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Jamal Musiala (c.) is a must-have for Fantasy Managers, especially in the absence of Sadio Mane and Christopher Nkunku. - © DFL
Jamal Musiala (c.) is a must-have for Fantasy Managers, especially in the absence of Sadio Mane and Christopher Nkunku. - © DFL
bundesliga

Fantasy Manager: Jamal Musiala, Marco Reus and the top 5 premium picks without Sadio Mane and Christopher Nkunku

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With Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane and RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku both sidelined with injury for the time being, Bundesliga Fantasy managers are likely to have some spare cash during the unlimited transfer window ahead of the league's restart in January.

bundesliga.com suggests five of the best premium players to splurge on ahead of Matchday 16...

Take advantage of unlimited transfers before the season resumes!

Jamal Musiala (Bayern, forward, 15.2M)

Musiala is a full 3M cheaper than Nkunku and costs 2.4M less than Bayern teammate Mane – but that doesn't equate to any drop in quality or output. Far from it, in fact. Musiala is second only to the Leipzig star in terms of overall Fantasy points this season, and with nine goals and six assists after 15 matchdays so far, he has more direct goal involvements than anyone else in Germany's top flight in 2022/23.

There's no reason that will not continue in the new year, especially as he recently tweeted that he "couldn't be more motivated" going into 2023. Musiala has made more starts (12) and played more minutes (993) than any other Bayern attacker this term – meaning he is virtually a guaranteed starter under Julian Nagelsmann, information that is always handy when picking your team. In addition to his goal contributions, Musiala is in the top 20 players league-wide for duels won and top 12 for shots; both actions also add to his points tally.

And after sparkling for Germany at the World Cup, it's time to jump on the Musiala train before his price increases any further.

Watch: Analysing Jamal Musiala

Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund, midfielder, 14.7M)

Now, Reus has admittedly only played nine Bundesliga games (seven starts) this season due to injury, so any initial reluctance to drafting in the Dortmund captain is understandable. Yet after making his last appearance on 5 November and missing out on the World Cup to focus on his recovery from an ankle complaint sustained in mid-September, Reus is aiming to be back sharper and fitter than ever when Dortmund host Augsburg on Matchday 16.

The fact that he posted double-figure point hauls in four of his first six games this season, before being injured early on Matchday 7, gives an indication of his enduring quality, hitting two goals and two assists in that period. The BVB skipper is only owned by two percent of all Fantasy managers, making him an ideal differential for Matchday 16: he has six goals and nine assists in 18 games against Augsburg. Don't make us say we told you so…

Marco Reus is in line for his Borussia Dortmund comeback in early 2023. - Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bundesliga/Getty Images

Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen, forward, 14.2M)

Leverkusen were one of the few teams who did not welcome the early winter break, having really hit their stride in the final week prior to the hiatus and winning three games on the bounce to offer a glimmer of hope after struggling in the early part of the campaign

Diaby was instrumental in that, his six goals and three assists making him the team's most dangerous attacking outlet. Having had plenty of time to work with new coach Xabi Alonso during the off-season, and with creative playmaker Florian Wirtz set for his competitive comeback after 10 months on the sidelines, the future looks bright for Diaby to continue plundering points.

"He's got the quality to drive towards goal," said sporting director Simon Rolfes of the Frenchman in November. "He's really developed his desire to score goals over the last few weeks."

Watch: Xabi Alonso on Diaby's importance to Leverkusen

Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach, midfielder, 15.7M)

Nkunku (12) is the only Fantasy midfielder to average more points per game than Hofmann (10) this season, which makes the Gladbach star's 17 percent ownership figure seem laughably low.

The Germany international is among the Foals' leading lights once again in 2022/23 with five goals and four assists, hitting double digits five times in his 12 league appearances so far, including two 20-plus point hauls.

Much like Gladbach, Hofmann has saved most of his best performances for home games this term – something to bear in mind when Daniel Farke's side welcome Leverkusen to Borussia-Park on Matchday 16. Nevertheless, he is a consistent points scorer, and someone who should be in the squad of any manager worth their salt.

Watch: Jonas Hofmann's star turn against Dortmund on Matchday 15

Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg, midfielder, 16M)

The fourth highest-scoring player in Fantasy this season with 157 points, Grifo is another must-have attacker. Freiburg, once the unpredictable, plucky underdogs in the Bundesliga, are now among the alphas in the pack and are second only to leaders Bayern in the table.

Grifo has played a major role in that, contributing nine goals (five penalties) and two assists in 14 starts to propel Christian Streich's side up the table. The team's designated set-piece taker, 42 percent of the Italian's overall points have come from either shooting or teeing up a teammate for an effort at goal.

Moreover, the 29-year-old has hit double digits six times and is the only player this season to have registered 20 points or more on four separate occasions. Not even Nkunku, Musiala or Mane have managed that. If he's not already in your team, can you really afford to keep overlooking him?

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