Fulham 2011-2012 Preview | Midfielders

Fulham 2011-2012 Preview | Midfielders

Following the previous article on our defenders, I’m now moving on to the middle of the pitch. In this article, I’ll go over both wingers and central midfielders. This is the second segment of a three-part series, with the final installment being about attackers,
which should be available in the near future. For the purposes of comparison to other EPL players, I’ve included Matt Jarvis (Wolves) to the wingers stats and David Vaughn (Sunderland, previously Blackpool) to the centre-midfielders stats. Please remember that the statistics from “points earned” come from Barclays’ Official Fantasy Game at premier league.com

As I did in the last article, I’ll first define what makes a successful fantasy midfielder. To begin with, attacking should be the layer’s priority, so the likes of de Jong, Lucas Leiva and J. Obi Mikel tend to be poor, low-scoring choices. Players who take a team’s enalties are a fantastic choice as they’re essentially guaranteed to grab a handful of goals a season. An offensive player on a defensively sound team should help your cause as well since a clean sheet earns a midfielder. Good examples of this would be David Silva and Yaya Toure of Manchester City and Matthew Etherington of Stoke, among others. As discussed previously, good discipline is a major bonus.

Wingers Damien
Duff
Clint
Dempsey
Simon
Davies
Matt
Jarvis
Minutes
Played

1882

3098

2209

3013

Goals
Scored

4

12

4

4

Assists

2

3

4

6

%
Crosses Successful

13%

11%

21%

18%

%
Shots on Target

31%

36%

24%

23%

Chances
Created

29

36

63

66

Penalties
Taken

NA

2

NA

NA

Points
in Barclays’ Official Fantasy Game

91

168

101

133

 

Damien Duff: Far from the player he once was, it is fair to say the Irishman’s game has tailed off in recent years. He still contributes at a reasonable rate in front of goal, but his service to team-mates has been lacking. Just 13% of crosses complete is on the lower end of the spectrum and his shots on target rate is also poor. He’s certainly on the downturn, but at the reasonable price of 6.5, take a chance on him. Verdict: Buy

Clint Dempsey: Following a superb 2010-2011 campaign, the American will be looking to build on what was by far-and-away his best year in England. He played in close to every match for Fulham, and was instrumental in helping the Whites to an eighth-place finish. Another upside to Dempsey is that he took the spot-kicks last term (though Murphy may this year). Verdict: Buy 

Simon Davies: A consistent performer over the years, Davies is beginning this season with a knee injury. He has decent numbers, especially in the crossing department, but Duff and Dempsey look to have the wide positions secured for the time being.
Wait until later in the season to see if he’s worth a shot. Verdict: Don’t Buy 

Others: Bjorn Helge Riise, brother of John, and Pajtim Kasami have also been included in theFulham 25 man league squad, but neither will see regular playing time, barring a  string of injuries to the other wide men.

Central-Midfielders Danny
Murphy
Dickson
Etuhu
Steve
Sidwell
David
Vaughn
Minutes
Played

3131

1969

940

3150

Goals
Scored

0

2

2

2

Assists

4

2

1

2

%
Passes Completed

78%

80%

76%

85%

%
Shots on Target

7%

45%

44%

28%

Chances
Created

49

21

5

25

Penalties
Taken

NA

NA

NA

NA

Points
in Barclays’ Official Fantasy Game

106

76

45

110

Danny Murphy: The Fulham captain will once again be at the heart of our midfield this year, despite his age of 34. A reliable man at both ends of the pitch, he’s the kind of player who can put in a man of the match performance, evident in his 15 bonus points last year. He’s a solid choice for any fantasy manager and won’t end up costing you and arm and a leg. Verdict: Buy

Dickson Etuhu: The tall Nigerian midfielder will look to play alongside Danny Murphy for the duration of the season, but will face competition for his place in the form of Steve Sidwell. He’s not a stud offensively, so there’s no reason for you to obtain his services. Better choices can be had from other teams. Verdict: Don’t Buy

Steve Sidwell: Far from his Reading form years ago, when he was one of the bargains of the fantasy world, Sidwell will be battling Etuhu for a spot alongside skipper Danny Murphy. He doesn’t create a ton of chances, but did score on a remarkable volley against Liverpool this past year. He’s no guarantee to play, so steer clear. Verdict: Don’t Buy

Others: Marcel Gecov arrived from Czech side Slovan Liberec this summer. He has three people ahead of him in the pecking order, so provided two of the three aforementioned are fit, he is unlikely to feature.

Next will be a preview of forwards. I apologize that this is being produced after the season has started.