I would like to begin this article with a disclaimer that I am a HUGE Tom Ince fan and that he would be considered an FPL crush for me. But because of that, it is even better to see him performing to earn his spot in my starting XI each week now.
Ince has been an interesting case all season because he gets off a ton of shots but not many actually land on target. Also, with the absence of Steve Moonie up top, it was tough for Ince to properly create chances in the Huddersfield attack. But with three performances scoring eight or more points in his last four games, Ince is beginning to turn things around. While Ince’s per game averages of 6.96 points isn’t particularly good, he only had two performances with seven or more points in his first eight games.
One of the most important things that you can do when picking up players off of the waiver wire is to watch the signs to nab them before they have a breakout performance which has everyone else in your leagues also looking at them. Occasionally this will leave you burning a bench spot, but if you’re lucky it can net you a Yohan Cabye for your team (BUY THE PALACE MIDFIELD). So let’s take a look at midfielders owned in under 50 percent of leagues who are also being undervalued like Ince in my opinion:
- Davey Propper – Brighton – 7.13 ppg: Propper was an FPL darling at the beginning of the season with his transfer being rated almost as highly as that of Pascal Gross but as he struggled to adjust to the Premier League, teams shed him at an alarming rate. Propper is owned in 12 percent of leagues and as I told Benji, I’m ranking him above Gross this week versus Manchester United even though the Brighton lead balloon will likely burst soon. While Propper has two assists on the season, he earns his value in successful take ons, chances created and defensive statistics. If he’s available in your league, consider dropping someone like Steven Davis (who has almost no value right now) for him.
- Mikel Merino – Newcastle – 8.28 ppg: While Merino has seen his ownership drop to 24 percent while he has missed time due to injury, he along with fellow teammate Jonjo Shelvy should be picked up if you’re in need of a midfielder in a pinch. According to Ben Dinnery, Merino will be available for selection this weekend and when healthy, he’s the most creative member of the Newcastle midfield not named Matt Ritchie (not that he has much competition but still).
- Mario Lemina – Southampton – 8.71 ppm: The Southampton midfield and attack has been underwhelming this season but Lemina doesn’t need help to perform. The second guy on this list to be on the mend from injury, Lemina has seen his ownership drop to 32 percent. With a congested slate of fixtures on the horizon, there are worst guys to utilize a bench spot on than Lemina. Lemina creates chances and dribbles past people in his sleep. Once he’s healthy, he should be owned everywhere so why not beat other owners to the punch if you can?
- Andrew Surman – Bournemouth – 7.27 ppm: It pains me to put Surman here but as Bournemouth has undergone a resurgence, he has been a chief benefactor. While Surman is best utilized versus bottom half opposition, Bournemouth’s upcoming run includes Swansea, Southampton, Burnley an Crystal Palace. Not exactly a gauntlet for the Cherries. With Callum Wilson and Josh King up to their old tricks, now seems like a better time than ever to buy their supporting casts. Where my hesitations are that in matches where Surman hasn’t recorded a goal or an assist, he has been meh this season. So while he may win you a fantasy matchup on a good day, he will leave you kicking yourself on others.
- Darren Fletcher – Stoke City – 6.46 ppm: Darren Fletcher is an ageless wonder and while Stoke performances are as unpredictable as they come, Fletcher is a useful asset. He consistently creates chances that eventually(?) will turn into assists for the Potters. His spot is as nailed on as they come and he has two double-digit performances in his last three games. If you’re still holding onto Joe Allen at this point in the season, you can do worse than Fletcher.