's healthy, he's good. But we all know how often that happens.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION:
- Anthony Knockaert - Admittedly, we are dumb Americans who do not have the kind of access to the Championship to make us experts on Brighton. We are wait-and-see on everyone. But this guy has name value, so maybe?
- Everyone else. Seriously, do you give Brighton a chance of staying up this year?
- Tom Heaton - Of course.
- Ben Mee - We are all suckers for this guy, especially at 4.5, even though you could own any Burnley defender for the price.
- Midfielders - Think about it. Which one stands out to you? Occasionally, they may all be decent, but is there anyone you want to start the season? Not us.
- Sam Vokes/Ashley Barnes - Now that Andre Gray has been sold to Watford, it is possible that these two guys will get consistent time and points. Especially Vokes. At 6, he's a great third forward option.
- Thibault Courtois, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta - I don't care that they are expensive. Points are points! These guys will score points. Now, they won't score as many as last year. Be realistic. Everyone will be dialed back a notch this year. They are still worth owning, though.
- Pedro/Willian - Remember, this list is focused on August. Eden Hazard does not return until 9/9 at the earliest.
- Eden Hazard - He won't even play until mid-September. Then, you can buy him.
- Diego Costa - Technically, he's available. Roughly 2% of FPL players own him. Why? He's not going to play a minute.
- Alvaro Morata - His manager is saying nothing good about him right now. He will need time to get up to shape and speed for the Premier League.
- Michy Batshuayi - He is probably #1 on the depth chart at forward for Chelsea. He was around last year, so he's not new to the league. At 8.5, he's got the value for a second forward. It's a chance, but one that might be worth taking.
- Scott Dann - At 5 pounds, he is always reliable, and you can count on a headed-in goal or two to start the season.
- Wilfried Zaha - At 7, why wouldn't you buy him? He's still entering the peak years of his career.
- PVA - He might score a goal or two, and if Palace are any good under their new manager, he will benefit from clean sheet points. He's a bit reckless, but he's a solid maybe for FPL.
- Andros Townsend - I know, we've been burned by his potential, too. But he's valued at 6. So maybe?
- Christian Benteke - At 8 pounds, he's priced right between a second and third forward in value. He will play, but he needs to find his old Villa scoring form.
- Jordan Pickford - He's a great GK on a better defense now. What's not to love?
- Leighton Baines/Ashley Williams/Phil Jagielka - Yes, they are older, but they are still solid and they will play lots of minutes. The only question is do you dare own two?
- Ross Barkley - He is another victim of the transfer window. Who knows where he will go? He will not play for Everton, though, until he finds a new home.
- Kevin Mirallas - He will do just enough to make you think about owning him. Don't get sucked in to the lie. He's not good enough for FPL.
- Michael Keane - We just want to see how and where he fits in during the month of August first.
- Davy Klaassen - It's fascinating that he is at 7.5 pounds to start the season. If his value starts to climb, jump in early.
- Wayne Rooney - Noticing a trend? The vibes are all positive coming out of Goodison right now for ol' Wayne, but we need to see it on the pitch first. If you want to own him now at 7.5, though, we won't make fun of you.
- Tom Ince - Yeah, you're right. Probably not. I just felt bad not putting anywhere here for Huddersfield. Especially since we Americans want to root for David Wagner and Danny Williams.
- Harry Maguire - With Robert Huth out until mid-September, he is a great option to start the season.
- Jamie Vardy - Why not? At 8.5, he might be your second forward. Is that so bad?
- Riyad Mahrez - The club are determined to keep him, but he wants nothing to do with Leicester. If they do hold fast and keep him, then we need to see where his head is before we will consider owning him.
- Robert Huth
- Everyone else - This is Leicester, the Jekyll and Hyde of the league in the past two years. Anyone can become ownable and unownable very quickly.
- Kelechi Iheanacho - He's a pod favorite, so we want to own him. Jury's out on how much he contributes early, though.
- Sadio Mane/Phillippe Coutinho/Mohamed Salah/Roberto Firmino - These guys are scary when lined up against you. Seriously, just pick two when healthy and enjoy.
- Daniel Sturridge - Even when the reports are that he's healthy, they can't be believed for long.
- Adam Lallana - He's out until mid-October.
- Simon Mignolet - He might quietly earn some clean sheet points occasionally, but his howlers speak louder to us.
- Nathaniel Clyne - He will be hurt for a week or two, and Liverpool's style of play does not quiet suit his crossing abilities. However, when he is healthy, he is always in the lineup.
- James Milner - Rumor has it that, now that the FPL has made him a defender, he might be a midfielder again. How much will he actually play? And where? At 6.5 as a defender, there are too many questions for our liking in a budget league.
- Dominic Solanke - The kid was a stud in preseason. But it was only preseason.
- Kyle Walker - Just don't go crazy about him like everyone else is. He'll be fine. Maybe even good. But not THAT amazing.
- Vincent Kompany - When he's healthy, he scores FPL points. He's a leader. Play him.
