We. Are. Back.
The start of the new Premier League season is upon us (or rather, has been and gone, depending on when you’re reading this) but the dust has not yet settled on draft season. At least not here at The Draft Society anyway. There’s still time to analyse all those picks before Chelsea flop to make us all look foolish, or Palace thrive under Vieira to everyone’s surprise.
Our first Community Special winner was meant to be Fantrax Iceland but VAR has come in and overruled that decision due to their league having not yet drafted. Coming in as a replacement will be A Team of Carras' league – which is fitting given that Jamie Carragher could only ever get in the England team when one of the main men dropped out.
Whilst this article will hopefully give ‘A Team of Carras’ and his rivals a bit of a laugh, some ammo in the group chat, and possibly even a little advice and guidance heading into the season, it should also contain a few useful thoughts for everyone else out there. And if not, well, you can always enter next time to try and get a personalised article for your own league. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and keep an eye out on Sunday evenings when the advertising post will go live.
So without further ado, ‘A Team of Carras’, here is your Draft Analysis…
Here at The Draft Society we love giving back to the Fantasy EPL Community. We love interacting with you on Twitter and throughout our website, and we also love giving back in the only way we know how: the Community Specials as per the fantastic @the_innergeek! Keep an eye out for our calls for entrants to these personalized articles over on our Twitter feed: @Draft_Society.
The Drafted Squads
A Team of Carraghers
Draft Position: #1
Draft Grade: A-
No wonder Team of Carras wanted me to review their draft: it was an excellent performance by the team picking first. Loved the Mid-Mid-Mid start – Jack Harrison, in particular, is good value at the top of the 3rd round. I always think that, whilst a good draft won’t win you a title, a bad draft can lose you one. So whilst Carras didn’t necessarily find any gems early doors, they did the more important part which was to avoid any howlers. Well, until Naby Keita in the 12th that is. But from round 11 onwards I’m okay with flyers, team biases, and joke picks (I’m guessing Keita falls into the first two here…possibly the third as well). Pedro Neto in the 11th is my favourite pick – even with the Wolves man out potentially until January. It does mean, however, that the forward line may be left short from week-to-week, especially as Roberto Firmino could be in a timeshare with Diogo Jota.
Draft Position: #2
Draft Grade: D+
The grade may be a little harsh, but in what looks to be a league where everyone knows what they’re doing, I had to separate the good from the bad…and unfortunately, this was the bad. I actually like the Michail Antonio (round 2) and Lucas Digne (round 3) picks, but that’s probably as good as it got. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s numbers have declined every year since his explosive arrival to the Prem, to the point where last year he was on Danny Welbeck’s level. That is not a 4th round pick. Jarrod Bowen was another taken a couple of rounds too early, but the biggest issue here is Mathias Jensen in the 8th. Draft 101: Even if you really like a player, you only need to reach for them if you think someone is going to take them before you. Nobody was taking Mathias Jensen before the 11th round at best. Side note: manager Andres was part of a Community Special last year where I predicted his team to finish poorly and was left with serious egg on my face, so I’m sure he’s not too worried about my slating opinion here!
Draft Position: #3
Draft Grade: D+
Some steady, Nick Faldo-esque golf from Apia Sharks early doors – hitting solid pars for the first four picks. Then it changed. A rollercoaster of a draft from the 5th round onwards, with – unfortunately for the manger – far more downs than ups. Calling Ricardo Pereira a shadow of his former self last season would be doing him a huge favour, and so that pickup in the 5th is a big, big risk – and one I can’t see paying off (especially when you consider that Vladimir Coufal and Harry Maguire went later in that round). Andros Townsend next up is also a concern – the new Everton man hasn’t been good since 2018-19 and I’m not convinced his fortunes are changing now. We’ll end on a positive though (which is more than what can be said for Apia’s draft): that Chris Wood pickup in the 7th is very nice. Wood is criminally underrated in the draft community, and probably should have been taken at the top of the 6th at the very latest.
