Football Features

Fantasy Premier League: Five surprise packages you wish you bought sooner

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 15:55, 8 November 2019

Every Premier League season, an unexpected player earns themselves a place in the hearts and minds of Fantasy Football aficionados.

Whether it be Gylfi Sigurdsson single-handedly saving Swansea in 2016/17,  Luka Milivojevic’s penalty exploits of 2017/18 or Ryan Fraser’s sudden Ozil-like assisting ability of last season, there is nothing more satisfying than uncovering one of FPL’s hidden gems before anyone else seems to realise.

For those bold enough to enter into the FPL draft, uncovering a hidden gem can be the difference between second and first within your league. For the normal players, a budget player who brings in big points is any manager’s dream.

This year, as with any other, there have been a few players who have gone from unknown to a staple in any decent managers’ side. If you don’t currently own any of the players we’re about to mention, we strongly recommend you reconsider your selections…

Let’s take a look at five of the shock stars of the FPL season thus far.

1. John Lundstram

Where else could we start?

John Lundstram has gone from a total unknown to most FPL players to a legend of the game. Despite costing just £4.0m (FOUR MILLION) at the start of the season (the lowest price anyone can be on FPL), Lundstram is 14 points clear at the top of the defenders’ points chart.

Despite being listed as part of the Sheffield Utd defence, the 25-year-old actually plays as a relatively advanced midfielder in Chris Wilder’s system. Mispositioned players in FPL can often prove productive and Lundstram is no different.

He picked up a massive 21 points in the last gameweek and has been a constant threat going forward (three goals and one assist) as well as profiting from his team’s sturdy rearguard (five of the top 11 defenders play for the Blades).

Remarkably, he’s owned by just 39.6% of the 7,021,076 players worldwide. This may seem like a lot, but given the fact that he offers the best points-per-million value in the entire game, it appears a fair few managers are missing out on one of the stars of the season so far.

2. John McGinn

There’s something about the name John this year.

The Scotsman has impressed the casual Premier League spectator this season alongside Jack Grealish in the Villa midfield. Many preferred Grealish over McGinn at the start of the campaign in their FPL teams, but most have quickly rectified this selection.

Having already managed more points than Heung-min Son and Bernardo Silva this season, the all-action midfielder has accumulated three goals and two assists. He has offered a steady points return for the 11.5% that own him, earning more than two points in six of the 11 gameweeks thus far.

He sits just behind Youri Tielemans and James Maddison in the rankings already and, at just £5.8m, represents a must-have for anyone serious about FPL this season.

3. Aaron Ramsdale

Ramsdale has been at Bournemouth since 2017, spending his career out on loan until the start of this season. He made his debut on the opening day against Sheffield Utd and has since been an ever-present between the sticks for the Cherries.

Three clean sheets and 24 points in the last three gameweeks has seen Ramsdale leap to the top of the FPL goalkeeper rankings. Bournemouth are not a side renowned for their defensive security, but this recent run of form is perhaps food for thought for those looking for a budget goalkeeping option; Ramsdale costs just £4.6m.

One reason Ramsdale is top of these rankings is the assist he managed away at south coast rivals Southampton in September, making him the only goalkeeper to have an attacking contribution so far this season. Don’t transfer him in expecting KDB creativity levels, however.

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4. Çağlar Söyüncü

Söyüncü has been one of the stars of the 2019/20 Premier League season so far.

He seems to be a genuine upgrade on Harry Maguire in the heart of the Leicester defence and has slotted into 9.9% of FPL around the world so far.

Four clean sheets in 11 games is a very solid return for a defender who costs just £4.8m at the time of writing. His enormous 14-point return at Selhurst Park in gameweek 11 has been a long time coming: his aerial dominance in defence was always going to make him a set-piece threat at some point in the imminent future.

Leicester’s defence has been full of FPL stars this season, but Söyüncü is the cheapest option. He’s yet to miss a minute of league football this season and his form would suggest that this may continue for more time yet.

5. Tammy Abraham

Abraham may have bagged 25 goals in the Championship last campaign but few expected him to be as prolific as he has been in 2019/20.

The 22-year-old’s start to the season was clouded with uncertainty as to whether he would be the first-choice striker for Frank Lampard. He was given his chance at Old Trafford on the opening day and hasn’t looked back since.

Despite two single-point returns at the start of the season, the last eight games have yielded nine goals and two assists as Abraham has fired himself to second in the FPL striker rankings, above the likes of Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

He has spearheaded Chelsea’s potent attack admirably since the start of the season and, at just £7.9m, offers a points-per-million value that the big names of FPL can only dream of.

Chelsea’s style lends to plenty of goals scored whilst conceding simultaneously. Fortunately, any leaks in the Chelsea defence will not come back to bite Abraham in the FPL world.