Most of our team here at Rotoworld put together a few pieces to help you with the coming Fantasy Premier League season. We each give you a player who we think is underrated based on their current Yahoo! Fantasy price. Early next week, we’ll have a similar piece about overrated players, so make sure to come back for that! I won’t waste any more of your time, lets get right to it.
Ross Barkley (By Rob Allen)
Barkley showed flashes of brilliance last season and I’m tipping him to become a more regular member of the Everton first 11 this time out. He has everything you need from an attacking central midfielder and now that Lukaku has signed permanently I can see plenty of assists on the horizon. His low price of just £6.41m is enticing in its own right, especially for a player expected to play 90 minutes and who has been known to take direct free kicks however it’s his week one match up that really swings it for me.
I’ll go into a more detail in my week 1 column but newly promoted teams fair very poorly in the first week of the season – losing 73% of encounters over the last five seasons. Whilst Everton are playing away, I think Leicester stand no chance and for me all Everton’s players make a good investment in week 1.
Over previous seasons we have used the indicator that each player should return his own cost in points. With the new format this season I think they’ll have to return approximately 120% of their value and I can see Barkley scoring more than 7.7 points with ease.
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Robert Snodgrass (By Jeremy Spitzberg)
Often times the only bright spot on a dire Norwich team. Last season in the Yahoo! game he cost in the region of £20M as a forward. This year he's a midfielder at £7M. What's not to love? He always takes kicks, and on a Hull City team that loves to cross the ball into the box, Snoddy should prosper.
Mesut Ozil (By Neal Thurman)
There are two factors that contribute to Ozil being underrated leading into his second season at Arsenal. With Theo Walcott coming back from injury, Ozil will likely return to his favored central attacking role as opposed to the wide right role he occupied frequently last season after Theo Walcott went down. Ozil is a better player in this role and that will help his production to some extent. The second factor will be the return of the speed element to the Arsenal attack, the departure of which with Walcott's injury last season, correlated heavily to Ozil's poor second half of the season. With the addition of Alexis Sanchez, Ozil will have two fliers who can score to latch on to the through balls he is so masterful at delivering. Lost in the disappointment of his second half was a very productive first few months of the season when Walcott was healthy. That disappointing second half depressed Ozil's cost in the Yahoo game to 9.37 to start the season which will look like a huge bargain when he returns to his previous level of production.
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Erik Lamela (By Nik Argiropoulos)
Lamela signed for a club record fee of approximately £30million last summer after two stunning seasons for Roma in Serie A, but had a desperate first season in the Premier League. Not only was the 22-year-old brought in by Franco Baldini at an overinflated price, but also over the head of then-boss Andre Villas-Boas. Feeling unwanted from the the start, Lamela struggled to settle, failed to grasp the English language, hit an extended patch of poor form and suffered numerous injuries including a serious back problem. All this meant the winger only featured in six Premier League games and he had become something of a joke to many fans - a £30million flop. However, since the end of May there has been determined focus from the Tottenham medical staff to get him fully fit for the season ahead, and the arrival of new manager and fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino - who has admitted he is a big fan - is already having a positive effect. Pre-season has started well, with two man-of-the-match performances and two goals during the club's tour of the the United States, with Lamela looking quick, sharp and confident, creating chances and testing goalkeepers with powerful strikes from both feet. He should start the season on either the left or right wing, and at a price of less than £3million in the Yahoo fantasy game he should be on your bench at the very least.
James Ward-Prowse (By Galin Dragiev)
James Ward-Prowse played in 34 Premier League matches last season but 18 of them were off the bench. This year, Adam Lallana is gone, Jay Rodriguez is injured for at least the first couple of months of the season and Ward-Prowse will get a chance to prove himself as a starter. The 19-year old is dangerous on the wings and can provide good service into the box. On top of that, he usually takes corners, adding easy “successful cross” points to his tally. Southampton are bound to struggle this season with the departure of so many important pieces but the arrival of Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic should give them some goals and Ward-Prowse will likely be involved somehow. At £4.93M, he’s a great option that will allow you to spend more money up top.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (By Ben Dinnery)
At the beginning of 2012 Swansea City sat precariously close to the Premier League drop-zone prompting manager Brendan Rodgers to gamble on a relatively unknown from the Bundesliga top-flight; Gylfi Sigurdsson arrived on a six month loan deal from Hoffenheim. His impact was immediate providing an assist for the winning goal against Arsenal during a 45 minute cameo; the Icelandic international went on to start 17 games scoring seven times and providing three assists. Offensively Sigurdsson was pretty solid averaging just under four shots per game (3.9) combined with 2.8 key passes while surprisingly - tackles, interceptions and blocked shots - guaranteed at least five points per match based on current game scoring categories. Those performances convinced Tottenham to spend big on the midfielder -who is a set-piece specialist - during the summer of the same year. Despite a disappointing stay in North London Sigurdsson was able to demonstrate glimpses of the player who endeared himself to the Jack Army and the early signs on his arrival back at the Liberty Stadium are good. Gylfi Sigurdsson opened his account on his second debut for the club with two well taken goals against Plymouth Argyle in a display lauded by manager Garry Monk. “He’s a top player – actually a better player than when he was first here. He’s come in and contributed straight away,” and with a striker partnership of Wilfried Bony and Bafetimbi Gomis playing ahead of him the Swans have the potential to cause a few upsets throughout this campaign. At a smidgeon over £7 million Sigurdsson represents excellent value for money for a player who is certain to be at the epicentre of most of Swansea’s attacking play.