Premier League Fantasy Team Preview: Everton

Posted by John Culea

Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesWill Kevin Mirallas be the big fantasy point-producer for Everton this season?

ESPN FC fantasy picks expert Sir John Culea continues his Premier League season preview with a look at the teams, examining Everton's chances of moving into a Champions League spot. Go to the ESPN FC EPL fantasy page to join the game.

Last season: 16-15-7
Goals scored: 55
Goals conceded: 40
Finish: Sixth

Roberto Martinez, best known for managing teams that avoided relegation, replaces David Moyes who seeks to replace a manager whose Man United teams won 13 league titles. At Everton, there will be more resources for Martinez than at Wigan; however, he will be expected to deliver at least a Europa finish.

Martinez brought several players with him; the most notable is forward Arouna Kone (6.9 value). He had a great second half of the season at Wigan but only scored one goal in his last eight PL games. Nikica Jelavic (6.5) was largely a disappointment scoring just seven goals in 37 games. An even bigger fantasy bust was Steven Naismith (5.1) who managed only four in 31 games and started 13 games.

In goal, we find ex-Latic Joel Robles (4.5) who will back up Tim Howard (6.0). Howard's form slipped a bit last season, but the 34-year-old American has looked sharp in preseason and is a solid fantasy pick.

Everton's best player is defender Leighton Baines (8.0) who also has the highest fantasy value for defenders and scored the most defender fantasy points. Someone to watch develop is John Stones (4.4) who has looked outstanding in preseason. Phil Jagielka (6.2) was the eighth best fantasy defender. Sylvain Distin (6.1) and his mountain of a body should score goals, while John Heitinga (5.5) and Tony Hibbert (5.4) offer nothing in fantasy value. A Wigan transplant is injured defender Antolin Alcaraz, who only played 11 games.

In midfield, Everton has two Belgian internationals, Kevin Mirallas (underpriced at 6.2) and Maroune Fellaini (7.9). Mirallas is a great pickup as a fifth midfielder while Fellaini's goal scoring may be in jeopardy since it looks as if he has been assigned a deeper role by Martinez than Moyes who had the beanpole in the box a lot.

Steven Pienaar (overpriced at 7.4) and Darren Gibson (6.1) are not recommended. Ross Barkley (5.4) plays like an attacking forward and should be an outstanding player. The reality is that fantasy managers cannot depend on words like "should". They need points now. Leon Osman (6.9) somehow got 142 fantasy points but is not a recommended fantasy addition. Bryan Oviedo (5.4) is in over his head and 19-year-oild Gerard Deulofeu (6.0) is an unproven quantity from Barcelona's B team.

Next: Liverpool


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