Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dousing the fire, fanning the flames: Gameweek 7

You know the story by now; each player has been assigned a 'Buy', "Hold' or 'Sell' status. These don't necessarily reflect what I would do, more what I believe to be a reasonable action at this time:
  • Buy - the player can be purchased immediately taking consideration of his playing time, fixtures, injury status etc. This status does not necessarily mean you should buy him now as it depends who else you own, only that it is reasonable to do so.
  • Hold, and/or monitor - if you own the player you're not in a rush to ditch him but there's sufficient risk here to justify potential buyers holding off.
  • Sell - the player has too many risks and should either be sold or not purchased. This does not mean he might not have value in the future, just not right now.
Aleksandar Kolarov 20 points
The answer is two. The question is the number of times Kolarov has notched fantasy points in more than two straight games over the past two seasons. If he was guaranteed, or even just likely, to play more often than not we could get into the sustainability of his attacking points but with Clichy waiting in the wings that just isn't likely any time soon.
Status: Sell

Steve Caulker 15
With four shots in just two and a half games, one could conclude that Caulker will be a threat from set pieces, though as with the majority of defenders I wouldn't pay too much attention to this as a stand alone factor. However, when you also consider that Caulker if the cheapest player available in a side with defensive potential, the attacking potential becomes a nice bonus. I'm still slightly nervous that Dawson will get some minutes at the back at some point this year and thus I'd still possibly lean towards Gallas who costs just 0.3m more but seems to have more job security, though if money is really tight Caulker represents a calculated risk. However, of the next nine games, only three look really promising (WIG, WHU and maybe LIV) so anyone picked up from this team at the defensive end will very much be a rotation option only (the tough fixture include trips to ARS, MCI, EVE and SOU).
Status: Hold, and reconsider when the fixtures get better

Jose Fonte 15
After just seven weeks it's tough to really say what constitutes a good or bad defense. One particularly bad result could skew the data and the small sample sizes involved lend themselves to overreacting to one or two unusual events. However, when your team ranks bottom in the league in goals conceded, total shots allowed, shots allowed inside the box, chances conceded and big chances conceded, I think we can conclude it's going to be a long season for their back four. Fonte scored with his only two shots on goal all year and there's really no reason at all to get involved here.
Status: Sell

Jonny Evans 14
With one shot on the year so far I'm not buying the goal threat as a sustainable form of points scoring, though at 5.8m Evans does remain an ownable player given his security in United's back line in Vidic's absence. Indeed, given the way Ferdinand has played of late, it isn't 100% clear to me who would depart if Vidic were to return today. Given Rafael's upside he's worth the extra 0.1m but if the Brazilian shows signs of fatigue or faces increased competition in the coming weeks, Evans will become a nice source of cheap(ish) access to a United side that will likely improve in the coming weeks.
Status: Hold

Patrice Evra 13
Evra has provided a decent attacking threat this year but he's still at best on par with Rafael and there's no way he is worth 0.9m more unless Rafael starts to get threatened with rotation. You're paying a name premium here and last time I checked that earned exactly zero points in fantasy.
Status: Sell, and get Rafael instead

Wayne Routledge 13
Routledge is a tough man to forecast as while I still have my doubts about his long term place in this side, he has been Swansea's best value player to date. Hernandez's progress at his new club has been slowed by injury, but Swansea didn't pay ~6m to have him ride the bench and so I still see him breaking into this side sooner rather than later. Whether that comes at the expense of Dyer or Routledge remains to be seen but there's enough doubt to suggest none of the trio are really buy options at the moment. If you own Dyer or Routledge there's probably no reason to sell right now but be careful when planning transfers as this situation will get crowded now Hernandez is fit.
Status: Hold, but make plans to sell in case Hernandez displaces him

Branislav Ivanovic 12
Ivanovic is a good, but not a great attacking full back and while the production has been exciting so far, there's really nothing to backup the 0.5m he'll cost you over Ashley Cole. Indeed, Cole actually has more total shots and more chances created to date. Maybe Ivanovic will continue to hit the target with 66% of his shots and convert 75% of those into goals, or, maybe he'll sharply regress and you'll regret panicking to get him in GW7.
Status: Hold, but don't get carried away with buying the result rather than the process

