With many Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers planning to Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 33, we’ve picked out some of the best budget options on offer in each category.
Not far off 20% of the site readers in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate the Bench Boost chip next week, making it the second-most popular option behind Double Gameweek 36.
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GOALKEEPERS AND DEFENDERS (sub-£5.0m)
Kasper Schmeichel (£4.8m) is an appealing goalkeeper for those activating their Bench Boost chip in Double Gameweek 33, with Leicester City scheduled to play twice against Newcastle United and Everton. Brendan Rodgers’ side aren’t exactly in stellar defensive form, but have kept a couple of clean sheets in their last five outings, while the return of Jonny Evans (£5.4m) from injury has brought a confidence and assurance that had been missing in his absence. Across the season, it’s also worth noting that Schmeichel ranks fourth for saves (101) and joint-fifth for bonus (8) among the ‘keepers. Another appealing factor is that he is nailed, which given the Foxes’ European schedule, might not be the case for budget defender picks like Wesley Fofana (£4.3m) Daniel Amartey (£3.9m).
Martin Dubravka (£4.4m), meanwhile, is a solid alternative in goal, and injury permitting someone we can rely on for two starts in Gameweek 33. Newcastle United have now lost three games in succession, but their nine-game unbeaten run prior – which ran from the end of 2021 to mid-March – was built upon defensive solidity. Coming off the back of the worst 45-minute display of Eddie Howe’s five-month reign is far from ideal, but the Magpies now have three consecutive home games to regroup, which includes a double-header against Leicester and Crystal Palace in Gameweek 33. Fabian Schar (£4.3m) Dan Burn (£4.4m) are alternatively cheap options at the back, with the former taking on a share of free-kick duties against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, from which he netted his second goal of the season.
Budget defender Connor Roberts (£4.4m) has now started each of Burnley’s last 11 Premier League matches, becoming first-choice right-back for Sean Dyche. In that time, he has produced one assist, four clean sheets and three bonus points, averaging a respectable 3.5 points per match. His attacking instincts and long throws raise his potential, and if jumping on now, you can also take advantage of his trip to Norwich City in Gameweek 32, which precedes the Clarets’ Gameweek 33 double-header against West Ham United and Southampton. However, his performance against Everton on Wednesday is worth scouting first, as Matthew Lowton‘s (£4.4m) return isn’t completely out of the question given his crossing ability and Dyche’s current struggle to get Wout Weghorst (£6.4m) in the game.
Providing you haven’t maxed out on Arsenal players already, Ben White (£4.6m) is worth considering. His partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.3m) has gone from strength to strength in recent months, with the duo keeping their 13th clean sheet in 26 league starts together at Villa Park in Gameweek 30, both collecting bonus points in the process. White has proven to be one of the bargain FPL buys of the season, too: his total of 104 points is higher than that of any other sub-£4.9m option in any position. As for the Gunners, faith in their assets may have taken a hit after last night’s collapse at Selhurst Park, but they do have a decent fixture in Gameweek 32 against Brighton and Hove Albion, before their Double Gameweek 33 involving Southampton and Chelsea.
Diogo Dalot (£4.2m) perhaps feels a little risky with Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.1m) lurking, so a better bet may be Tino Livramento (£4.4m) – who hasn’t got the best double-header but has some decent fixtures to follow – or the in-form Matt Doherty (£4.8m), who despite not ‘doubling’, has an appealing home fixture against Brighton. The Irishman has had an extended run in the Tottenham Hotspur starting XI of late, and has rewarded Antonio Conte’s faith by providing two goals and four assists in his last six starts.
Following last night’s defeat at Crystal Palace, cut-price Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) will surely be pushing for a recall against Brighton in Gameweek 32. He also presents an intriguing differential to the more popular (and expensive) Bukayo Saka (£6.8m), not least because his minutes-per-expected goals (xG) figure is better than all of the other Arsenal midfield regulars in 2021/22 (see below). As noted earlier, the Gunners also have a decent fixture in Gameweek 32 before their ‘double’ in Gameweek 33.
It has been a case of one step forward, one step back for Leicester this season, but they are now starting to get into their stride. Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, they have now lost just one of their last five Premier League matches, winning three. It is no coincidence that form has coincided with a number of Brendan Rodgers’ big-hitters returning, although Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (£4.4m) has remained first-choice regardless, and has now started the last 14 Premier League matches in a row. He’s only managed one assist all season, but only James Maddison (£6.8m) has created more chances amongst team-mates in the last six matches, which isn’t bad for just £4.4m.
Looking at the underlying xG stats in 2022, it’s Ryan Fraser (£5.3m) who emerges as the stand-out pick at Newcastle United. A total of 16 shots and 17 chances has seen him accumulate an xGI of 3.94, which is actually enough to lift him into the top 20 performing players over that period. Joe Willock (£5.7m), meanwhile, lurks just outside the 15 best players for goal attempts (21) during this time.
Fred (£4.9m), meanwhile, has now racked up nine attacking returns in 2021/22, the most of any sub-£5.0m option in FPL. Under Ralf Rangnick, only Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) have created more chances among team-mates, although just five shots in the box from 13 outings is a little underwhelming.
Of the ‘single’ Gameweek options, you could do a lot worse than consider Christian Eriksen (£5.5m) – or cheaper still Bryan Mbeumo (£5.2m) – at Brentford. Since making his return against Newcastle in February, the former has scored three goals and registered one assist across six appearances for club and country, while Mbeumo has racked up three assists in his last two outings. With a trip to Watford in Gameweek 33, plus an appealing run-in which sees the Bees finish up with Southampton, Everton and Leeds United, the duo might just be worth considering.
This is where it gets tricky, with a real lack of appealing budget forwards on offer, especially those who play twice in Gameweek 33.
If you can stretch to a Wout Weghorst, Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) or Chris Wood (£6.7m) that is probably good, although that of course won’t be possible for everyone.
That leaves Armando Broja (£5.5m) as one of the better options, who will at least be fully-rested as he is inligible to face his parent club Chelsea in Gameweek 32. A decent run to follow against Brighton, Crystal Palace and Brentford is also worth factoring in, for those eyeing up the Albanian international.
However, the ‘single’ Gameweek options might just be the best bet.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.2m) is an intriguing budget differential, and despite not ‘doubling’ in Gameweek 33, faces Newcastle United, with appealing matches to follow against Leeds United, Southampton and Watford. The Frenchman produced his fourth goal of the campaign against Arsenal on Monday night, with three of those strikes arriving in his last five appearances. In that time, he is averaging 6.0 points per start, with his tally of 10 shots in the box joint-top with Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) among team-mates. Minutes remain a bit of a concern: he has started four of the last five but has passed the 70-minute mark on just one occasion, and has now been withdrawn after 68/64/68 minutes in successive rounds. However, if he continues to deliver, it’s hard to see him being dropped anytime soon, and given Palace’s schedule, he stands out as one of the best budget forwards on offer in FPL right now.
Above: sub-£6.0m forwards ranked by shots in the box across their last six matches
Finally, an alternative to Matata could be Cucho Hernandez (£5.1m). Again, no ‘double’ in Gameweek 33, but he does have a reasonably kind home match against Brentford, with some tasty fixtures to follow against Burnley, Crystal Palace, Everton and Leicester. The winger has started each of Watford’s last four matches, producing double-figure returns on two occasions. The situation involving Emmanuel Dennis (£5.9m) Joshua King (£5.7m) is worth monitoring, however. Both had to settle for a place on the bench at Anfield, but could come back into the starting XI for this weekend’s huge matchup against Leeds United.
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