Suspensions and injuries could see some of the Bundesliga’s fringe players come in from the cold this weekend, which is particularly good news for Official Fantasy Bundesliga managers looking to bring in a few forgotten names, whose values may have dropped since the start of the campaign. Here are seven players I think could thrive back in the spotlight…
Thomas Kessler (Goalkeeper, 1. FC Köln – 2M): Donning the gloves of the injured Timo Horn, Kessler excelled in the Rhine derby last weekend. The 30-year-old is expected to man the goal-posts at least until the winter break and, therefore, represents one of the biggest Fantasy bargains on the pre-Christmas list.
Roman Weidenfeller (Goalkeeper, Borussia Dortmund – 3.9M): Weidenfeller is also set for a good run in the first-team, after Roman Bürki broke a hand against FC Bayern München in Der Klassiker. The former Germany international has nothing to prove and is another shrewd Fantasy investment.
Benno Schmitz (Defender, RB Leipzig – 1.3M): Fighting out with Kessler for the ‘bargain of the week’ accolade, Schmitz put in a solid shift after replacing Marvin Compper after half-an-hour against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He should continue, but I’d recommend waiting until you see the confirmed starting line-ups before making a move. If he starts, snap him up!
Manuel Gulde (Defender, SC Freiburg – 6.2M): The most likely candidate to fill in for the injured Caglar Söyüncü, but as with Schmitz – wait and see if he starts!
Fabian Lustenberger (Defender, Hertha Berlin – 10.8M): This season the Swiss defender has lost his place in the first team and has only been in the starting line-up twice since Matchday 6. However, he will play in defensive midfield this weekend in place of injured team-mate Per Skjelbred.
Simon Zoller (Forward, 1. FC Köln – 8.8M): Not a like-for-like change, but Zoller looks like the man to benefit from an injury to Köln captain Matthias Lehmann. It’s a risky move – he’s a striker by trade and hardly any other managers have him in their side – but if he scores, you’ll be laughing your way up the standings.
Nils Petersen (Forward, SC Freiburg – 12.1M) – Petersen’s the most expensive player on my list, but he’s definitely worth considering. You’ll know before the close of the transfer window whether or not he’s going to start in place of the injured Maximilian Philipp against RB Leipzig. If he does, he’s a great option for the captain’s armband because, when he’s on his game, he has a habit of scoring in twos or even threes. If he doesn’t light up the stage, you can swap him out on Saturday and give the captaincy to someone else.
Without wanting to give too much away to Matt ‘the Expert’ Howarth and James ‘the Coach’ Thorogood, at least two of the aforementioned seven players will make my squad. How many will you pick?