As we ready our FPL squads for the Gameweek 13 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 sell?
Underowned – Buy
Victor Anichebe – £4.6m, 2.1% Owned
Until Gameweek 11, Victor Anichebe had managed just 15 minutes football in the league which makes it surprising that in the two games since he has not just played the full 90 minutes in each but scored 3 goals and grabbed an assist for his team.
Remarkable numbers for a player who has never lit up the FPL scene but why should managers consider him now despite the striker scoring just 6 league goals in the last 3 years?
The short answer is yes, due to his fantastically cheap price and low ownership. At £4.6m there are currently no striking options as cheap as Anichebe, and to hit point scoring form as his game time increases only encourages managers to jump on board. 33,000 managers signed the striker for GW12 and scored a superb return of 13 points from £4.5m invested. Stories like this are rare in the Fantasy Premier league but seemingly achievable in any particular gameweek.
While Anichebe looks unlikely to make these returns every week and Sunderland fixtures looking difficult it is certainly worth looking at the striker as he offers low investment enabling the maximum amount of funds to be used elsewhere. As many managers agonise over their midfield unable to secure all of the big hitters, by downgrading a misfiring attacker such as Lukaku and shifting formation to a 3-5-2, the reinvestment possibilities will seem endless.
James Morrison – £4.6m, 0.1% Owned
I know a lot of people will feel that West Brom are a questionable source for FPL points and players such as Chadli and Rondon will be favoured as investments for the long term, but James Morrison is an alternative option for differential hunters as West Brom continue their kind fixture run.
After a long period out of the side, a move to Celtic denied and sporadic appearances spread over the first ten gameweeks, Morrison FPL owners are rarer than owners of some players who haven’t played a minute of football this season.
Although never a prolific points scorer, in the build up to the gameweek 11 fixture v Leicester, a radio pundit covering the game highlighted Morrison as a possible source of goals and noted a stat about him which sounded impressive to me at the time, despite forgetting what it was immediately after hearing it. 🙂
Morrison did in fact go on to score in that game and has scored against since, which has given him fantasy football credibility in my eyes. As FPL advice generally goes, I am aware the stats and immediate history fall short on this occasion for a player generally considered to be valuable going forward, but in this instance the investment can be used to downgrade the unavailable Joe Allen or perceived points mirage Ilkay Gundogan while WBA fixtures are still winnable. At £4.6m and 0.1% any manager willing to take a chance would be alone in their recruitment, which for a player with 2 in his last 2 sounds like a likely boost for their overall rank.
Olivier Giroud – £8.8m, 1.8% Owned
A lot of talk about Harry Kane has filled fantasy football conversations of late but it is another striker based in North London who has my interest, Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud.
As painful as it was watching Giroud from the stands at Old Trafford as he headed the equaliser, it acted as a fierce reminder as to how great a player Giroud can be in the FPL. In recent years I have had Giroud in my FPL side for lengthy periods and been mostly impressed by the Frenchman’s output, averaging 15 goals a season in the past 3, but it was his hat-trick on the final day of last season which stands out as his greatest achievement in my team. Not a starter for Arsenal yet this season, his conversion stats are boosted by the lack of game time. Most impressive about the player however is his threat from the air as well as clinical finish which successfully compensates for the horrendous lack of pace he displays.
Although not fully assured of a start, Giroud has historically come good after the seasons opening stages but also maintained a consistent record over recent years reassuring any potential investors. While I can understand why people will be wanting to shift Lukaku out for Kane, for me it makes more sense to make cash back by signing the lower owned, cheaper Giroud.
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Overowned – Sell
Adam Lallana – £7.1m, 9.2% Owned
Suffering a groin injury while out on international duty for England has ruled Lallana out for a few games meaning his 450,000 owners have had to reassess their midfield. With impressive form and decent fixtures for Liverpool, I think many owners were hoping to hold Lallana for the duration of his injury.
The problem with that is while Lallana has been a great pick until now at an inexpensive price, at nearly 10% current ownership there is plenty of time and a vast number of owners ready to abandon in droves causing a significant price drop. When a popular player is out for a number of games it is much better to ditch and then return when said player is fit and likely cheaper.
Alternatives in Lallana’s price bracket include Swansea’s key outlet Gylfi Siggurdsson and Man United’s Juan Mata, who’s stats against the top 6 out-rank any other midfielder in the league and a good run of fixtures starting in GW15.
Michail Antonio – £6.8m, 9.4% Owned
I have been a fan of Antonio for a while it must be said, I’ve had him in my team for what felt like all of 2016 but with West Ham inconsistency and a nightmare run of Man United away Arsenal at home then Liverpool away in the next three games, it feels like a risk banking on West Ham options going into GW13.
Despite hitting a goal and assist for the Hammers in the last two game weeks, owners are ditching in high numbers causing his price drop to £6.8m. An absolute bargain for when we all return to the player but it is the current reflection of West Ham’s season and the reality that even their best options will likely struggle in the next 3 games.
On a recent episode of the Fanfeud FPL podcast I advised a listener to keep Antonio one more week as I had benefited from an assist by doing the same, granted i would have benefited even greater by keeping Antonio another week but despite the returns the signs continue to point at removing the player.
Raheem Sterling – £8m, 14% Owned
Man City will go the entire season maintaining a credible title threat but in Raheem Sterling, evidence can be found of a regression in form. The £50m midfielder has gone the last 6 game weeks without returning any points for his owners, a shocking fact but unsurprising considering his young age and the fact he plays for a demanding manager in a side filled with superstars.
Most concerning for his remaining owners though is the fact he has returned to his starting price of £8m, meaning any money made on the player has been lost which also points to a disappointing truth that the optimal time to ditch the player has been and gone.
Players such as Barkley have seen ownership drop more dramatically so its likely that the fact Sterling’s club Man City’s success on the field is proving hard to ignore. For Sterling to hit points in the next few weeks will be a tough ask considering Chelsea, Arsenal and the Champions Leicester City (safely through in Europe) playing against City in 3 of the next 5.
It looks like transferring out Sterling will have to be something considered sooner rather than later as his price is likely to drop even further (over 50% progress made on his next drop according to FantasyFootballFix price predictor) which will be unthinkable to owners who could have transferred him for Coutinho or Firmino and actually banked value between gameweeks 6 and 10.