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. If you missed the first Bargain FPL options piece on goalkeepers or defenders, be sure to give them a read!
It’s well known that most fantasy football points are scored from the outfield positions (midfielders and forwards) and having an expensive front line does cause budget issues. It is therefore important to try any find some cheaper players to help fit in these more expensive players. These five bargain FPL options in midfield should provide a solid point count and leave you a nice chunk of cash for the more important players.
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth, 5.5m)
Ryan Fraser has a low ownership of just 1.6% which I am very surprised about, because of that 1.6% I am one of them. He joined the Cherries from Scottish team Aberdeen back in 2013, but was sent out on loan to Ipswich in the 2015/16 season which prevented the winger from playing any part in Bournemouth’s inaugural Premier League season. The Scotsman played in his first Premier League campaign last season and certainly did not look out of his depth.
He scored a century of points last season in just 1,764 minutes of football which equates to just over a half of the season. He bagged 3 goals and 9 assists including goals against Liverpool and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium.
As well as domestic football, Ryan Fraser has 1 cap for Scotland which was against England in their World Cup qualifier. Overall I believe Fraser can be something special this season and would make a great 4th/5th midfield option which can free up budget for elsewhere in your FPL squad.
Matt Phillips (West Brom, 6.0m)
Similar to Fraser, Matt Phillips has a surprisingly low ownership of just 2.7%. He joined West Brom from Queens Park Rangers after impressing for them in the Premier League before the Hoops faced yet another relegation. Phillips has played 3 seasons in the Premier League and has improved every season, which if he does this season will see the winger score over 115 points.
His 115 points from last season included 4 goals and 9 assists for the Baggies in just 2,181 (limited due to injury). If the Scotsman can avoid any injuries this season he could become one of the great FPL bargains of the season.
West Brom have arguably the most favourable start to the season for any club in the Premier League which will make Phillips an even more tempting selection before the inevitable first wildcard. Also the players ahead of him have improved with the signing of Jay Rodriguez.
Matt Ritchie (Newcastle, 6.0m)
Matt Ritchie also has a reasonably low ownership of 4.2%. The Scotsman is entering his second full season in the Premier League, after he had a season with Bournemouth in 2015/16, before going down a division to Newcastle and has now been promoted to the Premier League again at the first time of asking.
In the Championship last season, Ritchie scored an impressive 12 times and set up 7 for his team mates in a very successful season for the winger. However, slightly worrying is that he racked up 10 yellow cards in his 42 appearances , which isn’t too bad, but it may have an effect on his FPL point scoring.
In his Premier League season at Bournemouth he scored 4 goals and assisted 8 in a decent start to his Premier League career. Saying that, he did play 81 minutes of Premier League football in the 2009/10 season with Portsmouth, but failed to make a real impact. Overall I think he’d be a decent option considering his fixtures and his quality.
Thomas Ince (Huddersfield, 6.0m)
Tom Ince is yet another one of these bargains who has a low ownership. Ince is owned by 2.1% of FPL managers and has had previous Premier League experience in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons with Crystal Palace and Hull respectively.
However the English winger never really adapted to Premier League football as he had only scored 1 goal across the two seasons. In those two seasons he played just over 700 minutes for the Eagles and the Tigers, so he couldn’t get a good spell in the first team and gain some much needed momentum.
When it comes to the Championship, Ince seems to be a completely different player. In his last two season, Ince has turned out for Derby in the Championship with two unsuccessful promotion challenges. Despite this, he has notched up 26 goals and 14 assists in those two seasons which has evidently earned him his move to Huddersfield, where I fully expect him to finally reach his potential and grab double figures in the goals and assists departments.
Nathan Redmond (Southampton, 6.5m)
Nathan Redmond may be the most expensive player in this list but he is also owned by the most (9.7%). He also has the most Premier League experience on this list, as the England under-23 winger is entering his fourth full year in the Premier League.
At the beginning of last season, Redmond was deployed as a striker by former Southampton manager Claude Puel, which meant a flurry of FPL managers jumped on the Redmond bandwagon and it seemed to be a good idea as he scored in the first game of the season against Watford, but he’d go on and fail to score in his next 9 appearances in all competitions.
Overall, last season he racked up a respectable 126 points which included 7 goals and 1 assist to his name. His previous 2 seasons in England’s top flight came with Norwich where he showed the potential to tempt the Saints into buying him. Overall I believe Redmond can be a great option for any FPL team considering the fact that, in his first 10 games this season, 9 of them are rated 2 on the FDR (fixture difficulty rating).
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)