Eliteserien 2020 Review – Creativity and Return

Rather than throw loads of tables at you, this time I’m going to provide the most imperative statistics from last season for creativity and attacking prowess across all positions. Ideally, by the end of this article we’ll have identified the most consistent attacking players of 2020, as well as any specialists we might normally overlook and those players with promising underlying statistics yet didn’t feature enough to make much of an impression – perhaps they’ll get more game time this season?

Creativity (90 Players)

27 metrics:

Category A: Attempted passes, accurate passes, passing accuracy (+ all per 90 mins) [6]

Category B: Assists (5+), Key Passes, Big Chances Created (5+) (+all per 90 mins) [6]

Category C: Own ½ / Opposition ½ / Final 1/3 Passing, Total Opposition ½ Passes in Final 1/3 (%) Long Balls, Crosses (+ all per 90 mins, attempted & accuracy) [15]

Category A Top 10 (/6):

1. Marius Lode (5.0mNOK – B/G): 5.72

2. Marius Høibråten (5.0mNOK – B/G): 5.25

3. Patrick Berg (6.0mNOK – B/G): 5.18

4. Odin Luras Björtuft (5.0mNOK – ODD): 5.13

5. Jonatan Tollas Nåtion (5.5mNOK – VIF): 5.07

6. Fredrik Aursnes (6.0mNOK – MOL): 5.05 

7. Ivan Näsberg (5.5mNOK – VIF): 4.75 

8. Etzaz Hussain (6.5mNOK – MOL): 4.61

9. Martin Ellingsen (6.0mNOK – MOL): 4.59

10. Steffen Hagen (5.0mNOK – ODD): 4.38

In terms of generic passing, the best players in the league are 6 centre-backs, 2 defensive midfielders and 2 central midfielders who like to run a bit more than we probably expect them to. Spread between just 4 clubs (Bodø/Glimt, Vålerenga, Odd and Molde) it’s an indictment of playing out from the back (and allowing defenders time on the ball) for those teams more than anything – a tactic which certainly favoured 75% of them. 

Our 10 averaged 89.9 Fantasy points, 2.5 goals, 2.2 assists, 7.5 clean sheets and 8.5 BFP. The numbers do get a bit skewed when looking at Bonus Fantasy Points as Berg (28) and Aursnes (17) are the only players to score more than 9 and account for over half the total BFP earned by these players. Høibråten is the only player to score 0 BFP but outperformed teammate Lode in attacking returns (4-1).

Hussain scored the most goals (8) and Ellingsen bagged the most assists (6) and while we may not view many of these players as leading point-scorers, half of them scored more than 100pts and Hussain (14.9%), Ellingsen (11.9%) and Aursnes (9.7%) already find themselves heavily invested in. Unsurprisingly it’s Glimt main man Berg who seems to be the go-to 6.0m midfielder – in over 40% of teams – as he not only is capable of popping up with the odd attacking return, he’s an absolute BFP monster.

Category B Top 10 (/6)

1. Philip Zinckernagel: 5.72

2. Magnus Wolff Eikrem (12.5mNOK – MOL): 4.97

3. Mikkel Maigaard (8.0mNOK – SIF): 3.65

4. Ulrik Saltnes (10.5mNOK – B/G): 3.43

5. Liridon Kalludra (6.5mNOK – KBK): 3.10

6. Espen Ruud (7.0mNOK – ODD): 3.06

7. Jens Petter Hauge: 2.98

8. Christoffer Aasbak (5.5mNOK – KBK): 2.78

9. Lars-Jørgen Salvesen (SIF): 2.69

10. Fredrik Haugen – 2.68 

Only half of this list of players will be available at the start of the season as Zinckernagel, Haugen and Hauge are no longer in the Eliteserien and Ruud and Salvesen are both ruled out with pretty significant injuries. (Zinckernagel won 5/6 of these metrics – Eikrem beating him in BCC/90 minutes – 0.98 to 0.70)

Of the 5 fit and raring to go, 4 are midfielders with the only defender being Kristiansund’s Christoffer Aasbak. Eikrem and Saltnes at the top will come as no surprise and their price tags surely reflect that. Kalludra is an exceptionally creative player, producing 14 attacking returns (4G 10A) but Kristiansund’s main source of goals – Amahl Pellgrino – is no longer at the club which will surely see his attacking potential diminish. 

