Fantasy Football: Midfielder/Striker Summer Signings

So, after covering the defenders and goalkeepers last week, it is time to turn my attention to the midfielder/striker summer signings and how these new additions could wreak havoc on the Premier League going forward. Right now there doesn’t appear to be a Diego Costa/Alexis Sanchez-esque arrival, but there are a few guys who could certainly cause a stir in the world of fantasy.

I have decided to include all the signings here no matter how interesting they may be for fantasy, as some players play in deep games where lots of players are owned. The players are listed in the order there signings were announced (according to BBC sport), and after the analysis of each player I have made a judgement with my verdict on their impact this coming season.

Nathan, Chelsea: One of the brightest stars to be signed, but I don’t expect the 17 year old to have much impact this year as I expect he will go out on loan somewhere in Europe (probably Vitesse Arnhem). If he does hang around he will need Oscar to move on if he is to have a chance of regular playing time to make him fantasy relevant. Verdict: Little to No Impact

Scott Sinclair, Aston Villa: Sinclair is looking to revive his career with this move after failing to make an impression on the blue side of Manchester. Sinclair only scored one goal in nine appearances for Villa last year on loan, but I expect that with a full preseason and then a regular spot to start the year that Sinclair could be a cheap midfield option in 2015 who can provide a few goals. Verdict: Potential Overachiever

Graham Dorrans, Norwich: Dorrans has never scored more than three goals in the PL, limiting his opportunities in regular fantasy games. And when you add in he doesn’t shoot or cross much, his value in almost any format is diminished. Verdict: No Impact

Adam Federici, Bournemouth: If either of the new arrivals is going to beat out Camp then my money is on Federici. If Bournemouth keep strengthening their defence he could have some value, but Bournemouth’s style doesn’t suit clean sheets. Verdict: Low Impact

Joshua King, Bournemouth: Struggled last year with only 16 total appearances in the Championship for Blackburn. Only one goal in those 16 games with no assists isn’t going to make anyone drool with excitement. Verdict: No Impact

Christian Atsu, Bournemouth (Loan): Atsu had a poor loan spell last season and only managed five games in the PL where he assisted once and scored none. However, at Vitesse Arnham the season before he scored five and assisted six in a 28 appearance season, which is more promising. Chelsea seem keen to keep him in the PL, suggesting they think he can make it in this league. Hopefully he doesn’t get over priced because in this Bournemouth team he should get opportunities. Verdict: Potential Overachiever

James Milner, Liverpool: Five goals and seven assists made last season Milner’s most successful season in his career since 2009/10. His role at Liverpool is unlikely to be as forward as it was at times last season so I don’t expect any real increase in value from the production. But the fact I now expect he will start most weeks should make him more consistent. Verdict: Decent Impact

Tom Cleverley, Everton: Cleverley doesn’t shoot enough to be a fantasy relevant midfield in most leagues. He also lacks assists and crossing numbers so his only real value is in pass completion % leagues. Verdict: No Impact

Danny Ings, Liverpool: Ings made the move away from Burnley in order to remain in the PL and choosing Liverpool looks to be a smart move. Given the struggles of Balotelli and Lambert, as well as the injury history of Sturridge, Ings could quickly find himself the main man on Merseyside. Ings scored 11 goals and assisted four last season whilst taking 2.8 shots per game. With much better service expected this year, Ings could easily be a top 10 striker come years end. Unfortunately, I expect him to be priced high in the forward category which could limit his usefulness. Verdict: High Impact but Costly

Andre Ayew, Swansea: Ayew scored 10 goals in 28 appearances for Marseille last year and Swansea will be hoping he can come in and be that kind of impact player for them this season. He averages two shots a game in his career so he should get plenty of opportunities when he is on the field. If he can increase his value by upping his career assist average from around two to five them we could have an interesting fantasy proposition on our hands. Verdict: Decent Impact if the Price is Right


Memphis Depay, Man United: Depay comes to the PL off the back of a 22 goal season for PSV in 2014/15. In his 30 games he also had five assists and averaged over five shots per game, so this young, exciting player should be all set to make a splash in the PL. Of course, you would have said that about Di Maria last year and he struggled, so don’t take it for granted, especially when you consider United’s attacking options. Depay will be costly and may blow hot and cold as many do in their first year in England. Verdict: Potential Superstar but will be Costly

