With less than three weeks to go until the big kick off, its time to start seriously checking the health of the players around the league, as it is vital that you get all eleven players playing every week from the start (especially in light of the several bye weeks in gameweek 2):
Phil Jagielka (6.0m) - this one is long term (November) and should rule Jagielka out of fantasy contention until around Christmas time when his return to the starting lineup can be guaranteed. When fit Jags will be a cheap way to get access to the solid Everton defense but forget about the former Blades man for the near future.
Jonathan Woodgate (5.0m) - 'unlikely' to be ready for the start of the season, the return to the injury table is not a surprise for the former Leeds star, who just cannot stay fit. I had Woodgate pencilled in as a nice mid level option for a team who had the best defensive home record in the league, and were getting Bale and Hutton back from injury. However, with Woodgate, King and Dawson all injured, Spurs may not be a great option and they are currently playing to lineup Chimbonda and Corluka in the middle (yikes). Stay away for now until this one clears up.
Fabio Aurelio (7.0m) - when Benitez is being 'confident' by describing the injury as laying the Brazilian out for 2 months, its time to look elsewhere for fantasy production. Aurelio is clearly out of the picture for now then, with the silver lining being the fact that Insua will be great value if he locks down the starting spot (assuming Arbeloa moves to Madrid).
Martin Skrtel (6.0m) - I really like Skrtel as a cheap source of big four defense this year and this injury has slightly dampened my enthusiasm. However, it seems that Skrtel might make opening day and would seem odds on to play Stoke at home in week 2 even if he misses the Spurs game. Liverpool play only one team in the first 13 games who averaged more than 1.5 goals per game (either home or away, depending on where Liverpool face them) and so Skrtel could be a great buy. Keep checking his status here to see how this one develops but my gut says he's still a good bet.
Stuart Downing (7.5m) - look elsewhere as the England winger is out until Christmas. At 7.5m he has a shot to be a good buy but forget about him for now.
Vincent Kompany (5.0m) - whether or not he'll play when fit is another issue but one thing seems for certain and that is that the Belgian will miss the start of the season. Kompany looks like he could be good value at 5m if he plays but this injury will open the door to the likes of De Jong to seal a place in the starting lineup so I'd watch Kompany for now, but do not commit him to your team just yet.
Samir Nasri (8.0m) - Nasri is just too expensive to consider when his future is uncertain due to his broken leg. Do not draft him in until you have seen him play as there are too many other good options (Barry, Modric) for you to waste time and money on a benched injured Gunner.
Joe Cole (9.0m) - Cole may miss the start of the season, and even then his place is under the spotlight due to the resurgence of Malouda and the signing of Zhirkov. Stay away now and probably all season.
Owen Hargreaves (6.5m) - yet another player whose injury may cost him more than a few weeks as Fletcher, Carrick and Anderson are given more time to solidify their first team spots. Even when fit Hargreaves is probably too defensive to provide value at 6.5m so look elsewhere to get your United fill.
Cristian Benitez (5.5m) - Birmingham's record signing could be slowed by an injury to start the season which does not allay my fears of him taking time to settle into the Premier League. At the moment I'm thinking more along the lines of Agustin Delgado rather than first half Amr Zaki so stay away for now until we see how he reacts to a cold evening in Burnley.
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