Best Fantasy EPL Players: Crystal Palace
Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Our Fantasy EPL 21/22 Draft Kit promises to be the most comprehensive set of pre-season Draft Premier League articles ever produced! A key component of our Draft Kit will be the Team Preview articles which analyze key assets to sit alongside our all-important Draft Rankings. This article delves into the Best Fantrax Fantasy EPL Players from Crystal Palace!
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Crystal Palace Best Fantasy Players
As noted above, these are the Best Crystal Palace Players for the Fantrax Fantasy EPL platform. We analyze the Eagles' top three prospects ahead of the new season, with an estimated draft pick for each player.
20/21 Points: 276 (68th overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 9.2
Recommended Draft Pick: 60-80 (12 Team League: Round 5-7)
Overview: The crown jewel in the Palace. Let's hope there is no Heist incoming.
At the time of writing this piece, we now know that Patrick Vieira is the confirmed replacement after Roy Hodgson's departure. Initial reports indicate that Vieira wants to implement a open, back-to-front, possession style system that will ask much of this Palace squad. As we saw many times with Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, lower table teams willing to flex their attacking and creative ability can be a delight to watch but can also quickly spiral out-of-control defensively.
With Hodgson, we saw Zaha unquestionably posted in one of a pair of striking partners at the top of a 4-4-2 deep block. Zaha was tasked with running into acres of empty pitch on counter attacks and with converting the few chances Palace generated gameweek to gameweek. Scoring 11 goals and ranking 68th overall in points in text appears impressive, but Zaha owners will know intimately the frustrations he presented. Zaha's season was bolstered by two 30+ performances against Manchester United and relegated West Bromich Albion, but in between were weeks of -1 to 1.5 point outings...
The dirty laundry is now aired. The fact remains that when Zaha wakes up in the mood, he's one of the most dynamic, "un-defendable" forwards in the league. With Eze out until 2022 (we'll get to him in a moment), there's a fair chance we see Zaha in a wider midfielder role. This would involve more touches, more 1v1 chances with outside fullbacks, and more freedom to create chances for others. One only has to take a peak at the 2015-2018 years to remember that Zaha was in the upper echelon of Fantrax midfielders. I'd comfortably target him in the middle rounds, but if he falls further, all the better.
20/21 Points: 314 (41st overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 13.5
Recommended Draft Pick: 45-65
Overview: Power. Size. Momentum. Benteke's aerial dominance and ability to finish in tight spaces is classic of his target man archetype.
His size gives him volume of work in both boxes, insulating managers from a low floor that is typical of central #9's. As such, he's a perfect complement 2nd or 3rd forward to any team. It's possible he could regress, but I'm backing him to maintain a 250 point season outing minimum. The upside is his 472 point outing from 2016 (13.1 points per game) with 15 goals and... 323 aerials won. Fact check me. I'm not wrong about that number.
Some fantasy managers out there may miss this analogy, but Benteke is the Frank Gore of the EPL. At 30 years of age, Benteke eclipsed his last three seasons for total points - with his campaign of dominance not even starting until December of the 2020 season! He went largely undrafted (for good reason) last year, but Benteke for Fantrax purposes should be the gift that keeps on giving as long as Vieira starts him. Before Vieira was confirmed, the Palace-Powers-That-Be awarded Benteke with a two-year contract. He's in the club's plans and rightly so; he capped the May end to season with a goal in four consecutive EPL starts.
20/21 Points: 296.5 (49th overall)
20/21 Points Per Start: 9.3
Recommended Draft Pick: N/D = Not Draftable
Overview: An exciting young talent with an up and down 20/21. Not to be drafted due to injury, but forget him at your own peril.
Coming up from QPR and the Championship, English Football fanatics knew the name very well already when Eze moved to Crystal Palace. With Zaha firmly stationed atop the formation, the left wing was a perfect fit for Eze and his ball prowess. He dazzled, he danced, and he made three Sheffield United defenders look particularly poor on one specific occasion. With 43 key passes, his directive and evolvement as the team's chief creative maestro was "crystal clear." He would be in line for an even stronger season under the effervescent Patrick Vieira.
Unfortunately, he suffered a significant Achilles injury late in May, and The Athletic reported he will likely be out until at least February. Simply put, he is not to be drafted. Unless your league has a 10-man bench reserve, there is no round where I'm holding a young player that will certainly not be rushed back into the fold and has no prospect of playing before Christmas.
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