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The Premier League sack race

Manager Watch less than a minute ago
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Bruce must make case for defence

Hull City 1 day ago
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 Posted by John Culea
Aug 1, 2014

2014-15 goalkeepers' value assessed

Coming off a strong World Cup, Tim Howard might be a good choice for fantasy managers.

ESPN FC's 2014-15 Premier League fantasy game begins Aug. 16. Managers have until then to put together their best 15 players within the 100 million-pound spending limit.

Having looked at the available forwards, midfielders, and defenders already, here are observations on selected goalkeepers with comparisons to last season and considerations for players new to the Premier League.

Most expensive

Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal: 7.6 (last season: 6.9)

The Gunner's GK is the highest fantasy point-producer at his position; however, he will be pressed by impressive newcomer, Colombian David Ospina.

Recommended picks and good values

Tim Howard, Everton: 6.2 (6.9)

Howard was sensational for the USA in the World Cup. He was last season's runner-up in points at his position and trailed the leader by only three. He is significantly under-valued.

Hugo Lloris, Tottenham: 6.6 (5.6)

The Spurs keeper has a new contract and had 14 clean sheets in 37 games. His value was too low to end last season and reasonable for the new season. Newly signed Michel Vorm, 5.9, will be on the bench to keep Loris sharp.

Adrian, West Ham: 5.7 (5.5)

Won the No. 1 job in mid season and had six clean sheets in 20 games. Will play for a relegation-threatened team.

Julian Speroni, Crystal Palace: 5.2 (6.3)

In 37 games last season, he had 12 clean sheets and 116 saves.

Allan McGregor, Hull: 5.3 (4.9)

Was the league's 16th rated fantasy GK with 69 saves and seven clean sheets in 26 games.

Overpriced

Joe Hart, Manchester City: 7.1 (6.7)

Hart was the 12th highest fantasy GK and had 13 clean sheets while surrendering his position for a while to Costel Pantilimon.

David De Gea, Manchester United: 7.2 (6.4)

Questions about new defenders at Old Trafford need to be answered before De Gea's value is justified.

Simon Mignolet, Liverpool: 6.6 (5.4)

Ten clean sheets in 38 matches leaves something to be desired, as did the Liverpool defense.

Vito Mannone, Sunderland: 5.5 (6.2) Best to wait and see who appears to have the No. 1 spot between Mannone and Pantilimon.

Risky

Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea: 7.4 (new), Petr Cech, Chelsea: 7.4 (7.0)

It is not known who will be the No. 1 and they are too expensive to carry them both. Cech was the third highest fantasy GK last season while Courtois had a strong World Cup for Belgium.

Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea: 4.0 (4.5), Gerhard Tremmel, Swansea, 4.0 (4.5)

Fabianski comes from Arsenal and Tremmel was the backup to Vorm and then moved to the No. 1 spot.

Asmir Begovic, Stoke: 5.8 (6.3)

Begovic had just nine clean sheets and saw his defensive mates regress from the year before.

Tim Krul, Newcastle: 5.7 (5.2)

Krul was brilliant making a key penalty save for Holland in the World Cup; however, he is on a bad Newcastle team. He had ten clean sheets in 37 games.

Artur Boruc, Southampton: 5.8 (5.9)

He was the 11th best fantasy GK last season; however, mass defections have seriously weakened the Saints.

Brad Guzan, Aston Villa: 5.4 (5.1)

The American had 110 saves and nine clean sheets in 38 games and is likely to have another bulls-eye painted on his jersey.

Ben Foster, West Brom: 5.5 (5.7)

In 24 games he had just three clean sheets and made 72 saves. Nothing spectacular and part of an equally boring Baggie team.

Good gamble

Costel Pantilimon could be a steal at a low cost if he wins the starting job at Sunderland.

Costel Pantilimon, Sunderland: 4.2 (4.5)

The former Manchester City GK, who was preferred for a while to Joe Hart, is now in competition with Vito Mannone and is a solid fantasy bench player.

Bad pick

Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester: 5.2 (new)

With Leicester's first five games against Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Stoke, and Manchester United, Schmeichel is in for a rough ride. He might be a possible addition after that with the next major opponent, Liverpool, not until December.

Bench candidates

Lukasz Fabianski and Gerhard Tremmel, Swansea.

Both are cheap and one or the other will get the starting job.

John Culea

John Culea is an American living in San Diego who became hooked on football while serving in the Navy for two years in London. A former TV news, Emmy award-winning anchor/reporter, John goes by the fantasy honorary title of "Sir John." He is a devoted Chelsea supporter and offers previews of upcoming Premier League action and a review of the games played from an American perspective.

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