Welcome to the pre-season fantasy football tips series “Bargain FPL options”, the four-piece series where we find the fantasy football bargains for all positions.
It’s well known that most fantasy football points are scored from the outfield positions and having an expensive goalkeeper isn’t necessary. These five bargain FPL options should provide a solid point count and leave you a nice chunk of cash for the more important positions.
Rob Elliot (Newcastle, 4.0m)
Rob Elliot is a very popular pick for FPL managers. The Irish international is selected by 14.7% of them; because he is the most likely goalkeeper to start priced at 4.0m and could be the next Jakupovic or Pickford. However, Newcastle do have Karl Darlow in their ranks which does create some uncertainty who will start, however there is potential that Elliot could be picked as he did start the last pre-season fixture.
Elliot did play the final 3 games of Newcastle’s Championship title winning season, but that was all he played in a mainly frustrating season for him. In addition to that, Newcastle have been linked with other goalkeepers, including West Ham’s Spanish stopper Adrian.
Despite the evidence to suggest Elliot will disappoint many FPL managers, I believe he is worth a punt at the start as there aren’t any other goalkeepers who are as likely as him to start for their club. Be wary though, if after the first game week a flurry of people take him out because he didn’t play, you may end up with a 3.9m goalkeeper, resulting in a less budget for your team.
Ben Foster (West Brom, 4.5m)
Ben Foster is even more popular than Elliot, as the Englishman is selected by 16.5% of FPL managers. The main reason being the fact that West have a seemingly easy start to their Premier League campaign, which makes Foster perfect as a goalkeeper option before they use their 1st wildcard.
Foster scored 113 FPL points last season, putting him in the top 10 goalkeepers on the game. West Brom kept just 6 clean sheets in that time, but most of Foster’s points came from the sheer amount of saves he made. In total Foster racked up 115 saves, which equates to about a point a game considering he gets a point for every 3 he saves.
West Brom have also strengthened their defence with the loan signing of Egyptian Ahmed Hegazi who could help Foster make more clean sheets and inevitably score more FPL points for the many managers who have selected him.
Joe Hart (West Ham, 4.5m)
Joe Hart is another popular choice for FPL managers, being selected by 13.4% of them. Hart spent last season out on loan at Italian side Torino where he kept 5 clean sheets in his 36 appearances with them. As well as domestic football, Hart played for England 8 times in total, keeping a clean sheet in all of them apart from their dramatic draw with Scotland.
In the Premier League last season, West Ham kept a decent 10 clean sheets, and their defence has only strengthened since then with the acquisition of Pablo Zabaleta. Also the additions of Arnautovic and Hernandez could help Hart get as many FPL points as possible.
West Ham’s opening fixtures do include two recently promoted sides, but their first three games are all away from home due to the IAAF World Championships being held at the London Stadium. This wouldn’t affect the Hammers too much as it will be eventually levelled out later in the season.
Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth, 4.5m)
Asmir Begovic has an ownership of 6.6% making him slightly less out of favour than the above mentioned. He was also out of favour with Antonio Conte at Chelsea where he played just twice in their title winning campaign. The Bosnian conceded 5 in those two games and made just one save in the process.
However, with a good spell of games under his belt, Begovic can get back to the form that saw him get his move to Chelsea. He previously played for fellow Premier League side Stoke City where he became Tony Pulis’ and Mark Hughes’ first choice keeper after a move from Portsmouth.
Also, Begovic is one of six current Premier League goalkeepers to have scored a goal, so the Bosnian will always have that in his locker. The other six includes his two teammates, Adam Federici and Artur Boruc. The others being; Bravo and Leicester pair, Schmeichel and Jakupovic.
Jordan Pickford (Everton, 5.0m)
Jordan Pickford is the most expensive goalkeeper on this list; however in my eyes can still be a bargain. He had a fantastic season for Sunderland last campaign, but still couldn’t prevent the Black Cats getting relegated. He made an emphatic 135 saves in just 2,600 minutes of football meaning the Englishman made a save every 20 minutes last season.
Pickford, like other relegated players, got his move back to the Premier League with Everton, who kept an impressive 14 clean sheets in the Premier League. They have also strengthened at the back with the signing of Michael Keane. However, right back Seamus Coleman is out injured which leaves a hole which will be filled by FPL ‘legend’ Mason Holgate or Cuco Martina.
We do have to address Everton’s questionable opening fixtures. The Toffees start with a winnable fixture against Stoke, but then it goes downhill from there. They go with two consecutive away games at Man City and Chelsea, then back to Goodison Park against Spurs and the barbaric run finishes with an away fixture against Man United.
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)