Here’s the first part of my articles on fantasy premier league bargains in the barclays format.
This will be in 2 parts
1. The cheapest players that are likely to play in goalkeeper, defence, midfield and striker positions in order that you spend the minimum amount on your reserves.
2. The best value players in the context of their own team and others in that position. This will generallly happen for the following reasons:
1) Injuries to another player or a transfer of another player from the club has given them unexpected game time
(2) Sky Sports Fantasy Football believes they may not be first choice for their position
(3) They have transferred in from a lower ranked team.
1. Cheapest players as reserve potential
£4.0m – Unfortunately there are no 4.0 keepers that seem likely to play at the moment as fantasy premier league bargains. Cerny, Rudd or Henderson seem the most likely to come up with something in the future if youre going to put one as a benchwarmer for an elite keeper
£4.5m – If you’re going to play an elite keeper such as Joe Hart or De Gea then go for a £4.0m benchwarmer dont waste 0.5m on anyone else.
Tierny of Norwich should be the most reliable Norwich player at this price. Turner has added too much unpredictability to the CB position at Norwich.
Fonte of Southampton should play at CB next year after 42 appearances last year
McCartney of West Ham should hold on to the LB position after 36 starts last year. Good fixture start as well. I have him pencilled in
Clyne – Southampton – much talked about youngster who’s come to Southampton from Crystal Palace. Started again against Wolves and has real attacking promise.
Theres a few battlegrounds which may throw up more fantasy premier league bargains if the picture becomes clearer
Norwich 2nd CB position after Turner. Ward, Barnett and Bennett all at £4.0m
Reading 3 in to 2 here: Pearce, Mariappa and Gorkks with the latter 2 being £4.0m, you can also add the RB of Cummings and Gunter to that
Nelsen of QPR to me should start its just whether the Olympics will restrict it.
With Collins going and Dunne injured there’s a short window to partner new signing Vlaar at villa. Clark played the last game but Baker at £4.0m isn’t out of it. Keep an eye out for Stevens at £4.0m who’s also been getting some impressive game time at left back.
Similar amount of options here at the minimum price of £4.5m. No one with much points potential so were looking for fantasy premier league bargains as an emergency reserve rather than a real contributor . So its security of playing and no yellow cards that are important
Whitehead – stoke 24 games started plus 9 as sub last year in Pulis’ Europa league rotation affected season. Notwithout game time risk
Cattermole – Sunderland – Will play, but too much of a loose cannon card magnet to be anything other than a last resort. No attacking prospects. 23 games started last year 13 shots 2 of which were on target. No goals no assists. 10 yellow cards and 1 red. Only if you’re really desperate
Guthrie – Reading – the midfield is about as tricky to predict as the defence here and Im going on pre-season so far that he will play. Had some attacking potential with Newcastle and has had some set piece involvement.
Diakite – QPR – another defensive mid and yellow card magnet who should play and an option if you just want a 2 point to fill in at the cheapest price (assuming he avoids a yellow card). Played most games after joining in the January transfer window. 5 yellow cards and 1 red in 9 games is hardly encouraging though.
Schneirderlin – Southampton – another defensive mid. 29 starts with 13 as sub last year with 2 goals and 3 assists isn’t that guaranteed but should line up as played the Ajax friendly which was one of the bigger pre-season game which seemed to be the first choice line up. 5 yellow cards which could be a different story in the premier league.
So now you can probably see why I’m taking a bit fof a gamble with Guthrie as theres little appeal elsewhere.
Heres a few more to keep your eye on:
Britton – Swansea – the highest scoring player in this price range last year although it was all on the appearances of 35 starts and 1 sub with no goals and no assists. The purchase of De Guzman complicates the situation and Im predicting he wont start unless Joe Allen leaves.
Marveaux and Obertan – Newcastle – Cabaye and Ben Arfa are both struggling apparetly but any game time will be short lived as I expect Newcastle to line up as per my line up article
And a few even bigger outsiders to look out for the longer term
Barkley – Everton – a real talent who got injured last year when he had the chance to show everyone what he coud do. There is potentially 1 place in the everton midfield if Fellaini plays the defensive midfield position. Has featured in pre-season but too much of a risk for the opening lineup
Sterling – Liverpool – wont start but has looked good in pre-season
Morrison – West Ham – Far too unpredicatable for big Sams world and doesnt seem to have got near in pre-season. Has talent though
In my mind there are two many good forwards and too many goals in the premier league to play any other formation than one that has 3 up front but if you want to play 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 then heres a few ideas for that third striker emergency reserve.
No one in the £4.5m price range has a chance of starting so well move on to £5.0m
Pogrebnyak – Reading – I’m not a huge fan, I think he over performed last year for his underlying stats but he is undoubtedly the best option in this price range and the one guaranteed the most game time. 6 goals in 12 games is not to be ignored though. Those 12 games made him the 3rd highest points scorer last year in this price range which tells you alot about the other candidates
Andy Johnson – QPR – the highest scorer last year in this price range but I’m very doubtful whether he will start so Im giving a wide berth.
Simeon Jackson – Norwich – 2nd highest scorer from last year in this price range. In pre-season seems to have played on the flank with Morison playing striker. This is not where you want someone taking your valuable 3rd striker position. Another to be given a wider berth.
Le Fondre and Noel Hunt– Reading – the new signings and tame pre-season fixtures make Readings opening lineup very difficult to predict which is not really what you want for a double game week.
Le Fondre was leading scorer with 12 goals last year but this was incredibly back ended. He made 16 starts plus 15 as sub which doesnt inspire confidence in a starting role and I havent included him in my line up article.
Hunt was33 starts plus 8 as sub with 8 goals and 7 assists, again which is hardly inspiring.
You’d be bonkers to think of either of them over Pogrebnyak
No real roughies or outside bets here so really if you just want a filler in the forward position there’s only 1 choice, Pogrebnyak.
Next article will be on the bargains in the teams and in their position