James Morrison 12
I love it when players like Morrison have a big week as it requires very little input from me. Morrison is a very good player with very good stats and has a decent run of games coming up (though the next two look tricky). If you own him, keep him, if not he should be high on your watchlist and is a real buy target though you may as well wait until GW10 now.
Status: Long term buy, though wait until GW10 to do so

Olivier Giroud 12
Despite only three starts, Giroud has racked up the 7th most shots among all forwards, more than widely held stars like van Persie, Jelavic and Torres (who have between 100 and 270 more than Giroud). Considering 310/358 of his minutes have come away from home against decent sides, there's certainly reasons to be optimistic there is still significant upside to come. There remains, of course, significant questions over his place in this side, though we can be increasingly bullish there given Gervinho's so-so performances and the way Podolski seems to have made that wide-left position his own. I'd say it's too soon to jump in for the next couple of promising games (though I do think he'll play) but after Arsenal visit United in GW10 they then get a good set of fixtures which only really features one scary game in the next 10 (@EVE, GW14).
Status: Monitor

Fernando Torres 12
Player A: 542 mins, 16 shots, 9 on target, 4 goals, 13 chances created, 3 assists
Player B: 650 mins, 16 shots, 6 on target, 4 goals, 14 chances created, 1 assist

If you're willing to pay 3.7m more for Player A (Torres) then I have a very nice piece of land in Florida you might be interested in. Player B is Rickie Lambert and while I have some concerns over his chances to continue his pace too, Torres is simply converting both goals and assists at a rate which I see as unsustainable. Chelsea are a good side and in Mata, Hazard and Oscar have a midfield trio which could happily be compared to anything else in the league. We all know Torres can be excellent at times so there is certainly scope for him getting more chances and justifying that price tag, but for now I just don't see it.
Status: Sell, unless he starts getting more chances, and soon

James Milner 11
Welcome to 2012/13 James, now please re-take your place on the bench. Pass
Status: Sell

Wayne Rooney 11
The assists are nice but Rooney only created two chances for the game and now has four for the year. Playing alongside the likes of van Persie will of course mean that his chances are converted at a higher rate than most, but the chance of that alone being enough to justify an 11.7m price tag is slim. Rooney played very deep this week (though to be fair, so did the whole United side) (see right) and while one can still enjoy production from that area, it's going to be more in the good rather than great range, and that's just not enough for a premium forward. Unless van Persie were to pickup an injury or Ferguson has a dramatic shift in philosophy, we're at a peculiar point where Rooney may simply be unownable for the remainder of the season.
Status: Sell

Arouna Kone 11
This was my first full Wigan game I've seen this year and the front three of Kone, Di Santo and Maloney were extremely impressive. The problem is that in the next eight games I'd only really want to play any of that trio in three games (WHU, WBA and RDG) making Kone a touch too pricey at 6.5m. Overall I like Kone the most of that trio and he has a combination of goal/assist potential which isn't common in his price range. However, I haven't yet seen enough to believe he can be played irrespective of fixtures and thus he remains on the monitor, rather than the buy list.
Status: Monitor, only buying if you believe you can play him against the likes of @TOT, @LIV and MCI

Aaron Lennon 10
Lennon hasn't received much attention this year with many - me included - assuming he would lose at least some playing time with the arrival of Sigurdsson, Dempsey and Dembele over the summer. Lennon's assist potential is elite (19 chances created, 6th midfielder) but with just six shots all year, you're really only buying a one category player. 7.0m puts him in the same range as Pienaar and Fellaini who each offer dominance in one category, while the likes of J Morrison and Nolan are available for less money but with similar upside. Lennon is ownable but given the upcoming fixtures which are up and down for Spurs, I still don't see a need to invest here.
Status: Hold, and consider downgrading to someone like Nolan, Morrison or Walters if you can use the money elsewhere

