You have to feel for Middlesbrough fans. It has not been the most exciting season ever. Do a straw poll outside of the Riverside about how much value for money they are getting as fans in terms of entertainment and I wouldn’t expect a positive response. Yet when you are a fantasy manager you just look at cold hard stats.
There are 20 teams in the Premier League, Middlesbrough currently lie 16th in the table. So how many teams do you think have conceded more goals this season, at least 10 right? Probably more? If I told you the number was only three (Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea) then you’d probably have just spat out your tea or Googled the league table to check I wasn’t pulling your leg. 27 goals in 25 goals is all they’ve let in and with games at Crystal Palace and Stoke coming up, neither make me quake in my fantasy boots.
Ben Gibson is available at £4.9m, Calum Chambers at £4.4m as is Fabio. Chambers has received bonus points in four of his six Premier League games since the turn of the year. Fabio has got bonus points in three of his past six games. If you are looking for cheap defenders then it is time to look closely at Aitor Karanka’s men.
With the fact they’ve only scored 19 goals this season, the 0-0 on Saturday looks a very tempting bet and is currently available at [7.8] on the Exchange.
Welcome back old friend
Oh Gylfi Sigurdsson where have you been this season? For the past few years he has been a staple of fantasy teams across the globe. You know he’ll be reasonably priced and he’ll be great value for money as the third or fourth midfielder. Last season he scored 11 and bagged four assists. The previous year it was seven goals with 10 assists. Consistency, thy name is Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Through December though he had four games on the spin with no goals and no assists and he went off the radar for a bit but he’s back with a bang. In the past four games he’s hit the back of the net three times and set up two. The new manager is giving him more freedom and he’s delivering in a big way. He is the most on form midfielder in the fantasy game.
On Saturday he doesn’t have a great match-up as Swansea travel to Chelsea. Yet as we’ve seen in recent weeks, they don’t care who they are playing. This is a free hit for Paul Clement’s side and taking him now is a slight risk but they’ve scored eight in their past four games. After Saturday though they face Burnley at home before travelling to Hull and Bournemouth. If you don’t take him this week, then pick him up next week and expect a great payback.
You can get him to score at anytime in Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge on the Exchange at [4.2]
Andy Carroll has been a revelation in 2017. Yet he’s only once gone into a game with a 100% chance of playing. He missed out last time out and is rated at a 25% chance of playing in the Saturday teatime game. So if you are looking for a replacement at a similar price for this week, who should you be looking at? We give you our top three punts:
3 – Saido Berahino. This is a very risky pick as he hasn’t started a game since his move to the Potteries. Yet there is plenty of chatter that he’ll make that first start in the red and white this weekend against Spurs. We forget just how highly touted he was a year or two back so he has plenty to prove. If he starts then he’s capable of causing problems for the Tottenham defence and add vital fantasy points to your team. He’s available at £6.0m.
2 – Andre Gray. The Burnley forward might not be in the most scintillating of form but he is starting most games and he faces Hull this weekend. Burnley have been very good at home this season but away from home not so much. Still when you are up against Hull and you are desperate, you have to take what you can get whether they are at home or away. He’s available at £6.2m.
1 – M’Baye Niang. Firstly who? He’s a 22 year-old striker on loan to Watford from AC Milan. He’s started all three games since his arrival and scored and set up the other in his only appearance in front of his own fans. Watford entertain West Ham this Saturday and he is a great flyer pick if you need to bring in someone on a short term deal. He’s available at just £6.0m.
Note: Manchester United, Manchester City, Southampton and Arsenal are all out of fantasy action due to the EFL Cup Final.