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Positively Priced Punts

Ahead of the Premier League kick off next month I have decided to compile a team-by-team list of players who could provide excellent value and the potential to outperform their price tags.

Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey (7.0) – Should Wenger stick with his three at the back,  Ramsey will likely be given a free licence to roam in front of Granit Xhaka in midfield. The switch to this formation at the end of last season already showed his potential. In the last six Gameweeks of 2016/17 Ramsey was second to Alexis Sanchez among Gunners for goal attempts and only Mesut Ozil created more chances.  In addition, he has already scored in pre-season under this formation, which clearly suits the Welshman.

Members can see the turnaround in Ramsey’s fortunes last season, through the shift to a wing back formation, by viewing this table and comparing Gameweeks 1-32 and Gameweeks 33-38.

Bournemouth

Simon Francis (4.5) – With the addition of Asmir Begovic in goal and Nathan Ake, both from Chelsea, the Cherries defensive prospects are looking up. Ake, who was on loan at the south coast team last season, will resume centre back duties, meaning captain Francis may shift back out to right back, meaning possible attacking returns as well. He could be rotated, but if he can nail down a full back berth he offers the cheapest route into this potentially lucrative backline.

Junior Stanislas (6.0) – An injury hit season meant Stanislas only started 18 games last season but this was still enough to collect  seven goals and six assists, not to mention 13  bonus points. Should he find form early in the season, he seems to be a solid fourth midfield option, who with the veteran striker Jermain Defoe up top could also benefit from an upturn in assists.

Brighton

Matt Ryan (4.5) – After collecting goalkeeper awards in both Australia and Belgium, the Aussie shot-stopper is set to start for Brighton.  Under Chris Hughton, who manager who prides himself on defences and clean sheets, Ryan is set to collect save points in tricky games and offer clean sheet potential in easier games, particularly at home, where the Seagulls were resilient last season.

Lewis Dunk (4.5) – A key factor in Brighton’s 21 clean sheets last season in the Championship was the reliability of their towering centre back Dunk. Last season he produced a CBI return (clearance, block and interception) every  7.7 minutes, which was close to last season’s top defender in this regard, Steve Cook, who registered a CBI every 7.1 minutes.

He is a nailed on starter and also showed the promise of attacking returns last season, with two goals and an assist.

Burnley

Sam Vokes (6.0) – For those looking at investing in two premium strikers and still wanting a strong midfield, Vokes could provide the solution. After emerging as Burnley’s first choice striker last season he racked up 10 goals and four assists.

Chelsea

Cesc Fàbregas (7.0) – With Hazard out for the start of the season, Fabregas looks a strong option after making the most of his limited opportunities last time out. Across his 13 starts he was able to accrue three goals and 10 assists, which suggests that if he can nail down a place in the first XI early on he could provide excellent returns over August and early September.

Diego Costa (10.0) – He may be somewhat of a controversial pick due to the ongoing exit rumours, but if he is to stick around, Costa could be a near must. At 10.0, Costa is the cheapest of FPL’S premium strikers and will be looking to continue on from his 20 goals, 11 assists and 25 bonus points last time out. Keep an eye on transfer news from Stamford Bridge this summer.

Crystal Palace

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (4.5) – After sealing a loan move to Palace, the Chelsea midfielder is a potentially strong fifth or even fourth midfield option if he can lock down a starting berth. If he does earn starts he could even be handed a more advanced midfield role.

Everton

Wayne Rooney (7.5) – Apart from Stoke in their opening fixture Everton’s fixtures look pretty grim up until Gameweek 6. This gives us ample opportunity to assess whether a return to his boyhood club and the possibility of a central striker role will see an upturn in his attacking output. At 7.5 he has the potential to offering strong value as a third striker.

Huddersfield

Tom Ince (6.0) – After three impressive season at Derby, Ince secured a move to newly promoted Huddersfield Town and will be looking to kick on from his 14 goals and eight assists last season for the Rams. Already in pre-season he has scored twice in as many games. If he can wrestle some set pieces from current number one penalty and free kick taker Aaron Mooy then he could offer excellent value.

Leicester

Vicente Iborra (6.0) – Arriving from Spain, the former Sevilla skipper will not only bring depth to Leicester’s squad, but he will also bring some attacking threat from a defensive midfielder. Iborra managed seven goals and two assists in La Liga last season and although he is not the prettiest pick, he is a cheap route into a Leicester side looking to get back into the top half of the table.

