Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Short List: Over Owned Players

It's always interesting to look at who are most widely owned players as this can give us some ideas as to who we might be overlooking, who is still being overvalued, and finally, how crazy/lazy some managers are. The below isn't an exhaustive list of who to buy/sell, but just a few ramblings on ownership numbers which look strange at first glance.

*To be clear, I like some of the below players, and have actively boosted them on this site before. However, in each case there is at least one other option whose ownership numbers are significantly less without much explanation and thus there could be value to be found.

G Cahill (23%) - I love Gary Cahill. He's one of the better defenders in the country and deserves to be linked with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool on a regular basis. However, until that move happens he is not a fantasy asset. Under Coyle, Bolton have tried (and sometimes succeeded) to play more expansive football and despite the slow start this year, I think we can all agree they're a better side (at least aesthetically) than under Megson. That said, if you stack your team with the likes of Eagles, M Davies, Lee and Petrov you are going to lose something at the back, which is exactly what has happened at the Reebok. Perhaps Saturday's dismantling of Stoke (accompanied by a pleasing display at the back) will see a turnaround for the Whites but even then I'd prefer to go with Robinson (4.3m) or one of the myriad of better ~4.5m options. You're paying a premium for last year's defensive stats and 2009/10's goals, neither of which have any bearing on this year.

R Taylor (33%) and S Taylor (22%) - Newcastle have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, keeping 4 clean sheets and conceding more than a single goal on just one occasion (GW8). R Taylor has added a couple of goals and S Taylor has brought a decent bonus point haul but I'm not sure either are definitely better than Danny Simpson, who comes at a 0.9m discount. Simpson is widely held too (24%) but readers will know that I am firmly behind picking the cheap link in a defensive line but Simpson seems to be slightly overlooked here in favour of the bigger name Taylors.

Terry (13%) and A Cole (10%) - both players will probably finish around the top-20 among defenders this year but you're paying a premium over Bosingwa based on the uncertainty of his position to start to season, which is no longer an issue. He brings as good, or better, of an assist threat than Cole and while Terry has the goals to his name already, it's unlikely that he continues to score at a rate of 3 goals every 4 shots and hence a 1.2m premium looks tough to justify. Bosingwa is held by more managers than both this pair (22%) but that total really should be higher.

Jagielka (11%) and Baines (6%) - some players made the list on the basis that their teammate represented better value. This pair are on because no defender, nay, no player, from Everton is fantasy relevant at time of writing. Everton have a lone clean sheet all year (against lowly Blackburn) yet their players are priced as if they reside just outside the elite level (and in Baines' case, as the top dog). I like Baines, I really do, and I sometimes feel that this blog sounds like a personal mission against him, but going into the season he looked overpriced, and now his lofty price tag is laughable. Jagielka at least comes at a discount, and there is a circumstance where he could provide value at 5.4m, but right now you'd be better off with players from the likes of QPR and Swansea, each of whom have options at 4.5m or less.

Jarvis (15%) - this one I just do not understand. A huge start for Jarvis (20 points in the first 2 weeks) has been followed by 9 weeks of 3 points or less, including 3 games where he didn't even crack the starting eleven. I am a big fan of Wolves' midfield but the underlying stats have favoured O'Hara, and to a lesser extent Hunt, all season with Jarvis not doing a great deal to distinguish himself from his peers. It is all too easy to hold onto mid level players like Jarvis on the basis that they don't cost a fortune and will presumably score at some point, but with the front line basically picking itself this year, it is in these mid range slots that leagues will be won and you can't afford to have someone dropping 2 pointers every week. Do yourself a favour (and gain 0.3m to boot) and bring in O'Hara (we'll talk about him more in the upcoming under owned post).

Ferguson (13%) - I did a double take when I saw this name on the list but then remembered why I recognised the name from the pre-season: Ferguson has the dubious honor of being the only 4.0m midfielder (now 4.1m). While it is always tempting to try and plug cheap pieces in your squad to upgrade elsewhere, you should never just write off a bench spot, as when injuries and suspensions start piling up over Christmas, you're almost certain to be caught short. You should always be able to free up at least 0.5-0.7m to upgrade Ferguson to a Johnson/Moses/Fox type who at least gives you a chance at some success.