Mikkel Maigaard is one of my favourite footballers in the Eliteserien and at 8.0m should be an absolute bargain. Alas, playing for Strømsgodset – now without talismanic forward Salvesen – means we should not expect too much from him. Like Kalludra, he also ended the season with 14 attacking returns (5G, 9A) and it’s still too early for me to decide whether or not being without Salvesen will see more attacking return potential for both Maigaard and Johan Hove (8.0mNOK) or whether they’ll be seriously hampered.

Aasbak comes into the fold after performing well in our defensive analysis – he’s surely a player we should keep on our radars but again, playing for a weakened Kristiansund side makes him less appealing even for 5.5m.

Due to several players no longer being available, I’ve added the 5 next best:

1. Kristoffer Haugen (6.0mNOK – MOL): 2.47

2. Ola Solbakken (10.0mNOK – B/G): 2.33

3. Pål André Helland (8.5mNOK – LSK): 2.22

4. Veton Berisha (10.5mNOK – VIK): 2.21

5. Aron Dønnum (10.0mNOK – VIF): 2.17

Instead of 8/10 players scoring 100+ FP, now we are down to only 6/10, with the average dropping from 138.4 to 111.2. Average goals went down from 7.9 to 5.9, assists from 12.1 to 8.7 and BFP 14.2 to 11.5. Average clean sheets actually increased from 5.3 per player to 5.7. 

The main point is – the most creative players have left the league BUT there is still a myriad of hard-working, creative players more than capable of stepping up this season. 

No less than 5 of our 10 cost at least 10.0m and the average cost for each player has risen from 7.8m to 8.8m which is in large part due to the Bodø/Glimt trio being comically under-priced from the start of last season. 

Category C Top 10 (/15)

1. Ruud: 9.94

2. Zinckernagel: 9.10

3. Eikrem: 9.04

4. Aursnes: 8.98

5. Maigaard: 8.94

6. Christian Dahle Borchgrevink (6.0mNOK – VIF): 8.87

7. Berg: 8.25

8. Hussain: 8.05

9. Aasbak: 7.98

10. Salétros (6.5mNOK – S08): 7.89

Two new faces in Vålerenga’s Borchgrevink and Sarpsborg’s Saletros, but other than that it’s more of the same. Category C focuses main on passing intent and how those passes translate to attacking the opposition half. 

Ruud, Zinckernagel and Eikrem all score more than 9 (Zinckernagel finished top for accurate opposition ½ passing accuracy, attempted/accurate/accurate crosses per 90 min) while Bjortuft actually outperformed everyone else in accurate own ½ passes, attempted/accurate/accurate long balls per 90 min. 

Aursnes played a league-high 485 accurate final 1/3 passes, Niklas Sandberg (7.5mNOK) had the best passing accuracy for accurate final 1/3 passes and Rosenborg man Per Ciljan Skjelbred (5.5mNOK) played 21.28 accurate final 1/3 passes every 90 minutes to win those respective metrics.

Kasper Junker played 76.19% of his passes (which were in the opposition half) in the final third – Emil Konradsen Ceide (8.5mNOK) in second with 74.89% and Kalludra not too far behind on 72.22%.

Maigaard (44/183), Aasbak (50/175) and Borchgrevink (38/168) attempted the most crosses if we disregard Zinckernagel and Ruud but it was Helland (2.76) who recorded the most accurate crosses every 90 minutes – a figure even Zinckernagel couldn’t better.

Shock horror, when we remove Zinckernagel and Ruud and replace them with the next best players (this is 11th and 12th, remember) we see all averages (Fantasy Points, Goals, Assists and BFP) drop – along with the average price (6.85m to 6.65m) while the clean sheet average slightly increases. 

The last couple of comparison tables shows we certainly got a lot for our money in 2020 (and a bit of 2021) and I’m not sure history will repeat itself this campaign.

Overall Top 10 (/27)

1. Zinckernagel: 17.43

2. Ruud: 17.36

3. Eikrem: 17.27

4. Aursnes: 15.93

5. Maigaard: 15.85

6. Borchgrevink: 14.74

7. Berg: 13.99

8. Lode: 13.58

9. Hussain: 13.44

10. Salétros: 13.34

Zinckernagel was out of this world and Ruud wasn’t far behind him. Eikrem can come off the bench and play 5 key passes, create 3 big chances and score a goal in 15 minutes. Aursnes may well be a defensive midfielder but he is able to push forward and contribute to Molde’s attacking plays. Maigaard played 75 key passes (24 behind Zinckernagel and 11 ahead of Eikrem), but his KP/90 min was 2.73 compared with 3.58 for Eikrem and 3.64 for Zinckernagel. (Fredrik Haugen – 3.03 and Pal Andre Helland – 2.76 were the only other players to beat the Strømsgodset midfielder). 

