With Fantasy managers scouring the market for a Theo Walcott replacement this week, we give the nod to a couple of overlooked options with “previous” on their side. Our third alternative is starting to find his feet up front and has already kicked off 2014 in some style.
After impressing in his debut season at the Emirates, the Spaniard has failed to live up to our expectations this time around. Cazorla ended last year as the second highest scoring midfielder in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game, with 12 goals and 13 assists helping him to a total of 205 points but has been quickly forgotten in 2013/14, with Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott – all too briefly – excelling in the Arsenal midfield instead.
An ankle injury has hardly helped but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Cazorla has produced just a single goal and a pair of assists over 14 league appearances so far. His goal in last weekend’s FA Cup north London derby win over Tottenham suggests the Spaniard is starting to find his form, though. This is backed up by a series of displays over the last few Gameweeks which, as our recent Big Numbers article for members showed, have seen him offer significant goal threat without yet reaping reward.
While Ozil has received over 100,000 transfers in as a result of Walcott’s season-ending injury this week, Cazorla has kept firmly off the radar, with just 11,000 Fantasy managers prepared to take a punt. Arsenal’s next four fixtures could hardly be more enticing, though – Monday’s trip to Villa is followed by home games with Fulham and Palace, with a visit to Southampton sandwiched in between. For those Walcott owners still undecided, Cazorla – at 9.5, and 3% owned, in FPL, (8.7 in the Sky Sports game and 6.0 in the Sun Dream Team) – certainly has the fixtures and underlying numbers to suggest he may be set to finally replicate those 2012/13 displays over the next few fixtures.
Fulham’s prodigal son returns in time to boost his side’s bid to beat the drop. Having left Craven Cottage for Spurs in somewhat acrimonious circumstances back in the summer of 2012, Dempsey has been snapped up by Rene Meulensteen on a two-month loan deal and has seven league matches to redeem himself in the eyes of the Fulham faithful.
The top scoring midfielder in the FPL game back in 2011/12, with 209 points accrued, the US international racked up 29 goals over his final two years with the Cottagers. A disappointing stop-start season at the Lane under Andre Villas-Boas followed but, with starts looking guaranteed as Meulensteen turns to his top-flight know-how, Dempsey is back on Fantasy radars once again.
Coming in at 7.4 in FPL (7.7 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team,) he entertains Sunderland this weekend and even sits seventh in this week’s Captain Poll so far. Following that, Dempsey has the likes of Swansea, Southampton and West Brom in his sights as he looks to help fire the Cottagers to safety before making his way back to parent club FC Seattle at the beginning of March.
Swansea’s £12m record signing arrived at the Liberty with big expectations on his shoulders. Bony racked up 31 goals and eight assists in his final year in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem but has struggled to justify the premium outlay, with just six goals to his name in the Premier League thus far.
His overall record for the Welsh club suggests the Ivorian’s impact hasn’t been quite as ineffectual as many believe, though. A total of 13 goals and three assists across 28 games in all competitions demonstrate that Bony has turned in a steady stream of goals for Michael Laudrup’s side and, as his New Year’s Day double against City and FA Cup winner at United suggests, he’s more than capable of delivering against the odds.
Bony rolls up to Old Trafford once again this weekend looking to repeat the feat of last Saturday. With David Moyes’ side in disarray, he looks in the mood to pillage the Red Devils’ defence once again and stake a claim for our wildcard consideration over the next few Gameweeks. Following the United clash, Swansea have three home games in four (TOT, FUL, whm, CAR) to help their chances of climbing the table and, with Michu still stuck in the treatment room, Bony – at 7.3 in FPL, 8.0 in the Sky Sports game and 3.5 in the Sun Dream Team – looks crucial to their attacking potential.