Six Takeaways From The Fantasy EPL Season So Far
No one can predict the English Premier League or Fantasy EPL for that matter. The unpredictable nature of soccer is what makes it the greatest game on the planet. This also means that we’re constantly learning, constantly changing tact, and constantly scrapping around for players in Fantasy EPL!!! This article gives a rundown of some of the biggest takeaways from the Fantasy EPL season so far.
We’ll be using the Fantrax Average Draft Position (ADP) data to provide context to these Fantasy EPL Takeaways.
Takeaway One… KDB and TAA Are Incredible Players
There are many players that have performed extremely well on Fantrax so far this season. The likes of Sergio Aguero, Rhiyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Tammy Abraham, and Mo Salah have all thrown their names in the hat to end the season as the highest overall scorer. However, there are two men that have been on incredible Fantrax scoring form and are highly likely to continue the consistent scoring. These two men are Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold!
Kevin De Bruyne | ADP: 7 | Points: 163
De Bruyne was the obvious number one draft pick heading into the 17/18 Fantasy EPL season. However, the Belgian suffered an injury-plagued season, ending up as the 138th overall top scorer (albeit with an average points per game of 9.18!). He’s more than making up for it this season, and we’re gutted to have only ranked him in 4th place in our pre-season Top 100 Draft Rankings! This season De Bruyne has gained 163 points from his first seven games, which is an average of 23.29! The Belgian playmaker has managed double-digit returns every time he’s started a game, and even bagged 46.5 points in Gameweek 6. These numbers are just incredible, and De Bruyne will surely be the number one draft pick next season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold | ADP: 15 | Points: 132
And now we move onto a defender who is simply incredible in Fantrax scoring!! Trent Alexander-Arnold is extremely talented and looks set to conquer the footballing world over the coming decade. So far this season Alexander-Arnold has scored 132 points, with an average score of 16.5 points per game. The right-back has gained double-figure returns in seven of his eight appearances, and genuinely looks set to score 15 to 20 points every single game. Huge amounts of key passes, plus his interceptions and clearances, means the Englishman doesn’t need clean sheets or attacking returns to score well. Alexander-Arnold was our top-ranked pre-season defender, but unfortunately, we only ranked him 21st overall in our Top 100 Draft Rankings! Next season he’s sure to be a top 10, maybe even top 5 draft pick.
Takeaway Two… Big Name Clubs (And Players) Can Let Us Down
After eight games of the Premier League season, Manchester United are 12th in the league, and Everton 18th. This is certainly not what was expected of these clubs when we previewed the upcoming Fantasy EPL season! Manchester United are in transition and are certainly not the force they used to be, but they should still be a Top Six club. And Everton was widely tipped as a club that could potentially break into the Top Six this season… they have been shocking so far though!! There are two big-name players from these clubs that have massively let down Fantrax Draft Managers…
Paul Pogba | ADP: 14 | Points: 51
Pogba is an exceptional footballer… when he wants to be. So far this season the French World Cup winner has left a lot to be desired! Apart from scoring 23 points in Gameweek 1, he’s been pretty average considering he would have been a first-round draft pick in most leagues! Pogba has been struggling with injury for weeks, and owners will be getting extremely fed up! The state of things at Manchester United is not helping, as they are really struggling this season.
Elsewhere, for United Rashford (ADP: 24, Points: 82) is doing pretty well considering the lack of goals at Old Trafford. Martial (ADP: 55, Points: 37) has done well considering he’s only played four games, but Wan-Bissaka (ADP: 35, Points: 49) is not living up to his pre-season hype.
Gylfi Sigurdsson | ADP: 15 | Points: 77.5
Sigurdsson hasn’t actually scored that poorly on Fantrax so far this season, with an average points per game of 9.69. It’s just the manner of his performances that have been disappointing. The Iceland midfielder would have been a top 15 draft pick, but he’s playing for a side that is currently 18th in the league. And he’s even being substituted fairly early on in the games! Sigurdsson has only played the full 90 minutes on four occasions this season. Not what you would expect from a player with an ADP of 15!
Elsewhere, Digne (ADP: 24, Points 85) and Richarlison (ADP: 38, Points 83) have done ok considering the poor Everton performances, but Fantrax managers still deserve more from them. There have been two players in particular that have really disappointed us from Everton; Michael Keane (ADP: 66, Points: 50.75) and Moise Kean (ADP: 67, Points: 23.5).
