Welcome back to ‘In Form’ for season 13/14. I have been keeping a low profile over pre-season due to some unexpected health issues but am hoping to appear regularly over the season with some statistical insights.
The mid price midfield bracket is much maligned amongst fantasy managers. It is full of players who are good on the eye but fail to produce fantasy value over the season. Consistency is quite often the key to both a large gameweek score and a strong points tally come seasons end. Quite simply a three point average is not going to cut it for players worth 6.5 to 7.5 million.
The players that stuck out in pre-season (greater then 5% ownership) were Snodgrass RM (6.5), Nolan CAM (7.0), Wilshere CM (6.5), Paulinho CM (7.0), Mirallas RM (7.5) & Pienaar LM (7.0). Interesting when we consider the roles each player has in the respective team in the season ahead. Only one plays in an advanced attacking position on a regular basis certainly food for thought.
Big Sam’s West Ham is not the most attractive team at times but looking behind the English media’s stark opinion & fantasy assets start to appear. Some may even be turned off by the ‘chicken man’ purely for the celebration but for the weeks ahead Kevin Nolan presents us with a mid priced fantasy asset.
Last season Kevin was a bully racking up 10 goals against 7 teams from the lower reaches of the table. Some may argue that this is exactly why he should be avoided, he can’t produce against the best, but if we look at 5 games ahead:
Newcastle (A) – scored in fixture last season is an old club = extra incentive
Stoke City (H) – horrible team on the road
Southampton (A) – scored against them last season will be an interesting contest
Everton (H) – home fixture favorable result likely
Hull City (A) – promoted side that is all Kevin needs
The fixtures are kind for West Ham to get a fast start again with a deeper squad this time around. Speculation at this time of season is risky business but four teams likely to finish in the bottom half is encouraging news for Kevin.
Some interesting statistics that provided eye opening & ultimately selection worthy status pre-season was Nolan’s shot statistics last season. Nolan had 79 shots last season the 9th best among midfielders. That is somewhat impressive but it doesn’t tell the whole story. For example Nolan could have had 30 shots from outside the box off target. Kevin of course didn’t, he had an astonishing 68 from 79 shots inside the box (86%) this was the 3rd best amongst midfielders (only 1 behind Bale!).
West Ham are not going to set the world on fire but Nolan is going to be there when the going gets just that little bit easier. Most likely on the end of a 6-yard tap in. The guy has incredible awareness inside the area not seen since the likes of Tim Cahill but at an even friendlier price. Don’t be afraid to get on board!
I’ll be back for another edition of in form next week, cheers guys!