Liverpool

James Milner (6.5) – Reclassified to a defender for the upcoming season, Milner has found himself in plenty of teams already. With penalties in his locker, the potential for more assists and those extra points for clean sheets through his reclassification, he looks a solid premium option. There is a caveat though as the Reds have been linked with Hull left back Andrew Robertson, which would place the spectre of rotation over Milner.

Roberto Firmino (8.5) – Despite being re-classified as a forward this season and earning less points for goals, Firmino presents managers with a cheaper route into a Liverpool attack than his more expensive midfield team mates, such as Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho. It seems likely he will once again lead the line as a false 9, a role that earned him 11 goals and the same number of assists last season. For those looking for a reliable third striker Firmino could be a worthwhile choice.

Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne (10.0) – Sounds pricey. But if you look at his returns last season, when he scored six times and assisted a further 21, you can see that he could be worth every penny in 2017/18, especially as he is cheaper than both City strikers Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero. He could be prone to the odd game off due to rotation but he still looks the most nailed on option in the City midfield.

Manchester United

Victor Lindelöf (5.5) – Given his fellow Red Devils centre back Eric Bailly is 6.0,  Lindelöf appears to offer exceptional value among premium defensive options. As well as his defensive prowess the Swede is also confident with the ball, which could see him take on a Rio Ferdinand style roll of ball carrier, to start off attacking movements from the back.

Romelu Lukaku (11.5) – The new recruit up top from Everton comes with a hefty price tag, but it could still represent value, considering Tottenham’s Harry Kane is priced higher. With 25 goals, six assists and 33 bonus points for the Toffees last time out those impressive statistics could be even higher next season with far more skilful players like Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Henrik Mkhitaryan feeding him.

Newcastle

Matt Ritchie (6.0) – His dominance over Magpies  set-pieces saw him notch 12 goals and eight assists last season and propels him to strong fourth midfield status. But we have been here before, when he was at Bournemouth and failed to translate a strong second tier record into top flight success. If he can ensure lightning doesn’t strike twice he offers excellent value due to his goal involvement potential.

Southampton

Cédric Soares (5.0) – Many managers have opted for Cédric from a Southampton team that has some tasty fixtures to begin with. There has been lots of talk of Cédric’s crossing ability, but his final delivery hasn’t been strong. Hopefully with new manager Mauricio Pellegrino coming in and placing more emphasis on his fullbacks attacking, things can change for the better.

Nathan Redmond (6.5) – For the first 12 games, bar Gameweek 6 (Man United) and Gameweek 12 (Liverpool), Southampton face bottom half of the table clubs from the 2016/17 season and all three newly promoted sides. Hopefully this bodes well for Redmond, who managed seven goals last season. With his drop in price, managers will be hoping it’s a case of fixtures over form this time around.

Stoke

Ryan Shawcross (5.0) – Picking a Stoke player proved to be the toughest task for this article. But with attacking potential and clean sheet returns, aided by having Jack Butland in goal,  Shawcross could be an excellent under the radar option. Since joining the Premier League in 2008/9 he has delivered attacking returns in all but one season, his injured marred 2015/16 campaign.

Swansea

Tom Carroll (4.5) – For those unsure that Loftus-Cheek will be a regular starter at Crystal Palace, Tom Carroll offers Fantasy managers a nailed-on cheap starter with attacking potential.  Across his 1,389 minutes, since breaking into the Swans first XI last season, he managed to score once and assist two further goals. Such is security of his starts that he could even be a solid fourth midfield option for those looking to load up on premium forwards. In addition, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has been absent for the Swans pre-season friendlies Carroll has been handed some set piece duties.

Tottenham

Kieran Trippier (5.5) – With Kyle Walker’s move to Manchester City completed, Trippier looks to be the number one right back at Tottenham. A further recruit in that position is likely, given the need to juggle Champions League and league commitments, but as it stands they will be as competition for Trippier rather his replacement in the first XI. During the end of last season the former Burnley full-back impressed when handed regular starts, averaging a key pass every  57 minutes, more than twice as quick as Walker’s 125.4.

Dele Alli (9.5) – Given his 18 goals and 11 assists last season the young England international looks an underpriced option among premium midfielders. Often playing as a second striker last time out, another stellar campaign looks on the horizon for a player who offers a cheaper alternative to those avoiding Harry Kane.

