If you’re boxing clever then you’ll already be on the lookout for your Fantasy Football bargains – and there are plenty to be had, at least if we’re to be believed.
We can’t guarantee that the following picks will secure you bragging rights amongst your friends and/or colleagues come season’s end – after all, injuries may take their toll, or indeed inexplicable losses of form.
Football Burp’s knowledge of the Premier League is beyond reproach so, if you do follow our advice and end up coming a-cropper, it definitely won’t be our fault. At all.
Here then, for you to consider at your own risk, are our top 10 Fantasy Football bargains for the 2013-14 season – we’re using the Fantasy Premier League game as our guide but you might find that these players can also be snapped up cheaply on other versions…
Seamus Coleman, Everton (defender) – £5m
Now firmly established as the Toffees’ first-choice right-back having initially broken through in midfield, the Irishman’s attacking prowess should help him to a healthy number of assists and perhaps even goals – and don’t forget, defenders are rewarded more handsomely for these than their midfield and forward counterparts.
His defending also improved immeasurably as last season went on, although it might be a gamble to count on a Roberto Martinez side keeping many clean sheets.
Jonathan De Guzmán, Swansea City (midfielder) – £6m
The Dutchman has a mean free-kick on him and is a reliable penalty taker – hey, we all saw that Carling Cup final, right? – so there’s every chance he could hit double figures this season.
Michael Laudrup’s side are also a tight defensive unit and – again, don’t forget! – midfielders get points for clean sheets. Not as many as goalkeepers and defenders, but points nonetheless.
Andi Weimann, Aston Villa (forward) – £6m
Forwards are pricy, so chances are you’re going to need at least one who comes relatively cheap, unless you’re happy with a bargain basement midfield.
21-year-old Weimann scored 12 goals in a struggling Villa side last season and, what with their strong end to the campaign and Christian Benteke recently signing a new contract, Paul Lambert’s men have a momentum that could see the young Austrian hit even more.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa (forward) – £7m
Having seemingly been on the way out at Villa, Agbonlahor ended last season on fire and also finished with 12 goals.
If he can maintain that form into the coming campaign then he could be a rich source of both goals and assists.
Mohamed Diamé, West Ham United (midfielder) – £5m
His goal record mightn’t be all that impressive but £5m seems cheap for a man who is the Hammers’ star performer on his day.
Injuries interrupted his 2012-13 campaign but if he can get a consistent run then stunning strikes like these could become a more regular occurrence…
Luke Shaw, Southampton (defender) – £4.5m
Though still only 18, Shaw has established himself as Southampton’s first-choice left-back and could prosper further within Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical framework.
At that price, he’s worth it even as a reserve.
Ross Barkley, Everton (midfielder) – £4.5m
David Moyes brought the gifted attacking midfielder further into the first team fold at the end of last season and he’s the type of player that you’d presume Martinez would have use for.
He’s 19 now, so it could be his time to shine.
Haris Vuckic, Newcastle United (midfielder) – £4.5m
The 20-year-old Slovenian was highly rated but struck down with a long-term injury – he made a goal-scoring return to action in the recent friendly against Motherwell, also setting one up for Yoan Gouffran.
He can operate as a forward but is listed as a midfielder, so that could be something to take advantage of – don’t forget (again!), midfielders get more points for goals than forwards.
Matt Jarvis, West Ham United (midfielder) – £5.5m
He’s got to have a better season of it this time out, hasn’t he?
The guy managed 8 goals in a season for a relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers side, so there’s something there.
If last season’s anything to go by, pick Kevin Nolan for the first 15 games then drop him like a stone.
Sergio Agüero, Manchester City (forward) – £11m
Okay, here us out here – at £11m the Argentinian clearly isn’t cheap, but if you consider him as an alternative to the £14m Robin van Persie then that leaves you with a bit of spare change to upgrade another position or two in your team.
Foolish move, right? After all, RVP = goals and Agüero didn’t even break the 20 mark last season.
Yes, but there’s no guaranteeing that van Persie a) won’t revert to his old injury prone self, or b) suffer a dry spell while the side adjusts to a new manager.
Agüero too will be playing under a new manager but then Manuel Pellegrini is a compatriot of his and therefore, quite conceivably, knows how best to use him.
Furthermore, Agüero suffered injuries last season – a free run and he could well match or even better the 23 league strikes (30 overall) that he managed in his first season at City.
Some permutation of the above will definitely happen.
Who are your Fantasy Football bargains of choice? Recommend your picks in that comments section thingy, down the page a bit. Good lad/lass.