FPL

From Lundstram to Michu: The underpriced and misclassified FPL XI

FPL Focal has been playing Fantasy Premier League (FPL) for over 11 years and spent some gameweeks ranked number one in the world in the 2021/22 season.

Oscar makes FPL videos on his YouTube channel and in this latest of a summer series looking back at some cult Fantasy figures, celebrates some underpriced FPL gems from yesteryear.


Every year we start the FPL season wondering who the next hidden gem is, waiting to be unearthed. There are always a few to varying degrees and you only get the chance to capitalise once before their prices are corrected the next season.

Here I’ll be looking at the most extreme cases of misclassification ever, when FPL got the player price, and sometimes even the position, completely wrong. The team is packed with cult heroes and some of the most memorable individual seasons we’ve ever seen.

From Lundstram to Michu: The underpriced and misclassified FPL XI

EMILIANO MARTINEZ (2020/21)

  • Starting price: £4.5m
  • End price: £5.3m
  • Points: 186

Emi Martinez made the move from Arsenal to Aston Villa just a few days before the start of 2020/21.

The Villa defence had been unconvincing in their previous campaign, conceding 67 goals, but Martinez had a significant impact, going on to keep 15 clean sheets and accrue 27 bonus to finish on 186 points.

The all-time goalkeeper record was set by Brad Friedel all the way back in the 2002/03 season, with the American racking up 187 points. Had Martinez not picked up his only yellow card of the season in Gameweek 38, he would have tied with Friedel.

JOHN LUNDSTRAM (2019/20)

  • Starting price: £4.0m
  • End price: £4.6m
  • Points: 144

Lundstram cemented himself as an FPL cult hero in 2019/20.

Sheffield United’s promotion-winning campaign the previous year saw the now legendary figure feature sparingly, only starting a few times all season.

As a result, he was priced at £4.0m, though this wasn’t the biggest mistake that FPL made. They’d classified the box-to-box midfielder as a defender, despite him having never played there in his life, and he went on to deliver five goals, four assists and 144 points in his debut FPL campaign.

In Gameweek 11 of 2019/20, he scored twice, kept a clean sheet and picked up maximum bonus for a 21-point haul.

STUART DALLAS (2020/21)

  • Starting price: £4.5m
  • End price: £5.5m
  • Points: 171

Dallas joins the defence, although he barely played at the rear in the 2020/21 season.

The versatile Northern Ireland international played at full-back, central midfield, on the right flank and even as an attacking midfielder in Leeds United’s first campaign back in the Premier League, registering a very respectable 12 clean sheets but, crucially, also scoring on eight occasions and assisting a further three goals.

The following season he was reclassified as a midfielder and got a price hike to £5.5m. Many rookie FPL managers were initially caught out by his positional change after seeing he’d scored 171 points the previous campaign, unaware that he’d been incorrectly categorised as a defender.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (2018/19)

  • Starting price: £5.0m
  • End price: £5.8m
  • Points: 185 points

Alexander-Arnold is now one of the most expensive defenders in FPL history but in his breakout season back in 2018/19, he was initially priced up at £5.0m. This was also Virgil van Dijk’s first full year at Anfield and the same campaign in which the recently signed Alisson went on to win the Golden Glove with 21 clean sheets.

Alexander-Arnold played 29 times, scoring once and getting 13 assists, finishing strongly with six assists in his final half-dozen games.

The following year he got a £2.0m price hike to £7.0m and the rest, as they say, is history.

DELE ALLI (2015/16)

  • Starting price: £5.0m
  • End price: £5.9m
  • Points: 166 points

Although Dele Alli’s career has declined dramatically, he was a brilliant player when he first broke into the Premier League and an excellent piece of business by Spurs.

Signed for an initial fee of £5m from MK Dons and priced identically by FPL, he went on to score on 10 occasions, assist 12 goals and sign off with 166 points.

He got a hefty £3.5m increase the following season but even a £8.5m price tag proved to be something of a bargain as he went on to bag 18 goals and 11 assists en route to a tally of 225 points.

