Sky Sports Fantasy Football tipster Pete Hall picks out the best potential points earners from the Premier League's newly promoted sides.
What do Fraizer Campbell, Curtis Davies, Jason Puncheon, and Joel Ward all have in common?
Last season these players, all plying their trade for newly-promoted sides in the Premier League, all bagged more Sky Sports Fantasy Football points than established stars such as Robin van Persie, Alvaro Negredo and Frank Lampard.
Costing less than half what you would shell out on such recognised talent, unearthing bargain buys within the ranks of Premier new boys could be the difference between a prize-winning season in Sky Sports Fantasy Football management, and a feeling of what might have been.
Here are three players from the top flight new boys capable of winning not just plenty of admirers, but more importantly just as many Sky Sports Fantasy Football points.
David Nugent - £7m
More of a household name than many on this list, the Leicester hitman has Premier League experience under his belt, and although he failed to set the world alight on his previous spell in the top flight with Portsmouth, the 29-year-old is primed and ready to make the most of his chance to shine. A £7m price tag may seem inflated at first, but leading the line with a plethora of creative midfield options behind him, Nugent will certainly get chances. What’s more, the former Preston hit-man looks set to be the Foxes’ designated penalty taker after scoring 12 from the spot last term, representing further opportunity to secure some vital Sky Sports Fantasy Football points.
Kasper Schmeichel - £4.3m
Linked with a host of high profile clubs, Schmeichel certainly impressed between the sticks for Leicester last season, keeping 18 clean sheets in his side’s title-winning campaign. With a budget of £75m the goalkeeper spot often is the last on Fantasy Football boss’ minds, as a bargain is often sought with a paucity of funds left after picking star men. At £4.3m, the 27-year-old can be found in the same price bracket as several second string stoppers. As a near-certainty to start, Schmeichel is more than capable of bringing his resolute form to the highest level.
Anthony Knockaert - £5.1m
Assists are key to midfielders proving their worth in the weird and wonderful world of Fantasy Football and, in Knockaert, Leicester possess a creative star with real ability. Knockaert showed the world he had put his play-off penalty heartache to the back of his mind with some sensational performances in 2013/14, creating an impressive 89 chances for his side. The mental strength he showed overcoming that miss against Watford should give Fantasy Football bosses heart when considering whether the 22-year-old Frenchman can handle the big time. With a price tag of just £5.1m, there will be plenty of interest in the talented midfielder.
Kieran Trippier - £4.8m
A refreshing sight: A young, talented English defender with seemingly the right temperament, Trippier is well worth the attention he is attracting. However, Sky Sports Fantasy Football bosses won’t be concerned by that, as the right attitude doesn’t earn any points. What does is being part of a defence which kept 19 cleansheets last season and, remarkably, the 23-year-old finished second in the Sky Bet Championship assist rankings. Costing the same as out-of-favour Antolin Alcaraz and Peter Ramage, Trippier’s 12 assists show he is capable of going forward and being tough to beat at the back; an attractive proposition for Fantasy managers.
Danny Ings - £7m
One of the most recognisable names on the list after being heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, Ings let his feet do the talking last term as he helped himself to 21 goals on the way to Burnley’s return to the big time. A surprisingly low price-tag of £7m for one with such a record, the England Under-21 hitman will be the focal point of the Clarets’ attack this season. He will almost certainly be guaranteed a starting berth week in week out, which is a key component to a prolific Sky Sports Fantasy Football forward line.
Sam Vokes - £6.6m
An even cheaper option than his more illustrious strike partner, Vokes bagged only one less league goal last season, from only 41 shots on target. The 24-year-old Welshman is out for the first few months, but will be eager to please on his return to the Burnley side. At £6.6m he's available for the same figure that would net you the far from prolific Sunderland forward Danny Graham or Manchester City outcast John Guidetti. Remember where you heard it first.
Charlie Austin - £7.1m
Despite a glut of talented arrivals at QPR this summer, there is really only one man who will lead Harry Redknapp’s frontline and Austin is more than capable of doing likewise for Fantasy attacks up and down the country. A strike-rate of 0.56 goals per game since signing for QPR is mightily impressive, especially when you consider he notched 13 more goals than any of his team-mates despite a substantial spell on the sidelines. When you take into account his aptitude at shouldering the goalscoring mantle, Austin represents a bargain at £7.1m.
Steven Caulker - £5.5m
With the best Fantasy Football track record on this list, Caulker managed to notch 88 points in a side relegated from the top flight last season at Cardiff. At QPR, Caulker will likely be paired with Rio Ferdinand and under the former England international’s stewardship he could well excel. A slight price hike of £0.4m to £5.5m should not deter bosses. This could well be a campaign in which Caulker shines.
Mauricio Isla - £5.2m
Every team needs a risk and those who take that gamble on the unknown often reap hearty rewards. Mauricio Isla arrives at QPR with some pedigree, having made 47 appearances for Serie A title holders Juventus in the past two seasons. The on-loan Chilean is equally adept in midfield or defence – which as we all know, can earn plenty of Fantasy points from defensive or attacking situations. Valued at £5.2m, the element of risk is reduced and with versatility key to any side, Isla’s addition makes sense.