Picking out which promoted players will be able to translate their success to the next level is one of the hardest and most rewarding parts of offseason squad building. Going in, you know that someone is going to come up and take the Premier League, Fantasy or otherwise, by storm. Knowing who that person will be is something else altogether.
Since it is all too easy for personal bias or preference to get in the way, we let the stats tell the tale on who should find success in 2018/19. The most interesting result of this process was the exclusion of Championship Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year nominee, Ryan Sessegnon.
While the Fulham man was more creative last season than Wolverhampton’s Diogo Jota, the latter’s usage as a centre-forward gave him a significant advantage in expected goals (18.16 to Sessegnon’s 11.19). Add in the fact that an assist is worth half as much as a midfield goal in our game, and the advantage swings fully in favour of Jota.
There will certainly be other promoted players worth a look throughout the season, but here are four players who are worth owning now.
GK: Rui Patricio - Wolves, 5.8m, 3.37%
Wolves have pulled off plenty of shocking moves of late, but Patricio may just be the most incredible of the lot. Adding a European Champion on a free transfer is a better deal than most would even dare dream.
The Portugal goalkeeper boasted the most clean sheets in the Primeira Liga last season (17) and has now joined Wolves who did the same in the Championship (24). As for Fantasy, Patricio will likely end the season as a top ten goalkeeper and potentially even better.
DEF: Barry Douglas - Wolves, 5.5m, 1.99%
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had the best attack in the Championship last season (82 goals), but people shouldn’t forget that they also had the joint best defence in the division as well (39 conceded). That gives Douglas a pretty solid floor for his Fantasy value, but where he really shines is when he gets forward. Last year, he finished second overall in assists (13) while also adding five goals to his haul.
Even if you halved those totals due to the increased difficulty of the Premier League, his counting statistics would compare similarly to Cesar Azpilicueta (two goals, six assists) who ended up as a top three defender in the Goal game. At just 1.99% owned, Douglas looks a fantastic early differential.
MID: Diogo Jota - Wolves, 6.2m, 5.11%
The Wolves train continues as the best promoted “midfield” option is Diogo Jota. The reason for the quotation marks there is that the Portuguese star played 30% of his matches last season as a striker. Being the focal point of the Wolverhampton attack obviously had its benefits, as evidenced by Jota’s impressive 17 goals.
He actually could have had an even better season considering he finished first in the league in expected goals+assists (24.74). Considering he’ll be getting an extra point for every goal he scores all season (listed at MID instead of FOR), Jota should be well worth his 6.2m price.
FOR: Aleksandar Mitrovic - Fulham/Newcastle, 6.7m, 4.5%
This is cheating a bit as he is not a Fulham player, with Jota and Bobby Reid both listed as midfielders, Mitrovic is just about the only promoted option left. He joined the London club on loan in January and still managed to score 12 times en route to their eventual promotion.
He ended the Championship season 14th in goals, which is quite impressive considering he played 1681 minutes fewer than the average of all of those ahead of him in scoring. Some may be hesitant to buy Mitrovic based on his lacklustre Premier League performances for Newcastle, but he will likely reward those brave enough to add him.