Depth is universally seen as a virtue. We all like to be well informed to avoid being 'shallow'. Managers praise the depth of their teams, and, well, no one wants to take a dive into a paddling pool. The same is true in fantasy - the deeper the pool of talent, the more options we have, and the more opportunities there are to differentiate our teams.
With the international break giving us time to catch our collective breath, I thought it might be useful to look at the current pool of talent, and assess how it looks after 7 weeks. The below are the players who I feel should register on our radars. I'm not saying they all represent great investments right now, just that, as things stand, they could hold some value in the short-medium term.
A couple of points to clarify before we start. Anyone suffering from a long term injury (even if close to returning) is excluded. You can't be caught picking up injured players too early and so the likes of Glen Johnson or Steve Gerrard have not been considered. Also, a lack of an appearance here does not mean you can't play your way back into contention at a later point. You'll note that no Chelsea strikers appear on this list, while the once great Arsenal have a distinctly poor representation. These teams/players could rebound but right now they are carrying elite price tags without the necessary production/upside/guarantee of minutes needed to generate fantasy value.
With those points in mind, here are the players I currently feel justify monitoring on a weekly basis. Those players highlighted in blue are players who I feel justify weekly consideration for the captain's armband (ignoring double gameweeks for now).
Arsenal - Ramsey, Arteta, Van Persie
Aston Villa - Given, Warnock, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Bent
Blackburn - Hoilett
Bolton - Petrov
Chelsea - Bosingwa, Lampard, Mata, Sturridge
Everton - Jagielka, Osman, Cahill
Fulham - Schwarzer, Baird, Riise, Murphy, Dempsey, Zamora, Johnson
Liverpool - Enrique, Adam, Suarez
Man City - Kompany, Richards, Clichy, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko
Man Utd - Jones, Evra, Evans, Nani, A Young, Anderson, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck
Newcastle - Krul, S Taylor, Simpson, Gutierrez, Cabaye, Best, Ba
Norwich - Ruddy, Barnett
QPR - Kenny, A Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Barton, Taarabt, Wright Phillips, Faurlin
Stoke - Begovic, Shawcross, Woodgate, Walters, Etherington
Sunderland - Mignolet, Brown, Larsson, Bendtner
Swansea - Vorm, Williams, Rangel, N Taylor, Sinclair, Dyer, Graham
Tottenham - Assou-Ekotto, Van der Vaart, Bale, Adebayor
West Brom - Shorey, McAuley, Brunt, Odemwingie, Long
Wigan - Al-Habsi, Figueroa, Watson, Moses, Di Santo
Wolves - Hennessey, Ward, Berra, Jarvis, Hunt, O'Hara, Fletcher, Doyle
99 players isn't too bad, and we're already in a better situation than Jay-Z (zing!). That said, there are plenty of the above group who you wouldn't be thrilled to own at the moment and are clinging on to fantasy relevance by the slimmest of margins (or in some cases, write bias, ahem, Victor Moses, ahem). I will track this list each week and you will be able to find the latest player pool by clicking on the new tab at the top of the page. If there's anyone you feel deserves recognition, post ideas below or @plfantasy.