Here’s Ben Humphrey with his Telegraph fantasy football “bargain punt” where he looks for a few undervalued and even speculative punts in TFF. Ben finished with an incredible overall rank last season of 576.
Telegraph fantasy football bargain punt with Ben Humphrey
They always take their time, but finally, TFF have opened for business. I like to have a thorough scan through the listings to see if I can uncover some potential bargains.
Last year, my top tip was James Maddison. He didn’t do too bad did he? Although, as a Norwich supporter, I did have an advantage after his exploits there. This season he has rocketed from £3m to £4.7m.
Pope: (Burnley) £3.0m
The first of two keepers I’ve picked out as being potentially underpriced, is Mr Nick Pope of Burnley. With Tom Heaton possibly on the way out, and Whoops a daisy Heart, unlikely to challenge for number one, the coast could be clear for Pope to get his feet under the crossbar. Without the distraction of Europa League football, it is entirely possible that we could see the tough to beat Burnley of old.
Gunn: (Southampton) £3.1m
Gunn was also on my list last year, but it took a while for him to convince a manager that he was the number one. Ralph Hasenhuttl, has now made that assertion, giving Gunn the chance to fullfill his huge potential. Ralph managed to implement a style of play which didn’t replicate the relegation bound, directionless )qualities that St Mary’s was getting used to before his arrival. This may have been the portent of a solid season to come.
Gomez: (Liverpool) £3.6m
I think that Gomez is better than Matip, £3.9m, and Lovren, £3.7m, and I think that Klopp thinks that too. If Gomez can see off the competition, Bob’s your uncle, and Gomez is your cheep rout in to the Liverpool defence.
Zinchenko: (Man City) £3.2m
It’s another wait and see, but I have a feeling that Zinchenko will be City’s first choice left back this year. I get the distinct feeling that Pep has an issue with Mendey, thus leaving the door open for a bargain City defender.
Zouma: (Chelsea) £2.9m
This may seem like a fairly speculative shout at first, but bare with me. He had a good season with Everton last time out. Chelsea has now become, “Frank Lampard’s Chelsea”, and there is of course the transfer ban. Frank spoke glowingly of Zouma recently, insisting that he wants to keep the centre back. If Azpilicueta, £4.8m is going to play right-back, that leaves Luiz, £4.3m and Rudiger, £3.8m, as the only serious competition, and that’s before injuries.
Mee, £2.9m Taylor, £2.8m Lowton, £2.4m: (Burnley)
It’s back to Burnley for some more defensive options. It is possible that all three of these start week one. Although it may be worth waiting for the fixtures to turn friendly. Once they do, A Burnley right-back for £2.4m might just be a handy enabler.
Bennett: (Wolves) £2.9m
Mr Cheap-McHandy from last season is still available for less than £3m. It might not be the most exciting pick, but at present it looks like he should hold his starting place.
Emerson Palmieri: (Chelsea) £2.6m
Unless I’m missing something here, this one was a real surprise surprise. He ended last season as the preferred Chelsea left-back ahead of Alonso, £4m. Frank may well wish to revert to Mr Alonso, but if he doesn’t we are all bathing in gold.
Godfrey: (Norwich) £2.5m
Now I know most of you don’t want to think about a Norwich defender. However, Godfrey is an impressive unit who was introduced from the youth system last season. He cemented a starting spot in the second half of the season and never looked back. He has an eye for a goal and comes in cheaper than the rest of the first choice back four.
Holding: (Arsenal) £2.4m
After last season, there won’t be many managers signing up for an Arsenal defender. But what if you could have one for £2.4m? The Gunners centre-back situation is a mess, and if you remember, Holding was starting to make his mark before injury ended his season. He has to be as good or better than the other options in that position, and the interview I saw with Emery made me think that he is very keen to have Holding back.
Jota: (Wolves) £3.9m
If you are looking for someone who is underpriced, look no further. Jota was another of my picks at the start of last season, and unbelievably he has only gone up by £0.7m. TFF have also chosen to ignore his change of position, but I’m not complaining. He is partnered up front by Jimenez, who as a striker, comes in at £5.4m. I don’t think there will be too much between them come the end of the season.
