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I’m going to open today’s Goalkeeper Rankings with an analogy… Goalies are to Fantasy Soccer as Kickers are to Fantasy Football. They can put your week over the top, but they’ll never carry you. You need to start one on your team, and you need a good one, but they’ll never get you more than 10-12 points max. The long and the short, Goalkeepers are the wrong place to invest your money. The best strategy is to find a goalie who sees a lot of shots, but one who’s team isn’t completely hapless. This way, they’ll rack up the saves, but won’t be shell-shocked. Plus, they’ll get some clean sheets.

Don’t be fooled, the pricing on goalies is cheap. Even the top tier keepers are about as costly to own as a low to mid-tier midfield option. So you’re not going to blow your kitty on your keeper. Regardless, that £1.5 in savings could be the difference between Sergio Aguero and Daniel Sturridge. Having Aguero in your lineup week in and week out makes a bigger difference, than having, say, Joe Hart instead of Ben Foster would. Sure, Joe Hart is steady, and on a great team with a stingy backbone, but how many points will he get you on his good weeks? 12? That’s not much different than the 6 you’d get from a lower level goalie with a uneventful (no saves) clean sheet. Now look at Aguero’s week, he’s scored 19 points, and more than likely if you owned him you had him captained. So you’re looking at 38 points from a single roster spot. You’d never get that from the top goalie in his best week. So this is a place to look for value. Don’t get me wrong you don’t have to punt the position, but the strategy has always worked for me.

Starting 11 Goalkeepers

1. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham: £5.6 – The French captain may not be an all-world keeper but he’s the highest scoring this season in fantasy. Lloris can thank Tottenham’s lax defense for that distinction. He leads the league in saves right now and has 3 clean sheets as well. His team has the identity of no identity, good enough to shut someone out one day, but bad enough to allow 8 shots.

2. Joe Hart, Manchester City: £6.0 – He’s Mr. Reliable year after year, he’s also Mr. Expensive. There’s good reason for that, he’s closest there is to sure thing in the game.

3. David de Gea, Manchester United: £5.4 – Has a very similar situation to Lloris, due to United’s weak back line. A few weeks ago at home against Everton, De Gea stood on his head. He can do that on any given week and is going to see his fair share of shots. I think he has a good setup for consistent points rest of season.

4. Simon Mignolet, Liverpool: £5.5 – He was amazing last season and he hasn’t been bad thus far. I expect him to finish top 3 in points by the end of the season. Liverpool’s defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough that the Belgian could rack up a few more clean sheets the rest of the way.

5. Fraser Forster, Southampton: £5.1 – He’s the league leader with 4 clean sheets to his name, and everything Southampton is hot right now. He’s not seeing a ton of shots so the save total is pretty low and this is what keeps him out of my top 5. His price at £5.1 is only so so despite his point total and here’s why, almost all of his value is based around Southampton playing well. The eventual cold streak will come for a team playing over their heads, I’m not hitching my wagon to that for anything more than £4.8.

6. Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea: £6.0 – Quite possibly the most talented keeper in the league, if not the world. He’s been legendary at Atletico the last couple of years, but his transition at Stamford Bridge has not gone as smoothly as Mourhino and company expected. Look at it this way, he’s performed on the big stage and he was good enough to bump Petr Čech, that says something. This may be the lowest he’ll be ranked all season, but his subpar play didn’t warrant a higher ranking.

7. Brad Guzan, Aston Villa: £4.6 – Guzan is a straight bargain. He costs next to nothing for a certified number one starter. He sees enough shots that he’s 6th in the league in saves,and he’ll get you a clean sheet here and there. The American has outplayed his countryman Tim Howard in EPL play thus far. Shhhh don’t tell ESPN that.

8. Julián Speroni, Crystal Palace: £5.0 – He’s 4th overall in goalie scoring and had 12 total clean sheets last year. He’s got a very high floor as he seems to always get you points, but his ceiling is limited because his team isn’t that good. Regardless he’s a solid if unspectacular starter for your team.

9. Asmir Begovic, Stoke City: £5.0 – When Begovic is on he’s one of the best goalies in the league. He’s been mediocre all season, but he he typically gets hot for 3 or 4 games stretches. I’m waiting on the hot steak that’s why he’s in my top ten.

10. Ben Foster, West Bromwich Albion: £4.5 – Missed last weeks game with a calf injury but looks set to return in week 9. He’s been in the Premier League for 8 years and has been a heavy volume starter for the last 4 . The Baggies are an underrated team with a solid defense. Assuming the calf injury is minor, I love the value here.

11. Łukasz Fabiański, Swansea City: £5.1 – The former Arsenal backup is finally getting a chance at a starting gig in Wale, and he’s making the most of it. Flappy Handski no more! He’s got 21 saves to go with 3 clean sheets and Swansea has been playing quality football. The price is bit higher than I’d like but he still solid value.

