As we ready our FPL squads for the gameweek five of the Premier League season, some players are naturally drawing our attention, be that due to an attractive cheap pricetag or indeed perceived opportunity. Here @FPLJesus brings us some players he believes are under-owned when both those factors are weighed, and also a few players who he feels are over-owned. Who should you buy, and who should you bin?
Underowned – Buy
Christian Benteke -£7.5m, 5.4% Owned
Many will remember that Christian Benteke was a huge point scorer for Aston Villa. Benteke hit 19 goals in his first FPL year and 10 the following (but played 700 minutes less), outstanding returns for a young striker. He has been a fantasy favourite of sorts ever since but minutes on the pitch for Liverpool were too few and far between. Despite his stock decreasing significantly during his spell on Merseyside, now at Crystal Palace, many feel it is the Belgians time to shine once again.
With only 3 wins in 2016, Crystal Palace are a team generally out of form. That being said, exits at the club over the summer were met with positive reactions by the board. For example, Yannick Bolasie out for £30m, Andros Townsend in for less than half that. While Alan Pardew is currently favourite to be the 1st sacking of the Premier League season, his side’s first 3 points of the season have propelled them to 11th place in the league, giving future opponents reason for caution: Palace aren’t bad as they look.
Upcoming fixtures look good too. Palace play the bottom 2 in their next 2 games. Stoke visit Selhurst Park in Gameweek 5. Rock bottom of the league, Stoke are still without a win having scored just 2 goals but conceded 10. Gameweek 6 could be slightly easier for Palace however, they travel to Sunderland who have conceded 5 goals at home already this season and continue to wait for their first win under David Moyes.
Immediate points for Benteke will certainly delight his 166,000 owners. At 5.4% owned, his differential status will impress managers looking to ditch their current strikers. As the primary target man for his new club, an improvement on his 9 goals for Liverpool last season seems guaranteed already after his debut goal and with 2 great fixtures lined up, I’d give selecting the Belgian for GW5 serious consideration.
Kevin De Bruyne – £10.5m, 7.5% Owned
There was a myth emerging by the end of last season suggesting Kevin De Bruyne was not effective in a fantasy context away from home. Of course, a player being useless away from home is not a new concern for managers picking options, but it is something that can hold as truth for a long time even if incorrect.
After his display at Old Trafford, there will be no concerns of the sort regarding the Belgian midfielder. A goal and assist for KDB goes to prove two things, he can do it away from the Etihad, and he can do it in the big games.
The secret is out regarding City, clinical under Guardiola so far they are current favourites to win the league. The question for FPL managers regarding City is who to go for while Aguero unavailable?
KDB is 2.5million cheaper than Aguero and available for selection this week, he has 3 assists in his last 3 games, a goal from 14 shots and a 25 points total after GW4. While Raheem Sterling offers value, he was weak in the Derby and made way for Leroy Sane on the hour mark. The same thing happened in the Champions league game and although Sterling recieved high praise for his assist, KDB is a more assured pick.
Many will be making downgrades this week to enable funds for the Aguero return, but in KDB there could be a way to circumvent the financial reshuffle. By having the cheaper midfield option managers will have this week to earn points and potential price rises too. Since Aguero ownership has currently sunk to 23%, his threat in a fantasy context will be reduced as non owners earn the free transfers needed to get him back without penalty. Since that could take a couple of weeks in time for GW6 and a Spurs away game, I suggest backing the Belgian instead.
Santi Cazorla – £7.7m, 7.3% Owned
On the Fantasy Premier League website where detailing Arsenals upcoming fixtures, 5 of the next 6 games are rated the easiest possible score of 1. This is a great run for a top side to find themselves with, especially Arsenal, since their season has been slow to start so far.
Fan favourite and penalty taker, Cazorla has played back into the minds of fantasy managers despite Arsenals indifferent start. Already 0.2 dearer than his starting price, the Spaniard has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name.
Now Arsenal have two consecutive victories, there is value in Arsenal players as their fixtures begin to look good. Alexis Sanchez is over £3m dearer while Mesut Ozil is just under £2m. Considering Cazorla is just 5 points short of their combined total score, the argument could be made that he is the in form Arsenal pick.
While Sanchez and Ozil will always be the more explosive attacking options in Arsenal’s midfield, Cazorla has managed consistency this season so far which is just what managers want when purchasing a perceived bargain.
Overowned – Sell
Mason Holgate – £4.6m, 6.7% Owned
Brought in by Ronald Koeman to cover the void left by injured Seamus Coleman, Holgate impressed enough Fantasy Managers to back him after Everton stared the season with success. Now at 6.7% owned, Coleman has returned to the side. This not good news for the 6.7% who won’t have banked any cash on Holgate despite his price rising to £4.6m.
If anything i would expect to see that price fall as managers realised their cheap defensive sub option is no longer a legitimate option. It is a risk to hold Holgate, particularly when other cheap defenders are available.
Danny Drinkwater – £5.5m, 9% Owned
At present, Danny Drinkwater is in 9% of teams and it is puzzling to understand why. Despite contributing 8 assists last season, this is not a Leicester City team about to win the league again, and while Drinkwater proved an astute pick in the closing stages of the last seasons
miracle campaign, he will always be more of a defensive midfielder than a number 10.
With cheaper options tearing up the league such as Etienne Capoue rising in price catching up to Drinkwater, time is running out before his value turns negative itself.
Robert Snodgrass has shown himself more worthy of selection despite having perceived tougher fixtures (Arsenal H, Liverpool A) than Drinkwater. The Scotland International scored a hat trick on duty for his country and has two goals from 4 games this season so far. Compared with Drinkwater’s single assist and the implication is damaging, I think owners should reinvest their £5.5m, with Snodgrass being one of several alternatives.
Adam Smith, £4.6m, 5.8% Owned
Since scoring a goal against Man united in the opening game week, Adam Smith has been tipped as a decent cheap defender for the FPL this season.
Of course, managers are free to pick whoever they like and over 100,000 transferred Smith in between GW2 and GW4. Rewards of an assist and a goal in GW4 were welcomed most by those who bought him in for GW2 as up until then he had received two blanks.
The fact that Smith has two decent point scores so far this season is promising. His bargain price is attractive too as managers have been advised to find funds for the likes of Aguero and Hazard . It certainly explains why another 80,000 managers have transferred Smith in for GW5.
However, since Bournemouth face two unbeaten sides in their next two fixtures, Man City away in GW5, Everton at home in GW6 I don’t see any positives in making the move now. Smith is a bench option at best for the next two rounds in my opinion, I wouldn’t waste a Free transfer on him yet, even if it were to free up cash.
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