Premier League Fantasy Football: Phil Jagielka, Troy Deeney and nine bargain buy players under £7m

 
Joe Hall
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Mr. Reliable: Jagielka has topped 100 fantasy points for five consecutive seasons (Source: Getty)

The Premier League season is just days away and so it's time to sign up to your office's fantasy football league and prepare for nine months of desperate dithering on Friday evenings over what transfers your team needs.

Read more: Premier League summer transfer window in one graph

Perhaps you're already at that stage, building draft after draft of a line-up with the deadline for the opening weekend ticking. You know Mesut Özil's passing is certain to tear teams to shreds, Leighton Baines will score goals from defence and Diego Costa's celebratory jazz hands will be deployed on at least 20 occasions. But now your big hitters have used up most of your cash and you're looking for some wise low-cost buys to keep the points ticking over.

Using the prices set by the free official Premier League game (with over 3m players, it's likely you will too), here's 11 potentially undervalued players for less than £7m who could add the finishing touches to your oh-so-wittily-named team.

Goalkeeper

Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea - £5m

Not particularly imaginative choice - what with him being last season's highest scoring 'keeper - but considering you're not going to find a first choice goalie for less, Lukasz Fabianski for £5m is a good place to start if you're looking to save between the sticks.

Defence

Steve Cook, Bournemouth - £4.5m

Although Bournemouth won plenty of plaudits for a swaggering, attacking style of football in the Championship last season, just as integral to their promotion was a tightly bound defence that conceded the second fewest number of goals in the league.

With 4,101 minutes of game time clocked up, centre-back Steve Cook was as integral to that as anyone but also contributed at the other end with a not-too-shabby five goals.

Phil Jagielka, Everton - £5.5m

More expensive than the other defenders on this list, but Phil Jagielka is as safe a pair of hands as you're likely to find. In eight of the last nine seasons he's amassed over 100 points. The 32-year-old centre-back will be just as crucial a member of Everton's first team this season - especially if partner John Stones is eventually sold.

John O'Shea, Sunderland - £4.5m

Another reliable veteran, John O'Shea was Sunderland's best performing outfield player in fantasy football in the last campaign. Admittedly that means almost nothing when considering the competition, yet it's worth noting that the Black Cats began to plug the leaks in defence following Dick Advocaat's arrival at the end of last season and recorded four clean sheets in their last nine games.

Summer signing Younes Kaboul could also be an option, yet O'Shea's superior disciplinary record means he's less likely to cost you points through cards or suspensions.

Joe Gomez, Liverpool - £4.5m

From the familiar to the born in 1997, Liverpool summer signing Joe Gomez would be a gamble but at just £4.5m could be a clever choice for the bench. The Charlton academy product has impressed in pre-season and looks set to defy expectation that he will be immediately loaned out of the club by starting for Liverpool in their opener at Stoke.

Midfield

Tom Cleverley, Everton - £5.5m

Everton's signing of Tom Cleverley is arguably the least sexy transfer of the summer and putting him in your team is hardly going to plant fantasies of glorious goals and hat-tricks from midfield in your imagination.

Yet last season Cleverley notched a respectable 81 points in a struggling Aston Villa - more than any of Everton's current crop and Roberto Martinez he will enjoy the benefits of a much more attacking philosophy.

Matt Ritchie, Bournemouth - £6m

Matt Ritchie was the joint highest-scoring midfielder in the Championship last season (15 goals) and had more assists than any other player (17). He takes free-kicks, corners and sometimes penalties too.

Convinced?

Ki Sung-yeung, Swansea - £5.5m

Teammate Gylfi Sigurdsson is the more popular choice, yet for £2m less Ki Sung-yeung is the more affordable option and still delivers a sizable amount of points thanks to a knack of scoring goals from midfield. Also an option: less disciplined midfield partner Jonjo Shelvey.

Ikechi Anya, Watford - £4.5m

You won't find a midfielder for less and with seven and eight assists from midfield in his last two season, Scottish international Ikechi Anya is more likely to pick up points than the midfielders available for the same price.

Forwards

Troy Deeney, Watford - £5m

In three consecutive Championship campaigns, Troy Deeney has scored 19 goals or more for Watford. Even if he nets half that in his debut Premier League season he'll be good value at £5m.

The successful graduations of Rickie Lambert, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy in recent seasons suggests that newly-promoted strikers are more than capable of proving a hit in the Premier League.

Yann Kermorgant, Bournemouth - £4.5m

Selected by just 0.3 per cent of teams at the time of writing, Bournemouth's mercurial Frenchman is even cheaper than Deeney but was often just as effective in the Championship last season. Equally capable as a barrel-chested battering ram or a strutting no.10 picking a through ball, Kermorgant hit 10 assists last season to go alongside 15 goals.

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