11 Players To Watch Out For In This Year’s Fantasy Premier League Game

Earlier this week, we reached a landmark day in the countdown to the start of the new Premier League season- the opening of the Premier League’s new look fantasy site. In the wake of that monumental occurrence, it seems right to preview eleven Premier League players worth a look in 11/12 so you can get a head start on the Fantasy Premier League game.

Here are my eleven hot picks:

1. David De Gea– Priced at only 6.5 million, De Gea is an obvious choice in goal to start out the new season. As a newcomer into the league, his price is lower than established players like Cech and Hart, but he is guaranteed to start the season as Manchester United’s number one. However, any would be buyer should be careful to keep an eye on his form; any loss of it, and the Spaniard will be usurped by the ambitious Anders Lindegaard.

2. Demba Ba– Ba’s form at West Ham last season wasn’t enough to keep the East London club in the Premier League, but it did manage to insure a future in the top flight for the Senegalese himself. At 6.5 million, Ba is one of the cheaper strikers in the game, but as he proved at West Ham, a mediocre setting is not enough to curb his goalscoring.

3. Leighton Baines– There is no more valuable asset in the game than a goalscoring defender, making Baines an ideal Fantasy target. Not only is he likely to rack up the assists from his full back position, but he is also Everton’s main set piece taker – dominating over corners, free kicks and most importantly, penalties.

4. Rafael Da Silva– When evaluating fantasy options pre season, one of the most important things to consider are the underrated portions of a strong defense. While players like Vidic and Evra are highly costly members of United’s back line, Rafael (though likely to make just as many appearances) is a cheaper option. Available for 5.5 million, signing him is a must; with both O’Shea and Brown off to Sunderland, the stage is set for Rafael to hold the right back spot for the season’s duration.

5. Adel Taarabt– QPR’s announcement that Taarabt would be remaining at Loftus Road was not only a huge relief to fans of the newly promoted side, fantasy gurus too were immensely happy to see a potential “cheap gem” remain in the league. Taarabt has been an enigmatic character throughout his career, but if he can stay in form throughout the upcoming campaign, then anyone willing to take a risk on him will be rewarded for it.

6. Aaron Hughes– Over the last few years, virtually all fantasy users have at one point considered Aaron Hughes their secret weapon; his attraction soon caught on after initial buyers were rewarded hugely. With Fulham perenially a solid defensive team, Hughes is a way to guarantee clean sheets, yet his price is far more reasonable than that of fellow center half Brede Hangelaand.
Statistical Note: Aaron Hughes claimed fourteen clean sheets last season, just as many as John Terry.

7. Robert Huth– An uncompromising center back, Huth takes no prisoners, and is the sort of player valued immensely by Tony Pulis’ Stoke City side. Aggressive in the air, Huth is the perfect foil for Rory Delap’s throw ins, just the man to get that telling flick onto one of the Irishman’s bombs. At 6 million pounds, Huth should feature heavily in your fantasy masterplan.
Statistical Note: Huth was tied for most goals scored from defense last season with six. He also registered three assists, tied for fourth best from the back.

8. David Silva– Assists, goals, performance points, David Silva offers the fantasy manager everything required from a midfield player. His terrific showings last season led to critical acclaim from experts everywhere, and going into next year, the Spaniard is expected to pick up from where he left off. Availabe for 9.5 million, David Silva is worth a look.

9. Kieran Gibbs– Arsene Wenger’s decision to sell Gael Clichy to Manchester City served as a clear message to Fantasy managers everywhere: Kieran Gibbs is ready to step up. Much like Rafael, Gibbs is likely to start in defense for one of the better teams in the league, though without carrying such a heavy price tag.

10. Didier Drogba– Drogba was nowhere near his best last season, but that drop in performance level has only set him up to be someone’s secret weapon this year. At a reduced price of 10.5 million, the Ivorian deserves consideration – following his failure to perform in 2009, he won the golden boot in 2010, and there is no reason to believe that he isn’t capable of pulling off a similar feat this year.
Statistical Note: Drogba claimed more assists than any other striker last season; 15.

11. Stewart Downing– Last year, Stewart Downing was one of the Premier League’s most underrated performers. By far Aston Villa’s player of the season, Downing managed to engineer his way back into England contention, as well as into the transfer plans of Kenny Dalglish… With nine assists last campaign, Downing is expected to continue to set up others; his crosses from the left will be greatly enjoyed by Andy Carroll.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany at In For The Hat Trick and follow him on Twitter @INFTH

32 thoughts on “11 Players To Watch Out For In This Year’s Fantasy Premier League Game”

  1. Great post! I agree about Ba and Baines. Odenwingie is also a bargain and Ashley Young could have a monster year with Man U.

