So with less than a week to go and with the Community Shield played last night (2-1 to United against Leicester), things are heating up.

All across the fantasy domain, FPL players are setting up their team, tinkering here and there and then ripping it up to shreds to start again. FPL sites are all buzzing with latest RMTs and proposed teams and stuff. Templates have begun to emerge. Dullard picks are emerging and maverick punts are also emerging.

This is an exciting (and confusing) time to be in. This is what makes FPL such an anticipated event.

Enough talk. What’s your team then?

Well, as of today, here it is:

Pre-Season Draft Team - 8.8.2016

Some thoughts on it:

(1) Defence – I’ve gone quite template. Initially, I went for the wildly popular Foster/Heaton combo. But when I heard Crystal Palace got a 4.5 keeper, I knew it was a good way into their defence for their awesome opening fixtures. Foster will cover West Brom’s good fixtures. At some point later, I will be looking to get Heaton in as I’m thinking there are lots of save points to be had. Not too sure yet, but this looks the way to go for keepers.

As for defence, I am going 2 premium and 3 rotating 4.5’s. My premium picks, for now, are Shaw and Baines. Shaw due to security of starts and access to a Mourinho defence and Baines due to Everton’s relatively good fixtures plus Koeman’s reputation for tightening up defences. Might still change to Valencia and Coleman for both of them respectively. As for the rotating 3’s, Stoke, Boro and Sunderland defences seem pretty alright. Not tempted by City’s unpredictable lineups and Arsenal’s bad fixtures for now.

(2) My love affair with Hazard continues. I think this may be his season to shine. I’d say he’s my biggest punt in midfield. Mahrez is currently in my team. At 9.5 he seems value but I may yet change my mind as I think it may be risky to go without a Martial/Mkhtyrian. May also consider trying to squeeze in Siggy or Tadic. Am also very uncomfortable with Lamela over Eriksen. The latter is definitely the most secure source of points, but due to budget constraints I had to settle for the Argentinean. A notable absentee for now is Payet and a Man City midfielder. And also maybe Firmino. Those may be later (GW5-6) transfers.

(3) For a long time, I had Ibra in my lineup. Kun is a non-negotiable variable. If he’s fit, he is my captain for GW1. It’s as simple as that. Surprisingly, I took out Ibra after last night’s game, despite his late match winner. Apart from that goal, he didn’t seem too effective. He feels like a more physical Berbatov and not the Ibra I came to love. I am the biggest fan of the Zlatan, but 11.5 for a newcomer 35 years old in a Mourinho team is too rich for my blood. I went for Vardy, who is cheap and faces a Villa-like Hull on opening day. Vardy looks fit and sprightly, so hoping my punt works. As for Gray, well, he is the 6.5 striker everyone is flocking to get. Doesn’t matter if he fails, as his price means it is an easy swap to a Wilson / Negredo / Long / Austin. Lukaku / Kane may yet find their way into my line-up. Maybe Ibra too if I get cold feet over his ownership closer to deadline this Saturday.

Well, these are my thoughts and my team. For now.