Clint Dempsey, Gareth McAuley, John Terry and Luiz Suarez are the latest Fantasy Premier League alumni up for nomination in our World Cup of FPL tournament.
In this series, we’re giving Fantasy Football Scout site users the chance to vote for the greatest FPL asset of all time.
We’ve placed 32 of the most popular players into eight groups of four, with the top two most-voted-for assets qualifying for the knockout rounds in each instance.
Readers are permitted two votes in each group, with the active polls to be found at the bottom of this article and in the sidebar of the homepage.
Eight players have already progressed to the last 16 and you can check out our analysis of the Group E candidates via this link.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1. Frank Lampard||1. Thierry Henry||1. Harry Kane||1. Cristiano Ronaldo|
|2. Robin van Persie||2. Gareth Bale||2. Didier Drogba||2. Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|3. ||3. ||3.||3. |
|4. ||4. ||4. ||4. |
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Marcos Alonso||Clint Dempsey||Cesc Fabregas||Alexis Sánchez|
|Nemanja Vidic||Gareth McAuley||Jamie Vardy||Mohamed Salah|
|Raheem Sterling||John Terry||Kevin De Bruyne||Petr Cech|
|Wayne Rooney||Luis Suarez||Leighton Baines||Sergio Aguero|
Our latest article below takes a closer look at each option in Group F.
To paraphrase Rami Malek in the No Time to Die trailer: Clint Dempsey‘s skills have survived long after he has gone.
Perhaps best remembered by those outside of the Fantasy world for being the man whose shot Rob Green fumbled into his net in the 2010 World Cup, we FPL managers of a certain vintage are more likely to think back to his exploits for Fulham in the 2011/12 campaign.
Dempsey had ticked along nicely before that high point, hitting 20 goals across three seasons at the back-end of the noughties.
Priced up as a £7.0m midfielder in 2010/11, Dempsey hit double figures for goals for the first time in England (registering 12 goals and three assists in all) and was subsequently handed a price rise to £8.5m the following campaign.
That still proved to be a bargain, however.
The 2011/12 season saw Dempsey finish as the highest-scoring FPL midfielder (ahead of the likes of Gareth Bale and David Silva) on 209 points, with the USA international racking up 17 goals, seven assists and 22 bonus points in the process.
A hat-trick and a 20-point haul against Newcastle United in Gameweek 22 of that campaign was a stand-out highlight but there numerous other double-digit returns beside that, three of which arrived in quick succession in Gameweeks 31 to 33.
Dempsey’s ownership and price soared as the season went on, with the American reaching a high of £9.8m in Gameweek 37, and his occasional ‘out of position’ tag – he deputised as a central striker in several matches – only added to his appeal.
Unable to offer the same kind of value as a £9.5m midfielder at Spurs the following season, Dempsey nevertheless still contributed seven goals and six assists before departing for his homeland, briefly re-emerging at Craven Cottage on loan in 2013/14.
Given that the likes of Aleksandar Kolarov, Michu, Christian Eriksen, Joleon Lescott, Yaya Toure and Aaron Ramsey failed to make the cut in our World Cup of FPL, it’s perhaps a surprise to see an ageing West Bromwich Albion centre-half feature alongside some bona fide Fantasy luminaries.
Indeed, Gareth McAuley didn’t once make the end-of-season FPL Dream Team.
While the recently retired Northern Ireland international never troubled the leading FPL points-scorers list, he did offer decent value for money in the budget/mid-price defender bracket.
His best-ever Fantasy season was in his penultimate campaign at the Hawthorns.
Playing under the pragmatic Tony Pulis, it was perhaps the prospect of clean sheets that provided the initial incentive for investment.
Ultimately, however, it was the stopper’s abilities at the other end of the pitch that saw him rack up a career-best 131 FPL points in 2016/17 and make this site’s Team of the Season.
Starting out at a bargain £4.5m, McAuley went on to register six goals – including the infamous unwitting header against West Ham United in Gameweek 25 – and an assist that season, finishing as the third-best value-for-money defender based on points per million.
The Northern Irishman had clocked up double figures for clean sheets in his previous two campaigns, meanwhile, and had been an underpriced £4.0m enabler in his first-ever Premier League season in 2011/12, breaking the 100-point mark and starting all but one match from Gameweeks 6 to 38.
No FPL defender has featured in FPL’s end-of-season Dream Team on more occasions than John Terry (six).
In fact, former teammate Frank Lampard is the only player in any position to have made more appearances in this elite XI than the long-serving Chelsea centre-back.
The beginning of Terry’s career in west London pre-dated the start of FPL, with his Premier League debut coming at the back-end of the last century.
When Fantasy Premier League was eventually launched in its current guise, Terry made the Dream Team in three of the first four seasons, with his score of 196 points in 2004/05 ultimately proving to be a career-best.
Chelsea kept a record 25 clean sheets en route to their first league title in 50 years and Terry was on the pitch for all of them, supplementing his defensive contributions with three goals.
Another 20 shut-outs and four goals arrived in the following season and, even in an injury-affected 2006/07 campaign, the centre-half still racked up 16 clean sheets in 27 starts.
The England international’s best years in FPL coincided with Jose Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge.
On top of the mid-noughties golden era, the Special One’s second spell in west London also improved Terry’s output.
The Blues’ club captain plundered eight goals, 33 clean sheets and 349 FPL points across Mourinho’s two full seasons in charge, featuring in the Dream Team in both 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Terry was still a force to be reckoned with even without Mourinho at the helm.
In every single one of his 15 seasons in FPL did Terry find the back of the net, with his best tally being six goals in 2011/12.
His starting price didn’t dip below £7.0m for the best part of a decade, which was a fair reflection of the esteem in which he was held in Fantasy circles.
Before Mohamed Salah’s remarkable debut year at Anfield, Luis Suarez held the record for most FPL points in a single season.
The Uruguay international racked up 295 points in the 2013/14 campaign, registering 30 goals, 25 assists and 40 bonus points en route to his landmark total.
Suarez wasn’t even available for the first five matches of the campaign as he served a suspension for biting but went on to plunder 18 goals and 11 assists in the subsequent 12 Gameweeks.
An astonishing 77 points arrived in Gameweeks 14-17 alone, with four of Suarez’s 13 double-figure returns being registered in this period.
A 24-point haul against Norwich City (Suarez being involved in all of Liverpool’s goals in a 5-1 win over the Canaries) was a standout moment, although the Uruguayan almost matched that total just two games later with a brace and three assists in a 5-0 win at Spurs.
Averaging 8.9 points per match and blanking in only six of his 33 starts, Suarez was owned by over 51% of FPL managers by the time the campaign drew to a close.
Not that the Barcelona forward was a one-season wonder in the Premier League.
Suarez had made the FPL Dream Team in the previous campaign, too, chipping in with 23 goals, ten assists and 34 bonus points on the way to a score of 212 points – enough to see him finish joint-third in the overall FPL standings.
There were hat-tricks against Norwich and Wigan along the way, with the first of those trebles helping him to a Gameweek 6 score of 20 points.
Suarez had begun that season as a £9.5m FPL forward but had risen sharply to £11.2m not long before he sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic.
The Uruguayan had contributed 11 goals and three assists in his first full season on Merseyside but it wasn’t until Brendan Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish in the Anfield hotseat in June 2012 that we really saw the best of Suarez as a Fantasy asset.