Another fantasy soccer weekend is upon us. Injuries and player departures drove team management conversations into a panicked frenzy. The primary challenges arose from Heung-Min Son leaving for the Asian Cup, Harry Kane being ruled out with a long term ankle injury, and the Trent Alexander-Arnold saga that over the course of 72 hours, or so saw him go from being out for a month to being a fitness test away from playing.
FPL managers, analysts and enthusiasts alike, began to cajole one another into various acceptable precedents for point hits. Taking a -4 hit this week was the soup du jour. And, unbelievably, some found the only antidote came at the cost of -8. All of this discussion has led to the question: are point hits advantageous in any way? And, the best parts of this discussion may have risen around what scenarios properly justify making the extra transfer.
As for the real footballing world, the transfer window remains quite stagnant in the English top flight. Ryan Babel has returned to the Premier League, hoping to offer reinforcement to a struggling Fulham outfit sitting in the crosshairs of the relegation zone. The FPL game managers became so attached to name value that they did fantasy managers a favor by pricing him at £5.5m, removing him from fantasy consideration altogether. Andre Schurrle currently leads Fulham midfielders in fantasy points, with a nice total of 69. He has six goals to his name and current price tag of £5.6m, yet he stands on the periphery of plausible midfield assets within the game. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see the Babel acquisition having any impact in the fantasy game, as Fulham face a relegation battle.
However, fellow promoted side Cardiff City made an intriguing move by bringing estranged Everton striker Oumar Niasse in on loan. He is not eligible as a Cardiff asset in the FPL game as of this writing, but his friendly £5.0m cost at forward could be the perfect remedy for those managers still clinging to Isaac Success or Aboubakar Kamara. This could be the end of the line for cult hero midfielder (playing as a striker) Callum Paterson, though. On the bright side, that would free up a valuable midfield spot for managers to fill with a more prolific fantasy producer. Niasse is coming off of a 2017-18 campaign in which he tallied eight goals, three assists, and 83 fantasy points overall. The system Cardiff play will resemble the style Sam Allardyce deployed last season. The counterattacking style has seen him prosper for both Everton and Hull in the Premier League.
There is still time for EPL moves to be made. The window will remain open for 10+ days, giving ample time for teams to improve their squads. The big Chelsea swoop for Gonzalo Higuain hangs in the balance, looking nearly certain at this point. According to Sky Sports News, a second Cardiff transfer was supposed to be completed Friday in time for Emiliano Sala to join the team for this weekend’s match. The staff here at Never Manage Alone will provide much more information and analysis on all transfers.
These conversations, plus the weekend’s live action, give us plenty to discuss in this week’s live chat!
Did you take any point hits to position your team for a prosperous week 23? If so, how many? Do any of these recent transfers pique your fantasy interest? And, with the transfer window sliding toward its close, what transfer rumors are you hoping come to fruition? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!