This article is part of our FPL Bargain Bin series.
If a transfer window closes and nobody hears it, did the transfer window actually happen? The 2015 January transfer window was rather blah, especially at the end. Most of the deals of impact happened in the first two weeks, while deadline day left much to be desired from the fans.
Before we get into this week's bargains (which will be shifting back to a yearly format thanks to Alex Spalding helping you with the DraftKings daily format), let's take a look at some of the transfers and their fantasy impacts. In case you missed it, I already spent plenty of time dissecting the Wilfried Bony move. We'll leave that one out of this discussion. Here are four bargain moves that could have significant fantasy implications:
Eljero Elia (£5.6 FPL, £6.1 ESPN) made a splash in just his second league appearance with Southampton, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United. He has the talent to be a fantasy factor, just make sure he's getting the opportunity. It is becoming crowded in the Southampton attack, and those two goals are his only two shots attempted this season. Luckily, he flashed some passing ability in setting up three chances last weekend against Swansea City. The assist potential with the chances of scoring make him intriguing, if he continues to put up the same assisted shot and shot attempt numbers.
Andrej Kramaric (£5.9 FPL, £5.3 ESPN) made his first start for Leicester City last weekend against Manchester United. In just under 90 minutes of play (he made a substitute appearance in the previous league match), he has attempted two shots and put one on target. As a Chelsea target in the transfer window, he clearly has the talent to score goals. This is validated by his five goals in six Europa League matches this season. Leicester City have struggled to score this season and it would not be surprising to see him get plenty of opportunity to lead the attack.
Carles Gil (£5.0 FPL, £5.1 ESPN) joined a very desperate situation. Aston Villa have not scored in league play since Dec. 20. The club is in search of anyone that can score or help Christian Benteke get his groove back. Insert Carles Gil, who has played just 121 minutes of league play for Aston Villa. In that time, he has led the team in assisted shots while also attempting two of his own. He managed to score in an FA Cup match against Bournemouth and will likely get to see more playing time and scoring opportunities as a result. From this point on, it would not be a surprise to see Gil as Aston Villa's most productive fantasy player for the rest of the season.
Jermain Defoe (£6.0 FPL, £5.9 ESPN) clearly had no interest in his situation with Toronto FC. He's now at Sunderland, and is quite possibly their best scoring option. Being Sunderland's best scoring option may not put him in talks with the best in the game, but it does provide him a great fantasy opportunity each week. He has already scored once and is a club co-leader in shot attempts and shots on target through the two matches he has played. Sunderland will likely look for his goal scoring to help prevent them from being relegated. It would not be a bad idea to use him for your fantasy team, as well.
All four players are great options to purchase for your season-long team, especially because they are buy low candidates. You could use them for the rest of the season, or sell high and use the extra money to increase your talent at another position. Either way, now is the time to jump on each player's bandwagon. For the bargain plays for Gameweek 24, here is the Bargain Bin:
Tom Heaton v. West Bromwich Albion
This is a match that just screams 0-0 to me. In that case, you could go with Ben Foster from West Brom if you feel more comfortable with the Tony Pulis defense (no one would blame you). I just feel more comfortable going with the home side in this one. West Brom have scored just six away goals this season and only Aston Villa have fewer away goals (Queens Park Rangers also have six). The Baggies may have put up four goals when these two clubs met earlier this season, but that will not be the case this weekend. Other than letting one slip away last weekend against Crystal Palace, they have looked better defensively recently and are a good option for a clean sheet this weekend.
Pablo Zabaleta v. Hull City
Using a player like Zabaleta may be cheating (he ranked second in this week's rankings, but it is worth pointing out what an enormous value he is right now. At just £6.5 in Fantasy Premier League and £6.4 in the ESPN game, he is much too cheap to pass up, especially with a home match against struggling Hull City. The Tigers have been shut out in three of their previous four away matches and average the fewest shot attempts per match on the road. Manchester City is the best bet for a clean sheet this week, and Zabaleta's value is just too good to pass up.
Riyad Mahrez v. Crystal Palace
Before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations, Mahrez was on a tear. One goal and two assists in his last three appearances had him on everyone's hot list. Now he's back and ready to claim his spot on that list again. A home match against Crystal Palace is a great opportunity to get back into the flow of league play, as the Eagles have allowed the fifth-most away goals this season. Leicester need the points to help avoid relegation and they are going to look for Mahrez to help score them to a victory.
Bafetimbi Gomis v. Sunderland
With Bony out of the picture for Swansea City, the club has turned to Gomis to provide scoring that just has not come. Since taking the lead up front, Gomis has led the team in shot attempts but has come across accuracy issues and has yet to score. Those matches, however, have come against some of the best defenses the Premier League has to offer: West Ham United, Chelsea, and Southampton. Sunderland is not in the same conversation as these clubs defensively, which should give Gomis a great opportunity to get his first goal since Nov. 9. It may not get much better for Gomis to show that he's a worthy replacement for Bony, which makes him an excellent play in Gameweek 24.