- Aubameyang absent due to AFCON commitments.
- Bundesliga top scorer could miss first three games back.
- Plenty of alternatives available to fantasy players.
Happy New Year one and all! Some of you may have made resolutions regarding guilty pleasures or attaining certain aspirations, but my New Year’s resolution is simply to not finish bottom of the Official Fantasy Bundesliga experts’ league!
A Christmas trip to Japan provided an opportunity to study the tactical approach to sumo wrestling, but ironically prevented me from being as “hands on” with my fantasy team. As a result, I’m now 67 points adrift of Flo ‘The Scout’ at the summit and already facing a coaches’ worst nightmare – a selection headache.
Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a mainstay of my squad since Matchday 1, but is set to captain host nation Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations. Best case scenario he only misses the trip to SV Werder Bremen, worst case he will also be unavailable for the games against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and RB Leipzig. So…what is a fantasy player to do with unlimited transfers at his disposal?
What do Dortmund’s forwards have to offer?
BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel has several options at his disposal, some more ‘outside the box’ than others. However, fantasy players looking for a like-for-like replacement from the Dortmund ranks will have to choose between French livewire Ousmane Dembele and veteran striker Adrian Ramos.
Ousmane Dembele (12.7M, 104pts): Dembele has had a hand in 11 goals in 15 appearances so far this season, which included two goals and three assists in the five games leading up to the winter break. The French winger is trigger happy, strong in the dribble and averages over 12 challenges won a game – all qualities that can provide superb fantasy returns.
Adrian Ramos (11.4M, 34pts): Ramos is the obvious replacement for Aubameyang up front and could prove a prudent choice. The Colombian has only made three starts this season, but has scored on two of those occasions, racking up 28 points. Ramos also boasts a strong record of four goals in six games against Bremen.
Are there better deals outside the BVB ranks?
Tuchel has fielded Andre Schürrle as the lone striker during the mid-season hiatus so if you, like me, are thinking about adding Schürrle to your midfield and looking elsewhere for frontline options here are three alternatives to consider that cater to all budgets.
Sandro Wagner (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 14.7M, 150pts): Wagner was the highest-scoring German striker in the calendar year of 2016. He not only scored double digits in terms of fantasy points in 10 of his 15 appearances, but he’s also picked up 60 points from challenges won and, with Hoffenheim set to take on FC Augsburg, RB Leipzig and 1. FSV Mainz 05, will fancy maintaining his form.
Vedad Ibisevic (Hertha Berlin, 11.3M, 137 pts): Like Dembele and Ramos, Ibisevic could capitalise on the absence of Salomon Kalou during the Africa Cup of Nations. Hertha have games against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SC Freiburg and FC Ingolstadt 04 coming up and the Bosnian forward offers a perfect mid-price option to tide you over until Auba’s return.
Dong-Won Ji (FC Augsburg, 5.9M, 116pts): With games against Hoffenheim, VfL Wolfsburg and SV Werder Bremen upcoming, Augsburg don’t have the most favourable fixture list, but Ji is still a viable option. You won’t have to break the bank for the South Korean, who has proven he doesn’t have to score or be on the winning side to rack up fantasy points.