A palpable buzz around Fantasy Premier League continues to grow with the game having officially released its updated version for the 2022/23 season last Tuesday. With fans looking forward to their respective teams’ pre-season fixtures whilst anticipating the arrivals of several talents alongside catching a glimpse of newer additions before the start of the campaign, FPL managers have already begun creating their first drafts as they look forward to locking a formidable team on road to the first game-week of the new season.
An inconsistent season riddled with defensive injuries saw Leicester City struggle to build on a promising transfer window last season. Manging to secure only an 8th place finish in the league, Brendan Rodgers’ side will be hoping to improve on their standing from the 21/22 campaign, with many of the club’s assets likely to emerge as tempting prospects, provided they secure notable results during the initial stages of the season.
Jamie Vardy (£9.5m) emerges as the most expensive of Leicester’s assets, with midfielder James Maddison (£6.0m) following suit. Full-backs Timothy Castagne (£4.5m) and Luke Thomas (£4.5m) establish themselves as promising prospects, while midfielders Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (£5.0m) have the potential to deliver favourable returns throughout the campaign.
With prices of every registered player having been revealed following the official release, the upcoming campaign is expected to continue delivering intriguing competitions for places across the board. However, while most managers are likely to contemplate drafting in the most noticeable names, the focus for seasoned managers, as ever, remains on drafting in understated assets capable of delivering sustainable points over the course of the upcoming season.
TIMOTHY CASTAGNE (DEF, £4.5)
An exciting full-back, Castagne registered the most league appearances (27) of Leicester’s full-backs last season. Having been a first-team regular in recent campaigns, the Belgian is likely to remain a starter unless the Foxes look to sign a notable replacement this summer.
Having only contributed with one goal and six clean sheets last season, Castagne fails to display the optimum numbers required to garner the interest of FPL managers. However, having dropped in price alongside the possibility of Leicester improving on their performances from last season, the 26-year-old could emerge as a tempting prospect provided the Foxes deliver show a significant change in approach on the pitch.
Although having failed to have a notable impact last season, Castagne could prove to be a surprise package this season. Having previously shown glimpses of his potential, the full-back is capable of delivering favourable returns if Leicester are to secure positive results at the start of the new season.
JAMES JUSTIN (DEF, £4.5)
All the Fantasy faithful would know how effective and dynamic the presence of James Justin could prove to be, especially in the manner that Brendan Rodgers deploys him. Justin went through a prolonged period of injury not long ago and having him back will be a mega prerequisite for the Foxes after James was limited to only 13 appearances in the Premier League in the last campaign. Irrespective of the limited sample size to look into (last season), he registered an xA of 1.0 and an xG of 0.6 per 90. So, if he’s even near to his best – we can expect some good attacking returns from him.
The 24-year-old registered an average of 4.4 points per match in 2020/21 with a couple of goals and assists each complemented by nine clean sheets and 13 bonuses. That was his break-through season and the Premiership and the expectations around King Power are sky-high as regards with him. Could prove to be a good punt, especially if Rodgers manages to fix the leaky Leicester defence from last season. Luke Thomas could prove to be a decent alternative at the same prize, but the expectations are he will be demoted to the bench if Castagne and Justin are at their full gas.
HARVEY BARNES (MID, £7.0)
Leicester’s third-highest scoring (137 pts.) FPL asset last season, Barnes emerges amongst the club’s most favoured players among FPL managers moving into the season. Having shown exceptional potential in a well-functioning Leicester squad, the forward is capable of delivering fruitful returns in the upcoming campaign.
Registering six goals and 12 assists in the league last season, Harvey Barnes is likely to improve his tally provided the team succeeds in delivering notable performance this campaign. The 24-year-old registered the second-highest number of goal-creating actions (13) whilst ranking third for passes completed into the 18-yard-box (28) amongst teammates last season.
Moreover, having been a first-team regular for three seasons, Barnes is expected to play a pivotal role if Leicester are to improve thier league position next season. Although the Foxes face a challenging run of fixtures moving into the campaign, the winger has proven to be capable of delivering returns against tough opposition in recent seasons.
JANNIK VESTERGAARD (DEF, £4.0)
Vestergaard has not enjoyed similar characteristics to his time at Leicester, that he had at Southampton before making the move to King Power. He was expected to be the leader of this defence but was rather demoted to bench roles owing to complications to keep that defence compact. Now, don’t get this as a criticism of Jannik – Leicester’s defence as a whole was a mess last season and pointing fingers would not take us anywhere.
The only reason to take a punt on Jannik Vestergaard is that thrifty price hes’ available for. He can prove to be a beast with the dead balls and could add that aerial threat on the whipped Maddison balls. He was 75 percentiles as compared to other Premier League center-backs on his xG during 2019-20 i.e., his last season with Southampton. A notable stat from that season would be his 3.43 passes into the final third per ninety – that indicates he can prove to be a cheap punt.
Even if he gives decent returns, that’d be another £0.5-£1.0m to invest in attacking options. Definitely, one to keep an eye on – especially if he takes over the leadership baton from Soyuncu, something he started to do at Southampton as well once he was settled.
JAMES MADDISON (MID, £8.0)
Leicester’s most prized asset alongside Jamie Vardy in recent campaigns, Maddison emerged as the club’s highest-scoring FPL asset (181 pts.) last season. Pivotal to the team’s creative prowess, the 25-year-old will be keen on catalyzing a change in the team’s results next season.
Having registered 12 goals and 11 assists last season, the attacking midfielder remained a reliable presence within his price range. For instance, Maddison topped the charts for shot-creating (100) and goal-creation actions (19) alongside ranking the same for passes completed into the 18-yard-box (35) amongst team-mates last season.
Moreover, having missed only three league games during the 21/22 season, the midfielder cements himself as a reliable performer within his price bracket. Provided Leicester are to secure crucial points at the start of the season, Maddison is likely to be involved in the goals moving into the campaign.
JAMIE VARDY (FWD, £9.5)
Jamie has always been someone that FPL managers keep high regard for – but with everyone going behind the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Erling Haaland, and Darwin Nunez; the Englishman could prove to be a huge differential. And something that is worthy to get through is that irrespective of injury concerns off late last season – he managed to score 15 goals and lay a further couple off in only 25 league appearances.
As it has always been, Jamie Vardy will and should always be one to keep an eye out on.