Watford

Troy Deeney (6.5) – Deeney will be looking to build on his 10 successful strikes and four assists in what was a frustrating season in front of goal. He looks certain to once again lead the Hornets’ line and with the additions of Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah in midfield, plus the return from injury of Roberto Pereyra he should receive more chances. As a third choice striker he looks the best of the 6.5 priced options due to his security of starts and penalty taking duties.

West Brom

Ben Foster (4.5) – With a 5.0 price tag handed to the Baggies first choice defenders,  Foster’s valuation makes him a key option in goal. With his back up, Boaz Myhill priced at 4.0, the pair are currently a popular selection for those looking at a bargain basement 8.5 goalkeeper combination.

West Ham

Manuel Lanzini (7.0) – After the departure of Dimitri Payet, Lanzini took the mantle as the Hammers main creative force, collecting eight goals, three assists and 20 bonus points over the campaign. As with Ramsey he is another member of the Magnificent Seven group that looks to have been handed a kind price tag.

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  1. Jonty
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    10 days, 13 hours ago

    Excellent list and analysis. I'd add Willian to that as well in the absence early on of Hazard.

    Thanks for submitting.

    1. theBoose
        10 days, 12 hours ago

        Cheers Jonty.

        There were many others that I wanted to add to the list, but I felt Fab was more a punt than Willian.

      • harvard
          10 days, 7 hours ago

          Jonty can you guys add a like or upvote button to posts like the upvote button of comments. It will go a long way

      • FotnikPL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        10 days, 13 hours ago

        IMo Fraser 5.5 even better option than Stanislas 6.0

        1. theBoose
            10 days, 12 hours ago

            All depends on how they start.. I would say Stanislas has a higher percentage of starting. Definitely keep on eye on the young Scot though.

          • Mahesh_Kumar
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            9 days, 17 hours ago

            Nope

        2. Tornado
            10 days, 13 hours ago

            Any watford fans have a view on Chalobah?

            Ie will he be eased in or is he nailed?

            1. hornetjb
                10 days, 7 hours ago

                Would be very surprised if he didn't start with the jersey - can't see that he would have moved from Chelsea to sit on another bench. Needs games to push on and further his career. The big question will be in what position and what formation we'll play - suspect he may be central / DM looking at the attacking options we have in midfield. Possible 4231 or 3421 formation. But he scored a few crackers from distance in his last spell with us.

            2. -Red Wasabi-
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              10 days, 12 hours ago

              Thoughts on Philips and Townsend? Could they be viable 4th mid options?

              1. theBoose
                  10 days, 12 hours ago

                  Both decent options, but I feel that there are better players around the 6.0 bracket.

                • Cube fc
                    10 days, 6 hours ago

                    Yh, Phillips much better with higher ppm last season

                • RICHH
                    10 days, 12 hours ago

                    Should i be worried that i have 9 of these players in my squad and they are classed as punts!

                    1. Jaws
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      10 days, 12 hours ago

                      Not at all. Players like Alli, Lukaku, Foster (just to name a few) are nowhere near 'punts'.

                    2. theBoose
                        10 days, 12 hours ago

                        Not at all! I have 9 too.

                        I only went for that title because of the alliteration, haha. Obviously, not all of them are punts, rather generously priced in my opinion.

                    3. A Manager Has No Name
                        10 days, 12 hours ago

                        Is there a possibility Fabregas plays in one of Willian's or Pedro's position for some of the games?

                        1. theBoose
                            10 days, 31 mins ago

                            There is always a possibility.

                        2. Druze
                            10 days, 11 hours ago

                            Ramsey looking like a must..?!

                            1. theBoose
                                10 days, 29 mins ago

                                He's in my team.

                                Good table for members by Giggs here: http://members.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/?url=/public-stats-tables/view/19129/

                            2. Kryten
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              10 days, 11 hours ago

                              Nice article mate and some great justifications on your choices

                              1. theBoose
                                  10 days, 29 mins ago

                                  Cheers Kryten.

                              2. Don't Call Me Schurrle
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                10 days, 10 hours ago

                                Giving me renewed confidence in some of my puntier picks!

                                Would greatly appreciate some feedback on this lot:

                                Foster Elliott
                                Alonso Ake Cedric Tomkins Yedlin
                                KDB Coutinho Ramsey RLC Carroll
                                Kane Lukaku Defoe

                                1. Don't Call Me Schurrle
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  10 days, 10 hours ago

                                  Ooops, Gayle, not Defoe

                                2. theBoose
                                    10 days, 28 mins ago

                                    Still not sold on Alonso, r.e. his position, how will Chelsea go, etc..

