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Fantasy League Golden Balls

August 12, 2009

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As with every fantasy leaguer out there, one of the hardest but most important things to do at the start of the season is to pick out players who give you more bang for your buck. You need to get as many points from this fella and yet not pay Real Madrid prices for them. Every season brings a new hotshot, and Amr Zaki and Brede Hangeland were the standout performers of last season (Zaki only for the first half of the season!). Previous notable mentions on this list include Jamie Clapham of Ipswich and Kevin Phillips of Sunderland. Who has been banging in the goals from the off, which player has provided more assists when they’re expected to defend? I am no fantasy league champion, but here is my take for the potential fantasy league standout performers for at least the first half of the season from each team.

Team Breakdown

Arsenal – With such high paced and attacking football, you can forget getting any defensive players as a clean sheet will be rare to come by. Instead focus on attack, and at 7.0pts, Denilson is sure to provide you plenty of starts, minutes, assists, and the occassional clean sheet. He won’t score that many, but for this price you can’t complain.

Aston Villa – Another attacking team, and another attacking player. John Carew may not start against the big boys, but he is a handful for the other 16 teams. He is sure to score you at least assist points with his height, possibly layoffs for Gabriel Agbonlahor or Ashley Young, and he has definitely scored more than his fair share of game-winners, which gives you bonus points.

Birmingham – With an England GK place up for grabs, Joe Hart is the sure winner from this team. Goalkeepers from promoted teams then to have more things to do, and while they don’t score many clean sheets, saves will more than make up for it, although truthfully, there isn’t much of a challenge from any other player for this spot.

Blackburn – Think Sam Allardyce and think route one football. Costing only 6.0pts, Jason Roberts is the perfect target man, and he also scored quite a bit for them last season. Some would argue that Franco Di Santo may be a good bet, but I don’t see Sam Allardyce changing tactics anytime soon.

Bolton – Last season saw Bolton keep more clean sheets than in previous season, and thats thanks to former Villan youth player Gary Cahill. Quite how Martin O’Neill decided to dispense of his services was quite a shocker but bless to Gary Megson for picking him up.

Burnley – Burnley could prove the surprise package of the season, and perform a Hull. With no real standout names to pick, we have to remember that this is mainly the same Burnley side that knocked out Premier League opposition from both the League and FA Cup over the last 2 seasons, including mighty Liverpool. Former Man Utd trainee Chris Eagles looks to be their star player, and fantasy leaguers should look into having him in their squads, most likely as reserves.

Chelsea – With nearly the same squad as last season, expect more of the same from the Blues. Florent Malouda will take turns on the left midfield berth, but I expect him to finally come good on his ability to score fantasy leaguers some points with more goals and assists, and basically being a nuisance to right backs around the country.

Everton – When a player scores more points in half a season than some do in an entire season, that player is a good buy! Jo is his name, and while not exactly topping the cheap strikers list, could be a viable alternative as he gets game time, goals, assists and the big hair!

Fulham – With more zeroes in his pocket last season than in recent memory, Mark Schwarzer is a good and smart option with Hangeland in front of him. Assure yourself with clean sheets galore, a full 90mins and 6 pts in the bag!

Hull – Watching Bernard Mendy in action makes me feel like he’s a big fish in a little pond. If I’m not mistaken, last season he was listed as a fullback, but this season, he is a midfielder and at only 4.5pts, is a very cheap option for this position. Yet another reserve player in fantasy teams, but a good one to make up the numbers if you’re short in this department.

Liverpool – An unsung hero in Liverpool’s heroics last season, Albert Riera is a dangerous player to have in your squad. He will very likely be subtitued in the 67th minute of every game he plays, but he can score and does wonderful things with his feet. And he can also claim to have once played for the glamor club Man City.

Manchester City – How do you pick a fantasy team from a fantasy team? You don’t! You pick from what was there all along. Micah Richards was once in my eyes the ‘Brazilian English’ fullback. It’s world cup year and what better time to pick up the form which earned him his spot in McLaren’s ill fated Euro qualifying campaign.

Manchester United – No longer will fantasy leaguers automatically pick the Red Devils No.7 as their captain, as the current bearer of the shirt is not even expected to be fit for every game, much less make the bench! I know many don’t agree, but I’ve always seen Anderson as a more attacking player than his previous role currently suggests. Without CR7 (now CR9 btw!) in the way, I hope to see Anderson show his attacking abilities more, and make his 5.0pts seem like a stock clearance at the checkout!

Portsmouth – Another controversial decision, but expect Frederic Piquionne to be thrown straight into the limelight at Fratton Park. Skillful player from deposed French champions Lyon, he will benefit from the creativity of Niko Kranjcar and industry of Papa Diop.

Stoke City – Rory Delap’s throw ins may have caused teams trouble during the first half of last season, but it was the signing of James Beattie that provided the recipe for survival for Stoke. With Delap now fully fit again, be prepared to see his throw ins now targetted to Beattie, who will bully his way through the opposing defence

Sunderland – DB10thetruth he may be known in Twitter, but Darren Bent has always done well in smaller teams. He was part of the Ipswich team that finished 5th all those years ago, and was regularly getting at least 15goals for Charlton. Expect more of this now he’s a big fish in a little pond.

Tottenham – I’ve always picked Peter Crouch wherever he played (Liverpool excepted) and he’s never failed me. And he’s also reasonably cheap. He won’t start every game, but you can be sure that when he does, he’ll score. And if you could put money on him doing the robot dance, don’t!

West Ham – How the mighty have fallen! Scott Parker is a classic case of letting fame get to his head. As soon as he decided to move to Chelsea, his career has fallen downhill. Thankfully, he wasn’t part of the Newcastle side that went down faster than a hoe, but I expect big things from him this year. 5.5pts, but possibly another bench warmer in fantasy teams.

Wigan – Scott Sinclair may yet to have been properly tested in the EPL, but I sincerely believe he is a good player, and Wigan have gotten someone eager to prove himself to his Russian and Italian boss. I rate him higher than Frazier Campbell, and even he went off for a few million quid.

Wolves – Back in the EPL and coming up with them is Kevin Doyle, formerly of Reading. He was a high scorer in his Reading days, and I see the same thing happening here. He won’t score 20goals, but you can be damn sure he’ll give it his best.

And that concludes who I think will shine in every team for at least the 1st half of next season. I don’t provide any guarantees, but you can sure have lots of fun trying to put it to the test.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2009 1:05 am

    my must have player is arshavin. i think he’ll do great this season, plus he’s a midfielder in the database but he plays more up front for arsenal.

  2. September 5, 2009 5:50 pm

    My favorite team is arsenal which is specialized in it’s high paced and attacking football. but my best player is from Liverpool , he is Albert Riera (most dangerous player).

  3. September 9, 2009 10:54 am

    this good and nice info… thanks

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