Fantasy Season Review
So, here we are. The end of the season. How quick did that go? I am signing off with my fantasy review and I have left out the three relegated teams as they have had enough to deal with. Without further ado, it is time for me to thank you all for reading my articles this season. Hopefully they have helped some of you fantasy managers out there rather than hindered. Have a great summer and I hope to be back with more of the same for the 2016/17 fantasy Premier League season.
Fantasy MVP: Riyad Mahrez, Midfielder
I probably do not need to convince you that Mahrez was very good in fantasy football this year, but here we go. Mahrez finished the season as the highest scorer for both Leicester and the entire league (240). His price increase over the season (+1.7) is one of the biggest in recent memory and made him not only the best fantasy player this season, but the best value as well. Many will be chasing ‘the next Mahrez’ in 2016/17.
Fantasy Bust: Jeffrey Schlupp, Defender
Many thought Schlupp would make a step forward in his development this season, but instead Christian Fuchs took his job and finished as a top five defender. While nearly every other Leicester player was a bargain, Schlupp’s one goal and four assists just were not enough to make him fantasy relevant.
Early Pick ’16: Danny Simpson, Defender
Simpson was the cheapest entrant in Leicester’s third ranked defense this season. He had fifteen clean sheets but his lack of attacking end product should cause his price to stay nice and low next season.
Fantasy MVP: Mesut Ozil, Midfielder
Ozil absolutely dominated the creative categories this season with the most assists (19) and chances created (146), both at least 18% better than the second ranked player. He had just one assist after February but Ozil will be a terrific selection again next season, especially if Arsenal sign a more clinical forward.
Fantasy Bust: Theo Walcott, Midfielder
Many thought Walcott could lose out on minutes this season though even the staunchest detractors would have expected more than just fifteen starts. He dropped in price over the season (-1.0) and made his last start for Arsenal in February.
Early Bird ’16: Mesut Ozil, Midfielder
Ozil lives in the shadow of Alexis Sanchez, to an extent, due to the lack of goals and a cold end to the season. Ozil will likely start next season at 9.0 or 9.5 which is an absolute steal for any player that outright wins a category (assists).
Fantasy MVP: Harry Kane, Forward
Twenty-five goals for Kane earned him the Golden Boot and saw him finish second in fantasy points (211) this season. After failing to score in his first six matches, Kane never went more than three matches without scoring. His shots on target (73) and minutes played (3,368) led all forwards and that level of consistency is priceless.
Fantasy Bust: Nacer Chadli, Midfielder
Chadli had the fourth most goals among midfielders in 2014/15 with eleven. His goals per ninety was not particularly awful this season (0.27) but fewer minutes played (1,419) will leech the fantasy value out of anyone. I would not be stunned if Chadli moved in the summer.
Early Bird ’16: Erik Lamela, Midfielder
Lamela had an incredibly quiet five goals and nine assists. In fact, his season was almost identical to that of Willian, but the fact that Tottenham had the most players in the top twenty-five (4) has kept Lamela from getting some much deserved recognition. He will likely cost 7.0 or less next season.
Fantasy MVP: Sergio Aguero, Forward
His twenty-four goals this season left him short of only Harry Kane but the Argentine did it fewer minutes (1,001). That equates to 0.80 goals a game but his incredibly high cost does deflate some of his value as Kane and Jamie Vardy offered equal returns or better at a much lower price.
Fantasy Bust: David Silva, Midfielder
I went all in on Silva before the season in both draft leagues and the official game and man, that did not go well. He dealt with injuries on and off throughout the year and looked a step behind even when he was fit. Silva’s points this season (96) were just half of his 2014/15 total, and were by far the fewest since since joining the club.
Early Bird ’16: Raheem Sterling, Midfielder
His price (9.0) was prohibitive even from the opening week, but it dropped during the season (8.5) and I would expect it to be even lower next season. The underlying statistics are not nearly as awful as you may expect, actually improving in goals scored for every ninety minutes played (0.28) and shot percentage (61%).
Fantasy MVP: Juan Mata, Midfielder
I am sorting the MVP by total points on each team, so Mata wins this on a technicality (145). David De Gea (142) and Anthony Martial (141) were both much easier to own and returned much higher value due to their lower prices. For Mata, finishing twenty-fifth or worse in goals (6), assists (6), and chances created (52) is hardly a successful fantasy season.