Theo Walcott 10
I'd love to say more but Walcott just isn't assured of playing time these days and until he is, his price tag is way too high. On a side note, is Walcott going to be the player who Arsenal finally play hard ball with and keep until his contract expires, rather than bailing a year or 6 months before hand? I'm not sure how much good it would do them, but it might add just a touch more certainty to the fact that if you sign a four year deal, you'll be here for four years, not three and then be able force your way out a la van Persie, Nasri et al. Walcott will obviously be in high demand but I'm not sure anyone with deeper pockets that Arsenal will be a knocking.
Status: Sell

Esteban Granero 10
I've been pretty down on this QPR side to date but in fairness, Granero has actually put together some underlying stats which have made me back track some what. With nine shots (three on target) and 11 chances created, he's good value for his goal and assist on the year and should really be in the conversation in that useful ~6.0m midfielder range. He's still towards the bottom of the shortlist there, behind the likes of Nolan, Morrison and possibly Maloney, but he is at least in the mix, which is promising for QPR who have shown little to date.
Status: Monitor

Zoltan Gera 10
We're not at a point where Gera is ownable yet but if we look at the past three weeks since he broke back into the West Brom first team, the results at least show some promise. Seven shots, four on target and three chances created are reasonable numbers for a 5.0m player and if Gera sticks around he might offer some promise down the line.
Status: Monitor

Eden Hazard 9
We've been back and forth on Hazard and Mata for a couple of weeks now with both able to share in the wealth this week. This week Hazard provided the biggest threat with four shots (two on target) and seven chances created compared to Mata (three shots, one on target, three chances created) and Oscar (three shots, two on target, three chances created) and with Lampard out of the way in a deeper role, we could be in a position where all three offer value this year. Over the past three gameweeks, since Mata was pushed upfield with consistency (see chart, left), the shot totals are 10-8-5 in Oscar's favour with Hazard coming in third, while in the chances created department Mata leads 10-7-6, this time with Oscar at the bottom of the rankings. These totals lead me to conclude that Hazard's price tag is somewhat hard to justify and his plethora of owners should strongly consider a move for either Mata (and ~1.4m) or Oscar (and ~2.5m). Oscar is very tempting given the data in the small sample but to make that move you'd have to be certain that Lampard's new deep role is permanent, a statement I'm not yet willing to make. Of the trio then I would give Mata a fairly strong 'buy' status while Hazard is somewhat of a 'sell', though that move if not of course urgent as Hazard's production should be fine.
Status: Sell, though without any urgency

Steve Pienaar 8
Nothing really to add here as Pienaar simply continues to offer excellent value in that mid level range and brings assist potential matched by few of even the elite options. With Fellaini now out for at least a game or two with a knee injury, Pienaar looks all the more attractive and might be a nice save haven for Fellaini owners looking to move on.
Status: Buy

Juan Mata 8
See Hazard above
Status: Buy

Adel Taarabt 8
I'm not there yet, fantasy kryptonite. Get back to us when you've made two starts in a row.

Tom Cleverley 8
Given the uncertainty in the attacking midfield ranks for United, it's tempting to see production from the 5.7m Cleverley and get carried away. His underlying stats and average positioning however are underwhelming and whether he did or didn't mean his goal this week, they look to be limited this year anyway. Cheap options on good teams can be potential gold but just ask Joe Allen owners if they always work out.
Status: Sell

Santi Cazorla 8
He might lead the league in points when all is said an done as he continues to rack up great underlying stats as well as points production.
Status: Strong buy

Pavel Pogrebnyak 8
I liked Pogrebnyak as a budget priced sub coming into the year but despite his goal this week he isn't getting enough chances (nine total shots in 465 minutes) and with just two chances created he offers little else for his owners. If you own him with no money to spare there aren't many moves you can make as he remains as good as you can get for under 5.0m but if you can free up some cash, Di Santo looks to have a much brighter future for just 0.7m more (see below).
Status: Sell if possible, though only if you have some spare cash to upgrade

Frank Lampard 7
It's interesting, ironic even, that it took Lampard moving into a deeper role to score his first goal from open play this season. Before you get any 2009/10 flash backs though, Lampard has notched just nine shots for the year, three on target, and simply does not carry the kind of goal threat we'd need to even consider forking out the kind of price Lampard commands.
Status: Sell