Maigaard (14) also scores very well for BCC, just 4 behind Eikrem and 5 of Zinckernagel and per 90 min returned a very respectable 0.51 but in truth, it was some way off both Zinckernagel (0.70) and Eikrem (0.98).

I’ve highlighted Maigaard here because creatively he is absolutely one of the best players in the league. The amount of clear-cut chances he provides for his teammates is bettered only by Eikrem (for players still in the league) yet we all know where I’m going with this. It’s his teammates that are the problem, not him. If he played for Vålerenga, Molde, Glimt or even Rosenborg, he’d be one of the highest scoring ESF assets. Of that, I have no doubt. 

The other stand out players for their overall performance across the 27 metrics have to be Marius Lode and Anton Salétros. Lode offers great defensive value as he sits in the middle of the best defence in the league and costs just 5.0m, while Salétros has the potential to be an absolute Fantasy powerhouse as he posted some good figures while playing most of last season as a defensive midfielder yet in Sarpsborg’s friendly matches he’s occupied the number 10 role. It’s another case of seeing how the situation plays out as he could potentially offer incredible value at 6.5m.

The last player I’m going to draw attention to before moving on is Viking midfielder Joe Bell (5.0mNOK). His overall score of 12.56/27 is marginally behind Ulritk Saltnes (12.76) and he actually beat the Glimt midfielder in both Category A (3.65 – 3.38) and Category C (7.60 – 5.96). His quantifiable returns (assists, key passes and BCC) were much lower (1.30 – 3.43) yet he still played the same number of key passes (37) as Johan Hove (8.0mNOK) (which was one more than Aron Dønnum and beats him for KP/90 min as well (1.68 – 1.29). For reference, Saltnes produced 1.74 KP/90 min. 

The biggest aspect of Bell’s game that is clearly holding him back is his ability to create big chances as he finished the season on 1. If he’s able to turn those key passes into better chances for those around him, then he might just be a fantastic budget option. After all he has Veton Berisha ahead of him….

Attacking Return (92 Players)

29 metrics:

Category A: Goals (5+), /90, % of team goals (15%+), BCM (5+), /90, G:BCM, conversion % (20%+) (7)

Category B: Goals in area (5+)/%, Goals out area (2+)/%, Headed goals (2+)/% (6)

Category C: Penalties scored (2+)/conversion %, Free kick shots (5+)/goals/set piece conversion % (5)

Category D: Shots (30+), Shots/90, on target (15+), on target/90, on target (40%+), on/off (6)

Category E: Attempted dribbles (25+), /90, Successful dribbles (15+), /90, % (5)

Straight into it then:

Category A Top 10 (/7):

1. Kasper Junker: 5.62

2. Amahl Pellgrino: 5.07

3. Mushaga Bakenga (9.5mNOK – ODD): 4.12

4. Leke James: 3.91

5. Hólmbert Aron Friðjónsson: 3.90

6. Ohi Omoijuanfo (11.5mNOK – MOL): 3.79

7. Berisha: 3.65

8. Viðar Örn Kjartansson (11.5mNOK – VIF): 3.59

9. Hauge: 3.57

10. Zinckernagel: 3.44

6 of our top 10 no longer play in the Eliteserien and to be honest, I’ve talked to death about the majority of our since departed friends. The bottom line is this – the most creative, best-attacking players are no longer available so we must look to the next best options. 

That being said, the 6 next best players are:

1. Daouda Karamoko Bamba (9.0mNOK – BRA): 3.17

2. Dino Islamović (10.5mNOK – RBK): 3.00

3. Kristoffer Zachariassen (10.0mNOK – RBK): 2.96

4. Johan Hove: 2.61

5. Ulrik Saltnes: 2.56

6. Moses Dramwi Mawa (7.5mNOK): 2.46

Johan Hove was actually 19th out of 92 players researched…

Junker scored the most goals (27) and most per 90 min (1.21) and Pellegrino provided 43.86% of Kristiansund’s goals. Berisha (16) and Bakenga (15) are the next highest goal scorers, the Odd forward also finishing 4th for goals/90 min with a very impressive 0.82. 

Pellegrino carried a lacklustre Kristiansund to a decent finish last season and he was responsible for no less than 43.86% of their goals. Now that he’s left you have to worry for them – where are their goals going to come from? Nowhere, that’s where.