Willie Millers Tache
Draft Position: #4
Draft Grade: C-
Dele Alli’s name up there in the 4th round just sticks out like a sore thumb doesn’t it? In fairness, I kinda get it. And if you like the guy on a personal level (which I do), then I’m sure you can convince yourself that he can roll back the years* to when he was a 14.7 FP/G player back in 2016-17. Still, it’s a risk that could probably have been taken later on. Alli is just one of a contingent of a number of unknowns in this squad; Edinson Cavani, Ryan Fraser, Serge Aurier, Rayan Ait-Nouri – who knows what their currents statuses are. Even the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Pascal Gross, and Kieran Tierney will keep the manager on their toes every weekend when it comes to whether they will start or not. Thank God for Sadio Mane – I think the Liverpool man will keep this team relevant.
*Research is still pending as to whether 25 year-olds are eligible to “roll back the years”
Draft Position: #5
Draft Grade: C+
Jadon Sancho as the 5th overall pick? Yikes. That is one confident manager taking the new United arrival over the likes of Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Heung-Min Son, and Raphinha. Speaking of big money signings from Germany…Timo Werner in the 4th round? That seems a little steep for someone who is unlikely to start 20 games this season. And this in turn brings us to Emile Smith Rowe. I’m a big, big fan of the young Arsenal man – I think his performances last season probably didn’t get the fantasy points they deserved – but even I wouldn’t have taken him in the 5th round. The start of the draft is super important and Harchester stumbled out of the blocks. Fortunately, I think James Tarkowski (6th round), Che Adams (7th), Cristian Romero (10th), and Neal Maupay (15th) have kept this from being a disaster.
Draft Position: #6
Draft Grade: B
I said earlier that I’m okay with the lower round picks being throwaways for high upside fringe players or favourite-team biases…but let’s not get silly here. Ryan Bertrand, Harvey Elliott, and Konstantinos Tsimikas? 3WF might as well have drafted Ryan Reynolds, Harvey Keital, and Konstan…dammit, I didn’t think this one through. Anyway, the point is, these three draft picks will be lucky to end with 10 starts combined this season. Nevertheless, 3WF didn’t put a foot wrong early doors, and that’s where it matters. In fact, going back to our golfing analogy of earlier, by my reckoning the manager made five pars and two birdies (Coufal in the 5th and Solly March in the 6th) through the opening seven holes. If they can select their teams and play the waiver wire just as successfully then they will be up there come the end of the season.
Draft Position: #7
Draft Grade: D+
Okay, okay, meh, okay, meh, okay, WHATTTTT?!?! Those are the first seven picks for Bantah Boyz. Seriously, what is Raphael Varane doing there? I’d have rated that pickup as a 1 out of 10 if it had been in the 15th round, let alone where it was in the 7th. Absolute nightmare for Bantah Boyz. And then to follow it up with Anwar El Ghazi…damn. Perhaps the manager is expecting Dean Smith to employ the highly unusual six wingers tactic, in which case, El Ghazi may get some game time. Speaking of which, the Villa man forms a midfield contingent that is about as exciting as season 8 of The Walking Dead. This, people, is why you need to draft more than two midfielders in your opening eight picks. Better say something positive to finish. Ferran Torres in the 10th is nice value.
Draft Position: #8
Draft Grade: A-
Probably the most consistently solid draft in the league this one. No big wins but no big losses. That will do very nicely. In fact, there’s probably only two questionable picks in the whole squad and that’s Kai Haverz in the 2nd and Bertrand Traore in the 7th. Havertz had a few big hauls towards the end of last season and followed it up with a decent Euros, but he’d have probably been available to Ibby343 in the 3rd round. Traore, on the other hand, will likely be relying on an injury at Villa in order to see some starts – but if that happens, he does hold some decent fantasy value. Jamie Vardy and Mason Greenwood are being undervalued heading into the season and should form a nice forward quartet for Ibby, whilst the defence will be amongst the best in the league with all five picks capable of scoring big points. Is that midfield going to cost them a league title though? A trade is probably needed to strengthen this area of the pitch.
