The list is not all encompassing; however, it includes many of the new faces in the Premier League.
Yesterday Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Southampton, Stoke, and Sunderland were examined. Here is the final group of five teams (player budget values listed in parenthesis):
• Brendan Rodgers’ magic first season in the Premier League for the Swans saw them finish 11th and earned him the Liverpool job. Now we wait to see Act 2 with Michael Landrup at the helm.
• In Michael Vorm, the Swans have a terrific GK and at a bargain salary of 6.3.
• Defender Ashley Williams is a fantasy favorite who notched 155 points last season and is attractively priced at 5.8.
• Midfielder Scott Sinclair is worthy of fantasy consideration and comes off a 176-point season. He is priced nicely at 6.6. Joe Allen (5.8) is a possibility.
• Deficiencies for the Swans are up front with not a whole lot to choose from. Danny Graham (5.9) is about it.
• A fourth-place finish for ‘Arry was not good enough for the suits at White Hart Lane, so he is out and the arrogant, incompetent team destroyer AVB is in. Conceivably he will at least last the full season after soiling the touchlines at Stamford Bridge.
• Spurs have the makings of another good team; however, the status of Emmanuel Adebayor must be resolved. Even though he was held out against his loaned club Man City, Adebayor still gave his fantasy managers 193 points (not counting when he was their team captain).
• Jermaine Defoe (6.6) is a good choice for a third striker.
• Gareth Bale led all midfielders in points with 201 and not surprisingly has the highest salary at 9. Shudders went up for Spurs supporters when it was thought that Bale had been seriously injured by Charlie Adam in a “Friendly” Bale is OK.
• Luka Modric continues to milk his suitors despite having career numbers that do not justify the hype. In 123 Premier League matches, Modric has had 13 goals and 15 assists. Not exactly Ronaldo-like. The value appraisers at ESPN agree and have set Modric’s salary at only 7.2.
• A better pick could be Swansea transfer Sigurdsson who has the same value as Modric. In 17 games with the Swans, Sigurdsson scored 7 goals and had 3 assists. In the German league the 22-year-old from Iceland had 9 goals in 19 matches and three seasons ago with Reading scored 17 goals.
• Spurs have considerable firepower in the middle with Van der Vaart (7.5) and Lennon (7.1).
• The stump-like Scott Parker (6.5) is a holding midfielder whose 85 points don’t justify a 6.5 salary.
• Defensively Spurs are strong. Kaboul (5.8), Walker (6.6), and Assou-Ekotto (6.6) will be joined by new transfer Vertonghen, who has scored 21 goals in about 80 matches in Europe (remember, the guy is a defender!).
• The Baggies quietly had an excellent season, finishing in the tenth position under classy Roy Hodgson. With Hodgson guiding England, Steve Clarke takes over with very few big names.
• Defender Jonas Olsson notched 145 points and is priced low at 5.
• Argentine transfer Yacob is not yet listed on ESPN Soccernet’s available players so his value is TBA.
• Odemwingie (6.2) runs hot and cold.
• The Hammers return to the Premier League with Sam Allardyce, the likable, quotable skipper at the helm and not a whole lot of quality on the pitch, especially for fantasy managers.
• Former Bolton GK Jaaskelainen (5.5) will literally have his hands full trying to keep his nets clean.
• Other players of note: Piquionne (5), Maiga (6), Malumbu (5.7), and Cole (5) are not going to win any fantasy weeks for you.
• Roberto Martinez saw his Lattics stage another late season survival run and so far have been able to keep key contributor Victor Moses. The midfielder with the storybook life experience is priced attractively at 5.8.
• Perhaps the best player on the team is GK Ali Al Habsi, a tremendous man in the nets and priced at only 5.5.
• From there it is fantasy slim-pickings. Defenders Figuerora (4.7), Caldwell (4.5), and Alcaraz (4.6) are good, cheap bench fillers as is midfielder Maloney (5.9)
• DiSanto at 5.5 is a possibility, but you can do better than him.
Have a fantastic fantasy season of fun. Many thanks to the managers of the game for bringing back the value system that allow player budgets to increase (or decrease if your players bomb).
The Community Shield game will be August 12 between Premier Champion Manchester City and FA Cup winner Chelsea at Villa Park. Wembley will have had the Olympic soccer final the night before. Then on August 18, Week 1 begins with 11 Premier matches spread over four days.
Thanks to all who read my blog and especially those who comment—agree or disagree, it does not matter.