The 2023/24 edition of Fantasy Premier League is now live!
This means we now know precisely what each and every Newcastle player will cost us at the outset of the season. Here's the full breakdown with a little bit of non-expert analysis:
Pope was the third-highest-scoring goalkeeper in 2022/23, ending the season just nine points behind David Raya of Brentford and just five points behind Álisson of Liverpool. At £5.5m he is the joint-most expensive goalkeeper in the game with Álisson and Ederson of Manchester City, though, which might make him a bit rich for many people's blood. Our other three aren't really worth talking about unless Pope succumbs to injury before the season kicks off (God forbid).
Here's where things start to get interesting. Kieran Trippier was the highest-scoring defender by a distance in last season's game, with his 198 points dwarfing the 156 earned by second-placed Ben White of Arsenal. That performance means Trippier is the second-most expensive defender in this year's game, though, being worth the same as Liverpool's Andy Robertson at £6.5m. He's still some way short of Trent Alexander-Arnold, mind, who will cost you a whopping £8.0m due to his new hybrid full-back/central midfield role.
Our preference would be to look away from Trippier and towards either Botman or Burn at £4.5m. Botman appears to be the safer bet this early in the summer, as there is plenty of talk about Eddie Howe bringing in a new left-back to compete with/usurp Burn. Schär got 10 points more than both Botman and Burn in 2022/23, but that's led to him costing £0.5m more than each of them this season. We're not sure it would be worth 5% of your total budget to get the most handsome member of our backline into your team.
As with the goalkeeper position, the £4.0m options only come into play in the case of injuries at the back, and Targett/Krafth are both overpriced at £4.5m given how little they featured in the last campaign. Lascelles could be the value here if Schär falls to injury and Eddie Howe doesn't bring in another option at centre-back.
Tonali will cost £5.5m, as we predicted in our "alternative announcement" on Monday afternoon, which also included his FIFA Ultimate Team/Career Mode and Football Manager 2023 ratings. If he shares set-piece duties with Trippier or takes over them altogether, he could prove to be a very shrewd addition to your midfield. He's priced the same as Willockinho, who got a respectable haul of 123 points in 2022/23, and while not known as a goalscorer he does have an eye for an assist and his set-piece quality should nudge him ahead of our faux-Brazilian. If you have £5.5m to play with, though, could we perhaps point you towards Anthonyyyyyy Gordon? He's flying for England U21s and if he carries that form into pre-season with us he could start the season in Howe's XI.
Elsewhere, it's very hard to make a case to include Bruno at £6.0m if he's going to continue on as the deepest of our three central midfielders. Joelinton could be decent value at the same price, though, especially if he features as much at left-wing as he did in the last campaign. He'd certainly be our choice at the moment, though if Saint-Maximin manages a full pre-season and looks sharp heading into the campaign he's hard to ignore at the same price as our two actual Brazilians. This feels like an absolute make-or-break season for Maxi, and we're backing him to fly.
Miggy's superb haul in 2022/23 probably prices him out of the market at £6.5m, especially considering how he ended the last campaign. It's also difficult to make much of a case for Longstaff, even at £5.0m, now that he's got some serious competition for his place. The same should be true for Murphy come kick-off, with Newcastle currently heavily linked to numerous wingers, most notably Harvey Barnes (who began last season at £7.0m). It would be a shock to see Murph featuring as much in the league in 2023/24 as he did in 2022/23, even though he never let us down.
All of our £4.5m options here can pretty much be ignored, though if you have that left to spare and are insistent upon including another NUFC player then Elliot Anderson is the sensible option.
There's only one choice for us here, and that's Alexander Isak after his first pre-season under Eddie Howe. Callum Wilson was undeniably superb for much of last season, but Isak is one of the best footballers we've ever seen in the flesh at St. James' Park. There's a feeling around the club that he's only just getting started, too, and if he's able to stay fit and participate fully in our pre-season schedule he could have an absolutely electric start to 2023/24. If he does, you'll have a bucketload of points and won't have to worry about him playing on the left wing or being rotated with Wilson every other game.