Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pressing the rest button: part II - cutting ties

Yesterday I gave a couple of big name players who have received negative attention during the opening couple of weeks, but who I feel have a good chance to rebound almost immediately. I intended for the list to be much longer but quickly ran out of names. The same problem does not occur here. Below are some players who I have lost, or never had, faith in and who, for me at least, should be considered for sale now. The priority with which you make the moves will depend on how many other issues you have (ie sell your injured/benched players before someone who is occupying an overly defensive position) but in all cases I believe the below list of players to be held by too many managers:

Juan Mata - There is obviously a huge difference between scouting players for fantasy purposes and for real life. I'll often give a snap opinion about a player on Twitter after just a couple of games (as anyone who has seen my swooning for Hazard will attest) but would not dream of suggesting that Hazard is already a world class player. To reach that pantheon he needs sustained excellence. To be an elite fantasy player though, he needs to just do what he's doing, providing his teammates don't regress too far with the amount of chances they are converting.

Mata is the main loser in the rise of Hazard. He's a very very good player, possibly better than Hazard still, but his deployment has simply been too deep to be an effective fantasy asset. His position is more akin to the Yayas and Modrics of the world, neither of who attracted huge fantasy attention at 8.0m until recently, never mind 9.0m+. I like to describe these players as having a tendency to 'assist the assist' (entries for a better nickname are welcomed) and Mata is so far the poster child for this unfortunate group. The fact he is fairly entrenched in the side (though Di Matteo did suggest he would be rotated) means the priority to sell isn't as immediate as, say, Sergio Aguero, but with the off week this week, I'd suggest the majority of teams who own Mata will want to consider moving on.

Ramires - Mistake number two with regards to Chelsea came with my suspect decision to value Ramires' minutes in the opening double gameweek over Michu's advanced role. Long story short, Ramires is not locked into this team anymore with suposed bit part players like Ryan Bertrand apparently ahead of him in the pecking order. Throw in Oscar and Marin who are yet to settle into the side, and you have a player who could unfortunately find himself surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. His upside was never great but represented a decent, reliable player in a good team, but alas, no more. Sell.

Rio Ferdinand - I'm not necessarily saying that Ferdinand is done as a player altogether but he is old, rarely fit and blew his chance to reestablish himself alongside Vidic before Evans, Jones and Smalling return from injury. At this stage I'd prefer to take a flyer on Rafael than Ferdinand, but the prudent move is probably to either stick with de Gea or abandon this United unit until we can be sure who will play where.

Gael Clichy / Aleksandar Kolarov - This was always likely to be a tricky situation and nothing has happened to suggest we are any closer to a clear solution. Give up trying to guess and just grab Zabaleta until Richards comes back, at which point we'll need to reevaluate again.

Joe Allen - I loved the idea of Joe Allen at Liverpool in the preseason, suggesting his price tag made him just too tempting to pass on. I thought that rather than forming a pivot with Lucas - where one would defend and one be allowed to push on - Allen would permanently occupy that middle spot occupied by the likes of Yaya or Modric. Alas, against City his average position was actually deeper than Glen Johnson (playing right back) and his 1 chance created and 1 shot (0 on target) in 2 games add further weight to the case against Allen. I wouldn't say it's a priority to move him as players in his role have had success before (Song last season) but in a team which doesn't look likely to score a hatful of goals, I just don't see him being involved enough to ever be more than a good sub, which can be found for less money than 5.5m

Scott Sinclair - Not much to add here other than that he might be worth watching in 18 months as he tries to force a move from City to Sunderland. Good player but not good enough to get enough minutes at City to be fantasy relevant, particularly given the fact he doesn't even appear to fit the system very well. A puzzling move for him.

Victor Moses - Similar story here as I just don't see him generating enough minutes to be relevant. I hope I'm proven wrong on this one (and Sinclair) but I wouldn't go near either for now.

Rafael van der Vaart - Whether he stays or goes I don't see how Van der Vaart can be relied upon for fantasy production this year. I like the Dutchman a lot and would liken him somewhat to Berbatov, whose weaknesses are easy to identify and the first to be attacked when things go wrong. That's all somewhat irrelevant though as - like Berbatov - he seems to be slowly being forced out, with Sigurdsson and now Dembele brought in to compete for minutes (not to mention other arrivals like Willian). I'm not enamoured with Sigurdsson's prospects for the price either but I'm willing to give him time where as Van der Vaart's looks to have already run out.

Antonio Valencia / Nani / Ashley Young - I've not lost all hope in this group just yet, but if I owned any of them and was planning to use my wildcard, I'd move on. I'd rank them Valencia-Nani-Young in terms of minutes played, but with Valencia liable to (a) play at the back and (b) play against the better sides, his fantasy value also takes a hit.

There are obviously other players who I would personally not wish to own, but the above are just a sampling of the 'bigger names' and more widely owned options I've lost faith in.


Pulma said...

So is it a WC for you as I see. I would like to ask you how many hits are too many? I am currently in a position where I would need a 12pt hit to field a starting 11 do you advise this or should I use the WC?

Gummi said...

@Pulma: I would say that a 12 point hit is as good a reason as any to WC. Just be careful to plan ahead, so as not to wildcard and have to move on players. Don't get too many Sigurdsson/Nani/Mata players that have compromised playing minutes in the short term.

jason wedgwood said...

"I like to describe these players as having a tendency to 'assist the assist' (entries for a better nickname are welcomed)"

could be described technically as the 'penultimate assist' or 'pen-assist?' :)


Jason said...

How about the pre assist pass maker? "PAP maker"

pen_down said...

Not sure if playing the wildcard works for me now. Have a couple of players I'd to part with, but I need to wait out the transfer windows and watch the players settle.

Nice tips though. Thanks

Kalix said...

Spot on with that list Chris! said...


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Anonymous said...


In the NBA they refer to that as a "hockey assist", hockey being the only major sport that tracks the pass-before-the-assist as an official statistic (as far as I know).

Might work?

Tones said...

Great blog Chris! I prefer to analyze the data and blend that with some gut decisions, so I really appreciate the work you put in.

Open question for some midfield advice: I'm holding Siggy and Silva (as well as Carzola, Michu, Snodgrass) and based on manager comments both seem risky for minutes at least short term, despite good matchups. Should I ride it out or replace one? Kawaga, Bale, Hazard are some replacements that come to mind, but I'll want to play all 5 this week as I'm holding Torres...


MariusT said...

yeah it's called a hockey assist

MariusT said...

oh and great blog btw