Top 5 FPL picks – Leeds United
Disclaimer: The Transfer Window is still open and things could dramatically change for some, or all players mentioned in the Article. The content is however of substance at the time of publishing.
Leeds United, winner of FPL Championship in the 20/21 season (if there was any such championship for being the most loved team by all FPL managers alike). The newly promoted Leeds United had an impressive first season back in the Premier League finishing in the top half of the table at 9th. Everyone who watched Marco Biesla’s side instantly became a fan of Leeds free flowing attacking play. However, the free flowing football came at a cost as Leeds United lost 15 matches conceding 54 goals during the season. These stats were the worst for any team in the top half of the table.
Last season we had a massive advantage as most Leeds assets were underpriced and therefore, the whole team was full of assets worth taking up. However, with success comes price rises. This year, almost all Leeds players have seen higher prices from the start, which will filter out a lot of ownership. This gives us an opportunity to look at which players will justify their prices this season and give us returns like the last season.
We will first analyse the opening set of fixtures and the proceed with the top 5 picks from Leeds United as per our team in order of preference –
1. Luke Ayling: £4.5M (DEF)
Meslier is £5M now, Alioski is off, Dallas is a midfielder and Llorente is back, which means Ayling can start at his favoured RB position again and is the juiciest pick available now. Due to the injury to Llorente, Ayling had to play at the RCB position for quite a stretch and therefore had reduced appeal as a fantasy asset. The current numbers, 100 FPL points with 0 goals and assists, therefore do not reflect his true potential.
We can just contextualize the system Ayling is a part of, through analysis of the stats that are relevant to a Leeds full back.
Aylings personal stats too provide some picture of the kind of player he is, which despite the change in position, is positive.
In summary, Luke Ayling presents an excellent entry into the Leeds squad at throwaway prices. His underlying stats are very promising, and a settled squad means that Ayling will start at his preferred position, from where he can contribute much more towards his FPL worthiness than the previous season where he underperformed his xG and xA.
2. Raphinha: £6.5M (MID)
It is almost surprising that despite a brilliant season for Leeds and Raphinha individually, his FPL price only rose by £1M only, whereas Bamford saw a jump of full £2.5M.
Despite just coming in last season into an already drilled Biesla team, Raphinha was slow to set the ball rolling with his first start in the Premier League coming as late as mid-November, and his first goal contribution coming in later that month. There was no stopping him after that, as Raphinha ended the season with 6 goals and 10 assists.
His form has been phenomenal and consistent ever since he broke into the team. There is little to no evidence that tells us that this season would be any different. Therefore, Raphinha forms and out and out favourite in the price range and is guaranteed to be worth the investment.
3. Harrison: £6M (MID)
Like Raphinha, Harrison performed superbly last season, but was only given a meagre £0.5M bump over his last years FPL pricing. His numbers were more impressive than that of Raphinha, but the performances were a little more evenly spread out throughout the season, and therefore he may go under the radar a little bit due to the lack of explosive potential.
He however sits perfectly in the Biesla system on the left flank, mirroring Raphinha and has the potential to repeat the heroics of the previous season. His underlying stats show solid fundamentals and attest to his quality. It also shows why Leeds were adamant and signed him on a permanent deal from Manchester City.
4. Bamford: £8M (FWD)
Although his price has been bumped by a massive £2.5M, Bamford still makes a really good FPL asset, given his performances last season. A super-hit striker, the ex-Chelsea guy scored a massive 17 goals and also chipped in 11 assists in what was, one of the best promoted striker performances.
If last season’s numbers are to go by, Bamford is still a decent pick from the attacking side of Leeds United. Once the fixtures gets going for the team, Bamford can surely be double up with either of Harrisson or Raphinha, depending on budgets and preferences.
5. Meslier: £5M (GK)
One of the most scoring FPL players last season for Leeds United, Meslier stood strong throughout the season in goal for Leeds. His excellent shot stopping ability saw him make a record 140 saves that made him the third highest scoring goal keeper in the FPL last season.
He may not be a must have FPL asset this season due to slightly better options available at his price points, however, if Leeds United can carry through the defensive form from the tail end of the last season, they can become a very well balanced side with an equally good defensive record as they have while going forward.
In conclusion, Ayling presents to be a simple choice given his price point, and return to his favoured position where we can expect more attacking returns. Knowing the attacking fluidity of Leeds United, Raphinha, Harrison and Bamford are all decent picks in that order. While if Leeds United can find their defensive solidity, Meslier can chip in to be a good option too.