The beginning of the FPL season is always an interesting practice of sifting through the noise and tempering expectations. There are meaningless preseason games with breakout performances, casuals flooding the game making puzzling FPL player selections, and a glimmer of hope that this could be the year of FPL glory. I'll be the first to admit that I won't be winning FPL this year. I won't even come close, so take that into consideration as I share this thought on player selection leading up to the season.
For some reason every year, there are a handful of budget players that are incredibly highly owned who will never see the field or score minimal points. I understand that we all need budget options in our team to facilitate the big-name, high-price tag players like Salah, Haaland, Kane, etc., but be cautious about the budget players you bring in.
One example of this type of player last year was Pedro Neto. He had some good underlying stats and closed out the previous season looking promising. He was owned by 1.4 million managers at the start of the 22-23 season before plummeting in ownership (and price) after the second gameweek and had earned only 15 points through the first 6 gameweeks.
I call this type of player a budgetsuck - one who loses value quickly due to high ownership and minimal FPL returns, especially near the start of the season. The highly owned players at the beginning of the season will get dumped when they don't perform and will lose value. If you have them on your team, you need to move them out fast to avoid shrinking your overall budget. Don’t choose a budgetsuck!
In making my player selections, I rely on the “Teams Selected By” option to see players that are highly owned who I may not have considered. Keep in mind that many people also use this option to select their entire team creating a sort of herd mentality in player selection. This is an important metric because you don’t want to be left behind by not taking a player that’s in 50% of teams, but I wouldn’t rely on this as my only method of selecting my budget facilitators because it can lead to rostering a budgetsuck.
Here are some of my nominations for 23-24 budgetsucks:
Defenders (ownership % at the time of writing)
- Amari’i Bell - Luton (19.1%)
- Tariq Lamptey - Brighton (8.1%)
- Tyrone Mings - Aston Villa (15.4%)
- Sven Botman - Newcastle (25.7%)
- Julio Enciso - Brighton (10.8%)
- Any CDM (Rice, Casemiro, Enzo, etc.)
- Cameron Archer - Aston Villa (7.4%)
- John McAtee - Luton (4.5%)
- Vincius - Fulham (4.2%)