With the FA Cup taking place this weekend, we have a break from Premier League action and I figured I’d use the time to provide you with five great pick-ups for both season-long and weekly leagues. These players can be either cheap waiver-wire claims or expensive players who you should trade for. They can provide you with the spark you’ve needed all season or with that final push needed to win your mini-league.
1. Eljero Elia – Southampton brought Elia on loan recently and he has taken no time to integrate with the squad. Elia started off on a good note, playing well for the Saints in their trip to Manchester United. He finished that match with five points in the Yahoo! game but was active during his 60 minutes of pitch time and contributed with both attacking and defensive stats. In his second match, he scored twice to give the Saints a 2-0 win over Newcastle. In that match, he also registered four tackles won, bringing his total tackles to seven in two matches. With Shane Long, Sadio Mane, and Jay Rodriguez still sidelined, Elia is likely to continue starting for the foreseeable future. He’s on top of my list.
2. Mesut Ozil – Ozil may not be on too many waiver wires, but he’s an incredibly low £ 5.44M in the Yahoo! game and built something of a bad reputation last season with his inconsistency. The truth is, Ozil was still extremely solid, and in a game where discounts prove to be extremely important, Ozil at that price is a nice option. He is owned by 11.47% of managers, which is quite high, but I think he’s a great option that will allow you to spend elsewhere. In a week where we have the return of Sergio Aguero, Ozil can give you the flexibility to afford the game’s best player to your squad. If you dropped someone like Stewart Downing and your third forward for Mesut Ozil and Sergio Aguero, I would call that a win.
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3. Costel Pantilimon – for those of you who like the budget option at goalkeeper, Pantilimon could prove to be a great January pickup. Sunderland face Burnley, Swansea, QPR, West Brom, Manchester United, Hull City, Aston Villa, and West Ham next. Outside of the Manchester game, that’s a fantastic schedule. On top of that, Pantilimon has the best points per game average in the Yahoo! game amongst goalkeepers with at least ten games on the season. He can be useful in almost any format at the moment.
4. Kyle Walker – The Tottenham defender just recently returned from injury and hasn’t done anything spectacular yet. Fans might be forgetting that Walker has been among the top fantasy defenders in the Yahoo! game for years now and that should be enough evidence for his value. On top of that, he has provided 7, 8, and 7 fantasy points in the past three weeks without getting any clean sheets. That’s solid value for someone who only costs £ 7.84 M. In season-long leagues, I would put in a trade offer for him right away and try to buy cheap, and if he’s on the waiver wire, I think he’s a must add piece.
5. Sergio Aguero – Aguero won’t be available on any waiver wires but he is worth whatever you need to pay for him. At £ 15.01M, you can certainly afford him in the Yahoo! game and injury-weary managers in season-long leagues might be willing to sell for an acceptable price. Aguero has averaged an insane 14 points per match in the Yahoo! game and is only owned by 10% of managers, which is insanely low for how good he is. He is by far the best fantasy player in the game and you should do everything in your power to own him.