Out of all the players legible to play this season, Berisha (29.63%), Bakenga (28.85) and Bamba (25.00%) are the next best performers and it’s Carlo Holse (8.0mNOK) who posts the best goals:big chances missed ratio score of 5:1 and Bakenga with an unbeatable goal conversion rate of 34.88%.

Bakenga finished 45 points worse off than Berisha despite outperforming him across Category A. Their overall scores (Cat A-E) are very similar with just 0.21 points between the two. While their underlying stats are very similar, it’s Berisha who is the more creative player, returning 7 assists to Bakenga’s 1, and claiming 16 more BFP. My opinion is that Berisha is well worth the extra million despite Bakenga’s superior goals/90 rating (0.82 – 0.65).

Category B Top 10 (/6):

1. Bakenga: 3.07

2. Berisha: 2.26

3. Stian Aasmundsen (5.0mNOK – MJO): 2.18

4. Mats Solheim (5.5mNOK – STB): 2.18

5. Ohi: 2.16

6. Islamović: 2.16

7. Zachariassen: 2.14

8. Hussain: 2.06

9. Eirik Ulland Andersen (8.5mNOK – MOL): 2.05

10. Sondre Liseth (7.0mNOK – FKH): 2.05

Once again 6 of the top 10 are no longer relevant so I’ve cut right to the chase and given us our outright table for players still in the game.

Not too much to say here. Berisha scored all his goals inside the area, Bakenga scored the most headers and 50% of Eirik Hestad’s (8.5mNOK) goals came from outside the box. 66.67% of Mats Solheim’s goals were headers and nobody (available) could match Kristoffer Velde’s (8.5mNOK) 3 goals from outside the area.

Category C Top 10 (/5):

1. Aasbak: 2.45 (1.36)

2. Petter Strand (7.0mNOK – BRA): 2.45 (1.35)

3. Andersen: 2.38 (1.32)

4. Berg: 2.35 (1.30)

5. Sandberg: 2.20 (1.88)

6. Maigaard: 2.10 (1.70)

7. Berisha: 1.83 (1.67)

8. Ohi: 1.80 (1.67)

9. Islamović: 1.60 (1.47)

10. Dønnum: 1.56 (1.38)

Scores in brackets denote overall scores before removal of currently non-available Fantasy assets

Aasbak, Strand, Andersen and Berg were the only players to score directly from a free-kick and so receive a huge bump in relative points scoring (1 FKG = 1, everything else = 0) which is why they are the now top performing players. 

The rest of the bunch are players we’re all familiar with – it’s confirmation that we’re still looking in the right area. The only new face is Strand and he comes into the fray based solely on the fact he had more (11) shots from free kicks than anyone else.

Category D Top 10 (/6):

1. Bamba: 4.79

2. Ohi: 4.29

3. Berisha: 4.04

4. Islamović: 4.03

5. Bakenga: 3.99

6. Dønnum: 3.97

7. Taylor: 3.95

8. Velde: 3.90

9. Andersen: 3.63

10. Saltnes: 3.62

Bamba leads the way for shots (82) and shots on target (42), but his on target to off target ratio (1.08:1) does let him down somewhat – this is where Aasbak (4:1) and Saharoui (2:1) both shine.

No-one could better Ohi’s 3.46 shots/90 min and he also registered 1.61 shots on target/90 min which only teammate Eirik Andersen was able to beat with a score of 1.77. Bamba (1.50) finished third in this metric Osame Sahraoui (8.0mNOK) was way down in 37th with an awful 0.48 shots on target per game.

The Vålerenga midfielder’s shooting accuracy of 58.82% was good enough that only Bakenga (59.09%), Liseth (60.71%) and Henrik Rorvik Bjørdal (8.0mNOK) (61.90%) could beat but it wasn’t enough to do much for his overall rank of 33.

Bamba might have only scored 10 goals but his underlying stats in this area are pretty good, suggesting he should have done better. This does make him stand out as an option this year as he’s 1.5m cheaper than Berisha and Islamovic and 0.5m cheaper than Bakenga. For a whole 2.5m less, you could have Robert Taylor in midfield who is another player – like Maigaard – I rate very highly. I’ll be starting the season with Taylor myself as I’m more excited about Islamović and Berisha up front as no other forwards (other than Botheim for 0.5m less) are really interesting me at this moment in time.

I understand the reasoning people may have for backing Bakenga, but I’m not too sure if he’s as good as people want to believe. He excels in a few areas but overall he’s not as good a player as his peers and if I was going for an Odd player I’d be more tempted by either Tobias Lauritsen (8.0mNOK) (a player some of you might remember I heavily backed early on last season before his horrific injury) or Joshua Kitolano (5.5mNOK) who is another exciting young player and with a very winnable opening fixture at home versus Sandefjord could well be a great option.

