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!
- Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool, Midfielder, Age 24
Philippe Coutinho is one of the most exciting young players in Europe, let alone the EPL. Coutinho has the uncanny ability to find the likes of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mano cutting in from wide to go along with his signature laser strikes from outside the box. Coutinho is averaging 13.67 Points Per Match this season and an even more impressive 16.93 Points per 90 Minutes. In just 21 games Coutinho has accumulated six goals, seven assists, 24 shots on target, 45 key passes, and 43 successful takeons.
The last two years have been hampered Coutinho has been hampered by injuries – and he missed seven games earlier this season after appearing in only 26 of Liverpool’s 38 EPL matches last year. However, Coutinho made 35 appearances during the 2014/2015 campaign, which proves he is capable of staying healthy for a full season. On a game-by-game basis Coutinho is not too far from Eden Hazard. This year Coutinho has averaged 0.62 goals + assists per game, together with 1.14 shots on target, 2.14 key passes, and 2.05 successful takeons – all per match stats. Hazard’s numbers: 0.69, 1.0, 2.08, and 4.65.
Following intense speculation this past summer that he would move to Barcelona, Coutinho inked a new contract with Liverpool, extending his stay at Anfield until 2022. It will be interesting to see if Coutinho can regain the early season form which saw him register five goals and six assists in his first 12 games before leaving GW13 early with an injury. If Coutinho regains his early season form in the season’s final weeks, I will be tempted to move him up this list.