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FPL Trap: Word of Caution Against Buying Sandro Tonali & 3 More GW1 Heroes

FPL Trap: Word of Caution Against Buying Sandro Tonali & 3 More GW1 Heroes

The first week of the 2023/24 Premier League season has featured many goals, thrills and spills, and has proven to be quite profitable for the average Fantasy Premier League manager. The average point total is over 49, which is actually quite high for an opening game week.

With the likes of Erling Haaland and Bukayo Saka scoring big points, the average scoreline has increased, and the majority of the users are feeling pretty good about their selections. However, with that being said, a lot of FPL managers are already thinking of ways to get ahead of the curve, starting with game week two.

A number of low-picked players excelled in game week one, which has sent the FPL managers into a bit of a spiral. There are many already thinking about taking a -4 or even a -8 hit to make some necessary transfers and get the ‘in-form’ players into their teams.

However, not all the players who actually excelled in the opening week are the best FPL options, especially for the long term. Let us delve into some heroes of the opening game week that you’d be smart not to take a hit for.


Coming off an amazing European Treble-winning season, Manchester City’s hero Rodri again got the fans chanting his ‘Rodri’s on Fire’ song in their opening game win over Burnley. Four minutes into the game, he set up a simple finish for Erling Haaland to score the campaign’s first goal.

Later in the second half, Rodri got some major help from Lady Luck as the ball fell right in his path a few yards away from goal, allowing him to just place it to the back of the net. He ended the game with a whopping 13 points, the highest for any midfielder in GW 1.

Now, it won’t be shocking for the average FPL manager to be enticed by his 5.5 price after seeing his GW 1 heroics. Kevin de Bruyne is injured and Ilkay Gundogan is gone from City, so one could assume that Rodri would be tasked a more advanced, creative role.

However, the Spaniard is not responsible for contributing goals regularly. He’s an old-school defensive midfielder, who thrives to win back possession, drop deep into his backline and spring passes forward.

He isn’t one to contribute goals or assists regularly and is only likely to give you a 2-point reward for taking a hit on him. While Rodri does pop up with some stunning goals (as he did in the Champions League final), that is quite occasional and taking hit on a defensive midfielder is not the name of the game for FPL.

Sandro Tonali

Newcastle United’s marquee summer signing Sandro Tonali decided to shut up those claiming ‘he isn’t happy’ or ‘doesn’t smile’ at his new club in spectacular fashion in the 5-1 drubbing of Aston Villa on opening weekend.

The Italian midfielder proved just why the Magpies paid big bucks for him with an inspired performance in which he not only ran the show in midfield, but also came in clutch going forward. He finished the week with six points after scoring on his Newcastle debut, a brilliant finish from close range.

The ex-AC Milan captain also came close to scoring later on but was denied by Emi Martinez. On another day, he could’ve gotten multiple bonus points too but didn’t due to the heroics of Alexander Isak and Harvey Barnes.

With a 5.5 price, Tonali might seem a must-grab from what transpired in the opening game. But doing so can make you lament in the long-term. The Italian midfielder is excellent in running the midfeld show with his distribution and ball-winning ability, but isn’t the kind of goal contributing midfielder that you’d like in your FPL team.

He only scored twice for Milan in the 2022/23 season and contributed 7 league assists, which could entice many. But that mostly through set-pieces – which Kieran Trippier is tasked to take for Newcastle. At 5.5, it’s better to gamble on his teammate Anthony Gordon than go for the centre-midfielder.

Bobby Cordova-Reid

Fulham got a clutch win in their opening game against Everton, despite being dominated for the majority of the clash. Their winner came from super-sub Bobby Cordova-Reid in the second half, fetching him a healthy 6 point for any FPL manager that gambled on him.

Now, with the new FPL injury time rules, it’s never foolish to have a super-sub in your team – considering their goal threat with the extended game-time. But taking a hit for a player like Reid isn’t logical. Firstly, Fulham face teams like Brentford, Arsenal and Man City in their next games.

Moreover, Reid has never proven himself as a major goal threat in the Premier League despite being really versatile for Fulham. He averaged a goal every 613 minutes in the league last season, and wasting 5.0 on him isn’t worth it. Sure he does pop up with clutch goals on occasions, but isn’t the consistent point product you’d want and often ends up with 1. Could be smart to invest the same on someone like Cole Palmer, especially if he joins West Ham United anytime soon.

Jordan Ayew

Crystal Palace snuck their way past newcomers Sheffield United thanks to a winning goal from Jordan Ayew. The Ghanaian forward normally starts off seasons really well, as he did this time, but then falters and goes on a major hollow spree for a lengthy time.

For some, his 5.0 could make Ayew a decent pick. He’s a starter (until Michael Olise returns or is replaced), plays in the final third and can make things happen. But history has shown that risking your FPL team’s spot on him can cause problems.

Last season, he only scored 4 goals and averaged a goal contribution every 386 minutes. You wouldn’t want a 5.5 midfielder that averages a contribution every four games in your team. Palace might have an enticing schedule ahead (only facing a major threat in Arsenal until GW 7), but you should rather take a hit to bring in a bigger threat in 5.5 like Gordon, Willian or hold the price for Chelsea winger Noni Madueke.