By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Fantasy Bundesliga tips: Out of position players to consider for the 23/24 season

With the return of the popular Bundesliga Fantasy game for another season, players are whittling down their 15-man squads ahead of this Friday’s deadline. While premium assets will always rule the popularity stakes, this article will look at ‘out of position’ players. Commonly referred to as OOP for short, these players are classified within one position in the fantasy game but play more advanced roles on the pitch. Most often, this is a defender playing in midfield, or a midfielder filling into a forward’s position. Here are some of the names to look out for to gain that extra advantage in 2023-24.
OOP Defenders who play in midfield
Josip Juranovic (10M) – Union Berlin
Having arrived from Scottish champions Celtic last winter, the Croatian adapted brilliantly to life in Union colours. Classified as a defender in game, Union’s 3-4-2-1 setup allows the full-back to play on the right side of their midfield. In Bundesliga 12 appearances to date he has bagged one goal and two assists, while also sharing freekick and corner taking responsibilities.

Phillip Max (10M) & Aurelio Buta (8M) – Eintracht Frankfurt
Frankfurt boasts an equally attacking pair of full-backs who play at left and right midfield respectively. The duo clocked up the most minutes of any Frankfurt defenders in preseason, while contributing an assist each in that time. Philipp Max is the slightly more expensive of the two due to his presence on set-pieces. An opening fixture hosting newly promoted Darmstadt could result in big points hauls.

Mitchell Weiser (10M) – Werder Bremen
Weiser enjoyed a stellar season back in the Bundesliga with Bremen last year. The full-back played the entire campaign at right midfield where he notched up two goals and 10 assists in 30 games. This left the 29-year-old with 235 points, making him the fourth best scoring defender in the game. Having just recovered from injury and an opening game against champions Bayern, the following Matchday 2 may see his 10% ownership rise.

Anthony Caci (7M) – Mainz
The Frenchman found a home for himself at left midfield under Bo Svensson last season. He amassed two goals and two assists in that time and has since added a further two goals in preseason. With no other direct competition for his position, Caci should play most if not all of Mainz’s matches – he is also known for his corners and indirect freekick duties.

Hiroki Ito (7M) – Stuttgart
The Japanese international has been a revelation and is now going into his third campaign in Stuttgart colours. Although traditionally a centre-back, Borna Sosa’s seemingly impending transfer will allow Ito to play at left-back. It must be noted that if Honess opts for a return to a 3-4-2-1 formation, Ito will return to centre-back, while Mittelstadt or Sosa (if he stays) will return to left midfield.

Lennard Maloney (4M) – FC Heidenheim
Newly promoted Heidenheim have been on a fairytale rise in recent seasons. Helping them to reach the Bundesliga for an historic first time is Lennard Maloney. The former Dortmund player played 23 games as a defensive midfielder last year. He has since bagged two preseason goals playing a similar role in Heidenheim’s attacking 4-1-3-2 setup.

Emir Karic (3M) – Darmstadt
Karic is perhaps the cheapest OOP defender in our list. Playing at left midfield, the Austrian bagged 2 goals as Darmstadt secured promotion from the 2.Bundesliga. Although he should start the opening matches, Darmstadt have a plethora of wide midfielders who could replace him if form dips.

OOP midfielders who play as forwards
Jesper Lindstrom (13M) – Eintracht Frankfurt
The young Dane enjoyed another breakthrough season for ‘Die Adler’ last campaign where he notched seven goals and four assists in 27 matches. Although traditionally an attacking midfielder, reliable sources predict a start at centre forward partnering Randal Kolo Muani. Darmstadt makes for a mouthwatering opening fixture.

Nathan Ngoumou (6M) – Borussia Monchengladbach
Having already appeared in Rune’s Midfielders to Consider article, the Frenchman appears again. Many would be inclined to avoid Gladbach assets given stars like Hoffman and Thuram have moved on. However, the reality is Ngoumou should profit from their departure. Classified as a midfielder, Ngoumou has played a lot of last campaign and this preseason in an attacking, inverted right winger role. He has already netted 5 times and set up a further three goals in preseason.

Braydon Manu (6M) & Mathias Honsak (4M) – Darmstadt
This Darmstadt duo are expected to lead the line for ‘Die Lilien’ in their 3-4-1-2 formation. Although both are midfielders in game, Honsak enjoyed a couple of games up front last season. Meanwhile, Manu played a pivotal role in front of goal, hitting six goals and five assists from the centre forward role. The odds are stacked against the club’s topflight survival, but what better motivation than a Hessen derby to commence Matchday 1.

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