239
Selection

The best budget goalkeepers and rotation pairings for FPL restart

Selecting a budget goalkeeper for the return of Fantasy Premier League could prove as challenging now as it did at the beginning of the season.

As we start a series of articles assessing the best FPL options by position and price, this first piece will focus on which cheap goalkeepers could be used as set-and-forget options and who could be put together in a budget rotation pairing. We’ll be assessing these assets for their points potential over the first three Gameweeks of the Premier League’s return.

It must be said that cheap and reliable shot-stoppers have become almost an endangered species in recent years, with many of the best options leaving the budget category behind.

This far into the campaign, it is unavoidable that the best goalkeeping options are now closer to £5.0m than they are to £4.5m. In fact, the list of top 10 scoring goalkeepers after the first 29 Gameweeks contains just three priced below £5.0m (the threshold we’re going with for budget).

These are Nick Pope (£4.9m), Ben Foster (£4.9m) and Mathew Ryan (£4.7m), each on 128, 111 and 102 points respectively.

Many of the other cheaper (likely) starting options all find themselves below 100 points at this of the campaign too:

  • Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) – 96 points
  • Tim Krul (£4.6m) – 91 points
  • Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) – 68 points
  • Lukasz Fabianski (£4.9m) – 59 points
  • Tom Heaton (£4.3m) – 59 points
  • Pepe Reina (£4.5m) – 19 points

Meanwhile, those who have slipped into the ultra-budget section of the bargain bin are no longer safe-starters since their club’s number one returned from injury or reasserted themselves in the team:

  • Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.2m)
  • Angus Gunn (£4.2m)
  • Adrian (£4.0m)
  • David Martin (£3.9m)

The teams with the best fixtures in the first three Gameweeks after the Premier League’s return are Arsenal, Wolves, Chelsea, Norwich, Newcastle and Leicester, which also presents another issue.

From those clubs, Tim Krul (£4.6m) is the only goalkeeper who still qualifies as ‘budget’ but Norwich’s defence has been well-documented as one of the worst in the Premier League this season (52 goals conceded, joint-second-worst).

Meanwhile, Willy Caballero (£4.8m) could be the route into Chelsea’s defence for those aforementioned appealing fixtures, although it is hard to argue he is completely nailed on. The former Manchester City man started every match from Gameweeks 25 to 28, but missed out on the 4-0 win over Everton in Gameweek 29 – and it has been some time since Frank Lampard had to pick a starting line-up.

However, despite these setbacks, there is still some value to be found in the goalkeeper department.

POTENTIAL SET-AND-FORGETS

Nick Pope

Burnley team news
  • Price: £4.9m
  • Ownership: 18.8%
  • Next three fixtures: mci | WAT | cry
  • Potential next four fixtures: mci | WAT | cry | SHU

There will be plenty of interest in Pope ahead of the return of Fantasy Premier League.

In the six matches before the coronavirus suspension, Burnley’s goalkeeper played a huge part in his team’s impressive defensive performances.

The Clarets conceded just twice during this period, the best in the Premier League, and were also joint-top in the division for their four clean sheets, level with Manchester United and Wolves.

While Pope’s 19 saves in the last six matches was only the 11th-best in the league, his percentage of stops made compared to shots on target faced was exceptional.

During this period, Burnley allowed 21 accurate efforts, the sixth-fewest in the Premier League, with Pope successfully stopping 19 of these.

That works out at a save ratio of 90.5%, the best during this period.

With that sort of protection, the Burnley defence could be in good shape for their next three matches.

Even if Manchester City have a formidable attack, Pope’s saving abilities could see him rack up a massive score in the first Gameweek back, while Watford, Crystal Palace are both sides that Burnley will fancy a chance of a clean sheet against. Also, if the fixtures do line-up to follow the previous schedule, it could be a home match against Sheffield United after the Palace game.

Aaron Ramsdale

  • Price: £4.5m
  • Ownership: 3.5%
  • Next three fixtures: CRY | wol | NEW
  • Next three fixtures: CRY | wol | NEW | mun

While Bournemouth’s defence is never particularly trust-worthy, Ramsdale could offer some value in the coming weeks.

The Cherries have two nice home fixtures in the first three Gameweeks back, even if they cannot benefit from the backing of their own supporters. 

