One caveat before I start, you may find similar articles like this around, but rest assured I am not plagiarising, its just that there are limited issues to discuss during bye week. We don't restrict sports writers to one article about the Super Bowl do we!
So, anyway, lets look at the transfers/rumours and assess the fantasy impact we might see from the fallout:
Jermaine Defoe to Tottenham
This one's a done deal and it sees Defoe re-united (again) with Harry Redknapp. I was astounded to read that the little forward notched 64 goals in 177 games whilst at the Lane, especially when considering he was considered third choice behind Keane and Berbatov for most of that time. I am a Defoe owner, and was set to dump him this week until this story started to break. Now I am totally unsure as to what lies in store for Defoe. Spurs have nice attacking fixtures over the next 7 games including 3 green light games. Whether Defoe will play or not depends on any issues with him resigning for the same club within a 12 month period, although it is not anticipated this will affect his ability to play this week at Wigan. Defoe has an excellent record in his debut (is this even a debut?) and is a good play this week. He then faces Pompey in what looks like a lock for him to either score or get injured.
In short, Defoe remains a solid mid range striker but I would not be selling Agbonlahor for him at this point. I would say he represents better than Owen (8.5) and Crouch (8.0M) though. If he hits the ground running, then this streaky striker may be worth a buy in the coming weeks but for now I would hold off unless you already own him.
Wayne Bridge to Man City
I am a big fan of Bridge and always felt he was unfortunate to constantly ride the bench at Chelsea. At 5m he is the cheapest of the first choice back four (Bridge, Richards, Dunne, Zabaleta) assuming he displaces Garrido and Ball who have shared time this season. Anytime a defender is cheaper than his team mates it is a potential bargain, though City's 14th ranked defense is nothing to get too excited about (neither was shipping 3 to lowly Nottm Forrest). Weeks 26 to 31 are a nightmare for City so unless you plan to get Bridge now then dump him in 5 weeks I would hold off until after this period which sees the Blues play Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Villa).
Lassana Diarra to Real Madrid
Obviously the only impact here is that anyone who owns him should get rid. I would add most Pompey players to that list as the club looks like one in decline following the sale of their two best players.
Andrei Arshavin to Arsenal
For another former Spurs target it looks like it may be their North London rivals who will steal his signature. The Russian said that he "hopes the clubs can come to an agreement" although talk of £20m may scare away Arsenal. Wenger has been pretty active in past windows though, splashing cash on Reyes, Walcott and Adebayour in the past. My concern with Arshavin is how he fits in at Arsenal in that he likely won't displace Van Persie or Adebayour in a forward role and the midfield looks very light with him and one of their suspect defensive players, and even then this would only be until Cesc returns. Of course, his affect on the Arsenal team does not matter to us fantasy players who would love to see plenty of 3-3 draws. However, we may see his attacking hampered by potential defensive duties (see Luka Modric) which could limit his impact. I could see him being valued at around 8m, just ahead of Rosicky and Nasri. There aren't that many great options in this bracket and therefore he is a very high risk/decent reward type of player for those looking for someone a bit different. As with Defoe, if he does make the jump to North London I would give it a couple of weeks before jumping on the bandwagon.
Emile Heskey to Aston Villa/Liverpool
Firstly, I cannot see Heskey back at Anfield in a million years though he would make sense as a replacement for Carew who could be gone for the season. Villa lack that target when Carew is out and Heskey, who will be cheap as his contract runs out soon, could be a decent option. At 6.5m Heskey would be good value for a striker at one of the big 5 clubs, though whether he would get 90 minutes every week would encourage me to rate the likes of Kevin Davies and Marlon King slightly higher. In short, Heskey would be playing on a better team but would lose his 90 minute man status and see his chance of bonus points all but wiped out (try competing with bonus magnets Laursen, Young and Agbonlahor every week).
Roque Santa Cruz to Man City
Santa Cruz was a revelation last year but has been disappointing this term due to poor support play, a loss of form and injury. Whilst City are not fairing well in the league, they are certainly scoring goals (38 in 20, second only to Chelsea). The potential partnership with Robinho looks very tasty and at 8.5 he would represent good value as a mid range option. City's fixtures aren't the best as they face just one green light game in the next 9 though City have shown they can score against anyone at home. I think Santa Cruz's value would rise with this move and as he is owned by just 4.6% players he would initially be a differentiator, and then be a license to print money as other players push his price up to close to 9m.
Denilson to Bolton
This one is close to my heart as one of my old favourites could join my club who are in dire need of some flair. So long as he isn't rated at over 6m I think the Brazilian could be a useful addition to a fantasy team, who's skills and free kicks could earn him the odd goal and bonus point. The question will be his fitness so I would again stay away from this initially though certainly add the former most expensive player to your watch list.
Stuart Downing to Tottenham
I am not a massive fan of Downing and I think his high value is a little bit due to the fact he is a left footed Englishman. Spurs do need a left sided player and Downing is a decent fit, though quite who he will cross to is another question (Defoe isn't well known for his heading ability and Redknapp isn't a huge fan of Pavlyuchenko by all accounts). My concern with Downing is the fact that other English wingers have gone there only to fail to reproduce the form that got them their big move (see Bentley and Lennon). For me there is no way Downing is worth 6.8m even if the move goes through. With the likes of Valencia, Richardson, Malbranque and Matty Taylor all costing less, it seems you will be paying the English premium too, just as Spurs look likely to do.
Matthew Upson to Aston Villa
This one is intriguing as I am not totally sure who Upson will replace. Curtis Davies seems the likely choice though Upson has been known to feature at left back which could threaten Cuellar and Shorey. Villa already have the league's 6th best defense and Upson would upgrade whichever position he played. At 4.9m he is less than Laursen and Cuellar, though more than Shorey and Young. His 10 bonus points this season, along with his two assists would make him a good buy though if this one goes through. West Ham's defense would be severely downgraded and I would divest Green, Neill and co if Upson moves on.
Scott Parker to Man City
Parker is not a big fantasy impact player, though at 4.8m would represent tremendous bench value as a starter in the centre of the second best attack in the league. Parker has a PPMS of 0.555 which isn't too bad and would almost certainly improve in a team that has scored 60% more goals than West Ham. Parker would not be playing an advanced role, though with Kompany holding the fort he would be allowed to advance forward at some point. In short, I like Parker as a player and as a very good sub should be move to City.
Any more transfer news out there? Who are you most hoping changes teams and which teams will be the winners of the window? Let me know what you think