With the first international break of the season having passed, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he makes his return to Premier League action in a Manchester United shirt this weekend.
From a Fantasy Premier League perspective, CR7’s unexpected arrival at Old Trafford during the final days of the transfer window have prompted many into a drastic rethink, desperate to accommodate the Portuguese star.
Indeed, up to Thursday evening, no less than 1.4m new owners have brought Ronaldo in for a fee of 12.5.
Budget players are now set to take on an even bigger presence in FPL teams across the board, so who can we turn to as we look to slash costs for Gameweek 4?
Forward: Emmanuel Dennis (5.2)
Starting out at Vicarage Road, Watford have become a regular source for the potential bargain bin this term – with mixed successes it must be said – but Emmanuel Dennis could the man to turn to this weekend.
Making an immediate impact on his debut after a summer move from Club Brugge, the Nigerian netted a goal and an assist and in just over an hour against Aston Villa, before being forced off through injury. Dennis still hauled maximum bonus points.
Since then, the forward has played every minute under Xisco Munoz without reward, but the visit of Wolves here should present ample opportunity to remedy that.
The seventh-highest scoring striker in the game currently, Dennis is the cheapest player in the same FPL market by some 1.3 margin, whilst also coming in 14th for all players in the game in terms of threat. His accessible fee could now lead to his stock soaring come the end of the weekend.
The Hornets play their second home game of the campaign in GW4 and given the fact they put three past a defensively durable Villans on opening day, Dennis’ owners could look very smug indeed this weekend.
Midfield: Demarai Gray (5.6)
In midfield we look to Everton, and a man in Demarai Gray who has been reborn under Rafa Benitez on Merseyside during the early weeks of the FPL season.
A forgotten figure at Leicester since his 2016 move from Birmingham City, the former England U21 international had an unsuccessful loan spell in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen last term also, but at Goodison Park, Gray looks a new player.
Taking up a regular position on the left wing, Gray has been a pivotal part of Everton’s new attack, and the midfielder is available for a paltry 5.6, having already scored twice in his first three outings for the Toffees.
Sitting ninth in the standings for top-scoring FPL midfielders thus far, Burnley make the trip from Lancashire this weekend and the Clarets could be in accommodating mood.
Owned by just 7.5% of managers, the Everton man however, has seen his interest rise with over 548,000 new owners bringing him in ahead of Gameweek 4’s deadline. Gray could be a important FPL asset this weekend once more and for a small outlay.
Defender: Shane Duffy (4.2)
Rather a bygone figure in FPL circles, Brighton’s Shane Duffy is now threatening a comeback.
A centre-back, who between 2017 and 2019 played over 3000 league minutes in back-to-back seasons, amassed 17 clean sheets, four assists and five goals for Brighton – said goals all coming during the 2018/19 campaign where the Irishman reached 115 fantasy points.
Since then, Duffy has netted just one Premier League goal due to his falling down the Seagulls’ pecking order and eventually being loaned out to Celtic, but where he again became a prominent aerial threat, adding three more goals to his tally.
Now, back on the scene at the AMEX this season after Ben White‘s departure, Duffy has played every minute of the season so far, and in GW2 scored 14 points with a goal, a clean sheet and maximum bonus points at home to Watford. Scoring for Ireland during the international break also, Duffy is hinting at a run of form that cannot be ignored.
A trip to Brentford might not at first look like fertile grounds for points, but it might yet be time to make a return for the once prolific defender.
In any case, his current price-tag of 4.2 looks dirt cheap right now, even for long-term investment.
Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4 deadline is Saturday 11:30 UK time.
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