Franco Di Santo 7
As noted for Kone above, I was really impressed with the Wigan attacking trio again this week and while I felt Kone's price tag made him a risk given the upcoming fixtures, Di Santo is sufficiently cheap to still warrant consideration no matter what the fixtures look like. If you want to grab Di Santo now, you'll need to grab a player who can be rotated with him, most likely a midfielder to give you maximum squad flexibility. Of the affordable teams, Fulham's fixtures seem to do the best job here and with the availability of a range of useful budget options including Kacaniklic, Sidwell and Duff, they could fit the bill nicely. Alternatively, if you're not yet convinced by Berbatov's ability to start every week, you could pair him with Di Santo and enjoy a fixture run of AVL, WHU, EVE, WBA, SUN, RDG, MCI, TOT, QPR, @NOR over the next 10 gameweeks.
Status: Buy if he fits your needs and you believe you can use any freed up cash elsewhere to better effect

Noel Hunt 7
Irregular playing time. Inconsistent shot data. A conversion rate (two goals from three shots on target) that is likely to regress. What's not to like?
Status: Sell

Mohamed Diame 6
West Ham rank seventh in shots inside the box and continue to provide good fantasy assets for relatively low prices. Nolan gets the headlines in midfield but at just 4.8m, Diame has racked up some pretty useful underlying stats (11 shots, four on target and five chances created) and could yet give us another option in the Hammers midfield. I'd still give the edge to Sterling or Maloney but Diame is certainly one to watch.
Status: Monitor

Michu 6
There's been a fairly strong selling of Michu in the past couple of weeks, and while I've been suggesting he's overvalued the past few weeks, just be careful that you don't cut him loose for the wrong reasons. His underlying data is still strong for a player of his cost (16 shots, eight on target) so he doesn't have to be sold but if you're looking for value you can still probably get similar production from the likes of Pienaar, Nolan or Morrison. With Wigan at home this week it seems crazy to sell now, but then the next seven games offer little promise so it will then be time to cut loose unless the rest of your squad is in a real mess.
Status: Hold for one week, sell in GW9 if you have the flexibility

Youssouf Mulumbu 6
Mulumbu has underlying data similar to a whole group of players, including the aforementioned Diame. That in itself is fine but when you consider Mulumbu's price tag, he looks a touch overpriced given the lack of upside here. You're better off forking out the extra 0.6m to get Morrison or rolling the dice with a cheaper player like Maloney or even Mulumbu's teammate Gera.
Status: Sell

Clint Dempsey 6
Dempsey appears to have played his way into Villas-Boas' plans for now, but his impact has been solid rather than dynamic (eight shots and three chances created in the last three gameweeks) and given his price tag and high risk of rotation his remains a non-option for the moment. He hasn't played particularly high upfield when deployed in the middle, even when playing at home against QPR and Villa. He might have success at some point this year but there's no way he can justify his price tag at the moment.
Status: Sell

Kieran Richardson 6
I was a fan of Richardson's back in his Sunderland days and at 5.3m he could conceivably offer value later in the year. We haven't seen enough yet though to consider picking him up and Fulham have sufficient depth to make his place in this team far from a guarantee.
Status: Sell

Grant Holt 6
Holt's shot totals are mediocre (11 total, three on target) but his assist potential (11 chances created) which makes him ownable. Unfortunately, that relies on his teammates who haven't done a great deal to impress this year, other than Snodgrass who has been useful. Holt deserves to be in the conversation in that ~6.0m group and Norwich actually have decent attacking data to suggest some improvement could come in the future. Holt hasn't been able to hit the target with consistency this year but his history suggests he should turn that around over a large sample and thus goals should continue to come his way. He likely doesn't offer the upside of a Berbatov or the price of a Di Santo but Holt should deliver decent consistent value, making him a good third forward who can used in an effective rotation.
Status: Buy

Sergio Aguero 6
Since returning to the team in GW5, Aguero has racked up 13 shots, five on target along with creating six chances for teammates. In terms of individual and supporting talent, he's possibly the best fantasy forward in the league and the only thing poised to slow him down is his manager. Aguero was dropped this week against Sunderland which will hopefully now pave the way for him to start the next few, which include home games against SWA and AVL in the next five gameweeks. It's tough to pick between Aguero and Tevez given the extra 1.5m needed to make a potential move, but you have to think that in the long run Aguero is safer and will likely lead this front line in minutes assuming he doesn't suffer any more injuries. He's a risk for sure, but probably no more so than van Persie, Tevez or any other of the elite forwards, yet he comes with a ceiling as high as anyone and you feel City still have another gear to move into.
Status: Speculative buy for now, but if Mancini continues to mess around up front we might have to write the whole group off


@shots_on_target said...

