Time for the second part of our in depht guide into the Fantasy League ahead of Gameweek #1.
I hope you found the first part, concentrating on your goalkeeper and defensive choices, helpful. Today I’ll have a look at the game’s midfield and striking options – as we edge ever closer to the big kick-off on the 15h of August.
You’re free to join BPF’s league, the code is 1493-92619!
Who am I kidding – let’s start with the obvious ones. Most players will be including either Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard in their team. With Ronaldo gone (good riddance) these two will predominately be the main points scorers in the FPL. A minority tend to leave these two out, in order to strenghten their midfield all round, but really if you’re team is lacking either it’s a huge loss – as no doubt a league rival will have them raking in the points each week. They both currently stand at 12.5, which isn’t that bad. If I recall correctly, Ronaldo started out at 14.0 last season. If you can manage both players in your team, more luck to you – but remember you could be decreasing value in other positions. Either way, I’d highly recommend at least one of the dynamic FPL duo in your team.
But don’t forget about who, in my opinion, might be a big surprise package this season: Andrey Arshavin. He’s quite expensive (11.0), but racked up 87 points since his move from Zenit last January. He could well be a cheaper alternative to Lampard/Gerrard, but start scoring the same amount of points. He did, after all, score four goals against Liverpool at Anfield. If scoring goals become a weekly occurance, get him in fast before his price starts to inflate.
So who else might get you some precious points? The assist machine that is Dirk Kuyt of course. He has a serious knack for getting assists, and comes up with his fair share of goals since his move to a wing position. Who’d have thunk it, eh? Dirk made three assists in about ten minutes in Liverpool’s friendly against Singapore – well worth it at 9.5. Man City pair Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland, both scored well last season, and might be at it again this year – priced at 8.0, and 9.0 respectfully. Ashley Young at Aston Villa is a decent point scorer, he notched up 153 last season. Young is the #1 set piece taker at Villa – so expect goals and assists every so often. He’s at 8.5, along with Deco, Cahill, Malouda, Valencia and Arteta. All very good point scorers, but take into account that neither Deco or Malouda are guarenteed a spot at Chelsea, and Valencia has only moved to new club Man Utd, so might need a bedding in period. However the pair of Cahill and Arteta are both very appealing. Arteta is a FPL favourite of mine – he comes up with assists (usually for Cahill) and goals on a regular basis.
What can you get for less than 7.5? I’m liking Luka Modric at that price – and he’s proving popular amongst the players. Essien, Carrick and Benayoun can all be had at that price – but will they score big? Essien will be off to the African Nations, Carrick doesn’t score goals and assists regularly, while Benayoun isn’t guarenteed a spot. Nobody at 7.0 stands out, but if you’re up for a risk go for Rosicky who is finally back from injury this summer. Two good deals can be had at 6.5: Pienaar and Dempsey. Both had a great Confederations Cup, pop up with goals now and then and are good for a bonus point or two from time to time. I’d avoid everyone priced at 6.0 – but if I had to choose it’d be between Noble and S. Petrov. Noble is a decent player, as is Petrov – but it appears the Villa man will miss the start of the season. After that, players like Michael Kightly (5.5, currently injured), Anderson of Man Utd (5.0), and Phil Neville (5.0) might get you points now and then – all are definately worth a shout if you’re looking to fill in your squad. If you’re scraping the 4.5 barrell, I’d fancy Fabrice Muamba of Bolton – not much of a goalscorer but a very good young player nontheless in the centre.
Top priced Fernando Torres is, unsurprising, top dog in this category at 11.5. When he’s fit he scores goals. But can he stay injury-free? If he manages to do so for the whole season – expect at least 25 goals from the Spaniard. That’s what over 36% of the player think, too. After Torres is Rooney, at 11.0. It’s difficult to know if he can score regularly enough to merit that price, but United fans are confident he can step up and match the goal scoring stats Ronaldo left behind. I’d edge the 0.5 and go for Torres.
Next is last year’s top points scorer Nicholas Anelka. Despite his haul last year, he’s not too popular amongst players. It’s uncertain he can keep up the form to merit his 10.5 price tag, which can also buy you his teammate Didier Drogba. What a dilemma. 10.0 will get you Van Persie, Adebayor or Berbatov. All sured points scorers, but can RVP stay fit long enough, will Adebayor be a success at City, and will Berbatov open the floodgates and start scoring regularly? A headache, even for old Phil. Sitting on his own at the 9.5 tier is Robinho, Santa Cruz likewise at 9.0, and Tevez has company at 8.5. But who will A) start the most and B) score the most? I’m not touching these players, added to Adebayor, it’s impossible to tell who’ll be the regular starters. And a rotation policy at City won’t help your FPL team.
After the big money strikers, it’s impossible to know who will and who won’t showcase their scoring ability next season. Michael Owen is looking back at his best on pre-season – but will he stay fit? A fit Michael Owen will score goals, so perhaps well worth a punt at 8.5. Yakubu and Eduaro are both back from injury, and are both priced at 8.0. Yakubu is an old reliable when he’s on form, but faces competition from Jo and Saha (7.5 and 7.0). Carlton Cole may be a bargain at 7.0 for his development under Gianfranco Zola.
Cheap, but regular goalscorers are hard to come by in this game. Sticking out for me is Fraizer Campbell, now at Sunderland, as well as Jason Scotland of Wigan. Can they score at their new clubs? But at 5.5, and a must-have player in my opinion, is Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. You don’t score 25 goals and suddenly stop. He’s good enough to get at least 10 in the top tier at Wolves. Another player that may surprise is David Nugent of Portsmouth. He was always a good scorer in the Championship, and with Crouchie gone he might start doing so at Pompey. You might, perhaps, want to go for Christian Benitez – Birmingham’s record signing. At 5.5, he’s a lot riskier than the aforementioned.
If you’re scraping the barrell at 4.5, don’t expect a large amount of points – if any. None can guarentee you a starting eleven point, let alone four for scoring a goal.