Crystal Palace – Fantasy Premier League Potential – Fantasy Football Tips

After the worst start ever made by a Premier League team, Roy Hodgson replaced Frank de Boer and turned things around to achieve a respectable 11th place finish. Crystal Palace will be hoping to build on last season’s improvement under the ex-England manager by avoiding another relegation scrap and making a push into the top-half.

Some big money purchases in the last couple of years means there’s unlikely to be a lot of business in the transfer window this summer as the purse strings tighten and Crystal Palace look to keep hold of their best players, most notably Wilfried Zaha. From a fantasy perspective, the South London team have a kind set of fixtures to begin the season that makes some of their assets particularly attractive.

STAR MAN – Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m)

Since returning to Selhurst Park after an unsuccessful spell at Manchester United, Wilfried Zaha has become the main man at Crystal Palace. The South London team didn’t manage to win a league game without him last season and all of their attacking play goes through the tricky forward. As has been the case for the last couple of transfer windows the Ivory Coast international has been linked with a big-money move away from SE25 but Palace know how crucial he is to the team and will do everything they can to keep hold of him for the coming season.

Last season Hodgson regularly used Zaha as a central striker rather than a traditional winger as he tried to find a work-around for Benteke’s goal drought. Zaha was particularly effective centrally with 2017/18 being his most productive in terms of goals scored as he hit the back of the net 9 times, whilst also supplying 7 assists. Those at FPL towers clearly believe he’ll continue playing as a central striker as they’ve reclassified him as a forward rather than midfielder. At £7m he’s a mid-price forward with lots of potential, despite his reclassification, meaning he’ll get fewer points for goals this season and will miss out on clean sheet points too. The change though could see an improvement in his bonus points output which was just 8 last year, significantly lower than you’d expect for a mid-table talisman who put in plenty of man-of-the match performances. Whether he starts out wide or centrally, Zaha is nailed on whenever he’s fit and will be Palace’s most dangerous player going forward meaning he is in prime position to capitalise on the Eagle’s opening run of fixtures.

HIDDEN GEM – Tomkins (£4.5m)

Since his £10m move to Crystal Palace from boyhood club West Ham, Tomkins has established himself as a dependable centre back for the Eagles. The most striking thing about the Englishman as we head into the new season though is his defensive partnership with Mamadou Sakho. The two central defenders were at the heart of Palace’s revival last season where they went unbeaten for the 13 games they played together, winning 10, drawing 3 and conceding just 8 goals. If Tomkins and Sakho can both stay fit then we can expect to see plenty of clean sheets coming from the defensive duo.

With Tomkins being generously priced at just £4.5m, compared to Sakho (£5m) and van Aanholt (£5.5m) he offers a budget-friendly route into the Palace backline. In addition to his defensive potential, Tomkins finished last season strongly in terms of goal threat too, something that he will hope to take into the new campaign. With 2 goals in the final 8 games and more shots in the box and big chances than any other defender in the league, he showed that he can be a serious threat from set-pieces and may be one to watch with Palace’s promising early fixtures.

BARGAIN – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4m)

Last season Crystal Palace suffered from an unprecedented injury crisis, with experienced manager Roy Hodgson labelling it “the worst injury crisis I’ve faced in my five decades of football management”. It was a tough time for the club but some good came from it as academy product Aaron Wan-Bissaka stepped up at right back. The young Englishman experienced a baptism of fire as his first 3 Premier League games were against Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea but he excelled, impressing from the off. After a couple more games, including a standout performance against Huddersfield, Wan-Bissaka won Palace’s player of the month award for March and made a total of 7 Premier League appearances.

Hodgson was keen to protect the 20 year old from the hype that was building amongst the red and blue faithful so relied on the experience of Ward at right back towards the end of the season as they secured their Premier League status, but it was clear he was more than capable of playing at this level. With Fosu-Mensah returning to Man Utd after a loan spell, Wan-Bissaka will be fighting with Joel Ward, who recently signed a new contract, for the right-back spot and it would not be a surprise to any Crystal Palace fan to see the academy product establishing himself as 1st choice. If he manages to do that, he will be a real bargain at just £4m, the lowest starting value of any defender in the game.


Ward – Tomkins – Sakho – Van Aanholt
Townsend – Milivojevic – Riederwald – Mcarthur
Benteke – Zaha

Written by Dan Bright (@dbright_14)

1 Response

  1. July 20, 2018

    […] Link: Crystal Palace – Fantasy Premier League Potential – Fantasy Football Tips […]

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