Fantasy Football: Don't scrub your scrubs - the unheralded players to balance your all-star team

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Fantasy Football players tend to gravitate towards high price players, but our writer thinks there are many lower priced options with high upside

A frequently implemented strategy in the fantasy community is “stars and scrubs”.

This strategy focuses on maximising the number of elite players in your team by forgoing mid-level players and investing in cheap options. The result is a lot of high price, high performance players (stars) and many low price, high upside players (scrubs).

So, despite the teachings of TLC, some scrubs do deserve some love. Below are three such players - plus three stars - who would best complement them.

Stars

Romelu Lukaku (Forward, Everton, Price 9.6, Ownership 29.63%)

Now leading the Premier League's scoring charts with 21 goals, Lukaku is arguably the best fantasy option in any format. His shot accuracy (66%) is notably higher than his five year average (59.6%) but, considering his age, accuracy is less likely to regress but is rather indication of his continued development. Everton seem to have two tough matchups on the horizon in Liverpool and Manchester United but the former barely crack the top 10 in defence and Manchester United just lost two starting centre backs to injury over the international break. Advantage: Lukaku.

Lukaku Everton Hull City 18032017

Alexis Sanchez (Forward, Arsenal, Price 9.8, Ownership 22.97%)

After their last match everyone was worried that Alexis had badly hurt his ankle, and then he only went out and scored and assisted in Chile’s 3-1 win over Venezuela. He is easily the most consistent option in FPL and has backed it up on form having only blanked (no goals or assists) once in the last 10 matches. Their opponents this week, Manchester City, struggle against highly mobile front lines and will definitely be put to the test by the Chilean’s movement both on and off the ball.

Dele Alli (Midfielder, Tottenham, Price 8.6, Ownership 28.9%)

With Harry Kane out via ankle injury, Dele Alli has instantly become the most ownable option from the Tottenham attack. He has three goals and an assist in his last three matches making him the fourth most form player in the goal game. Also, with Son Heung-Min travelling late from South Korea and Vincent Janssen dealing with a chest infection, there is a non-zero chance that Alli starts up front for Tottenham on Saturday. If that does happen, you would basically be giving yourself a free point on any goal due to him being listed as a midfielder.

Dele Alli Tottenham

Scrubs

Emre Can (Midfielder, Liverpool, Price 5.3, Ownership: 0.89%)

Can is likely just another in a long line of holding midfielders that are fantasy relevant for about a month, but that does inherently mean that he’s ownable for now. He does have a goal and an assist in his last five matches and, with Lallana set to miss out for over a month, it’s possible that Can moves further up in the formation. While this weekend is the Merseyside Derby, now is just about the best time to face Everton as they have now lost Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori for the rest of the season.

Ryan Fraser (Midfielder, Bournemouth, Price 4.9, Ownership 0.22%)

Despite cooling a bit of late, Fraser boasts the most attractive trait in a fantasy scrub: playing time. He also gets forward plenty and is actually top five in successful crosses over the last five matches. This week the Cherries will face Southampton who are averaging two conceded goals per game over the last five matches. Not only is he cheap with a good matchup, but his sub 1% ownership makes him an incredible differential option as well.

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HD Ryan Fraser Bournemouth

Alfie Mawson (Defender, Swansea, Price 4.5, Ownership 0.26%)

He has been discussed on this site before but the fact remains that only one Premier League defender has more goals this season. Typically you are not expecting Swansea defenders to pick up clean sheet points but, if it were to happen any week, it would be this week. Middlesbrough will bring their league worst attack to the Liberty at the weekend in what could well decide the survival of either of these clubs.

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