Friday, July 10, 2009

Minimum price squad fillers - Goalkeepers

As we start to assemble our new teams, it is inevitable that in order to satisfy our thirst for stars - Gerrard (12.5), Lampard (12.5) or Torres (11.5) - we will need to save money elsewhere in our squad.
This first post will focus on the goalkeepers available for the minimum price (4m)

Thomas Sorensen
Based on last year's points Sorensen is clearly the pick of the bargains and appears undervalued, having outscored the likes of Robert Green (5m) and David James (5m) last year. The key to Sorensen's value is that Stoke are so solid at home. When looking for a sub keeper the total goals conceded is not so much of an issue (its unlikely for you to play Sorensen when he visits Old Trafford for example). The key is that you can rely on the sub when the matchup is good, an area in which Stoke excelled last year. They conceded just 15 goals at home, keeping no less than 9 clean sheets and only conceded more than 1 goal once after struggling in their first three games.
Sorensen therefore appears to be a great number two keeper, and could even serve in a rotation with another bargain keeper if you want to avoid any of the big names.

Joe Hart
Birmingham had a very strong defense last year in the Championship, conceding just 37 in 46 games, including clean sheets in 47% of their home games. While it is impossible to see this kind of success in the Premier League, as with Sorensen above, Hart could prove to be a good selection when the matchup is right. Birmingham are going to have to follow the formula put forward by the likes to Stoke and Bolton before them, and focus on keeping clean sheets, especially at home.
Hart proved himself to be a good shot stopper at City and was a bit unfortunate to lose his place following the big money signing of Shay Given. Hart will get plenty of save points and will likely get between 5-8 clean sheets on the season. This should translate into a decent fantasy season and I would not therefore hesitate to add Hart to my bench.

At this early stage, Sorensen is the most selected keeper with 36% of all teams picking him. Hart trails closely behind in 3rd with 24% of all selections. Schwarzer comes in second, which is largely based on last year's success and his value is somewhat diminished in my opinion. Cech (6.5m) leads the premium keepers with 14% of selections to date.

Those who selected Schwarzer and then identified him as a legit no.1 benefited greatly last season by getting 6m production from a 4.5m player. While I don't see either of the above players enjoying that kind of success, I do think a viable strategy would be to pair Sorensen with, say, Jaaskelainen (4.5) or Robinson (4.5) and play whoever has the best matchup. If you're going with Cech, Reina or Van der Sar then you should only ever play the sub when you're keeper is injured or not playing so the selection of your sub becomes less important.

As always, let me know what you think and how you plan to select your keepers - an often overlooked position that can provide cheap points is managed correctly.

1 comment:

Ash said...

At this stage, I've gone for Sorensen and Hart but I think Gomes is good value as well at 5.0. Tough start to the season but should do well.