Most football fans think they could do a better job managing their side than the actual manager – in fact, there’s a football manager and sports journalist in all of us isn’t there – or so we like to think.
While no amount of #WengerOut tweets will actually see a fan installed as the new Arsenal manager, Fantasy Football at least provides the chance to have a bit of a dabble and try your hand at beating your mates at the very least – and maybe winning some cash or at least pride if all else fails.
Your actual team might not lead you to glory, but managing a fantasy football side could well do it.
With that in mind, here are eleven picks you need to be looking at, and possible changes to consider from your bench now the season has started.
With Arsenal’s impressive defensive form at the back end of last season, and keeping out Premier League champions, Chelsea in the Charity Shield, Cech looks like a wise choice in between the sticks to rack up them clean sheet points.
He may have made a hash of his debut, but quality doesn’t disappear over night.
Cech manages to avoid injuries and red cards, so is a decent pick, not to mention the fact that he is one of the best stoppers in the league and seems to have improved the Arsenal side tenfold in terms of his solidity since his arrival.
With the reliability of Chelsea’s defence, this man is a must have at right-back. His ability to join in the attacks, and create opportunities, as well as pop up with goals is exceptional.
He was the top scoring defender last time out, and I’m sure he’ll be up there again. His start to the season has been dire, but stick with him, because Mourinho certainly will.
If you don’t want Ivanovic in your team week in, week out, make sure he makes an appearance during Chelsea’s games against Aston Villa and Liverpool, because he’s guaranteed a couple of goals against those clubs.
Fans and pundits alike talk about the reliability of Chelsea’s defence – or they did before the season started and the Blues shipped five goals in two games – and this man is at the heart of it season in, season out.
He was the second top scoring defender last time out in fantasy football, and is now the highest goalscoring defender in Premier League history, popping up with vital goals and interceptions for his side, time and time again.
Falling just two points short of Ivanovic last time out, Terry is sure to net a few goals, and provide plenty of clean sheets.
The Chelsea skipper makes sure that he gives his heart when on the field, and looks a decade younger than his birth certificate will tell you he is.
With three of Southampton’s defenders being in the top seven points scorers last season, I’d expect Caulker to be up there with his new team mates.
With most of your mates probably going for Jose Fonte, or Ryan Betrand from the Southampton defence, bringing in Caulker will provide your team with a bit of individuality.
He is actually a very good player, despite seeing his star fade slightly since bursting onto the scene, and with the assured Saints defence around him next season, will come on leaps and bounds.
He’s come back a different (and much lighter) man this summer, and seems to be first choice at left-back in LVG’s team after starting most of United’s pre-season fixtures.
As most modern day full-backs do, Shaw likes to join the attack by getting forward on that left-side, so I’m sure he’ll chip in with his fair share of assists this season, should he stay fit.
And, if United strengthen the heart of their defence, you can expect more clean sheets too.
This one’s your big money buy. His price may put you off adding him into your side to begin with, but he’s one I definitely won’t be leaving out.
He was the highest point scorer in fantasy football last season, and I expect him to keep up the trend this season if that goal against Barcelona taught us anything.
He’ll score from open play, create plenty, and don’t forget, he’s Chelsea’s penalty taker too (not that they get those according to Jose).
Oh, and he manages to stay fit and on his feet when tackled, so is a decent shout for being a player who will stay fit throughout the season as well.
The creative star is the one most Arsenal fans will be looking to this season. He was excellent in the Community Shield versus Chelsea, and he even bagged a goal, totally confusing Cesar Azpilicueta.
While Sanchez is being rested, he’s almost guaranteed plenty of game time, and the form he seems to be in, I wouldn’t want to leave him out. If he continues to perform well, I’m sure Wenger will ensure he gets a starting place once Sanchez returns.
It could be the breakout season for the Ox, who looks sharp, on the ball and someone who could be the difference for the Gunners.
United fans are expecting big things from their summer signing. And, LVG has even hinted that Depay could feature as their main striker, so you could technically put yourself another striker in there with this man and rack up the points that way.
Pace, trickery, and power will cause issues for any defence, and Depay has them all.
Expect plenty of goals and assists this season from him, with a fruitful partnership with Wayne Rooney already being hinted at in pre-season, and the fact that he is one of LVG’s trusted players could well guarantee the game time.
He’s a must, particularly after his price tag means Pellegrini basically has to play him.
He’s been playing as the main striker in pre-season, and has looked assured in a role he is used to playing week in week out after his time at Liverpool.
He’s been scoring goals too, and you know from his Liverpool days that he likes to press, and play high up the pitch.
The pressure will be on him to deliver this season, but with a higher calibre of players around him – including the mercurial David Silva, who has been sublime in the first two games, Sterling’s end product will increase this season.
The main bargain buy. He’s scored 20+ goals in the past three seasons, so the Watford man knows where the target is.
At the price he’s available at, he’s a hard player to turn away, particularly when you’ve spent most of your budget before your marquee striker signing solidifying the defence and midfield.
Someone who won’t bag as many goals as he did last term, but a good shout to include, with Watford a side who will probably end up relegated, but entertaining fans with their high scoring losses.
Having a defender from the promoted side might not be a good idea, but having a forward could well pay dividends.
With 21 goals and seven assists last time out, Kane is the most wanted striker in fantasy football this summer, with 36.6% of fantasy managers selecting the Spurs forward.
And, with Costa’s hamstring injury leaving him a doubt, Aguero being as injury prone, and the uncertainty over who’s leading Arsenal’s frontline, he’s got to be in there.
Kane will play week in, week out for Spurs, and goals are almost guaranteed – as long as he doesn’t succumb to second season syndrome that is.
Run out of money? Throw in Boaz Myhill (WBA), Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle), or Scott Sinclair (Villa).