Fantasy PL Overrated Players

Galin Dragiev
Neal Thurman continues his late July rankings for the Draft Fantasy format with a look at how the midfielders stack up. Alexis doesn't rate the way you think Draft Ranks - Ms

Neal Thurman continues his late July rankings for the Draft Fantasy format with a look at how the midfielders stack up. Alexis doesn't rate the way you think

Last week we looked at a series of players that we considered to be underrated when it comes to the Yahoo! Fantasy game and this week is time to look on the other side of the spectrum.  Our team here at Rotoworld has examined some players we consider to be overrated in the Yahoo! Fantasy game and you should consider avoiding them.  Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexis Sanchez (By Rob Allen)

Every season we hear about the next big thing coming to our shores and Alexis Sanchez coming to Arsenal this year is no different. If you listen to the pundits he has it all; a 29% conversion rate over the last three years with Barcelona, two goals in the World Cup and 19 goals and 12 assists last season. It sounds great doesn’t it? Well I’m not quite so sure…

If playing Yahoo Fantasy Football for nearly a decade has taught me anything, it’s that new players arriving from other leagues struggle when they hit our shores. Some come good in the end e.g. Luka Modric whilst others e.g. Andriy Shevchenko & Michael Ballack never achieve their promise. I suspect that Sanchez will become a player that you have to have about a month into the season, but at twice the price of an average player and surrounded by players who managed 34 less goals than Manchester City last term, I’m willing to keep my power dry. With a little bit of luck, after games against Everton and Man City in the first four weeks, his price will drop to a more reasonable amount and then it will be a great time to pounce.

Bacary Sagna / Pablo Zabaleta (By Neal Thurman)

This is not an implication that either have suddenly become poor players, both Sagna and Zabaleta are among the best right backs in the Premier League.  The problem is that they now both play for the same team and there are only so many minutes to go around.  As veterans of the Premier League with extensive Premier League fantasy histories, both are currently priced as premium defenders.  Fantasy managers electing to add either of these long-time stalwarts to their line-ups are going to be paying a premium while taking on the risk that the player they choose will be rotated with no warning.  It seems unlikely that either player will be satisfied being a clear reserve so in order to keep the peace Manuel Pellegrini will likely split the starts in a roughly equal manner assuming both players are healthy.  That uncertainty of who will start devalues both players and creates an even more severe version of the Clichy/Kolarov situation on the right side of City's defense.  

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Adam Lallana (By Steve Rothgeb)

Let me preface this by saying Lallana will likely miss the first month of the season, but his phenomenal fantasy performance last term along with his move to Anfield qualifies him for discussion here. Last season, I was an adamant Lallana backer and was stumping for his inclusion in England's XI. I am positive that there will be weeks this season that he will get some nice hauls. However, consistent production is what you want from a top 5 priced midfielder and I feel Lallana will not offer that as a member of Liverpool, where he goes from being an integral part of Southampton's attack to one of many mouths to feed. His overall involvement in chances, especially set pieces look to take a serious dip compared to his days as a Saint. The player most responsible for the Reds success last season, Mr. Suarez, is off to La Liga and like it or not, his departure is a major reason I am put off by Lallana at his price. While a player like Raheem Sterling can have matches where he is impossible to contain and his production is the key to winning, Suarez provided that week in, week out. No one will argue that Liverpool's attack should see a regression after his departure, the debate is how much will there be? I think significant. Last season, they scored 101 goals, a 30-goal upswing from 71 goals the previous two seasons, all seasons with Suarez in their side. If you go back to 2011-2012, Suarez's first season in which he was adjusting to the PL, they netted just 47 goals. This term, sans Suarez, look for Liverpool to be closer to 47 goals than 71, never mind 101. He was the once-in-a-generation talent that came in and lifted a club from mediocrity and turned them into a title-challenging side. To lose a player like that, in the manner he left, it is difficult to not foresee a crisis in identity and a major step backward. There is no need to pay title-challenging prices in fantasy for players in Liverpool's situation. Allow the market to adjust and look to players like Lallana in a couple of months when their prices have trended downward and represent a more fair reflection of their production.

Eden Hazard (By Jeremy Spitzberg)

Yes, Hazard is one of the best young midfield attackers in the world. Yes, he plays for one of the best teams in the League. Yes, he scored more fantasy points from midfield last year than anyone whose name doesn't rhyme with "Geevin Sterrord". But he's still overrated.

Good luck picking the match where Hazard scores 24 fantasy points, and not the one(s) where he scores four. Good luck if you think he'll keep penalty kick duty with Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas newly recruited to the side. Good luck with Jose Mourinho's rotation of Chelsea's bevy of attacking midfielders, including World Cup hero Andre Schurrle, who is vying for Hazard's spot on the left. (At the very least, Schurrle will be a super-sub, limiting Hazard's pitch time.)

And speaking of the World Cup, did anyone else notice that Hazard was out-shone on his own team by Kevin De Bruyne, who didn't even make the grade at Chelsea and was shipped out to the Bundesliga?

So in summation (tl;dr): great player; joy to watch; but at that price and in this situation, he's overrated for fantasy purposes.

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve Ben | Rob

Leighton Baines (By Galin Dragiev)

The Everton defender is the best fantasy defender in the Premier League.  He tops the scoring charts year after year but his price has risen astronomically to the point where he is no longer worth it.  This year, Baines has a price tag of £ 15.30M, which is more than 15% of your £ 100M budget.  Similarly, players like Joel Ward, Curtis Davies, Steven Caulker, and Laurent Koscielny are only slightly behind in the points ranking but come at considerably lower prices.  Joel Ward only finished with three less fantasy points last season but now costs £ 11.52M, which is 75% of Baines’ price for virtually the same production.  Steven Caulker has transferred to Queens Park Rangers and only costs £ 7M, which is almost inexplicable considering his production last year.  In conclusion, Baines is a great defender, but with the current Yahoo! format, you’re really restricting the players you can put in midfield and attack if you spend over £ 15M on one defender.

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