You must know that feeling: you’ve just bought a cool new jacket, but suddenly everyone else is strutting around with the same one. No? You don’t know that feeling? Good, because it’s not a problem I’ve ever had, and not just because I don’t own any cool new jackets.
In fact, it’s the perfect introduction to today’s article, in which I’m going to introduce you to six players who are about as hard to find in Official Fantasy Bundesliga squads as cool jackets are in my wardrobe.
In this case, though, I’m finally ahead of the curve: for various reasons the following six players have been overlooked, but I can wholeheartedly recommend them. In fact, if you do snap them up, you’ll be showing off in front of your friends on Saturday night just as much as you would be if you’d turned up in a cool new jacket.
Matthias Ostrzolek (Hamburger SV, 8.55M)
I do find it really strange that Ostrzolek isn’t more popular. With 36 points, he’s been the best point-scorer over the last two Matchdays. Although listed as a defender in the Official Fantasy Bundesliga, the 26-year-old is playing as a holding midfielder and winning seemingly every challenge that comes his way. Indeed, as a vital figure in the recent revival of HSV, Ostrzolek is a wise investment. And when you buy him, then you can all say that you rated him ever since he played five-a-side in Bochum as a child.
Thilo Kehrer (FC Schalke 04, 1.7M)
The 20-year-old is the only player on my list who is in at least one per cent of Official Fantasy Bundesliga squads, all the other players in today’s article are included in less than one per cent of selections. The young Schalke centre-back replaced the suspended Benedikt Höwedes against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 14 and caught the eye with an assured display. With Naldo banned for the next two games, Kehrer is likely to be involved prior to the winter break and represents a real bargain.
Fin Bartels (SV Werder Bremen, 10.95M)
Yes, I know. When people talk about the Bremen attack, it’s always Serge Gnabry or Max Kruse. Poor old Bartels, always forgotten. I can tell you right now, however, that Bartels is in the form of his life. Fortunately, that’s reflected in his Official Fantasy Bundesliga points tally: the 29-year-old has picked up 33 points in the last three games, largely due to his penchant for winning challenges (36 in the last three games). He’ll also always pick up points going forward with the odd goal or assist, but he’s not even in 0.5 per cent of squads! That needs to change. Now.
Danny Latza (1. FSV Mainz 05, 6.9M)
In my very first article, I recommended Latza as a cheap alternative in midfield. Unfortunately injury meant that it wasn’t until Matchday 12 that Latza made his first start of the season, but from an Official Fantasy Bundesliga point of view, that means his price has dropped. Anyway, Latza is not only irreplaceable again at the heart of the Mainz midfield, but is also a points machine, averaging 13.6 successful challenges per game.
Stefan Kießling (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 12.65M)
Kießling has been a top Bundesliga performer for years, and so I do find it a little strange that he’s not in more Official Fantasy Bundesliga squads. Admittedly there are only three places for strikers, but even with that in mind I’d suggest that there are some arguments in favour of drafting in the 32-year-old. His late winner at Schalke on Matchday 14 has probably secured him a starting berth until the winter break and when he does play, he wins an average of 17 challenges per game.
Claudio Pizarro (SV Werder Bremen, 12.5M)
Now, at 32, Kießling is an experienced striker, a veteran some might say. What does that make the 38-year-old Pizarro then? Regardless of age, the Peruvian’s intelligence has kept him at the top of his game for decades. On top of that intelligence is his physical strength: Pizarro wins an average of 13.5 challenges per game and so will bring points even when he doesn’t score. He also has one advantage over Kießling in that he’s a guaranteed starter when he’s fit. The Bundesliga’s record foreign goalscorer has yet to find the net this season, although I suspect that will change before the winter break.
So, there we have it, the hipster scout edition of the Official Fantasy Bundesliga. Bring some of these players into your squad and then turn your nose up at your friends for not being cool enough. The alternative is just to buy a cool new jacket.