                                    Apart from that, looks decent.

                                3. QPRUTD
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  10 days, 8 hours ago

                                  Nice reassuring article. Good Work 🙂

                                  1. theBoose
                                      10 days, 28 mins ago

                                      Cheers QPRUTD.

                                  2. Enzo the Baker
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    10 days, 8 hours ago

                                    Can make a fairly strong 3-4-3 / 4-3-3 team with these Postively Priced Players, with good coverage of the top 6 teams + Soton/Palace/WBA who have decent opening fixtures :

                                    Foster
                                    Lindelof Trippier Cedric
                                    KdB Alli Ramsey RLC
                                    Lukaku Firmino Costa

                                    Subs : T.Carroll Francis Dunk Ryan

                                    I'd prefer Lacazette + Willian over Costa + Ramsey but that's subjective

                                    1. theBoose
                                        10 days, 26 mins ago

                                        Looks a decent team to me 😉 I would probably pick Laca and Willian too. Both players could have made this list if I wanted it to go on forever, haha.

                                    2. PDM (Top 1000) ANY Season L…
                                        10 days, 7 hours ago

                                        Great article WTG

                                        Still can't believe Foster at £4.5m (bargain)

                                        1. Bald Eagle
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          10 days, 5 hours ago

                                          Let's hope so, Foster was a nightmare for me last season with all Heaton owners laughing at me. Don't think I can ever forgive him. 🙂

                                        2. theBoose
                                            10 days, 25 mins ago

                                            Thanks PDM.

                                            He's a bargain, but definitely a punt. Not sold on WBA personally.

                                        3. JohnnyMagrinho
                                            10 days, 7 hours ago

                                            I think Atsu at £5m could be a good shout. Potential is there - could absolutely shine for Newcastle this season. They have good early fixtures too (ignoring Spurs first up).

                                            And Gayle at £6.5m, again, potentially great value for money.

                                            Or do you think that's wishful thinking?

                                            1. thejam
                                                10 days, 4 hours ago

                                                Concur! Gayle & Atsu are well worth a shot.

                                                Also Loftus-Cheek a possible midfield bargain option if he can secure a starting role for Palace.

                                              • theBoose
                                                  10 days, 24 mins ago

                                                  Both have the potential, it just remains to be seen whether they can produce or not. I think there are better and more assured options at those brackets though.

                                              • Drip Doctor
                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                10 days, 7 hours ago

                                                I don't see how Firmino is positively priced. For an extra .5 you get Coutinho is scored more goals than Firmino is far less minutes last season, on top of that, he gets extra points for goals and cleansheets.

                                                1. walkman666
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                  For a striker, he is very positively priced. A comparison to teammate Coutinho, who is a mid, missed the comparison of Firmino to the 10M+ strikers.

                                                  1. Swanremainsthesame
                                                      10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                      Why spend out on a higher priced FWD - there is plenty value among the low price FWD So dont see the point in overspending just bcos he is aFWD

                                                    • theBoose
                                                        10 days, 24 mins ago

                                                        Exactly what Walk said. 🙂

                                                  2. MagicMario45
                                                      10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                      Ince vs Chadli? Who's the better option?

                                                      1. JaydenLFC87
                                                          10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                          Gone with Ince

                                                      2. JaydenLFC87
                                                          10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                          Will Rosenior be given a starting place this season for Brighton?

                                                          Could be a bargain at 4mil if he is..

                                                        • Miami Monkey
                                                            10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                            What about Michail Antonio? Was a monster last year even from right back and now should be nailed in the front 3.

                                                            Also Iborra seems like a horrible pick and overpriced

                                                            1. Swanremainsthesame
                                                                10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                In terms of performance when on the pitch last season it was Ayew,Antonio,Lanzini,Snodgrass so I know who Im picking if I take a hammer

                                                                1. Miami Monkey
                                                                    10 days, 5 hours ago

                                                                    Are you putting those in order?

                                                              • walkman666
                                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                10 days, 6 hours ago

                                                                Really helpful article. Thank you!

                                                                1. theBoose
                                                                    10 days, 23 mins ago

                                                                    No worries Walk.

                                                                2. Bald Eagle
                                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                  10 days, 5 hours ago

                                                                  Great work, thanks mate!

                                                                  1. theBoose
                                                                      10 days, 23 mins ago

                                                                      Cheers BE.

