3 Sheffield United players to have in your squad: Fantasy Premier League | FPL Scout
Fantasy Premier League is as much a gamble as it is planning. A lot of unknowns are present in the game at the start of the season and "players from newly-promoted sides" is one of them. For every player who makes the step up to the Premier League look easy, many find it tremendously difficult. For every Charlie Austin, there are several Dwight Gayles in the game and to expect us to be able to identify them from each other would certainly be too much to ask for.
This is the reason that I prefer to not go near the newly promoted sides at the start of the season. However, they do offer a big advantage that is often too good to ignore - important first team players at a very cheap price. This can help make our bench stronger without missing out on key players for our first 11.
Today we look at three players from Sheffield United that you might want to put on your watchlist.
#1 Dean Henderson (GK)
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson signed a new deal with parent club Manchester United before moving back to Sheffield United on another season-long loan. This will be his first season in the Premier League and he will be the side's number one for the season. This will be much-needed Premier League experience for the England U-21 international. But what does he offer from a fantasy perspective?
Sheffield United are the most solid defensive side of the three promoted teams, they kept 21 clean sheets last season, conceding only 38 goals all season. They play a 5-3-2 formation so there is ample protection for the defence as well. Henderson maintained a 73.5% save percentage last year which was the second-best in the league (stats courtesy FootyStats). A newly promoted goalkeeper normally needs to make a lot of saves so this shows his pedigree to do just that. He's not in the game as of yet but expected to be priced at 4.5m and is a good option at that price. Word of caution, he will not be eligible against his parent team, that is GW13 and GW31.
#2 Oliver Norwood (MID) (£5m)
Oliver Norwood is one of the three midfielders who is expected to start week in week out for United. He could play as a defensive or an attacking midfielder. He scored three and assisted eight in the second division last year. Norwood takes set pieces for the team as well as corners and he created a lot of chances.
I wouldn't say I know much about him because my favourite pastime wasn't switching on division two football but it seems that at five million there could be serious value if he makes a step up. His underlying stat of creating a chance every 39 minutes is a very good one. One must be wary though as the new signings of Ravel Morrison and Luke Freeman have made this team a source of uncertainty especially, in that midfield area.
#3 Callum Robinson (MID) (£5.5m)
A bit of a left-field option is new signing Callum Robinson from Preston North End. Billy Sharpe is getting on in terms of footballing age and could be subjected to a limited role this season. Listed as a midfielder, Robinson has been playing out of position (OOP) as a second striker in pre-season. He scored twelve goals and assisted three in 24 starts last season and at £5.5m he could be a great value, especially if he keeps playing upfront. This does seem, however, to be a high-risk high reward situation as pre-season is often misleading and he might have to warm the bench initially before getting his opportunity.
This article was meant to look at a few options and where they fit into our thinking as FPL managers. However, I have little idea as to how they'll end up doing and what storms the Premier League might bring them this season because, quite literally, I've never seen them play. It's mostly speculation as well as the need for cheap options that propel us to think of the newly promoted sides. My only advice would be to always be sceptical before buying one of these players because a Wolves might come up once from the division below but there are a lot more Fulhams and Cardiffs.