        1. He’s not trying to hold himself above other people, Man U was a derogatory term used by Liverpool fans in chants regarding the Munich Air Disaster. They sung about how the United players were just ManUre now. That’s why he got all pissed off. Do a little research next time.

  2. good post… I’d like to add:

    -Jose Enrique- especially if he moves to the Merseyside and joins Liverpool @ 5.0 million.

    -Hatem Ben Arfa- if healthy he could really provide a nice spark for the Toon

    – Luis Suarez- what I am banking on is superstar-level production via not only goals but assists and bonus points, at a price (9.5 million) considerably more affordable than Rooney/RvP/Torres/Aguero

    1. I agree about Suarez, butthe problem is he has drawn too much attention lately. Hundreds of thousands of people will have in their squad.

  3. A good list but I for one think Samba is a bargain, especially if he would go to Arsenal as I’ve heard rumored…

  4. My sleepers are:

    David Luiz at 6.5m; whose stats last season stats are based on 1/2 a season.

    Joey Barton at 6m; Newcastle has gotten rid of most of their squad which means that his presence will be amplified. However, he’s a bit of a loose cannon but the gamble can really pay off.

    Chiek Tiote at 4.5m; See Joey Barton above. Less of a gamble but he’s more of a defensive midfielder and doesn’t score often, but good if you’re trying to round out your midfielders.

    Tim Cahill at 5.5; He’s been a rock for Bolton and at that price, he’s also a very good choice to fill up a hole in the back line.

    My concerns are Brede Hangeland and Vincent Kompany. Hangeland seems to be quite a popular fantasy person but seems that he may be a touch overvalued. I think he’s very good, but not sure if he’ll put up the same FF points he did before. Kompany is probably the best defender in the EPL (except maybe Vidic) but is he also going to put up the same FF points?

    Perhaps time for another article…

    1. Hangeland and Kompany are great choices for defense, although a bit hard to pay for if you want proven quality in the midfield and at forward.

      Hangeland’s virtue, as with Aaron Hughes, is that he’s never hurt. He will always be playing. He won’t concede a lot of goals and he can probably score a few more goals than he has the previous two seasons.

      Kompany has been injured, which is a draw back, but Manchester City is a defensive minded team and won’t allow a lot of goals, and he’ll always be playing as well, unless hurt.

      Samba and Jagielka could be steals this year if they end up at Arsenal or elsewhere.

      Clichy is another interesting choice, because again, he’ll be playing and won’t be giving up too many goals and will likely have some assists.

      1. er when did this actually happen? Kompany has been injured, which is a draw back, but Manchester City is a defensive minded team and won’t allow a lot of goals, and he’ll always be playing as well, unless hurt.

        1. I don’t recall the specific time, but he was out at some point. Hangeland has never been out, and neither has Hughes.

          I think Kompany is great pick though. He had the most clean sheets of any player last season.

  5. Never pay for an expensive goal keeper. Go with one at 5 or 4.5 million. You could go with Given or Schwarzer for example.

    Chris Brunt is great bang for buck at 6 million and would fit nicely into the fourth midfielder slot for a lot of teams, and because Hodgson is the coach he won’t suffer from too many goals against this season.

  6. Instead of Drogba @ 10.5M, how about Chicharito @ 10M? Does anyone else think that Little Pea is going to have a huge haul this season?

    1. He’s awesome, but will he start every game? For all the good he did last year, he wasn’t that high of a fantasy scorer.

      1. From everything I have been hearing, Berba is going to be coming off the bench most of the season. SAF is going big on Hernandez this season.

    2. no…he’ll get marked this season only reason he got any last season everyone underestimated him

    1. United spend 18 million quid on a goalie and you think they wont start him? Who do you think they will start then??

      1. I also believe that De Gea is not a shoe-in to start. He’s looked shaky on the US Tour and I’m fully aware he’s playing with a new backline, but Evra and Raphael look nervous as all hell with him in nets.

        I honestly think Ferguson has made no guarantees that he’ll start. Expect Lindergaard to play in the CS.

  7. I’m putting my money on Hernandez as the lead striker. I also think Vermaelen will have a storming year.

    My sleepers would be Marveaux (New) and Tchoyi (WBA). I’ve also put in Boyata (tba but off to Everton on a season loan) and am contemplating Robbie Keane if the QPR link comes off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *