When we made our fantasy teams last week, most of us were just shooting in the dark. How can you really build a title winning fantasy side if you haven’t seen anyone play? Can anyone really say ahead of time whether Robin van Persie will have a better season than Marouane Chamakh? It’s too close to call. So we all did our best and slapped together a squad assembled largely from guesswork, homer bias, and duct tape.
But hindsight is 20/20, and after this weekend’s matches, I think it’s safe to say we have a pretty good idea what to expect from the rest of the season. After the jump, I’ll share with you the keen fantasy insights I gleaned from the first round of games and tell you just who you absolutely must buy if you want to stand a chance at winning this thing.
Mladen Petric – Some might say he’s a has been. Others would say he just got lucky this weekend. I say he’s on pace to score 76 goals this season. That’s like two and a half Robin van Persie’s only none of them start on the bench in Manchester. If you don’t have him in your fantasy team you’re going to get laughed at by all of your friends.
Scott Sinclair – He sulked on the bench demanding a transfer for most of the game, but unlike “Charlie Big Potatoes” Dempsey, he eventually strolled onto the field, scored a goal, and won lots of fantasy points. And now that he appears off to Manchester City, things are only going to get better. City have a notorious lack of depth in offensive positions, so he should slot right into the team and start every single game. And after Silva’s abysmal penalty last weekend, he’ll probably get to take their penalties too and be the new captain and Honorary Sultan of Arabia.
Liam Ridgewell – The best fantasy defender in the EPL who doesn’t play for Chelsea. He was completely dominant against a Liverpool side who’s definitely going to win the title. Or at least come really, really close. Probably. Top four, easy. Nailed on.
He’s only been relegated once and that was totally not his fault.
Fernando Torres – For all you naysayers, I hope you were watching yesterday, because guess who’s back? Yes, at one point he took a shot that would have gone out for a throw-in if it had enough power to get beyond the eighteen yard box, but it’s not like you could do any better so shut up. The important thing is that he scored a goal from .5 meters out and I don’t speak metric system but if a meter is anything like a mile then I’m pretty sure that’s what we in America call a “wonder goal” because you wonder how anyone who isn’t as good as Fernando Torres could ever have scored such a wonder-ful goal.
Offside? Offside goals count just as much as legitimate goals, but unlike legitimate goals, they can get you pregnant, much like Fernando Torres can get most women pregnant just by looking at them because oh my god that hair and those freckles and he’s just so beautiful take me now Fernando I can’t fight it anymore.
Samir Nasri – A lot of you may balk at spending 8.5 on a guy who spends most of his time on the bench. But it’s not all about on-field contribution. What he lacks in point production he makes up for in personality, and even if you don’t win the league, people will look at your squad and respect you for selecting such a wonderful ambassador of the game.