The best Southampton FPL players are an interesting mix of budget and mid-priced Fantasy Premier League options.
Southampton’s reputation for scouting and cultivating talent means any diligent FPL manager should pay close attention to their best FPL prospects.
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The Best Southampton FPL Players 2021/22 | Southampton in Brief
Since returning to the Premier League in 2012, Southampton have established themselves as top-flight mainstays.
Unfortunately, the dizzy heights of successive top-half finishes are a distant memory for the coastal club. Since the 17/18 season, Ralph Hasenhüttl‘s side have been largely underachieving in the eyes of their fans.
They tend to play attacking football, often at the expense of their defensive rigidity. They were actually in the top 10 teams for goals scored last season, but conceded the second-most amount of goals in the process. Only West Brom conceded more.
Their defensive frailty was most emphatically illustrated when, in the 19/20 season, Southampton became only the second team to lose by nine goals in the Premier League era. Then they did it again a year later.
Regardless of their obvious troubles at the back, their FPL assets remain intriguing. Let’s take a look at the best Southampton FPL players.
The Best Southampton FPL Players | James Ward-Prowse (MID – £6.5m)
I know, I know. It’s obvious. But here’s a hot-take for you: obvious isn’t always a bad thing.
James Ward-Prowse was tipped by many to be part of England’s Euro 2020 squad. His eventual omission was a surprise for those who kept a close eye on him during the 2020/21 season.
That’s because he was very impressive. Ward-Prowse has distinguished himself as one of the best dead-ball specialists in the Premier League. His haul of 156 FPL points last season – comprised of eight goals and seven assists – is the best tally for a £6.5m FPL midfielder outside of Leeds duo Jack Harrison (£6.0m) and Stuart Dallas (£5.5m).
Reading these metrics, it’s surprising that Ward-Prowse isn’t more discussed when the best FPL mid-priced midfielders are under the microscope.
I reckon it’s because he never looks like a player capable of scoring 156 FPL points. Ward-Prowse is a notorious over-achiever: his xA (expected assists) and xG (expected goals) were both substantially lower than his actual tallies last season.
That’s not because he’s lucky, though. It’s because he’s no stranger to the sublime. Last season he moved up to 12th in the Premier League’s all-time direct free-kick scorers. And he’s only 26.
As he moves into the peak of his playing career, Ward-Prowse seems to be getting better every season. At £6.5m and just 8% owned, he represents an interesting FPL differential who is guaranteed to play a big part in Southampton’s 2021/22 campaign.
The Best Southampton FPL Players | Che Adams (FOR – £7.0m)
Whisper it, but Che Adams actually scored more points than Danny Ings (£8.0m) last season. In fairness to Ings, Adams enjoyed about 500 extra minutes of play, which makes the six point difference between them look fairly meek.
It would be easy to look at their numbers and deduce that Ings is the better option for £1.0m extra. Whilst his future at Southampton remains in doubt, it’s likely that wherever he ends up, he’s going to score plenty of goals.
But hold your horses. There’s a reason Ings played less minutes than Adams last season; it’s because he’s very injury-prone. In Adams, Southampton have a far more robust forward, creative enough to get seven assists last season and clinical enough to score nine goals. He featured in 36 of Southampton’s 38 Premier League fixtures.
Anyone who owned Adams in the 2020/21 campaign will speak of their frequent frustration with the Scotsman. Adams was brilliant at looking like he was going to return, but regularly fell short. This is reflected in his underlying stats: he had an xG of 12.12.
That makes him one of last campaign’s biggest under-performers.
Isn’t that what the best FPL managers should be looking for, though? Our aim is to find the best value FPL players, and those tend to be the ones brimming with unrealised talent and potential.
Make no mistake: people at Southampton know how good Adams can be. Only two forwards under £7.5m – Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) and Chris Wood (£7.0m) – scored more FPL points than him last season.
But with an ownership of just 1.4%, the 24-year-old clearly has plenty more to prove in the eyes of FPL managers. This might just be the season he does it.
The Best Southampton FPL Players | Nathan Tella (MID – £5.0m)
Nathan Tella is already being touted as an heir to Danny Ings should the Saints’ talisman depart.
A bit-part player during the second-half of the season, the 22-year-old is another that could yet become one of Southampton’s key assets in the 2021/22 campaign.
He’s got some way to go. Scoring a respectable 4.5 points per game across 735 Premier League minutes last season, Tella did enough to ensure he had a consistent role in Southampton’s run-in.
The highlight was a goal and assist against Fulham in a 32-minute cameo. It was enough to give us a glimpse of what the youngster is truly capable of: he has the ability to change games.
He’s priced at £5.0m for a reason. Tella is very much unproven, and his value will be determined by the chances Hasenhüttl affords him.
If he’s given regular playing time, he could well prove to be worth the extra £0.5m over more rudimentary £4.5m midfield options.
Tella is an FPL pick for the mavericks. He deserves to be amongst Southampton’s best FPL players not because of what he’s accomplished so far, but because of what he might accomplish in seasons to come.
Do you Agree?
What are your thoughts? Comment on this article and let me know whether I’ve missed anyone. I’d love to hear who else from Southampton deserves to be on this list!
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