- Oczipka the pick of Frankfurt defenders for Flo 'The Scout'.
- Hofmann offers a low-budget option in midfield.
- Uth the ideal replacement for the suspended Wagner.
I’ve certainly had better Official Fantasy Bundesliga weekends, but there were two things that I took encouragement from. On the one hand, Matt ‘The Expert’ and James ‘The Coach’ both picked up less points than I did, while on the other, the players that I recommended last week almost all delivered.
Raphael Guerreiro was the only disappointment, but Almog Cohen (16 points) and Janik Haberer (12 points) both made up for that with top performances. That’s the curve I’ll be grading myself on again on Matchday 19. I’m expecting big performances and lots of fantasy points from these five players.
Bastian Oczipka (Eintracht Frankfurt, 8.85M)
Given that he’s the third-highest scoring defender in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if you already had the Frankfurt left-back on your radar or in your team. If you don’t, then this is definitely the weekend to change that. Alongside his defensive qualities, his effectivity further up the pitch will almost certainly be a factor against SV Darmstadt 98. Oczipka’s free-kicks and long-range efforts mean he always poses a threat in the final third and, against the Lilies, he’ll have the chance to prove it.
Sokratis (Borussia Dortmund, 13.5M)
I’m a big fan of Sokratis, but due to injuries this season, he hasn’t always been the no-nonsense centre-back with an uncanny presence in challenges we’ve come to know. However, in Mainz Sokratis was back to being the bruising Greek gladiator, who has been known to frustrate the best strikers in the world. He won 18 of his 23 challenges, meaning that he picked up 11 fantasy points despite Mainz scoring a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw. The 28-year-old is now facing a big test with BVB hosting RB Leipzig – a challenge I believe will spur Sokratis to a peak performance.
Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 7M)
The speedy right winger has been the biggest winner following Borussia Mönchengladbach’s change of head coach. While he featured in the starting line-up just once under Andre Schubert, Hofmann has started both games under Dieter Hecking. Like his team-mates the 24-year-old struggled against Darmstadt, but was incredibly impressive in the 3-2 win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. If he can build on that against Freiburg, then it’s not outside the realms of possibility that he’ll score his first goal of the season. Given his price, he’s a very good alternative in midfield.
Thomas Delaney (SV Werder Bremen, 10M)
A winter signing from FC Kobenhavn, Delaney has quickly become the boss of Bremen’s midfield. He came through his baptism of fire against Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München with flying colours. Werder didn’t pick up any points, but Delaney received plenty of plaudits. The fact that he won 23 challenges against the top two German teams from the last couple of years was very eye-catching. Bremen’s next four games are all against teams in the bottom half of the table so this could be the perfect time to bring in the battling Dane.
Mark Uth (1899 Hoffenheim, 8.9M)
One man’s loss is another man’s gain. Sandro Wagner has been banned for two games following his sending off in the loss to Leipzig, which should give Mark Uth a chance to stake a claim in Hoffenheim’s starting line-up. The striker racked up 42 points in the opening five games of the season, but was stopped in his tracks by injury. Against Mainz this weekend, he’ll have a chance to prove his worth in the final third. At his price, there isn’t a striker who poses a greater goal threat than Uth.