If like me, you’ve held your wildcard until the end of January, it’s time to start looking at players to bring into your squad. With big hitters like Van Persie, Suarez, Mata, Walcott and Bale, it’s important to find value to fill the rest of your squad up. This allows you to free up funds to have some fun with your attackers.
There’s some great value out there, all you need to do is avert your eyes away from the top players and you’ll find some gems. With this in mind, in this article we’re going to take a look at the budget players on offer in this January wildcard:
In goal there are two main budget options; first up we have Federici (4.4m) from Reading, who has been in excellent form of late. Making a mockery of his price tag, he’s picked up an average of 5 points in his last 5 games. Reading are unlikely to keep many clean sheets but as a backup keeper, Federici is an excellent choice.
Next up we have Bunn (4.1m) from Norwich, coming in at 0.3m cheaper than Federici. Bunn has been deputising for Ruddy whilst he’s been out injured and with no return date in sight, he may be able to continue his run in goal. The only concern is that Norwich have brought in Lee Camp during the January window to give Bunn a bit of competition. However, until he performs well in training and Bunn loses form, it’d be unfair to drop the deputy.
In defence, there are a few decent options around the 4m mark. To kick things off we have Wilkinson (4.3m) from Stoke, who is currently injured but should be back any game now. Stoke were on an amazing defensive run up until gameweek 19, where they started conceding at an alarming rate. Surely this is unlikely to continue and if Pulis can make them solid at the back once again, Wilkinson will be an excellent way to cover Stoke’s backline.
Another cheap fantasy football defender comes in the form of Davies (4.3m) from Swansea who has impressed since stepping in for the unfortunate Neil Taylor. The youngster has nailed down the left back role and in the previous game against Stoke, he showed great instinct to slot home and collect a 10-point haul. Swansea have looked strong at the back and their season keeps on going from strength to strength.
Guy Demel (4.0m) is our next budget selection, coming in at a bargain 4.0m. Despite being terrorised by Podolski on Wednesday night, Demel has had a strong debut season in the Premier League and looks a secure option in the West Ham backline. Offering attacking potential too, he provides a decent backup option for any fantasy premier league squad.
Moving onto the attack we have some slightly more expensive options in midfield for you. First up is Puncheon (5.0m) from Southampton, who despite his urge to urinate during gametime, is having a cracking season. With 3 goals and 6 assists so far, Puncheon is a great option for your 5th midfielder. With his fair share of set pieces and Pochettino’s passion for attack, Puncheon could be set to score highly in the remaining gameweeks.
Next in line is the youngster from Liverpool; Sterling (5.5m), who has been having an excellent season. He’s been given a bit of a rest of late with Rodgers keen to keep him fresh for the duration of the season but we should see him given more gametime in matches to come. The arrival of Sturridge has given Rodgers more attacking options but he’ll also be keen to continue Sterling’s development and for the youngster to fulfil his potential, which has already seen him pick up 2 goals and 6 assists this season. After the next two tricky away fixtures against Arsenal and Man City, Liverpool embark on a long and favourable run of fixtures worthy of investment.
With midfielders scoring so highly this season, it’ll come as no surprise if you’re entertaining the idea of playing a 3-5-2 formation. If this is the case, it helps having a budget striker on the bench that can step in if one of your usuals is given an unforeseen rest. With this in mind, our first budget fantasy football striker is Pogrebnyak (4.4m) from Reading, who is currently in some strong form. This has coincided with Reading’s recent revival; they looked dead and buried a month or so ago but they’ve have shown some great spirit to record some great results including the recent 2-1 victory at St James’ Park. With 3 goals in his last 4, you may even want to take a gamble on him starting if Reading have a particularly friendly fixture.
To finish things off we have a player who Martin Jol thinks the world of. Whilst Ruiz (5.4m) was injured, Jol seemed to blame most of the poor Fulham performances on the absence of the Costa Rican. Claiming the creativity he brings was clearly missing while he was on the sidelines. However, Ruiz is well and truly back in action and at 5.4m, he could prove to be a snippet. With 2 goals and 8 assists from only 14 games this season, it’s clear how talented Ruiz is and he even stakes a claim for a regular spot in your side nevermind being your sub striker. Fulham have dipped in form recently but with 3 home games in their next 4 (WHM, MUN and STO), Jol will be looking for an upturn at Craven Cottage.
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