Juanmi, Southampton: Southampton have added yet another intriguing option with the addition of Juanmi, but they also have quite a big selection of attacking midfield and striking options. This means that I struggle to see Juanmi having a consistent role. He scored eight goals in 34 appearances last season for Malaga whilst averaging a shot per game but he could struggle for consistent playing time initially. Verdict: Slow Start but Impact could build

Youssouf Mulumbu, Norwich:  A quality signing for Norwich, but defensive midfielders are a massive dud for fantasy leagues that don’t reward passing or tackles. Verdict: No Impact except for niche leagues

James McClean, West Brom: This is an intriguing one for fantasy owners given that McClean scored six goals and six assists last season whilst having 2.5 shots per game. If he can come in and start immediately then he has the potential to be a George Boyd-like option for fantasy owners. He should come into the game at a decent low value and could be a semi-decent contributor who would make a good bench option. Verdict: Strong Impact at a Low Cost

Roberto Firmino, Liverpool: Firmino has come with a lot of hype because frankly anyone that is signed by Liverpool seems to come with a lot of hype ad talk of the arrival of the greatest player ever! Firmino is actually coming off a quieter season than he had in 2013/14 having scored only seven goals and assisted 10 as compared to 16 goals with 11 assists. Firminho should slot straight in with Coutinho and Sterling just behind the striker and could easily be a 10+ goals player with 5-10 assists. However, beware the first season syndrome that many players coming in from foreign leagues seem to have as I expect him to be a costly option. Verdict: High Impact but Costly

Gerard Deulofeu, Everton: Deulofeu returns to Everton after a semi successful loan stint in 2013/14 where he scored three and assisted three in 25 appearances. However, 16 of those were sub appearances so hopefully now he can start more and we can see his shots per game get up to the 1.5 region and that should lead to 5-10 goals as well as a few more assists. Definitely a sleeper if the price is right. Verdict: Decent Impact

Dimitri Payet, West Ham: With 46 league goals in the last five league seasons in France Payet comes to England with a decent pedigree for being a difference making midfielder. That is definitely the case when you ass in the 43 assists over that period as well as averaging over two shots per game. West Ham lost their way as the season drew on and Payet is the sort of player who can be that next level from the reliable Noble and Nolan who have served similar roles in the past. Hopefully he comes in at a low price and if he does he is a lock for my team. Verdict: Potential Stud


Shinji Okazaki, Leicester: This is a very underrated signing given that Okazaki has scored 27 league goals in the last two seasons whilst averaging two shots per game. Okazaki will have to fight for time with Vardy, Nugent, Ulloa and Kramaric as well as potentially Charlie Austin if Leicester win the battle for him. This makes it tough to trust Okazaki initially but there is a real chance the price could be low and the impact could be high. Verdict: Could be the next Breakthrough Signing

Eder, Swansea: An interesting signing to fill the Bony void and Eder has the real potentially to follow in Michu and Bony’s footsteps. If he settles in then we could be looking at a mid-level cost player who can provide 5-10 goals and potentially more. Verdict: Strong Impact

Matej Vydra, Watford: Vydra returns for his second stint in the PL having been with West Brom in 2013/14 and also his second with Watford having spent last season on loan to the newly promoted club. His time in the championship was more successful with 16 goals in 42 appearances compared to just three in 23 but he started four and half times more games with Watford than with WBA. It will be interesting to see if he can adapt t the step up but I expect him to get the time to prove it. Verdict: Decent Impact

Radamal Falcao, Chelsea: While Falcao looked like a complete fish out of water for United this year, there is reason to be optimistic for Chelsea fans and fantasy owners. Falcao is still recovering from a nasty knee injury and as NFL fans will understand, an injury like that generally takes some time to recover from. With a year’s football under his belt now is when I would hope to see Falcao stat to turn it around especially when you add in it will be his second PL season. Falcao has been brought it to be a back up to Costa given Costa’s injury problems and that reduces his value as a full season asset but in salary cap leagues his value should of dropped and he will have value when Costa is injured. Vedict: Decent but Sporadic Impact

Enes Unal, Man City: This looks like a loan prospect to me given City are strong upfront so I don’t expect there to be any impact this year really. Verdict: No Impact

Etienne Capoue, Watford: Capoue has managed a grand total of 19 starts in two seasons for Tottenham scoring just one goal in the Premier League. He has also failed to register an assist so to gauge his potential we should look further back to his time in France. His career high for goals is seven with three assists in 34 matches whilst taking 1.3 shots per game. That doesn’t look like a particularly fantasy relevant midfielder to me but at the right price he could be a fourth/fifth midfielder option. Verdict: Low Impact


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