All Premier League fantasy managers for 2013-14 had their hits and misses, so who were the players who rewarded the most?
Below are my picks for the three top players at each position and the player I considered the best bargain:
1. Luis Suarez, Liverpool: Suarez, after being suspended for the first six matches of the season, was amazing with 31 goals and 12 assists in 33 games played. Suarez is a machine gun with 181 shots and with 253 fantasy points, rightly carried the game's highest value of 11.9 and not surprisingly was owned by 67 percent of managers. 2. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal: Giroud quietly finished as the second-highest fantasy forward with 192 points on 16 goals and 8 assists and a good value of 9.8. For some reason, only 10 percent of managers ended up with the Frenchman on their roster. He was in 36 games. 3. Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool: The other half of S&S had 186 fantasy points in 29 games. He scored 22 goals and had 7 assists. He had a value of 9.3 and was owned by 26 percent of managers.
Best bargain Rickie Lambert, Southampton: The durable throw-back played in 37 games and tallied 13 goals with 10 assists. He is the fourth-highest fantasy point forward with 179 and was valued at only 8.0, an incredible bargain compared with Wayne Rooney's 10.7 and point total of 173.
1. Yaya Toure, Manchester City: Toure had a massive year with more fantasy points (261) than anyone. His 10.5 value was low compared with Suarez at 11.9. Toure had 20 goals, 9 assists and a linen closet full of clean sheets in 35 games played. Only 37 percent of fantasy managers had him on their roster. Sir John wised up and added Toure in Segment 2. 2. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool: The Reds captain's infamous slip notwithstanding, Gerrard had an excellent fantasy season with 13 goals (most on penalty kicks), 13 assists and tallied 216 points. His value of 10.0 was a bit steep, and he was owned by 21 percent of managers. 3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea: The Belgian was virtually anonymous in April and May, and managers who dropped him made a wise decision. Hazard had 216 points in 35 games played. With 14 goals, he carried a 9.6 value and was owned by 35 percent of fantasy managers.
Best bargain Adam Lallana, Southampton: Lallana, like Hazard, faded badly in the final two months of the season. In 38 games he had nine goals and six assists, but nothing in April and May. His value of 7.8 was a good buy, considering he was the fourth-highest midfielder with 192 points.
1. Seamus Coleman, Everton: The Irish international was in 36 games and had six goals and two assists, with few coming late in the season. He tallied 207 points, tops for defenders, and was owned by the most managers (39 percent). His value was 8.1. 2. Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea: Ivanovic was tied for the highest value at 8.4 and had 184 points. His high price was a factor in only 12 percent of fantasy managers owning him. 3. Leighton Baines, Everton: Everton's usual penalty-taker was also valued at 8.4. Baines missed six matches with injuries and scored five goals with four assists for 181 points. He was on 16 percent of fantasy teams.
Best bargain Steven Caulker, Cardiff: Caulker played in all 38 matches and managed five goals. Despite his team's relegation, the Englishman's 5.3 value was a bargain for the 151 points he returned to 17 percent of fantasy managers.
1. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal: The Gunners' iron man appeared in 37 matches and had 16 clean sheets. He totaled 190 points and was a good buy at 6.9. Less than 12 percent of managers owned him. 2. Tim Howard, Everton: The American started all but one match and had 15 clean sheets. With a value of 6.9, he had 187 points and was owned by nearly 24 percent of managers. 3. Petr Cech, Chelsea: Cech missed four games, including the last four with an injury but still had 16 clean sheets. The most expensive goalkeeper at 7.0, he had 179 points and was owned by 15 percent of managers.
Best bargain David Marshall, Cardiff: Another member of Cardiff's relegated team; the Scottish international played in 37 games and recorded an astounding 153 saves and seven clean sheets. Owned by less than four percent of fantasy managers, he carried a bargain-basement value of 4.9.
Next: the worst Premier League fantasy players.