Friday, November 13, 2009
Turn off the Lamp?
Football 365 were reporting earlier in the day that Frank Lampard was about to be shut down for the season after he aggravated a thigh injury on the flight to Doha this week. Poor old Frank had to suffer the frankly medieval conditions of sitting in economy class! Perhaps Blatter and Ronaldo were right when they described modern day footballers as slaves - imagine having to sit in economy class for almost four hours. Well it seems that F365 have backtracked somewhat and the mention of being out for the season has now been removed, with the Chelsea official site suggesting three weeks and Goal.com suggesting the rest of 2009.
This story could have huge fantasy implications with Lampard being considered by many (not me) to be the fantasy player and is owned by 30% of all players (6th most in the league). With Gerrard struggling for fitness and form and Fabregas in majestic form, the transfers between these two players could be monumental. The extra week off and high publicity the injury will receive will alert thousands of fantasy players and the jump on the Fabregas bandwagon could be swift and sizable. Already owned by 41% of all players, Fabregas could hit Ronaldo-like highs and top the 50% mark by the time he next suits up for the Gunners.
If you don't already own Fabregas then for most players the suggestion to sign him goes against my normal trends. 4 of his next 7 games are 'red light' games and with such a massive following he is the antithesis of a differentiator. However, as with Ronaldo in prior years I think you have to think about Fabregas more in terms of how you can afford not to have him, than how you can fit him into your team. Regardless of schedule he looks like a must-own, and unless the matchup is awful, possibly a must-captain. You need to move quickly though as most fantasy owners tend to make their transfers early and if confirmed as a long term casualty Lampard's value will collapse soon.
My advice has been to get Fabregas for Lampard anyway, in spite of the fixtures and the latest injury news. Lampard has looked good in the past few weeks and thoughts of having both were starting to blossom in my mind. The injury obviously puts an end to that and Lampard should be sold immediately as the best case scenario still see him missing three games.