Category E Top Ten (/5):

1. Dønnum: 4.56

2. Ceide: 3.73

3. Sahraoui: 3.62

4. Taylor: 3.21

5. Bjørkan: 3.00 

6. Velde: 2.85

7. Nicholas Mickelson (4.5mNOK – SIF): 2.56

8. Oliver Valaker Edvardsen (7.0mNOK – STB): 2.34

9. Olaus Jair Skarsem (6.0mNOK – KBK): 2.33

10. Ola Brynhildsen (7.5mNOK – MOL): 2.31

Best dribblers in the league. Dønnum wins it by a mile. Hardly surprising – he’s an absolute fiend down that right flank. Now that Zinckernagel has gone, many people will be looking at him to be the bright spark that sets the league alight this year – myself included. His attacking potential is enormous and I’m fully expecting him to be one of the highest scoring players (if not the highest) this season.

Ceide, Sahraoui, Taylor and Bjørkan make up the rest of the top 5 and are the only players with a score of 3 or more. Quite simply, if you’re looking to have someone in your team who likes to run around with the ball, take your pick from these guys.

Strømsgodset right-back Mickelson picks up a perhaps unexpected 7th place finish beating the enigmatic Edvardsen, industrious Skarsem and unlucky Brynhildsen. I wouldn’t expect too much from him this season (he plays in one of the worst defences going) though he’s a name that might crop up from time to time if he continues to add to that side of his game.

Edvardsen will always be a great Fantasy option as he’s still cheap, plays in a decent side and is himself a player with a lot of promise. Main issue here is that Stabæk still don’t really have a great bunch of forwards so goals will always come a little bit harder than they should.

Skarsem suffers from the same issue and now that Sondre Sørli (9.5mNOK) has left along with Pellegrino, I can’t see him staying on our radars for too long.

Brynhildsen is unlucky because Molde have such a stacked midfield he struggles to play as much as he should. He’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting young players we have in the Eliteserien but at 21 does he represent those players that never quite got the chance to live up to their potential? He’s a nice price and didn’t even do too badly (8 attacking returns) but his playing time at Molde will always be a concern. 1494 minutes is roughly 15 games. Is that genuinely enough game time at this level? I’m not too sure it is.

Player Focus: Tobias Christensen

Vålerenga’s new signing from Molde joins the club from the capital with excited chatter at his heels. He’s 21 on 11th May and will be looking to get more game time under his belt in 2021 compared to just 808 minutes – or 9 games – last year. 

I’ve compiled a few of his 2020 statistics and compared them to other midfielders in order to give an idea as to his potential and how well he actually did in those handful of games:

(Compared to Aursnes, Eikrem, Maigaard, Zinckernagel, Saltnes, Taylor, Dønnum, Sahraoui, Ceide, Velde)

  • 167 accurate final 1/3 passes in 9 games = 18.6 per game. Only Eikrem (20.10) did better.
  • 11 Key Passes wasn’t brilliant but it’s not awful either. Let’s not forget he was part of a highly competitive midfield at Molde – at Vålerenga he adds depth but hopefully should be a regular feature in the middle of the pitch.
  • He betters Sahraoui for shots per 90 min (1.67 – 1.38) as well as shots on target per 90 min (0.78 – 0.48). 
  • 1.67 attempted dribbles per game. This is where the roles of Sahraoui (4.24) and Dønnum (4.95) become a bit clearer compared to Christensen’s role at Molde. From what I can tell, I’d expect him to add more dribbles to his game but can’t see him matching either of his teammates for output in this area.
  • 31.51 accurate passes in the opposition half (per 90 min) was more than double what Ceide (13.39) and Velde (12.34) managed and far ahead of Sahraoui (18.07) and Dønnum (18.14). Aursnes (37.36) and Eikrem (33.35) once again lead the way, but Christensen was not too far behind.
  • Despite not being much of a dribbler he was still deemed enough of a threat to be fouled on average twice a game. That’s slightly behind Sahraoui (2.19) but both Dønnnum (2.69) and Velde (2.77) were clearly targeted more.
My Team (Subject to Change):
  • Midfielders: Sondre Sørli, Robert Taylor, Martin Ellingsen (6.0mNOK), Joshua Kitolano, Aron Dønnum
  • Forwards: Dino Islamović, Veton Berisha, Oskar Siira Sivertsen (4.5mNOK)

Sørli, Botheim and Solbakken will likely be Glimt’s front three this time round and being the cheapest and – in my opinion – most capable of the three, Sørli goes straight into my side. 

