You ever sit inside on a rainy day and put together a puzzle?  Well, that is what the official game is all about.  Filling in a puzzle.  Now take a heavy heaping off the top with owning Mo Salah at 13.o.  That is 13% of your opening day budget.  It is actually more when you factor in that you need four bench players that will take another 13-15% of you salary depending on how much of a bench commitment you are willing to run out.  So finding bargains and undermined pieces that fit your puzzle is key.  Currently there are 26 players that are being owned in over 10% of leagues, for this time of the year that is pretty template-y. So after the 7.0 striker post the other day, this is the second in the line of budget players that fit more into a budget rather than a spending spree.  Because owning Mo and maybe a City middie commits you to well over 20% of your budget to be sprayed around the rest of the 13 players. Not that much star power in that at every position if you think about the ownership rates of other players floating around.  Bargains are out there in undiscovered places or even in newer players to the Premier.  So unearthing them is a fun game that you can do on any day… doesn’t have to be in the rain with your Grandma.  So here are the budget options that have caught my eye through the meat of your lineup.  Cheers!

Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace (6.5) – And as I write this Palace sign more players.  Meyer and Kouyate are in-bound or so it seems, but that shouldn’t effect wide side player in Townsend.  Has been blooming with spirit in preseason games with 5 assists.  Always a better player in draft formats due to his underlying stats that don’t correlate to the official.  With Zaha around him it always makes a good piece to have a secondary off of.  Though if you own Zaha, I would pivot somewhere else to spread the scoring around.  Is the perfect Marko middie to pivot off the West ham scoring options through the middle in Felipe and Yarmo.

Diogo Jota, Wolves (6.5) – Promoted players, cheap prices questionable results.  he plays forward enough that he could be a factor, especially for a team like Wolves that scored a ton, or a ton in the Championship.  Could be more of a compiler as the year goes on and given his ownership currently (6.6%) the FPL universe is committing to him and cheaper filler option in Neves.

Pedro, Chelsea (6.5) – Is he nailed on?  Who else is coming in for Chelsea and better yet who is leaving?  Has shown well in preseason fixtures but without Willian and Eden there it makes everyone shiny because they are getting playing time.  With all the Chelsea rumors going around surrounding more forward teams it will be interesting if he fits into the new managers scheme.

Richarlison, Everton (6.5) – Everyone’s favorite under budget player, and with some reason and a lot of question marks.  Was a tale of two seasons last year for the former Watford player.  Showed out well for 6-7 weeks and than disappeared.  Given his transfer fee and previous relationship with Marco Silva he seems about as nailed on as I can think of in a Toffee uniform.  With Siggy, and Cenk in the surround we could see untapped value from the Brazilian.

James Maddison, Leicester (6.5) – Goes from a canary to a fox.  Didn’t the fox eat the canary in some kids story…neither here nor there.  The transformation from Championship to Premier league success never fully translates.  14 goals and 8 helpers last year and his starting price will make him a usable asset to the Leicester build-up.  Tons of opportunities at the beginning of the year with admirable proven goal scorers in front of him.  If he can replicate a 10 goal and 10 assist campaign he will be on almost all teams as the punt middie last year by boxing Day.

Roberto Pererya, Watford (6.0) – What good is a playmaker with questionable goal scorers around him?  Watford on paper doesn’t look like a top scoring flight team, but should be good for middle of the pack.  The only hold back to Pererya’s game is can he stay on the pitch for 2000 plus minutes?  Last year he was on the field for 1600 and managed 5 goals and 3 assists, not awful but there’s more meat on the bone there if he can acclimate himself to a new skipper and playing time.


  1. Von Hayes says:

    Glad you’re back Smokey! Been tinkering for awhile now, I’ve done lineups with and without Mo and it’s just making too much sense to use him, plenty of budget savers to fill out with. I’ve pivoted recently from Zaha to Cenk up front due to ownership numbers and being a big Toffee fan, optimistically thinking the attack clicks the year. I’m also rolling with Richarlison tho, thoughts on Tosun and Everton putting up way more goals this year?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:

      @Von Hayes: I’m a fan of some Everton involvement from the start due to schedule and comparative players at price point. They almost have to improve from 18th overall in scoring chances. So I’m for a double Everton at least to start. Thanks for the read.

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