With four matches remaining of 2015/6, Tottenham Hotspur looked well placed to clinch at least a runners-up spot, a Premier League best finish.
The White Hart Lane side collected just two more points, though, and limped home in third, being overtaken by north London rivals Arsenal on the final day.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been handed the perfect opportunity to atone for that late slump with afavourable set of opening fixtures in the campaign ahead.
According to the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR) system, introduced to Fantasy Premier League this season, Spurs are given a score of two or less in seven of their first nine matches.
Over the course of that run, they host Crystal Palace and Sunderland and travel to Everton, Stoke City, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth.
This leaves Spurs with just two tricky matches, as Liverpool and Manchester City pay visits in Gameweeks 3 and 7 respectively.
At the back, Kyle Walker (£5.5m) is the cheapest regular in a rearguard who conceded just 35 times last term, the joint-best record with Manchester United for resilience.
The threat of rotation around UEFA Champions League matches could make Toby Alderweireld (£6.5m) the safest bet for managers. The Belgian scored four times in 2015/16, netting against Chelsea, West Ham United, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Attacking midfielders Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen (both £8.5m) averaged 5.0 and 5.1 points per match last season and seem guaranteed to start the vast majority of fixtures.
Erik Lamela (£7.0m) registered more attempts inside the box than any midfield team-mate last term, although the Argentinian lacks an end product, scoring seven times in two seasons at the club.
Up front Harry Kane (£11.0m) offers a reliable source of FPL points and has netted 20+ goals in each of the past two campaigns. The only forward to start every match in 2015/16, Kane approaches the season in fine form after notching twice in Spurs’ recent 6-1 friendly win over Inter Milan.
By viewing the FDR, it’s also clear to see that the fixtures turn against Pochettino’s side in Gameweek 10.
At that point, Spurs face Leicester City, Arsenal, West Ham United, Chelsea and Man Utd in five of the subsequent six matches. FPL managers may decide to seek out short-term alternatives until the schedule improves again in Gameweek 16.