Robert Taylor is a great option (hopefully you’ve picked up on that in this article) and at 7.5m he seems an absolute bargain. Kasper Skaanes (5.5mNOK) and Petter Strand are also good options if you’re looking to invest in Brann’s midfield, but in my head it’s Taylor who just edges it.

Aron Dønnum needs absolutely zero explanation. He’s the first name on the team sheet and will be yet again a key figure for Vålerenga. Though it has to be said I’m looking for any reason at all to bring in one of Christensen or Sahraoui for/as well as him.

Joshua Kitolano = silly value. He scored 101pts, got 8 attacking returns and earned himself 12 BFP. That’s a great foundation for him to work on and I’m backing him to add another 50pts to that total this year.

Martin Ellingsen is the choice I’m least happy with at the moment. Aursnes does have better underlying stats in a lot of areas but failed to capitalise on them as much as Ellingsen did. Aursnes does occupy a deeper position and for that reason I’d be expecting fewer returns from him. Ellingsen also played 4 fewer games than Aursnes yet still scored 3 more FP than him.

Islamović will be Rosenborg’s key man up front and while it’s true he didn’t have quite the debut season the club would have wanted, this Rosenborg side has been heavily invested in since season end – including managerial royalty Åge Hareide who joined on 1st September 2020 – and will be in no uncertain terms pushing for the 2021 title. 10.5m may seem steep for a player who didn’t even reach 100pts from 1933 minutes but to those people I’d urge to reconsider. 

Torgeir Børven was such an odd (heh) signing for Rosenborg to make and it no doubt knocked Islamović’s confidence. With his place up front firmly cemented, he should have no doubts as to how much the club value him going forward. As much as he may come across the big Swedish/Montengrin hardman, he’s a confidence player if I ever saw one and needs to know he’s wanted. Rasmus Wiedesheim-Paul (6.5mNOK) is not going unnoticed but I’d be absolutely flabbergasted if he occupies anything other than a backup/additional role to Big Dino this season.

Bamba remains a great alternative to both Islamović and Berisha but I’m happy to back Taylor especially as he’s cheaper and one of the most creative players around. 

Berisha has proven he has more than just goals to his game (no other forward currently in the game registered more than his 7 assists) and he’s out and out the best goalscoring forward left for us to choose. I can’t see any real reason not to have him from the off especially as Viking have four very winnable fixtures in their first five gameweeks.

Strømsgodset are a team I think will struggle to stay up but even without Salvesen up front they do have some players capable of attacking returns. I stand by what I said earlier though – it will be difficult for them and they will not have a happy time of it this time around. Maigaard remains the better pick over Hoven in my opinion as they are now equal price and as promising and brilliant as Hove is, currently Maigaard is still clear of his ability. Valdimar Ingimundarson’s (6.5mNOK) reclassification as a midfielder boosts his appeal dramatically and could find his way into some of our teams as a budget option.

New signing and ex-AZ Alkmaar forward Fred Friday (8.0mNOK) could also be an absolute steal for such a low price, with Mawa also offering potential value at 7.5m. I’m still not convinced despite signing Friday as the rest of the team is as it was at the end of last season where they were far too close to being relegated than they’d have wanted to have been. Salvesen’s injury is a huge loss – Mr Friday has a pair of enormous shoes he needs to fill. At the moment any investment in such a side has to be seen as a risk that’s easily avoided as well as being monitored from a safe distance. 

Joe Bell remains a player who exists on the very fringes of my team and at 0.5m cheaper than Kitolano he might be a useful player to incorporate if I need to save myself a bit of cash. 

For now, I’m happy to stew on what I have already but this is in no way, shape or form my team for the entire season – there are other players out there we should definitely be considering, it’s just the blank and double Rundes have not helped in building a team for the long haul!

ReindeerHotdog ESF: Follow me on Twitter: @ReindeerHotdog”

17 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    7 months, 10 days ago

    Thanks as always RH!

    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 10 days ago

    Great article as always RH! Interesting data on Taylor and with a double in GW3 (although Molde and RBK are the opponents). Lots to think about over the next couple of weeks. I'm finding it hard to settle on a draft that I like the look of. I think I'm trying to fit in one premium asset too many and it's throwing off the balance of the team. Starting with two blank gameweeks isn't making it any easier!

    1. ReindeerHotdog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 10 days ago

      Thanks matey.

