I've had some real highs as a Bundesliga Fantasy Manager, but the feeling I experienced when my captain Jannik Vestergaard thumped in a header last weekend eclipsed the lot.
Aleksandar Dragovic(Defender,Bayer Leverkusen, 8.1M)
The look of consternation on the faces of James 'The Coach' and Matt 'The Expert', with whom I was watching the game, was something else! I hope at least some of you followed my advice and signed Gladbach's in-form Dane. And now to business, and five more players who I'm sure won't disappoint this weekend.
Maximilian Eggestein(Midfielder,Werder Bremen, 1M)
Yes, I know he had a bit of a stinker against Atletico Madrid, contributing to the 4-2 defeat, but I'm convinced he can do better. With Wendell suspended and Jonathan Tah injured, his next test comes against a Mainz side who have had their fair share of difficulties in front of goal since the winter break. That's why I think the challenge-happy Dragovic makes for an excellent budget option in defence.
Lars Stindl(Forward,Borussia Mönchengladbach, 14.05M)
While this week's other defender (see below) isn't my most original suggestion, this one should more than make up for it. Maximilian Eggestein looks almost a nailed-on starter, with Thomas Delaney injured and Clemens Fritz suspended. The 20-year-old wins, on average, 15 duels per game, and at the bargain price of 1M you really can't go wrong! As Bremen are in action on Friday night, you also have the added bonus of knowing whether or not he's going to start. If he doesn't, you can act accordingly before the weekly window shuts.
Thiago Alcantara(Midfielder,Bayern Munich, 14M)
The Gladbach skipper has slipped under the Fantasy radar somewhat, but he's right up there with the highest points scorers so far this year. In his four appearances in 2017, Stindl has collected a handsome 43 points. The 28-year-old combines a threat in front of goal with strength in the tackle, and is always good for an assist. If I switch things up in attack, Stindl will be first choice.
Willi Orban(Defender,RB Leipzig, 11.55M)
Eggestein's bargain price tag gives you a bit of wiggle room, and this week I'm going to use it to snap up Thiago. With the Spaniard in the form of his life, it's hard to imagine Bayern without him and, after the below-par showing against Hertha, the champions will be champing at the bit to put on a display against Hamburg. With Thiago in the middle, 14M is money well spent.
"Willi Orban is one of the best Fantasy Bundesliga defenders around? Flo, tell us something we don’t know," I hear you cry! OK, I admit the Leipzig captain isn't my most creative recommendation, but seeing as he was suspended on Matchday 21, I just wanted to remind you to bring him back into your team – if you, like me, sold him last week. He is the game's highest-scoring defender with 171 points, after all.
Now it's just a question of which of my players will cause James and Matt the most angst on Matchday 22. I can't wait to find out!