Thursday, August 2, 2018
The final set of rankings has less to do with objective player value in a vacuum and more to do with conditional value. By himself, Serge Aurier probably isn’t terribly valuable because he’s not going to start that often. For the person who picks Kieran Trippier, Aurier is extremely valuable. The final few rounds will be about taking a few risks on players who could hit, handcuffing some of your bigger investments from earlier in the draft and picking a couple of goalkeepers (because you have to).
In case you missed it, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2 of the FPL Draft Player Rankings series. Here we go with players 81-120 as well as some comments at the end on some players who didn’t make the cut but are worth talking about.
- Glenn Murray – He couldn’t possibly do it again at that age, could he? Worth a late pick to find out.
- Bobby Reid – A flier on a player who exploded onto the Championship scene last season and appears to be Cardiff’s only real hope of scoring at volume.
- Charlie Austin – If he’s healthy, he’s worth a shot. Problem is he’s almost never healthy for long.
- Mohamed Elyounoussi – 11 goals and 8 assists a season ago in the Swiss top flight. Can he make the leap and take the starting spot from Nathan Redmond (also an option here) and be productive? Late in the draft that’s the kind of risk you take.
- Aaron Mooy – We were all hoping that Mooy was going to be a Pascal Gross-like figure in his maiden Premier League season. It started well but sort of fizzled after that. There are worse late bets than hoping he’ll improve.
- Sean Morrison – An impressive scorer for a center back in the Championship last season. Worth a look late in the event he can do it again.
- Matt Ritchie – There have been plentiful rumors that he’ll be departing St. James Park this summer but with the transfer window near a close, he’s still around and he was productive last season after a rough first go with Bournemouth.
- Granit Xhaka – There were a number of features about Xhaka finally starting to come good as last season came to a close. He’s certainly never going to be prolific but if he can add a few assists to his total then he’s a solid bench midfielder.
- Anthony Martial – And now we arrive at the handcuff section of the player rankings. Martial doesn’t have a great deal of value unless you have one or more of Manchester United’s other wide attackers (or maybe even Lukaku). If you do, it isn’t a bad idea to handcuff your high round investment with Martial.
- Danny Rose – If you have Ben Davies…
- Serge Aurier – …or Kieran Trippier
- Pedro – The managers who have Eden Hazard and Willian would be wise to consider Pedro as a back-up plan in the event of injury/rotation.
- Stephen Lichsteiner – For Hector Bellerin owners
- Ashley Young – I can’t call Young a handcuff per se because I don’t know what his status is but somewhere between Young, Shaw and Dalot you’ll have the Manchester United left back rotation.
- Davinson Sanchez – For Alderweirald owners specifically but Vertonghen owners should at least consider it as should managers who like to speculate in transfer market moves that might happen between your draft and the start of the season/close of the window.
- Nathaniel Clyne – For those who invested in Trent Alexander-Arnold.
- David De Gea – I am going to be clear, David De Gea will be LONG gone by this point in the draft. The question is “why?”. Yes, he was the best goalkeeper in the PL.com scoring format but the difference between the top eight goalkeepers was negligible. Someone picked DDG with the first pick in the 5th round of my Rotoworld Mock Draft earlier this week and I’m more than happy to let someone else leave a player like Chris Wood or Cesar Azpilicueta on the board while I get nearly the same value as De Gea 8 rounds later.
- Allison – Another popular pick early who you won’t get if you’re properly valuing goalkeepers.
- Jordan Pickford – I’m trying to put them in order of value here rather than where I expect them to go. Pickford could be closer to this actual draft position because he doesn’t play for a big club.
- Ederson – Another one who will go higher than his value. The difference between him and Jonas Lossl (who you’ll be able to get in your last round) is less than a point per match week assuming that you don’t pair Lossl with a complimentary option. If you do, then you can probably get as much/more out of Lossl and, say, Mat Ryan than you would out of just putting Ederson in your line-up and leaving him there.
- Jesse Lingard – Just hard to believe that the midfield isn’t going to continue to rotate as Mourinho continues to struggle with who his best attacking line-up is.
- Stephen Ward – A very solid pick for your last outfield player with the only concern being that Burnley suffer with the introduction of European competition.