The Flying Bananas
Draft Position: #9
Draft Grade: B
A lot of “ifs” and “buts” in this one but overall I like it. Obviously not the Donny van de Beek pick, but the rest of it is good. James Rodriguez and Tammy Abraham as flyers in the 11th and 12th could prove amazing value, and if Alexandre Lacazette stays and Kurt Zouma cements a starting spot, this team will be right up there. Realistically though, there are too many punts for them all to pay off (Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, and Gabriel Jesus in rounds 5-7 can be added to that) but even if just a few do, then The Flying Bananas will be okay. My favourite pick here though? Phil Foden. He may be out until after the first international break, but he will end up being the highest fantasy points scorer on a Manchester City team that goes unbeaten (that’s my bold prediction for you).
Konate by Nature
Draft Position: #10
Draft Grade: A
I’m in a bit of a dilemma here. Do I announce JWill (manager of Konate by Nature and fellow Draft Society founder) as winner of this league’s best draft, and risk incurring the inevitable criticism of bias and favouritism? Or do I try to save face by ignoring the highly complicated draft analysis algorithm that proclaimed this to be the best squad drafted and bump JWill’s draft grade down a bit? I’m going with the former. This is a VERY good draft. To paraphrase that Friends scene where Joey eats the meat-filled trifle: Raphinha with the 10th pick? Good. Tomas Soucek in the 4th round? Good. Sergi Canos in the 13th? Goooooooood. Throw in a bit of Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Trincao from rounds 7-9 and you have great draft value everywhere you look. Well, except with Nat Phillips. But there’s gotta be one bad pick.
Draft Position: #11
Draft Grade: B+
Not far off the top three is Caracha FC, who had a very similar draft to Ibby343 in its solid consistency. And similar to Ibby, what may hurt this squad most is the midfield. First rounder Jack Grealish (with the 11th pick you really can’t blame them for taking him…he’s the second best player in the league after all), is being supported by Leandro Trossard, Stuart Dallas, Ruben Neves, and Todd Cantwell. When Grealish is at the mercy of Pep Roulette that midfield will struggle to get 30 points between them. I’m a big, big fan of the forward five though – particularly Iheanacho, who was an absolute steal in the 6th round, and Troy Deeney, who could genuinely be the pick of the draft in the 16th round. If Tottenham’s new signing Bryan Gil were to find a way into the starting 11 then there’s some very nice trade bait amongst the forwards.
Draft Position: #12
Draft Grade: B-
Last but certainly not least is Chelski Mania, who used the 12-13 turn to take the only premium defender in the league and a midfielder who oozes points whenever he’s on the field. Nice picks there, it’s just a shame they were followed up with Raul Jimenez, Paul Pogba, and Dwight McNeil. None of these will be failures (and like most people, I really hope Raul Jimenez does return to his pre-injury self) but they’ve all been taken one round too high. The three below-average picks were then followed by three above-average picks, as Richarlison and Nicolas Pepe were taken to solidify the forward line before Wilfried Ndidi was brought in during the 8th. I’m a big fan of the Leicester man, and if Brendan Rodgers can keep to using him in midfield as opposed to defence then it should be a consistent 7-11 points per game. Questions have to be asked of the 13th (Demarai Gray) and 14th (Enock Mwepu) picks, but at that point Chelski Mania was probably too busy checking to see if Lukaku had signed yet.
So there we have it. Draft analysis of ‘A Team of Carras’ league courtesy of The Inner Geek. Top marks for Konate by Nature, Ibby343, and (conveniently) A Team of Carraghers, whilst extra homework is being assigned to Bantah Boyz, Musis22, and Apia Sharks. If you want a Community Special article written about YOUR league – whether it’s a Draft Analysis, Gameweek Preview, or Trade-Maker Special – then make sure you follow The Draft Society on Twitter and keep an eye out on Sunday evenings when the advertising post will go live.
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