Kieran Trippier, Marko Arnautovic and Richarlison: Sky Sports Fantasy Football's bargain buys
By Dan Cox
Last Updated: 25/07/18 3:27pm
Sky Sports Fantasy Football expert Dan Cox picks out five bargain buys capable of helping you land this season's £50,000 jackpot.
Dan scooped the top prize with his team in 2016/17 and backed that performance up with a more-that-credible top-30 finish last season, benefiting from the likes of Mohamed Salah and Nick Pope's previously modest valuations.
Here are Dan's five picks to defy their modest price tags in Sky Sports Fantasy Football this season...
Marko Arnautovic (£10.1m)
Sky Sports Fantasy Football may have cottoned on to Marko Arnautovic's advanced role at West Ham, moving him from a midfielder to a striker in their listings, but they still rate him fairly low. The Austrian star is priced at considerably less than the likes of Alvaro Morata (£11.7m) and Gabriel Jesus (£12.1m), presumably based on the Hammers' struggles last season, despite comfortably outscoring both. However, fortunes look more favourable under the attacking-minded Manuel Pellegrini, with the creativity of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere adding to their ammunition.
Mat Ryan (£6.5m)
Nick Pope was hailed as last season's bargain buy but only outscored Brighton's Mat Ryan by four points and is now £400,000 more expensive. The Australian international kept just one clean sheet less while making 11 more saves, seeing him pick up more points than Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech, but is selected by just 3.8 per cent of all Sky Sports Fantasy Football bosses.
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Kieran Trippier (£8.5m)
Despite arguably being England's best performer at the World Cup, Kieran Trippier costs a full £2m less than Sky Sports Fantasy Football's highest-priced defender, Kyle Walker. Emerging from deputy to deadly delivery expert, Trippier actually created 25 more chances than his former team-mate last season, despite starting 11 games fewer.
However, there lies the problem, with Trippier facing competition from Serge Aurier at Spurs as Mauricio Pochettino rotates his full-backs. However, with free-kick expertise added to his repertoire, that has not prevented him from being the third most popular player ahead of the new season.
With five goals and three assists in his first 12 starts, Watford seemingly discovered a superstar in Brazilian Richarlison last season. However, as transfer speculation grew, the 21-year-old's performances plummeted, failing to find the net after November. While that coincided with the Hornets' annual form fall away, Everton should provide the opportunity for Richarlison to kick on, while offering better value than Theo Walcott (£8.9m) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (£9.1m).
Ayoze Perez (£9.8m)
Perhaps the controversial pick of the pack, Ayoze Perez has struggled to fulfil the sort of expectations which once saw him linked with Real Madrid. However, he finished last season in sensational form, with direct involvement in eight goals (five goals, three assists) in Newcastle's final eight matches. The underlying stats were also encouraging, with 21 shots in his final seven games, suggesting that upturn in form should be more than just temporary.
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