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Draft EPL January Transfer Analysis 22/23 [Part Two]

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

The Premier League signings are steadily rolling in, so our January Transfer Analysis will delve into the prospects of all the major transfers. It’s imperative that you know who the new signings are ahead of the upcoming Fantasy EPL waiver runs, and what kind of impact they could have on the Premier League!

This article will be updated as new players come in.

The Premier League January Transfers covered here occurred between January 8th and January 18th.

Premier League January Transfer Analysis 22/23

We outline each Premier League new signing individually, providing our views on how they will perform this season and a star rating is given based on their upcoming prospects! We use a five-star rating model to rank the new signings; use these hints and tips to help kick start your Draft Premier League season!

We’ve ranked the prospects based on a star rating, from 1 to 5:

⭐️ = Steer clear

⭐️⭐️ = Wait and see

⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Could be worth a punt

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = Great prospect

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = The Premier League signing you’ve been waiting for!

Joao Felix

Position: Winger/Anywhere in the front 3 (Forward in Fantrax)

Team: Chelsea

Signed From: Atletico Madrid

Prospects: The Portuguese winger didn't have the best of debuts, as he was sent off after 60' and is now suspended for 3 games. Due to his loan deal not including a buy option and Chelsea signing Mudryk to a long term contract, Felix appears to be nothing more than a stopgap. Regardless, he's still one that is very much needed, even after his suspension is up, as the long term future and medium term health of some of the current attackers at Chelsea is quite questionable, so Felix should have his opportunities. In his debut, he was having a double digit ghost day before his red card, which could be a good indication of the positives he brings to the table when he does play.

Verdict: One of the top waiver targets of the January window, even with the suspension. I would spend around 40-50% of remaining FAB or burn a high-end waiver claim to get him.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mikhailo Mudryk

Position: Winger (Midfielder in Fantrax)

Team: Chelsea

Signed From: Shakhtar Donetsk

Prospects: The 22 year old dynamic winger (generally at LW, but can play RW too) find himself at Chelsea after a transfer drama complete with Instagram flirtations and red eye flights. Will he be worth the massive, potentially 100 million fee? Time will tell but he has plenty of tools to succeed. He's a great dribbler, ball carrier, and goal scorer and appears to have the physicality needed to deal in the EPL. The predominant strike against him is that he doesn't have a lot of top level experience (barring a few impressive showings in the Champions League). He's also been poor defensively historically, which he'll need to improve. If he starts, his offensive talents and goal contributions in a likely top-half (again) offense, will make him a valuable fantasy asset. Whether he succeeds this season (fantasy-wise) will likely be a question of how much opportunity he's given. Chelsea are loaded in terms of players in attack, however, given their many current absentees (via injuries and suspensions), he could very well become their best, fit winger in the short to medium term. Despite not starting a competitive game since last year, he's in training and expected to be involved soon. As for his long term prospects, he'll face plenty of competition in his favored left attacking channels (via Felix, Sterling, Mount, & Puli).

Verdict: It would be over-confidence to suggest any certainty around his projected starts and thus value rest of season. There's a large range of possible outcomes. He could be a decent floor, high ceiling, often starting winger in a refreshed Chelsea squad, if he hits the ground running. Or he could be integrated slowly, the other older attackers return, and he only sees rotational starts, taking time to adapt to level (and Chelsea never figure it out). Bet the middle, starting half the time in a good but not great offense, putting up good peripheral stats and the occasional return. That plus his ROS upside puts him as the top remaining waiver option (as of now) so we'd spend a #1 waiver on him or 60-80% of FAAB.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pablo Sarabia

Position: Winger (Midfielder in Fantrax)

Team: Wolves

Signed From: PSG

Prospects: The 30 year old versatile, attacking mid comes into a Wolves attack, with plenty of players, but not many goals. He was fantastic on loan in Portugal last season with 15 goals and 8 assists in 29 games (he did take pens and sets though). His minutes were severely limited at PSG, and thus he became a bargain signing for Wolverhampton after wantng out. He's a left-footed player, who can play right wing or as a central attacking mid behind a forward. His resume offers much better attacking returns & more experience than any of the current other WOL attackers. He's historically been a great finisher & passer, but a poor, low volume dribbler & defender. With Guedes & Traore out of favor and Hwang not doing much and getting yanked early often, plus Julen choosing to bring him, logic would dictate that Sarabia is bound for a good amount of minutes at RW (pairing Podence + Cunha/CF) or even as an AM in a 4 man attack. He should be fairly likely to get lefty sets (with Bueno the only other lefty sometimes taking). Due to his goal contribution tendencies, his ceiling (and ability to hit it) should be near or above Podence's. His floor is harder to predict though and likely depends heavily on his sets involvement & positioning (AM could be better as he'd be more involved). We're optimistic, but realistic here.