- Kevin de Bruyne - Even when Pep's starting lineup keeps him out, he manages to come in and make an impact.
- Sergio Aguero/Gabriel Jesus - The only question is how they will line up and how well they will play together. There's a lot to love here, though. Pick one and have fun.
- John Stones - If you listen to our pod, you know why we did this.
- Ederson - Preseason had some rough patches. And everyone is still suffering from Bravo-induced PTSD. Just wait and see what you get with him.
- Leroy Sane/Raheem Sterling/Bernardo Silva/David Silva - They could all be amazing. Or they may not play. You just never know with Pep.
- David de Gea/Antonio Valencia - Jose Mourinho is going to have a good defense, and these two guys will play most weeks.
- Romelu Lukaku - We are all excited to see what he can do with United this year.
- Marcus Rojo/Luke Shaw/Ashley Young - Just because we know they are out for a while.
- Everyone else - Literally. Think about it. Everyone else either came off an underwhelming year or isn't a guarantee to play on any given week. You don't want that. You need to start the FPL year with something stable. This club cannot give you that yet.
- Matt Ritchie - At a value of 6, he is worth taking a chance on as a fourth/fifth mid.
- Dwight Gayle - Listing him as a maybe is a reach, I know, but at 6.5, why not? If they score goals, he should get a few when healthy.
- Everyone else. If you heard our Newcastle episode this summer, you might be surprised at this, but seriously, look at their squad. We know all the names from two years ago, but none of them are FPL-worthy right now.
- All non-VVD defenders - We fell in love with Jack Stephens, Cedric, and Ryan Bertrand last year. And with more optimism.
- Manolo Gabbiadini/Charlie Austin/Shane Long - When they are healthy (and that is not very often), they are all dangerous. And when a club has multiple options, it's usually bad for FPL players. Until a clear #1 emerges (and no, Gabs is not that guy -- did you not notice how much he faded to end last year?), stay away from them all.
- Virgil Van Diyk - He should be the #1 defender taken in your draft league. Instead, he should go undrafted. He's another victim of the transfer market still being open, and that's a game we all lose.
- James Ward-Prowse - He tends to get involved in goal-scoring opportunities. If he's getting consistent playing time, watch out.
- None. This club might be terrible. It says something that NO ONE is valued over 6 pounds.
- Jack Butland - If he can return to form, this would work.
- Kurt Zouma - This is more of a curiosity choice. Will he lift up the Stoke defense? Or get pulled down to its valley-like depths?
- Everyone else. Seriously. Name one consistent performer on this team. Shaqiri? No way. You can't predict his performances (or health). Joe Allen? You might get 2 ownable matches, but predicting them is like winning the lottery.
- Gyl...Oh wait. Never mind. No one.
- Swansea will be bad again this year. We are curious about Tammy Abraham, but he's not even a maybe for FPL in August.
- Hugo Lloris/Toby Alderweireld/Jan Vertonghen/Dele Alli/Christian Eriksen - Of course, they are still ownable. They may struggle a bit compared to last year, though. That whole Wembley thing has wondering how this season will go.
- Danny Rose - Niggling injuries, weird passive-aggressive transfer requests, and Wembley have us saying no to Rose for now.
- Harry Kane - Before you say that we have lost all credibility for marking Kane as a maybe, ask yourself one question: Did you own Harry Kane to start last season? And the year before that? He sucked in August, right? So why own him at 12.5? If he does start slowly, that price will drop a bit, and you will get his points later in the year.
- Troy Deeney/Andre Gray - Will Gray's arrival make Deeney better? Or will he just dilute Deeney's chances? Until we know, we can't own them.
- Heurelho Gomes' mouthpiece - That thing's got game.
- Every other person. Watford is another relegation candidate.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION:
- Remember all those guys last year you played before West Brom hit 40 points? Yeah, they're all maybes to start this year. Sure, the club will always play their best between 0-40 points, but a lot of them have weird little knocks and injuries to start the season.
- Salomon Rondon/Jay Rodriguez - See Deeney/Gray for Watford above. Until we know if JayRod will make Rondon better or just vulture some of his chances, neither one can be owned.
- Joe Hart - At 4.5, he will be the best backup goalkeeper you will ever have.
- Michail Antonio - But when he returns for Gameweek 2, look out.
- Andy Carroll - We are done with him. Even when he comes back to health. It's over. No one should ever be lured by this siren ever again.
- Marko Arnautovic - This could work. Last year's Marko left a bad taste in our mouths, though.
- Robert Snodgrass - Paging Hull's Robert Snodgrass. We liked that guy. West Ham's Snodgrass is not so fun.
- Defenders - Yes, all of them. In the last 2 years, how many of you owned Reid or Fonte or Cresswell and felt the inconsistency that comes along with it? Don't you know that every West Ham ends at 2-2? At least, it feels that way, doesn't it?
- Chicharito - We are not as high on him as most of you. He needs to show some productivity to go with all that energy. There's a chance this works, though.
- Andre Ayew - He has the chance to look like Swansea's Andre Ayew. That guy was totally ownable. This guy? Let's wait and see.