This weekly article profiles budget FPL players that you may wish to consider for selection in your squads when looking to enable funds to be spent elsewhere in your team.
Defender – Martin Kelly (£4.1m) vs Watford (A)
Regular readers may recall that I tipped Gary Cahill (£4.5m) as recently as Gameweek 14, but his recent injury along with Joel Ward’s (£4.4m) means that Crystal Palace’s right-back comes straight to the fore.
With a first away clean sheet of the season now in the bag, he can be trusted for defensive points at home and on the road. Don’t expect him to add further to his assist tally of one anytime soon however, as he is strictly defensively minded.
With 25.1% ownership and such a low cost, the Englishman’s price tag is set to soar like an eagle ahead of his side’s kind run of games from now all the way until Gameweek 22.
Impressively, all five of Palace’s clean sheets this season have come in the eight games that Kelly has started.
The once-capped England international represents the perfect budget enabler during the busy month of December when it is likely that bench players will be needed more often than not. FPL managers should have no problem in throwing him into their sides thanks to the aforementioned ease of the Eagles’ matches over the Christmas period.
Midfielder – James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m) vs Newcastle United (A)
The England international’s recent FPL returns have been rather overshadowed recently thanks to the talismanic displays of his teammate down below.
However, he is on a great run of four returns (two goals and two assists) from his past five matches, which included away trips to the Emirates and the Etihad.
On paper however, the set-piece maestro and penalty-taker has no tough games in his next three with West Ham at home and Aston Villa away to come after Sunday’s trip to the North-East. These three sides all sit in the top six out of all Premier League sides for the highest amount of xGA so far.
The Saints themselves are heavily underperforming in the amount of goals they have scored so far this season as they are five goals short of their xG tally (17 vs 22) so there is good potential for Ward-Prowse to contribute to evening this out starting now.
Forward – Danny Ings (£6.2m) vs Newcastle United (A)
Aside from his fourth nine-point haul of the season against the Canaries on Wednesday, the most notable aspect for this FPL observer was that the Englishman managed to complete 76 minutes in a midweek match just days after completing the full 90 last weekend. This is very encouraging news at this busy time of year.
His susceptibility to injuries in previous seasons has been used as a stick to beat him with, but this can no longer be used as a valid argument as he has appeared in every Southampton league match to date scoring eight goals along the way.
Crucially, half of those goals have each brought three bonus points to boot, which explains his talismanic status in the side.
Just this week the team at Who Got The Assist shared their fantastic insight into the talismen and value players from so far this season (click here) .
In terms of % of a team’s individual points scorers, Ings comes out at a lofty 34.1%, which demonstrates high xGI for the striker whenever his side score.
To date, the number nine is second only to Gabriel Jesus for the highest amount of shots within the six yard box (eight) so if he keeps getting in these positions, the goals should carry on coming.