A new Premier League season means fresh agonising over how to get the best value for money when picking your Fantasy Premier League players for 2022/23.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland will make up team spines for many, but the budget picks can make all the difference once the points start rolling in for virtual managers.
There are plenty of players who raked in points last season and are almost certain to be first-team regulars this time around, offering opportunities for bargains across the board.
Want impact signings without denting your budget? The Sporting News takes a look at some of the players to consider.
Best FPL budget defenders
Ivan Perisic (5.5)
New Tottenham signing Perisic was a considerable attacking threat for Inter Milan last season and is likely to figure regularly for Spurs after being reunited with manager Antonio Conte.
The marauding wideman is one of several wing-backs in Conte’s squad worth considering, and his fitness and durability mean he is likely to play plenty of minutes despite the competition he faces.
Conte wants Spurs to be a high-intensity attacking unit and sees Croatia international Perisic as a pivotal part of his plans.
Matty Cash (5.0)
With a whopping 147 points, Cash coined it in for value pickers last season by bagging the highest total of any player priced under £6m this time around, including 13 clean sheets.
The Poland right-back has already proven extremely popular with managers, featuring in more than 20 percent of squads.
Part of that comes down to Cash playing more minutes than any other defender in the Premier League in 2021/22.
Neco Williams (4.0)
Wales defender Williams is one of the most in-demand transfers ahead of the season, having joined Forest from Liverpool for £17m in July.
The 21-year-old spent the second half of 2021/22 on loan at Fulham, scoring twice during his spell at Craven Cottage.
Williams is a snip at £4m, reflected by his status as the fourth-most popular defensive signing ahead of the FPL resuming.
Kieran Trippier (5.0)
After joining Newcastle from Atletico Madrid in January, England full-back Trippier was one of the stars of the show as the Magpies rapidly evolved from relegation candidates to a team to watch.
The 31-year-old earned the third-most points per game of any defender priced under £5.5m and should impress again as Newcastle aim for the upper echelons of the table.
Trippier scored more than 100 points in consecutive seasons for Tottenham before switching to Atleti before the 2019/20 season.
Best FPL budget midfielders
Andreas Pereira (4.5)
As tempting as it can be to pick players from the top six teams, FPL demonstrates time and again that superstar selections count for little if transfers are not on the pitch.
Former Brazil international Andreas spent eight years at Manchester United before joining Fulham for £10m in the summer, and you’d expect him to receive plenty of game time with his new club.
The 26-year-old has already been picked by almost 25 percent of managers – which, admittedly, could prove a jinx – and has had loan spells with Flamengo and Lazio during the last two seasons.
Said Benrahma (6.0)
Algeria winger Benrahma scored the most points per match of any player in the current £6m bracket in 2021/22, beating the likes of Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe and Manchester City’s Rodri.
Benrahma scored eight times and provided six assists, helping West Ham threaten the top four at times during an entertaining season at the London Stadium.
It can prove sensible to rotate budget attacking midfielders according to form and fixtures, with two of Benrahma’s teammates, Tomas Soucek and Pablo Fornals, and the likes of Wolves’ Pedro Neto and Arsenal prospect Gabriel Martinelli worth a mention.
West Ham’s solid set of opening fixtures also appeals when weighing up Benrahma: they start at home to Manchester City, who they almost beat in the same fixture in May, before taking on Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Aston Villa.
City and Spain regular Rodri was not far behind Benrahma, playing the fifth-most minutes of any midfielder for a top-six team.
The 26-year-old scored seven times and contributed two assists to earn more than 100 points in FPL for the first time and help City retain the Premier League title.
Defensive midfielders do not tend to be coveted by managers – not least when Pep Guardiola’s selections are unpredictable – but Rodri finished within 10 points of the considerably more expensive Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez.
Bruno Guimaraes (6.0)
Guimaraes averaged the third-most points per match of any midfielder currently priced at £6m after joining Newcastle from Lyon for £40m in January.
Bruno Guimaraes today vs Burnley 😳🔥
— NUFCblog.co.uk (@NUFCblogcouk) July 23, 2022
The Brazil international was directly involved in five goals during the final seven matches of the Magpies’ Premier League season, scoring four times.
The Copa do Brasil winner should be another player who will continue to flourish for Eddie Howe’s dangerous team.
Best FPL budget strikers
Bryan Mbeumo (6.0)
Eminently affordable Mbeumo was categorised as a midfielder and defied his modest price tag to end with the tenth-most points of any current forward in the FPL in 2021/22, finishing ahead of the likes of Kai Havertz, Roberto Firmino and Timo Werner.
The former France youth international set up seven goals and found the net four times himself as Brentford finished comfortably clear of the relegation zone.
Brentford’s prospects in their second season in the Premier League, shorn of the inspirational Christian Eriksen, are uncertain. Mbeumo is also likely to produce fewer points now that he is a striker, scoring one fewer point for goals and nothing for clean sheets as a result. His potential remains strong for decent returns on a budget.
Chris Wood (6.0)
Another beneficiary of Newcastle’s resurgence, Wood did not let Howe down after the manager described him as an important part of his rebuilding plan when he joined for £25m from Burnley in January.
That transferred to the FPL: Wood finished on 91 points, putting him well ahead of strikers currently priced at £1m more than him such as Eddie Nketiah and Anthony Martial.
Che Adams (6.5)
Scotland striker Adams’ total of 103 was second only to Mbeumo last season among players now priced at under £7m, and it was also 34 points lower than his tally in 2020/21.
That consistency suggests Adams is a safer gamble than Dominic Solanke, the Bournemouth forward who scored 30 times in the Championship last season but has struggled for goals during Premier League spells with the Cherries and former club Liverpool.
Work rate: 💯
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 28, 2022
Forest are said to be keen on a £17m move for Adams, which could be good news for his FPL managers after he failed to start Saints’ final three games of 2021/22 as part of a personal run of seven appearances without a goal.
Brennan Johnson (6.0)
Winger Johnson had a sensational 2021/22 season, scoring 19 times in all competitions as Forest were promoted.
The Championship Player of the Season went on to reach the 2022 World Cup with Wales, for whom he scored his first international goals.
The 21-year-old is an unknown quantity in the Premier League — and FPL managers will hope he proves a surprise package for a pittance of a price.