This article is part of our FPL Barometer series.
"Volatile" is the best way to describe the beginning of the 2015/16 Premier League season. Aside from Manchester City, who have played four virtually flawless matches, team results and individual performances have been all over the map. Despite all of the early chaos, fantasy Premier League owners could at least take solace in beginning to understand the squad rotations certain managers are using, helping to form a game plan for upcoming matchups, injuries, suspensions, etc. However, due to the somewhat flawed summer transfer window which closes nearly a month after the campaign begins, many players' roles will change dramatically moving forward, all but antiquating much of the information gathered from the first month. This year's deadline was relatively quiet compared to years past in terms of last minute acquisitions of big-name players, but there are no moves too minor for a savvy FPL owner. With that, we will discuss the fantasy fallout from the transfer activity occurring in recent days and how it will affect your lineups.
Sako has been a revelation in his first two matches for Crystal Palace, scoring two goals and adding an assist while totaling 11 shots and eight crosses. Acquired via free transfer from Wolverhampton in early August, the Mali international was forced to regain full fitness before being inserted into the lineup, but he has provided massive returns for FPL investors both of the last two weeks. Sako could eventually find himself in a rotation of sorts with Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha in the midfield, but he is also capable of playing further forward and could spell Connor Wickham and Patrick Bamford up front after Glenn Murray's departure to Bournemouth. However, Sako is a virtual lock to remain in the lineup in the short-term due to the fine form he has displayed, and he makes for an extremely enticing FPL option while his price is low.
Chelsea hoped Pedro would be the solution to the club's glaring desire for a reliable out-and-out winger and he has been just that in his first two matches for the Blues, scoring a goal, adding two assists, firing seven shots at goal and supplying seven crosses. The 28-year-old started just 19 matches in all competitions for Barcelona last season, but he has a history of especially strong production for a midfielder, with 0.4 goals and 0.3 assists per start over his last three seasons. The Spaniard has made an immediate impact on the Premier League after seamlessly entering the lineup, and he should become a popular FPL option in no time because of his ability to contribute to multiple statistical categories in a loaded attacking lineup.
In the midst of the transfer saga involving forward Saido Berahino, West Brom bought an insurance policy in the form of Rondon for a club-record fee of roughly $18 million. Rondon has made an immediate impact at his new club, registering a goal and an assist in his first two league starts while proving he is capable of holding his own against physical Premiership defenders. Berahino has stated that he does not intend to play for West Brom again, affording Rondon the chance to continue, at least in the short term, to thrive as the focal point of the Baggies' attack.
After a relatively productive couple seasons at Manchester City despite starting barely over half of the club's league matches during that time, Navas was poised to make a bigger impact this season. With the addition of Raheem Sterling drawing attention on the opposite side, the Spaniard would be free to whip in his trademark crosses from the flank for the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva to finish. The 28-year-old had a strong showing against Watford in Matchweek 4, supplying six crosses, one shot and drawing a foul before being substituted off at the half, but he appears to be headed for the bench after the acquisition of Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg for a transfer fee in the neighborhood of $80 million. Navas can still serve as a nice matchup play if and when he does break into the starting lineup, but his opportunities will be severely limited by the star power in front of him on the depth chart.
While rumors of a summer transfer to Tottenham threatened to negatively impact Berahino's FPL output, the recent events that have driven his West Brom career into a state of purgatory will undoubtedly make an even larger impact. Berahino publicly stated his desire to leave the Baggies, who were seemingly resigned to losing the 22-year-old, as they splashed out a club-record of roughly $18 million to sign Rondon. Tuesday's transfer window closed with the Englishman still on the West Brom roster, prompting him to angrily state that he has no intention of playing for a club lead by chairman Jeremy Peace.
Sad how i cant say exactly how the club has treated me but i can officially say i will never play Jeremy Peace.— Saido Berahino (@SBerahino) September 1, 2015
Even if Berahino does play again for West Brom, he is no longer the standalone option up front with Rondon and Rickie Lambert in the picture; if he stands by his word, he will carry little to no FPL value until either he or Peace move on.
Romero has been excellent while deputizing for David de Gea, who looked destined to move to Real Madrid before the transfer deadline. The Argentine has allowed just three goals in six matches in all competitions this season, keeping four clean sheets in that span and establishing himself as a top-tier FPL goalkeeper. Unfortunately for Romero and his fantasy owners, de Gea's transfer never came to fruition and the Spaniard is now primed to reclaim his place as the Red Devils' starting keeper after the upcoming international break. Romero could be given another start or two as de Gea works his way back, but the strong run he put together over the first month of the season is reaching its end.