Crystal Palace and Newcastle are the two sides set to visit the Vitality Stadium in that time, both of which are in the bottom three for goals scored this season.

The Magpies are joint-worst with Norwich for their 25 strikes in 2019/20, while the Eagles are only one better on 26.

Meanwhile, Ramsdale has proved himself to be a viable source of save points this season, largely on account of the number of shots Bournemouth have conceded.

Across the whole season, he is third for saves (102), behind only Martin Dubravka (£5.1m) and Bernd Leno (£5.0m) who have registered 116 and 104 respectively.

However, in the last six matches before the coronavirus suspension, Ramsdale topped the league for this statistic, producing 29 saves, four more than second-best Vicente Guaita (£5.1m).

Willy Caballero

  • Price: £4.8m
  • Ownership: 0.3%
  • Next three fixtures: avl | MCI | whu
  • Potential next four fixtures: avl | MCI | whu | WAT

As we mentioned above, Chelsea’s fixtures in the first three matches look mostly positive – and if their fourth match is confirmed to be a home meeting with Watford, they are arguably even more appealing.

The Blues did not necessarily come into the coronavirus suspension in the best defensive form and they have generally been clean sheet underachievers all season.

While they conceded nine goals between Gameweeks 24 and 29 (joint-fifth-worst) and kept just one clean sheet, Chelsea were in the top three for fewest shots conceded in the box, fewest big chances conceded and fewest shots on target allowed.

If they were able to go into the Premier League with a similar ability to keep things tight, then their clean sheet credentials against Aston Villa, West Ham and potentially Watford, would be strong indeed – even if they have to face Manchester City during that run.

The question, of course, is whether Cabellero can secure himself as the number one goalkeeper. He made four starts from a possible five between Gameweeks 25 and 28 and Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.4m) has arguably been having a poor season. The Spaniard did return to the Chelsea net in Gameweek 29, so there is enough uncertainty about the goalkeeping jersey to perhaps put Fantasy managers off. Unless, of course, Lampard is prepared to provide any kind of update before the next deadline.

Tim Krul

  • Price: £4.6m
  • Ownership: 2.6% 
  • Next three fixtures: SOU | EVE | ars | BHA
  • Potential next four fixtures: SOU | EVE | ars | BHA

Krul gets a mention here for a combination of his price, save-making ability and appealing fixtures.

Norwich’s defence has been poor this season but it had made some improvements before the coronavirus suspension.

Conceding 52 times in the first 29 Gameweeks, the final six of those saw the Canaries breached on just seven occasions.

Still second-bottom of the goals conceded column across the whole campaign, their total between Gameweeks 24 and 29 decidedly mid-table. In fact, it was only one more than Liverpool and Manchester City, who both shipped six goals during this period.

While that was nearly three months ago, there will still some cause for optimism at this end of the pitch for Daniel Farke, especially when we consider the relative appeal of their upcoming fixtures.

Meanwhile, Krul’s role is usually always key whenever Norwich manage to keep things tight in a game. His total of 95 saves is fourth-best in the Premier League this season, while no goalkeeper has accrued more bonus points for pass completion in 2019/20. If Norwich do manage to keep clean sheets in the short-term, expect Krul to pick up some additional points.

ALSO CONSIDER

Dean Henderson (£5.3m) gets his inclusion in this article in the ‘Honourable Mentions’ section as he arguably straddles the fence between budget and mid-price.

To those who don’t own him, the Sheffield United shot-stopper falls into the latter category, but for anyone who signed him up early enough, Henderson only takes up somewhere around £4.9m of their budget.

Sheffield United’s first three Gameweeks back are somewhat mixed. After their Double Gameweek, they face a trip to Manchester United before hosting Spurs. Remember also that the visit to Old Trafford will be without Henderson, who is ineligible to face his parent club.

However, in the immediate short-term, a Double Gameweek against Aston Villa and Newcastle, even though both matches are away, is certainly a very appealing prospect for Henderson owners. They could also face Burnley in the fourth Gameweek of the restart if the fixtures pan out the way we expect.

It is a well-documented fact that Sheffield United have defended well this season, conceding only 25 times (second-fewest) and securing 10 clean sheets (second-best).

→ Which goalkeeper has conceded the most league goals this season?

Foster also compares well in that department, recording nine clean sheets this season. In fact, no other Premier League goalkeeper has managed to secure as many of these at home as the Watford man (seven).

