SEASON: 2017/18 PRICE: 4.5 POINTS: 150 CLEANSHEETS: 11 Unexpected is a word that typified Burnley in the 2017/18 season. Guided by Sean Dyche, Burnley defied the odds by qualifying for European football for the first time in 51 years. Success came from an aggressive, high-energy style of play built on the foundations of a robust defence and an unflappable Goalkeeper in Nick Pope. Consistent impressive performances lead to a call-up to the England Squad for Pope. He was the third best keeper of the season, behind only De Gea and Ederson. Scoring 4.4 points per game, Pope racked up 11 cleansheets and finished top of the bonus points charts for a keeper with 19 points.
SEASON: 2013/14 PRICE: 5 POINTS: 180 CLEANSHEETS: 15 GOALS SCORED: 6 Seamus Coleman was invaluable for any fantasy manager in the 13/14 season. The maraurding Irishman earned 180 points, scoring 6 goals from his forays forward and winning 20 bonus points along the way. Perhaps his greatest achievement was overtaking long-standing fantasy managerâ€™s favourite Leighton Baines as the must have Everton defender!
SEASON: 2006/07 PRICE: 5.5 POINTS: 164 GOALS SCORED: 8
A midfielder listed as a defender is gold-dust for a fantasy manager. For two seasons Matty Taylor was listed as a defender, but was often employed as a left winger. In 2006/07 Taylor scored 8 goals including a wondergoal against Everton, perfectly striking a dipping volley from near the half-way line!
SEASON: 2007/08 PRICE: 4.5 POINTS: 163 GOALS SCORED: 6 Aston Villa fans had high expectations when they signed Martin Laursen from AC Milan for £3m, but injury hampered his first two seasons at the club. It wasn’t unitl 2007/08 that Villa saw the best of the Danish international. He was imperious all season at the back as well as grabbing 6 goals at the other end of the pitch. Laursen was voted Villa fan’s player of the year, and was given the captain’s armband for the 2008/09 season.
SEASON: 2005/06 PRICE: 7 POINTS: 168 GOALS SCORED: 9
SEASON: 2012/13 PRICE: 6.5 POINTS: 190 GOALS SCORED: 18 Michu, who? In 2012/13 Swansea’s new signing was something of an unknown quantity to many fans. He had enjoyed a good season with Rayo Vallecano prior to bursting into the Premier League. Michu scored a brace on the opening day and ended the season with 18 goals causing his price to soar from 6.5 to 8.5 at its peak. However no sooner had he arrived than he was gone again, after one glorious season Michu faded away back into football obscurity.
In an era when the likes of Lampard, Gerrard, Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo were taking up huge chunks of fantasy managers budgets, picking the right mid-priced midfielder had huge importance. Mark Hughes’ Blackburn were perennial overachievers and Gamst-Pedersen was a key man in their midfield. Chipping in with goals and assists along with some sublime free-kicks helped MGP become a fantasy manager’s favourite.
ODION IGHALO SEASON: 2015/16 PRICE: 5 POINTS: 175 GOALS SCORED: 15 Ighalo got 20 goals in Watford’s promotion winning side, he hit the ground running in the Premier League scoring 13 goals before January. His low price meant managers were scambling to get him in their teams. However Ighalo only scored two goals in the second half of the season and within a year he was transferred to China.
JAMIE VARDY SEASON: 2015/16 PRICE: 6 POINTS: 211 GOALS SCORED: 24 Leicester miraculously winning the Premier League threw up some surprises for Fantasy Managers. Vardy began notching goals and points early in the season and incredibly he just kept going. Scoring 24 goals and breaking the Premier League record for goals in consecutive games along the way. Vardy also won a vital 7 penalties for his team.
SEASON: 2015/16 PRICE: 5.5 POINTS: 240 GOALS SCORED: 17 ASSISTS: 11 BONUS POINTS: 38 Leicester’s player of the year was the mecurial Riyad Mahrez. All season he dazzled fans, bamboozling defences, cutting in off the right wing to slot home 17 goals, and earnt 38 bonus points. Amazingly, managers could have picked up Mahrez for bargain 5.5 at the start of the season.