IN a perfect world, the most-popular Dream Team players would also be the best performers.
The reality is invariably more complicated as every season features highly-selected stars who flop and underrated assets who produce more points than expected.
We’ve identified five individuals we believe should be considerably more popular than they are at this stage.
Jarrod Bowen (£3.2m) – 1.3% ownership
At the risk of sounding like a bloke in the office who likes to join in with the football chat without extensive knowledge to back it up… West Ham are doing well, aren’t they?
The Hammers have three midfielders in the top ten right now but while Said Benrahma (£3.4m) is immensely popular (21.6%) and Declan Rice’s (£3.2m) ownership is on the rise, Bowen features in just 1.3% of teams.
The ex-Hull winger has 46 points to his name after scoring his third goal of the season (all competitions) to add to his three assists.
Bowen is very much a favourite of David Moyes and has been a central figure during West Ham’s upturn in form over the last year.
The Irons have additional fixtures in the form Europa League commitments this season, a competition they’re excelling in so far, so the 24-year-old is a perfectly reasonable selection.
Reece James (£5.3m) – 7.2% ownership
7.2% is a perfectly respectful ownership in most cases but Chelsea’s homegrown right-back is the outright best defender in the game by a long way after his 23-point haul against Newcastle.
In fact, James’ tally of 90 points is only bettered by Mohamed Salah (£7.9m) among players of all disciplines.
Such is the dominance of Blues defenders, the 21-year-old is only the joint-fourth most popular player in his position among his team-mates!
Surely a player who is 24 points ahead of his nearest direct rival should feature in at least 20% of teams, even if he is rather expensive?
Gabriel Jesus (£4.3m) – 5.4% ownership
Dream Team gaffers may be hesitant to back the Brazilian since he’s been reinvented as a winger but a tally of 53 points shouldn’t be overlooked.
Three goals may seem like nothing more than a respectable effort at this stage but five assists have boosted his points total.
Jesus has also been thoroughly deserving of his two Star Man awards and has been singled out for praise by Pep Guardiola this term.
Crystal Palace may have dented their progress at the weekend but let’s not forget Manchester City are the team who have produced the most Dream Team points in recent years.
5.4% seems light for one of their fancied attacking assets.
Aaron Ramsdale (£2.8m) – 2.3% ownership
No footballer is enjoying their job more than Arsenal’s new keeper right now – he was even joining in with the Leicester fans’ chorus of ‘You’re s**t, ahhhhh!’ to accompany his goal kicks.
After his hugely impressive Star Man performance at the King Power, Ramsdale is the second-best player in his position with only Edouard Mendy (£4.6m) boasting a greater points tally.
The 23-year-old has zoomed up the rankings in quick time too since Bernd Leno (£3.1m) started the campaign as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice custodian.
Ramsdale’s ownership is curiously low considering his performances have hardly been subtle – he’s performed two or three save-of-the-season contenders for the Gunners already.
Conor Gallagher (£2.1m) – 2.5% ownership
We finish with a player who perfectly fits the description of a savvy bargain.
Chelsea’s 21-year-old midfield starlet was decent on loan at West Brom last season but he’s ascended to another level since his temporary switch to Crystal Palace.
Patrick Vieira has deployed Gallagher in a more advanced role where his inexhaustible engine is supercharging the Eagles’ new-found dynamism.
After a superb display away to Man City, he boasts three goals and two assists from his nine league appearances, accounting for most of his 42 points.
Palace look like they will be very competitive all season long and at £2.1m Gallagher is more than affordable – he’s just one point off breaking into the top ten midfielders.
If he can bag 14 points at the Etihad he can succeed in any given Game Week.
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