I have played Fantasy Football for many years and I’ve come across a lot of big star premium midfielders. However, nothing is better than finding that one cheap hidden gem who racks in the points. These hidden gems produce stellar performances without costing you a bucket load. Owning a player like this frees up cash for other areas in your squad, meaning you get double points for your pounds. These are my personal top 5 budget midfielders for December 2017.
To start, let’s define cheap. For me, I consider any midfielder priced at £6.5m or less to be cheap. So here are my top 5 cheap midfielders who can free up cash.
5. Choupo-Moting (60 points) £5.6m
Choupo-Moting is an out-of-position player (‘OOP’). In most games he starts up-front, but in FPL he is listed as a midfielder. This means he is priced as a midfielder, but has more opportunities to score and to provide assists. For those new to FPL, one of the first things we look for at the start of every season, and on every showing of Match Of The Day, is OOP players.
Eric Maxim has been in my FPL team since the start of the season, contributing several goals and assists. I feel a lot of this is due to his positioning. This is his heatmap for this season. You can see a concentration of play in the centre of the box suggesting goals, and play from the wide hot-spots towards each corner of the box, suggesting a player looking to pass into the box and create assists.
My only worry on Choupo is the reintroduction of Crouch, which is timed with Eric’s run of three 2-point games. After Spurs away this week, Stoke have two good home and away games. If you want to bring in a Liverpool player but are worried about cost, then perhaps avoid the merseyside Derby by rolling you free transfer, and then next week take two players out to bring in your chosen Liverpool mid and Choupo-Moting.
4. Doucouré (67 points) £5.6m
Doucouré has delivered 5 goals this season, and is one million cheaper than Richarlison. But don’t let the low price tag put you off, as Doucouré’s points per million and points per million per game are both higher than Richarlison’s suggesting Doucouré offers better value for money.
— Abdoulaye Doucouré (@abdoudoucoure16) November 30, 2017
Watford have 6 games in a row where they do not face a top 4 team, meaning they have a greater chance to score in consecutive games. In particular, the segment Palace (A), Huddersfield (H) and Brighton (A) offers promise.
Doucouré has played every minute this season and doesn’t look like he will be put on the bench anytime soon. Cheaper than Choupo-Moting, there’s not much to falter in this gem.
3. Shaqiri (69 points) £6.1m
The Stoke winger great for his price. Both last season and the season before he was priced at £6m, making him “untrendy”. However, in 16/17 he played in 21 games and picked up 80 points which is 3.8 points per game (for just £6m). In 15/16 he played 27 games and picked up 97 points which is 3.6 points per game (for just £6.2m). 3.6-3.8 points per game for just £6m is great. However, his game time was in question, and this is why he was untrendy.
Fast forward to this season, and Xherdan has played in 14 of this season’s 15 games. He has picked up 69 points which is huge 4.9 points per game. All for only £6.1m! Indeed, if Shaqiri now reverts to mean and picks up 3.6 points per game for the rest of the season, he will still end the season on 151 points – all for just £6m!
Obviously, he’s not Messi. But with an ownership of 8.4% then if he keeps his place in the starting 11 then he offers an excellent differential. Moreover, from game week 18 he offers a rotation with Richarlison!
2. Richarlison (75 points) £6.6m
Watford’s Richarlison is one of the hottest midfielders to have at the moment. With 5 goals and 5 assists, there’s not much to complain about. If you ever watch a Watford game, you’ll notice that he gets a lot of chances per game. However, this has been noticed as his ownership is at over 20%!
Just like Doucouré, he might be about to create a storm with some great fixtures coming up. I like the Shaqiri rotation idea, but I feel the braver FPL manager would double Doucouré up with Richarlison. You feeling brave?
1. Groß (78 points) £6.0m
Groß is the main star of Brighton’s midfield. For £6.0m he is pretty much a must-buy for most FPL managers, and offers another rotation option with the Watford players after game week 18.
The one thing that is different with Groß compared to Choupo-Moting, Doucouré, Shaqiri and Richarlison is bonus points. Groß has scored a similar number of goals and provided a similar number of assists when compared to these other budget players (3 goals and 5 assists), but in the process Groß has picked up a huge 14 bonus points.
I expect the goals and assists will keep coming because Groß plays just behind the top striker by either playing Center Forward or Right / Center Attacking Midfield. I expect the bonus points to keep coming because of Chris Hughton’s set up.