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Fantasy Football Insider - Gameweek 15
Fifth in the table, fourth in the form guide and cheap as chips players, Bolton are a team offering loads of fantasy football value at present.

Fifth in the table, fourth in the form guide and cheap as chips players, Bolton are a team offering loads of fantasy football value at present.

By Conor Heneghan

Possibly the best illustration of just how crazy this Premier League season has been so far is the fact that Owen Coyle’s Bolton are sitting pretty in fifth place after 14 games, ahead of Tottenham on goal difference and three points behind Manchester City in the final Champions League place.

Had this been the first few weeks of the season, Bolton’s lofty perch might have been more understandable, but with nearly half the season gone, they are firmly entrenched in the top half and have shown signs of going from strength to strength rather than falling off the pace.

Bolton have only lost twice, to Arsenal and Liverpool so far, and behind the top three of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, are the top scorers in the division with 26 goals so far, including nine in their last two home games against Spurs and Newcastle.

From a fantasy football perspective, Bolton players are a very attractive proposition indeed. As mentioned above, all of their players are easily affordable with the most expensive being all round good guy Kevin Davies, who will set you back a paltry £6.5 million. His strike partner, Johan Elmander, surely one of the players of the season so far, is £0.2 million cheaper, but has seen his value increase by nearly £1 million since the start of the season.

Of the 26 goals, Davies and Elmander have scored 14 between them and often tend to play a hand in each other’s goals, which makes them even better value. Their worth so far this season is highlighted by the fact that Elmander is the highest ranked and Davies the fifth highest ranked strikers in fantasy premier league.

Owen Coyle has done a superb job at the Reebok

While they are the most sought after Bolton players, there are others within the ranks also worth a punt. We have already talked up Chung Yong-Lee in this column and the South Korean was rewarded for his displays this season with a brand new contract this week.

Lee has been Bolton’s main provider from midfield with five assists and is very good value at £5.3 million. His midfield colleague Stuart Holden (£5.0 million) is steady rather than spectacular but has played 90 minutes in all but one of the Trotters’ games so far this season. Martin Petrov (£5.4 million) and Matthew Taylor (£5.3 million) are a more likely source of goals or assists, but neither is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.

If Bolton have had a weak link so far this campaign, it has been in defence, where they have conceded 20 goals so far. Despite that, the likes of Gary Cahill (£5.4 million) and Jussi Jaaskelainen (£4.6 million) are proven performers and are unlikely to let you down in the long run.

What to look out for this week

The Trotters take on Blackpool at home this weekend so Elmander and Davies are certainly worth holding on to if you have them in your team or getting them in if you haven’t.

If acting on impulse is your thing, you might be tempted to get Wayne Rooney (£11.3 million) into your team after the serial philanderer scored on his return to the starting line-up against Rangers on Wednesday night, even if he was pretty crap besides his converted penalty. United take on Blackburn at Old Trafford, so a home win should be on the cards, although the Red Devils have been so unconvincing of late that it is hard to know who to recommend.

Elsewhere, the form team at the moment are undoubtedly Spurs, who had two great wins in the last week. We feel we’ve been more than fulsome in our praise of Rafael van der Vaart (who’s a doubt for Sunday’s game with Liverpool) and Gareth Bale, so it might be worth looking at Aaron Lennon (£7.5 million), who was outstanding against Werder Bremen, or Younes Kaboul (£4.8 million), who has scored two goals in his last two games.

JOE’s Fantasy Football Picks

Top Dollar: Wayne Rooney (£11.3 million). It’s an ambitious shout for sure, but we firmly believe that Rooney will return to form sooner rather than later and what better time to do so than against Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford, whose manager Sam Allardyce’s teams have a history of lying down against his BFF Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mid Range: Johan Elmander (£6.3 million). The form player in Premier League at the moment comes up against a Blackpool defence that have conceded 27 goals already this season. Expect goals.

Bargain Basement: Danny Welbeck (£5.0 million). The on-loan Manchester United striker has exploded into life for Sunderland in the last fortnight with three goals, an assist, six bonus points and 26 points in total in his last three games.

Irish pick: Kevin Doyle (£5.1 million). Doyle’s relief after scoring his first Premier League goal of the season last weekend was evident for all to see. Now that he’s broken his duck, there’s every chance that more will follow.

Captain’s pick: Carlos Tevez (£11.1 million). Fulham were meek opponents at Craven Cottage last weekend, but for the first time in quite a while, City looked really good and as is usually the case when they play well, Tevez was the main man. Tough ask against Stoke at the Britannia ahead, but there will likely be goals and a there’s a good chance Tevez will be among them.

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