  1. Jesmond Tutu says:
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    Should probably point out a couple of errors on the names – it’s Asmir Begovic, Fraser Forster and Petr Cech.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jesmond Tutu: Hahaha right you are. I’m going to start sending you my stuff to proof read. Good catch.

      • Jesmond Tutu says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Occupational hazard; I do it for a living (well, part of my job, anyway).

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Jesmond Tutu: Cool, editor? I like your input, what are your thoughts on the rankings?

          • Jesmond Tutu says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: A bit of sub-editing and proof-reading, bit of writing. Bit of everything, really.

            As for the ranks, they’re always a tricky one to get ‘right’, because there’s no such thing as ‘right’, really. Depending on how long term you’re looking, how much you weight their price and so forth there can be a great deal of variation. I tend to look at something like 6-8 weeks in advance, and for keepers I’m really loath to rank highly-priced stoppers particularly near the top, because I’d never spend that much on a keeper because the money’s better spent elsewhere, as you intimated at the top of the piece. Of course Courtois and Hart are going to get more clean sheets over the season than someone like Forster, but are they providing bang for their buck?

            That being said, I’d’ve thought Adrian at West Ham and Howard at Everton would’ve merited a look in a top 11, probably at the expense of Begovic and perhaps Speroni. I also think that De Gea’s pretty high given that 3 of his next 4 fixtures are Chelsea home, and City and Arsenal away, and United have looked pretty shocking at the back so far under van Gaal.

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: I was trying to look at it ROS. I passed it off of points and not value per se. I actually think that Foster could be the best value in the league and Guzan next. I think Howard as a “Fantasy” keeper is overrated and typically try and avoid him. £5.4 is a lot for Howard IMO.

            As for De Gea, he’s my binky. I love the guy. I actually think United’s terrible back line boost his value. He’s going to see a ton of shots, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes in the top 5 due to that. I’m still hopping they can get a centre back in the transfer window. I’ve heard rumors about Angelo Ogbonna, but with the papers in the UK there’s so much fiction about potential transfers.

            I was between Fabianski and Adrian.

          • Jesmond Tutu says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: If it’s rest of season that makes a little more sense, but in that case I’m amazed that Szczesny hasn’t made the top 10.

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: Yeah he was on the cusp, I think he’s better real life than fantasy wise. He’s the kind of guy that’ll give you 2 points for 4 straight weeks and then have a great game. Szczęsny has had too many low scoring games not saying they won’t come but at the moment I’m not ranking him this high. If I ranked every starter in the league he’s between 13-16.

  2. dizzystpizzy says:
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    Joe Hart always looks like he’s about to pull a Robert Green to me

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dizzystpizzy: Hahaha me too then he makes a save like his stop of Soldado last week and redeems my faith in him.

      With that said I could see him playing for Blackburn in 5 years because his career went down the pooper.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Just like with Paul Robinson!

        Agree Hart is a top keeper though, should be the England no1 for close to a decade. Noone else close to him.

  3. dizzystpizzy says:
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    Also totally agree about Forster re: his value based on the Saints winning/clean sheets. Not sustainable.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @dizzystpizzy: Yes indeed, I’d be looking to move on after week 12 leading up to the clash with City.

  4. Swfcdan says:
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    Gonna take some time to remember to log into razz-football when I go on this site. Used to just stick around in the offseason for Grey’s rankings and sleeper posts but now I have something else worthwhile to look at!

    Are you/smokey gonna make a signups blog for people when you are ready to set a league up? Just checking, don’t wanna miss out because I’ve missed comments or something.

    Did you watch Bayern’s first half last night vs Roma? Wow! Best team in world football right now, hands down.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Swfcdan: I need to figure it out with Smokey, but it looks like we could just create a league on the Premier league site and import our existing teams in. The earliest we’re looking for that post is Friday.

      Bayern is the best program in the world right now. Great players, great coach, great tradition. What’s not to like? Too bad for Roma, they’re my favorite Serie A club and I’m glad that they are back on the European stage….but that was bad…reaaaaaaaaaal bad.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Good stuff, I’ll need to start making my team then.

        It was like men vs schoolboys last night (english football phrase) between Bayern and Roma, expected much more of Roma having seen them look good vs Man City. But yeah Bayern are simply awesome, and they have one of the top 2 coaches in the world. And theres a good chance they’ll meet the other top coach (Mourinho) in the latter stages, that will be a matchup to behold.

        • dizzystpizzy says:
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          @Swfcdan: Would love to see the Bayern/Chelsea rematch. That game in 2012 broke my heart, sent Chelsea back to Champions league when Spurs earned it. And of course, it happened on my birthday.

          • Ralph Lifshitz

            Ralph Lifshitz says:
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            @dizzystpizzy: yes I can remeber watchign Brad Friedel on the broadcast losing his mind after Chelsea won. That was bad for the EPL IMO. I wonder if Bale would’ve stuck around had Spurs qualified.

            I think the EPL should get five berths in that circumstance.

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