With the new season inching closer, Goal takes a look at the best shot-stoppers available to virtual coaches, including some bargain buys
The 2017-18 Premier League season headed into the festive period, meaning that fantasy football managers will be kept busy as games come thick and fast.
The Fantasy Premier League game on the Premier League’s official website is also a popular choice for fantasy gamers, but regardless of what you use, we’ve broken down the best fantasy football goalkeepers, including a few bargains, to help you mould your squad!
BEST FANTASY FOOTBALL GOALKEEPERS
When mulling over what goalkeepers to choose for your fantasy football team, the first consideration is usually whether they are first choice or not. Most teams will stick to using one player between the posts for a season, so you want your number one to be playing regularly.
Naturally, clean sheets will boost a goalkeeper’s appeal, so those who have a formidable defence in front of them are sensible picks. Interestingly, however, shot-stoppers who are kept busy are often the highest scorers, so it is worth keeping in mind goalkeepers at clubs towards the bottom half of the table. For example, Burnley’s Tom Heaton was the highest scoring goalkeeper last season, despite being part of a team that lost 20 games.
Another key attribute to bear in mind is penalty-stopping ability as plenty of points can be gained this way through a long season.
David de Gea (Man United – £5.8m)
Spain international David de Gea has consistently been one of the best scoring goalkeepers in fantasy football and, that has continued this year. He has raced to the top of the goalkeepers column this season, which has seen his price increase to nearly £6m, but he is worth every penny.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham – £5.5m)
Tottenham had the best defensive record in the Premier League last term, conceding just 26 goals in 38 games. Their captain and leader Hugo Lloris is the chief reason for that, saving and winning points for his team. Of the most expensive goalkeepers in this season’s game, Lloris scored the highest last year and he has made a decent start to the new campaign.
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea – £5.5m)
Belgium international Thibaut Courtois is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he helped keep Chelsea’s title-winning defence watertight last season. He has a strong defensive line in front of him, which helps, but the former Atletico Madrid man is a colossus between the posts and is capable of pulling off the most impossible saves.
Petr Cech (Arsenal – £5.4m)
Arguably the greatest goalkeeper of his generation, Petr Cech is still performing to the highest standards at the age of 35 and has retained the number one jersey for Arsenal this season. The former Chelsea man remains a key player for Arsene Wenger and was one of the top five shot-stoppers last season, picking up 134 points.
Ederson (Man City – £5.5m)
Manchester City brought Ederson in from Benfica for a mammoth fee and the 23-year-old is ranked as one of the most expensive shot-stoppers in this season’s fantasy football. The Brazilian has settled in well to life in the Premier League and he has shown that he has what it takes to marshall the backline of a team challenging on all fronts.
Fraser Forster (Southampton – £5m)
Former Celtic star Fraser Forster has been immense for Southampton since joining in 2014, further enhancing his reputation as one of England’s best goalkeepers. The 29-year-old is known to make a crucial save or two and finished last season with the same number of fantasy football points as Petr Cech. Despite that fact, he is considerably cheaper than his Arsenal counterpart, but a strong start to the 2017-18 season has seen his value rise.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester – £5m)
Denmark international Kasper Schmeichel has become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in recent years and it is no surprise to see that he is among the top scoring shot-stoppers in Fantasy Football this season. While Leicester are unlikely to challenge for honours, Schmeichel will definitely be up there when it comes to accumulating points.
BEST BARGAIN GOALKEEPERS
Unlike other areas of the pitch, there is very little variation in the prices of goalkeepers in fantasy football, but shrewd managers can save some money nevertheless.
The most expensive shot-stoppers are £5.5m and the cheapest is £4m – a price usually reserved for back-up or third-choice players. However, there are a number of talented individuals who fall somewhere in the middle.
Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth – £4.5m)
Former Chelsea and Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic will hope to find a new lease of life at Bournemouth this season after seizing the number one jersey from the high-scoring Artur Boruc. Early indications suggest a grim outlook for the Cherries this season, but Begovic possesses the kind of quality that can singlehandedly win points.
Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea – £4.6m)
Swansea endured a difficult campaign in 2016-17, which saw them sucked into a relegation battle. However, one of their better players was former Arsenal man Lukasz Fabianski, who managed to finish the season as a top-10 fantasy football goalkeeper, despite his side’s woes.
Nick Pope (Burnley – £4.7m)
Burnley’s Tom Heaton has had his season scuppered by injury, but his deputy Nick Pope has done a tremendous job in his stead. As mentioned, Heaton was the top scoring net custodian in 2016-17 and Pope has shown that he is an able understudy for the England international.
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Matthew Ryan (Brighton – £4.5m)
Brighton were pipped to the Championship title last season by Newcastle, but Chris Hughton’s side nevertheless had the joint-best defence in the division along with the Magpies. David Stockdale, who was between the posts at the Amex last year, has departed, but Brighton have arguably upgraded with the addition of former Valencia and Genk man Matthew Ryan. The Seagulls have a fight on their hands to avoid relegation, but in Ryan they boast a solid keeper.
Jonas Lossi (Huddersfield – £4.6m)
Newly promoted Huddersfield Town began the season with plenty of promise, but they have fallen down the table in recent weeks. Part of the reason for their decent start to life in the Premier League was their defence and, in particular Jonas Lossi, who has managed to keep five clean sheets in 15 games. While the Terriers have endured a downturn in fortunes, Lossi continues to pull off crucial saves, so he is still picking up points.
Heurelho Gomes (Watford – £4.5m)
Despite a number of impressive seasons with Watford, Heurelho Gomes is still chronically undervalued in fantasy football. The Brazil international, who counts Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven among his former clubs, was a top-10 goalkeeper in the game last term despite nearly suffering relegation and he would be a logical choice if one wished to save money in this area of the field.