Monday 10 September 2012

5 Budget Midfield Options

I wrote this article for a new FPL blog by Fantasy Football Pundit who asked for contributions from the #FPL community.  Check it out.  

 What to expect from a budget player? 
A baseline aim in FPL is to get 2000 points, this won't win you the game but you'll do well.  Your £100 million budget therefore needs to net you these 2000 points, which works out at 20 points per million spend.  For a budget player who costs you £5.0m the expectation therefore should be 100 points, or 2.6 pts/game.   A full season's worth of starts would be 76 points.  Throw in 4 clean sheets (which all clubs should get, Norwich got 3 last year) and we're at 80 points, leaving 20 points to make up, or 4 goals or 7 assists.  Should be easily done, right?

The following players are the ones that have caught my in the first few game weeks, in actual points scored or their underlying stats, or both.


Danny Guthrie  -  Reading   (£4.4.m)
One of the pre-season favourite budget picks he looks a good shout, involved in Reading's attacks and a creator and getting some shots in.   I reckon he'll make you his money's worth this season although Reading will struggle for goals.  He's not my top pick here but is a real good low budget option if funds are tight.

Michael Kightly - Stoke  (£5.5m)
Stoke's new signing has impressed since his move from Wolves and both his key pass and shooting stats are the best of the players in the list and are up their with some of the league's top players.  Stoke are going to improve this year with the signing of Adam from Liverpool.  The game plan is simple - Adam long ball to Crouch, knock-down to winger running into the box.  Profit for Kightly. He's scored 1 in 5 for Wolves over 100 games.  I think this boy will do well, although Stoke have a pretty awful looking run of fixtures so don't expect too much too soon.

Stephen Ireland - Aston Villa (£5.5m)
A few seasons past Ireland was one of the big hits in FPL, scoring 9 goals for City in 2008/09 season.  He's had his problems since then but has the potential to do well if he can find his feet.  He's 26 now so you would hope he perhaps has matured a bit (it took me that long!) and if handed a key role could prosper.   However he could be a rotation risk under Lambert's tactical tinkering.  He started in GW1 and GW3 but was left out for GW2.  I had him in my team at the start of the season and I'm buoyed enough by his potential to keep hold of him.

Alexander Kacaniklic - Fulham (£4.6m)
The Liverpool youth player caused a bit of a buzz on opening day with a goal and an effervescent attacking performance in their 5-0 drubbing of Norwich, which saw his ownership rise.  Fulham are not going to be playing Norwich at the Cottage very weekend though, and he will struggle to hold down a first team place and was subbed off in the last match.  I'd probably stay away.  Next season maybe.

Shaun Maloney - Wigan Athletic (£5.0m)
This guy is has average of  1 goal in 4 games played for Celtic and Wigan over 60 games so is an excellent shout for a budget pick.  Wigan finished the season in style and although the results haven't been there yet this year they have been on of the league's most attacking teams with Maloney involved at the cutting edge.  I can see Maloney being a well worthy FPL investment this year.  My top pick.

As I said I have Ireland in my team from GW1 and was concerned when he was dropped in GW2 but upon his return to Villa's lineup in GW3 he did enough to convince me that he's still an option.  He has the highest potential of all these players in my opinion.  If Villa can click under Lambert Ireland could go on a rich run of form.  It is still an "if" though and I would not advocate signing him just yet and I have to say If I could "change my mind" or had a free transfer to spend I would pick up Maloney, or Kightly once Stoke's fixtures ease up.

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