We welcome Swansea City fan Robby Hall to FPL Addicts for his Fantasy Premier League preview of the Swans as we edge closer to the start of the season. Thanks Robby!
It’s not hard to be good at Fantasy Premier League as a neutral or a fan of a big club. In fact, if you’re reading this preview, you’re probably not an ultra. To be in love with a club that fights to keep its best players every new campaign; to be in love with a club that needs to look the possibility of relegation squarely in the eye before the march even begins…well, you need to approach things a little differently when it comes to fantasy football. It’s in this spirit that I give you a fantasy preview from two angles: a preview for the boots-on-necks Fantasy League killer with no soul (more than likely you) and one for those in love with the South Wales city of Swansea and its soul, the Swans.
Swansea City Preview
Swansea City will struggle to avoid relegation this season. A mid-table finish will be a remarkable and impressive accomplishment for this squad. They feature a seemingly competent manager, a sublimely gifted number 10, and nothing much notable for fantasy players beyond that. However, this is a common prognosis for the smallest of all the Premiership sides, and still, they’ve managed not only to survive for a good part of a decade but even excel and compete. They’ve played in Europe and won the League Cup with squads of similar quality. Show runner Huw Jenkins, though harshly treated by a large group of fans, is a careful, shrewd and pragmatic steward; determined to ensure the viability of the club in the long term.
Swansea City Predicted XI
Free Kicks 1. Sigurdsson 2. Fer 3. Carroll
Penalties 1. Sigurdsson 2. Fer 3. Ayew
Swansea City Key Transfer Tammy Abraham (5.5)
This is really the only transfer in that you need to worry about. Abraham is ready to try his hand at Premiership defences after impressing as an 18-year-old in the Championship with 24 goals while on loan with Bristol City. Abraham has a fairly consistent scoring record throughout his young career, averaging around or under 150 minutes per goal at every stop and competition. Notable is his England youth career where he has maintained or exceeded this average despite being two years younger than many of his teammates at the U-18, U19, and U21 levels.
It also looks like Abraham will get every opportunity to earn a spot in the Swan’s front line. The only other centre forwards listed on the Squad list is Fernando Llorente and Oliver McBurnie. Llorente is out with a broken arm that he injured cycling over the summer and may miss the first month or more. McBurnie is a prolific scorer in P2 but is untested against quality competition and it seems doubtful the club will give him meaningful minutes out of the gate. Jordan Ayew isn’t a traditional striker and the way the club will set up will probably mean Ayew or one of their other converted wingers playing alongside a centre forward. This leaves a tremendous opportunity for Abraham to impress right away.
What does this mean for fantasy footballers? It means that there may be goals in Abraham’s boot that will be extremely affordable in narrow margin leagues or available as a late pick in draft leagues. The youngster is owned by just 3.6% of owners in FPL so far but will only cost you 5.5 million.
Swansea City Remaining FPL Prospects
Serious fantasy players will understandably be cautious when considering any bottom third side player. It should be no different with this Swansea team. With the transfer rumours surrounding the club’s top fantasy performer and talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson (8.5), there is no safe fantasy play on this team. One of the next best fantasy scorers will probably be Lukasz Fabianski (4.5), but it will and should be a tough sell for fantasy owners to risk payroll or high draft picks on the goaltender of a team that conceded goals for most of the 16/17 season. Last season’s 2nd best FPL scorer, Fernando Llorente (7.5), will miss the start of the season due to injury and is 32 years old. Llorente managed a solid season after starting slowly, but fantasy owners must look at the greater curve of his career and understand that the odds of him improving or maintaining last season’s performance are long.
After those three players, the one player that may provide a sustainable return is newcomer Tammy Abraham (5.5), the 19-year-old loanee from Chelsea scored 24 goals with Bristol City in 16/17. With that in mind, it should be noted that spending payroll or a draft pick on a 19-year-old loanee should not be for the faint of heart.
FPL seems to be pricing owners out of Sigurdsson and Llorente, at an 8.5 and 7.5 million cap hit respectively. Fabianski’s 4.5 million it should be seen as somewhat of a bargain at this point. FPL has Angel Rangel valued at 4 million. For owners looking to fill out their lineup and only pocket change left under their cap, Rangel is worth a look. He is favoured by Paul Clement in certain tactical set ups and might see time if the Swans struggle with Kyle Naughton (4.5) starting.
If Gylfi goes to Everton, at least some of those points will get transferred to others in the midfield. Leroy Fer (5.5) had two decent fantasy stretches last season and there is always the potential for some production there. But I worry that Fer is just not any better than an average Premier League midfielder, and may eventually struggle to get consistent minutes on a weekly basis.
Tom Carroll (4.5) is an intriguing option to fill the 5th midfielder slot, he appears to be locked into the starting XI on the left side of a midfield diamond. Strongly consider.
Swansea City Remaining Transfers In
Erwin Mulder – GK – 28 years old – Free Transfer
This isn’t a name you need to be aware of now, but if Lukasz Fabianski goes out with an injury, it is a half-chance wager that Mulder steps into the lineup in front of Kristoffer Nordfeldt and Aussie Mark Birighitti. This isn’t a player that Fantasy Premier League players need to worry about right now, but is a name worth stowing in the back of your head.
Mulder comes from Heerenveen in Holland where he replaced current Swans backup Kristoffer Nordfeldt. The long, rangy Dutchman was between the sticks during Heerenveen’s impressive run to the Europa League semi-finals last spring. Before Heerenveen, he played for Feyenoord, where he was a teammate of Swans midfielder Leroy Fer.
Roque Mesa Quevedo – MF – 28 years old – Transfer
The safe bet would be to see how the season begins for the diminutive Spanish pivot and if the Swans are willing to give him minutes and provide dangerous attacking options in front of him.
After several years of either selling off or burying their technically gifted assets, the Swans made an effort in the last two transfers window to invest in their signature style by acquiring Lucas Narsingh last winter and Roque Mesa over the summer. This could be a sign that Paul Clement wants to reassert the style that was only 4 years ago emblematic of the club.
Swansea City Transfers Out
DF Franck Tabanou, MF Jack Cork (4.5), DF Jordi Amat, FW Borja Baston, FW Bafetimbi Gomis
Last year’s skipper, Cork will be missed the most from this group. There are no real major fantasy implications with these losses. Jordi Amat came to South Wales two seasons too late. We never got to see a comfortable Jordi Amat being asked to do what he does well. He will have a bounce back season at Betis, but this isn’t going to help anyone who thinks the world starts and ends with the Premier League table.
Tabanou and Baston were monumental duds. The latter being a record signing. Gomis spent all of the last term in Marseille, scoring 20 goals and being the striker that the Swans desperately needed in the latter half of 15/16 and the beginning of 16/17. His monstrous start to 15/16 is now a distant memory, and he is off to Turkey.
Swansea City Summary
If you are one of my fellow Swansea supporters, do yourself a favour and have your asshole Man City fan neighbour make your picks. If you won’t do this, you must at the very least save yourself the pain of carrying Swans on your fantasy squad. This is not because they are necessarily bad picks, in
This is not because they are necessarily bad picks, in fact, they might be a great pick. But it will significantly take away from the experience of watching your team play. Enjoy your team without having to worry about how many fantasy points one of your Swans scores. Tears, people. You are saving yourselves tears and preserving the joy of watching your squad battle.
Swansea travels to Southampton (A) on the opening day of the season before hosting Manchester United (H) this is a tough opening run for Abraham (5.5). Although the schedule does soften slightly with a trip to Crystal Palace (A) before hosting Newcastle (H).