Fantasy Bust: Wayne Rooney, Forward
Rooney started off the season as one of the most owned players in fantasy before grossly disappointing people by scoring just twice before the New Year. He did manage to finish the season with eight goals but that is roughly half of his average over the last nine years. His best fantasy days are behind him with both Martial and Marcus Rashford posing a threat to game time.
Early Bird ’16: Anthony Martial, Forward
I do not want to get too technical here, but Martial is really good at football. His eleven goals and six assists were impressive for his first season, especially considering that he played out of position for the majority of 2016. That ability to play up front and out wide should see him finish with the most points and minutes of the Manchester United forwards.
Fantasy MVP: Sadio Mane, Midfielder
He is one of the most frustrating owns in fantasy. Mane has now scored eleven goals for a second consecutive year, but he is far from reliable as he played a full ninety minutes just sixteen times this season. You cannot employ a price dump strategy if you own Mane as you never know when a bench player will be subbed in for him.
Fantasy Bust: Charlie Austin, Forward
Many fantasy owners were excited when Austin joined Southampton in January, hoping to recapture the magic from his 2014/15 campaign where he scored eighteen goals. Unfortunately, after a tremendous debut that saw him score the winner away at Old Trafford, the minutes and goals both dried up. In fact, he scored more points in his debut (8) than he did the rest of the season (7).
Early Bird ’16: Dusan Tadic, Midfielder
Tadic finished the season with thirteen assists which placed him third and he did it despite playing significantly fewer minutes (2,290) than Mesut Ozil (3,047) and Christian Eriksen (2,938). This is a double edged sword however as, like Mane, Tadic can be subject to random benchings from manager Ronald Koeman. The hope here is that the benefit to cost ratio is positive despite the odd absence every now and again.
West Ham United
Fantasy MVP: Dimitri Payet, Midfielder
It is not even close. He missed eight matches through injury and still finished as a top ten fantasy scorer. It is always a good idea to buy players that take set pieces and the Frenchman is arguably the best in the league with 28% of his goals and assists coming courtesy of dead ball situations. The only potential downside will be the possible rotation brought on by Europa League commitments.
Fantasy Bust: Victor Moses, Midfielder
I really liked the thought behind the Hammers bringing in Moses. They lacked pace on the wings and playing in front of Cresswell should have offered him plenty of opportunities to stay forward. I really, really liked his price too (5.5) but then Manuel Lanzini broke out and Moses had just three starts after November.
Early Bird ’16: Michael Antonio
Antonio finished the season with eight goals and seven assists despite getting his first start in December. In fantasy terms, he finished with more than three points in 54% of his matches! Antonio played right back during the run in and, if he gets listed as a defender next season, he will be a tremendous asset in fantasy.
Fantasy MVP: Roberto Firmino, Midfielder
Who would have thought that Roberto Firmino would finish with the most goals (11) and second most assists (8) for Liverpool this season? Well, @FantasyGaffer, but other than him most would have expected less especially considering he had neither a goal or assist before Halloween. He finished this season in the top twenty-five overall and I expect him to finish top fifteen next season with no European football to slow him down.
Fantasy Bust: Christian Benteke, Forward
You know how Benteke was the biggest fantasy bust of the season? Well he was not actually as bad as you may think. In fact his goals and assists per game ratios were both higher this year than last. Now, I am not trying to tell you he was spectacular, but he could be valuable next season if he changes clubs.
Early Bird ’16: Joe Gomez, Defender
Gomez was one of the pleasant early season surprises. He was averaging consistent points a game (4.6) before his knee injury and should be available for a cut price next season. Playing time could be an issue as Liverpool are expected to make improvements to their defence this off season.
Fantasy MVP: Marko Arnautovic, Midfielder
Arnautovic broke out in a big way leading Stoke in goals (11), assists (6), chances created (50), and clean sheets (10). He never went more than three games without a goal or assist and only missed four games all season. Four strikers at the club played between 1,000 and 2,000 minutes, so a little more consistency up front could see Arnautovic finish even better next season.
