With Gameweek 17 in full swing, we take a look at the second part of the what we know so far series, where we delve into what has happened and what’s likely to happen in the second half of the season. This is part two with IFK Norrköping-Östersund being covered.
There are so many things that can be said about the season that Norrköping is having, both from a purely footballing point of view and the fantasy ramifications. Signing Sead Haksabanovic on a permanent deal from West Ham was a true signal of intent, which has later been made even clearer with the captures of Linus Hallenius (9.9m) and Linus Wahlqvist (6.0m). Norrköping started the season on fire, winning 5 of their opening 6 games. Since then, however, things have been considerably rockier and they have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 4.
Haksabanovic, who seemed like he was way too good for this league and who also began drawing permanent captaincy status from the fantasy community, has gone from 2 goals, 6 assists, 11 offensive and 3 defensive bonus points in the opening 6 Gameweeks to 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 offensive and 4 defensive bonus points in the 10 Gameweeks that followed. It seems clear that he, and Norrköping, suffered from not enough rotation (plus a few injuries not necessarily related to this) when the fixtures became insanely tight. Christoffer Nyman (9.9m) has managed to score 8 goals and 2 assists and still be largely ignored by many of the hardcore managers, as the lack of bonus for most forwards makes the premium ones hard to justify. Rasmus Lauritsen (7.2m) is the true talking point so far though, a centre back who not only boasts 3 offensive and 21 defensive bonus points, but he has also managed an incredible tally of 5 goals and 4 assists! That currently places him second in the overall ranking, just 1 point behind teammate Haksabanovic.
What the future holds in store for Norrköping is hard to say, their current slump in form could be due to the fixture congestion but it could also be that they maybe just were not as good as it initially seemed, they might have hit a patch of form just as the season started when no one else was really up for it. With things slowing down considerably, Norrköping could start to creep into our thoughts yet again and beyond Haksabanovic and Lauritsen, Jonathan Levi (7.4m) could be interesting if he can iron out those fitness concerns. Young talent Isak Bergmann Jóhannesson (5.1m) is also brilliant on his day and could work as an enabler, assuming he continues getting regular game time.
Ahead of the season, Sirius took a new approach by letting one of the coaching duo go, with Mirza Jelecak making way and Henrik Rydström staying on to develop his attacking brand of football. It is safe to say it has been a success going forward, while defensively they have been too shaky to really make the most of it. Scoring 29 goals so far is the third-best in the league, while conceding 26 is only better than bottom of the table side Helsingborg, who are on 27. The name who is on everybody’s lips lately is Stefano Vecchia (6.4m), he was shooting like a madman right from the start, but fitness and accuracy was an issue. Since Gameweek 9 however, not so much. On 8 goals and 6 assists on the season, if he can stay fit, there is little chance of Sirius keeping hold of him when his contract expires after the season.
Yukiya Sugita (7.2m) has proved to be a canny loan signing, bringing 6 goals and 5 assists to the table. He will be going in just two Gameweeks time though unless something radical changes and they are able to keep hold of him for the rest of the season. Mohammed Saeid (6.1m) is sneaking along a bit under the radar, with his penalty-taking duties ensuring he is on 4 goals and 4 assists so far. Axel Björnström (5.5m) has made a habit of hauling and blanking with a frustrating frequency, making for an equally uneasy benching and starting option every week. It will be very interesting to see how they are able to cope without Sugita and what that might mean for other Sirius assets. Given their price, there is little reason for a panic sale, but I do wonder if their attack won’t be slightly stifled when he leaves. Vecchia will still be shooting a lot though, so he should be fine. How to deal with Björnström in our squads for the rest of the season is also developing into a bit of a complicated issue, especially for those who got him in early for a much cheaper price and feel reluctant to sell, play or bench.
With an always likely 2-1 loss away to Norrköping in Gameweek 1 followed up by a 4-0 win at home to Helsingborg in Gameweek 2, things were looking quite decent as the season started off. Fast forward 14 games and Kalmar now sit just barely above Helsingborg at the very bottom, with goal difference being the separating factor. 3 wins, 4 draws and 9 losses just is not going to cut it at this level and Kalmar have a big mountain to climb if they want to stay up.
Goalkeeper Lucas Hägg Johansson (4.9m) is kept busy and as such, tends to deliver points (he sits third overall in the goalkeeper ranks). Meanwhile, Nils Fröling (6.3m) delivered a brace in Gameweek 2 and then absolutely nothing else, before being out injured after Gameweek 6. New signing Erik Israelsson (6.5m) does have a few goals in him if he gets back to form but beyond that, it seems it’s the keeper or bust for the run-in. It should be mentioned that Douglas Bergqvist (4.5m) does have 1 offensive and 5 defensive bonus points since joining the club, 5 Gameweeks ago.
