Premier League Fantasy Team Preview: Liverpool

Posted by John Culea

Philippe Coutinho in full flow against EvertonPA PhotosPhilippe Coutinho took no time to adjust to the Premier League and promises big numbers for fantasy managers.

ESPN FC fantasy picks expert Sir John continues his Premier League season preview with a look at Liverpool players who could help fantasy managers. Go to the ESPN FC EPL fantasy page to join the game.

Last season: 16-13-9

Goals: 71 scored, 43 conceded

Position: Seventh

Liverpool, beneficiary of Luis Suarez 23 goals and victim of his cannibalistic fetish, is a team looking for stability. The suspended Suarez (9.3 fantasy value) cannot play for the first six matches of the season. For fantasy managers in need of point-producers, the Reds offer a menu of excellent players.

Manager Brendan Rodgers brought in Spanish forward Iago Aspas (6.7). Aspas will be 26 when the season begins; however, he is not the goal-scoring phenomenon that Suarez is. Spending most of his career with Celta de Vigo, the 5'9", 148-pound Welterweight scored 50 goals at a rate of only a goal every three games.

Luis Alberto (5.6) is another attack-minded Spaniard, 20 years of age and six feet tall. He was loaned by Sevilla to Barcelona's junior varsity team and scored 11 goals in 36 matches.

Unless Rodgers is trying to replace retired Jamie Carragher, I don't get the transfer of Kolo Toure (5.5), especially considering Toure is 32 and had a six-month suspension in 2011 after failing a drug test. Toure, who played only 15 matches, 10 as a starter last season, comes cheap on a free transfer.

Simon Mignolet (6.4) replaces Pepe Reina who was loaned to Napoli. In 38 Premier League games, the 25-year-old Belgian international had 149 saves and 11 clean sheets. He will have far superior defenders in front of him.

Steven Gerrard (7.8) had a terrific season and rewarded fantasy managers with 199 points with 10 goals and nine assists. The midfielder proved durable; playing in 36 games and at 33 years of age is not ancient.

Midfielder Philippe Coutinho (7.5) was a great January transfer, playing in 13 matches and scoring three goals and five assists. At about 160 pounds, the Brazilian gets outmuscled at times, but with a half season worth of experience, he learned a lot.

Daniel Agger (6.8), Jose Enrique (6.3), and Martin Skrtel (6.0) are quality fantasy defenders. Agger was the 8th highest fantasy point defender. Between them they had 36 clean sheets and scored seven goals and two assists. Beyond them, Liverpool offers sparse quality defenders in Andre Wisdom (5.5), Sebastian Coates (5.1), and a collection of young scrubs.

The remainder of the roster has little to offer for fantasy managers. Among midfielders, Stewart Downing (6.2) is inconsistent, Jordan Henderson (6.1) is still a transfer flop, Raheem Sterling remains immature (5.7), Lucas Leiva (5.8) will not give you more than three points a game and (4.9) is a future possibility.

Up front, Daniel Sturridge (7.3) teamed well with Suarez, but you know the name of that tune. Fabio Borini (6.5) came back fairly strong from an injury.

Next: West Bromwich Albion


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