With the Norwegian Eliteserien now 3 rounds deep, it is a good time to assess what has happened previously and what may happen in the coming rounds. Already, a number of players have announced themselves as Fantasy favourites with the likes of Eikrem (11.3, Molde), Thorstvedt (6.2, Viking) and Stolas (6.6, Haugesund) racking up big points in the early rounds.
However, there are still a number of players out there who represent huge value for money currently. With a number of teams overperforming at the beginning of this season (I’m looking at you Bodo/Glimt & Viking) certain prices have become inflated, leaving other players in the market criminally under selected. In this piece, I take a look at some players who could represent huge value for money over the coming weeks with some extremely tasty fixtures on the horizon.
Differentials, value picks, and good fixtures
Ibrahima Wadji, FK Haugesund (8.0)
- Leads the line for his side
- Always involved in attacking potentials
- Brilliant pace and movement his main weapon
Having scored just 7 points in his first two fixtures of the season, Ibrahima Wadji finally started to justify his 8.0 price tag in gameweek 3 with a goal plus an assist and a return of an impressive 11 points.
Selected by just 5.12% of Fantasy users at the moment, there is definitely scope to keep an eye on Wadji’s progress over the next couple of weeks. Haugesund come up against Stabaek (H) in gameweek 4 before travelling to Lillestrom (A) in gameweek 5. Both of these matches will be viewed as extremely winnable for Haugesund and with Wadji due to lead the attacking line in both matches I would expect a decent points return from him over the next couple of weeks.
Wadji has always been highly rated in Norway, though never quite cracked the first team at Molde and only managed to make 17 appearances for the side during his stint there. However, a short term loan at the end of last season to Haugesund yielded 6 goals in just 12 appearances. If he can carry this form on into the rest of the 2019 season, he could be a very valuable addition for any Fantasy manager.
Bendik Bye, Kristiansund (6.5)
- Winnable upcoming fixtures for KBK
- Tends to find himself in dangerous positions in the box
- Brilliant finisher
In 2018, Bye was a popular addition for many fantasy managers due to his low price and good points return (98) and he looks to be carrying a similar role into 2019 having been priced at just 6.5 and already racking up 13 points in 4 matches.
Kristiansund are currently struggling with the availability of their forwards with Thomas Amang (5.9) and Flamur Kastrati (7.5) out indefinitely and this creates a space in the XI for Bendik Bye to fill where previously he may have been benched. Even if not a guaranteed starter, the forward has a habit of nabbing goals and assists in his fleeting appearances from the bench.
Kristiansund also have some very tasty fixtures coming up with the side playing Ranheim (H), Stromsgodset (A) and Tromso (H) in the next 3 gameweeks. Kristiansund will fancy themselves to win well in all of these matches, especially at home against the weak defences of Ranheim (6 conceded) and Tromso (7 conceded) and Bye will back himself to play a big part in any potential victory against these sides.
Elbasan Rashani, Odd (8.0)
- Skilful winger
- Just starting to find top form this season
- Key player for Odd this year
Listed as a midfielder and valued at a fair 8.0 price, Elba Rashani could be a valuable addition to Fantasy teams over the coming weeks with an in form Odd team coming up against sides’ many will tip them to win well against.
Rashani already has 15 points from his 3 matches so far this season and is a fixture in the Odd XI. Currently selected by 12% of Fantasy managers at the time of writing, it would not surprise me if this number soared in the coming weeks.
A tricky winger capable of winning games on his own, Rashani had a brilliant 2018 season and racked up 117 points. After a couple of blank rounds this season, he showed his true ability in the last match vs. Kristiansund by notching 11 points via a goal and 3 bonus points.
Odd’s next fixtures are up against Viking (H), Valerenga (A), Stromsgodset (H) and Tromso (A) making Rashani a potentially valuable hold over the next few weeks with the player likely to contribute heavily to any positive Odd results.
Birk Risa, Odd (5.5)
- Part of a solid, in form defence
- Has attacking capabilities
- Price represents huge value for money
When it comes to Odd defenders, most Fantasy managers (19% in fact) chose to select Espen Ruud (6.5) in their side over Birk Risa (6%) however, with the significant price difference and good upcoming fixtures for Odd a good case could be made to select Risa over Ruud.
Whilst Ruud tends to rack up points for assists and FK goals occasionally, Risa has historically not had as high an output and as of writing this season has not scored or assisted a goal in the league this season. However, Risa is an attacking full back who used to play as a winger and occasional forward so his attacking output for Odd is high. Due to Odd’s dependance of goals coming from balls into the box, there is every chance that Risa’s goals/assists column could expand in the coming weeks with the side facing clubs with extremely shaky defences.
I think there is a lot of value in Risa’s selection, especially with him being a full 1mNOK less than Espen Ruud. Getting Risa into your fantasy team would not only add a solid back 4 player but also free up some funds for more expensive attacking purchases.
Ylldren Ibrahimaj, Viking FK (5.2)
- The main attacking outlet in Viking’s midfield
- Already has great attacking returns (1 goal, 3 assists)
- Skill on the ball lends itself to potential bonus points
Kristian Thorstvedt (6.2) is currently the more popular choice when it comes to in form Viking midfielders (12% of users have selected Thorstvedt, whilst Ibrahimaj is selected by just 8%) but in terms of long term output I would suggest that Ibrahimaj offers the better value out of the two players.
Viking have been in sensational form this season with big wins against Brann and Kristiansund in recent weeks. In all 3 of their matches. Ylldren Ibrahimaj has contributed well with the player registering 3 assists and 1 goal across these games. Ibrahimaj is a player I have followed for a while now, stemming back to his days with lower league side Arendal where he was by far the most technically gifted player at the club.
I was personally surprised how quickly he adapted to the demands of Eliteserien football, but he is making playing in the league look easy at present and will surely contribute heavily in upcoming gameweeks with Viking playing against sides such as Ranheim (A) and Valerenga (H) who have already been shown to have a weak defence.
Kristian Thorstvedt is a player with a huge future and someone with undeniable potential, but in terms of long term output I would wager that Ibrahimaj finishes the season with the higher total of Fantasy points despite his significantly lower price value. Definitely worth drafting into your squad for the upcoming fixtures.
Bonus ‘One to Watch’
Youness Mokhtar (6.0)
- Looks to be huge value for money
- His CV is impressive
- Could form ⅓ of an extremely talented Stabaek front 3
New Stabaek signing Youness Mokhtar is yet to feature for the side having signed from Ankaragucu on Deadline Day, but certainly looks undervalued at 6.0. Mokhtar has almost 150 appearances in the Eredivisie across his career (27 goals, 28 assists) and has a whopping Transfermarkt value of £2.25m, almost double the Eliteserien’s current most expensive player (Birger Meling, RBK). Mokhtar will unlikely be seen too much in the early weeks of the season but could become a key player for Stabaek by the end of the year.
Stabaek have already shown that scoring goals and creating goal scoring chances is coming fairly naturally to them so far this season and a forward line of Brynhildsen, Boli & Mokhtar would automatically register as one of the most dangerous in the league. Mokhtar has the ability and experience to make a significant contribution to Stabaek this season and is definitely one to watch in the coming weeks if he does play as regularly as most expect him to do.
Looking ahead to GW4
Which of these players do you already have?
Which are on your watchlist?
Are these players in your plans going forward?
Ben Wells (@FRFotballBen)