Here’s Sky Sports Fantasy Football Pundit Ross Williams with his article on the surprise package that is the Burnley defence
Sky Sports Fantasy Football – value in the Burnley defence
Nick Pope GK £5.5m
When Tom Heaton dislocated his shoulder back in September, fans and pundits alike feared the worst for the Lancashire side. Losing an England international would affect any team, and especially one lacking in obvious star power. However his replacement, 25-year-old Nick Pope, could not have stepped into the role any better.
Despite no previous Premier League experience, Pope has managed seven shut-outs in 13 league starts, putting him right amongst the top goalkeepers in the division.
In total, Pope has accumulated a massive 96 fantasy points, putting him second on the leaderboard behind only Manchester United’s David De Gea – arguably the best ‘keeper on the planet at the moment.
Now Burnley have catapulted themselves into the public eye, Pope’s performances have begun to be noticed by fantasy football players. The former Charlton man racked up his third TOTW appearance this weekend, so it’s little wonder that over 4% of fantasy managers have Pope between their sticks.
The only real surprise is that more people haven’t opted for him considering his run of form, his struggling upcoming opposition (Brighton) and his remarkably low price-tag of just £5.5m.
James Tarkowski Def £6.1m
The other Burnley player that has finally caught the eye of fantasy managers is defender James Tarkowski. The former Brentford centre-half has been rock solid for the Clarets this season after taking over the mantle left by Michael Keane, surprising everyone who felt he wouldn’t be up to the task.
An ever-present of 17 games, Tarkowski has picked up two man-of-the-match awards whilst helping his side to eight clean sheets. A sensational run of form for a player that commanded so little buzz before the start of the season – much like his club.
His recent performances have been so impressive that he is this week’s fifth most-transferred in player, behind only the likes of superstars Harry Kane, Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard.
Much like Pope, one of the main reasons for selecting the centre-back is his more-than-affordable price. Picking up the ninth-highest scoring defender in the game for just £6.1m is an incredible no-brainer.
Burnley look as if they are here to stay, so adding some Clarets to your fantasy line-up right now could be a very astute investment as the season turns the corner towards the business end.
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