WEST BROMWICH ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Peter Odemwingie of West Brom celebrates scoring the first goal with Graham Dorrans during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool at The Hawthorns on January 15 2011 in West Bromwich England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
As we look for players in this
truncated abbreviated condensed (?) game week, some not-so-garden-variety names are sure to surface. One such name, for me, is Graham Dorrans.
We've been waiting for his big break-out moment since West Brom returned to the Premier League last season. At this point, it doesn't seem like he's going to become a star, though the hope still remains that he'll be a regular Premier League performer - a feat that has eluded him so far. But for fantasy, and for this week in particular, he's worth a closer look.
West Brom had a rough March. They weren't in terrible form, but they did manage to play, and lose to, teams that were in better nick. After beating Chelsea (and seeing Andres Villas-Boas pay for the loss with his job), they went on to lose to Manchester United, Newcastle, and Everton while only managing a draw at Wigan.
Entering April, they thumped Blackburn Rovers, with Dorrans on set pieces and providing an assist to Liam Ridgewell for the side's third goal. Dorrans' performance led to this
praise encouragement from manager Roy Hodgson:
"I hope to give him that run of games, absolutely. I thought he was good on Saturday. He did well and is a very exciting player.
"His season, like the season before, has been, while not destroyed, pretty much punctuated by injuries, sometimes quite small ones which have only kept him out for a week or ten days.
"But what’s often happened is the team has done well in that instance, pushing him back further. "He has a chance to stay in the team between now and the end of the season.
"I would be very happy to see him do that. "But of course, albeit that we’re not as strong numbers-wise as we were a month ago, there is still competition for places.
"He, like others, will have to play well to keep his place.
"But, certainly, after his last performance Graham Dorrans has nailed his on to the next game."
Unfortunately, that "next game" was an rejuvenated Manchester City side - hardly a fair test for any opponent on their day. Dorrans put up a reasonable (for his price tag, and considering the matchup), if uninspiring, 3.5 fantasy points. At least that has kept his price low going in to this game week.
Hopefully, he's again nailed his name on to the next game. Chris Brunt could be back for Queens Park Rangers' visit to the Hawthornes, but that could just see WBA revert to the lineup that saw off Blackburn in which both men played. QPR don't travel particularly well (3 wins, 2 draws, 11 losses; 16 goals for, 31 against) and I would expect West Brom to get a result here.
If I were the type of fantasy blogger who had distinguished daily directives, weird weekly two-cents worth, or somesuch, I would highlight Graham Dorrans to you. As it is, I may look to swap out one of my Arsenal defenders (Santos, most likely, if Gibbs gets healthy) for Dorrans.