West Ham United
After surviving relegation last year, West Ham has been aggressively strengthening its squad across the board. It started by parting ways with Moyes, who arguably is the reason they survived relegation, and appointing Manuel Pelligrini. Since then, they’ve had a busy transfer window; Fabianski, Diop, Balbuena and Fredericks in defense, Yarmolenko, Wilshere and Felipe Anderson in midfield and they’re still linked with a couple of strikers which remains to be seen before the window shuts on Thursday.
West Ham’s starting fixtures aren’t the easiest by any means. However, on paper, their attacking potential is still promising and they offer a lot of differential and potential bargains in midfield and attack.
He’s the owned player by far from West Ham (24.9% as of this writing) and for a good reason. This season, he’s reclassified in the game as a forward after playing the second half of the last season as a striker and excelling at that as well (scored 11 goals and 6 assists in that role).
This season, Pelligrini looks confident of Arnautovic’s capabilities and he’s set to start the season up top once again, although he may be shifted wide in case of any new arrivals. He’s arguably the most in form player in the game; during preseason, he scored five goals and an assists and with the likes of Anderson, Yarmolenko and Wilshere serving him, he can be golden for your fantasy football team.
He was a hero for many fantasy football managers last year when he produced hauls due to saves, penalty saves and the rare clean sheet once in a while at Swansea. He also had the second most saves after Butland (137 to Butland’s 145).
This season, he’s arguably in a much better team defensively due to the new additions in defense by Pelligrini which will certainly add more clean sheets’ potential to his fantasy appeal. He was third in terms of total points after Ederson and De Gea with way less clean sheets (9 CS to 16 and 18, respectively). Also, he’s very well priced for fantasy managers at only 4.5 million which can rotate well with someone like Foster from Watford.
BIG IMPROVEMENTS ON DAILYSTRIKERS
With all the new additions, it remains to be seen who shines from a fantasy football perspective from West Ham this season. They are a way more exciting team with a lot of quality, especially in midfield. I’d keep an eye on almost all of them as it can be anybody; Antonio, Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Lanzini can all be very good mid-priced midfielders. There are also some possible cheap gems in this team, most notably Wilshere and Zabaleta who are looking certain to start and are priced at 5 and 4.5 million respectively.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, or more easily “Wolves” are probably one of the most hyped promoted teams in a while. After their dominant display in the Championship, they are set for their fifth appearance in the top flight since the 2011/12 campaign.
They have had a really good transfer window with a lot of talents coming in to an already talented squad. The most notable signings are Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho, two well established Portugal internationals. Their start to the season is mixed with tough and somewhat easy fixtures but it all comes down to how they react to the level of intensity of the Premier League.
He’s their most expensive player in the game at 6.5 million. He’s probably worth it though; he’s mainly used on the left wing of Wolves’ 3-4-3 but he may shift to be a striker in some games. Last season, he had 43/46 starts and has scored 17 goals and 5 assists, the most goal contribution out of his teammates.
During preseason, he had two goals and an assist and has put on some decent displays for Wolves. He’s currently owned by 6.3% of FPL managers so he’s somewhat of a hidden gem or a potential differential for your fantasy football team.
This man is being overlooked by fantasy football managers probably due to his low price tag of 5 million which probably favors his teammate Ruben Neves, whose goals have been quite popular and viral on social media last season. Although Neves is on penalties, I still think Costa is a way better option because Neves sits more deep in the middle of the park and he’s more prone to cards.
The 2016/17 Wolves’ Player of the Year has been less impactful on their title winning season last year mainly due to his injury at the start of the season. Since then, he’s been used more as a sub. However, this season he set to fill the right flank in their front trio and he might prove to be a way better value as he’s 1.5 million cheaper than Jota.
Other than these two, I have my eyes on a couple of other players. During last season, Wolves were heavily reliant on their full backs and with the surprising sale of Barry Douglas, Matt Doherty (4.5 million) might be a very good defensive option with a potential for an attacking return. Along with Neves, it will be interesting to see if Moutinho will offer any value in fantasy football. Those three are ones for your watchlist.