Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dousing the fire, fanning the flames: Gameweek 22

As in prior weeks, each player is assigned a 'buy', 'hold/monitor' or 'sell' status. These do not necessarily reflect what I would personally do, rather what I suggest to be a decision based in logic. For example, I might feel that Rooney represents better value than van Persie, but I would still 'buy' the Dutchman's success and consider him very ownable. The different assigned statuses are summarised as:
  • 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 sell 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.
The below analysis is best reviewed alongside the player dashboards, which show all the stats highlighted within the narrative.

Juan Mata (14 points)
In terms of underlying stats, Mata had a disappointing week here, which can be taken as a good thing (he still earned points without necessarily having the best day) or bad depending on how you skew it. I'd generally fall into the latter category as few players can consistently outperform their underlying stats, but there's no real reason to think Mata won't get his chances again in the future, and so the fact Chelsea have shown some signs of converting chances at a healthy rate is probably a slight boost to his overall value. The upcoming games look great and so there's good reason to hold Mata after his double gameweek.
Status: Buy

Jimmy Kebe
I'm kind of down on this Reading side at the moment, despite the good come-from-behind win this week. They simply aren't creating enough chances to score at anything like the rate required to offset their shaky defense, and with that production fragmented across a number of so-so options, there's very little reason to dwell here.
Status: Sell

Adam Johnson
I'd like to say Johnson is a legit option to get excited about but the only things that's really changed of late has been his conversion rate, seeing him score twice on three SoT and notch an assist on just six created chances over the last six gameweeks. Saying that, the upcoming games look favourable and Johnson could be a useful differentiator if you have deep pockets and can afford his price tag for your 5th midfielder.
Status: Monitor, or a speculative buy if you believe his underlying production will increase to compensate for a presumed regression in conversion

Frank Lampard
Lampard had a pretty solid statistical game here and has been a sold option of late. With Mata's value steadily rising and Chelsea continuing to impress, you might want to get involved with Lampard, whose goal threat has been as good as both his teammates, though a lack of assist threat will always make his points production somewhat spiky. His penalty duties are a boost though and given the lack of talent in that mid-8.0m range, if nothing else he could serve as a useful option for those needing to divest themselves of Yaya Toure.
Status: Buy, though his upside is limited compared to many of his peers

James McClean
Sunderland have enjoyed a couple of good wins lately with McClean chipping in with a couple of goals in the last seven games, but looking at his stats, there's really very little to indicate his production will be anything more than sporadic. His stable playing time would make him intriguing as a minimum price option but for 5.7m you need a lot more bang for your buck.
Status: Sell

Carlos Tevez
With Aguero sidelined, Tevez looked like an attractive option but with the Kun due back as soon as this week against Fulham, Tevez will once again find himself embroiled in a battle with Dzeko (and Balotelli) for playing time. Given the limited upside shown in this game and in prior starts, his price tag and high ownership make him pretty hard to get excited about and for the money I'd prefer to take the risk that Ba gets serious minutes at Chelsea or try and at least look to someone like Podolski for this week.
Status: Hold, but consider trying to sell if you can

Seb Larsson
If we're not excited by Johnson's solid stats, Larsson wholly underwhelming numbers aren't going to win any favour in these parts.
Status: Sell

Romelu Lukaku
We've been hyping Lukaku in these very electronic pages for some time now and it's great to see him (a) finally get some steady playing time and (b) earn some plaudits for his continued success. Shane Long is fit again so Lukaku is not going to suddenly be playing every minute so his 6.5m price is still tough to have sat on the bench. That said, his upside is high enough that if your budget can stretch to the point where him sitting won't force you to play poor options, you do worse than riding him as a third forward and taking the odd down game with his obvious potential. This main problem with that strategy is that even when benched the Belgian has tended to come on, thus giving you one point performances rather than paving the way for your sub. There's really not much more I can say about Lukaku, whose stats are off the chart but yet who can't be guaranteed to even play in a given week. For me that means he remains a monitor but if you're desperate to make ground I'd prefer to take a risk with a player like Lukaku who has the potential to deliver excellent value.
Status: Monitor, or a very speculative buy

Eden Hazard
His stats don't quite match up to Mata's but now his ownership percentage is lower than the Spaniard and given he comes at a 0.6m discount, it's no longer an obvious move to pass on the talented Hazard. His goal threat is just about on a par with Mata of late and his chances created aren't too far behind (11 versus seven over the last six weeks), essentially making this pair a virtual toss up. Right now I'd still back Mata based on the longer range trends, but if you're in a situation where you're chasing an opponent who has Mata, I'd be very happy to grab Hazard, pocket the extra cash and hope he can start converting his useful stats at the rate he started the season with.
Status: Buy, though I'd still slightly favour Mata, all else being equal

Giorgos Karagounis
With three chances created and two shots on target over the last six weeks, it'll take more than one excellent strike to spark any interest here.
Status: Sell

Rickie Lambert
We'd normally be down on player's racking up just one shot in a week, but when it comes from players on penalty duties there's a slight satisfaction knowing that this is one of the reasons we paid a premium to get them. When those duties are attached to a useful player who comes at a bargain price, the satisfaction could easily manifest to smugness. The next five fixtures should put paid to any of those feelings, but Lambert's set piece duties do at least make him bearable to own no matter who the opponent and thus he remains great value at just 6.4m.
Status: Buy, though given the upcoming games better options likely exist 

