For the next two weeks Micah Heath is counting down the Top 10 most valuable players in a keeper league. Never heard of a fantasy Premier League keeper league? The concept is simple – each season every manager in your draft league is allowed to designate a handful of players who will remain on their roster next season. Those players are never made available to the rest of the league during your draft for the next season.
Of course, there are myriad versions of draft keeper leagues (including draft FPL dynasty leagues where your entire roster is carried over from one season to the next with only a supplemental draft each summer). We have avoided the drama and asked Micah to focus mostly on value next season, but also weigh the long-term potential of each player. There will be one new player discussed each day – concluding with No. 1 on Friday March 24 and Micah appearing on the March 28 edition of Talkin Togga!
- Sadio Mane – Liverpool, Midfielder, Age 24
Sadio Mane was impressive last year as a Saint, but has taken another step forward as a Red. Mane is 24 years old, he plays for the highest scoring team in the EPL, and his contract does not expire until the Summer of 2021. With Southampton, Mane tallied 11 goals and six assists in 37 matches. This year, with Liverpool, Mane has registered an impressive 12 goals and seven assists in just 25 appearances.
To put those numbers into perspective, Mane’s 12 goals are second best among midfielders and his seven assists are 12th best. Mane has also registered 41 key passes (14th among midfielders) and 61 successful take ons (6th among midfielders). In January Mane represented his home country, Senegal, at the African Cup of Nations. During Mane’s absence the wheels completely fell off the Liverpool wagon.
After Mane’s departure Liverpool lost to Southampton in the League Cup (Game 1), drew with Man United in the EPL, squeaked past Playmouth in the FA Cup, lost to Swansea City in the EPL, lost to Southampton in the League Cup (Game 2), and lost to Wolverhampton in the FA Cup. Since Mane’s return to Liverpool’s starting XI they have drawn with Chelsea and recorded wins against both Tottenham and Arsenal. Mane might not be as recognized as the other names you see on this list, but he is more than deserving of the inclusion.
No. 9 – Philippe Coutinho No. 7 — ??