Fantasy Premier League: Under-rated transfers for Gameweek Three

Can Benteke regain his mojo at Crystal Palace?
Can Benteke regain his mojo at Crystal Palace?

It's the final gameweek of August and a last chance to pick up points before the international break. Joe Dyer assesses the value buys...

"In the real world Yannick Bolasie looks like a whole lot of money for a player who looks like a Gordon Ramsey meal one week and a greasy spoon the next. Yet we aren't living in the real world here, we are living in the realms of fantasy and that is where the 26 year-old looks like a bargain-and-a-half."

Big buy Benteke can get off to a fast start


The big boys have been firing so far this Premier League season with Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic matching each other game by game to jointly lead the goalscoring ranks on three goals and Diego Costa just one behind the pair. No doubt we all have at least one of those hotshots in our Fantasy teams, but buying the lot would cost a manager £34.3m - more than a third of your total budget - and most of us must search for a bit of value away from the golden trio.

So where is the value? Fantasy managers have been quick to latch on to Alvaro Negredo, who returned to the Premier League this summer with Middlesbrough. The former Manchester City man has been in fine fettle through the first two weeks, scoring once and assisting the other two Boro goals. At £6.7m he arguably still represents value but is in nearly a quarter of Fantasy teams.

One former hotshot who could make an impact over the coming weeks is Christian Benteke. The Belgian burst onto the Premier League scene with Aston Villa back in 2012/13, scoring 19 goals. Injuries worked against him at Liverpool where he fell out of favour with manager Jurgen Klopp and so benteke has found himself at Palace. In his favour is his undisputed status as the no.1 forward at the club and the sense that Alan Pardew will build a system around the club's record signing. Palace's next four fixtures - Bournemouth at home, Middlesbrough away, Stoke (h) and Sunderland (a) - hold few fears.


Smaller clubs may offer defensive value

Though we can't underline enough that just two Premier League games have been played, few defenders are setting the league alight during these early skirmishes. No team has managed a pair of clean sheets with Manchester City and Chelsea among the teams to have conceded in every game.

In such times it may pay to look back at a manager's approach to the game and side with teams we know are led by a defensive-minded coach. Provided the fixture list shines a positive light on that team then it could pay to take a chance on, say, one of the West Brom backline. Tony Pulis puts high importance on the defensive side and upcoming games offer a good opportunity to register a few shutouts. Brendan Galloway was signed on loan from Everton this week and could go straight into the first team as a wide outlet with the licence for occasional forays up the pitch. He may prove to be a nice bit of defensive value.

Burnley are another team where the manager prizes clean sheets like precious diamonds. They managed to blank Liverpool last week despite only having 19% possession. There is value right through the Burnley backline and while they will suffer a few heavy beatings they will certainly keep their fair share of possession. No-one will be buying any of Sean Dyche's men ahead of their trip to Chelsea in Gameweek 3, but those playing the long game will recognise the value.

If you're looking for a cheap defender from one of the big clubs then Rob Holding should suit. The summer signing from Bolton has assumed first team duties following Per Mertesacker's injury and can be purchase for just £4.5m.


Time to buy into Yannick Bolasie

In the real world Yannick Bolasie looks like a whole lot of money for a player who looks like a Gordon Ramsey meal one week and a greasy spoon the next. Yet we aren't living in the real world here, we are living in the realms of fantasy and that is where the 26 year-old looks like a bargain-and-a-half.

He told the media this week that had it not been for injury last year that he'd have hit the back of the net ten times, even with the two month lay-off he scored six in all competitions. In the 14/15 season he also notched up 12 assists. Consider he did all this with the likes of Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham at the main striker. Now he has Romelu Lukaku. I think we'd all agree that is more than a slight upgrade.

Bolasie could turn into a player like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy last year or Harry Kane the season before. Someone very few managers had early on but if you weren't on them by November then you were already out of the running to win your league. He is available at just £6.0m and that is generally what most of us are paying for our 4th or 5th choice midfielder.

If you are looking for short-term value then his next five opponents are Stoke, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. I suppose that will excite a fair few fantasy managers and you'll take this information and look at other Everton players as well!

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