After romping to the Sky Bet Championship title last season, a lot has been made about the potential some of the Wolves players in the current squad have to excel in the Premier League. After looking through the pricing, positions and of course watching this group of players for over a year, I am here to give you the knowhow of the Wolves squad for Fantasy Football.
Wolves as a team
Last season Wolves were a side who kept the ball extremely well and tired the opposition out before finding that killer pass to create a scoring opportunity. A big part of our play was to use the fantastic passing range of Ruben Neves to get our wing-backs up the pitch and create overloads in the opposition half, I do not see this tactic changing this season. What will change however, is how Wolves will play against the top sides in the Premier League. In our cup game against Manchester City, Wolves took them on and played their own style and asked City questions. This may give an inkling for this season that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could upset a few of the big clubs. As a team we have a lot of pace on the break too so any team which comes on to us could well end up being caught out and conceding. I doubt Wolves will be a side which will produce high scoring games, but they will offer a nice balance between defence and attack. This is where the true value lies with Wolves and I believe it will be in defence. Last season we kept a club record 23 league clean sheets thanks to how brilliantly we are organised when we are not on the ball and how we press at the right time. With the signing of Portuguese number one Rui Patricio too, it is likely that Wolves will be a tough team to breakdown in the top flight. With our most expensive defender currently being Barry Douglas at 5M (more on him later) there is plenty of value to be had in defence. Overall you should expect Wolves to be a solid Premier League side with dependable players for those precious FPL points.
The Must Own
I am predicting that Wolves most productive player next season in terms of points will be Diogo Jota. After his stunning performances last season his loan move from Atletico Madrid was made permanent this summer and I think he will be a star in the Premier League. He produced 17 league goals last season from an inside forward position whilst also providing six assists in 44 appearances. His ability to take it past players and pick up the right positions in the box should see him love life in the Premier League as he will get more space than he did in the Championship. Jota was also fouled a ridiculous amount of times last season which means he has a good chance to pick up assists from winning penalties and free-kicks. At times last season he reminded me of Eden Hazard with his style of play and his ability to escape any situation when faced by defenders. He is a very composed finisher and perhaps most excitingly for FPL players was used as a striker at times and he is a strong contender to be our penalty taker this season. One word of warning for Jota though is his fiery temper. He picked up nine yellow cards last season and he certainly gives as good as he gets. For just 6.5M though I would highly recommend selecting Jota for your side as he is likely to outscore many of the midfielders of similar price and some who are more expensive.
As mentioned earlier the value for money this season is in the prices of the Wolves defenders. With an already strong base combined with Patricio in goal we should be keeping our fair number of clean sheets next season. Wolves defence last term was composed of a back three, with wing-backs offering an outlet going forward. In terms of selection for FPL you should pick only one of the three following defenders. At 4.5M right wing-back Matt Doherty will provide you with a defender who will play consistently and get enough goals and assists to be a useful asset. He provided four goals and five assists last season so for 4.5M he should be considered.
Willy Boly is next on the list. The titanic French centre-back was immense last season and his loan move from Porto was made permanent this summer. Boly is cool, calm and collected, he is also extremely good on the ball and his passing range is also to be noted. I think this could make Boly a potential bonus point magnet in some games. His size instantly makes him a threat at corners with him picking up three goals and two assists last season. It is also worth noting that he does not pick up many yellow cards, he only received two all season. So he will not cost you points as much as other defenders in terms of losing points.
Finally, if you want to spend that little bit extra to get a few more points you must go for the 5M rated Barry Douglas. The Scottish left wing-back only cost Wolves 1M last season but my goodness it was an absolute steal. Douglas became one of the most important players in the side and he was astonishingly consistent at something all FPL managers dream of in defenders…… goals and assists. His left foot can deliver some high-quality balls into the box and we profited so much from it last season, especially when teams would try to sit deep. He scored five goals and provided a huge 14 assists. If this does not scream value for money I do not know what does. Think of him as a budget Marcos Alonso and Leighton Baines. He is on many of the Wolves set pieces and will also provide a threat when given the chance to take aim with a free-kick.
The Guys You Should Avoid
As always in FPL you get those players that people pick at the start just because of their reputation, to then only moan about picking them a few weeks later. There are two main traps I think some players may fall for when thinking about selecting Wolves players. The first being Ruben Neves. The Portuguese international was a marvel to behold last season, his technique, vision, passing range and of course out of this world goals left me in no doubt that he will be a World class player very soon. But in terms of FPL he is not a great player. I have seen a few people tweet that his value of 5M is ok, which in a sense is not too bad. I feel as though at best he is a bench option. He scored six magnificent goals last season whilst picking up one assist. This in terms of FPL is not consistent enough to really hold a place in your side. He also picked up eleven yellow cards and one red so that is also something to be wary of. (P.S Sorry Ruben for writing something negative about you)
Conor Coady is the second member of the team who is not really a good option for FPL. Last season Nuno transformed Coady into a sweeper position in our back three and he has played the best football of his career since. He became a real leader on and off the pitch, read the game extremely well and his distribution was also excellent. The main problem for Coady is an obvious one, he will not get many attacking returns at all. He never goes up for any set pieces which really limits him as an option especially when Boly and Doherty are the same price and will get some goals and assists. The only goal Coady scored last season was a penalty and he only took that when we were already 3-0 up against Bolton Wanderers.
One to Watch
As always there are players which go under the radar and then burst onto the scene and then we all hop aboard the hype train. From the current squad I would advise keeping an eye on Helder Costa. The pacey and skilful winger was missing from the start of the season with a foot injury and it took him a long time to get going again. During the final run in Costa came back to his best and was showing the form he did in his first season at the club. I think with a full pre-season behind him he can be a starter in this team and for just 5M could prove a steal. It is also worth noting he was our penalty taker before his injury so that could possibly return.
Overall Wolves should provide fantasy managers with some real value for money this season and consistent returns. Douglas and Jota are the standouts but with the transfer window yet to shut there could be some new options to consider very soon.