Guest Post by @FPLSWOT
It’s that time of year again. The mad scramble to fill your Fantasy Football team full of heavy scoring, dynamic, driven young men, just waiting to pile-up the points for your team that you’ve agonised over for weeks. As the opening day approaches, you’re still looking for one or two key differentials that’ll help give you that edge over your mates, thus sealing the mini-league pot of gold and bragging rights for another season.
Hopefully you’re in a position now to have firmly locked that team in for Gameweek 1, ready to watch all your lengthy research and squad juggling come to fruition. If, however, you spent more time coming up with a ‘hilarious’ name for your team than plotting the intricacies of your 3-4-3, then the below tips may just give you a nudge in the right direction.
With a wealth of expensive prospects (particularly in the midfield area) available, I’ve picked three budget friendly players that could add a cost-friendly balance to your FPL side in the coming season.
Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) Midfield (centre/right) £6m
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As soon as Bournemouth had sealed their promotion to the top tier of English Football for the first time, Matt Ritchie was spoken about favourably in FPL circles. With 15 goals and 17 assists last term (the most by any player in the division), it’s hard to ignore such form. What makes him that much more attractive though, is the open, expansive play of his Bournemouth side in which he plays such a pivotal role.
Reminiscent of the Blackpool team that spent a compelling season in the top flight a few years back, the South Coast club’s principle in chief is to commit players in the opposition half; they will concede, but they should also score frequently. Ritchie averaged 3.3 shots per game during 14-15 and with him priced at £5.5m on FPL, if he can notch 120+ points as a fifth midfielder it could prove to be an invaluable haul for your side.
Cédric Soares (Southampton) Defender (right) £5.0m
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Troy Deeney (Watford) Striker £5.5m
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With so many prominent (and expensive) midfield and attacking options around FPL this year, any chance to free up funds is gratefully received. Coming in at £5.5m, Deeney provides suitors with a proven goal scoring record. In the last two Championship seasons, the Watford man has notched 45 goals and 14 assists in just 86 appearances, averaging 2.9 shots-per-game last term. To give you a comparison, this is almost identical with Charlie Austin’s Championship Goals-per-Game record before he made the step-up last year (Austin 1.88 GpG, Deeney 1.9 GpG).
Watford’s captain and talisman, if they’re to stay in the division then Deeney is relied upon for goals and assists. With two home games in GW2 & GW3, it should provide us with a real indication of how well he can adapt to top-flight football. In pre-season, Deeney has continued his fine form from last year, scoring 3 and adding 3 assists. His assist stats (9 last term) shouldn’t be underestimated either – the most of any striker in the division. If he can follow in Austin’s footsteps, his FPL price could quickly increase given his record of returns. If you don’t own him now, there’s a good chance you will at some point in the season.
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