I really love doing rankings. I also hate doing rankings…at least for week one of fantasy football (that goes for both the English and the American kind of football). Because let’s be honest, who knows exactly how teams are going to line up to start the game? We all think we know that Mata will start for United this week, but realistically only one man in the world knows for sure who he wants to start on Saturday. That’s why it is so hard to put together rankings for the first week of both forms of fantasy football and it’s why I hate doing it. But I can’t hardly turn around and publish my week one rankings article for the first and only line to be: “I hate Week One Rankings! See you next week!”, now can I.
So, I have put together my rankings but as it stands there are a lot of variables right now. This season, the Premier League is made even worse by the fact that almost every player who went beyond the second round in the World Cup having a question mark placed beside them as to whether they are fit to start this week or not. However, we just need to get through it because we’ll learn a lot this week about managers plans and who’s carrying niggles through preseason that are actually too serious for a proper run out in the season.
For Goalkeepers it isn’t too bad to do the rankings because, except for Chelsea and Sunderland, every other situation is fairly clear right now. However, when we get to the outfield positions it gets murky. I have tried to rank the guys I feel are definite for this week higher than those guys who are in a 50/50 selection dilemma. However, it isn’t always that simple! A simple question is would you rather risk starting Mangala as your number three defender knowing he could sit out this week and give you a big “Zero”, or do you risk a back-up option such as Janmaat, who will more than likely play but could concede a load of goals in a tough match up and end up getting you negative points? Personally, I would go Mangala because I’d rather accept the zero for the chance of a 6 point week than risk a negative score for a potential 1 or 2 point game.
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Below each position I have included a list of the injured guys, when I expect to see them back and whether I would roster them right now.
|5||De Gea||Man Utd||Swansea|
No injuries at this position!
|43||van Aanholt||Sunderland||West Brom|
Coleman (Hamstring) Has a chance to play this week and has a decent match up. Im risking him unless the news changes between now and Saturday morning
- Mertesacker (Lacking Match Fitness) Still returning from the world cup break and I expect him to miss out hence the low ranking even with a decent match up.
- Koscielny (LMF) Has played a part in preseason and I expect to see him out there having played last week
- Zabaleta (LMF) He missed last week but with Sagna struggling with fitness and Clichy not impressing last week they could risk him. Would normally be top ten for me but the fears he might miss out hold him back a little.
- Sagna (LMF) Not sure they chuck him out there if Zabaleta is capable, and if he isn’t fit then Clichy is perhaps the better option. For now I struggle to see the value in owning him because Zabaleta is so good!
- Shaw (Knock) Ruled out for four weeks but his potential to be top 10 means you cannot afford to drop him.
- Demichellis (LMF) This opens the door for Mangala to potentially start this weekend, but it could go either way or even could be Nastasic, hence the late third defender ranking.
- Kompany (LMF) Played last week and I expect him to this week
- Walker (Pelvis) Injury plagued his season last year, so this worries me and meant I moved him down 20 places for this week. For now roster him but you may have to be prepared to drop him if this develops
- Vertonghen (LMF) One of my favourite defenders in football and I had high hopes for this week with a decent match up. I still expect him to play and he should be started across the board.
- Evans (Knock) Currently LvG has 3 central defenders and to play his preferred formation he needs all three so I expect Evans to bounce back but if he doesn’t get better fast then I would be benching him this week.
- Agger (Knee) There are so many options at Liverpool that Agger was struggling to be a bench player for me and now he is droppable
- Jenkinson (Hamstring) For now he is droppable because people will not rush to own him
- Lescott (Knee) Again droppable because he isn’t a sexy choice in the world of defenders
- McAuley (Calf) Probably benching him this week because he is a solid contributor when he does play
- Santon (Knee) Another guy who had an injury plagued season last year. Has great talent but I don’t want to own this injury prone player in particular.
Walcott (Knee) Expected back September 13th and will be looking to build on the start he had last year before the injury. Definitely worth keeping hold of.
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- Ozil (LMF) It is probably just a one week layoff to let him get back to fitness. They won’t push him because they have Cazorla and Ramsey who can play a similar role. Bench this week.
- Lallana (Knee) Expected back September 20th and should have a really nice year, so hold onto him.
- Markovic (Knock) Probably won’t be thrown in this week with a slight injury. The issue is that Liverpool have an awesome midfield but if you drafted him he is worth holding onto to see his role.
- Mirallas (LMF) I expect him to play this week and to do well, hence the ranking.
- Fernandinho (LMF) I reluctantly ranked him low, but if he isn’t 100% fit they may choose to start Fernando instead.
- de Jong (Calf) I haven’t ranked him this week because I think they write this week off and look to have him back for Villa or Palace in the next two weeks.
- A.Valencia (Knock) I partly expect him to start on the right but I could also see Young or Rafael getting the job if he isn’t 100%.
- Giaccherini (Groin) Definitely out this week and probably not worth owning until he is definitely going to see regular time.
- Knockaert (Ankle) Expected back on the 30th of August. He’s one of my sleepers in midfield but he isn’t worth owning for a couple of weeks at least.
- Carrick (Ankle) Not expected back until the end of September so don’t own him
- Ramires (Suspended) Going to miss the first week but I am not sure what his role will be so I wouldn’t advise owning him.
- J.Cole (Thigh) I expect him to miss this week but he while he intrigues me this year I wouldn’t be owning him
- Lampard (LMF) Unlikely to feature much this season but his name meant I felt I had to include him here. Do not own for now
- Van Persie (LMF) Already LvG has said he will be out this week so he should be benched but he will be roaring back next week
- Sergio Aguero (LMF) Had Jovetic impressed last week then Aguero wouldn’t have started this week but I think there’s a chance he does
- Negredo (Foot) I expect him to miss the first month at least, but you cannot afford to drop him because he’s a good striker who’ll be looking to perform.
- Lukaku (LMF) Not sure I see Everton leaving out their £28 million man and I expect him to have a really good week
- Benteke (Achilles) I expect to see him back in September, but if you want to own him you’ll need to have him now because others will risk holding him for a few weeks for the potential returns.
- Rodriguez (Knee) His injury news has faded into the background because of the transfer news. I expect him to be back in mid to late September, so he’s worth holding onto for now.
- Podolski (LMF) Probably just a this week to help him get up to speed after an extended break. Issue for me is I don’t see him playing enough to be worth holding onto long term, but it’s worth giving it a week or two in case he has a role.
- E.Valencia (LMF) Of the lacking match fitness guys on this list his outlook is the most pessimistic. There have been rumours he will miss the first two weeks but don’t drop him just yet.
- Carroll (Ankle) He could be out until December so I wouldn’t want to own him right now
- Drogba (Knock) Took a knock last weekend and will probably miss this week. I expect him to be the #2 choice when fit so worth holding onto to see his role in the next two or three weeks.
- Ideye (LMF) The latest rumours are he is going to be fit this weekend. Even if he isn’t its worth holding onto him to see if he definitely will be their #1.
- Cisse (Knee) Likely to be out several months so do not own him.
- Vokes (Knee) A ruptured ACL in March means he will miss a few weeks at least and potentially a few months. Not worth owning right now.
So there we have it for the week one rankings. From here on in it gets a lot clearer as we see who managers are putting their faith in and we can see the beginning of trends forming for players. If any big news comes out before Friday evening I will look to update the article, so it’s worth checking back to be sure there aren’t any last minute things you need to worry about.
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