                                                                  2. t4thomas
                                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                    10 days, 5 hours ago

                                                                    Why is Pogba in my side?

                                                                    1. theBoose
                                                                        10 days, 22 mins ago

                                                                        Because of the hype. If United sign a CM, he'll probably be in my side too.

                                                                    2. TripHazard
                                                                        9 days, 16 hours ago

                                                                        I think Iborra at 6 would be a terrible punt, not sure why he is included. But a good list all round.

                                                                        I think there is some value elsewhere also;

                                                                        Ben Davies - a double up on the best defence in the league (last 2 seasons) with Trippier at 5.5 a piece could be a good punt, with Rose set to be out a little while yet.

                                                                        Mounie - could be a cheap 3rd striker with potential to score a few goals in an attacking Huddersfield side, built for the prem.

                                                                        Cabaye - should benefit from the De Boer style and a danger from set pieces

                                                                        Milovejic - defensive midfielder so not a natural pick but was on pens at end of last season.

                                                                        Berahino - would be a massive punt given Stoke's early fixtures but could find himself as main striker in a fairly attacking side which seems like value and will benefit from a full pre season after difficult year or so.

                                                                        1. Conwhe
                                                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                          9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                          I like Cabaye, I agree with that but Berahinos record is AWFUL.
                                                                          I wouldn't take him for free!

                                                                      • Fail Greek God
                                                                          9 days, 15 hours ago

                                                                          Suggestions please. Really torn between these two options:

                                                                          a- Sanchez + Firminho
                                                                          b- Alli + Lukaku

                                                                          1. TripHazard
                                                                              9 days, 15 hours ago

                                                                              B. Not even close

                                                                            • Conwhe
                                                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                              9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                              If Luk was still at Everton I would say A but he will surely get more service at Utd, so B it is.
                                                                              Although Sanchez is a force of nature.

                                                                          2. Eden Wizard
                                                                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                            9 days, 15 hours ago

                                                                            Robertson to 'Pool looking good - 5.0 please! Just need Schmeichel to United at 5.0 and it'll be bonus!

                                                                          3. Rafalution
                                                                              9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                              Siem De Jong has returned from his loan and was used in the no.10 role, with a classy assist for Gayle. If he can stay fit then I'd be keen to see what price he comes in at. Certainly not as an initial pick but he could be a differential bargain.

                                                                            • Conwhe
                                                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                              9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                              Great article.
                                                                              Foster and Redmond surely need to be strongly considered due to their kind opening few weeks of fixtures.
                                                                              There's usually always an underrated few players who begin to excel each season and I think Dunk, Ryan and Gayle could be in that category.

                                                                              1. No Kane No Gain
                                                                                  9 days, 9 hours ago

                                                                                  Redmond's stats from last season aren't consistent enough...

                                                                                  1. Conwhe
                                                                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                                    9 days, 8 hours ago

                                                                                    Who else in his price bracket has vastly superior stats though?
                                                                                    New manager, he will want to impress no doubt

                                                                              2. Bedknobs and Boomsticks
                                                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                                9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                                Alli got 18 goals and 11 assists last year?

                                                                                Please can someone hunt me down and shoot me if I post an RMT without him in it.

                                                                                1. KaneorNoKane
                                                                                    9 days, 13 hours ago

                                                                                    Yeah there was a phase in which he was scoring a brace in every match

                                                                                2. Kthulu-67
                                                                                    9 days, 10 hours ago

                                                                                    Great Article. Feel a bit better about some of my picks now.
                                                                                    I'm saying that like I wont change my team 100 times before the 1st ball is kicked.

                                                                                  • No Kane No Gain
                                                                                      9 days, 9 hours ago

                                                                                      will ramsey play?

                                                                                    • dayanpetrow
                                                                                        9 days, 8 hours ago

                                                                                        Kane or Alli + Eriksen?

                                                                                        1. No Kane No Gain
                                                                                            9 days, 8 hours ago

                                                                                            Have Alli but neither Kane or Eriksen

                                                                                        2. Luka4
                                                                                            9 days, 8 hours ago

                                                                                            Ryan, Begovic
                                                                                            Cedric, Dawson, T.Smith (bgh), Dummett, Tripper
                                                                                            Alexis, Coutinho, Ritchie, Puncheon, T. Carroll
                                                                                            Kane, Lukaku, Wells
                                                                                            Thoughts?! Advices!?