Everton could find the going tough over the coming few weeks without their star Marouane Fellaini – who is out with a 3 game suspension – and with creative attacker Kevin Mirallas also out of action due to a hamstring injury, the attacking burden will rest on the shoulders of last year’s star man Jelavic (8.2m). Jelavic’s former Rangers teammate, and a cheaper FPL option, Steven Naismith (5.9m), is the one that most catches our eye however.
Let’s take a look at Naismith – who could be presented with three consecutive starts now that Mirallas and Fellaini are out of action. While Pienaar (6.5m) and Jelavic are known fantasy commodities, Naismith is not. He is owned by only 0.4% of fantasy managers and has seen his price drop from a starting price of 6.5m down to 5.9m.
The bad news? Naismith has just 3 goals in 17 games for Everton and after 9 months out with a serious knee injury last year, looks like he’s just beginning to get his confidence back, but he’s far from his best. Further compounding the problem is Everton’s schedule: at West Ham and home to Chelsea in the next three don’t look easy, though a home encounter with Wigan comes in between and that’s a bit more straightforward.
Naismith has looked creative in brief spells for Everton and we’re banking him to take advantage of an assured place in the team over the festive period to combine well with the more heavily owned and popular Pienaar and Jelavic. As a third striker in the FPL, he could free up the funds for fantasy managers looking to acquire the likes of Aguero, Suarez, Rooney, or RVP and if he returns a goal and assist in his next 3 matches, fantasy managers will be ecstatic.
He had 9 goals in 11 games for Rangers last year before his 9 month knee injury, so he can deliver the goods. He’s small but quick and while he may be played “out of position” in the wrong way – classified as a forward in the FPL but deployed as a wide midfielder or in the hole behind Jelavic, he still has potential to get on the end of a Leighton Baines cross or two.
Cheap as chips and ready to shine, it’s Steven Naismith. While Long, Lambert, Kone and Benteke all look like better long term prospects, Naismith is about 1m cheaper than the aforementioned and could sneak in a goal or two over the holiday season. There you have it. Your Funny Feeling Friday. The 0.4% owned, Steven Naismith.
Good luck to all fantasy managers.