Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scanning the radar: Forwards

Having covered midfielders in an earlier post, I now turn my attention to forwards flying under the radar. Given that there are less to choose from (each team will only field one or two on a regular basis meaning that the pool of talent is only around 30 players) it is harder to find a player 'under the radar' so I will more focus on undervalued talent, even if the player is already well known to fantasy players.

I think the offerings are pretty thin and the best strategy might be to employ the big names up top again and search for the value elsewhere. Nevertheless there are a couple of names that have caught my eye:

Under the radar

Nikola Kalinic
Okay, 2 goals and 55 points aren't getting your pulse racing but he did manage 5 goals in 2010 in 18 games (all in competitions) and generally looked to be settling into the league quite well. Blackburn don't have too many other options up front - indeed they have reportedly even considered a desperation bid for Heskey - and so Kalinic is all but guaranteed plenty of minutes in front a decent midfield that features Dunn and Gamst Pedersen.

It's well documented that Slavan Bilic hailed Kalinic as the "future of Croatian football" which is looking a stretch at this point but he's only 22 and will cost you just 5.5m in the EPL game. That makes him a useful match up play, while also acting as a differentiator (0.4% owned which I believe is his Mum, Dad and favourite Aunt).

Emmanuel Adebayor
As with some of my midfield picks, Adebayor is not exactly a hidden gem given the fact he cost 25m just 12 months ago but he is still held by just 2.5% of managers. I know there are currently reports of him leaving for Italy and the probable arrival of Mario Balotelli, but if he stays I think he plays 30 games and cracks 16+ league goals. As he showed in glimpses last year, he is a natural goalscorer when on form, and with Silva and Toure bolstering the midfield I like Ade to excel and improve on last year's decent haul of 14 league goals.
He isn't cheap at 9.5m, so he is a risky pickup, but I would rank him 4th among strikers (Torres, Drogba, Rooney) and I think his value deserves to be closer to theirs at 11m than the 9m range along with Defoe, Bent and Berbatov.

Just off the radar

Robbie Keane
First things first, Keane has little or no value while still at Spurs, hence he is currently 'off radar'. However, a move to a team like Villa would make Keane an absolute steal at 5.5m and make him one of the better bargains in the whole game. We can all agree that Keane had a miserable last year right? Well, not if you look at his stats. His points per minute give him 5.24 PPG which at his current value would be an incredible 0.952 PPMS, and that is assuming he only does what he did last year in just 13 games worth of minutes. If at Villa or even Newcastle, Keane is right up there to make my opening day roster.

Nikola Zigic
The uncertainty around Zigic is different than with Keane, as he is almost certain to play at Birmingham given he is one of their main signings this off season. My concern is whether or not Zigic can hack it in the EPL. Labelled another 'skillful big man' my concern is that he may be a bit too brittle to play every week and might lack to pace and drive to score regularly in the EPL. There haven't been too many successful big men of late - Carew and to an extent Davies were the picks last season - and so I want to see how Zigic is deployed before I invest. That said at 6m he has potential and is definately worth monitoring in the opening couple of weeks.

Roque Santa Cruz
Much like Robbie Keane, Santa Cruz's value depends on him leaving his current club. Also like Keane, Santa Cruz has been rumoured to be a target of Martin O'Neil at Villa Park as well as possibly linking up with former manager Mark Hughes at Craven Cottage. Fulham looks like a useful fit to me as pairing him with Zamora would give them a pretty versatile and powerful front pair. At 7m he needs to not only get a move away from City but also secure a starting place in his new team, but anytime a player who scored 182 points just 2 seasons ago might be available for 7m, you need to at least monitor him.
I'm afraid that's it on the forward front, not too many sleepers in my eyes this year. I have a further post due shortly which should give further consdieration as to how best use your money and choose yours studs this season. Thanks for reading and please post your thoughts or comments below or @plfantasy.


Craig B said...

What do you think Mauro Boselli’s outlook is for the season? Do you think he can become a consistent contributor or a focal point of Wigan's offense?

auburn.tigers2011 said...

Chris, who do you think is the best Tottenham midfielder to have for the upcoming season? Lennon, Kranjcar, Bale, Modric? Thanks

Mmmarek83 said...

I think Carlton Cole is in good form. Avram Grant said that they like to play 4-3-3 this season and friendlies goals showed that Cole has the power to score. Hammers has the games with ManU, Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham in first 6 rounds, but I do think that Cole is good value with 6,5m.

Auburn.tigers I like Bale in tottenham. Don't have info about Lennon.

Chris Glover said...

Craig - Boselli is another player off the radar who I must be honest, I do not know much about. His scoring record in SA looks very impressive and he might have you dreaming of Zaki 2.0 but I can't sign off on him until I see him play. Great shout to monitor him though.

Auburn - I like Modric and Lennon alot. I think Bale will be overheld based on the fact he scored so many points (as a defender) and Kranjcar might suffer from some rotation. Modric is best value for me at 7.5m

Mmmarek - Cole is decent value in that 6-7m range but you're right to highlight his tough fixtures as being a turn off. I would like to see how the 4-3-3 works and how Cole fits into it before I buy into him but I agree he is more intriguing under a new manager in a new system.

Thanks for the comments, not long to go now!

Real JT said...

What do you think about Fraizer Campbell? Six goals in preseason so far!