Really good post Chris. I like the structure of this and the content of course. I agree on the majority of your choices entirely. I would disagree though with Giroud, and particular Grant Holt. Holt should be a Monitor, and Giroud a "Punt", though I know you don't have that option!

Chris Glover said...

Thanks. Yeh I struggled with Holt in particular. I don't personally like him as a 'buy' but there's enough there to 'buy' the fact that he is legit. I'm trying to keep the buy status to those who are theoretically ownable, as otherwise I'll just be giving the same couple of names out for every player ie if you have 11m get Aguero, 7m get Berbatov etc

As for Giroud, I'm almost there and could definitely be persuaded he's ownable now given the next two games, but I felt hypocritical saying he can be bought now while I generally exercise caution with unproven assets. Long term I like him quite a bit though.

Andrew said...

Is Podolski still solidly ownable? He hasn't produced all that much in the past few gameweeks and his underlying stats weren't great before then. At 8.6 he seems perhaps a little overvalued.

John Doe, 2008 said...

FYI - you transposed the shot numbers on Torres and Lambert. Lambert is the one with 9 SOT, not Torres.

Get those right and your point is even more valid (i.e., there is no reason in Hell to buy Torres).

John Doe, 2008 said...

Speaking of Lambert, why are you so concerned about his conversion rates? He was way overboard early, but he's been shooting more (for fewer returns) recently, meaning his total numbers aren't bad. Comparing to some other top forwards:

Total Shots / SOT
Lambert 16/9
Fletcher 12/8
Van Persie 18/8
Crouch 13/7
Jelavic 18/7
Torres 16/6
Tevez 22/8

Besides Suarez (40/11), Ba (25/10), and Defoe (38/11), it seems Lambert is pretty much right in line with everyone else.

Take away his penalty, and he is converting at a 37.5% rate based upon SOT. That seems pretty sustainable to me.

Just wondering as you have seemed pretty negative on Lambert all season.

John Doe, 2008 said...

@ Andrew -

Podolski seems to be unownable to me at the moment. He is down the list on Shots (13/5 on target) and just doesn't seem to get into position to score all that often. He creates chances, but so do Suarez, Lambert, Crouch and Jelavic, all similarly priced (or cheaper). To me, there is just far too many solid options from 6-9.5 to justify owning Podolski.

cyrilmaury said...

hello guys

what about David Silva with nice matchups coming up ?

Podolski even with his average stats could be ownable given upcoming fixtures as well, dont you think ?

Steven said...

Haven't commented much this year Chris. You're still making my daily visit list with the great insight and content you create.

Let's hear your take on Bale since of course he was a dud last week and not a subject of this piece.


Pat Vivat said...

i wouldnt own pod, actually as how arsenal is currently plays i wouldnt even keep him on my watchlist
it is already bad enough for a forward to be played as a winger, also his stats on espn shows that he already had 13 shots in 7 games - compare to giroud:19, santi:29
i dont know about his chance created, and my fpl rules dont put that much emphasis on CC anyway. i dont like that fact that he has to rely on others to score points (assist). Plus, i think CC only can be applied to top teams, cc for rvp is a big different for cc for D.Graham (finally i got rid of him). therefore, i tend to analysis base on Shots over CC.

i think giroud should be way better choice if he can keep his place, i know this is a big IF. But at least most evidences are leading that way.

my issue right now is to determine who would be the one for the Chelsea trio
i currently own Haz, but i feel that he doesnt cut it for his value. mata is coming onto the surface, while i feel oscar is also due for an explosion. what are ur opinions about this??

cyrilmaury said...

I would agree for Oscar, but would he be a sure starter ???

I also now have Giroud on my squad, but I'm not 100% confident it's a good choice yet ...