It, therefore, might help that the Hornets play at Vicarage Road twice in the next three matches, although without their partisan crowd.

Those games pit them against Leicester and Southampton, either side of a trip to Burnley.

While the Foxes and Saints are not necessarily known for their goal-shy nature, it helps that Foster is joint-third for saves made at home this season (48).

Meanwhile, it is somewhat more difficult to truly consider Ryan against some of the other options mentioned above.

Brighton’s fixtures straight out of the Premier League restart are very tough indeed, as they host Arsenal and Manchester United either side of a trip to Leicester.

Meanwhile, in the six matches before the coronavirus suspension, the Seagulls kept just one clean sheet and conceded nine times. In that period, Ryan had a very poor percentage of 55.6% too, bettered by a total of 19 Premier League goalkeepers.

Finally, Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) starts off with an appealing trip to Norwich up first and after hosting Arsenal travels to Watford.

However, despite some improvements made at the back by Ralph Hasenhüttl around the turn of the year, the Saints’ defence was not in exceptional shape just before the coronavirus suspension.

Between Gameweeks 24 and 29, they conceded the joint-highest number of big chances in the Premier League (20), behind only Aston Villa (25).

ROTATION PAIRINGS

We will finish this article by examining some potential goalkeeper rotation pairings.

To give this section a bit more to sink our teeth into, we will do this over a four Gameweek period, on the assumption that the final match of each quartet will be the one originally scheduled for Gameweek 33.

Burnley/Sheffield United

  • BUR: mci | WAT | cry | SHU
  • SHU: avl + new | mun | TOT | bur

As already mentioned, this is only classed as a budget goalkeeper rotation pairing by those already in possession of Henderson – and it certainly looks effective.

Sheffield United’s two fixtures up-front can cover Pope’s trip to Manchester City, although managers favouring the Burnley man’s shot-stopping abilities could even consider a Double Gameweek Bench Boost.

Henderson’s blank against Manchester United is nicely offset by Burnley’s hosting of Watford and the Clarets’ trip to Palace the following week is also helpful when Sheffield United host Spurs.

Burnley/Chelsea

  • BUR: mci | WAT | cry | SHU
  • CHE: avl | MCI | whu | WAT

Those willing to take the risk on Caballero could find a Burnley/Chelsea rotation useful.

The crunch points are the first two Gameweeks, with Chelsea covering Burnley’s trip to Villa and Pope covering off Caballero meeting his former club. 

It would then give managers a nice set of choices for the third and fourth games of this period.

Burnley/Southampton

  • BUR: mci | WAT | cry | SHU
  • SOU: nor | ARS | wat | MCI

There is not much to add on this rotation compared to the Chelsea one.

Southampton don’t particularly form a big part of this, covering Burnley’s Manchester City meeting with Norwich in the first Gameweek, while the final three matches arguably favour the Clarets.

Sheffield United/Bournemouth

  • SHU: avl + new | mun | TOT | bur
  • BOU: CRY | wol | NEW | mun

This is another rotation that has the potential for a strong Bench Boost opportunity in the upcoming Double Gameweek.

As Henderson looks like a good option with his meetings with Villa and Newcastle, combining them with Ramsdale’s hosting of Palace could prove fruitful.

The biggest drawback with this pairing is the second round of games when Henderson is ineligible and Bournemouth travel to a ruthless Wolves outfit.

Ramsdale could cover Sheffield United’s meeting with Spurs the following week though, as the Cherries host Newcastle.

Sheffield United/Watford

  • SHU: avl + new | mun | TOT | bur
  • WAT: LEI | bur | SOU | che

Watford’s Foster arguably does a better job of plugging the gaps in Henderson’s schedule.

When the Sheffield United man is unavailable against the Red Devils, he can offer a meeting with Burnley.

After that, the Hornets host Southampton when the Blades host Spurs.

