As the Premier League commences this weekend, I can’t wait for what promises to be a lively and exciting season ahead. With that, the joy of Fantasy Premier League has returned which promises to be an absorbing hobby for all football fans. On ESPN’s Fantasy Premier League, you have a 100 million euro price tag on all teams. Therefore owners must carefully find players that will lead their team to glory in May. Here then is a look at some steals and busts to watch out for in preparation of the new season. (Note-The following information is based off ESPN Fantasy Premier League which may have the worth of players vary with other websites).
Jack Wilshere (6.5 million). Last year was a breakout season for the young Englishman as he captivated Arsenal fans with his form. Considering he’s only 19, Wilshere has already become a mainstay at the Emirates and has made appearances for the national team. The 2010/2011 PFA Young Player is known for aggression, tenacity, passing, creativity and dedication which partly allowed Arsenal to remain close behind Manchester United for most of the season. The one thing that can be improved upon is his finishing in terms of goals and assists which were limited to his role which was primarily as a holding midfielder in the center. However, Wilshere is very versatile and can easily become an attacking threat which seems more likely now with the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal will need Wilshere to penetrate more which could lead his fantasy value to soar.
Aaron Ramsey (5.5 million). Besides Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey could be another Arsenal youngster whose role could increase with the departures of Fabregas and Nasri. Blessed with skill and originality, the young twenty year old has shown glimpses of his vast potential with Arsenal. A devastating tackle on February 27th, 2010 by Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross severely stunted Ramsey’s rise as he suffered a broken fibula and tibia. A couple of loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City allowed him to properly recover from the psychological effects of his injury. His performance and goal against Manchester United on May 1st. has once again inspired belief that Ramsey is now ready to take it to the next level at the Emirates.
Shay Given (6.2 million). Not too long ago, Shay Given was one of the best goalies in the Premier League and he had just made a big money switch to Manchester City. However, Joe Hart came into the picture and Given was shown the bench for most of his time at Eastlands. However, the patience of the 35 year old has paid off in a starter’s job between the posts at Aston Villa. Given can excel at Villa Park under new manager Alex McLeish whose affinity for conservative, defensive football is no secret. With defensive stalwarts like Richard Dunne, James Collins and a motivated Stephen Warnock, Villa could become hard to score on especially with an experienced keeper like Given in goal. Given, who is renowned for saving penalty kicks which truly counts in the Fantasy world, can be an absolute steal for your team.