Anybody could predict that players like Robin van Persie or Eden Hazard will start the Premier League season strong. Not much of a gamble there, right?
But what about players that could represent both a strong start and excellent value for you in Week 1? Which players will blow up this weekend and represent some of the best buys in the Premier League for your fantasy team?
Those are the questions I was interested in, and the questions I attempted to answer below. These guys aren't RVP or Hazard, but you'll look very smart if you have them on your team to open the Premier League fantasy season.
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
With the starting job still his, Olivier Giroud will be looking to open the season with a bang. And with Aston Villa the first opponent for the Gunners, Giroud should hit the ground running.
Last season, Aston Villa gave up 69 goals, third-worst in the Premier League and the worst mark for a non-relegated team. While the squad added defenders Antonio Luna and Jores Okore, this team isn't going to suddenly morph into a stingy defensive side.
Giroud's inconsistency last season frustrated Gooners, but he has a great chance to get off to a big start and prove he's a top-level striker. Don't be surprised to see him register a brace in this contest.
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City
Edin Dzeko has clearly earned Manuel Pellegrini's trust, and City added table-setters like Jesus Navas and Stevan Jovetic to an already talented roster. Add in first-week opponent Newcastle, which gave up the fourth-most goals a season ago, and you have all the makings of a big week for Dzeko.
A nasty finisher inside the box, Dzeko's work rate is impressive, his movement is top-notch and—while occasionally inconsistent—his finishing is normally on point. City are once again title-contenders, and Dzeko will play a huge role for the Citizens this year.
Expect him to get his campaign off to a blistering start.
Jozy Altidore, Sunderland
All American eyes will be on Jozy Altidore pretty much all season long. He has a chance to excite the Stars and Stripes faithful with a big start to his Premier League career.
Facing a Fulham side that leaked goals last season (60 allowed, tied for fifth-most a season ago), Altidore should start with a bang. Sure, Fulham improved defensively over the summer, but in front of his new fans, expect Altidore to put on a show.
And expect plenty of Americans to be thrilled he did.
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