There have also been some major disappointments from certain players so far this season. The following four players were ranked in the top 30 for ADP, but have performed nowhere near good enough to warrant this kind of draft position!
Christian Eriksen | ADP: 17 | Points: 55
Eriksen is was the highest-ranked player from the four players highlighted in this section, making him the biggest disappointment. He’s potentially a first-round draft pick, but he’s been pretty shocking so far. There is plenty of speculation surrounding his future, and therefore he’s not starting every game. However, being the 89th overall top scorer after eight games is awful. Eriksen played 90 minutes during the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace in Gameweek 5 and gained just three points. In Gameweek 8 against Brighton, Eriksen played the full 90 minutes again and gained just 3.5 points. Just not good enough!
Ryan Fraser | ADP: 24 | Points: 36.5
We’re getting so many questions about what to do with Fraser!!! The Scotsman was exceptional last season, and fully warranted an ADP of 24 heading into drafts this summer. However, he struggled to make an impact the first few games of the season and is currently finding himself warming the bench. Fraser has been managing slight injury issues, which has meant Josh King has taken his place on the left wing, with Dominic Solanke partnering Callum Wilson up front. The only hope for Fraser is that Eddie Howe decides to move King back to a central position to accommodate Fraser.
Wilfried Zaha | ADP: 27 | Points: 58
Zaha is doing ok, and he’s always going to play the full 90 minutes for Crystal Palace. The Ivory Coast winger just isn’t living up to expectations though at the moment. Zaha would have been a third-round draft pick for most Fantrax managers, but he’s performing nowhere near this level. He’s Crystal Palace’s best player, so he should be at the center of everything they’re doing… and therefore picking up decent points scores most weeks. It’s just not happening at the moment though.
Christian Pulisic | ADP: 30 | Points: 37.5
Pulisic is the one player highlighted here who has the worst prospects. The American winger simply isn’t in Chelsea’s best eleven, and that’s a huge concern for a player with an ADP of 30. Frank Lampard is doing a great job at Chelsea with so many young players.
The thing is though, due to the number of youngsters he’s fielding, Lampard does need a few veterans on the pitch too. This means that Willian or Pedro are likely to be fielded on the right-hand side of midfield, with Hudson-Odoi on the left. Hudson-Odoi has the potential to be one of the best players in the league, so he’s going to start most games. Therefore, Pulisic will have to make do with appearances from the bench most weeks. Will Fantrax managers want to keep hold of, and start, a player who is maybe going to appear from the bench? We think not.
We recently ran a Twitter Poll to find out who the Fantasy EPL Community thinks will score highest from these under-performing players come the end of the season. Click the link to find out who won the poll!
Takeaway Three… Newly Promoted Clubs Can Surprise Us
Any Fantrax Draft Managers that ignored the newly promoted sides during their Fantasy EPL drafts could really be regretting their decisions!! Players from all three of the new Premier League sides, Norwich City, Sheffield United, and Aston Villa, have performed very well so far this season. Many of their players have far outdone colleagues from more illustrious clubs or backgrounds!
From last season’s Championship winners, Teemu Pukki (ADP: 99, Points: 121) and Emi Buendia (ADP: 104, Points: 90) have been the outstanding pair so far. With six goals in his first five Premier League appearances, Pukki took the Fantasy EPL Community by storm! He is fairly goal dependent though and will see his points production decline over the course of the season. Buendia, however, is a great little player, and a very consistent points scorer. We ranked the Argentinean highly in our Top 100 Draft Rankings and outlined him as a key asset to bring into your squad in our Norwich City Team Preview. Anyone who drafted him in the 5th round or later will be laughing!
Youngster Todd Cantwell (ADP: N/A, Points: 77.5) has also performed well, but he’s unlikely to maintain his form. The rest of the Norwich squad has been poor though – all of their other players are droppable at this stage.
Sheffield United was expected to struggle to adapt to life in the Premier League, but they actually offer a fairly solid unit and a fairly consistent source of points. The Blades have two wins and three draws from their opening eight games.