      Crazy thing about Taylor is his ownership... At no point was he in more than 2154 teams last season and even now he's only 4.8% owned (around 639 teams).

      He's hugely overlooked. I'm sure people will say Bamba outscores him so he's worth getting. Thing is he's 1.5m more expensive (2m last season) and he only beat him by 20pts.

      I'm not expecting Brann to set the world alight but I think they have some good midfielders and underperformed massively.

      Filip Moller Delaveris is a player I'll be looking into in upcoming articles - he could be a great buy at 7.5m too. Still think it makes more sense to go Taylor at this point, but in Skaanes, Delaveris and Simba they have some players that we probably shouldn't expect too much from but that I'm sure will surprise us. If they all end up clicking, there's definitely goals in this team. Long story short, I think there's little reason to really look outside of Berisha/Dino up front other than for a select few players and the added value you get from backing the Brann midfielders (lets not forget Strand is still there) shouldn't be understated.

  3. Kane Lane
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 10 days ago

    Rival starting to player block me. Do you think still possible to come back from 80pt lead with my TC chip still left?

  4. ReindeerHotdog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 10 days ago

    If anyone has any news on what's happening with Ellingsen at Molde that would be great.

    He's not featured in the most recent friendly games. Does it have anything to do with his sending off against Granada or is he still very much in Molde's plans just not been match fit for whatever reason?

    Not that I'm too thrilled to have one of him or Aursnes but if Ellingsen really isn't a guaranteed starter it seems silly choosing him over Aursnes at this stage. The blank gameweeks are really not helping with fleshing out a good team especially as I'm not planning any hits or WC before Runde 7.

    1. Ramboros
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 10 days ago

      Ellingsen got a knee injury that might keep him out for the start of the season.

      1. ReindeerHotdog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 10 days ago

        OK that makes sense. Thanks for the update mate.

        No flags on the site, no real articles coming up when I search it. Annoying.

        I still can't access the website you mentioned last time. Probably something to do with ports/my IP maybe? I'm not tech savvy enough to really know what's going on/what I need to do to change that.

  5. Ramboros
    • 10 Years
    7 months, 6 days ago

    Dønnum is going to get a lot of penalties this season. Layouni with a proper dive to win a penalty in a friendly.

    1. ReindeerHotdog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 6 days ago

      Genuinely? Ridiculous.

      Donnum is pretty much one of the players who will never be moved out from my team along with Bjorkan and Berisha. Can see him going silly this season.

      I have made a few other changes though - going without Rosenborg assets really does open more doors.

        1. ReindeerHotdog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          7 months, 5 days ago

          Wow. That is utterly ridiculous. In a friendly too. Jesus.

  6. Eytexi
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 6 days ago

    Just got caught up with your defenders and creativity articles and I'm glad to see them providing a lot of statistical evidence for my current side. Love the Sørli pick - I think his ownership is criminally low. My two main concerns at the moment are (1) my 11th man and (2) how/whether to execute a double Valerenga defence.

    (1) is an issue because I am looking at starting with double Molde, triple Valerenga, and triple Glimt with early fixture and DGW7 in mind. There may be a bit of shuffling done before then, primarily to get in Vecchia or Ceide for GW2 & DGW3, but I'm pretty convinced by my picks here. Then it's down to goalkeeper, Berisha, and one more. Aasbak would be straight in my team if it wasn't for his poor first 3 fixtures, however I'm tempted to shuffle funds and start with a cheap Stabaek defender (who I would, of course, bench in the early BGWs) and a cheap midfielder (perhaps someone like Hoff despite his defensive role, perhaps able to pick up a slightly more advanced role - albeit unlikely - and gather a return across a good GW2 fixture vs. Viking followed by a decent DGW3). Very much undecided here though. Needs thought.

    (2) is an issue because, although I'm completely sold on Borchgrevink &, the living legend, Aron Dønnum to start, nobody else particularly stands out to me despite Valerenga's obvious appeal. As I am very happy with my attack without the forced inclusion of another VIF asset, I fancy an early defensive double-up as I think the defensive side of their game will only improve upon last season's successes. Adekugbe, Nasberg, Tollas Nation & Horn Myhre are all equally priced at 5.5m, all with different appeals. Would love to see what your extensive statistical spreadsheets have to think of this one as I see arguments for all options: Adekugbe the full-back, Nasberg the most nailed, Tollas Nation the captain with the greatest career goals per game (I believe), Horn Myhre potentially more wide/advanced and taking a share of corners (I believe something which he has been doing here and there throughout pre-season, particularly when Borchgrevink or Donnum have not been present to do so). For now I'm on, probably the most obvious, Nasberg but am far from set. That said, any of these could become Aasbak if he is not already included. Food for thought, again.

