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FPL Barometer: Injury Upside

Tate McIntyre

Tate is a soccer writer for RotoWire who focuses primarily on the Barclays Premier League and La Liga. He also contributes to NFL, MLB & NBA coverage. He is a former college soccer player as well as an avid supporter of Arsenal, FC Dallas and America's team: The Dallas Cowboys.

As is the case with most fantasy sports, injuries play perhaps the largest role in creating and diminishing value over the course of the fantasy Premier League season. This is especially true during the winter months, as players who picked up knocks early on in the season often return around this time to play their part for their clubs amid the extremely condensed schedule. Whether a player enters the starting lineup long term because of an injury to a teammate, or simply for a week, the boost in fantasy value is difficult to ignore in the face of the right matchup. In this week’s FPL Barometer, we will explore how injuries are currently affecting the value of several recognizable names.

RISING:

Troy Deeney
Deeney entered the season with a reputation as a scorer after notching 44 goals over his past two seasons in the Championship, yet he contributed just a pair of assists over his first eight Premier League matches. However, the 27-year-old has come alive with four goals in his last five games after his match-winning strike against Aston Villa last week. Deeney will continue to see scoring opportunities while playing alongside the ever-dangerous Odion Ighalo, and his salary is extremely affordable in most formats. He is primed to continue his productive run of form in this weekend’s home match versus Norwich.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return from a month-long hamstring injury in Matchweek 14 couldn’t have come at a better time for Arsenal, as Alexis Sanchez aggravated a hamstring injury in the match, joining the likes of Santi Cazorla (knee), Theo Walcott (calf), Francis Coquelin (calf) and Jack Wilshere (leg) on the training room table. The 22-year-old should get the opportunity to contribute in the busy weeks that lay ahead, and his all-action style of play offers multi-category potential whenever he garners regular playing time. He should be quite inexpensive in most formats and would be an excellent option if he were to break into the starting lineup for this weekend’s home match versus Sunderland.

Kieran Richardson
Richardson has settled into the starting left-back position since the season-ending injury to Jordan Amavi and he was an impact performer in last week’s match versus Watford, when he fired in six crosses and provided his first assist of the season. The 31-year-old is a capable attacker, stemming back to his days as a midfielder for Manchester United, and he is especially attractive in formats that reward action stats while focusing less on clean sheets. Richardson carries a bare minimum price tag in all formats and can be a useful piece to round out a roster.

FALLING:

Adam Lallana
Lallana has regularly featured in the Liverpool midfield this season, but he has failed to make an impact on the stat sheet, with just one assist in 10 Premier League appearances. Jordan Henderson’s return from injury could spell the end of Lallana’s run in manager Jurgen Klopp’s three-man midfield, which also regularly features the likes of James Milner and Emre Can. Lallana is also capable of playing as a member of the front three, but he is unlikely to move ahead of Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino or Philippe Coutinho on the depth chart anytime soon. The 27-year-old’s versatility makes him a valuable squad player at this juncture of the season, but that is of little use to FPL managers.

Yaya Toure
Toure has been a force in the middle of the park for Manchester City this season, and he has already topped his Premier League assist total from all of last season, as he had been occupying a more attacking role in the absence of David Silva. Toure has failed to factor into a goal in each of his last three league appearances, however, and Silva’s return from injury should shift him back into his more familiar holding midfield position. The Ivorian still carries a hefty price tag in many formats, and offensive statistics will be hard to come by with Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling carrying much of the load behind Sergio Aguero (ankle).

Lukasz Fabianski
After finishing as one of the top FPL goalkeepers a season ago and getting off to a fine start to the current campaign, Fabianski has endured a poor run of form over the last two months. The Pole has earned just one victory in his last 10 league matches and has allowed multiple goals in four of the last eight. This weekend’s match against high-flying Leicester City hardly presents Fabianski with a chance to turn things around.