MICHU (2012/13)

Next up is a true FPL cult hero, Michu. He was most FPL managers’ favourite midfielder for 12 months, taking the English top flight by storm in the season of 2012/13.

The Spaniard arrived in Wales as a virtually unknown player and was listed as a £6.5m midfielder by FPL. Very few picked him up from the beginning but he exploded onto the scene with four goals and two assists in his opening three games. As it turned out, ‘midfielder’ was also the wrong classification, as he played the majority of his games as a centre-foward.

He went on to score 18 goals and pick up three assists in 35 appearances, which resulted in a 190-point season. He even earned himself an international cap for Spain during that year, though he never hit the same heights again and sadly the remainder of his career was hindered by injuries. He retired aged just 31 after coming full circle and spending his final year at his boyhood club Real Oviedo.

RIYAD MAHREZ (2015/16)

  • Starting price: £5.5m
  • End price: £7.2m
  • Points: 240

Leicester City’s title-winning success under Claudio Ranieri will go down as one of the greatest achievements in sport, never mind the insular world of English football. And Riyad Mahrez was pivotal in that memorable 2015/16 season.

Leicester had barely survived relegation in 2014/15, with Mahrez contributing a modest four goals and five assists and subsequently being priced up at £5.5m.

The Algerian exceeded all expectations in the following campaign, scoring 17 times and picking up 11 assists as Leicester did the seemingly impossible, winning the Premier League as 5000/1 outsiders.

MOHAMED SALAH (2017/18)

Salah broke numerous records in his debut Liverpool season back in 2017/18.

His starting price was a now-unthinkable £9.0m and while he is by far the most expensive player in this article, he was still an absolute snip.

The Egyptian went on to net 32 times, a record for goals in a 38-game English top-flight campaign, and also set a record for the most games scored in (24). In fact, he even became the first player to outscore three entire Premier League teams in a season.

He also picked up 12 assists and 26 bonus points for a record-breaking total of 303 points.

HARRY KANE (2014/15)

  • Starting price: £5.0m
  • End price: £6.0m
  • Points: 191

One of the biggest ‘hindsight’ pricing mistakes in FPL history came in the 2014/15 season when 20-year-old Harry Kane was listed at £5.0m.

The previous season he’d netted on just three occasions from 500 minutes played but in his breakthrough campaign, he scored 21 goals and assisted a further seven.

Starting as meant to go on, he was involved in 48% of Tottenham’s goals and finished the campaign with 191 points.

Truly one of the biggest value players in FPL history for points per million.

PATRICK BAMFORD (2020/21)

  • Starting price: £5.5m
  • End price: £6.6m
  • Points: 194

In the same season Dallas scored 171 points, Bamford also surprised everyone.

Off the back of promotion from the Championship, Bamford had only scored one Premier League goal in his career and was an unproven player at the top level.

2020/21 saw him plunder 17 goals and 11 assists for a 194-point season. He started the campaign at only £5.5m, going on to beat Kane’s points total above.

JAMIE VARDY (2015/16)

  • Starting price: £6.0m
  • End price: £7.4m
  • Points: 211

We complete this XI with another player central to Leicester’s title-winning season, Jamie Vardy.

He’d netted just five goals the year before that unforgettable campaign and was consequently priced up at £6.0m.

But 2015/16-era Vardy was lethal, instinctive, rapid and, in November 2015, he broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record by scoring in 11 consecutive games.

You simply had to have him in your FPL team and his popularity ensured that he was subject to one of the biggest in-season price increases ever, rising from £6.0m to £7.4m.

HONORARY MENTIONS

Raul Jimenez (2018/19)
  • Starting price: £5.5m
  • End price: £6.9m
  • 181, points 2018/19
Joshua King (2016/17)
  • Starting price: £5.5m
  • End price: £6.2m
  • 178 points

Can you think of any other bargain-bin or woefully misclassified players who you can recall from previous seasons? Let me know in the comments section below.


