Apparently when a team wins the Premier League one season, then in the following campaign everybody wants in on that squad when it comes to fantasy selection. Huh, who would have thought?
Whereas there was hesitation to grab Chelsea players after the 2015-16 debacle, it’s an entirely different story now as an amazingly wide swath of contributors from the champions are blanketing fantasy teams. It’s not only the Blues, though. Let’s take a gander at all of the Premier League teams which boast at least a trio of players with a minimum of 10% of fantasy squad ownership each at the moment.
Chelsea (Eight players at 10% ownership or higher)
[David Luiz (22%), Thibaut Courtois (18%), N’Golo Kante (15%), Marcos Alonso (15%), Willian (15%), Gary Cahill (13%), Cesar Azpillicueta (12%), Alvaro Morata (11%)]
Chelsea has a whopping eight players at 10% or more and that’s without superstar Eden Hazard. Given the Belgian playmaker’s injury, owners have turned to Willian, so it probably would have been the same number anyway. However, five of the team’s most seven in-demand players come on the defensive side (including keeper).
Tottenham Hotspur (Six)
[Dele Alli (38%), Harry Kane (35%), Kieran Trippier (20%), Christian Eriksen (14%), Toby Alderweireld (14%), Hugo Lloris (13%)]
One of last season’s breakout stars, Son-Heung Min, does not find himself on the list, likely due to injury worry. Even so, the best team last year (in terms of goal differential) is still very well-represented with six members having double digit percentage ownership. Unlike Chelsea’s defensive draw, even though Spurs conceded the fewest goals last season, fantasy managers are turning to Spurs for offense. Alli and Kane are the Spurs most in demand, and Eriksen is at 14%, which is not too shabby. The trio combined for 55 goals and 38 assists last season, so if you can squeeze them into your squads, you might just do alright this time around. (The Spurs’ trio totaled more than Manchester United which mustered only 54 tallies as a team. And that’s not even counting Son’s 14 goals.)
Manchester United (Five)
Former Toffee star Lukaku has by far the highest ownership in all of fantasy, while De Gea is getting the most action at keeper. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of interest in last season’s record transfer Pogba and a pair of defenders, incoming Lindelof and sophomore sensation Bailly. Is it because of the favorable opening schedule? A feeling that this could be the Red Devils’ year? That they’re the most popular club in the Premier League? Or perhaps, just perhaps, all of the above?
Crystal Palace (Four)
[Wilfried Zaha (23%), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (15%), James McArthur (11%), Christian Benteke (10%)]
Currently Zaha has the third-highest ownership among midfielders, behind Alli and Coutinho but ahead of Kevin De Bruyne and Pogba. Being considerably cheaper surely has an awful lot to do with that, but so does thriving in 2016-17. Add in the even cheaper Loftus-Cheek and McArthur, and it’s clear that Selhurst Park is the one stop shop for middies!
[Wayne Rooney (20%), Michael Keane (13%), Jordan Pickford (12%), Leighton Baines (11%)]
Interestingly, the three most popular Toffees are incoming transfers, with Rooney moving from Manchester United, Keane bolting Burnley, and Pickford saying sayonara to Sunderland. At least local legend Baines is also getting some love.
[Philippe Coutinho (31%), Roberto Firmino (16%), Mohamed Salah (16%)]
If you had any question about the explosiveness of Liverpool’s offense, wonder no more. That said, it’s quite interesting that Sadio Mane, priced in the same ball park as Coutinho, Firmino and Salah, finds himself at a considerably lower ownership of 7%.
Manchester City (Three)
[Kevin De Bruyne (22%), Kyle Walker (20%), Gabriel Jesus (12%)]
What world are we living in when Sergio Aguero is not leading this list? Heck, what universe is this where Kun (at a mere 9%) cannot even meet the 10% threshold? A cold, strange, unrecognizable one, that’s what!
[Charlie Daniels (21%), Jermain Defoe (14%), Nathan Ake (10%)]
This is probably the most surprising team on this list. But hey, I’m not hating, these players make sense at their prices. Defoe has definitely taken the shine off last season’s goalscoring hero Joshua King (7%).
[Alexandre Lacazette (18%), Hector Bellerin (14%), Alexis Sánchez (13%)]
Sanchez has been an absolute stud for the three seasons he’s spent with the Gunners, but his high price along with rumblings about a possible exit are clearly scaring people away. Instead, Ligue 1 import Lacazette and defender Bellerin have drawn more interest.
[Cedric Soares (15%), Ryan Bertrand (12%), Nathan Redmond (10%)]
The Saints boast two of the most-owned 12 defenders in Cedric and Bertrand. They also both happen to cost 5.5 or less. Coincidence? I think not!
If you add it all up, there are 10 teams (hey, that’s half the league!) that can boast at least 10% ownership each of three or more players. Are you following suit and jumping all over one (or more) of the popular teams, or is it savvier to make an against-the-grain play by targeting the lesser loved squads? Let us know in the comments!
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