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FPL Bargain Bin: Gameweek 3 Value Picks

Chris Mosinski

Chris Mosinski

Fantasy sports connoisseur and expert soccer prognosticator.

Fantasy soccer can be a very fickle game.

Two weeks ago, Stevan Jovetic was mentioned in the Bargain Bin as a great option. He took five shots but was unable to find the target, and was substituted out for Sergio Aguero. Aguero came in and scored a goal despite seeing just seven minutes of playing time. A week later, it was expected that a fit Aguero would replace Jovetic in the starting XI and produce multiple goals with expanded playing time. While he did score a goal with some additional minutes on the pitch, Jovetic was one again in the starting XI. However, this time Jovetic was on target with his shots and scored twice in a victory against Liverpool.

Last season, if you had Luis Suarez on your roster it was easy. There was no chance Suarez would ever end up on your bench. He scored an unprecedented 31 goals in 33 league appearances. That is just shy of a goal per match pace. Great numbers, except he didn’t score in 94 percent of his league matches. That number was actually 54 percent. In 54 percent of the league matches Suarez played in last season, he scored a goal. That number is high, but of the top-10 goal scorers from last season, it is not the highest. Both Daniel Sturridge (65 percent) and Aguero (60 percent) scored in a higher percentage of their league matches. But if you had to pick just one of those three players to have on your Fantasy Premier League team, Suarez would have been the easy selection.

Predicting goals each week is difficult. If you predicted Suarez to score a goal every week, you would have been wrong 15 times. You actually would have been right only three more times than you were wrong. But in the accumulation scoring like Fantasy Premier League, the number that matters is the total at the end of the season. In the newly forming head-to-head leagues, this is a different story and one for another day.

While this is true for the Luis Suarezes and the Daniel Sturridges of the game, what about those bargain players? It is actually a little of both. At the end of last season it was better to have Adam Johnson (eight goals) than it was to have Ross Barkley (six goals). But is the difference significant? Playing both for the entire season, the goal difference would only account for a 12-point swing, which is not significant over the course of the full season.

When it comes to these low-scoring, low-cost players, they typically get shuffled in-and-out of lineups each week. Many are owned because their low-cost allows owners to have multiple high-cost players. But getting some return from these players each week can be beneficial. I know we already talked about how difficult it can be to predict who will score each week (part of that was to make me feel better about being wrong on Jovetic in back-to-back weeks), but you can use some information to put you in better shape each week to predict some goals.

Let’s return to Suarez one more time before we send him back to La Liga. In the matches Suarez did not score, the average finish of his opponents in the goals-allowed table was ninth. In the matches Suarez scored multiple goals, the average rank of the opponents faced based upon goals-allowed was 15. I know it is not good practice to use one player as a sample size, but it is a very good example of how matchups can play a role in your fantasy players performance.

In the mass changeover that can occur with low-priced players, it is important to note which teams your bargain players are playing and what can you expect from your investment. Because of this, and because your lineup transactions are limited, I have added a new dimension to the Bargain Bin. In addition to profiling a player at each position that is likely to have a good week, I have added a rank of the top-five players at each position. The rankings will use a couple of factors to determine the order. Recent performance and upcoming schedule will play largely into it. Just be sure to check out both parts since the highest-ranked bargain midfielder may not be the best option for the current game week.

Now that we have all of that covered, here is Gameweek 3 of the Bargain Bin:

Goalkeeper

Lukasz Fabianski
vs. West Bromwich Albion

Fabianski has started out the season in fantastic form, leading Swansea City to a surprise win AT Old Trafford with four saves on the league debut of Louis van Gaal. Fabianski followed that up by holding serve and keeping Burnley out of the net last weekend. Swansea City get to stay at home for another weekend as they play host to West Brom on Saturday. On the road last weekend, the Baggies managed just two shots on target and were not really threatening on the attack. Fabianski might not have to do much work to keep a second consecutive clean sheet, but the value is still the same for your fantasy squad.

Honorable mention: Brad Guzan vs. Hull City – Tired from a midweek Europa league match and on the road, Hull City may struggle to score.


Goalkeeper

Next 4 Matches

Status

1

Tim Krul

vs CRP

at SOU

vs HCY

at STC

Schedule sets up nice for Krul to rack up some clean sheets

2

Lukasz Fabianski

vs WBA

at CHE

vs SOUT

at SUN

Finally getting his chance and doing the most with it.

3

Allan McGregor

at AST

vs WHU

at NEW

vs MCY

3rd overall in saves and one clean sheet are nice stats to have in a cheap goalkeeper.

4

Fraser Forster

at WHU

vs NEW

at SWC

vs QPR

That defense likes to start fast, some tricky strikers coming on the schedule

5

Brad Guzan

vs HCY

at LIV

vs ARS

at CHE

2 straight clean sheets to open up league play, but after Hull City, that upcoming schedule could not be worse.



