Fantasy Premier League Transfers 2013: Big-Money Players to Avoid
The Premier League season is now three weeks old, and we are beginning to get a better idea of which players currently feature heavily in their managers' plans for the season ahead.
That, of course, is good news for fantasy football players, who are busy working out which of their original selections at the start of the season are now looking misguided.
At the same time, we are also beginning to see which players may have been undervalued by the statisticians who compile the squad lists and therefore would be good additions for the season ahead.
Which big-money players look best to avoid in the season ahead?
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)—£11.5 million
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is the most controversial choice on this list, having actually started the season in decent form in terms of amassing points.
That said, for £11.5 million of your squad budget, a phenomenal return is expected. Considering Aguero's competition for places in Manchester and the likelihood of enforced rotation, it may not be forthcoming.
Aguero is a very good player and an important player for City, but his price seems remarkably high for a player with his goal return last season, especially when considering the club's recent attacking signings.
Juan Mata (Chelsea)—£10.1 million
If he were to play on a regular basis or indeed transfer ahead of Monday night's deadline, then Juan Mata would be a logical choice for any fantasy football side.
The issue for the Spaniard, however, is that he is not playing at the moment and does not look like starting anytime soon. Oscar and Eden Hazard are almost certainties to start most games at present, while the arrival of Willian only adds to the likelihood of Mata missing out.
How many points Mata will be able to amass this season if only used as a substitute or infrequent starter remains to be seen. But at £10.1 million, you would hope for any player to be playing on a weekly basis.
Fernando Torres (Chelsea)—£8.6 million
With your limited budget, spending £8.6 million on Fernando Torres would be ludicrous, especially given the arrival of Samuel Eto'o this week.
The Spaniard does not have a great scoring record in recent years and is also far from certain to get regular playing time, with Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku both formidable competition.
Torres could well play a role for Chelsea in the league this season, having performed reasonably well in recent fixtures. However, he simply does not justify spending such a big chunk of your fantasy football budget.
Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham)—£7.8 million
Why Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor would be in anybody's side at present, I am not quite sure. He is wedged firmly behind Roberto Soldado in the Tottenham pecking order and, should he stay, may also be overlooked in favour of Jermain Defoe.
Again, this is not meant as a slight on Adebayor as a player, with the Togolese striker a potential match-winner on any given day. Fantasy football is about accumulating points, however, and the odds are stacked against him doing so.
Should Defoe depart ahead of the September 2 transfer deadline, then Adebayor could be a useful asset if Soldado were ever to pick up an injury. Until that is the case, however, it's best to avoid him.
Ashley Young (Man Utd)—£7.5 million
How often Ashley Young will get on the pitch for Manchester United this season remains to be seen, while his impact when on the field has also been questionable at times.
If he can get himself back to some semblance of fitness and form then perhaps he could be a good acquisition later in the campaign. For now, though, the money would be much better off used elsewhere.
There is considerable depth to the wing positions at Old Trafford at present, while Young's own injury record does not suggest that he is going to be starting 25-30 games this season. He's one to keep an eye on due to his fairly reasonable price, but overlook for the time being.
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