By Kevin Koczwara
Is anyone else being hurt in their fantasy league because their major players are being injured? I am being destroyed by injuries. I started with Theo Walcott and Robinho on my starting 11, and both got hurt. Robinho at least made it onto the pitch for a game or two, but I was sure he was a shoe in this year for major points in fantasy and high flying scoring numbers. Manchester City have so many weapons around him — Roque Santa Cruz is hurt, but when he returns he will be there 4 or 5 striker, he can start on any team in the Premier League right now. But it was only a matter of time before Robinho got hurt before he could make a huge impact on my fantasy team.
Robinho has 4 points thus far, that is less than David Ngog of Liverpool and Jo of Everton. Yup, the David Ngog who just scored in the Carling Cup game against Leeds, and who looks impenitent on the field against most Premier squads. And that Jo is the same one that is on loan at Everton, a floundering club in the table at this moment. It was a huge blow to lose little Robinho, especially because he was my captain.
And Theo Walcott destoryed me in the early weeks. I was giving him time, sitting him on the bench, and waiting for his nagging injury to heal. I figured he is always injured, but he seems to bounce back and have huge games in the Arsenal jersey, and when he gets back he will pick up the pace and use Arshavin and Fabergas to free himself up and get some goals and helpers. But that hasn’t happened. He is still out, sitting on the sideline, watching Arsenal put up huge numbers in their first few games, and flounder as of late against the toughest opponents in the Premier League.
I needed his points because he was amid-priced player with huge potential and this is supposed to be one of his breakout years. He has matured, played for the senior national squad, and is paired with a dangerous amount of play makers. His injury really set me back in the standings.
Currently, I am last in both leagues I am playing, and to say that I need a few big weeks is an understatement. I have 163 points, I am close to 40 points behind the next person in both the leagues I am in. If it weren’t for Fernando Torres and the transfer for Eduardo, Darren Bent, and Stephen Ireland I would be below 100 points.
The Everton Saga with Joleon Lescott
Everton started off the season by getting romped by Arsenal 6-1 and I had Tim Howard in net and Joleon Lescott leading my defensive charge. The usually stingy Toffees killed my first week results. I was close to 0 points, that is unheard of. Then they lost to Burnley, who saw that coming? So my first two weeks of Premier League fantasy were almost negated because of huge losses in the back of my formation. I had to do with it up and go with Shay Given, who was on my bench, and place Lescott on the bench–I knew the transfer to the top-heavy Manchester City was imminent so I kept him in the reserves. Looking back on those first two weeks I can see my mistake: I should have recognized the turmoil in the back-line with Lescott’s transfer request.
For all you fantasy hopefuls, keep with the news, because injuries and turmoil can bring you down in a hurry, no matter how small you think they are. I think my team will now pick-up points and make a run because I have made enough adjustments to the squad to allow it some wiggle room. I’ll keep you posted (if you care), and talk about the struggles I had picking a Champions League squad.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at email@example.com.