The teams who finished in the bottom half of 2019’s Eliteserien table feature tempting fantasy options at various price points. Some teams underperformed, some suffered poor late-season results and some saved themselves from relegation at the last minute. Ranheim and Tromsø were automatically relegated, while Lillestrøm’s 45 year stay in Norway’s top-flight came to an end after they surrendered a 5-2 aggregate lead in the final minutes of their playoff. They’re replaced by Aalesund, Sandefjord and Start, whose fortunes in the coming season could vary wildly. Let’s start by looking at last season’s ninth-placed team.
One of the league’s most vaunted defences put on a decent if unspectacular show, but the attack struggled for goals in 2019 – only Sarpsborg scored fewer than Brann’s total of 32. Vito Wormgoor’s departure sees Vegard Forren (5.5m) join from Molde. Ralf Fährmann had joined on loan, but left before playing a competitive match. Ali Ahamada (6.0m) looks to have the edge over Håkon Opdal (6.0m) in goal.
Winger Gilbert Koomson (7.0m) struggled for end product last season but is kinder on the budget this year. The more consistent Petter Strand, meanwhile, has seen his price rise to 8.0m. Robert Taylor (7.0m) joins from relegated Tromsø to add depth out wide, while former Lillestrøm man Daniel A. Pedersen (5.5m) is a deep-lying midfield option.
Daouda Bamba (9.0m) will hope to better last season’s tally of seven goals. He’ll be backed up by Marcus Mehnert (6.0m) who has scored goals in his young career but is unproven at this level.
The capital club spent most of last season in the top half but slumped to a disappointing finish. Dag-Eilev Fagermo replaces Ronny Deila as manager.
Last year’s performances see left-footer Aron Dønnum (8.5m) closer in price to Herolind Shala and Bård Finne (both 9.0m). Fredrik Oldrup Jensen (5.0m) may not offer the greatest fantasy returns but could solidify the midfield.
Matthias Vilhjalmsson (8.0m) will lead the line but wasn’t the most explosive prospect for fantasy managers in his first season in Oslo. At the back, meanwhile, Ivan Näsberg (4.5m) could be a cheap route into the defence while Kristoffer Klaesson (5.0m) is now the clear first choice in goal.
Despite spending a substantial part of the season in the relegation zone, Henrik Pedersen’s arrival saw a change in fortunes. Last summer’s key signings Mikkel Maigaard, Lars-Jørgen Salvesen and Moses Mawa (all 8.5m) will look to pick up where they left off; the former providing set-piece expertise and bonus points from midfield and the latter pair a potent striking duo.
Herman Stengel (5.0m) enjoyed his best spell of form for Godset under Pedersen. Young Dane Marcus Mølvadgaard (7.0m) and Latvia international Janis Ikaunieks (6.5m) join Kristoffer Tokstad (6.5m) as the mid-price options in midfield.
Godset are the only surviving team from last season with no defensive or goalkeeping options to cost more than 5.0m – perhaps not surprising for the team who conceded the third most goals, with 54. Prosper Mendy (5.0m) faces a long rehabilitation after a knee injury.
Sarpsborg recorded only five wins last year and averaged just one goal per game, the lowest in the division. They were saved by their ability to keep games close, drawing half of all their matches, and only losing twice at home.
They’re an intriguing fantasy prospect this time around; new manager Mikael Stahre led AIK to a Swedish double in 2009 and will employ a 3-4-3 formation. Sulayman Bojang (4.5m) could provide exceptional value as a wing-back, with Magnar Ødegaard (5.0m) reverting to centre back.
In central midfield, Anton Saletros (5.0m) looks a popular pick at his price point, while Ole Jørgen Halvorsen and (7.0m) and Mohamed Ofkir (6.5m) could occupy attacking positions. The experienced Mos Abdellaoue (7.5m) will no doubt bag a few goals, but will this be the year that Jørgen Strand Larsen (7.5m) takes the league by storm?
Unless defender Sondre Solholm Johansen (5.5m) can retain both the goal threat and penchant for bonus points he showed last season, his price looks a bit steep. Newly signed Marcus Nakkim will compete with Quint Jansen (both 4.5m) for the other spot at the back.
Plenty of focus will be on Tonny Brochmann (7.5m) and captain Christian Gauseth (6.0m) who contributed a combined 13 goals from midfield last term. Lars Olden Larsen (7.0m) could add more of the same having scored nine from midfield for KFUM last season. Fredrik Brustad (6.5) was the hero on the final day as his goal kept Mjøndalen up, but had an otherwise indifferent season.
Sondre Liseth (6.0m) put in plenty of running, but he spends a lot of time in wide positions and even for a budget striker his three goals didn’t set the world alight. New signing Ibrahim Shuaibu (6.0m) hadn’t scored an Eliteserien goal for Haugesund since 2017, but has enjoyed two good loan spells at Kongsvinger since then.
The runaway winners of 2019’s OBOS-ligaen won every home match and 17-goal Niklas Castro (8.5m) was the star of the show. Despite a hefty price tag, no player from the promoted sides features in more fantasy teams at time of writing.
Of the two 4.5m goalkeepers here, Gudmund Kongshavn is currently selected by more fantasy managers, but Lars Bohinen has stated that Andreas Lie will start the season as first choice. One-time FPL budget star Jordon Mutch (6.5m) and youngster Simen Bolkan Nordli (7.0m) bolster a midfield featuring the experienced Peter Orry Larsen and Fredrik Carlsen (both 5.0m).
With Torbjørn Agdestein (6.5m) injured, Sigurd Haugen (6.5m) and the 6’5” Holmbert Fridjonsson (7.5m) are the striking options. All three are proven in Norway’s second tier, with Haugen having spent time at Sogndal, but only Agdestein has had a meaningful impact in Eliteserien before.
Heavily tipped to go straight back down, Rufo (6.5m) should be key if 2019 OBOS-ligaen runners up Sandefjord are to defy expectations. His seven goals in 2018 weren’t enough to save his side from relegation.
New signings Kristoffer Normann Hansen (6.0m) and Erik Næsbak Brenden (5.5m) are two more midfielders who could be tasked with attacking roles. Two young strikers are on the books; Sivert Gussiås (5.5m) joins from Molde having scored 12 while on loan at Strømmen, while George Gibson (5.0m) has been more prolific in pre-season.
Full backs Brice Wembangomo and Anton Kralj (both 5.0m) are the pricier options at the back, while Lars Grorud (4.5m) looks primed to feature in central defence as he approaches his 37th birthday.
Martin Ramsland (7.0m), the scorer of the hat-trick which secured promotion in Lillestrøm’s infamous collapse, is injured to start the season, so Steffen Lie Skålevik (6.0m) returns to the side where he scored 10 goals in 11 games in 2017.
Damion Lowe’s contract was terminated after the defender travelled to the United States for family reasons. He was a key man in Start’s last top-flight season, but Vegard Bergan (4.5m) seems a reasonable replacement having featured heavily for Odd and Bodø/Glimt in the last couple of years. Goalkeeper Jonas Deumeland (4.5m) is still around, having been a good source of save and bonus points in 2018.
Aron Sigurdarson was a driving force behind promotion but has since left for Belgium. Can Kevin Kabran (7.0m), Kasper Skaanes (5.5m) or newly signed Eirik Schulze (6.5m) fill the void? Afeez Aremu (4.5m) is a more defensively minded midfielder, but could be a key player and scored three goals in his last Eliteserien season.