In terms of Fantasy EPL personnel, there have been two outstanding players for us so far. Enda Stevens (ADP: 140, Points: 76) has played extremely well in the left wing-back role, picking up double-digit scores without needing clean sheets or attacking returns. We did earmark Stevens as a player to draft during pre-season, and he’s very much turning into a solid DEF2 on Fantrax.
Oliver Norwood (ADP: 194, Points: 75) is another player who has impressed us. The deep-lying playmaker is picking up very consistent scores on Fantrax and is a solid midfielder for any squad. He’s a player you can select every week, no matter who the opponents are, and receive a decent points score in return. Jack O’Connell (ADP: 358, Points: 72.75) is another Sheffield United player currently making a mockery of his pre-season ADP!
We all thought Aston Villa were going to struggle this season, considering the sheer number of new players they were signing in the summer. ‘Doing a Fulham’ was the popular comparison, as Fulham had a similar transfer strategy last season, and it backfired spectacularly. Dean Smith’s side is actually performing fairly well, and there are some top quality assets for Fantrax Managers to tap into.
The best performer so far this season has to be John McGinn (ADP: 122, Points: 110.5). The Scottish midfielder had an ADP of 122, and yet he’s the 13th highest overall scorer after the first eight games. That’s incredible!! Any Fantrax Manager that drafted McGinn in the mid-rounds or later, will be loving life! Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish (ADP: 70, Points: 87.5) has also performed better than expected and has turned into a consistent MID2. That’s pretty good going for a player from a team tipped for relegation!
Aston Villa has a lot more options for Fantrax Managers too! The likes of Wesley (ADP: 123, Points: 87.5), Anwar El Ghazi (ADP: 167, Points: 82.5), Matt Targett (ADP: 121, Points: 22.25), Tyronne Mings (ADP: 147, Points: 52), and now Marvelous Nakamba (ADP: 491, Points: 29.5), are all making a mockery of their pre-season ADPs. The Villains are the team that has really surprised us in terms of Fantrax points so far this season!
We recently ran a Twitter Poll to find out who the Fantasy EPL Community thinks will finish the season with the highest number of points for four newly-promoted midfielders. Click the link to find out which way the vote went!
Takeaway Four… There Will Be Gems That Went Undrafted
So who wasn’t drafted in your Fantrax League?! Oliver Norwood? John McGinn? Mason Mount?! Tammy Abraham???!! Simply put, there WILL be players that score huge points this season who were missed in your Fantrax Draft. The four players mentioned above had an ADP of over 100, so they could have potentially gone undrafted in smaller leagues!
Oliver Norwood | ADP: 194 | Points: 75
We’ve touched upon Norwood in the section above, but he’s worth mentioning again as he could have gone undrafted in a lot of Fantrax leagues! The Sheffield United midfielder posts consistent scores week in, week out. If you’ve managed to pick Norwood up within the first couple of weeks of the season, you’ll be delighted to see he’s turned into a solid MID3 in most Draft Leagues!
John McGinn | ADP: 122 | Points: 110.5
McGinn is another player we have mentioned in the section above. Due to Aston Villa being tipped for relegation by a lot of people, interest in their assets would have been low. An ADP of 122 shows that McGinn wasn’t drafted very early at all. If he went undrafted, and you picked him up after his Gameweek 1 goal, you’ll be delighted to see him go on to score 110.5 points, and become the 13th overall highest scorer after eight games!! He surely won’t maintain this level, but he’s a probably MID2 in most Fantrax Leagues at this stage.
Mason Mount | ADP: 184 | Points: 117
Mount has been amazing so far this season. The Chelsea youngster has racked up 117 points in eight games, making him the 10th highest overall points scorer. And Mount doesn’t look like he’s going to be slowing down any time soon. Lampard is a huge fan of his. No Fantrax Draft manager would have thought Mount would play this well during his debut Premier League campaign! Even Chelsea fans who knew how talented he was. Mount would have been left undrafted in many leagues!
Tammy Abraham | ADP: 109 | Points: 118.5
And Mount’s Chelsea teammate Abraham has arguably been better! The young forward scored 25 league goals whilst on loan to Aston Villa in the Championship. But goals at this level do not always convert to goals in the Premier League! Abraham also had a very tough time on loan at Swansea in the Premier League during the 17/18 season. In summary, expectations of Abraham succeeding this season were fairly low. The England man has turned into a FWD1, and was potentially undrafted in some Fantrax Leagues!!!
