Fantasy Football: Summer Signings
The 2014/15 Sky Sports Fantasy Football game is up and running and our Matt Brocklebank assesses the prospects of six players who have already moved this summer.
- Related Content
The popular competition is back for the new campaign and you can sign up for the Sporting Life League right now!
The boss finishing in second at the end of the campaign will get a £100 free bet, third receives a £75 free bet, fourth walks away with a £50 free bet and fifth takes home a £25 free bet.
You can take your place in the Sporting Life League by selecting your team and clicking on the join a league button with the pin 8036714!
Here Matt Brocklebank takes a look at the merits of six players who have already switched clubs this summer, including three newcomers to the Barclays Premier League and a familiar name from the past.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool, midfielder - £7.5m)
Liverpool’s need to strengthen going into a Champions League campaign became very clear at the end of last season and Southampton captain Adam Lallana joined Rickie Lambert in swapping the south coast for the north west.
Lallana improved out of recognition last term, registering nine goals and nine assists compared to three and five respectively the year before.
Following the departure of Luis Suarez, Lallana should be able to establish himself in Brendan Rodgers’ first choice plans and although there is bound to be plenty of rotation if the Reds can keep up their challenge on all fronts, game time looks assured for the 26-year-old England man.
Available at £7.5m, he is priced alongside Ramires and Andre Schurrle of Chelsea, as well as Man United’s Ander Herrera and Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho.
His likely position in the hole behind Daniel Sturridge is another major plus and it’s hard to find too many negatives given the pricetag.
Robert Snodgrass (Hull, midfielder - £6.2m)
Steve Bruce has moved quickly to add to his squad after the Tigers qualified for this season’s Europa League with a fantastic FA Cup run.
Snodgrass joins Jake Livermore and Tom Ince at the KC Stadium and the Scotland winger starts the season available to Fantasy Football bosses for a mere £6.2m – costing the same as Sunderland’s Emanuele Giaccherini, Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic and Gaston Ramirez of Southampton.
Snodgrass had a troubled time of things last season and was ultimately relegated to the Sky Bet Championship with Norwich, but he still managed to equal his 2012/13 goals tally of six.
Assists were down to just two from nine the year before but his prospects back in the top flight with Hull appear bright.
Bruce’s side scored just 38 times in the Premier League last term but, with the addition of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic in January, they have received a real boost in the attacking department.
Ince and Robbie Brady, who was injured for much of the second half of last season, are likely to be vying for places on the flanks but Snodgrass can also operate more centrally should Bruce occasionally opt to use just one of his two main strikers up front.
In summary, Snodgrass rates better value than Ince (6.1) and Brady (5.6), with corners and free-kicks a key part of his game.
Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea, midfielder - £8.6m)
Fabregas was a Fantasy Football banker for many during a fantastic eight-year spell at Arsenal from 2003 and it will be fascinating to see how he fares on his return to the Barclays Premier League with Chelsea.
Having scored 28 league goals in 81 La Liga appearances for Barcelona in the meantime, it’s hard to see the points drying up.
However, there is serious competition for places in Jose Mourinho’s midfield and Cesc will need to hit the ground running or he could find himself in and out of the team.
Plenty will keep the faith with the Spain international but I’d be inclined to recommend a watching brief until we see exactly how Chelsea are going to set up.
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are available at the same price as Fabregas (£8.6m) and both make slightly more appeal at this stage of the game.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal, striker - £9.5m)
Arsenal’s big summer signing has gone straight in at £9.5m in the striker category which puts him on a par with Chelsea’s Diego Costa and 0.1 dearer than Wayne Rooney.
That looks on the steep side at first glance but with 19 goals and 10 assists from 27 La Liga appearances for Barcelona, he was never going to be cheap.
He looks to possess the perfect blend of speed and strength to succeed in the Barclays Premier League and if he hits it off with the likes of Cazorla, Ozil and Ramsey, then the points should flow.
Rotation will play a part when the Champions League games begin and some may balk at the pricetag given Sanchez will not be playing as an out-and-out centre forward for the Gunners, but we all know when Arsenal are on song then they can rack up the big scores and it would be no surprise to see their new star man play a pivotal role.
Bafetimbi Gomis (Swansea, striker - £7.0m)
Brought in from Lyon on a free transfer, the France international will cost prospective Fantasy Football suitors just £7.0m and could prove to be a wise choice among the mid-range striking options.
Danny Ings, Steven Naismith and David Nugent will cost the same amount but Gomis makes plenty of appeal among that bunch, especially if Michu and/or Wilfried Bony move on to pastures new in the coming weeks.
Michu and Bony have enjoyed plenty of success operating as the lone striker in front of an attack-minded Swans midfield over the past couple of seasons, and it’s highly unlikely manager Garry Monk will move away from the tried-and-tested system this season.
If Gomis gets the nod to lead the line, his goalscoring credentials are strong having recorded double-figure tallies in all five of his league campaigns for Lyon.
The Welsh side play host to Burnley, West Brom, Southampton, Newcastle and Leicester in their opening five home matches, which should afford their centre forward plenty of chances to get up and running.
Whether that man is Bafetimbi Gomis remains to be seen, but it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Diego Costa (Chelsea, striker - £9.5m)
Jose Mourinho clearly had Costa at the top of his summer shopping list during last season, when ‘The Happy One’ soon became publicly frustrated by the efforts of strike options Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o.
Costa arrives at Stamford Bridge in the best form of his life having been a major part in Atletico Madrid’s meteoric rise under Diego Simeone last season.
The Brazilian born Spaniard almost trebled his previous season’s haul when netting 27 times in the Spanish top flight in 2013/14 and he could arguably have reached the 30 mark had he not been plagued by injuries late in the campaign.
Those hamstring problems, combined with a moderate disciplinary record and the slight concern that the 25-year-old has only really shone so brightly in the solitary season, will be at the back of the minds of Chelsea fans and Fantasy Football managers alike.
But the potential positives marginally outweigh those negatives in my view and, coming in at £9.5m, he could represent slightly better value than other premium strikers in Robin van Perise (9.9), Sergio Aguero (9.8) and Daniel Sturridge (9.8).