Verdict: We think Sarabia could be a value pickup for a couple reasons. Managers will feel burned by previous Wolves attacking signings, like Guedes, and even the recent Cunha. Rightfully so to a degree, as their attack hasn't oferred much outside of the rarely starting Traore and occasional Podence performance. In addition, there's been very little hype around this signing, for a cheaper, older attacker in a mediocre, seemingly crowded offense coming from being a backup for PSG, limited game time in the World Cup, and succeeding in the lesser known, Portuguese league. But he could be very well be more than meets the casual eye. Starts and sets, like often, the key. We think you can likely get him for a lower waiver wire spot or 10-15% of FAAB bid.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐1/2

Alex Moreno

Position: Left back (Defender in Fantrax)

Team: Aston Villa

Signed From: Real Betis

Prospects: There have been rumours ever since Emery arrived that he doesn't trust Digne and wants a more direct, attacking left back. And so his first senior signing is exactly that. Moreno is a 29 year old left back who's honed his train in La Liga for years and offers the quickness, dribbling, and direct attacking that Digne does not. In the last 2 seasons in Spain he has scored 9fpts, and 7 gpts per 90, which includes a lot of defensive ghosts and dribbles. He's generally a better duel winner but worse crosser than his new, French teammate. He's likely to compete straight away for the spot, and steal it rather quickly. In fact, given Digne's injury last game (where Moreno subbed on), as well as poor form in the last couple games, he could have it from now on, and never let it go. He could also play further forward at times, as a pseudo-winger, when Emery opts to play 2 full backs (a semi-common Emery tactic in tough matchups).

Verdict: Moreno should be a solid, ghost-point accruing full back for a middle of the road defensive team (that could improve with Moreno for Digne and Diego Carlos back at some point). He may not have the same ceiling as Digne, due to lower likelihood to be involved in set pieces (and thus likelihood for attacking returns) but his open-play value should be higher and Emery will want him plenty involved in the offense. For a season where good defenders are hard to come by, and there may not be many more (starters) in this January, we think 15-20 FAAB or a middle of the road waiver should be a good bet for Moreno.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Wout Weghorst

Position: Centre Forward (Forward in Fantrax)

Team: Manchester United

Signed From: Burnley

Prospects: The Dutch giant returns to the Prem, but this time at a hopeful title-contender instead of a relegation-bound, "what's attacking mean?" team Burnley. He's much better than his Burnley stint suggests, and if given minutes in a firing, United attack, he'll have plenty of upside. He's a different kind of striker to Martial, in that he's a more stagnant, aerially-gifted target man. But whether he starts instead of him, or in his absence is the big question. Ten Hag has thus far shown a lot of confidence in Martial, and United's stance to only bring a cheap striker in on a loan, suggests that they intend to play the season out with Martial as their main man. Rashford can flex as a striker, of course, but as he's on fire on the wing, they likely want to keep him there. So Weghorst is, more than likely, a backup who will only play occasionally in rotation, or when Martial's injured (which could be often, in all fairness).

