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May 16, 2014

Premier League: Worst fantasy players

In a previous blog I picked the best fantasy players at each position and those players I considered the best bargains for points produced. In the piece below are players who I thought were fantasy flops compared with the year before, along with over-priced players and those who were the most disappointing or lost their position.

Forwards Worst Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Norwich The high-priced Dutchman transfer could not have done worse wearing wood boots. In 25 games he took only 32 shots resulting in one goal and one assist. Less than one half of one percent of fantasy managers owned him and his value was realistically low at 4.7.

Most disappointing Jozy Altidore, Sunderland The American transfer had a starting place handed to him but in 31 games he had one goal and one assist and took less than one shot a game. He had a value of 5.1 and at season's end only three percent of fantasy managers were still hoping he would wake up.

Biggest disappearing act Papiss Demba Cisse, Newcastle There were many forwards who had big seasons a year ago and then were struck down by injuries, including Arouna Kone and Steven Fletcher, but Cisse gets the nod for most egregious vanishing act. He has never gotten over the departure of Demba Ba and this season in 24 games had two goals and two assists. His value was 6.0 and only a handful of managers owned him.

Midfielders Worst Marouane Fellaini, Manchester United This was the easiest pick of the rotten lot. The 27 million pound transfer played in 19 games, had zero goals and got his only assist on the next to last game of the season. He ranked 118th in fantasy midfielders with 56 measly points and carried a belly-laughable value of 7.2. Less than one percent of fantasy managers owned him.

Most disappointing Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United There are several possibilities here including Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young, Nani, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Victor Moses. But the nod goes to Kagawa. After looking good during the summer, Kagawa only played in 18 games and had zero goals and three assists on just 14 shots. The Japanese transfer was one of many reasons Manchester United floundered. He had a very high value of 7.0 for the 55 fantasy points he delivered and was owned by a little more than one percent of managers.

Biggest disappearing act Michu, Swansea After a monster first season in the Premier League, the Spaniard was plagued by injuries that limited his games to 17. He had just two goals and two assists and at 7.2 value, Michu was only on about one percent of fantasy rosters.

Defenders Worst Brede Hangeland, Fulham In 23 games, the towering Norwegian failed to get a goal or an assist and despite being up front for corners, took only four shots. His 5.0 value is laughably over-priced and less than one-half-of one percent of fantasy managers carried him.

Most disappointing David Luiz, Chelsea After a promising season in 2012-2013 and being favored by the "Special One", big things were expected from the Brazilian, but in 19 games, he scored no goals, had only one assist, and was a mistake-waiting-to-happen on defense.

Biggest disappearing act Ashley Cole, Chelsea Cole appeared in only 17 games and managed just two assists while scoring no goals and taking only four shots. He never played in March and April, yet more than three percent of managers owned him

Goalkeepers Worst Asmir Begovic, Stoke With 161 fantasy points in 32 games, Begovic had just nine clean sheets for a team that was much stronger on defense last season. His 6.3 value is high for what he produced and he was owned by less than four percent of managers.

Most disappointing Simon Mignolet, Liverpool The Sunderland transfer played in all 38 matches but with a semi-leaky defense, the Reds' keeper only had 10 clean sheets, had a value of 5.4; yet was owned by 13 percent of managers.

Biggest disappearing act Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham A big fantasy point goalkeeper last year, after starting the season as the number one, the Fin never played in a Premier League game after January 1st yet with a 5.9 value was owned by nearly three percent of managers.

In future off-season blogs, I will provide pieces on how the top fantasy manager in the world achieved his success, along with strategy tips and player evaluations prior to the launch of the new fantasy game in late summer.