Here in the US of A, it’s Thanksgiving weekend. This means nothing in England, which is where the matters discussed in this column are located, but in the nation that is currently underneath me, this means two of the biggest holidays in the year: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Where we celebrate two of our core values: gluttony and consumerism. Through the internet I can give you neither turkey nor 75% off, so instead I’ll give you 3 things to be thankful for, and then 5 great bargains, all pertaining to fantasy Premier League. So, put on slightly larger pants and remember not to be rude to your mother-in-law, because I have an extra helping of fantasy goodness to disperse:
3 things to be thankful for:
I’ll start off with an old standby: Diego Costa. He’s played in 10 games this year, and scored in 8 of them. Read that again, because in a sport where individual teams oftentimes don’t score multiple goals, a player who is around 4 times more likely to score than not score (math experts will cringe, but bear with me) is like finding a fast food employee that always gets your order right. I was originally skeptical of his signing (citing the facts that he only had one really good season, that he was injured, that Chelsea strikers had done poorly in recent years, and that it came at the expense of Romelu Lukaku), but, well, there’s a reason Jose Mourinho is Chelsea’s manager and I’m not. Everyone who’s had the Brazilian Spaniard on their team is thankful of that fact.
Another thing to be thankful for is Southampton’s defense. Seriously, they’ve conceded only 6 goals in the 12 games they’ve played. THAT’S CRAZY! Only one other team has conceded less than a goal per game, and that’s Chelsea at 11 goals. And the Saints are a team of bargains, as well; their starting back 4 (Clyne, Fonte, Bertrand, and Alderweireld) are all under £6.0! Their upcoming schedule is ridiculous (City, Arsenal, United…and not much better after that) so add these guys to your team with caution, but still, anyone who has invested in Southampton defenders will be very thankful.
This is a bit more abstract: a quartet of new midfielders. Specifically: Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fábregas, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Angel Di Maria. These talented players are 4 of the 6 best midfielders as far as points are concerned, and they’re all in their debut seasons with their club (well, Sigurdsson played for Swansea before this, but this is his first season after a period at Tottenham). Like the pilgrims, they headed to new lands, but unlike the pilgrims, they thrived from the start. Sanchez is tied with Sergio Aguero as the highest points-earner this year with 81, Fábregas already has double-digit assists, Sigurdsson is second on that list with 7 assists, and Di Maria’s 63 points is made more impressive considering that he didn’t get to the club until week 3. If you made the bold move early on and picked one of these guys, you should be quite thankful.
5 great bargains for Black Friday:
In case you aren’t aware, Black Friday is the day where people go to stores at unsightly hours, and then everyone rushes in a mad frenzy to buy Christmas presents and whatnot for a lesser price. It’s like every boy band in the world was giving away free selfies for a limited time, except the shoppers are more dangerous than your average teenage girl.
Fortunately, there will be no frenzy to get these players. The only cost in waiting is that the price my go up, and while that’s not great, it’s by no means the end of the world.
First off, I want to give some love to Newcastle defenders. And while others may get slightly more points, or be better for the next month or so, Paul Dummett is the most bargain-y at the low price of £4.3. The Magpies don’t have the best schedule, but given the fact that he has at least 6 points in 4 of his last 5 games, and that he’s cheap enough to reasonably leave on your bench if a better option is available, this is a good pick. I literally just added him to my team, so there’s that.
Speaking of Newcastle, Tim Krul is a great fantasy pick. I don’t talk about goalkeepers a lot, but here’s where I will. He’s the third-top-scoring netminder in the game, and the only one under £5.0, with his price at £4.6. By the way, if this ever gets big, the first thing I’m going to do is buy a British keyboard. Having to go to “insert,” and then “symbols,” and then clicking on the pound sign is like trying to score against Tim Krul. It’s not easy.
I’ve said a lot of good things about Southampton, here’s more: Victor Wanyama is great at £4.8. No one equal to or cheaper than that has more than 28 points. He has 46, 20 of those in his last 3 games. While you might should know that his home was recently burgled into, and of course they have a tricky schedule ahead, the Kenyan should stay a quality fantasy addition for a while.
As a forward, I’ll choose Andreas Weimman over someone like Stephen Fletcher, or Weimann’s teammate Gabriel Agbonlahor. Those are good picks, but I’m going with the Austrian because I’ve had him on my team since week 1, and I like bragging. Sure, Villa isn’t great, but their upcoming schedule is magnificent (Burnley, Palace, Leicester, West Brom, help me I’m drooling) and Weimman has had minutes in all 12 of their games this year.
Okay, does anyone like wild-card, mic-drop type stuff? Even if you don’t, I’ll give one: Bojan Krkic. I promise you I’m not joking. Yes, it’s a fact that he was labeled a bit of a flop after being a fantasy sensation earlier in the year. Yes, it’s a fact that he was dropped by a total of 157,227 teams after week 2. Yes, it’s a fact that he’s only at Stoke because he failed at Barcelona. But it’s also a fact that he has 15 fantasy points in the last two weeks, and costs a mere £4.9. For his upside, that’s an insane bargain. Yes, he may drop back into mediocrity, but hey, that’s what you should expect at that price. However, I prescribe waiting a bit to get him, for two reasons: 1) their schedule is pure evil, and 2) we need a bigger sample size.
Well, so now I’ve either or made myself look like a crackpot or a genius. Both depictions are accurate, if I do say so myself. For more crackpot genius-y, head over to Another MLS Blog, or follow me on Twitter. Either way, you’re in for as much confusing deliciousness as whatever dressing/stuffing is. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s so good. I’m talking about dressing now, but still check out my blog. Is it bread? I think it’s some kind of bread…