Barkley: (Chelsea) £3.7m
I never thought I would be pointing people towards Barkley, but as I mentioned before, things are changing at Chelsea. We are living in a Hazardless world, where Barkley has been one of Chelsea’s best players at the time of writing, during pre-season.
Buendia: (Norwich) £3.3m
This boy is special. He will end up playing for a Champions League club. He can do things that most players can only dream of. His stats from last season read 8 goals and an impressive 12 assists.
Mount: (Chelsea) £3.2m
We go back to the Chelsea well again for another potential bargain. Mount was on loan at Frank Lampard’s Derby last season, and he made them tick. Because of this, Frank knows him, and Frank trusts him. Whether he can force his way in to Chelsea’s starting eleven remains to be seen, but if he can, it could be good news for fantasy managers.
Yarmolenko: (West Ham) £3.2m
The forgotten Hammer, sounds like a Thor film. He was looking like a quality signing before injury ruined his season, but he’s back. He didn’t come cheap, so I am assuming he will be making his way back in to the starting eleven come the new season.
Wilson: (Liverpool) £3.1m
This is a purely speculative punt on a possible loan or transfer. The Welsh international scored 15 goals whilst on loan at Derby last season and returned to Liverpool with his future uncertain. If he was to move or go on loan again, this time to a PL club, he would become a very interesting fantasy proposition.
James: (Man United) £3.0m
The young attacker moved this Summer from Swansea, where he showed his Road Runner like speed, as well as his hit and miss end product. If he can nail down a starting birth at United, for that price, his hits may be worth the misses.
Lanzini: (West Ham) £2.8m
After an injury ravaged season, Lanzini is another Hammer available at a substantially reduced price. Make no mistake, this is a playmaker of true quality, and if he can stay fit, he will prove to be one of the true bargains of the season.
Batshuayi, £4.8m Giroud, £4.7m Abraham, £4.3m: (Chelsea)
We enter the Chelsea goldmine one last time, this time in search of a striker. If one, or even two of these can make themselves a fixture at Stanford Bridge, there may very well be a fantasy stampede. They might not have Hazard, but this is still a big club, and if you can have their striker for less than £5m, it’s certainly worth a second look.
Pukki: (Norwich) £4.6m
The clinical Fin was a revelation last season after arriving on a free. The golden boot winner netted 30 goals, which is even more impressive when you learn that none of those goals were penalties. Norwich may have some tricky fixtures to start the season, but Pukki has already shown he can handle the big stage, scoring a bucket load of goals for his native Finland.
Sharp: (Sheffield United) £4.2m
Another striker who was plying his trade in the Championship last season was Billy Sharp. He might be getting on a bit now, but he is a natural predator, and if Sheffield are to survive, they will be relying heavily on their front man although the transfer in of Moussett needs monitoring.
Adams: (Southampton) £3.9m
Last season, Che Adams scored 22 goals and assisted a further 4 for a Birmingham side who would have finished in mid-table if not for their points deduction. Southampton have been struggling to find a solid goal scorer for a few years now, and I wonder if they may have found their answer. If he can settle in to a burgeoning Saints side, he could make a mockery of his price tag.
Hopefully that’s given you some ideas to save a bit of cash. In a season where we are all trying to flood our sides with Liverpool and Man City, we will need every drop of value we can squeeze out of the rest of our sides.
The players on this list that I hold out the most hope for would be: Gomez, Zinchenko, Godfrey, Jota, Buendia, Yarmolenko, Wilson, Lanzini, a Chelsea striker, Pukki and Adams.
If someone put an Angus Gunn to my head and asked me to pick one… In fantasy terms I think I would have to go with Pukki.
If you are interested, I have just started a podcast called, “Oh My Pod, it’s fantasy football”, and the 2nd episode will be a TFF special. It is available on all the normal platforms like Apple podcasts
You can also find details at www.facebook.com/ompfantasy
or on Twitter @ompfantasy.
Thanks for reading, and may your team building go smoothly.
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