The current league leaders started off a bit slow by their standards, winning 2, drawing 4 and losing 1 of their 7 first games. Since then it has been all smooth sailing however, winning 8, drawing 1 and not losing at all. Ola Toivonen (11.3m) and Isaac Kiese Thelin (10.2m) remain some of the more high profile strikers in Allsvenskan, while newly made captain ahead of the season, Anders Christiansen (10.3m) has been steady but not overly impressive points wise so far. His penchant for playing on the edge and being feisty has already seen him land 5 yellow cards and a red, missing two games through suspension and on his way towards the third one at this rate. Anel Ahmedhodzic (5.9m) has been a mainstay in their defence and he has gathered 20 defensive bonus points so far, a solid tally albeit a bit less impressive with the lack of attacking returns (fantasy managers tend to be a greedy bunch after all, which is why the likes of Witry, Johan Larsson and Lauritsen fits us well).
Jo Inge Berget (8.9m) has 6 goals and 4 assists on the season and is really starting to come into his own in this squad. Meanwhile, Sören Rieks (8.8m) continues to deliver points while on the pitch, the main issue there being just that, game time. With Marcus Antonsson (8.7m) out of favour, Guillermo Molins (8.2) choosing to leave the clubs ahead of time and Tim Prica (4.1m) sold, that leaves them with just Toivonen, Kiese Thelin and the young Amin Sarr (4.4m) as forwards (in the game). Berget can also play in that position and the coach seems to be open to experiments with the focal point, as evident in the recent inclusions of Adi Nalic (7.0m) as a “false nine”. Going forward I can see Eric Larsson’s (6.4m) spot being under threat from new signing Felix Beijmo (6.5m), Sören Rieks continuing to impress when he gets the nod and Berget being the standout Malmö option for the rest of the season. Kiese Thelin and Toivonen will also do a job at striker, however their value remains a bit questionable when there are other good strikers coming in at less outlay. Kiese Thelin does look like he has a lot of goals still in him so he might be an exception to the rule. Christiansen could, of course, go off big time but as long as Toivonen plays, he is destined for a role further back in midfield which has restricted him severely in comparison to the opening Gameweeks.
Mjällby resides at a somewhat surprising 8th place so far and look pretty safe from relegation the way they are playing. Unashamed newcomers to the league this season, they have managed to make the most out of the games they should win and make sure (in general) not to be squashed in the ones they are the underdogs. Classified as a midfielder, Moses Ogbu (6.0m) hardly featured any significant minutes before Gameweek 11, after that however he has been nailed on as one of the two strikers in a 3-5-2, scoring 6 goals in his last 6 games.
David Löfquist (5.2m) ticks along nicely as well, getting 3 goals and 4 assists from 15 games played. Beyond that, it is slim pickings with Mohanad Jeahze (4.4m) a budget option in defence that really only offer the attacking threat, not clean sheets.
Another newcomer who really doesn’t hold back is Varberg. Sitting at 10th with 3 losses and 2 draws in the last 5 however, one does wonder if they are able to keep it up all season as the rest of the league starts finding ways of dealing with them. Not afraid of rotating pretty much the entire starting eleven, it has been difficult for anyone other than Astrit Selmani (6.4m) and recently Tashreeq Matthews (4.4m) to provide us with any form of consistency. Unless something changes in the rotation department, I can’t see much value in anyone other than those two going forward, but we will have a look ahead of the double Gameweek.
The most frequent mid-table team in Allsvenskan resides just below that line right now, in 11th place. Pretty solid in defence (though not enough to keep regular clean sheets), Örebro’s biggest issue is in the attack. Scoring 15 goals so far is just one more than AIK and Östersund who have scored the least amount in the league, so it is evident that we are not seeing that much firepower from this team. Nahir Besara (8.5m) is a very talented player who potentially could do great things at another club, at Örebro however, he gets tasked with doing too much on his own as well as taking a big part in the defensive work and as such, they just can’t seem to get the best out of him.
Goalkeeper Oscar Jansson (5.0m) remains a solid pick as always, while Jake Larsson (6.7m) has produced some returns recently but is shooting way too little to be able to continue that trend. Maybe Besara can turn this club around but as things stand, at best it’s another measly and mediocre mid-table finish – more on the account of other clubs below them being even worse. If AIK and Göteborg get their season’s up and running however (far from impossible), they might be looking at a relegation fight as the season draws to a close.
Aly Keita (5.5m) is the top-scoring goalkeeper in the league and he shares the third spot for overall points with Stefano Vecchia and Jesper Karlsson. Averaging an impressive 4.75 saves a game, he also has 18 defensive bonus points and 6 clean sheets to his name. Given Östersunds continued struggles in attack, the defence has become an incredibly important part of their bid to stay up. Selling forward Jordan Attah Kadiri (6.9m) had to be done from a financial point of view, but he was one of the few who looked threatening in the attack for Östersund.
Midfielder Nebiyou Perry (4.8m) has been delivering a lot of creativity recently, which has netted him 1 goal and 3 assists in the last 4 games. The issue still remains though, who is going to score the goals for Östersund? Someone might emerge but as of right now, it’s really only Aly Keita who appeals.
And there you have it! Please do let me know in the comment section what you think about this summary series and the thoughts about the prospects going forward. What under the radar picks are you considering for the run-in? Which teams do you think will finish strongly, and who will get relegated?
As always, if you want to chat about fantasy football either comment here below – or hit me up @FF_Meltens on Twitter!