This weekly article profiles budget FPL players that you may wish to consider for selection in your Fantasy Premier League squads when looking to enable funds to be spent elsewhere in your team
Defender – Issa Diop (£4.5m) vs Bournemouth (A)
Regular readers may recall that I unfortunately tipped another Hammers defender (Arthur Masuaku) before he saw red in Gameweek 5, so I’ve gone for another one who is now more nailed after two more clean sheets for West Ham.
Diop has picked up 2 bonus points in 3 clean sheets so far and is set for more, with a kind fixture run to come over the next six.
The French centre-back has an impressive xG of 0.56, which puts him in the top 10 for all defenders and suggests that attacking returns are imminent.
With doubts mounting over Luca Digne and Oleksandr Zinchenko, Diop seems to be the standout option amongst the 4.5 defenders and is cheap enough to be benched for trickier matches such as Bournemouth if necessary.
Midfielder – Marvelous Nakamba (£4.4m) vs Burnley
If you’re looking for your 5th midfielder to sit on your bench week in, week out then the Zimbabwean represents the cheapest midfield enabler at present.
The Villa enforcer has now started the last two matches and seems to be ahead of Douglas Luiz in the pecking order now. He can therefore be replied upon for 2/3 points should your side’s bench need to be called upon. At just £4.4m – isn’t that bloody Marvellous?!
Forward – Chris Wood (£6.2m) vs Aston Villa (A)
With all the focus surrounding his strike partner, Ashley Barnes (6.7m), it was perhaps inevitable that the Kiwi turned up trumps on Saturday.
After a £0.3m price drop, Wood represents fantastic value and he actually has a better xG90 of 0.47 (vs 0.46 for Barnes). Wood has had the same number of shots in the six yard box (three) as Barnes with his aerial strength coming to the fore.
Burnley’s crosses from the flanks targeted Norwich City’s aerial weaknesses in their last game and the same can be said of the Clarets’ next opponents. In their last home game, both of Villa’s two centre-backs (7 total) were outnumbered in the amount of aerial duels won by West Ham’s Sébastien Haller (8), another player who is strong in the air.
Expect Burnley to again bombard the opposition’s box with high crosses to exploit Wood’s strengths.