Dead ball specialists

Identify new set-piece takers to bolster your fantasy football arsenal

Anybody who has ever played some form of fantasy football will appreciate the value of including designated set-piece takers in a line-up since by doing so you are effectively adding an extra piece of artillery to your armoury. If you are playing in season-long games there is a good chance that you will have imminent deadlines by which to submit your squad so the reconnaissance work needs to be done now.

However, with the influx of new signings during a hectic transfer window judging exactly how they will be accommodated at their new clubs and the degree of set-piece responsibility that they will be assigned is no mean task.

Pre-season friendlies are obviously a great place to start so reference any relevant match reports.WhoScored provide another valuable resource that shouldn’t be under-estimated. They profile a huge database of players and present detailed characteristics including comments relating to the strengths of players who have taken set-pieces previously. This makes it much easier to narrow down the workload so that you have a more manageable list to focus on and a player such as Jordy Clasie who should figure on both corners and free-kicks for Southampton is likely to come to the fore.

It’s a similar story over in the States where some recent high profile marquee signings who have reputations for exceling in the art of set-piece deliveries will be expected to feature. The paying public will surely demand that the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba justify their inflated salaries by taking some responsibility so we can expect a reshuffle of the set-piece duties for their respective club sides as well.

There aren’t many better sights in football than watching a 30 yard curling free-kick nestling in the top corner and if the protagonist just happens to be in your fantasy football line-up the moment is likely to taste even sweeter!