​We all love a bit of fantasy football. You almost always need some of the big guns in your team if you want to win, but success is almost impossible unless you find some hidden gems along the way.

Sometimes, players who are not worth too much on the game blow the competition out of the water. Goals, assists and clean sheets come pouring in, and so do the fantasy points. Our heroes. 

Gareth McAuley

Gareth McAuley,Liam Ridgewell

Monday marked the end of an era as former ​West Bromwich Albion defender decided to bring his playing career to a close. Fans across the country began paying their respects to the 39-year-old, who will always have a special place in the hearts of fantasy football players.

Playing for West Brom, McAuley rarely commanded a high price tag, so he ended up in pretty much everyone's squad in the 2016/17 season, when he managed a huge six goals and one assist – and helped West Brom to one of the more solid defensive records in the league.

His inclusion was the difference between success and defeat for many, and he will always be remembered as an icon of the game.​

Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott

Remember that one season when Joleon Lescott decided to go on an absolute tear in attack? Fantasy football players certainly do.

The 2007/08 season was outstanding for Lescott. Then with ​Everton, the Englishman picked up 14 clean sheets, but it was his contribution of eight goals and two assists which left fans in awe.​

It was one of the finest individual seasons we have ever seen from a defender in fantasy football history, and it came from none other than Joleon Lescott. The scenes.

Marcos Alonso

Marcos Alonso

Say what you want about ​Marcos Alonso, but you can't deny that the Spaniard knows how to rack up them sweet, sweet fantasy points.

He came fairly cheap in the 2016/17 season after sealing a move to ​Chelsea that summer, but he exploded onto the fantasy scene. As a wing-back under Antonio Conte, Alonso fired six goals and three assists, on top of keeping 15 clean sheets. ​

His defending may be questionable at best, but he definitely knows where the goal is.

Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty

At the beginning of last season, putting a ​Wolverhampton Wanderers defender in your team sounded like fantasy suicide. Fortunately, Matt Doherty soon proved the doubters wrong.

Wolves were the surprise package of the campaign, picking up plenty of clean sheets. However, what was most impressive about Doherty in particular was his impact in attack. The Irishman fired four goals and seven assists, and was one of the top performers in the league in his right-back position.

You can guarantee that nobody has forgotten about Doherty this time around.

Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin,Ron Vlaar

Perhaps the biggest steal of all time was ​Charlie Austin in the 2014/15 campaign. With a struggling ​Queens Park Rangers side, Austin was tipped to net approximately zero goals and go crashing back to the ​Championship, but that's not how things went down.

18 goals and seven assists later, and Austin had etched his name into fantasy folklore. Even the most expensive strikers struggle to match that output, let alone those who come at a bargain price. 

He fought off competition from ​Danny Ings to cement his place as that season's under-the-radar superstar, in what was a ludicrous campaign from the Englishman.

Papiss Cisse

Papiss Cisse

​N​ewcastle United signed Papiss Cisse in January 2012, and pretty much nobody cared. After all, they already had Demba Ba who was already tearing it up, both in real life and in fantasy football.

However, what Cisse did next was nothing short of superb. He grabbed 13 goals and two assists in just 14 matches, including that ridiculous volley against Chelsea, to fire the Magpies up to fifth in the table.

Ba and Cisse were perhaps the greatest budget strike force in league history, and we'll almost certainly never see anything like that again.

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines

Penalties. Penalties. Penalties.

​Between 2008 and 2015, Baines was perhaps the biggest no-brainer in fantasy football. The Everton man kept clean sheets and grabbed assists for days, and then he was put onto penalty duty for the Toffees.

In the 2010/11 campaign, Baines racked up five goals and ten assists in what was probably his finest individual season, and they're the kind of numbers which left fantasy football players drooling.