Fantasy Football Focus 2014/15: Sunderland

Sunderland Gates

With the new season now just five days away, it's time to step up your search for fantasy football options. Today's focus will be on Sunderland.

The Black Cats managed to survive relegation for the second season running despite looking doomed for much of the campaign as Gus Poyet led the side to a 14th placed finish and a Capital One Cup final.

They won four of their last five games in an impressive run and if they can pick up where they left off, then Sunderland will be worth some consideration when it comes to fantasy football options.

Six players have been brought in so far as the Black Cats look for a more consistent campaign this time around, but where should you be looking at the squad from a fantasy perspective?

Budget options

DEF - Patrick van Aanholt - The Dutchman has joined Sunderland on a four-year deal from Chelsea and the 23-year-old will likely be a regular in the Sunderland starting lineup at left-back this season. He scored four goals and picked up three assists in 29 appearances for Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie last season and could be an attacking threat down the left for the Black Cats.

MID - Jack Rodwell - Rodwell has ended his Manchester City nightmare by joining Sunderland and if he can stay fit, he will be a mainstay in Gus Poyet's midfield. The 23-year-old made just one start for City last term and will undoubtedly make plenty more than that this time around. A new challenge at Rodwell could see the midfielder shine, though his attacking returns may not be that impressive.

FOR - Mikael Mandron - The 19-year-old comes in at just 4.5 and if he can find a way into Poyet's first-team after an impressive pre-season campaign then he will both investment at a low price. Mandron spent the end of last season on loan at Fleetwood and has scored twice for the Black Cats during pre-season so far. It is unlikely he will see much action, but he is one to keep an eye on at such a low price.

Worth a gamble

MID - Adam Johnson - Johnson was one of the highest scoring midfielders on the Premier League's official fantasy game last season and will hope to build on a solid campaign last time out. He scored eight goals with five assists in 36 appearances last season and if he can replicate or improve on these numbers, then he will surely be worth putting in your side at just 6.5.

FOR - Connor Wickham - Wickham's future at the club remains in doubt, but if he does sign a new deal at the club then he will be worth serious consideration because of the way he ended the last campaign. The young forward scored five goals and got two assists in Sunderland's final six games and if he can pick up where he left off he will definitely be worth investing in at 6.0. However, it may be worth waiting to see where his future lies before deciding.

FOR - Steven Fletcher - Fletcher is another striking option to consider, and he comes in at just 5.5. The Scottish forward struggled with injuries last year and only scored three goals in 20 appearances, though if he can force his way into the starting lineup on a weekly basis, then he will be worth investing in as the target man is always a threat in and around the box.

Which Sunderland players will make your fantasy football team?

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