With the January transfer window now officially in full swing, it’s important to take a look at the impact of potential signings on current fantasy football studs and duds. Let’s look at the likeliest transfers rumoured around the Premier League and analyze the fantasy impact:
- Jermain Defoe to Tottenham. Defoe is out of form and clearly rattled by the departure of the man who brought him to Pompey in the first place, Harry Redknapp. Available at just 8.1M, the speedy (and selfish?) striker has seen his fantasy value plummet from 8.7M just two short months ago. If Defoe does move to Tottenham, blog favorite Peter Crouch could benefit with penalty taking duties whilst Niko Krancjar could see a major spike in fantasy value playing the “Gerrard role” right behind the lone beanpole striker in a 4-5-1. Less likely, but possible, are Kanu and David Nugent earning starts and becoming “budget options” alongside Crouch. Defoe is owned by 22% of fantasy managers, and I truly believe he will come good in 2009 and finish the season with 15-20 goals if he moves to Tottenham. He scored 8 goals in his first 12 appearances for Portsmouth after a January 2008 transfer, so a move to Tottenham could give the 26-year-old a major confidence boost in the prime of his career.
- Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City. New Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce will do everything he can to keep a hold of his Paraguayan international – but with Benedict McCarthy and Jason Roberts proven Premier League strikers, and youngster Matt Derbyshire in reserve, a massive offer from the Arab billionaires would surely be accepted. McCarthy and especially Roberts (6.3M) would be fantasy options once again – don’t forget, McCarthy scored 18 Premier League goals two years ago, while Benjani’s and Jo’s value would take a hit at City – with Santa Cruz and Robinho leading the front line.
- Stewart Downing to Tottenham. He probably won’t move, but Tottenham have made a bid for the one-footed winger. He can’t use his right foot, and is basically a much slower Aaron Lennon. With David Bentley already at Tottenham handling set piece duties and swinging in crosses, is a move for Downing really the best way to spend Tottenham cash? Who knows, but the move would free up penalty kick duties and free kick duties at inconsistent Boro. First shot will probably go to super dud Afonso Alves, the 6.8M fantasy rated Brazilian who is in the midst of a terrible season. Perhaps a scored penalty or free kick will turn his fortunes around, but I would urge all fantasy managers to stay away.
- Scott Parker to Manchester City & Stephen Ireland to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has failed in his bid to bring Everton fantasy stud Mikel Arteta to the Emirates, and has now set his sights on City’s fantasy stud Stephen Ireland. Why would City let Ireland go, especially considering his form and consistency under Mark Hughes – but after City’s shocking 3-0 FA Cup exit, Hughes mentioned he wanted to bring in players with more “bite” and “passion” – he believes he has talent with ‘twinkle toes’ Robinho, SWP, and the free-flowing creative playmaking of Ireland – but is looking for a ball-winner, a leader, and a box to box stud.
- That’s where West Ham’s Scott Parker steps in. The former Chelsea man is one of the best midfield generals in the league (when healthy) and could settle in nicely under Hughes. This would, then, make Ireland less integral to the team. He could then move over to Arsenal and become the new ‘Cesc‘ for half-a-season and move to the wing opposite Nasri upon Cesc’s return. I honestly don’t know if this will increase or decrease Ireland’s fantasy value. On the bright side, he has RvP and Adebayor around him now and he will play in a “Top 4″ (or “Top 5″) side – but on the other hand, he will not be the “focus” that he is at City – with Nasri, Denilson, etc. around him to steal some of his midfield thunder… In less important news – I would think Mark Noble’s fantasy value at West Ham would skyrocket with a Parker departure – he would be on free kicks, penalties, and aim to pull the strings for Bellamy, Cole, and (if he ever returns) Ashton up front.