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194 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Critical Observer
    • 6 Years
    23 days, 10 hours ago

    Mauro Boselli was misclassified as a footballer. Started the season with him and Rodallega double-up vs. the hapless Blackpool (Was it? It was, wasn't it.) - don't remember the final score but neither one did anything and it wouldn't get any better for Boselli over the course of the season.

    1. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      22 days, 18 hours ago

      Boselli is surely the greatest FFS fail of all time.

      He's a cautionary tale parents tell their kids when they're thinking of signing up to play FPL for the first time!

  2. Well you know, Triffic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    23 days, 10 hours ago

    -Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll during the Toon days

    - Zaki

    1. Freshy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      23 days, 9 hours ago

      Collins, Dunne, Friedel
      Fortress Villa

      1. Freshy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        23 days, 9 hours ago

        think it was Friedel
        I get my bald USA keepers mixed up

  3. moment
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    23 days, 9 hours ago

    Shout out for Shane Ferguson back in the day; never scored any points but as the only 4.0 Midfielder ever in the game he was a heck of an enabler

  4. Babit1967
    • 6 Years
    23 days, 8 hours ago

    Doherty & Bale (breakout seasons) I believe Bale was maybe 4.5 - 5.5 when he was scoring for fun

    1. Arn De Gothia
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      i think Bale was a defender in hes first season

      1. Babit1967
        • 6 Years
        22 days, 21 hours ago

        Aye you might be right, it was the season he just exploded 2nd half of the season 2009/10 I think, sure he was classed as a midfielder then. Same year I captained Fabregas against Wigan for 1 goal and 4 assists.

        1. RedLightning
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 11 Years
          22 days, 19 hours ago

          Bale was a classified as a defender in 2009/10, scoring 118 points in 23 matches at 5.1ppg,.and finished the season at 6.1m.
          He was reclassified as a midfielder in 2010/11.

          After moving from Southampton to Spurs in 2007, he had played 8 Premier League matches for Spurs in 2007/08 and 17 in 2008/09 without ever finishing on the winning side.

          He struggled to break into the first team in 2009/10, partly because of Benoit Assou-Ekotto's good form, and was only given another chance after BAE's injury, and the rest is history.

          1. RedLightning
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 11 Years
            22 days, 18 hours ago

            He was 5.3m when I transferred him in in GW28 that season.

            1. Gus Fring
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              22 days, 15 hours ago

              no bigger bargain in the game's history.

  5. noquarternt
    • 6 Years
    23 days, 7 hours ago

    Great article, more nostalgia like this please.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      23 days, 3 hours ago

      Royston Drenthe article incoming!

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 4 Years
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        Saw him play live in the Chamiponship for Sheff Wed. Excited when I saw his name. Did less than nothing.

    2. FPLFocal
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Thanks very much 🙂

  6. Ruinenlust
    • 4 Years
    23 days, 5 hours ago

    Shame on Wales

    1. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      22 days, 18 hours ago

      Why?

  7. Inazuma X1
    • 4 Years
    23 days, 3 hours ago

    9 more days to go

  8. Inazuma X1
    • 4 Years
    23 days, 3 hours ago

    CR7 still scoring goals for fun

    GOAT.

  9. No Professionals
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    there was an Aaron Ramsey season where he was about 5.5m and scored a lot of points, although I'm sure he stopped at the point I got him in.

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      And Ighalo the same season Leicester won the league.

  10. HurriKane
    • 9 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Really hope FPL towers doesnt jump into the Djed Spence hype and overprice him at 5.0m

    Ayling had 4 goals and 5 assists prior to Leeds promotion season but came in at 4.5m. Djed Spence has 2 goals and 5 assists

    1. KujaliaFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      His price will be a function of the team that he's playing for. If he plays for Forest, he'll be 4.5. If he plays for Spurs, he'll be 5.5.

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 4 Years
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        Man Utd. 4.0?

        1. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
          • 9 Years
          22 days, 18 hours ago

          £3.5m

      2. HurriKane
        • 9 Years
        22 days, 21 hours ago

        Doherty was priced 5.5 when he first joined spurs from wolves. As a newcomer i say 5.0 is a fair price for Spence at spurs

    2. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      Spurs are going to buy him. He will be priced high

  11. FPL Hitman
    • 6 Years
    22 days, 22 hours ago

    Remember Zaki of Wigan Athletic who was ramping up on the goals in the 2008/09 season before fizzing out

    1. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      Yep. Think it was me who broke him by getting him in.

