5 top tips to rack up easy points on Yahoo Fantasy League

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Everton's Leighton Baines (right) , who scored five goals in the Premiership last season, is a good buy for your team. (AFP file photo)

As the clock winds down to the Premier League season kick-off this Saturday, here's five easy ways to rack up points for your Fantasy league teams.

1) Check the fixture list for "easy games"

An example would be this Saturday's opener between Liverpool at home against Stoke City.

Regardless of the Luis Suarez situation, the Reds are expected to dominate against a side who finished 13th in the table last season.

The Reds have been bright in pre-season with Philippe Coutinho and new boy Iago Aspas especially impressing. Daniel Sturridge also returned from injury to star in their final warm-up game -- a 1-0 loss to Celtic -- and showed he was his usual scintillating self.

So load up on Liverpool players.

Same goes for Monday's fixture between Manchester City and Newcastle -- the game has goals written all over it. Striker Edin Dzeko has been scoring freely in pre-season and he would be a good bet to start the game and plunder a few.

2) Pick penalty-takers in your team

Goals earn points and if your defender can score a goal as well as defend well, that would make him extremely valuable. Which would make Everton's left-back Leighton Baines a favourite pick for many.


The left-sided defender not only regularly supplies assists but he's also the Toffees' chosen penalty-taker. He scored twice from the spot last season on the way to a total of five Premier League goals last season, level with other free-scoring defenders Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) and Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham).

But Baines does not come cheap -- he is the league's fourth most expensive player, costing almost 20 million pounds.

Other penalty takers you may want to consider: Chelsea's Mr Dependable Frank Lampard, Man United's Robin van Persie, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

3) Pick out-of-position players

There's nothing as valuable in fantasy football as a player playing in advance of the position in which he's listed in the fantasy game -- for example, a striker who's listed as a midfielder, or a defender who sometimes plays in midfield.

Below are some favourites.

Michu: Swansea City's Michu is listed as a midfielder in the game but the Spaniard spent most of last season playing as a striker or advanced midfield role, plundering 18 goals in 35 games. That he costs just 12.65 million pounds is even more of a bonus.

Leighton Baines: Baines has been deployed as a traditional fullback, but even from there he's been one of the league's most creative player. Now with Roberto Martinez as manager, and the possibility that he brings his 3-4-3 system to Everton, Baines could line up in midfield. Assuming he stays at Everton, that is. Unlike Seamus Coleman on the other side of the pitch, Baines ALSO gives you at least the potential for clean sheet points

David Luiz: The great enigma of defense. Rafa Benitez played him in midfield on a fair few occassions and Luiz returned points for fantasy managers. It remains to be seen if Mourinho fancies the same experiment

José Enrique: Here's a defender who spent time last season on the left-side of Liverpool's front three! He was also their most willing shooter from his advanced position. With Liverpool's reinforcing their attack, we're unlikely to see that again. Indeed, Enrique now faces a fight to hold on to his spot.

[Here are other good picks. SLIDESHOW: Best out-of-position players].

4) Pick a reliable, injury-free captain
Team captains earn double points so make sure you hand the skipper's armband to a player who is a definite starter every game and who scores or creates plenty of assists in every game.

This means you'll want someone who doesn't get injured easily and is the "heartbeat" or "hub" of the team.

Besides obvious choices like Man United's Robin van Persie (if you can afford him), Manchester City's Yaya Toure or Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (if he can stay fit) can also make good captains.

When in doubt, give the captain's armband to whom you think will earn you the most points that week.

Swansea's Ivorian striker Wilfred Bony (left) is tipped to be a star this coming season. (AFP file photo)

5) Good pre-season buys

Pre-season buys is a good place to start for players on the cheap. The idea is you want to get them on your team before their value starts to rise and they start getting expensive.

Spurs' new Spanish hotshot Roberto Soldado is one such good example. The proven goalscorer from Valencia, who even scored on his debut against Espanyol in a friendly, costs just over 7 million pounds. He has scored goals in every club he's gone too, and at 28, is at the peak of his powers.

Swansea City's new Ivorian striker Wilfred Bony, who costs roughly the same, has also been getting rave reviews and is tipped to be a major star in the upcoming season.

Liverpool's new Spanish striker Iago Aspas is another good option after impressing in pre-season and he too costs just 7 million pounds.

Other newbies to pick from -- all going for less than 7 million pounds! -- Chelsea winger Kevin de Bruyne , Spurs' new Brazilian midfielder Paulinho , Man City's Serbian hotshot striker Stefan Jovetic and winger Jesus Navas.

Don't forget players like Chelsea's powerful Belgian striker Romelo Lukaku, who spent last season on loan at West Brom, scoring 17 goals, but who is back now with the Blues (who happen to be the bookies' favourite for the title). He costs under 12 million but at that price is good value for money.

What would you do with £150m to build your dream team? Click here to play the new Yahoo! Fantasy Premier League now.

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