    Fantastic articles as always man, hopefully a rank reflective of your efforts and knowledge to come this season!

    1. ReindeerHotdog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 6 days ago

      Horn Myhre got an assist in one of VIF's friendly matches and has apparently looked lively whenever he's played.

      I genuinely think Adegukbe flatters to deceive - he just runs and runs with the ball with very little end product. I have the relevant stats for all those defenders so I can certainly include that analysis with little effort!

      I think Christensen could be a ridiculous bargain for 7m but I genuinely think he shares game time with Sahraoui this season. Personally think Christensen is the better player but Sahraoui is a mini-Donnum in the making.

      100% behind the thinking that Donnum is essential. Think he's the stand out player for this season and I also have Borch in my team. I'd have thrown Aasbak in too but he couldn't have a worse start. Wangberg is linked with a move to Valerenga too so I'm not too sure what to make of Tollas-Nation's potential for minutes this season. So that would leave Nasberg as being the second most nailed defender behind Borch but I wouldn't be surprised to see CDB rested infrequently due to him being such an important player for them if they're going to push on in Europe.

      It would be a harder decision (Sorli) if Solbakken was equally priced. I'd love to go for Tounekti or Vetlesen but I think it's pretty established the front three will be Sorli/Botheim/Solbakken with HV and ST doing a job from the midfield three. Not too sure why nobody has Sorli - he looked good at times last season but he was in a team built around Pellegrino.

      I've managed to do a bit of tinkering and currently have Vecchia in my team... Not sure if he'll be there come 9th May but we'll see. Henriksen could be a big player this season too. Not too sure why he's listed as a defender as he's constantly in RBK mid three (when he played last season and in friendlies now) so for 6.5m even though he's an expensive defender, he has good attacking potential.

      Think there's a few standout players in certain teams that people might overlook (especially regarding Tromso) but the blank GWs at the start of the season are screwing up a lot of people's plans I'd say!

      Glad the articles are still of worth mate - hopefully I can put my analysis to a bit better use this time round haha.
      RE: articles, feel free to hit me up whenever you can - am happy to do what Ted has said you were interested in doing!

      1. ReindeerHotdog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 6 days ago

        Sorry that's a tired comment - Wangberg has been linked with Stabaek not Valerenga!

        Would be a good signing for them.

        I do think Valerenga defence is worth investing in but right now I have Klaesson and Donnum with double Glint defenders and Heggheim. Actually don't have CDB as I've gone Bjorkan/Lode/Heggheim/Bjornbak/Jonassen.

        I'll migrate towards Dragsnes when LSK are active as I think for 5m he's hard to beat for value. Will be a shame to lose Heggheim though.

        Only people I'm 100% about and likely will never leave my team are Klaesson/Craninx, Bjorkan, Sorli, Donnum, Berisha.

  7. FPLnashville
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 5 days ago

    Enjoyed reading RH, good to have the Eliteserien articles back! I like the Sørli shout, Saltnes the more expensive popular pick but I wonder if there's good value for cheaper in there with Sørli and spread the cash around? Heard he took a pen recently too?

    1. ReindeerHotdog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 5 days ago

      Thanks Nash.

      I think Sorli is going to take over the Zinckernagel role and doesn't have as much competition as Solbakken will on the left flank with Vetlesen hanging around. Doesn't mean Sorli won't be rotated out, but I think he offers more than any other attacker, will be more advanced and could flourish in Glimt's system.

      In the 4-1 win vs Brann Sorli scored a pen and also set up Solbakken. Worth noting that Axel Lindahl came on, got an assist and then also took and scored a pen (Bjorkan fouled in the area).

      I don't see Saltnes recreating the form he showed last season but that's my feeling towards him. For a million cheaper to have a player who will be in a more advanced position, it feels like a no brainer to me. If they were the same price I'd still probably back Sorli.

      It feels quite difficult to get as many premium players in our teams this season so wherever you can save money it might really help later down the line!

  8. ReindeerHotdog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 5 days ago

    Looks like Felix Horn Myhre is on his way to Brann. Well, he's heavily linked at least. Would be a big loss for Valerenga as he looks ready to play more regular football and has looked good in pre-season.

    I suppose he knows he'll play every week at Brann but with Valerenga potentially looking at a season in Europe it seems like a really weird time to be moving to another club especially such a mid-table 'never getting into Europe' kind of club.