Fantasy Football Tips: Best picks for Premier League opening weekend

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The 2016/17 Premier League season gets underway this weekend, and we’re on-hand to provide you with some Fantasy Football tips ahead of the action.

Following much anticipation throughout the summer, the new campaign is very nearly upon us.

There are world-class managers in charge at Man City and Man United – Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho – while some outstanding players have also moved to the so-called “best league in the world”.

Leicester City‘s title-winning heroics last season proved that anything is possible in England’s top-flight, and the next nine months should make for incredible entertainment.

Liverpool have had a busy summer in the transfer market, with Jurgen Klopp bringing in six new players, as well as Marko Grujic in January.

This season This Is Anfield is playing 1-day Fantasy Football on DraftKings, the official 1-day fantasy football partners of Liverpool Football Club, on which you select eight players each week – a goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and a non-goalkeeping utility player – with a budget of $50,000.

The six matches being used for Matchday One are all of Saturday’s games, excluding the early kick-off:

Here are our selections — enter your team to win a share of £40,000 this weekend here.

draftkingslineup

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (Man City) – $5,600

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 16, 2016: Manchester City's goalkeeper Joe Hart in action against Crystal Palace during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joe Hart has come in for plenty of criticism in recent times, particularly after some very unconvincing performances for England at Euro 2016.

Guardiola is yet to sign a new goalkeeper at City, though, and while that is likely to happen before Deadline Day, Hart will start at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

It is sure to be a match that City dominate from start to finish, leaving the 29-year-old with little to do between the sticks.

Defence: Craig Dawson (West Brom) – $4,600

We all know how well-drilled Tony Pulis sides are in defence, and West Brom are no different, despite perhaps leaking a few more goals than expected last season.

Craig Dawson has been a model of consistency for the Baggies, invariably as a right-back, and he will once again be a dependable figure in 2016/17.

Pulis has had the whole summer to get his side perfectly up to scratch, so don’t be surprised to see Dawson and his teammates keep a clean-sheet at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Defence: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) – $4,500

While Leicester duo Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were understandably gaining plenty of plaudits last season, few centre-backs were more impressive than Virgil Van Dijk.

The former Celtic man is a hugely gifted player, and at 25, his best years should still be ahead of him.

The Dutchman is a crucial figure in Southampton‘s back-line, and should shine in Saturday’s opener at home to Watford.

His aerial threat going forward is an added bonus, as he proved for Celtic in 2014/15, when he scored 10 times.

Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – $9,300

International Football - Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup - Qualifying Group A - Belgium v Wales

There are very few superior players to Kevin De Bruyne in the Premier League currently, with the Belgian an enormous influence for City in the final third.

The 25-year-old guarantees end product week in, week out – he scored 10 goals and assisted nine last season, despite injury problems – and he will go up another gear under Guardiola.

As mentioned, City should boss proceedings against David Moyes’ Sunderland, and De Bruyne stands a great chance of having a major say on the result.

Midfield: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton) – $4,500

At just 21, great things are expected of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who made what looks like a very shrewd move to Southampton in the summer.

A lack of first-team opportunities at Bayern Munich were understandable, given the world-class experience within their midfield, and he could become a real star at St Mary’s.

Although the youngster could be deployed as a holding midfielder for the clash with Watford, his creativity and eye for goal could still come to the fore.

Forward: Sergio Aguero (Man City) – $10,600

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 28, 2016: Manchester City's Sergio Aguero sees his shot saved by Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the Football League Cup Final match at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is a no-brainer, quite simply because Aguero is the Premier League‘s best striker, and arguably even its best player.

When fit, which can be too much of a rarity for City’s liking, the 28-year-old is genuinely world-class, and his ability to scored bucket-loads of goals against lesser teams is remarkable.

Sunderland may well feel the full force of him this weekend, as he looks to get his Golden Boot challenge off to a flying start.

Forward: Bojan (Stoke City) – $5,200

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 25, 2016: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino in action against Stoke City's Bojan Krkic during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a blistering start to life at Stoke last season, Bojan’s form dipped as the weeks and months progressed.

He should be refreshed now, though, having had no international commitments in June and July, and will be keen to find his top level again.

At $5,200, he is a steal, and he will believe he can take newly-promoted Middlesbrough to the sword.

Utility Player: Danny Rose (Tottenham) – $5,600

Rose has made giant strides in last couple of years, going from a Tottenham outcast to England’s first-choice left-back at Euro 2016.

The 26-year-old will once again be ahead of Ben Davies in the pecking order this season, and his attacking thrust helps gives Spurs an extra dimension.

The showdown with Everton on Saturday looks an entertaining game, and Rose could pick up points at both ends of the pitch.

Total: $49,900

Think you can do better? DraftKings are offering a share of £40,000 to players with free entry for new UK players this weekend. To enter, simply:

1. Register a DraftKings account (opting in to receive email communications)

2. Open the email sent to the email you registered with (this will be received within 24 hours)

3. Click the included link to receive FREE ENTRY into the £40,000 Premier League fantasy football contest.

Click here to enter your fantasy team on DraftKings for the chance to win a share in £40,000 this weekend! Then let us know your picks in the comments section. Good luck!

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