Fantasy Bust: Xherdan Shaqiri, Midfielder
His big move from Bayern Munich did not exactly work the way people expected. With just three goals and six assists, Shaqiri earned more than three points just six times this season. He was given plenty of playing time, but could have a shorter leash next season with Arnautovic, Bojan, Ibrahim Afellay, and Shaqiri battling it out for just three places.
Early Bird ’16: Jack Butland, Goalkeeper
He finished third in saves and eighth in clean sheets this season despite missing the last seven matches due to an ankle injury. He will be a terrific option next year as the Stoke defense will either improve which would see him get fewer saves but more clean sheets, or continue to struggle which would keep his save stats up.
Fantasy MVP: Willian, Midfielder
While everyone else was struggling at Chelsea, Willian only went and had his best year at the club. In fact, his goals (5), assists (10), and minutes played (2,740) were all career highs since joining the Premier League. Willian was a great match-up player all season as he stayed within a good price spread all year (0.4).
Fantasy Bust: Thibaut Courtois, Goalkeeper
This could have been any player at Chelsea except for Willian. At least Hazard ended up with over a century of points, but Courtois was a shadow of his former self. Yes, he dealt with injuries and a suspension, but even when fit he was conceding some pretty cheap goals. Despite being top five in cost, the Belgian earned just five clean sheets and finished fifteenth among goalkeepers.
Early Bird ’16: Willian, Midfielder
A bit of a cop out here, but he is the only Chelsea player that I am confident will either still be at the club, have a guaranteed starting spot, or be reasonably priced.
Fantasy MVP: Romelu Lukaku, Forward
You would think that I would have a much more positive take on a player that had a career high in goals (18) and finished as the third highest scoring forward in fantasy, but I just do not. Quick – how many top five clubs did Lukaku score against? Did you guess zero? Correct, the answer is zero. He scored just three goals in 2016. I am not saying I will never own him again, but he definitely will not be in my team anytime soon.
Fantasy Bust: Leighton Baines, Defender
If you literally doubled his fantasy points this year (67) it would have been his worst season since 2008 (128). I know he was out through November, but two goals and two assists just is not nearly enough of a return considering he was one of the ten most expensive defenders this year.
Early Bird ’16: Gerard Deulofeu, Midfielder
Deulofeu managed to earn nine assists despite getting just sixteen starts this season. It is not too difficult to imagine that he will be getting plenty more minutes in 2016/17 with Aaron Lennon unlikely to repeat this season’s feats while Kevin Mirallas is likely to depart the club.
Fantasy MVP: Andre Ayew, Midfielder
I think most people would be surprised to hear that Ayew finished the year with twelve goals and five assists. He was very streaky, including two seven week stretches wherein he failed to notch either a goal or an assist. The Ghanaian actually ended the season in the top ten in overall points (171).
Fantasy Bust: Bafetimbi Gomis, Forward
It is possible that a certain Spurs supporting writer for TEB predicted, and even bet, that Bafetimbi Gomis would score fifteen goals this season. It was looking like a great call as he scored four goals in his first four matches, but then much worse when he only scored two more the rest of the season. You probably will not even have to worry about him next year as it is almost a guarantee that he will be transferred this summer.
Early Bird ’16: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Midfielder
After a rough start, Sigurdsson really turned it on in 2016 scoring nine of his eleven goals in the second half of the season. While some remain hesitant about Swansea re-signing Italian Francesco Guidolin as manager, it was abundantly clear that whatever he was doing helped Sigurdsson. I am likely going to own him in the opening week of next season as long as he stays at a decent price.
Fantasy MVP: Odion Ighalo, Forward
He had a rough back-end of the season, but let us not forget that Ighalo was an incredible fantasy player this season. He finished as the eighth highest scoring player overall (175) off the back of his sixteen goals and six assists. I am going to have to wait on Watford players next season to see how new boss Walter Mazzarri intends on setting up his team.
Fantasy Bust: N/A
Picking a bust for Watford seems unfair. I was thinking maybe Etienne Capoue, but he was a defensive midfielder so I doubt people were expecting much from him anyway.
