Premier League on Tap

The Undraftables: Part I

Glass Bones and Paper Skin

Preparing for the upcoming draft season is the most exciting aspect of Fantasy Premier League. Scouring Twitter for transfer rumors, building out your draft strategy, maybe even jumping into a few mock drafts, there’s so much to do before the season kicks off. 

Picture it now: your draft position is drawn, immediately you begin simulating the caliber of player you will be able to land. Is it possible you got the highly coveted 1st overall pick, dog-eared for Erling Haaland after a record-breaking first season with Manchester City? Or did you draw a late pick, at which point you’re caught asking yourself “is there any way [insert player] falls to me?” 

No matter where you end up drafting, draft plans seem to fall apart after the first 4 rounds or so. At this point your average manager relies upon name recognition and past point totals to draft the “best available player” at the time of their next pick. While we aren’t here to throw stones at anyone’s strategy, we at the Premier League on Tap have concocted a list of players to be wary of, to use with whichever strategy you choose to employ.

In this edition of The Undraftables we take a look at players spending far more time in the medical room than in your starting XI, and are worth exercising caution with when crossing paths in your 2023 drafts. 

Allan Saint-Maximin (ADP: 61)

The fleet-footed French trickster is a game-changer when let loose on the pitch. However, he’s only started 25+ matches once in his four years in the Premier League making him unreliable as a fantasy asset. With his ADP likely settling into the 5th-6th round, the opportunity cost is high for a player who’s started less than 50% of Newcastle’s fixtures since joining. The silver lining for ASM in 2022/23: he finished with 15.62 Pp90 – Newcastle’s highest scoring player by this measure. He is the definition of boom or bust, but comes with the risk that he’ll be a boat anchor on your roster.

Reece James (ADP: 39)

After James’ 2021-22 season of 5 goals and 9 assists, the fantasy world was put on notice. A shallow dive into Reece James’ career shows that his injury history is rather bleak. He’s only started over 25 games…well, never! It’s enticing to think about gambling on him early in next season’s draft and hoping for a comeback season, it would be wise to exercise caution. Deploying one of your valuable late 2nd/early 3rd round draft picks on the Chelsea defender seems a bit rich, given the multitude of strong options still available on the board. His injury risk feels more baked-in near round 4, at which point he will be slotted into someone else’s roster.

Callum Wilson (ADP: 57)

Wilson had an unbelievable end to the 2022-23 Premier League season notching 18 goals and 5 assists – finishing as the 13th-ranked FWD and 38th-ranked OVR player. Despite those efforts, he has only managed to start 25+ matches once in his last 8 seasons. Pair this with the rise of Alexander Isak in the squad, and Wilson’s draft-day value takes a dive as he approaches the end of his career at 31 years old. He may not have the drop-off we saw in Jamie Vardy this past year, but think twice about drafting him in the 5th or 6th round.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ADP: 88)

It’s understandable if a player has that one-off season ravaged by injury. It’s another thing if it happens in back to back seasons. For the second season in a row DCL only managed 15 starts and 17 matches played. DCL toes the line between injury-value and injury-trap in rounds 7/8, but he’s proven to be a viable asset when healthy. He’s one to monitor heading into draft season, as his draft cost will determine how much faith to put into him (and the Everton physios) to stay on the field in 2023/24.

Anthony Martial (ADP: 182)

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Martial was touted as the next big thing in world football, almost Mbappe-esque. It’s been 8 seasons since Manchester United prized the talented young star away from Monaco, of which Martial has completed a full season just twice! Injuries have decimated a promising career and it’s difficult to see a path back into the first team for him at United. He could warrant a late round punt in next season’s draft, but he’s certainly lost most (if not all) luster he had left.

Thiago Alcantara (ADP: 210)

Low-hanging fruit, we know. He’s only started 45% of Liverpool’s games in his 3 years, accumulating more yellow cards (8) than goal contributions (6). Now add into the equation Liverpool’s acquisition of Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, and potentially more. This is a team looking to rebuild after an off-year, and the 32 year old Spaniard doesn’t seem to be a big part of this as he stares down free-agency in 2024. You won’t find him on any of rosters around here.

1 thought on “The Undraftables: Part I”

  1. PLOT Commenter

    Reece James is actually undervalued. He will be a leader on this new revamped young chelsea squad and potentially earn the captain ship. His upside is well worth a pick at the 2/3 turn.

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