EPL No Hype Heroes!

adrian

Welcome to THE FAKE EPL! From the people that brought you FakePigskin, FakeRoundball, and some of the best Fantasy sports advice on the web, comes a new and revolutionary concept! As a long time lover of the game of Soccer I was honoured to be asked to contribute to this site from the beginning and am excited to use my knowledge of Fantasy sports to help you win your leagues.

This week I’m going to look at some NO HYPE HEROES. Players in each position that are delivering the Fantasy goods, but perhaps don’t have the flashy name and profile of the players that typically populate Fantasy teams. Now I’m not saying you kick Van Persie to the curb or disperse with Suarez any time soon, but these guys are worth a look if you have an under performing and over priced star in your squad. Lets start between the sticks…

GOALKEEPER

ADRIAN, WEST HAM UNITED.

dailymail.co.uk

dailymail.co.uk

Adrian has been in inspired form after a rocky start to his Hammers career. Prior to this past weekends game against Southampton, the Spaniard had kept 4 clean sheets in a row at and average of 16 Fantasy points a game. Looking deeper at the stats, he had 57 saves over that period, showing that the clean sheets were as much due to good goalkeeping as help from his defence. Another stat that leapt off the page for me was that Adrian has claimed 97 percent of the crosses he has faced this season, and impressive stat considering he made some howlers in his early tenure as the Hammers keeper. His command of his area will breed confidence in him from his defenders and indeed his manager. Adrian should be a safe bet the rest of the way as the Hammers pull further away from danger.

DEFENCE

JON FLANAGAN, LIVERPOOL.

Dubbed “The Red Cafu” by the Anfield faithful, the young right back has made the spot his own in the absence of England international Glen Johnson. Flanagan has 33 Fantasy points in only 11 appearances for the Red Men, and has shown enough for manager Brendan Rodgers to tip him for England honours in the near future. You would like Liverpool to be a little tighter at the back, and a move to left back has been mooted with Johnson close to returning, but the young Scouser has shown enough of the attacking side of his game to keep him among the points. He’s chipped in on the score sheet and has created 7 chances from his right back birth for his team mates. As the season rolls on and Liverpool challenge for honours I expect games to tighten up and with a favourable schedule (Including Cardiff, Norwich and Palace) upcoming, Flanagan should continue to be relevant. Get him while he’s cheap, he’s started in only 0.9% of line ups.

CHRIS SMALLING, MANCHESTER UNITED.

telegraph.co.uk

telegraph.co.uk

David Moyes rates Chris Smalling! The young England man has made a spot in the centre of The Red Devils defence his own in recent weeks, and has rewarded his Fantasy Managers with just shy of 5 points per game, in what has been to date a poor season by Man United’s standards. What lead me to include Smalling here though was his recent form. Consecutive clean sheets and 4 in his last 7, it looks like they are finding some consistency along the back line and if the “fab 4″ of Mata, Rooney, Van Persie and Januzaj start to click, the men from Old Trafford could be a Fantasy gold mine in the final throws of the Premier League season. The remaining Schedule doesn’t look great, but there are opportunities for clean sheets and Smalling has been good for a goal in recent seasons too. Starting centre back for an under achieving team on the up, this is Smalling’s chance to cement a place in Moyes rebuild.

MIDFIELD

THOMAS INCE, CRYSTAL PALACE.

Signed from Championship strugglers Blackpool, the Jet heeled son of former England man Paul has made an instant impact for his new club. Palace had already become hard to beat under new boss Tony Pulis, but the addition of Ince adds another dimension and a game breaking ability that they didn’t have. 13 points in his debut against West Brom with a goal and an assist was a blistering start. He failed to make an impact this past weekend against Man United, but as I said earlier in this piece, they are becoming a tougher nut to crack of late and it just didn’t happen for the younger Ince on the night. With games against Swansea, Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham among others on the schedule I can see Ince making the difference for managers the rest of the way. Pick up Palaces best offensive weapon while he is cheap (£5.5M), he is currently only in 1.5% of line ups.

ROBERT SNODGRASS, NORWICH CITY.

telegraph.co.uk

telegraph.co.uk

Snodgrass is back, and fit to lead Norwich’ battle for survival. A match winning performance this past Sunday against Spurs garnered 11 Fantasy points, and the schedule alone makes Norwich’ offensive players attractive bargains in Fantasy. Look at the next 7 games. Villa, Stoke, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea, West Brom and Fulham. 4 of those games are at home and considering the last 4 games of Norwich’ season come against Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal, it is essential that the Canaries pick up points, and soon. Snodgrass is a key part of everything they do offensively, they play through him on the right hand side of midfield and he has the ability to unlock a defence in a tight game. Looking over his stats, the assist numbers are disappointing, it’s always been a strength of his game, but as I stated, their is ample opportunity to improve upon that in the next few games. At £5.9M and only in 3.5% of lineups, you could be getting a player who’s value is on the increase and set for a strong finish. I believe in his ability and the opportunity is there for all to see.

STRIKERS

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR.

telegraph.co.uk

telegraph.co.uk

Goal scorers are where you earn your corn in Fantasy Football, and Adebayor has been exactly that for Spurs since he was brought in from the cold by rookie manager Tim Sherwood. 8 goals in 11 games and a surprising 4 assists have made the man from Togo a must start and possible captaincy contender. Now I realize I said this piece was about guys who’ve had no hype, and Adebayor is a pretty big name, but I still think the price is nice at £8m for a player with a legit chance to put up the stats of a £12/13m striker. Spurs have some big games coming up and Adebayor needs to shine for them to have any chance of that coveted top 4 finish. The schedule softens the in the last few weeks and I like Adebayor for another 6 or 7 goals and some big performances. He’s a confidence player and Sherwood has put his faith in him massively.

Written and composed by NEIL DONOHOE for The Fake EPL. Follow on Twitter @NEILDONOHOE

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