James Milner
When he's played, Milner has actually been pretty good for City, not just in the real world but in fantasy terms too, with three goals in just 621 minutes (more than Sterling and Puncheon and as many as Dyer in less than half the time). However, with Nasri back and Aguero almost fit, not to mention Balotelli peaking out of Mancini's dog house, the bench would appear to beckon once more.
Status: Sell

James Morrison
Morrison has been putting up great stats all year without necessarily seeing the points come his way, so it's almost poetic that he gets his first points since GW11 in a week where his underlying stats were only okay. The chances created are nice but generally he's brought a better goal threat than he showed this week, as evidenced by his 13 shots over the last six gameweeks. He's still taking too many of those attempts from outside the box to give him a great goal threat but the assist potential (16 CC in the last six gameweeks) remains and for this price it's tough to find players who can legitimately contribute in every category, so let's not dwell on the negatives here for too long. The next five gameweeks see West Brom get a couple of favourable games so Morrison should remain right where he's been for a while: potential a very good value midfielder but still just ticking along as serviceable.
Status: Hold, or a somewhat uninspiring but solid buy

Pavel Pogrebynak
The price tag is nice but three goals from five total shots (four on target) isn't going to continue for long and Pogrebnyak will regress back to the mean sooner rather than later. There's very little to get excited about in this Reading side and I'm afraid Pogrebynak doesn't do much to change that conclusion.
Status: Pass

Gareth Bale
Bale hasn't missed a beat since sitting out through suspension, leading all midfielders in shots over the last four gameweeks, despite that off week. Though Spurs don't have any immediate games which look great on paper, they also don't have too many which would really worry you as a Bale owner and thus once all the double gameweek noise settles down, Bale could very well retake his place atop the midfield rankings.
Status: Buy

Franco Di Santo
Di Santo has put up some nice stats of late, and may actually benefit from Kone's absence as he's given a more advanced role. I wouldn't suggest that Di Santo is a long term option to simply plug into a side for the long term but if the fixtures work out (as they to in the next three gameweeks), his 5.3m price tag can potentially afford you some flexibility elsewhere in your team and thus it's a worthy strategy to consider. Those struggling to fit van Persie in can also look at Di Santo as a budget option who could potentially fill the void of a Berbatov type player (when the fixtures are favourable) and allow you sufficient funds to grab the Dutchman.
Status: Buy, based on a budget forward strategy

Marouane Fellaini
Not a typically dominant statistical display from Fellaini here, though the fact he was still awarded man of the match gives some comfort for his many owners. I have a hint of concern of Anichebe playing alongside Jelavic for Everton, which will push Fellaini deeper into midfield, but I'm not convinced that situation will be the norm so I wouldn't particularly downgrade Fellaini based on that fact alone. Five of Everton's next six games look very promising and thus it will take a fairly sharp turnaround to render Fellaini unattractive in these parts.
Status: Buy

Shaun Maloney
I've made it clear before that I'm a fan of Maloney's work but we're still not seeing enough here to make Maloney a startable option. At 4.8m though he's a useful 5th midfielder and offers some differential upside over the likes of Puncheon or Sterling.
Status: Buy, whilst acknowledging his limitations

Stephane Sessegnon
See Johnson, Adam
Status: Monitor

Adel Taarabt
I want to say yes but his shots from inside the box have regressed from bad to worse, while QPR haven't seen the huge turnaround some where forecasting. QPR looks set to acquire a couple of big names in Remy and M'Vila but until we see how they will impact this team (and Taarabt), it's really tough to get too excited about his solid underlying data.
Status: Monitor

Alex Tettey
The playing time is there and he comes with an attractive price tag but zero SoT and one CC isn't going to get it done.
Status: Sell

Robin van Persie
Even when racking up six pointers, there's reason to expect more with the weekly stats promising an even better return. There's little doubt that he's the safest and easiest way to access regular points, though as w'll no doubt touch on again, those looking to make ground might have to think outside the box in the second half of the year.
Status: Buy

The below players enjoyed good statistical days but didn't see the points come their way:

Jason Puncheon
Puncheon's goal potential for a player of his value is simply off the charts and I'm more than happy to plug him into any lineup as a 5th, or even a 4th midfielder despite the tricky upcoming games.
Status: Buy

Christian Benteke
Benteke continues to excel in a fairly poor team and with the next four games looking solid there's reason to think he should be okay to start for the medium term future.
Status: Buy


Caine said...

Thanks Chris! I enjoy these dousing the fire etc. articles the most. Good work!

Earlier this week I was surprised to notice that swansea have conceded only 9 goals away, bettered only by chelsea @home with 8 goals conceded. Swansea seem to play more attacking @home thus conceding more in the process.

I was wondering do the away stats back swansea as a defending unit or have they just been lucky to not concede more in away games?

For example Davies (4.2) last six away = 6,1,6,2,7,2 not too bad for his price

Marke said...

Chris, Reading are missing from the 8GW player projections. And I also not Kenwyne Jones has returned to Sunderland :)

Eraser said...

Hey Chris, I just saw that Chelsea were ranked dead last in your 8 week defensive forecast? Is that for real, or is there some glitch in the works?