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FPL tips: Top managers load up on affordable options

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Elland Road
(Image credit: Alex Pantling)

With the Fantasy Premier League season in full swing, elite managers have turned their attention to more affordable signings in an effort to gain an edge.

By looking at a sample of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their names, we can see just who the best bosses considered bang for their buck in gameweek seven.

A graphic showing popular football players among elite FPL managers

Patrick Bamford

Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds

(Peter Powell/PA)

Leeds’ Patrick Bamford saw the second biggest increase amongst top bosses between gameweek six and seven, leaping from 4.5% elite ownership to 15.3% in just one week.

Those managers who backed the striker were not immediately rewarded however, with Bamford returning a blank in Leeds’ defeat to Leicester.

However, the £6m man did achieve a good Threat score of 63, suggesting he is still in the sort of form that has earned him 51 FPL points so far, the fifth most of any forward.

Max Kilman

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Max Kilman (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton

(Andrew Boyers/PA)

Max Kilman has emerged as a potentially perfect defensive bargain, starting at £4m and rising to £4.3m after a run of four games in the team which have earned him 29 points.

While he is not yet a nailed on starter, he kept his place in the team ahead of Romain Saiss against Crystal Palace, where Wolves earned a clean sheet.

His price is rising fast, but you’d still be doing well to find better for less – a net total of 166 of our elite managers agreed in GW7.

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha before the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton

(Andrew Boyers/PA)

At £7.4m Wilfried Zaha remains startlingly cheap, and while Crystal Palace are far from the biggest attacking threat in the league, when they do get near the goal it largely goes through one man.

Zaha’s five goals and one assist now seem like standard numbers for the forward – his lowest Threat score in a game so far this season is 21, suggesting he is good value for those goals too.

With four games up next that have been rated just two for difficulty by the FPL’s own Fixture Difficulty Ranking system, Zaha was brought in by a net total of 71 elite bosses last week.

Jack Grealish

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish scores his side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham

(Gareth Copley/PA)

Most FPL bosses are aware of Jack Grealish’s form, and as the weeks go by more and more elite owners are buckling under the weight of his performances.

Grealish only put on an additional 57 elite owners ahead of GW7, but he was already owned by over 400 of them in GW6.

The creative midfielder has already registered nine goal involvements (he managed 15 in total last season) and his Threat and Creativity scores both remain high.

Ben Chilwell

Chelsea�s Ben Chilwell during the UEFA Champions League match at Stamford Bridge, London

(Alastair Grant/PA)

Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell might not seem like a bargain at £5.9m, but compared to the price of Liverpool’s three most expensive defenders he seems positively affordable.

Chelsea have kept clean sheets in three of the four matches Chilwell has started, while his role as a set piece taker has seen him register high Creativity totals and his licence to get forward has resulted in a goal and two assists.

The result is that the Blues signing was brought in by a net total of 141 elite bosses ahead of GW7 – is that enough to suggest everyone else should follow suit?