- Dortmund duo Marc Bartra and Christian Pulisic worth a look.
- Mainz's Bussmann and Öztunali to heap more misery on Darmstadt.
- Szalai scored twice in a rare start for Hoffenheim last weekend.
It's official: now I mean business. My Fantasy team amassed 125 points last weekend - the fourth-best tally worldwide and one that catapulted my team up to 20th in the overall standings. I’m way ahead of my esteemed colleagues James 'the Coach' and Matt 'the Expert' in our Insider League, but I'm not done yet!
One of the key building blocks for my jump in the overall standings was the acquisition of Hoffenheim defender Benjamin Hübner, who picked up a handsome 20 points. I hope there are plenty of you who followed my recommendation. I can’t promise that any of the following five players will also be good for 20 points, but they’re definitely all sound investments. Here’s my A-Team for the coming week...
Gaëtan Bussmann (Defender, Mainz, 8.3M)
The French left-back has reclaimed his place in the side and has started the last two games. It’s paid off for Mainz (four points from two matches) and for Fantasy managers (23 points). Thanks to his challenge-happy qualities, he’s a fantastic choice at a reasonable price. The 26-year-old won’t score many goals, but hopefully there are other players in your team that’ll do that.
Marc Bartra (Defender, Borussia Dortmund, 11.35M)
Once an uncertain candidate, Bartra has transformed into a defensive bedrock in recent weeks. In Dortmund’s new defensive set-up, Bartra hunts down the ball whilst his team-mates sit deep. The result is plenty of won duels - 40 in the last three games alone - which makes him the perfect defender for Fantasy managers. Sign him up now!
Levin Öztunali (Midfielder, Mainz, 10.5M)
With four goals and five assists, Levin Öztunali is enjoying his best Bundesliga season yet. In his last four outings alone, he has registered two goals and as many assists. Last time out, the manner in which he left half the Wolfsburg defence in his wake and still had eyes for Jhon Cordoba was really impressive. With his quality in the one-on-ones to the fore, there’s every chance he’ll add to his goals and assists tally in Darmstadt - and, in doing so, step even further out of his grandfather Uwe Seeler’s shadow.
Christian Pulisic (Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund, 9.3M)
I watched Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Benfica with James ‘the Coach’ and Matt ‘the Expert’, both of whom tipped Pulisic for a spot in my A-team before the game kicked off. Judging by the gala showing in midweek, you don’t need me to tell you that the American has already evolved into a top-class player. An injury to Marco Reus puts him firmly in the first-team fold and his technical qualities, goal threat and ability to get things done make for a dream combination for Fantasy mangers. He’s also a real bargain for a Dortmund starter.
Adam Szalai (Striker, Hoffenheim, 6.25M)
In attack, I’m taking a bit of a risk - albeit with good reason. Adam Szalai didn’t only score twice in Hoffenheim’s 5-2 win over Ingolstadt last weekend, but he also won 15 challenges. That didn’t just happen by chance - that’s actually his average for challenges won over 90 minutes. You can’t wish for a better foundation from a Fantasy striker. Bringing him in is a risk, though, as TSG coach Julian Nagelsmann has been happy to rotate his forward line of late. Szalai might even find himself back on the bench in Freiburg, but if he plays - and I think he will - you’ll get big returns for a bargain price.
I still haven’t decided which players to bring in. With Bayer Leverkusen appointing a new coach, it’s hard to know what to expect from them in the Friday night game. That’s why I’d prefer to wait until I know how Leverkusen will line up. Then I’ll strike. Marc Bartra is the first name on my list, in any case.