Sean Sullivan

Season Preview

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FPL Prices Review - Part 1

Thursday, July 13, 2017


With Fantasy Premier League managers beginning to select their squads, I’ll be taking a deeper look at players with price-tags too favorable to ignore.  Rather than telling you that Harry Kane is worth his £12.5m price tag or that Paul Pogba at £8.0m is a bargain, the players tipped are those for whom you may have not dug deep enough to see their hidden potential.  The season preview series, which will feature two positions in each edition, will fall under one of two classifications below.


Breakout Candidate - A player who has the potential to greatly out score their starting price and exceed expectations placed on them going into the season.  

Value Pick - A player who is given a lower starting price than the bulk of comparable talents, but will likely perform on par with those priced ahead of them.  


My first exploration will assess some enticing midfielders and forwards…


Midfielders

Breakout Candidates


Junior Stanislas, Bournemouth

Starting Price: £6.0m       Ownership: 0.9% 2016/17 Points: 107

 

Stanislas provided a solid return of seven goals, six assists and 13 FPL bonus points last season. However, what stood out the most was his level of production over just 21 appearances. To put his season into perspective, he scored one more goal and notched two more assists than Riyad Mahrez, despite playing 15 fewer matches.  Stanislas enters 2017/18 a year removed from finishing as the seventh leading scorer and co-11th assist-getter in the midfielder rankings. Moreover, he is available at a cost £2.5m less than Mahrez.  As to his positional value, the former West Ham and Burnley man could be a steal at £6.0m.  His price allows owners to build a midfield that still includes premium options and, should he stay healthy for a full season, secure a weekly lock for the cost of a bench player.



Tom Ince, Huddersfield Town

Starting Price: £6.0m     Ownership: 2.9%     2016/17 Point Total: N/A  


FPL owners may remember Ince from his previous spell in the Premier League with Hull City in 2013/14.  While he failed to make splash then, the now 25-year-old returns to the top flight a much different player.  The midfielder joined Huddersfield this summer on the heels of a season that saw him score 14 goals on 129 shots and make eight assists from 70 key passes.  Given his production over a three-year stint at Derby, where he scored 37 goals and made 17 assists, Ince has a high ceiling priced at £6.0m.  The son of former England international Paul Ince, Tom led the Championship with 58 shots on target last season and ranked second in total attempts (129).  Expected to operate as the number 10 in David Wagner’s starting XI, Ince’s value would be elevated even higher if he manages to share some of the set-piece duties with Aaron Mooy.



Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth

Starting Price: £5.5m       Ownership: 1.7% 2016/17 Point Total: 100

 

The Scottish international was in and out of Eddie Howe’s first-team during the start of last season, but over the span of 38 minutes, he quickly shed his role as a fringe player and became a key contributor.  The 23-year-old assisted twice and scored as Bournemouth came back to defeat Liverpool 4-3 on December 3rd. In total, Fraser finished the season with three goals and nine FPL assists to his name.  Further compounding how impressive his 2016/17 was, Fraser and Cesc Fabregas were the only players to play less than 2000 minutes and still manage to post eight or more assists.  Considering that Fraser could feature in over 30 matches next term, his starting price of £5.5m makes him a top budget option.



Value Picks



Yohan Cabaye, Crystal Palace

Starting Price: £5.5m     Ownership: 1.3%     2015/16 Point Total: 91

 

Cabaye has been a textbook, low-cost midfield option over the course of his five seasons in the Premier League. The 31-year-old spent two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain before returning to England in 2015, but his second stint in France did not hinder his former production. Cabaye, who scored 17 goals and tallied 13 assists during three seasons at Newcastle, picked up where he left off upon his arrival at Selhurst Park.  Over the last two seasons, he’s scored as many goals as Wilfried Zaha (9) and provided five FPL assists—just one fewer than Christian Benteke. Priced at £5.5m alongside popular selections Joe Allen and Ander Herrera, Cabaye is an alternative for owners looking to capitalize on a midfielder with similar production and better ownership differential.

