Fantasy football budget midfield options compared

Yahoo Sport UK
Southampton’s Nathan Redmond in action with Watford’s Jose Holebas. REUTERS/Hannah McKay.
Southampton’s Nathan Redmond in action with Watford’s Jose Holebas. REUTERS/Hannah McKay.

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The situation

With so many elite players scoring in both midfield and upfront, fantasy football managers are scrambling to find budget options to play alongside and facilitate a team with as many premium options as possible.

Harry Kane found his shooting boots this week to join Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku in the goals, while Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham all have multiple premium options in midfield. Below is an analysis on the 10 best fantasy football budget options which can help managers afford as many elite options as possible.

All the options cost £6.5m or less and have already scored or assisted during the opening four Premier League games. Tom Ince is yet to be involved in a goal this year but still remains an option.

The first five options
The first five fantasy football budget include Richarlison, Mooy, Choupo-Moting, Ritchie and Jese.
The first five fantasy football budget include Richarlison, Mooy, Choupo-Moting, Ritchie and Jese.
The first five analysis

Richarlison (£6m-21 points) and Nathan Redmond are tied with the most total shots at 13, but the Watford winger has had an incredible 10 shots inside the box already. However, only two have hit the target which means his xG is only 1.11 so far this season. He’s not just a poacher either, he has created six chances for his teammates, leading to an xA of 0.75.

Aaron Mooy (£5.7m-21 points) has helped new boys Huddersfield Town get seven points from their opening four games with a goal and an assist. Don’t expect him to keep up his goalscoring record though. The Australian international has scored with his only shot on target, but his ability to put the ball onto teammate Steve Mounie’s head should keep him ticking through the season.

Chuopo-Moting (£5.5-21 points) is the only player to score against Manchester United this season after his brace this weekend. He has looked lively during his start at Stoke but he has only had three shots on target from his 12 attempts, with three of his shots being blocked and six missing the target. Stoke face Newcastle, Chelsea, Southampton and Manchester City in their next four so be wary about bringing him in yet.

Matt Ritchie (£5.9-13 points) was a favourite budget option when he won promotion with Bournemouth in the 2015-16 season, after he was involved in 32 goals (15 goals & 17 assists). No-one expected Ritchie to match his output in the Premier League, but managers were still disappointed after he was only involved in 10 games in his debut Premier League season. Back in the top division again, the Scot has already created two chances with crosses from his five chances created and has two shots on target. Ritchie has been booked three times in just four games, something to watch out for if you pick him up.

Jese (£6m-14 points) has played for some top European sides in Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Although his minutes at the European giants have been limited through lack of opportunity and injuries. Jese has played over a game less than everyone else in this analysis, but still earned his spot having scored for Stoke in his 205 minutes. With six shots and three on target, Jese has an xG of 0.67.

The second five options
The second five fantasy football budget options include Doucoure, Gross, Brady, Philips and Redmond.
The second five fantasy football budget options include Doucoure, Gross, Brady, Philips and Redmond.
The second five analysis

Watford bought well in the summer, as a second budget midfielder from the Hornets makes our list. Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.2-26 points) is the highest scoring budget midfielder in the game at the moment but his stats suggest his output is not sustainable. He has scored twice from his two shots on target which have come from just four shots.

Pascal Gross (£5.4-25 points) has been involved in all of Brighton’s Premier League goals, having scored twice and made their third against West Brom at the weekend. A pair of goals and an assist is a great output for any player in just four games. But Brighton had not scored a goal before this weekend and Gross has only fired off four shots so far, that’s just one shot a game incase you needed help with that.

Robbie Brady (£5.5- 13 points) has created the most chances within the budget midfielder bracket, along with Nathan Redmond. Brady has only hit the target with one shot but he hit the woodwork with another. More of a creator than a goalscorer, Brady is on 0.98 xA after four games and has assisted a Claret already.

Matt Phillips (£6m-14 points) is one of the few players with Premier League experience in the anslysis. West Brom scored 15 of their 41 goals last year from set pieces, including a goal every 10 corners. With their ability in the air and Phillips’ ability from a dead-ball, Phillips should be a fantasy must-have. However, he has to share set-pieces with the left-footed Chris Brunt and his potential output is dented. Five shots and six chances created is what the Scot has managed this season for the Baggies.

With the most shots and the most chances created, Nathan Redmond (£6.5-12 points) is statistically the best budget option in the game, but he is both the most expensive and currently has the fewest points. Redmond may have fired off 13 shots but he has only had two shots on target and five shots in the box. And while he has created 10 chances for his teammates, Southampton have scored just three times. Only Everton, Swansea and Bournemouth have scored fewer goals.

The verdict

Unsurprisingly, budget midfielders are not consistent and we have only seen four Premier League games this season. Redmond has the best stats and Southampton have incredible fixtures, but a lot of managers were burned by trusting him last season and will be wary to trust him again, even if it is only with £6.5m of their budget.

Richarlison looks the best overall option as a goalscorer and taking into account budget, stats and fixtures. But he does not feature on set-pieces, which can be a consistent drip of points throughout the season for creative players.

Fixtures

Watford: MCI, swa, wba, ARS

Huddersfield: LEI, brn, TOT, swa

Stoke: new, CHE, SOU, mci

Newcastle: STO, bri, LIV, sou

Brighton: bou, NEW, ars, EVE

Burnley: liv, HUD, eve, WHU

West Brom: WHU, ars, WAT, lei

Southampton: cpl, MNU, sto, NEW

Set pieces takers

Penalty takers: Mooy, Ritchie, Jese

Direct freekick takers: Brady, Mooy, Ritchie, Gross

Indirect freekick/corner takers: Brady, Mooy, Ritchie, Jese, Phillips, Gross

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