West Brom have been on the minds of fantasy football managers because of their fixtures at the start of the season. However pre season has changed plenty of managers minds on inclusion; below I’ll be addressing those points.
To start with the obvious; fixtures are very favourable. In the opening five they play Bournemouth, Stoke and West Ham at home while visiting Burnley and Brighton away. On paper everything seems great but there are three things that are causing reconsideration;
1. They haven’t recruited enough.
2. Pre season form has been awful.
3. Last season they disappointed from a points perspective.
The first point is valid and I can’t defend this, especially when promoted clubs such as Brighton and Huddersfield have done so well in getting players in. But we have signed two players; Rodriguez and Hegazi. Both improve the squad; Rodriguez can play up top or in any of the three positions behind and Hegazi fits the Pulis centre back mould and comes with plaudits from the media in his previous leagues country. I expect us to sign more and for now while most fans won’t be happy with that I am. The reason for this is that Odemwingie and Chadli both came late in their respective windows and improved us greatly. In addition to this other teams in the league haven’t strengthened much also; just look at Swansea and even Spurs.
The second point is an area of concern. They haven’t scored much and have conceded a whole lot. But there have been positives to take: Chadli looks good when he plays; Phillips is fit again; Hegazi adds youth; Rodriguez has been scoring and well; Brunt when playing still looks good and some of our football has be3 good to watch.
The third point hasn’t been mentioned much in the fantasy football community but it is still a concern for many. Clean sheets were hard to come by which is shocking when considering it’s a Pulis team and one that had done so well the season before. They also lacked goals and this is highlighted by McAuley being the second highest scorer for last season on 7 goals; just a single one behind Rondon. The club has only really lost Darren Fletcher who despite playing well looked fiery tired towards the end. As it stands if all the players stay fit I do expect more goals and assists from all of the expected front four of Chadli, Phillips, Rodriguez and Rondon. I think they are all worth investment for their own reasons and I believe Chadli will stay and be a key man for Albion this season. From a defensive point of view Megson coming back to the club and the return of Yacob to the team, means that I think they will keep more clean sheets.
Taking all of this in to account I do think for different reasons all of the below players are worth considering for your teams. However I would only advise a single player from the list, with two at the very latest. The best part is that all of these besides one all have ownership of under 5% and could be great differentials:
Rondon (£6.5m) ownership is 2.2%
Rodriguez (£6.0m) ownership is 3.2%
Chadli (£6.0m) ownership is 1.9%
Phillips (£6.0m) ownership is 2.6%
Evans (£5.0m) ownership is 1.4%
Dawson (£5.0m) ownership is 4.9%
Hegazi (£4.5m) ownership is 2.4%
Foster (£4.5m) ownership is 16.1%
*all correct as of 8/8/17 @ 17:00