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239 Comments Post a Comment
  1. DAZZ
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    The slow pages have been refreshing whilst it was quiet. Back to normality shortly 🙁

    1. Pumpy Pro
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Yep RMFHT hell.

      1. DAZZ
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Oh dont. I havnt really been commenting much myself but ive been browsing the comments regularly and there has been some good discussions

  2. JBG
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    RMFHT:

    Hendo
    TAA-Laporte-Egan
    Grealish-Kdb-Pepe-Martial-Fleck
    Aguero-Auba-(Martinelli)

  3. FPL Kakarot
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Thoughts on this FH team?

    Hendo
    O'Connell - Egan - TAA
    Grealish - KDB - Sterling - Ozil
    Auba - Kun - Samatta

    Lascelles only playind defender

    1. JBG
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Pretty good tbf, specially considering the teams we have to choose from. Considering Ozil myself, but no idea if he ever is going to be back to his best.
      Not so sure about the SHU triple up in defence though.

    2. Coys96
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Very nice.

      If you can somehow upgrade Egan & O'Connell to Baldock & Stevens do so 🙂

      Maybe by upgrading Ozil to Pepe and Sterling to Mahrez?

  4. FPL Kakarot
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Who is the most nailed CB for Arsenal?

    1. Hakim Ziyech
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Mustafi 🙂

    2. JBG
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Hasn't Luiz got the most minutes played?

    3. Coys96
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Has to be Luiz surely. He has decent goal threat too

  5. Coys96
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Triple Sheff Utd defence is a very good punt, to those of you saying its 2 away games:

    1) Newcastle have scored the fewest goals at home, and overall
    2) Home/away is irrelevent now, as proved in Bundesliga
    3) Both opponents are among the worst in the league, and the 2 fixtures couldn't get much better
    4) Sheff Utd have conceded less goals away from home than at home anyway, if u still believe in the home/away debate.
    5) No other team has any particularly good CS potential games (in DGW & SGW)
    6) They have the 2nd best defence in the league
    7) Baldock, Stevens also offer very good attacking potential, so you arent relying on a CS for those 2 to bring u pts.
    8) The defence (and Henderson) have 21 goal involvements, despite the team only scoring 30 goals! (70% chance of a defender being involved in a team goal)
    9) In reverse fixtures combined here are the players points:

    Henderson 7
    Stevens 7
    Lundstram 12
    Baldock 7
    O'Connell 7
    Egan 7
    Basham 8

    Although they were both at home, that involved the shock defeat to Newcastle where they did get pretty unlucky, conceding 2 with an XGC of 0.53. By looking at these figures you would expect them score similar points in this DGW. And realistically by tripling up you can get between 12 and 45 points.

    Therefore, imo a treble rather than a double defence is definantly worth the punt.

    1. Would Ed Woodward
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      If I FH I'll be going triple, everyone in my ML already has double anyway.

    2. Rhinos
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      the only issue is who you're not picking. TAA Doherty could easily smash them. The obvious fh play though

      1. Coys96
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Yeah. I'd have Trent and Henderson & x2 defenders. Doherty is similar to stevens, but has a harder game and less CS potential.. He is more explosive though

  6. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Anyone else worried about Jimenez? In this world of isolation and quarantine a new baby could be 2 or 3 games missing

    1. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Wolves can get CL, he's going to play if fit imo

    2. Rhinos
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      joe root may miss first test after wife had a kid. Defo a possibility

  7. Berbs
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Lundstram is out of contract 30 June acc to The Athletic

    1. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      He has a 12 month extension clause that Wilder has already said (back in January? December?) he'd activate

      1. Berbs
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Not sure. Just saw it here

        https://twitter.com/AlexKayJelski/status/1269186165808287745?s=20

        1. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Good list.

          Had forgotten Fraser was out of contract - feel like I haven't see much news on him for ages. Are Arsenal still interested?

          1. Berbs
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            Arsenal and Spurs last time I read

          2. HamezMace
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            Another player I worry would refuse to play, wouldn’t want to get an injury and risk a big contract in the summer.

  8. FPL Kakarot
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    If you had to exclude one from a FH team, which would it be? Sort of players replacing would be someone like Pepe / Sterling:

    a) TAA

    B) Mane

    c) Neither, far too risky

    An away game against Everton when players won't be match fit makes me consider this risk

    1. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      It's anyone's guess

      I'm going TAA so atm sacrificing an attacker for a City mid, but given how long they've had to wait, Liverpool attackers might just batter everyone in plain sight

  9. GREEN IS GOOD
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    John McGinn (5.4) for the DGW?

    "McGinn is ready to play a full part in the club’s survival fight during what promises to be a frenetic end to the campaign, having recovered from the fractured ankle he sustained in December.

