Can silly season be done already?
As always, the raft of transfer rumors surrounding some of our favorite players can make it difficult to settle on a fantasy roster. Refreshingly this year, the transfer window ends on August 9th (at 5pm BST), one day before the start of the Premier League season on the 10th.
That means that all transfer business can be blessedly done and dusted before a ball is kicked. It should bring an end to the disruption of seasons past, but wait... Now I’m hearing that players cannot be bought after the new transfer window shuts on August 9, but they can still be sold until the window closes elsewhere in Europe (August 31).
The coming week is expected to be crazy with teams getting their business done before the deadline, and even then there might still be a cloud over (and a bench under) one or two want-away players. In the meantime, lets check on some of the most recent DONE DEALS and assess their Fantasy impacts.
Arsenal - Lucas Torreira 5.0m, Matteo Guendouzi 4.5m
New Gunners’ manager Unai Emery got the business done early, bringing in some reinforcements in key areas. For years, Arsenal fans have lamented the need to strengthen in defensive midfield, so these buys should help to bring the feel good factor back to the Emirates.
Fantasy Impact: It’s left to be seen whether any of these buys will be nailed on starters to consider for our lineups. Guendouzi has caught the eye in preseason with some tidy displays, but in fantasy terms promises neither goal/assist potential nor security of starts. Torreira’s World Cup performance showed that he could bring much needed steel to the Arsenal midfield. The real fantasy impact could be an overall defensive improvement that should boost the prospects of nailed on defenders like Bellerin, Monreal and Koscielney.
Bournemouth - Diego Rico 4.5m
The signing of Diego Rico from Leganes represent a shrewd piece of business to provide cover at left back. He is defensively solid and has attacking impetus that can bring fantasy returns.
Fantasy Impact: Apart from his potential as an affordable defensive option, the real impact could be on the prospects of FPL favorite Charlie Daniels, who could be relegated to the bench. Stay tuned to preseason friendlies for more cues.
Everton - Richarlison 6.5m
New Everton boss Marco Silva has wasted little time in bringing Brazilian star Richarlison from Watford. If he can replicate his early season heroics from last year, this is definitely one to watch!
Fantasy Impact: This looks a tasty signing at a bargain price in FPL with the potential to hit the ground running. Richarlison also scored the lone item on his Everton preseason debut in a 4-1 loss.
Fulham - Fabri 4.5m, Jean Michael-Seri 5.5m, Andre Schurrle 6.0m, Alexander Mitrovic 6.5m
Fulham has been the most active EPL team in the transfer market over the last couple of weeks, bringing in a group of players with proven pedigree ahead of the upcoming campaign. Goalkeeper Fabri from Besiktas was excellent in the Champions League and Turkish domestic league last season. Jean Michael-Seri, who was on the radar at Barcelona and a number of European heavyweights, is a coup. Former Chelsea winger Andre Schurrle arrives from Dortmund to bolster the attack. And just yesterday, Fulham completed the signing of the Serbian battering ram Alexander Mitrovic from Newcastle. Alfie Mawson could also be on the way. On paper, it looks like good times are coming to Craven Cottage.
Fantasy Impact: Fulham play an open, expansive brand of football, so there is definite potential for points in the forward areas. Seri occupies the central defensive midfield role, enjoying possession and short passes, which work against his Fantasy prospects. However, Schurrle and Mitrovic look like great value for money and will definitely profit if the Fulham attack clicks.
Liverpool - Xherdan Shaqiri 7.5m
By far the winners of this transfer window so far are Liverpool with a massive 170m outlay. On paper, these signings elevate them to true title contenders. Of course, this looks good for fantasy league as well. Their most recent acquisition is the dimunitive Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke. He has wasted no time in announcing himself with a tremendous preseason debut cameo against Manchester United capped by an outstanding bicycle kick goal.
Fantasy Impact: Shaqiri will add depth and rotation cover for Liverpool’s fearsome front line but is not expected to get regular starts just yet. This dampens his fantasy potential fit, but an injury or loss of form for any of his rivals could elevate him into our top player picks.
Newcastle - Fabian Schar 5.0m
Transfers are tough to come by for the Toon Army, with manager Rafa Benitez being forced to wheel and deal. They’ve added Swiss center-back Fabian Schar to bolster their defense. His showing at the World Cup gives reason for optimism.
Fantasy Impact: Schar could partner captain Jamaal Lascelles at the heart of the Newcastle defense, and he does have set piece potential in his locker. A 5.0m price seems a bit steep for a lower-tier team’s defender, but it could be one to watch.
Southampton - Jannik Vestergaard 5.0m
The Saints have brought in Norwegian center-back Jannik Vestergaard from Borussia Moenchengladbach to add to their complement of center-backs. He comes highly rated, with a huge set piece threat in his locker.
Fantasy Impact: The transfer outlay suggests that Mark Hughes sees Vestergaard as a first choice option in his defense. Nevertheless, there is much competition in his position, with Jack Stephens, Wesley Hoedt, Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek all competing for minutes. This makes his 5.0m price a bit off-putting, but he could prosper.
Watford - Ben Foster 4.5m
Watford have swooped to bring Ben Foster over from relegated West Brom. He should walk straight into the starting lineup. Under a defensive minded coach in Javi Gracia, this is one to keep an eye on.
Fantasy Impact: We all know what Foster can do for our fantasy teams — an affordable goalkeeper who can be fantastic on his day, with the potential for clean sheets and save points to rival the heavy hitters.
West Ham - Felipe Anderson 7.0m, Andriy Yarmolenko 7.0m, Jack Wilshere 5.0m
New West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has set about revamping the Hammers midfield with these three great signings. Anderson and Yarmolenko have shone at Lazio and Borussia Dortmund respectively, and represent a real coup that could get the fans excited for the coming season. Jack Wilshere, fresh from an England World Cup snub, will be highly motivated to prove his critics wrong.
Fantasy Impact: Much depends on whether Pellegrini can get the chemistry right. The former Manchester City and Real Madrid coach has a reputation for attacking football, and he has the quality to make it happen. Yarmolenko is a fearsome winger on his day, and Anderson is a creative force that will compensate for the loss of Lanzini. Wilshere in his deep lying midfield role might not trouble the fantasy leaderboards.
Wolverhampton - Joao Moutinho 5.5m, Jonny Castro
The Portuguese renaissance of Wolves was crowned by the signing of highly rated Joao Moutinho from Monaco. The 31 year-old Portuguese stalwart will bring experience and pedigree to the Wolves midfield that could give fans another reason to be excited for the new season. Fullback Jonny Castro arrives from Atletico Madrid to boost the defensive capabilities of the team.
Fantasy Impact: Judging from Moutinho’s role for Portugal, he would be expected to function as an organizer and creator from deeper in midfield to support the more attacking midfield options like Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota. Castro will add defensive presence and could help with clean sheets, but his attacking returns may be limited.
Have any of these new-boys made it into any of your fantasy sides? Do you have any fresh clues as to which will earn starts and which will be buried in development teams? And what new signings have been announced since the article was written? Please share in the comments!