 

Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle United

Starting Price: £5.5m       Ownership: 2.2% 2015/16 Point Total: 78

 

Priced at £5.5m, Shelvey is an attractive choice ahead of what will be his sixth spell in the Premier League.  The 25-year-old provided five goals and eight assists in the Championship this past season, supplemented by per-match averages of 2.2 shots and a 2.1 key passes.  His appeal is boosted by steady FPL stats from his previous three seasons in the top flight, having recorded at least six assists in each, and scoring a total of 10 goals.  Shelvey shares a starting price with Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy but, with 141 more Premier League appearances, holds the advantage over the promising 26-year-old Australia international.

 

Forwards

 

Breakout Candidates


 

Charlie Austin, Southampton

Starting Price: £6.5m       Ownership: 2.9%     2016/17 Point Total: 62   

 

If you’re looking for a forward to round out your strike force, take a deeper look at Austin before passing judgment. Prior to suffering a dislocated shoulder which sidelined him for the vast majority of 2017, Austin was on pace for an excellent season.  When Austin scored 18 goals for Queens Park Rangers in 2014/15, he opened the season with six goals through his first 13 appearances—the same total he netted in 13 games to begin 2016.  Though Austin will compete with Manolo Gabbiadini for a place in the starting XI, the pair are rather even from a statistical perspective. Gabbiadini scored four goals and averaged 2.6 shots-on-target in 11 appearances last season, while Austin scored six and averaged 2.5 in 15.  Slightly less expensive than his £7.0m-rated Italian counterpart, Austin is comparable with the other frontline options priced at £6.5m—Andre Gray, Troy Deeney and Salomon Rondon.  In each player’s first 13 appearances, the 28-year-old actually had the best goals-per-match average (2.16).  Bottom line: Austin is a solid budget selection with the potential to provide 12-15 goals over the course of a full season.

 


Steve Mounié, Huddersfield Town

Starting Price: £6.0m       Ownership: 0.7% 2016/17 Point Total: N/A

 

Up front, Mounié could be a stolen gem for Huddersfield Town.  The 22-year arrived from Montpellier following an impressive debut season in France, where he was the club’s top scorer in Ligue 1 last year with 14 goals in 35 appearances—a goal total one shy of Mario Balotelli and Monaco phenom Kylian Mbappe.  The Benin international led the French top flight in aerial wins per match (8.4) and averaged three shots per game, topped only by Edinson Cavani and Mario Balotelli.  From a purely statistical point of view, Mounié’s 2016/17 season was comparable to Christian Benteke’s.  Benteke scored 15 goals and provided two assists while averaging 8.9 aerial wins and 2.9 shots per game.  While it is very ambitious to select him with the expectations of matching the Crystal Palace striker over the course of his debut campaign in the Premier League, Mounié does possess the traits required to be a successful center forward in England.  As an aerial threat known for his poaching ability inside the area, Mounié’s low ownership and appealing price-tag of £6.0m slot him as a sleeper worth a second look.  



Value Picks



Andy Carroll, West Ham United

Starting Price: £6.0m       Ownership: 2.9%      2016/17 Point Total: 62   

 

Despite the Premier League’s unpredictability, one constant remains: Andy Carroll playing less than 1500 minutes by the year’s end. Since clocking 1953 minutes during his debut campaign at West Ham in 2012/13, the 28-year-old center forward has appeared in just 59 of a possible 114 matches. However, during his time on the pitch last season, the former Liverpool and Newcastle man was rather efficient.  In 18 appearances, Carroll scored eight goals and went no longer than three games without finding the back of the net.  Set to start 2017/18 fully fit, he could be worth a gamble with the Hammers facing all three newly promoted clubs and just two top-five sides during their first 10 matches.  Carroll isn’t a long-term option because of his injury history, but he could be useful while fit (however long that may prove to be).


Jay Rodriguez, West Brom

Starting Price: £6.0m       Ownership: 2.6%      2016/17 Point Total: 73



Priced at £6.0m following his move from Southampton, Rodriguez arrives at The Hawthorns in search of more first-team football.  Two seasons removed from an impressive 15-goal season, the 27-year-old bounced back from a goalless 2015/16 with five goals and two assists last term. With Salomon Rondon and Hal Robson-Kanu the only other options in Tony Pulis’ squad, Rodriguez’s capability across the frontline and positional reclassification to forward give him a solid shot at fantasy relevance.  While the investment is a long-term play, Rodriguez’s starting price situates him nicely as a viable mid-cost selection for owners who allocate the majority of their forward budget on £10m+ goalscorers.  




Email :Sean Sullivan





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