DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Beneditk Hoewedes (R) of Germany battles for the ball with Eden Hazard of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group A qualifying match between Germany and Belgium at Esprit Arena on October 11, 2011 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
I worry about this season in Premier League fantasy football. Yes, every year there is an influx of new talent from the Championship and abroad. But this year feels different to me. I'm not sure why. Maybe you can help me understand.
My big question is, are there any managers whose opening weekend line-ups will not look like this?
Jose Reina (LIV) or Hugo Lloris, if he is indeed bound for Spurs
Sacha Reither (FUL) Jan Vertonghen (TOT) Ian Harte (RED)
Eden Hazard (CHE) Shinji Kagawa (MAN) Jonathan de Guzman (SWA) Bret Holman (AST)
Ricky Lambert (SOU) Lukas Podolski (ARS) Olivier Giroud (ARS)
True, the last two midfield slots may be reaches. Holman may be listed as a forward. I may be tempted by Southampton's Adam Lallana.
This is even before the transfer season hots up in mid- to late-August! Will there be a new Chelsea right back, or inside-right forward (Hulk?) Will Spurs get a new center forward? Will Manchester City replace Adam Johnson or Edin Dzeko? Big names at big clubs means that they'll be more likely to be fantasy favorites.
All these quality transfers means that we'll each be able to afford one, maybe two, premium players. Perhaps to fill in those last two midfield slots, say. Gylfi Sigurdsson would probably be my choice, though you could see the case for his teammate Gareth Bale or England pair Steven Gerrard or Theo Walcott. Maybe Wayne Rooney instead of Lambert?
Is the season going to come down to choosing that one player on that one week where he gets you an unexpected windfall? A K2 hat-trick against Derby, for instance.
How do you see the season shaking out, or do you not think we have a clear picture yet? Do you have a fantasy XI in your head?