Yaya Toure (11%) - on any other team Yaya would not only be off this list, but could well be close to finding himself on the buy list. He brings consistent minutes along with a decent chance of goals and assists and comes at a discount to many of his teammates. However, such is City's power up front and at the back, I feel you really need to own Silva, Aguero/Dzeko and a defender which really leaves no room for the other options like Yaya, Johnson or Milner. Even if you don't like Silva to continue his form, I would then opt for a second defender rather than a good but unspectacular option like Yaya. If you are looking for a solid ~7.0m option, go for Ramires or Ramsey instead, who play for elite teams but don't hinder your ability to select their teammates.

N'Zogbia (9%) - unless N'Zog is back in a Wigan shirt, he has no business being owned by close to a tenth of all managers. His only non appearance points for the season came from a lone assist in GW8 and he's been pushed much deeper into midfield to accommodate the in-form trio of Agbolahor, Bent and Heskey (alright, the first two are in-form at least). At this point he is trading on past success and his play justifies a price tag of closer to 5.0m than 7.0m.

Rooney (38%) - I'm not particularly down on Rooney as a long term prospect but when it comes to the premium forwards, you really can't afford to hold anyone for more than the odd week with depressed production. With ready made (and in form) replacements in Van Persie and Aguero, and Rooney's deeper role of late, it's hard not to recommend ditching the Englishman and waiting for him to return to his normal forward role, all the while reaping the benefits of an in form Van Persie.The downside (and thus the rationale for keeping Rooney) is that the fixture list looks pretty promising and Rooney could get back in goalscoring form at any time, but in my view that is a risky I'm not willing to take at this early stage of the season.

A sample of under owned players will follow tomorrow, and then we'll be back with the regular weekly preview and hopefully some wildcard thoughts at the end of the week, or next week. As always, post your questions below or @plfantasy and I'll answer them in the weekly preview.


chemikills said...

Just regarding Everton, they are conceding the 2nd least shots @ home with 9 and 2nd least overall with 12.
52% of those shots are outside the box. I think Everton are a solid unit

They had the worst fixtures for quite a while there. Hibbert @ 4.8 seems pretty cheap to me, Everton rotate well with Swans or Stoke too (where your other options are Wolves/Blackburn)

Beadling Boy said...

You commented that Bosingwa's position was no longer a ?? However, didn't he get sat down last GW and didn't even play 1 minute? I've read from many posters that Bos is now a threat not to play.

So, which is right?

chemikills said...

@Beadling Boy if you look at the stats for Ivanovic in the game he had a barn stormer! So Bos is definitely under threat.

However whether Alex holds his role in CB is another story. Ivanovic has said publicly that he prefers CB

I'd like to see Luiz run rampant at RB ^.^

Beadling Boy said...

Thanks for the feedback, Chemi!

namedisplay said...

you would have to think that fewer and fewer people remain active in Fantasy League over a season. It would be good to see the total number of trades for each gameweek. This may be a reason why those that do well in the first week or like this year the first two weeks remain with a high ownership.

Grounderz said...

Hi Chris,

Do you think Gareth Bale will continue his form for the next four games? Do you think it's a good idea to own all three Bale, Van der Vaart and Adebayor together at the moment?


chemikills said...


Bale certainly has the stats to keep producing, his Shots and Key Pass combination was better than Bales pre GW8

I bought him in and he produced very little in terms of those stats (and in turn FP) in GW8 and 9.

Now perhaps I was a bit harsh and transferred him out for VdV in GW10 which has so far failed to pay off :p

However do I think VdV is a better long term pick? yes, despite Bale equaling his stats there's no doubt that VdV is a better finisher in terms of the shots he takes plus he has penalties and FKs in his bag.

But your question is whether to answer both. tbf it has crossed my mind and seems a bit silly but I don't think you get a better attacking threat for 8m, the thing is that Bale is likely to be more defensive away from home :)

Gummi at fantasyformation.com said...

A point explaining the ownership of R. Taylor: For those (like me) that picked him up at around the 4.0 mark, he isn't on my selling list. Essentially, he is a 4.0 player in my team that is now priced at 5.2.

@Grounderz and @chemikills: I agree that VdV is probably a better long term prospect. However, VdV's lack of minutes (always substituted early) and frequent injury problems weigh him down a little bit. I transferred Bale in this week (I don't have VdV).