Panic stations! The clock is ticking to get your fantasy teams submitted on time. Soldado or van Persie? Mata or Michu? Here are five players that will score you points and allow you to invest in those expensive must-haves.
Matej Vydra (5.5m)
The Czech Republic striker joined West Brom on loan this week from Udinese. Sharp fantasy managers have been quick to point out his possible bargainability, considering he was the Football League Championship player of the year after netting 20 times for Watford last season.
If he can make a similar impact on the Premier League, 5.5m Is pittance for the 21-year-old. If you’re in need of a cheap striker to stash away on your bench for a few weeks or start in the hope of getting some unexpected results, Matej is your guy.
Alternatively, new teammate Nicolas Anelka (also at 5.5m) may get more playing time early on in the season.
Wilfried Zaha (6.5m)
He might not be much of a goalscorer, but that’s not what he does. At 6.5m, if the former Crystal Palace winger gets playing time at Man Utd he will score points.
Remember, the pacey winger is playing alongside the likes of Robin van Persie and (maybe) Wayne Rooney. If he can hit the ground running and usurp one of the wide positions, 6.5m is a snip for a player of such a position in a title-chasing side.
Vito Mannone (4.5m)
In need of a decent backup goalkeeper – that’s cheap and won’t worry you on the off-chance that your number one is missing a gameweek? Then the former Arsenal ‘keeper is your man.
Mannone has done well in pre-season and has been saying all the right thing about Sunderland’s chances of staying up. Considering Simon Mignolet was the fifth highest scoring goalkeeper last season and that the defence hasn’t changed, Mannone will be a solid option on your bench.
Per Mertesacker (5.5m)
The German isn’t the most stylish player you’ll have on your team, but the statistics don’t really add up here. Mertesacker scored one point less than Jan Vertonghen last season, despite playing less minutes. The latter is 7.0m, the former is 5.5m.
One of the most popular fantasy techniques is not overspending on your defence. Buying a top four player with a high possibility of clean sheets at that price is a no-brainer.
Jozy Altidore (7.0m)
Sunderland’s record signing, yet nobody is really talking about the American from a fantasy perspective. Altidore is in the form of his life and is just off the back of an international hat-trick against Bosnia.
He’s only 23 but has played over 60 times for his country. He scored 31 goals last season for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league. If Wilfried Bony is going to be so great, surely Altidore will too? Save yourself 1.0m and get the American.
Others to consider: If Scott Sinclair gets a loan move away, 6.0m will be a bargain for the speedy winger with a penchant for goals from the penalty spot. Romelu Lukaku, if starting, won’t be long repaying fantasy manager’s faith in him, especially at 8.0m, a relative bargain considering his potential, while Seamus Coleman at 5.0 may warm to Roberto Martinez’s style of play and be able to get amongst it on the attacking end of the field – and account as a defender.