Advocating owning Huddersfield players in FPL is no mean feat. If the Premier League was decided on FPL performance, Town would have been relegated last season. A team with the second-worst goal difference and joint-fewest goals scored isn’t exactly a goldmine of points. Surely this Terrier is barking up the wrong tree then?!
Before I try to convince you that owning Huddersfield players isn’t FPL suicide, I must acknowledge that I am a little biased. Seeing players from the team I love feature alongside some of the best in the world is a rare novelty and I look for any excuse to have them in my team. But let’s see if there are any rational arguments for including some of Yorkshire’s finest in your squad.
Fixtures from hell?
Huddersfield are being written off as having terrible early fixtures and admittedly it doesn’t get much tougher than Chelsea and Man City in the first two weeks. But look back to gameweek 37 just a couple of months ago. Town were the only Premier League side to keep a clean sheet at the Etihad last season. They then put on another defensive masterclass at Chelsea a few days later, a freak deflection proving the only way past them.
I also wonder whether Chelsea will hit the ground running with only a few short weeks for their new boss to acquaint himself with his team and implement a new system. The early fixtures can throw up surprising results and Huddersfield have historically started strongly under David Wagner. Even if you bench your Terriers for the first two gameweeks, they then face only two ‘top six’ sides in the subsequent 13 fixtures.
Co-Lossl value in goal
At £4.5 million, Jonas Lossl’s 135 points made him one of the best value assets in FPL last season. Ten clean sheets, over a hundred saves (including two penalties) and even an assist: there’s not much the Great Dane can’t do!
I was a little surprised to see his price stay the same as last season and even more so to see his ownership is currently under 3%. With a strengthened defence in front of him, he is a strong differential candidate for first-choice keeper. If Joel Coleman (not an FPL option) goes out on loan this season as expected, new signing Ben Hamer (£4.0m) could deputise Lossl in an £8.5 million ‘set and forget’ pairing that guarantees a starting keeper.
Will Schindler make your list?
Huddersfield’s defence offers several great options, all priced at a budget-friendly £4.5 million. Of all outfield players at that price, Schindler (102 pts) and the ever-present Zanka (107 pts) were the two highest scorers last season. Of the two, I would go against the current ownership trend and pick Schindler. He is more of a bps magnet and had a rest this summer while Zanka was at the World Cup.
Young right back Flo Hadergjonaj cemented his first team place in the second half of last season and sometimes plays in midfield. He creates a lot of chances and if we can be more clinical, he could outscore the centre backs with a full season of first team football.
The bolstering of our defence with the permanent signing of loanee Terence Kongolo from Monaco and addition of 2014 World Cup winner Erik Durm from Borussia Dortmund should make us even more difficult to break down this season.
Kongolo quickly became a fan favourite when he arrived in January but seems to be under the radar in the FPL community. 0.3% ownership is crazy when you consider that Town conceded an average of just 1.27 goals per game with him in the side, compared to 1.63 without him.
Left wingback Erik Durm started his career as a striker and can also play as a winger, which offers the potential for attacking returns. He’s had a lot of injury trouble recently and so could be a risk but David Wagner is a qualified sports scientist and hopefully will be able to keep him fit.
Unsurprisingly, its slim pickings in the attacking positions and until the summer signings show what they can do, I would avoid them. Keep an eye on Adama Diakhaby (£5.0m) though. He is listed as a midfielder despite playing as a winger/forward and his pace and skill could be the answer we’ve been looking for to increase our offensive output.
Aaron Mooy (5.5) is one of Huddersfield’s most nailed on players and is on penalty duties. He played at the World Cup but is back in training and should be ready for the start of the season. For £0.5 million less, Alex Pritchard plays in a more advanced role and is on set pieces. He has looked promising since arriving in January and could do well with the benefit of a pre-season at the club.
The highest-owned are the worst options
A whopping 12.5% of managers currently own Scott Malone (4.0). His 41 points last season were more than any other player at that price, so he may seem like a bargain. However, he is now fourth-choice left back and will probably be sold to a Championship club soon.
The next highest-owned Terrier is Colin Quaner (7.3%). “Super Col” is unknown outside of Huddersfield and fantasy football circles but was the only forward at £4.5 million worth having last season. Managers who benefitted from his four assists probably love him but for most he wasn’t a reliable source of points and will be less so this season. With 5-3-2 increasingly being deployed over the usual 4-2-3-1, new signings in his position and the return of Elias Kachunga from injury, he has dropped further down the pecking order.
The second season after promotion can often be tricky but I don’t think it’s unrealistic to imagine Huddersfield doing as well or even better this term. With a year of Premier League experience and over £46 million spent on strengthening the squad this summer, we may not be the pushovers that many are expecting.
Defensively we should be solid and those players are a safe bet in my view. It’s abundantly clear that we need to pose more of an attacking threat to survive though and if we can, further value could emerge. Whatever happens, I will have Huddersfield players in my team. Don’t let me down lads!