The previous Premier League campaign has barely drawn its last breath and we’re already getting cravings for Fantasy football content over here at Fantasy Football 92…
One of the few highlights of the off season is analysing/obsessing over the Premier League’s new arrivals and working out where (if at all) to draft them in your Fantrax Leagues.
Thanks to Chelsea’s early dealings and a couple of potentially tasty assets coming up from the Championship, we’ve already got plenty to get our teeth into in terms of Premier League newcomers and it’s only right for us to take a good look at them!
Here is Part One of our Premier League newcomers…
Stuart Dallas | Leeds United | Defender |45 Apps | 5 Goals | 3 Assists
Leeds United are finally back in the Premier League and they’re back as champions! Built on a solid foundation boasting of 22 clean sheets, Marcelo Bielsa’s latest tactical triumph should bring with it numerous players that will prove to be very useful fantasy assets.
While much of the talk will probably surround star man Pablo Hernandez, it’d be wrong to completely ignore the Championship’s meanest defence.
It’s hard to pick between wing backs Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling so we’ve decided to focus on Dallas for now as it appears that he will offer slightly more going forwards, but getting either of them in should provide you with a useful fourth defender which you can rotate for favourable fixtures.
Dallas and Ayling easily have the potential to be the next Enda Stevens and George Baldock but it’s very likely they should fall very low in your draft this summer. Once you have 10 or 11 players that you’re comfortable in starting, that’s when you should go in for the Leeds full back duo. Both could prove to be a steal.
Matheus Pereira | West Bromwich Albion | Midfielder | 42 Apps | 8 Goals | 16 Assists
Picking out the best player in a lesser team in the league can give you a Fantasy Asset that puts up scores to rival the big hitters. I’ve previously referred to this as the Gylfi Sigurdsson effect as the Icelandic playmaker back when he was conducting things for Swansea City, making himself a late first round pick despite his team’s lowly position.
Last season brought us the enigmatic Emi Buendia. This season we’ve got West Brom’s talented Brazilian Matheus Pereira to look forward to after he inspired the boing boing Baggies latest promotion.
It may seem lazy to make direct comparisons but it also makes perfect sense. Pereira boasts phenomenal statistics of eight goals and a massive 16 assists in last season’s championship campaign, 20 if you include penalties won for his team, as well as an incredible 116 key passes. Rewind a further 12 months and Buendia’s figures of eight goals and 12 assists are also impressive, but not quite at the level Pereira boasts.
Buendia ended his only Fantrax campaign (so far) as the 6th highest scoring midfielder in the whole game, despite managing just one goal and six assists and being the victim of random rotation at the hands of manager Daniel Farke. An impressive effort from the Argentinian, playing in what was comfortably the worst team in the league.
Using Buendia as a guide, Pereira looks to have everything needed to be an elite fantasy asset this season.
Buendia tended to be draft between rounds five and seven in last year’s drafts. Most of the signs point to the possibility of Pereira being a better asset than the Norwich man, meaning you may have to swoop in at round four to be sure of getting the West Brom man. That may seem to be a reach at the time but could end up being incredible value by the end of the season.
Hakim Ziyech| Chelsea | Midfielder | 21 Apps | 6 Goals |12 Assists
Now…here’s a gamble. Chelsea fought off (no doubt) stiff competition to secure the signature of Ajax star Hakim Ziyech and have certainly added an extremely talented footballer to an already star studded attack.
The Moroccan playmaker put up impressive figures of six goals and 12 assists in a curtailed Eredivisie season and has been attracting admiring glances from across the continent over the last two years. Add to his goals and assists record the fact that Ziyech averaged 3.9 key passes and 3.2 shots per game and he looks like he has all the assets needed to be an elite Fantrax asset.
Where’s the risk then? Put simply, Eredivisie stars have mixed fortunes when plying their trade in the English Premier. If Ziyech can achieve half as much as Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt then Chelsea will have a bargain on their hands. If he goes down the same route as Memphis Depay, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel or (for those with long memories) Mateja Kezman, he won’t be around Stamford Bridge for long.
Every part of me wants to believe Ziyech will be a hit in the Premier League and his consistent stats as well as sparkling Champions League displays suggest he can succeed. There’s a lot of risk though, as previously outlined, but I’d expect a fair amount of rotation among those forward positions, especially if Willian signs another contract at the club. If you manage to bag a couple of reliable, high scorers in the first couple of rounds, a late 3rd, early 4th round pick is worth the gamble. I’d pick the aforementioned Pereira over Ziyech at this moment in time though.
Timo Werner | Chelsea | Forward | 34 Apps | 28 Goals | 8 Assists
He’s finally here. We’ve been anticipating Timo Werner’s Premier League arrival for a while now, most of us believing he would be lining up in Liverpool red by the start of the new campaign. Instead, it’s the blue of West London he will be wearing in mid-September as Chelsea once again won the race to secure one of Europe’s hottest prospects.
Werner has been one of Europe’s top marksmen for a number of years now and it has felt like a matter of time until he was given the chance to prove himself at (theoretically) a more challenging level.
His pace, movement and deadly finishing traits suggest he should be a hit at Chelsea but a first start and early goal will surely be crucial to help what is currently the league’s most high profile arrival settle in.
His Fantrax prospects are good. Very good. In a short term, post-lockdown Fantrax style Bundesliga game organised by @draftfpl and @colingreaves, Werner averaged a tasty 21.6 points per match over the final seven games, thanks to seven goals, one assist, 16 shots on target 18 key passes. This suggests he shouldn’t be too goal dependant. Even if he was, he’s lethal.
It remains to be seen what role Werner slots into at Chelsea but you feel that he should be a pivotal part of Frank Lampard’s plans. There’s plenty of excitement surrounding the German and it’s easy to see why.
If you want to be guaranteed to secure the signature of Werner for your draft team, you will have to move quicker than Liverpool did and take him in the first round. That’s not where I will be looking to take him personally but if you are drafting anywhere before 5th spot in your league, it’s very unlikely you will see him come back around again. That’s not me suggesting you take him in those first five picks by the way. Of course, taking Werner early on is a risk but if he has a Salah like impact then you will reap the rewards very quickly.