    The Scot was on the brink of returning when the season was suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus."

    1. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Considering it but naive to expect 180 mins

      1. HamezMace
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Well anyone get 180 minutes? Keepers aside.

        1. Berbs
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Auba, Grealish from attackers

          1. HamezMace
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            I wish I had the shared confidence of everyone on here about Auba.

            I’m concerned about the stories that he’s not being offered a new contract.

            1. Berbs
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 6 days ago

              Arsenal have little choice but to play him. Clear he wants out, but he hasn't downed tools (as of yet)

              Probably an amicable agreement that he can leave once season is done. Athletic were saying he was Chelsea bound (Cech convinced him) but they moved for Werner when they were told Liverpool weren't going to pay

              1. HamezMace
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 6 days ago

                I’m concerned that Arsenal may want to get some game time into Martinelli and Nketiah if they know Auba isn’t staying next season.
                If they lose to City then top four would be more or less out of reach for them I think, if it’s not already.

                1. Berbs
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 6 days ago

                  Fair point

                  1. HamezMace
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 6 days ago

                    Trouble is I won’t find out until after FH39, and it’ll be risky to go without him.

                2. jtreble
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 6 days ago

                  “... I’m concerned that Arsenal may want to get some game time into Martinelli and Nketiah ...”. Almost certain to happen imho.

                  1. HamezMace
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 6 days ago

                    We seem to be the only ones concerned!

                    1. jtreble
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      2 months, 6 days ago

                      I think many managers accept that increased rotation will be part of the game now with 5 subs ...

    2. HamezMace
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Think he’s a good option, especially if going for a 5 man midfield with Aguero and Auba.

      1. GREEN IS GOOD
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Indeed

  10. KP - FPL
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Which combo is best on a FH do you reckon?

    a) Fleck, Pepe, Mane, Mings

    b) Fleck, Pepe, TAA, Vardy

    c) Sterling, Ozil, TAA, Samatta

    1. Rhinos
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      eenie meenie miney mo

  11. TherryOnWii
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Hi all,

    Sorry for the silly question. Are we starting GW39 as if it's the start of the season, where we can pick any player we want (no transfer limit), and then retain those players for the following GWs as normal?

    I'm in their site right now and it looks like that.

    Thanks.

    1. Rhinos
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      don't know yet. At moment it's carrying on as normal ie 1 or 2 ft

      1. TherryOnWii
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Ah OK. Thank you. I wish I can post screenshot here. Maybe something wrong with my phone, because I don't see the usual "Free Transfer" icon, instead it looks exactly as if we are starting over. Thanks for the confirmation.

        1. Rhinos
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          it's not open yet you can't make any transfers

        2. Bennerman
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          It hasn't started back up yet.

          1. TherryOnWii
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            Ahhh make sense, it does give me a prompt with this info when I hit "make transfers".

            OK this explains all the free hit rmt comments. Now it all make sense.

            Cheers guys.

  12. BNMC
    2 months, 6 days ago

    So then, who's ready for 9 back-to-back days of vFPL?

    1. FALSE PROFIT
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Yep. Heard from a few reporters the German league is good technically and many of them have grown to like artificial crowd noise. Strange to me about the crowd.

  13. FALSE PROFIT
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Current flavors in opening up are Auba and Kun.
    Auba probably moving on and Kun notoriously poor at training with Covid-19 getting to him more than most.
    What about leaving them both out (especially if you have no chips) and you competitors could suffer?
    Also, attackers can train individually easier than defenders who require group organisation. With the Budesliga showing clean sheets are rare, is it wise to invest less in defenders?

  14. HamezMace
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    New Post!

    Where’s that horse fella?

  15. JohnnyRev7
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 5 days ago

    Umm... all single pics of the relevant goalkeepers, yet when you get to Cabellero you include a group shot with Luiz, Morarata and Sarri? That's so last season darlings.

    I've just had a quick Google search and there's loads of pics of Cabellero in similar single shots.

    The soul of this community has been lost since Mark sold out (and best wishes to him; he deserved it after what he'd built) but a 40% price hike for members, typos galore and not getting a pic right?

    It's been mentioned before, but I do find it lazy journalism. You're chasing the yankee dollar.

    I've been here for 9 years. Explain to me why I should pay for another year?

    I'm pretty sure I'll never get a reply.