Achrif Hakimi playing out of position and out of this world, a top-scoring Marcus Thuram for top-of-the-table Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Robert Andrich, Union Berlin’s point-scoring budget differential, are three of the players you should be considering for your Bundesliga Fantasy team on Matchday 11.
Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund)
Next opponent: Bayern Munich (a)
Conventional wisdom dictates that players in lopsided fixtures are preferable, at least when your star man is playing for the overwhelming favourites. But Achraf Hakimi has been defying convention recently, and perhaps you should too, even though the Borussia Dortmund ace will find himself up against Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker on Saturday.
There has been precious little to choose between Dortmund and Bayern so far this season. Die Schwarzgelben have one more point than the champions heading into their trip to the Allianz Arena, but have scored two fewer goals. Bayern are the seven-time defending Bundesliga champions, meanwhile, yet Dortmund won their previous meeting, lifting the Supercup with a 2-0 win in August.
Klassiker players cost a plenty of money in the Fantasy world, and Hakimi is hardly cheap coming in at 13.1m, but there are a number of reasons to roll the dice on the Real Madrid-owned man this weekend.
First, Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus are injury doubts, with thigh and ankle complaints respectively. That means that there could be space in the final third for Hakimi, despite him being listed as a defender. When he played on the right wing, in front of Lukasz Pisczeck, last Saturday, the result was a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg in which he assisted the opener. Five points for that, eight for goal attempts, and six for passes to a shot contributed to a points haul of 29 in the game.
Champions League performances may not contribute to Bundesliga Fantasy points, meanwhile, but Hakimi’s performance in BVB’s comeback 3-2 win over Inter Milan on Wednesday – in which he scored two goals, including the winner, from right-back – should at least reassure team owners that the Wolfsburg game was no flash in the pan.
Bayern have a new coach in Hansi Flick following Niko Kovac’s departure. One of his stated goals is to shore up a defence that has leaked 16 goals, but he will have to do so without injured pair Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez, as well as the suspended Jerome Boateng. Hakimi could be the right man at the right time this weekend.
Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Next opponent: Werder Bremen (h)
Borussia Mönchengladbach are top of the Bundesliga table, and Marcus Thuram is a large part of the reason why. The son of France ’98 World Cup-winning defender Lilian, Thuram does his damage at the other end of the field, something he has been doing with devastating consistency since swapping Guingamp for the Foals in the summer.
Gladbach have scored 21 times so far this season. Thuram has bagged five of them himself while assisting another four, giving him a direct hand in some 43 percent of their goals. They have also come as part of a recent glut. His first four games rendered a zero in both columns. His last six appearances have made for a hand in nine goals coming in at a rate of one every 48 minutes.
Watch: Thuram had a goal and an assist as Gladbach raced to the top with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday
Other in-form strikers like Robert Lewandowski (21.5m) and Timo Werner (16.9m) carry a weightier price tag than Thuram’s 12.2m, while they are also owned by significantly more Fantasy players – Lewy by 60 percent, Werner 29, with Thuram thus far being picked up by just six percent of managers – meaning that if you get on the Thuram train early, you’ll gain points on those above you in your private league.
With starred players earning 1.5 times the points they would otherwise, Thuram playing on a Sunday is also particularly helpful. If your Saturday strikers don’t work out, he offers flexibility. Oh, and he’s playing Werder Bremen, who have conceded a league fourth-worst 21 goals and are seven games and counting without a win over the Foals.
Robert Andrich (Union Berlin)
Next opponent: Mainz (a)
Picking a defender heading for Bayern a step too far? Thuram cheap but not quite cheap enough? Looking for a budget differential to claw your way back up the Fantasy standings? Then look no further than Union Berlin midfielder Robert Andrich.
Robert who? we hear you say. A Hertha Berlin academy graduate, Andrich was two months shy of his 25th birthday before he made his full Bundesliga debut, for the Old Lady’s cross-town rivals Union, in their opening day 4-0 loss to RB Leipzig.
That defeat threw up a curious stat for Fantasy players, though. Despite the heavy loss, Andrich picked up 12 points, his -2 for being on the losing team more than made up for with nine points for goal attempts alone. A fluke perhaps? Well, no, as it turns out. Andrich can add to your points tally, win, lose or draw – nine in the 1-0 loss at Wolfsburg, eight in the 1-1 draw at Augsburg, 11 in the recent 1-0 win over Hertha.
Laszlo Benes (4m) – Thuram’s Gladbach teammate – was a not-so-secret budget option earlier in the season, but 12 percent of players have cottoned onto his value, while he has also been dropped to the bench for two of the league leaders’ last five games.
Andrich has played every minute for Die Eisernen as they have carved their path up the league standings, he doesn’t cost much more than Benes at 4.9m, and only five percent of players have added him to their squads.
He has also now had the most shots among all Bundesliga central midfielders (24), and with Saturday’s opponents Mainz’s goals against column standing at a league worst 27, he figures to get a few more off this weekend.