Defender

Phil Jones
at Burnley

Since going 1-0 up on Chelsea to start the season, Burnley have been outscored 5-0. And that includes a Capital One Cup match against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. On the road against Swansea City last weekend, the Clarets managed just one shot on target and did not put much scare into the Swans' defense. Many have pegged Burnley to be one of the teams to be sent down following the season. While they did feature two 20-goal scorers last season, they are not expected to put up similar numbers against top-flight clubs. Manchester United will be ready for this following their own embarrassing endeavor in the Capital One Cup earlier in the week. The squad should be plenty motivated to take care of business against a far inferior club.

Honorable mentions: Mathieu Debuchy at Leicester City – Arsenal will look to keep a clean sheet against newly-promoted Leicester City, and Debuchy is always a threat to put on a surprise attack.

Defender

Next 4 Matches

Status

1

Seamus Coleman

vs CHL

at WBA

vs CRP

at LIV

Some tough matchups on the schedule, but Coleman scored 6 goals last year and already has 1 this season

2

Eric Dier

vs LIV

at SUN

vs WBA

at ARS

Two goals in two matches would be enough for Dier to be ranked number 1, but Coleman might be number 1 DEF overall

3

Mathieu Debuchy

at LCY

vs MCY

at AST

vs TOT

Debuchy and Arsenal should keep their share of clean sheets this season. 35 shot attempts last season make him intriguing.

4

Danny Rose

vs LIV

at SUN

vs WBA

at ARS

May not score like Dier, but clean sheets are clean sheets. Plus he does already have an assist on the season.

5

Phil Jagielka

vs CHL

at WBA

vs CRP

at LIV

Same as Rose, Jagielka will get the same points Coleman gets for clean sheets.



Midfielder

Remy Cabella
vs Crystal Palace

Cabella may be new to some Fantasy Premier players out there, so allow me to introduce you. While playing for Montpellier in France’s Ligue 1, Cabella scored 34 goals and picked up 18 assists over the last three seasons. Coming over to Newcastle, he has continued to press forward on the attack. He currently leads the club in both shot attempts and assisted shot attempts through the first two matches. He has the skill to produce offensive numbers and will look to get on the board against a struggling Crystal Palace squad.

Honorable Mention: Gylfi Sigurdsson vs. West Bromwich Albion – Keep riding the hot hand, especially when that hot hand has a home matchup against West Brom (tied for sixth-most away goals allowed last season).

Midfielder

Next 4 Matches

Status

1

Gylfi Sigurdsson

vs WBA

at CHE

vs SOUT

at SUN

Returns to Swansea where he had success before and making the most of his opportunities.

2

Stewart Downing

vs SOU

at HUL

vs LIV

at MNU

No midfielder has more shots-on-target, and only four players have more assisted shots than Downing through 2 matches.

3

Erik Lamela

vs LIV

at SUN

vs WBA

at ARS

Picked up two assists last weekend and looks like a true facilitator in the Tottenham attack.

4

Dusan Tadic

at WHU

vs NEW

at SWC

vs QPR

Looked much more comfortable in attack last weekend (3 shots, 2 on target, 2 assisted shots) as he adjust to BPL play.

5

Nacer Chadli

vs LIV

at SUN

vs WBA

at ARS

Does his 2 goal performance last week earn him more playing time? Liverpool tough this week but following 2 are nice.


Forward

Siem de Jong
vs Crystal Palace

De Jong was fit enough last weekend to make his Newcastle debut and he managed to put a shot on target in just 20 minutes of playing time. Now fully fit, he will likely be injected into a Newcastle starting XI that has yet to score this season. De Jong proved he could be a double-digit goal-scorer in the Eredivisie, and he will now look to prove he can do the same in the Premier League. The Magpies will certainly look to him this weekend to help end their dry spell as a struggling Crystal Palace squad comes to town.

Honorable Mention: Stevan Jovetic vs Stoke City – Conventional wisdom would have had Jovetic on the bench upon Aguero’s return to the lineup, but an injury to Edin Dzeko will likely see Jovetic continue to get minutes, and it is difficult to ignore what he did last weekend.

Forward

Next 4 Matches

Status

1

Stevan Jovetic

vs STC

at ARS

vs CHE

at HCY

Any player getting regular run up front for Man City is going to be dangerous, as he proved. Let's see how long he gets.

2

Steven Naismith

vs CHL

at WBA

vs CRP

at LIV

Naismith is the beneficiary of the Ross Barkley injury. 2 G, 4 SH (2 OT) say he's outperforming his bigger named teammate.

3

Nikica Jelavic

at AST

vs WHU

at NEW

vs MCY

Jelavic is the go-to guy now that Shane Long is no longer at Hull. He'll continue to pepper the net with shots and get his goals.

4

Mauro Zarate

vs SOU

at HUL

vs LIV

at MUN

Zarate had 19 goals last season in Argentina, but a goal in his PL debut shows he adjusts well. Beware of that schedule.

5

Saido Berahino

at SWC

vs EVE

at TOT

vs BUR

Berahino had a difficult 2013-14 but a new season brings new opportunites and 2 goals last weekend is a good start.