EPL Fantasy quandries abound as gameweek 4 wrapped up with a number of surprising omissions, substitions and more unfortunate injury news. We’ve opened @FantasyGaffer and answered some of the most frequently asked topics in our recurrant feature: Up The Tweets!
@fantasygaffer I need a defender under 5.3m (fabio + 0.9 extra cash) thanks in advance
— David(@davwhear) September 18, 2012
We’re frequesntly in receipt of questions that look very similar on their face, but the difference in price present staggering gaps in the quality of EPL fantasy player available. Investing in a defender for £5.3, you necessarily have all the lower priced options available, but so frequently EPL fantasy managers try to maximize their return simply by buying a more expensive player. The options available at £5.3 that we would take over lower-priced options are limited to Angel Rangel (SWA) and Per Mertesacker (ARS).
Case in point, we’ve dropped £0.3m and have to remove options Rangel and Mertesacker. Perhaps minor, but the Swansea defense have value in EPL fantasy defensive rotations. We prefer to pick from the widest possible player pool and will build our defense this season around one high-priced option and four players at £5.5m or less. For less than £5.0m, we’re still looking at players we would put in the same tier with as those listed above. Ryan Bertrand, £4.6, and Carl Jenkinson, £4.9m, would be our top choices though we’re cautious about using either in the short-term as difficult fixtures and Bertrand’s 57′ substitution on Saturday are fresh in our minds.
Three Tweets and we’ve spanned a paltry £0.9, but we had to cull most of the players we like most. Of course, with £4.4m to spend, your choices are limited, but for even £0.1m more we could have our choice of James Perch (NEW) or Aaron Hughes (FUL). This highlights under £4.5m are limited to Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark (327′ with 1 cleansheet), West Ham’s Guy Demel (347′ with three cleansheets) and Joey O’Brien (200′ with two cleansheets), and players just now getting time like Spur’s Naughton, Newcastle’s Mike Williamson or Fulham’s Chris Baird.
@fantasygaffer demba ba for GW 5?
— Adi R (@adi_06) September 18, 2012
Demba Ba is an EPL fantasy bargain. After a quickfire double against Everton, Ba has risen into the top five forwards in the Fantasy Premier League and his £7.7m price keeps him just outside the top 15. Ba has scored three goals in 305′, not a sustainable rate but only. Look, there are players who are playing a bit above pace (Ba scored 16 goals in 2722′ in 2011-12). There are some players who’s production may be artificially inflated or deflated based on the small four-game sample that we’ve had, but Ba has suffered from this more than most. In that way, he is the opposite of Swansea’s Michu.
Michu is an EPL fantasy star early in the season and his price has risen from £6.5m to £7.4m but that price will fall again once 35% of the Fantasy Premier League managers who’ve selected the Swan’s midfielder realize that his four goals and an assist came in three games in which he recorded eight total shots and created just three chances. That is a chance conversion rate of 50% and an assist rate of 33%. If Leighton Baines were converting at that rate he’d have six assists in his opening four matches. Michu does have value moving forward, but for two players who are now priced within £0.3m of one another, and discounting the positional difference, we would rather have Demba Ba the rest of the season.
Using just £7.7m on your second forward and utilizing the extra funds to select a more expensive midfielder to replace Michu should net significantly higher EPL fantasy points over the course of the season.
While many of our reader write in with questions we simply do not have the time to answer, sometimes people just write in to brag:
@fantasygaffer a strikeforce of Tevez, Berbatov, and Fletcher with a midfield» Michu, Ben Arfa, Kagawa, Y Toure, and Hazard. GK: Vorm, Habsi
— Adam (@19Adam96) September 17, 2012
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