- James Tarkowski – A solid late-round option if you’ve already taken your share of high risk, high reward players.
- Javier Hernandez – Maybe he finally comes good with a lot of new attacking talent around him in midfield, Andy Carroll certainly isn’t going to suck up minutes at forward.
- Tom Heaton – The reverse of last season with Nick Pope now the injured incumbent and Heaton a great fantasy play but always a touch risky given the potential for Pope to come back and be the starter.
- Lucasz Fabianski – The best goalkeepers are typically those for mid-table sides who get their share of clean sheets while making a lot of saves. Fabianski was excellent in this role until the bottom fell out at Swansea this past season. His value all depends on how you feel about West Ham’s makeover.
- Thibaut Courtois – Courtois wasn’t exceptional last season and there’s a non-zero chance he’s shipped off to Real Madrid before the deadline so tread carefully. Fortunately, we’re talking about goalkeepers so you can always find another one.
- Hugo Lloris – Steady but hardly spectacular. Not too much to say other than that you have a low risk starting option.
- Tom Cairney –
- Eric Bailly – Because there will (likely) be a valuable center back at Manchester United, we just don’t know who it will be and Bailly (and his teammates) get devalued accordingly.
- Junior Stanislas – On the off chance he isn’t hurt for most of the season.
- John Stones – In the event he’s the clear starter over Kompany and Laporte.
- Bernd Leno – And now the back-up goalkeepers because, you know, you have to. Leno has some upside if Arsenal rebound under Unai Emery so he’s worthy of the “best back-up” distinction. At the very least, he can be part of an excellent rotation as Arsenal were exceptional at home last season. Just don’t start him on the road until the Gunners prove they can win there.
- Kasper Schmeichel – Schmeichel will likely be over-drafted as people fondly recall his World Cup heroics and the fantastic images of his legendary father cheering him on. The concern here is that Leicester City’s counterattacking system falls apart without Riyad Mahrez and Schmeichel’s stats suffer accordingly.
- Rui Patricio – A high profile arrival for Wolves whose fortunes will probably rise and fall with those of his teammates. Given all of the big transfers in, Patricio has the potential to be in the Jordan Pickford area with a bunch of clean sheets and a bunch of saves as well if the plan comes to fruition at the Molineux.
- Mathew Ryan – You’re betting on another surprising season characterized by low-scoring matches and a bunch of saves. His final results last season would see him higher on this list but it’s hard not to see at least a little regression.
- Jonas Lossl – I see Ryan’s season this coming campaign as more like Lossl’s last season and draft-worthy back-up is about the right territory for both.
- Fabri – I’m on the Fulham bandwagon so this pick is more reflective of the upside of them being in shouting distance of the top half rather than anything specifically to do with the player himself who, I have to admit, I know little about.
- Martin Dubravka – The aggregate stats for Newcastle’s goalkeepers were very good last season and Dubravka should get almost all of those points this time around.
- Ben Foster – The pickings do start to get pretty slim down here but Foster should improve on what we saw from Watford’s goalkeepers last season so if you’re last on the list to pick a back-up, this is the bet I’m laying but I could be talked into Vicente Guiata from Palace as well.
So, that’s the full 120 players that should make up an 8-team PL.com fantasy draft. For those looking for some thoughts related to larger leagues or wanting some different ideas, here are some final, parting bullets:
- Given the PL.com squad rules, back-up goalkeepers for big clubs become useful since each team needs 2 GKs and there aren’t necessarily enough starters to go around once you pass 10 teams.
- Other players who could be interesting as the transfer window comes to a close include Danny Ings and Jay Rodriguez if they get moves.
- Other players in general who are worth considering are Kenedy, Will Hughes, Bernardo Silva (I’d have included him and he’ll be drafted but I don’t see where the minutes are coming from), Ryan Bertrand, Robbie Brady, Ben Mee, Davide Zappacosta, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jose Izquierdo, and Jack Wilshere.
I hope the rankings prove helpful and everyone has a blast with their drafts. Remember, the fun of it isn’t looking at a screen and using the automated player suggestion guide. The fun is knowing how you value players well enough so you can pay attention to what everyone else is doing so you can make fun of your friends when they make bad picks.