Fantasy Football Focus 2014/15: Crystal Palace

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

With the new season looming it's time to assess your fantasy football options. Today's focus will be on Crystal Palace.

The Eagles managed to retain their Premier League status after Tony Pulis completed an incredible job by guiding the team to an eleventh-placed finish and he will hope to see the side do even better this time.

A few new arrivals have been brought in so far as Chris Kettings and Frazier Campbell have made the move to Selhurst Park while Marouane Chamakh has been re-signed and if Pulis can keep the side performing as well as they did defensively towards the end of the last campaign, fantasy managers will be eager to invest.

They kept 12 clean sheets in 28 games under Pulis and conceded less than a goal a game on average, making defenders and Julian Speroni in goal valuable options, but where should you be looking this season from a fantasy perspective?

Budget options

DEF - Adrian Mariappa - With question marks over who will start in goal for Palace, it may be best to invest in the back four. Mariappa is one of the cheapest ways into The Eagles defence and he can operate at right-back or in the centre of defence. He made 24 appearances last season, getting one goal and one assist as well as helping the side to nine clean sheets, and if he can nail down a regular starting role the Jamaican will be a very valuable option.

DEF - Joel Ward - Another Palace defender who should be worth considering is Ward, as the versatile full-back was The Eagles top-scoring defender for fantasy points last time out. The 24-year-old is almost guaranteed to be a regular and made 36 appearances last season, starting in every one of those games. He played in midfield six times, adding more to his value, and will hope to build on his two assists from last year by adding a couple of goals as well.

MID - Mile Jedinak - The powerful midfielder is a regular in the starting lineup, and although he will not make too many attacking contributions, the Australian will give you a way into the Palace side on a regular basis. He played in all 38 games last season and picked up three assists. Jedinak is another who can benefit from a tight backline and will score points from clean sheets. A cheap option that will give you someone guaranteed of regular football.

Worth a gamble

MID - Jason Puncheon - Puncheon scored seven goals with two assists last season and played in 34 games for The Eagles. He will be a regular once again and could pick up regular points with his attacking mindset. The 28-year-old was the team's highest-scoring midfielder from a fantasy perspective last year by quite some way and should be worth considering at a relatively low price.

MID - Yannick Bolasie - The tricky winger has a lot more to offer and could be set for a big season if he can work on his end product. He failed to score in 29 appearances but picked up four assists and if played regularly could score some decent points. Everton have been linked with a move but Bolasie looks set to stay with Palace and has already scored during pre-season.

FOR - Glenn Murray - The striker missed the majority of last season with a knee injury that he picked up during the side's Championship season in which they were promoted, but has returned to pre-season this year looking sharp. He has already scored three times and could be set to start as the main striker if he can see of competition from Chamakh, Fraizer Campbell and Dwight Gayle. Murray made 14 appearances last season after returning from injury in February, scoring and assisting one goal, and Pulis will likely utilise his services often.


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