Fantasy Football is great. Fantasy English Football is sadly lacking. Can you believe with all the coverage the English Premier League has been getting in the US the last few years that there still isn't and EPL Fantasy Draft based league out there? All the leagues are lame salary cap leagues.
To remedy this, my friends and I created our own draft league starting with the 2007-08 season. Things are pretty serious now. With the uncertainty of transfers, new players, 2 weeks before the transfer window ends, the draft is always the funnest night of the year.
Here is a recap of the 2012-2013 EPL Fantasy Draft. I will give you the first two round of picks to see how things work, show you my entire draft, and then end with some good picks/ bad picks.
1.Wayne Rooney - The safe number one pick, will score goals regardless of the addition of Van Persie
2. Sergio Aguero -My pick here, think it was a good one. Aguero will put in his goals
3. Fernando Torres - The only real top striker on a team with loads of creative midfielders. Can he find his form?
4. Lucas Podalski - This manager does not take players from Man U, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, or Chelsea. That's the only thing that makes this pick make any sense.
5. Robin Van Persie - People are worried about Rooney and Van Persie fitting in together, but if anyone watched Man United last season, they would see that Rooney plays deep, almost as a center midfielder sometimes. RVP will lead the line.
6. David Silva - Best midfielder last season, but tailed off a bit toward the end. With such a strong squad, not sure if he is a top 6 pick
7. Luis Suarez - Horse-faced racist diver, but a good player.
8. Gareth Bale - Good pick here, maybe the best midfield fantasy player in the league
9. Carlos Tevez - A bit risky this high, but it looks like he'll play this season, and if he plays, he scores
10. Oliver Giroud - Hmm, scored a lot for Montpellier, but this is the EPL. He won't be a Chamahk, but he also won't be a Van Persie
11. Papa Cisse - Incredible scoring record last season, but I don't see he having that same form
12. Rafael Van der Vaart - Ooh, is he still in the league?
13. Juan Mata - Great midfielder player, should get lots of assists, but will he bag enough goals
14. Nani - good fantasy player, but gets in Ferguson's doghouse from time to time
15. Santi Cazorla - New boy from Spain will be needed to provide a create spark for Arsenal
16. Joe Hart - First goalkeeper taken
17. Vincent Kompany - Best defender on the best defensive team in the league
18. Steven Gerrard - Great pick if this was 2004
19. Clint Dempsey - Maybe a bit high, especially with transfer status in the air, great midfielder, though
20.Denis Hazard - Talented midfielder, should be another of Chelsea's creative talents, should get a lot of assists if his strikers can put in some goals
21. Thomas Vermaelen - Arsenal, lots of injuries, but a great player
22. Mario Balotelli - Great summer for Balotelli, but will be get enough starts with all of City's talented strikers?
23. Nikica Jelavic - Great scoring record of Everton last season. He should do more of the same with a team that only plays one striker and has a good number of attackind midfielders and defenders
24/25. John Terry/Frank Lampard - Pretty much the same pick here. Great histories with Chelsea and will somehow continue to put up points despite playing less
Now my full picks
Round 1. Aguero
Round 2. Jelavic
Round 3. Vidic - Injuries could be an issue, but Man U was second in least goals against last season
4. Micah Richards - Clicy was picked right before Richards and I really wanted a Man City defender, so I might have reached a bit
5. Vertonghen - I like this pick, a defender on a strong team, but lacking a strong center defender. He'll coem in right away and score some goals
6. Oxlade-Chamberlain - Ready for a break out season
7. Cabaye - Looked good for France in Euros, should comtinue to do what he did last season
8. Heitinga - Should be the started for Everton with Jagielka, or maybe even play a defensive midfield position
9. Moses - Strong attacking midfielder, but if he moves to Chelsea, he'll get much less playing time
10. Fellaini - Moved up the field a bit after Gibson came to Everton and put in goals and assists, see more of the same this season
11. Mirallas - Coming to Everton, should be a nice second forward or attacking mid - led the Greek league in goals last season
12. Adam Johnson - Plays strong for England, will now get some playing time at Sunderland, a team in need of some creativity
13. Cameron - USA, USA - Stoke has a strong defensive record, especially at home
14. Schwarzer - Nice value pick here
15. Begovic - good to have options between the posts
16. R. Taylor - eh, kind of a throw away pick here
Verdict: Strong strikers undoubtedly, a strong defense, but not as strong in years past for me, and a definite unproven midfield. I will need someone in that midfield to step up to grab a top 2 spot.
4th Round: Baines - Good value in 4th round. Everton actually had the 3rd least goals against last season and Baines will continue to put in goals and even more assists
5th Round: Kagawa - Should fit in will at Man U and set up Rooney and Van Persie, Adebayor - One of the most underrated players in the league.
6th Round: Ben Arfa - attacking young player on the rise, Howard - strong 'keeper, good defensive team, Peinaar - Looked great at the end of last season when he joined Everton, look for more of the same linking up with Baines
8th: Dzeko - He'll put in his goals
9th: Distin - Could start for Everton, Kaboul - should start for Tottenham
10th: S. Taylor - Missed a lot of last season, but should be back strong for Newcastle, Michu - Interesting attacking player new for Swansea, Agger - staying put Liverpool, Fellaini - above
4. R. Ferdinand - High for Ferdinand, he's old, slow, and injury prone. This isn't 2005.
6. Graham - Scored a lot last season, but I don't see the same happening this year
7. Santos - What is he, 3rd choice at Arsenal?
8. Dawson - Injury prone to the max
9. Pennant - Defender, midfielder, what team is he even on?
10. Kolarov - Set to leave City
11. Scholes - doesn't play enough, Kane - who???
13. Barry - Defensive midfielder, Savic - 4th choice at city
Overall, teams look a lot more equal than in years past. People are finally figuring out how to draft. I really don't know how to predict the league. Even Serg as a pretty good team This is definitely the least confident I have felt post draft. Not even certain to finish in the top half this year.
Dustin looks good with Van Persie and strong midfield, should challenge once again
BJ - reliant on Arsenal and will need to get enough from his Everton and Villa players to challenge for the top
Worth - lots of Liverpool, but does have some decent attacking power with Suarez, Dzeko, Berbatov, Nasri, and Yaya Toure
Raubert - very solid team from 1-11, should challenge for the title
Junkie - If Rooney can get hot, he can challenge for the top 3, if not, I see a midtable team
Jerry- strong in the back with Hart, A. Cole, Luiz, and Zabaleta, but really only has Tevez on the attacking side. I see a bottom half finish
Carlo - average at best, high scorer will likely be Peter Cech
Andy - I see Mort and Andy battling it out for last place, but have to predict Andy will go from first to worst.
Bryan - with strikers Grant Holt, Danny Graham, and Moussa Dembele, I see a bottom half finish for Bryan
Serg - Soild team all around, will need midfield production from Ben Arfa, Marin, and N'Zogbia to challenge