This article is part of our FPL Bargain Bin series.
There is plenty of strategy to the season-long games of Fantasy Premier League. Sure, there is the strategy to play the best player at each position, but sometimes affording the best player can be difficult with the budget you are allotted. Luckily there are ways to increase your spending budget and your bench can be utilized to grow your funds.
Most season-long salary cap games allow you to pocket the profit from selling a player for more than you purchased him for and use it to buy another player. Bench players are a great place to build some additional funds without hurting the integrity of your starting XI. If you purchase the right player, the benefit can be two-fold as you can eventually sell for a profit and if one of your starting XI does not play, the bench player could provide some additional value to your team as they step into the lineup.
To take advantage of this you need to look at the future schedule and determine which team's upcoming fixtures provide the most potential to produce fantasy points. A look at the current situation points to a Hull City squad that has struggled of late but will have a very favorable schedule for the near future. After running into some trouble to start 2015, they have played well in earning a draw against Manchester City and getting the full three points in a clean sheet victory over Aston Villa. The Tigers' next four matches would have fantasy owners licking their chops if it were Chelsea. The same feeling should be there for this Hull City team, so long as your expectations are to sell away your acquisition in a couple of weeks even if you do not use him.
It starts with a home match against Queens Park Rangers this Saturday. QPR's road woes have been well documented this year, and with a less-than-100 percent Charlie Austin, this could be a very good matchup for the attack and defense. Following the QPR match is a trip to Stoke City, a home match against Sunderland and finally a trip to Leicester City. At the end of those four matches, your Hull City player(s) should provide a good return. Who should you target to take advantage? I'm glad you asked.
Allan McGregor is the Hull City goalkeeper and can be had for a bargain in both FPL (£4.8) and ESPN (£4.3).
Alex Bruce appears healthy and could provide some return on a little investment of £3.9 in FPL and £4.8 in ESPN. Even if his price does not go up, he could give some fantastic depth at little cost should you need it.
Ahmed Elmohamady is the only Hull City player to start all 25 matches, and he leads the team with three assists and 36 assisted shots this season. At £4.9 in FPL and £5.5 on ESPN, there is plenty of room for him to at least be on your bench for the next four weeks.
Dame N'Doye has scored at every level he's played and added his first Premier League goal and assist in his last league match. He's likely the only consistent attacker Hull City have and with the current stretch of fixtures the club is on, he could see multiple goals over the next four weeks. Excellent return for a player that will cost you £5.5 in FPL and £5.0 in ESPN.
If trusting a Hull City player just is not your speed, here is an option for each position for Gameweek 26 to fill out this week's Bargain Bin.
There is a very good chance the Aston Villa v. Stoke City match ends 0-0, and that is only because neither team can score negative goals. That being the case, I would trust Begovic and Stoke City's defense more than Aston Villa's even though they are on the road. Stoke City have slightly better attacking options, which would give them a little better probability to score.
You want your defenders to get you clean sheets. Sure, there are sexier options in the Everton defense that have the chance to get you a goal, but the low chance they provide a score is not worth the money you could save by going with Jagielka. A home match against a Leicester City team that has scored just two goals in their last four matches and has the fourth-fewest away goals is a great opportunity for Jagielka to maximize his value.
Bolasie returned from the Africa Cup of Nations to play in Palace's last league match and he did not disappoint. Coming off the bench, he provided an assist and picked up right where he left off. Even with his brief absence, Bolasie ranks first in shot attempts and second in assisted shots for Crystal Palace this season. He's the Eagle to own this weekend in what should be a very entertaining match with Arsenal.
I put Berahino here because it's becoming a hot topic to discuss between Berahino and Brown Ideye. While Ideye has been on a fine run for the Baggies, do not lose sight of what Berahino has been able to do all year. Ideye has scored in two straight league matches, but he is converting at an unsustainable rate (two goals on three shot attempts). Berahino continues to lead the team in shots each week and chances are a better indicator of success, especially when you have someone who has proven his ability to finish like Berahino has this season. The match is on the road, but Sunderland has allowed the second-most goals to opponents this season.