Monday, February 1, 2010

Window Shopping

Fear not, this is not another sports story trying to glorify what was, in reality, a pretty boring transfer window. I do, however, have a couple of players who I am interested in who might be worth a thought as differentiators as the season goes into its final stages.

Amr Zaki (5m)
Last year Zaki was a big reason for many teams' early season success and he enjoyed a period of must own status on his way to 10 goals in his first 16 games. However, the Egyptain big man couldn't deal with the British winter and fell out with Steve Bruce who said that "I can honestly say that in all my time in football I have never worked with someone as unprofessional". Well, lucky for us we don't have to manage our players on a daily basis so Zaki becomes an intriguing prospect. He has alot to prove and the final 10 games of the season will serve as an audition for a future return to the big leagues. While I don't think he can replicate the form of last year, I do think he might be able to contribute to a successful fantasy side and for 5m and no one owning him, he could prove to be a very cheap differentiator for anyone brave enough to roll the dice. My issue is that I really want to spend big up front (Rooney, Drogba and one more) so its tough to squeeze him in. If however, you'd prefer to splash your cash on the likes of Lampard, Gerrard and Fabregas then Zaki could be a very useful squad player. It's also worth considering that if Zaki starts to score, managers will sense a return to last year's heights and will jump all over him causing a sharp rise in his price.

Eidur Gudjohnsen (6m)
My all time favorite Bolton player returns to the Premier League but unfortunately his status as a first team regular is uncertain. In the game he has been classified as a midfielder which does give potential value given he is probably Spurs' 3rd pick to play up front (with the departure of Keane) but Crouch and Defoe will play most weeks and Eidur could be limited to mop up duty. The midfield (where Gudjohnsen can be equally well deployed) also looks crowded with Jenas, Huddlestone, Palacios and Kranjcar all competing for two central spots. I therefore - with some regret - find it hard to fully recommend Gudjohnsen but I will be tracking his progress and if he breaks into the first team then at 6m he looks very good value.

Jack Wilshere (4.3m)
If you need a bargain midfielder then the Arsenal prospect Wilshere might be your best bet. Bolton have a few decent midfield options but Owen Coyle is a fan of Arsenal's system and I think he will be keen to add another passer to his side. Wilshere has excellent skill and pace and should be able to contribute some assists and the odd goal, which would be a great value for such a cheap player. I'm not saying you want to rely on him every week but if you want to load up elsewhere, Wilshere might free up enough cash to let you get a Drogba instead of an Anelka or a Milner instead of a Wright Phillips.

Landon Donovan (6m)
Donovan has had a few games to settle in now and so far its so good for the American international. A goal, an assist and 2 bonus points from 4 games that included Arsenal, City and a tricky trip to Wigan is a very good return for a budget forward like Donovan. I'm a bit concerned about squad rotation with the return of Yakubu but I think Donovan should feature enough to justify fantasy consideration and is a good potential differentiator.

Asmir Begovic (4m)
Sorensen owners beware. Stoke pursued David James pretty hard and then landed his backup Asmir Begovic. Considering they already had a decent backup in Simonsen we could read into this move that Pulis expects to start Begovic at some point. If that happens then he becomes the obvious replacement for Sorensen, which would actually be a bonus as we keep our access to the solid Stoke defense and save 0.5m in the process. Sorensen has been a loyal servant for many teams this year but if there's money to be saved, he has to go.

Check back tomorrow for the weekly preview including captain and defensive rankings along with the latest injury news. As always, thanks for reading and why not post your comments below or @plfantasy.


goke313 said...

suprise no pickup for Nani..he's @ 6.4 cost and in the form of his life

here's my team for the week

Steven said...


I don't mean to double post, but you never saw my other one :) Your blog isn't displaying correctly in FireFox 3.6. Just an FYI!

NotoriousDre said...

@ goke

Nani, like the rest of the Man U midfield is at risk of rotation....

Chris Glover said...

I agree with Dre, Nani is too big of a rotation risk. I think his form brings into question the status of Valencia and you might consider selling high before he starts to get rotated.

Steven - not sure how to fix it but thanks for the update. What exactly looks wrong? Im using firefox on a mac and it seems ok. As I use blogger I am a bit limited with what I can tweak.

goke313 said...

I think I'll drop Valencia for Shawn Wright Phillips for gameweek 26...
also want to drop Rickettts for Garrido...which man city defender do you recommend?