1. The game is flawed- It’s a point I’ve been meaning to make for a while and one that arose in a comment on last week’s post. In that article I, perhaps harshly, described Modric’s goal against Wolves as the first sign of the Apocalypse.
Given that Modric is probably the most talented creative player in the division, his goalscoring deficiencies shouldn’t be allowed to limit his effectiveness on the fantasy platform. It’s a problem that will prove difficult to combat. Football is not as statistically driven as baseball, so it doesn’t translate properly to a fantasy format. Performance points are the only subjective part of the scoring process and, understandably, they are limited to three per player. Increasing that value, though, would make the likes of Luka Modric more important in the virtual game. And harder to tease.
2. Clint Dempsey- One of the funny things about football fans in the United States is their lack of respect for Clint Dempsey. He is indisputably Major League Soccer’s best ever export – he’s scored more goals than any other American in the Premier League, and is widely regarded in England as one of the division’s top attacking midfielders – but American supporters are more attached to the infinitely less ambitious Landon Donovan, who has opened his second stint at Everton quite anonymously.
Only three midfielders have earned more fantasy points than Clint Dempsey this season, and all of them play for clubs in the top four. Dempsey doesn’t take-up quota space – how many other Fulham players is anyone interested in? – and consistently reaches ten goals.
3. Give Keane A Home- Robbie Keane has played for a fair few teams over the years, so don’t expect him to notice if you sign him. The LA Galaxy forward scored two sumptuous goals for Aston Villa at the weekend (not that their quality really matters – see next point) and will struggle to be consistently outperformed by Darren Bent. Keane is priced at 5 million – 0.3 million cheaper than Emile Heskey, who is probably fantasy football’s least desirable player.
(Heskey, though, has played decently for England over the years, and has longer legs than Jermain Defoe…)
4. Just an idea…- I mentioned in the first point that football is too qualitative to be accurately represented in a fantasy game. How, then, would a Qualitative Fantasy Premier League work? Extra points for brilliant goals or outrageous celebrations? Maybe Mario Balotelli should be rewarded for his dart throwing-firework setting-college bathroom using-women’s prison visiting-bully bashing antics. Perhaps we could create a fantasy game based purely on satire. Just a thought. Hmmm… I know Luka Modric would prefer it. How about you?
(On a more realistic level, maybe statistics like “passes completed” should earn points. Feel free to comment with any ideas.)
5. Tim Cahill is back- A few seasons ago Tim Cahill was a set piece menace, a corner flag boxer and Everton’s best player. Now he’s just a very relieved Aussie. Cahill’s tap in against Blackburn was his first goal in over a year, a humbling statistic for a man whose name is still synonymous with incessant energy and derby day heroics. Like so many talented players before him, though, Cahill could be on the verge of triumphant comeback. His goal on Saturday may have lacked sparkle, but in its genesis was a positive sign. That Cahill was hovering around the six yard box, in position to sweep home from close range, shows that he still possesses the senses of old. Unfortunately, his price has hardly dropped. At 8.5 million, Cahill is a risk.