The 2020/21 season is now over, and with it another campaign of Bundesliga Fantasy Manager. Here’s the best XI, spearheaded by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski...
Cheap, a guaranteed starter and a consistent fantasy points winner, the only surprise is that Ortega was only included in 12 percent of all users’ teams. Bielefeld hovered just above the relegation zone for much of the season, their status as underdogs and top-flight newcomers meaning they conceded plenty of goals – but their ‘keeper also kept plenty out. Ortega made more saves (134) than any other goalkeeper, while he also managed to keep 11 clean sheets, putting him third in that ranking behind (the much more pricey) Peter Gulacsi (15) and Koen Casteels (14).
The highest scoring defender in the game, despite only making 26 appearances due to injury. The Spaniard was a points machine, owing largely to the fact that he was listed as a defender (who earn more for attacking contributions), but essentially played as a left-winger. The 24-year-old finished the season with the fourth-most crosses from open play (105), many of which led to efforts on goal, while he also struck big with four goals, four assists, 36 shots and 12 clean sheets, as well as ending up on the winning side 14 times.
Attack-minded full-backs like Angelino are usually the safe bet for picking up fantasy points from defence given that centre-backs don’t get forward as often, but Hummels bucked that trend. A guaranteed starter for Dortmund, the 32-year-old enjoyed more minutes than any other BVB player and featured in 33 games, earning bonus points for his contributions to 10 clean sheets and 19 victories. Not only that, he finished fifth overall for duels won (386) and ended up as the joint-highest scoring defender in 2020/21 with five goals.
Watch: Angelino - Analysis of Leipzig's high-flying wing-back
Raphael Guerreiro (Dortmund)
Final price: 18.4m
Much like Angelino, Guerreiro usually played as an attacking left wing-back, regularly joining forays forward to help BVB finish as the second highest scorers (75 goals) after Bayern Munich. Guerreiro was directly involved in a whopping 20 per cent of those, scoring five himself and registering a further 10 assists, while his 36 attempts at goal also kept his fantasy points tally ticking over regularly.
Jadon Sancho (Dortmund)
Final price: 22.1m
The third and final Dortmund player in this team, Sancho had a relatively quiet start to the campaign by his standards, and didn’t find the net at all before the winter break. Still, he picked up six double-digit fantasy points hauls from 13 games prior to the turn of the year, before exploding into 2021. The England international recorded eight goals and eight assists (to go with his three before Christmas) in the new year, despite missing six matches through injury across February, March and April. As his inclusion here shows, form his temporary – but Sancho’s class is very much permanent.
Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig)
Final price: 18.0m
As Leipzig’s designated set-piece taker, Nkunku was inevitably going to earn regular points for passes to shots from his deliveries at free-kicks and corners. Not only that, but the 23-year-old had a direct hand in 20 per cent of his team’s 60 goals, scoring six himself and assisting six more. The Frenchman only played 28 times, given frequent rests by Julian Nagelsmann as Die Roten Bullen progressed in three competitions, but it is telling that he was on the field for 16 of the team’s 19 wins overall.
Watch: The best of Sancho at Dortmund
Dani Olmo (Leipzig)
Final price: 19.4m
Much like Ortega, it is somewhat surprising that Olmo was not a more popular fantasy pick, with only 11 percent of all managers selecting him. The Spaniard made more appearances (33) than any other outfield player at Leipzig, and four games was his longest stretch without contributing either a goal or an assist – but he still reached double-digit scores in 16 separate occasions, thanks in part to him firing off 77 efforts at goal – the sixth-highest total in the division and most by a midfielder. He also ended up as Leipzig’s most dangerous outlet with five goals and nine assists overall.
There was no indication that Kostic would finish as the highest-scoring fantasy midfielder in the early stages of the campaign, as injury and a struggle for form limited him to just one assist and 54 points before Christmas. However, the return of his close friend and compatriot Luka Jovic in January triggered a major upswing in 2021, and the 28-year-old ended up with 14 assists, second only to Thomas Müller (18). He also scored four goals and posted 15 double-digit scores from 21 games since the winter break.
Watch: Kostic's season highlights
It is probably due to the presence of Robert Lewandowski (see below) that Müller, with the third-highest points tally overall, was only the 19th most popular player in the game (in just 13 per cent of teams); after all you can’t put the star on two players in the same position in the same team. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old made 32 appearances (31 starts) and consistently posted big scores thanks to his 11 goals and league-high 18 assists, as well as winning 375 duels, putting him eighth overall in that category.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
Final price: 26.5m
With an eye-watering 41 goals, plus seven assists and a league-leading 137 shots taken, Lewandowski was by far the highest scoring player in this fantasy season, finishing with over 80 more than his closest rival. The 32-year-old only failed to find the net in four of the 29 games he played, while averaging an astonishing 16 points per game over the course of the season as he set a new scoring record. Rightly the most popular player in the game, but over a third of managers still opted not to pick him. Baffling...
Watch: All 41 of Bundesliga's goals this season
Andre Silva (Frankfurt)
Final price: 22.0m
Silva’s scoring feats also made the history books, his final tally of 28 representing the best single-season return for a Frankfurt player. The 25-year-old also chipped in with five assists and had 114 efforts on goal, second only to Lewandowski. The Portugal international never went more than two games without hitting the target and was a major factor in Frankfurt’s sustained – if ultimately unsuccessful – tilt at a top-four finish, but can take heart from the fact he accumulated 49 points more than Erling Haaland despite the same number of goal involvements and a slightly cheaper price tag.