When it comes to selecting the best players for a fantasy lineup, it is important to pick players that have the best chance to score goals. The first step is to find players that contribute to a high percentage of their teamís goals. This goes without saying. It is much more valuable to have Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge than it is to have a player like Lucas. And while the top teams seem to have multiple options that are continually involved in creating or scoring goals, teams in the bottom of the table do not score enough to sustain multiple players that provide consistent fantasy value. They do, however, tend to have a player that is the leader of the attack and becomes the teamís goal scorer on a consistent basis.
The best example of this would be Wilfried Bony. The Swansea striker has scored three of the Swans' last four goals. And in the matches he was healthy enough to play in, Bony has either scored or assisted on almost 20 percent of Swanseaís goals. Because of this and his bargain cost, Bony is a favorite of fantasy owners. Based upon current form and his statistics from the entire season, Bony has around a 25 percent chance of being the goal scorer for Swansea when they score a goal.
While that number may not seem significant, there is a second aspect to the fantasy selection that can help to pick the best player: the matchup. If a player like Bony has approximately a 25 percent chance to be the Swans player to score the goal, the more goals Swansea score during the course of a match, the higher Bonyís chances are of being involved. The 25 percent for Bony means that he should score one out of every four Swansea goals. Based upon this logic, if Swansea are predicted to score two goals against an opponent, Bony's goal expectancy rises to 50 percent.
This makes it extremely important to find players in matchups that are expected to score a high number of goals. Matches that end in 1-0 or 1-1 scores will have two or three players that provide decent fantasy value (not counting a goalkeeper in the case of a clean sheet). But if a match features four or more goals, the chances that a player you have from one of the teams providing some fantasy points goes up considerably.
With that in mind, teams like Manchester United, Swansea City, Sunderland, Tottenham, and Manchester City should all be in matches with multiple goals and should provide numerous players with good fantasy value. For players that can provide that value at a bargain cost, here are the Bargain Bin players for Gameweek 23.
David de Gea and Manchester United have struggled of late. They have ďlostĒ three of their last four matches (Iím counting the losing on penalty kicks to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup even though they technically won that specific match) and will certainly be looking to improve after having the weekend off from FA Cup play ahead of the midweek Premier League match against Cardiff City. The Bluebirds rank 17th out of the 20 Premier League teams in away goals, averaging less than one goal in away matches. Cardiff do not put a lot of shots on net on the road and de Gea should be ready for what little attempts he sees. Manchester United will certainly be motivated to show they belong with the top teams in the league, and it will start with defense.
Phil Jones will be a key defender in front of de Gea in their attempt to keep a clean sheet, and as described above, he will have a good chance to do just that. Jones returned to the lineup last week after missing four matches with a groin injury. In his return, he took a shot and also assisted on Manchester Unitedís goal. This participation in the teamís attack gives him the potential for additional value against Cardiff City.
Philip Bardsley may not be as well-known as some of the big name defenders, but he contributes almost as much offensively as the defenders that cost much more than him. Only four defenders have put more shots on goal than Bardsley, and only two defenders have scored more than the two goals Bardsley has this season. Stoke City, Sunderlandís opponent Wednesday, have allowed the second most goals to opposing defenders. While Bardsley has an increased opportunity to score a goal this gameweek, he also has a good chance in keeping a clean sheet. Stoke City average less than one goal per away match and do not challenge their opponentsí goal with many shots. The combination of offense and defense make Bardsley a good option at low cost this week.
Adam Johnson is easily one of the hottest players in the Premier League right now, with four goals and two assists in his teamís last two league matches. While this rate is certainly not sustainable, the match Wednesday against Stoke City provides a good opportunity to continue his good form. The Potters allow over two goals per away match and rank 18th out of the 20 Premier League teams this season in that category. In addition, Johnson has the opportunity for picking up fantasy points if Sunderland can keep a clean sheet, as previously discussed, giving him the opportunity to be at the top of scoring for midfielders once again.
Kevin Mirallas has been just behind Adam Johnson in recent form. Mirallas has scored in two straight matches and has attempted 15 shots in Evertonís last three matches. The Merseyside Derby always provides fireworks and there is no reason to believe this edition wonít provide the same high-scoring affair. The last time these two teams met, a total of six goals were scored in a 3-3 draw. With a high number of goals expected, Mirallas should be able to contribute in some form and should provide good fantasy value once again.
Wilfried Bony was discussed above as being a high contributor for Swansea City and Wednesday should give Bony a great opportunity at fantasy production when they host Fulham. The Cottagers have allowed the most away goals and allow their opponents to attempt the highest number of shots. Bony will have plenty of opportunities to score for Swansea and has proven to have the ability to convert on these chances.
Dimitar Berbatov is another one of those players that contribute to a high number of his teamís goals. Just because Swansea is expected to score, it doesnít eliminate Fulham from scoring as well. In fact, it is just the opposite. Swansea City allow the second-most number of goals in home matches thanks to a poor save rate on a high number of shots allowed. Berbatov has proven the ability to be an elite goal scorer, and has recently found his good form after a poor start to the season. Look for Berbatov to help Fulham keep up with Swansea City in what could be a high scoring affair.