Takeaway Five… There Will Be Gems Available On The Waiver Wire
Waiver Wire pickups can make our break your season… every Fantrax Draft Manager knows that. It is always surprising the number of good quality players that become available on the waiver wire each season though. A big Fantasy EPL Takeaway here is to remember that no matter how badly you draft, you can (nearly) always fix it with players from the free agent pool!
This season has seen the likes of Erik Pieters, Todd Cantwell, and Andriy Yarmolenko picked up on waivers in many, many leagues. From our own experience in the FPL Draft Community League, we’ve picked up Enda Stevens, Anwar El Ghazi, Adama Traore, and most recently, Aaron Mooy. Sheffield United defender Stevens was dropped by a fellow manager after Gameweek 3, and we snapped him up immediately. The Irish defender consistently scores around the 12/13 points mark and is potentially a DEF2 for the remainder of the season.
El Ghazi was brought in prior to Gameweek 7, after he had gained three double-digit scores in a row. We’re delighted that he’s seen this run continue, to make it double-figure returns in five consecutive Gameweeks! These examples show that there are good, match-winning free agents out there on waiver wires!
A Few of The Best Fantasy EPL Waiver Acquisitions…
Here is a selection of the best players that would have been available on the Waiver Wire in recent weeks:
- Erik Pieters (ADP: 400, Points: 94.25)
- Adama Traore (ADP: 315, Points: 84.5)
- Anwar El Ghazi (ADP: 167, Points: 82.5)
- Todd Cantwell (ADP: N/A, Points 77.5)
- Matt Lowton (ADP: 466, Points: 76.5)
- Jack O’Connell (ADP: 358, Points: 72.75)
- Caglar Soyuncu (ADP: 416, Points: 69.5)
- Andriy Yarmolenko (ADP: 140, Points: 67)
- Tom Cleverley (ADP: N/A, Points: 62)
We recently ran a Twitter poll asking who the Draft Community will score the highest between Abraham, Mount, and Hudson-Odoi between now and the rest of the season! It’s safe to say, if you managed to pick any of these chaps up from the waiver wire, you’re absolutely laughing!
Our writer Draft Genie covers the best Waiver Wire Targets each and every week over on Fantrax HQ. Be sure to check them out every week! And we’ve also ranked the Top 15 low ownership targets for Gameweek 9 to Gameweek 13, in our Fantasy EPL Sleepers Rankings!
Takeaway Six… The Premier League Is As Unpredictable As Ever
When sport is unpredictable, it’s at its best. Any Formula One fans out there…? Didn’t think so. The English Premier League is the epitome of unpredictable. And that’s why its the best soccer league in the world. And also why soccer is the best sport in the world!!!
This season has seen some incredible results. In Gameweek 8 alone, three of the traditional Top Six were beaten by teams they should have easily beaten. Brighton beat Tottenham 3-0, Newcastle beat Manchester United 1-0, and most shocking of all, Wolves beat current champions Manchester City 2-0 away from home!! These results show just how hard it is to predict the English Premier League. In Gameweek 5 newly promoted Norwich City also beat Manchester City!
Results like these are amazing for Fantasy EPL managers. When soccer is unpredictable, it means that any team can beat another. This then means that on any given day, Aaron Connolly (4% ownership) could outscore Harry Kane (100% ownership). This exact thing happened in Gameweek 8 when Connolly scored 30 points, and Kane scored 4.5 points.
In a head-to-head Fantasy EPL format, this provides an amazing spectacle. Any draft team can beat another. And this is why we play Fantasy EPL on the Fantrax platform using the intelligent and statistics based Togga scoring format. An unpredictable Premier League season provides Fantrax Managers with a similarly unpredictable Draft League. And we wouldn’t want it any other way!!
Looking for a better way to play Fantasy Soccer? Our Fantasy EPL 101 looks into the world of ‘Draft’ Fantasy EPL, providing details of how it works, and why it is the best version of the game!
Wondering who the best low ownership players to target are? Look no further than our Fantasy EPL Sleepers Rankings for Gameweeks 9 to 13!
Follow The Fantasy Football Chaps on Twitter @TheFFChaps for all the latest!
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