Verdict: Weghorst is definitely worth a punt, given the strength of the offense he's joining, as well as his competition's (Martial's) historical availability issues (even now, he's questionable for next week). But, we think bidding a lot for Weghorst, is not a smart investment, so we'd only go as high as 10 FAAB or a mid to late waiver spot. Let someone overspend, if they so choose.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Georgino Rutter

Position: Centre Forward (Forward in Fantrax)

Team: Leeds

Signed From: Hoffenheim

Prospects: Rutter offers much needed, senior depth at the striker position for Leeds. Bamford's injuries are well-known, Rodrigo isn't exactly a forward these days and can't make it through 90 minutes generally, and their other options are still untrustworthy youngsters. The 20 year old, Rutter has been impressive for Hoffenheim scoring 10 goals in 24 starts over the past 1.5 seasons. However, it must be said that he's an atypical 9 in that he's more of a dribbler, good shot creator, and shows preference for attacking from the wide channels, rather than your typical target man, goal scorer. These tendencies (and resulting stats of 11.5 fpts and 7.6 gpts per 90 in Germany) mean he should be a useful fantasy asset when playing for the high-flying Leeds attack, buuut may make it hard for him to stick in a lineup that has plenty of similar types, but really needs the goals at the end of their activity. Whether Bamford can stay healthy may be the key there. At 20, Rutter is of course an incomplete player, yet has shown vast potential and performed at a top level. For now, I'd expect Marsch to play the hot and fit hand between him, Bamford, and Rodrigo (who can also shift to CAM too). With Bamford fit (ish) again, they may ease him in. Plenty of competition on the Leeds wings (particularly when Sinisterra and Sumerville are back) means he likely will only see minutes up top.

Verdict: A question of opportunity. A crowded attack in need of a goal scoring 9. Bamford may be first choice striker in the short term, but will Rutter get his chance (and will Marsch be around for much longer) and take it, becoming the option medium to long term? Given his scoring when given opportunity, and Bamford's availability issues, we think there's worse bets to make. Again, given his lower profile of signing, we think you can likely get him for a lower waiver wire spot or 10-15% of FAAB bid.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Carlos Alcaraz

Position: Centre Midfielder (Midfielder in Fantrax)

Team: Southampton

Signed From: Racing Club

Prospects: Alcaraz is a 20 year old highly touted central midfielder. He's likely to eventually partner Lavia with JWP further forward. In his young career, he's a box to box, deep lying playmaker, who's good at carrying, dribbling, running, and finishing, but no so great at defending nor creating chances with his passing yet. Southampton may not be able to afford his defensive concerns in their relegation race though, so he's more likely a rotational player in the near future, possibly becoming a starter later in the season. Even in the minutes, his floor and ceiling will be severely limited in a poor side, in a further back role

Verdict: Not likely worth a waiver or bid this window.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Jhon Durán

Position: Centre Forward (Forward in Fantrax)

Team: Aston Villa

Signed From: Chicago Fire

Prospects: A 19 year old, highly touted striker, Duran comes from the United States scoring 8 goals and 3 assists in 15 90's this past season.. He put up 11.9 fpts and 5.9 gpts per 90 in the MLS in 22'. He's a different profile of striker to those currently at Villa, being a big, strong, good holdup play, good aerially, good defensively type of player, but not a creator, nor dribbler. He's not likely to play big part this season due to the older, proven alternatives, unless an injury bug hits or Ings or Watkins is sold.

Verdict: Not likely worth a waiver or bid this window.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️


Position: Defensive Midfielder (Midfielder in Fantrax)

Team: Nottingham Forest

Signed From: Palmeiras

Prospects: Danilo is a 21 year old DM/CM, sought by many big clubs in the past. Another Brazilian from Palmeiras to go along with Scarpa, he could end up a steal, with likely improved future value for Forest, but how much he contributes this year, remains to be seen. He's a very well rounded player: good shooter, dribbler, solid defensively. He's likely to take some time to adjust but may rotate or steal mins from Mangala at LCM or push Freuler over to LCM and play as the deepest lying central mid. Defensive-oriented midfielder for a bottom tier side is a pass fantasy-wise.

Verdict: Not likely worth a waiver or bid this window.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Mario Lemina

Position: Centre Midfielder (Midfielder in Fantrax)

Team: Wolves

Signed From: Nice

Prospects: Lemina is a 29 year old CM/DM who will provide much needed senior depth to Wolves' engine room. He'll likely bring an energetic, physical presence off the bench, but is unlikely to be often starter. He put up 6.5 fpts and 5.9 gpts per 90 in France, so even when he does play, we'd avoid. Low floor, low ceiling. If he does get the rare start, he could push Nunes slightly higher up the pitch ( if he does start over Moutinho).

Verdict: Not likely worth a waiver or bid this window.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

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