    2. HurriKane
      • 9 Years
      22 days, 21 hours ago

      Ighalo of Watford comes to my mind when i hear the word fizzing out

      1. Ser Davos
        • 6 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        Dennis Version MK 1.0

  12. Inazuma X1
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 21 hours ago

    Liverpool have turned down Bayern Munich’s opening bid for Sadio Mane. It was for £21m guaranteed, plus £4m in add-ons payable if, for example, Bayern won the Champions League.

    1. RedRo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      22 days, 21 hours ago

      So £21 million then.

  13. Float
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 21 hours ago

    The lack of Charlie Adam love is disturbing

  14. NateDog
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 21 hours ago

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BenDinnery/status/1533739168039424004

    Salah refused Liverpool's request to have a scan ahead of Egypt's AFCON qualifier against Guinea yesterday and played through it injured

  15. mad_beer ✅
    • 7 Years
    22 days, 21 hours ago

    What about Charlie Austin?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Steve Austin much better.

      1. Wild Rover
        • 11 Years
        22 days, 20 hours ago

        A bargain at $6m

      2. KujaliaFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        22 days, 17 hours ago

        That's cold.

    2. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      22 days, 18 hours ago

      FPL Legend for us QPR fans.

  16. Echoes
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 20 hours ago

    4m Sir Aaron Wan Bissaka at Crystal palace. Sold quite a few owners after he moved to United.

    1. Gus Fring
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      Nothing but recency bias. Non-existent attacking threat in that season, just hope for a start & a CS. Many better 4m starting defenders in history, either with attacking threat or OOP.

  17. Willesden Mariner
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 19 hours ago

    FPL Family (Micky and Vicky) misclassified by themselves as FPL experts! Alonso should play up front. "Yes, but no, but yes, but no." Host Az had his head in his hands and Vic was soon benched as her rank sunk.

  18. Cooking_on_Fabregas
    • 7 Years
    22 days, 18 hours ago

    05/06 season - Harewood, Giannakopoulos, Bent, Boa Morte, Nolan, MGPedersen amongst the heavy hitters i.e. Lampard, Henry etc. My first season on FPL and possibly still my favourite.

  19. Black Knights
    • 10 Years
    22 days, 18 hours ago

    There was the Sunderland double-act around 2011/12? Sessegnon priced at around £6m and then, post-Christmas, the £4.5m midfielder that really came on strong. The Irish lad?

    1. Mr. O'Connell hates DG…
      • 10 Years
      22 days, 18 hours ago

      James McClean.

      Come to think of it, I wonder what Darren Bent was priced in 09/10... Scored 24 goals for Sunderland.

      1. Black Knights
        • 10 Years
        22 days, 17 hours ago

        McClean, that's right. TransferMarket suggests he got 7 goals and 9 assists in 21 league games at the end of 2010/11, which is amazing for fodder. I think I ended up playing him as my fifth midfielder and got a cheap third striker in a 352 at the end of that season (which also contained Clint Dempsey iirc).

    2. Nightcrawler
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 13 hours ago

      Sesegnon had that dgw moment with cuellar. Two popular picks combining for the league minute goal of the last match of the dgw

  20. Nomar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    22 days, 18 hours ago

    I imagine the Liverpool version of Fernando Torres was probably decent value too?

    Obviously not anywhere near the Kane level of ridiculous underpricing, but still.....

  21. Leaf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    22 days, 16 hours ago

    Adel Taarabt - QPR

    OK he never actually returned the points but was fun

    1. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      Gave me the best season of my life as a QPR fan in 2010/11.

    2. Ser Davos
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      Victor Moses for Wigan 5.0 11-12

      1. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        Taarabt's heyday was in the Championship though. Incredible season watching him single handedly destroy teams in that division every weekend. Joyous stuff!

