Everyone knows about the big names with the big price tags, but what about those hidden gems in Bundesliga Fantasy Manager? Those budget buys can make all the difference to the balance of your squad and give you an advantage over the mainstream managers.
bundesliga.com presents the Fantasy Manager budget team of the season so far…
Seasoned Fantasy managers know that a budget goalkeeper who still brings in the points is key to a successful team. This term that has been Zentner, who has the sixth-most points for goalkeepers despite not playing the first three games of the season and the fact Mainz have the third-worst defence in the league. The goal tally would be even worse if not for the 25-year-old’s 81 saves, which is where the real points come from. At 1.2M, his return is outstanding and means, when he does fail, the you haven’t wasted big money. But when he does perform, it’s usually comfortably double figures.
Jakobs has been one of the finds of the season and emblematic of Cologne’s upturn under Markus Gisdol. Nominally a left-back, December’s Rookie of the Month has been used as a left winger as the Billy Goats have gone from relegation fodder to dreaming of Europe with eight wins in their last 11 games. Winning his challenges, posing a goal threat and picking up points for five clean sheets have seen the 20-year-old accumulate points like few others, and all for less than 2M.
Watch: Jakobs takes of the "goosebumps moment" of scoring his first Bundesliga goal
Another Cologne defender who’s blossomed, former Bayern Munich and Red Bull Salzburg defender Schmitz has taken the chance presented to him by injuries at full-back as the Billy Goats have gone about their climb up the table. The two-time Austrian double winner is a battler, winning over 50 per cent of his challenges and also picking up plenty of budget points for four clean sheets.
Freiburg centre-back Gulde has enjoyed an extended run in the team, having not played a game this season prior to Matchday 13. Winning nearly 64 per cent of his challenges, the former U17 Bundesliga champion earns most of his points through duels. Although his tally isn’t remarkable, you don’t mind too much at just 1.5M.
Katterbach’s ability has long been known, and in 2018 he was awarded the prestigious gold Fritz Walter Medal at U17 level as Germany’s best player in that age group. The U19 international is a Cologne academy product since joining when seven and made his senior debut in the 1-1 draw with Schalke on Matchday 7 as Achim Beierlorzer sought cover at left-back with Jonas Hector needed in midfield. The teenager has since retained the position when fit, averaging a healthy five points per game at the lowest possible value.
Club: Union Berlin
Lenz has typified everything that’s been good about Union in their maiden Bundesliga campaign. Low budget and full of grit, the Berlin native has benefited from Urs Fischer’s use of wing-backs, meaning he plays a far more attacking role than a normal left-back and as such reaps the Fantasy rewards, winning challenges and setting up plenty of chances. His three assists are second only to opposite wing-back Christopher Trimmel at Union, but the captain takes all the set pieces and costs over three times as much despite amassing only 34 points more.
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Like Gladbach themselves, Benes had a barnstorming start to the season and claimed a league-best four assists from free-kicks in his opening 10 appearances. Over the first 15 matchdays, he featured 13 times and proved an excellent cheap addition to squads, averaging seven points per game where he played. However, the Slovakia international hasn’t featured since December, but his low price tag has kept him in eight per cent of all teams.
Club: Fortuna Düsseldorf
Experienced midfielder Bodzek has proven a vital part of the Fortuna midfield and, as such, a steady source of points, even if not prolific. The 34-year-old is very much concerned with the defensive side of things, registering just eight shots and not having a hand in a single goal, but he plays when fit. At 1.8M, it’s sometimes worth having a banker in the squad.
Club: Union Berlin
Andrich has gone under the radar this season with his performances. His 44 shots, almost two per game, is the most in the league without finding the back of the net, while he also creates on average one chance per match and loves to get stuck in. The 25-year-old may be the most expensive player in this budget side, but he has by far the most points, putting him up there with much pricier midfielders.
Club: Bayern Munich
Zirkzee’s start to life in the Bundesliga has been brilliant, scoring three goals in just 171 minutes of action. Named as a midfielder, he’s benefitted from an injury to Robert Lewandowski and started as the central striker, averaging a shot every 19 minutes. Forty-two points from five appearances is a phenomenal return for an 18-year-old. Playing time may be limited by the eventual return of Lewandowski, but he proved with his first two goals that he can play alongside the legendary striker.
Watch: Zirkzee’s Man of the Matchday display on his senior debut
Club: Union Berlin
A summer signing from Genk, Ingvartsen has quickly settled into life in Berlin, becoming a regular in Die Eisernen’s attack and chipping in with four goals and an assist. He’s the cheapest forward with over 90 points. As with most other Union players, the Dane again gets a chunk of his points from winning challenges.