Early Bird ’16: Troy Deeney, Forward
As I said earlier, I am holding off on Watford players to start next season, but Deeney is the captain of this team so it is safe to assume he will get minutes. With four goals and an assist in his last five matches, Deeney will be hoping to carry his hot form into next season
West Bromwich Albion
Fantasy MVP: Craig Dawson, Defender
I am not going to pretend that any West Brom player is a great fantasy option, but at least Dawson finished the right side of a hundred points(124). Their defence was not the clean sheet machine it had been in years past and, with Pulis possibly on the way out, I am not sure you will be wanting to own any Albion players.
Fantasy Bust: Saido Berahino, Forward
He scored ten fewer goals than he did last season which was obviously disappointing. West Brom created the second fewest chances (281) so even if Berahino stays in the summer, which he probably will not, he will likely continue to struggle next season.
Early Bird ’16: Salomon Rondon, Forward
I guess? Like I said, you should not be expecting to own any West Brom players next year.
Fantasy MVP: Scott Dann, Defender
Dann finished the season as a top ten defender despite Palace finishing in the bottom five in clean sheets. The goalkeeper situation will need to be dealt with this summer, but Dann has proved that he can retain value despite the performances of those around him.
Fantasy Bust: Wilfried Zaha, Midfielder
I thought this would be a breakout season for Zaha but I was wrong. He scored eleven points fewer than Yannick Bolasie, who played fewer minutes, and was also a disappointment in fantasy. He may end up breaking out next season, but I will likely be the last one on the bandwagon.
Early Bird ’16: Connor Wickham, Forward
He scored just five goals for the third consecutive season, but struggled with injuries on and off all season making just fifteen starts. I am not saying he will score fifteen goals next season, because I have learnt from that mistake, but he will have a low price and should be a decent third striker option.
Fantasy MVP: Charlie Daniels, Defender
Daniels was one of the more surprising success stories this season. In fact, he was the fifth most valuable defender this season and the most valuable that does not play for Leicester. I am not sure how Bournemouth will strengthen in the off season, but I would assume Daniels will be a source of cheap fantasy points again.
Fantasy Bust: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth
This is a bit harsh as Wilson missed six months due to an awful knee injury, but it is true nonetheless. In his five matches after returning to the side, Wilson failed to notch any goals or assists and only managed one shot on target.
Early Bird ’16: Matt Ritchie
Many were expecting Matt Ritchie to be a terrific fantasy asset this season but he fell a bit short of the mark in the official game. He did lead Bournemouth in both assists (8) and chances created (42) so he could be valuable if they improve their forward options.
Fantasy MVP: Jermain Defoe, Forward
Defoe finished this season in the top ten among forwards in both goals scored (15) and total points scored (138). He does not contribute much else, but you can expect him to score ten to fifteen goals again next season.
Fantasy Bust: Jeremain Lens, Midfielder
Lens was another guy I was big on this off season that did not pan out. He started off well with a goal and three assists in his first five matches then only made nine more starts the rest of the season. I would be very surprised if he was at Sunderland come deadline day.
Early Bird ’16: Patrick van Aanholt, Defender
Patrick van Aanholt scored more goals (6) than any other defender in the Premier League this season. The Sunderland defence should continue to improve as the additions of Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff helped Sunderland earn four of their six clean sheets after the January window closed.
TEB Fantasy Football League – Final Standings (Top Ten)
A big thank you to everyone that took part this season in our biggest season to date with 259 teams signing up at the beginning of the season. Congratulations to Matthew Freeman who took the title by a margin of over fifty points. Special mention goes to defending champion Asher Weston who put up a fantastic defence, finishing in third. We also saw the 2013/14 champion Daniel Bright finish in the top ten so great effort from both former winners.
- Champion – Matthew Freeman
- Runner up – David Gilbert
- Champions League – Asher Weston, Simon Dixon
- Europa League – James Kearney
- Wooden Spoon – Diyar Kurnaz (259th with 1,254 points)
|2||Chelsea Dagger||David Gilbert||39||2,255|
|3||Best Weston||Asher Weston||43||2,251|
|4||Crystal Phallus FC||Simon Dixon||47||2,248|
|5||Mané Kurian FC||James Kearney||42||2,247|
|6||Dynamo Dan Dan||Daniel Bright||58||2,243|
|7||There can only be 1||Jonathan Bailey||39||2,227|
|8||The Remarkable Ones||Mark Saunders||47||2,225|
|10||Stompasaurus Bum’B’s||Kev Davis||79||2,209|