As the Premier League draws ever closer, so too does the upcoming fantasy season. New transfers, injuries, and different managers mean that you participants have a lot to deal with during the upcoming year.
However, Royal Blue Mersey will be here to help you through it, beginning with the guidelines for buying Everton players early on in the campaign.
Players to buy
Davy Klaassen - £7.5
In his career with Ajax, Klaassen has show an ability to both create and score goals. In three of the last four seasons Klaassen has scored at least ten goals and tallied eight assists. With midfielder goals gaining the player five points as compared to four with a forward, Klaassen has the potential to be on the level of a Gylfi Sigurdsson or Heung-Min Son, both of whom were top-10 midfielders last season. Klaassen may be a cautious buy given his lack of experience in the Premier League, but his price may make this a gamble worth taking.
Jordan Pickford - £5.0
Going by the “Total Score” stat, Pickford’s performance last season appears to be rather average. Judging from what we have seen this preseason, these poor stats were likely a product of playing for one of the worst defenses in the league in Sunderland. If you dig a little deeper into his stats, there are plenty of things to be excited about. Pickford was second in the league in saves and tied for third in bonus points. At £5.0 he is on the cheaper side of starting goalkeepers will likely benefit from a more stout defense with Everton
Michael Keane - £5.5
Another player from a bottom half club who projects to have a better season now that he has joined Everton, Michael Keane could be another example of sneaky value. With a better squad around him and a quality partner in Ashley Williams, Keane could be in for a break out season in the fantasy world. While goals have not been his forte so far in his career, Ronald Koeman’s attacking, cross-heavy system could provide more opportunities from set-pieces and run of play goals.
Players to avoid
Tom Davies - £5.5
Davies breakout 2016/17 season and his low price may be enticing for some, but Everton’s crowded midfield may leave little room for him to grow. Koeman may be experimenting with the 19-year-old at right wing back, but this position change will probably not increase his outlook. The fact remains, Tom Davies game and the lack of goals and assists that come with it, don’t translate to fantasy sports.
Idrissa Gana Gueye - £5.0
Gueye was arguably Everton’s best player last season not named Romelu Lukaku, but the Senegalese midfielder should be nowhere near your starting line-up. Gueye has a very useful and important role for Everton, namely pressing, tackling and intercepting the ball. Unfortunately, those stats mean little in the Premier League’s fantasy scoring system. Gueye also was tied for the most yellow cards in the league last season, each of which carries a 1 point deduction from your team’s total score. He may be great for Everton, but he won’t be great for your fantasy team.
Wayne Rooney - £7.5
As the promise of a bigger role and more playing time await Wayne Rooney at Everton, many may be looking to take advantage of a player reinvigorated by a return to his boyhood club. In this case though, thinking with the heart may be a costly proposition. Sure, the possibility exists that Rooney could find new life at Everton and put up a 10 goal, 10 assist season. However, I believe that the uncertainty of his position will limit his fantasy output. I can easily see a world where Rooney, Sandro and Domnic Calvert-Lewin are all rotated in and out of the striker and winger positions. If Rooney is moved out to the wings for a stretch of games, I can easily see his production drop to a level that many fantasy players will find unacceptable.
*Prices and stats based on premierleague.com fantasy app.
If you’d like to join up in an Everton-centric league, be sure to visit the Premier League’s official website. You can enter PIN#385200-94066 to access the official Royal Blue Mersey competition.