With the launch of ESPNFC's 2013-2014 fantasy game, the opening values for players make for multiple talking points. Here are thoughts on selected goalkeepers with their new value and the value they had when last season ended:
Joe Hart, Manchester City 7.5 up from 6.9 Hart had the most clean sheets last season and was the top fantasy point-producer for goalkeepers with 178 and understandably, is the most expensive GK for fantasy managers. His value went up .6. Manchester City gave up the fewest goals last season (34), yet Hart is currently owned by more than 11 percent of fantasy managers.
Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham 5.9 down from 6.9 The man with the alphabet name is a curious talking point. J.J. finished just seven points behind Hart in fantasy points, and was owned by nearly 12 percent of fantasy managers, yet his opening value dropped the most of any GK, a full million.
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa 5.7 up from 4.9 Guzan gave up the most goals last season (65) and was the tenth highest fantasy point-producers for GKs. His bargain value went up .8, perhaps because Aston Villa has addressed defensive problems in the off-season and his ownership now is 12 percent, perhaps because AV has two games in the first week.
Hugo Lloris, Tottenham 6.8 up from 5.6 Lloris had the highest increase in value among goalkeepers. Once he won the job on a permanent basis he had nine clean sheets in 27 games. So far, fantasy managers are not fully convinced Spurs' defenders will protect Lloris since only seven percent own the Frenchman. Seven teams last season gave up fewer goals than Tottenham.
Simon Mignolet, Liverpool 6.4 up from 5.4 The former Sunderland keeper who was the third-highest fantasy point player for GKs, had his value increase by a full million, most likely because he appears to be forcing the Reds to loan out Pepe Reina. Currently, he is owned by 14 percent of fantasy managers.
Tim Howard, Everton 6 down from 6.6 Howard had ten clean sheets in 36 games and was not the force of past seasons.
David DeGea, Manchester United 7.4 up from 7.3 The Spaniard’s opening value is just .1 lower than Hart, yet last season Hart had 50 more fantasy points than DeGea.
Petr Cech, Chelsea 7.3 down from 7.4 Cech opens as the most owned GK by fantasy managers at more than 20 percent. They seem convinced Chelsea will again be strong on defense as they gave up the third fewest goals (39) last season.
Vito Mannone, Sunderland 4.5 up from 4.4 The former Arsenal third-string GK is one of the more attractive bargains for a second roster goalkeeper. He will vie for the top job to replace Mignolet who went to Liverpool.
Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal 7.1 up from 6.6 The Gunners' GK had ten clean sheets in 25 games. Arsenal was the second best defensive team in the PL, yet less than two percent of fantasy managers now own the Polish international.
In future pieces, I'll have a look at other positions and have a separate piece on players new to the Premier League.