  22. JELLYFISH
    • 10 Years
    22 days, 15 hours ago

    Going back a while but who can remember Danni Shittu? Must have been one of the first playing 3.9 defenders in the game

    1. No Need
      • 8 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      Great filter avoidance

  23. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
    • 9 Years
    22 days, 15 hours ago

    Anyone remember John Brayford? 4m defender from Cardiff. Many on FFS had him in their GW1 but I don't think he played all season

    1. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
      • 9 Years
      22 days, 15 hours ago

      What about Guy Demel? 4m defender for West Ham

      1. Weak Become Heros
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        Beauty.

      2. No Need
        • 8 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        I had Joey O'Brien from the Hammers one season and will never forget the day all 3 starting defenders scored for me and he was one of them...

    2. Ser Davos
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      Joel Ward was 4.0 for CPA 13-14 iirc too

  24. Weak Become Heros
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    22 days, 14 hours ago

    Guy Demel.

  25. Ser Davos
    • 6 Years
    22 days, 14 hours ago

    Looking ahead for next season, my only vow is that I really try and recognise those "lock" / "set and forgets". Easier said than done, but then build a team round those figures, paying attention to fixtures to some extent, though not being distracted by them.

    So, going by last season, the structure should have been:

    4.5/ Ederson
    TAA Dias
    Salah Bruno Son Jota

    Now we know in retrospect, Bruno was a poor pick overall and Dias needed to be Laporte and/or Cancelo.

    Jota wasn't a season keeper, but it was apparent at 7.5 he'd prove his worth long term.

    My main point is identifying those "key picks" and not budging on them rather than being distracted by the flavour of the week/month.

    1. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      I am not sure Salah is essential for me anymore.

      I think KdB and Son both will probably be essential and no room for Salah on top of that. Diaz may be the Liverpool option next term.

      Not as explosive as Salah but looks like he could score enough points to keep you ticking over and enable a KdB son double up in mf.

      1. Ser Davos
        • 6 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        Reasonable stuff

        I've bet against Salah in the past and he's burnt me to a singe

        It's odd how he goes through patches of brilliance, but also phases of being dysfunctional

      2. Giggs Boson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        22 days, 13 hours ago

        KDB over Haaland is an interesting idea...

  26. Nomar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    22 days, 14 hours ago

    Barry Ferguson. £4m mid guaranteed max baps every week.

    1. Ser Davos
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 14 hours ago

      You've combined 2 classic, nostalgic FPL elements there, bud (hybrid-mutant-style)

      Shane Ferguson 4.0m midfielder. Actually, was a waste of a NEW spot during that 11-12 season

      Barry Ferguson, BIR 4.5 midfielder bonus darling alongside Charlie Adam 5.0 10-11

      1. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        22 days, 14 hours ago

        Bazza was the boy even at £4.5m.

        Remember Saylor at Newcastle?

        1. Ser Davos
          • 6 Years
          22 days, 12 hours ago

          Nobody scored more than 200 points during that 10-11 season. Mad. Nani, Malouda, Charlie Adam and Barry Ferguson were worthy mid park picks

          Saylor was an absolute gem at 4.5 11-12. Iirc, Danny Simpson 4.0, Collocini 4.5, Saylor 4.5, Raylor 4.5

          and there was me locking in Baines at 8.0 even when he missed GW1 (London Riots)

  27. Nightcrawler
    • 3 Years
    22 days, 13 hours ago

    Maybe not great throughout the entire season but one Cheap fpl legend that needs to be mentioned is George Boyd

    Scored about 6 times in that season but literally all goals were when people needed him as an autosub lol

    1. Nightcrawler
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 13 hours ago

      Roque santa Cruz for Blackburn in my first fpl season back in 07-08 was another gem

  28. RedRo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    22 days, 13 hours ago

    Shaun Maloney for me. I was often able to pick him up for around 5m as a midfield differential and play him every week - on lots of set pieces, often OOP - think he may have even taken a few pens.

    1. RedRo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      22 days, 13 hours ago

      Peter Whittingham (RIP) was great for similar reasons