Monday, 15 August 2016

Aguerovic Get Off To Flying Start - Gameweek 1 Review

In a rare gameweek where both Vardy and Kane failed to score, if you owned Zlatan and Kun and captained one of the two in the first gameweek then chances are you are in the top 200k overall. With budget midfielders on target and the only clean sheets coming from budget defences, gameweek 1 panned out in favour of teams with the most expensive attacking pair.

The pre-season argument against owning both Zlatan and Kun is that the rest of the team suffers financially. However, 4.5 keeper Ben Foster was the highest scoring keeper and many 'Aguerovic' owners have him as the first choice in goal. Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson and Jonny Evans are all 4.5 and kept clean sheets. McAuley is owned by 10% and Evans is also popular at 8.6%. While these may be mere back up options for more balanced teams, an attack that costs over a quarter of your budget may mean some started one of the pair. Jordi Amat and Stephen Kingsley performed above their 4.0 price tag, although more likely to be bench fodder. Kingsley looks to be a stand-in for Neil Taylor, who was short on match fitness for the game at Burnley, but Amat could lay down a starting place at centre back now Williams has left. At 4.0 he will be good asset as a starting player in teams if he continues to play, as an enabler for the likes of Ibrahimovic, Aguero and Hazard.

Mid-Priced Mids Come to the Fore

In midfield, 'Aguerovic' owners who sacrificed the cost of their midfield for their forward line would have been pleased with the point scoring of the lesser priced players. 8.0 Coutinho scored a brace at Arsenal to lead all midfielders. He comes in much lower than the premiums and could be the pick of the Liverpool mids, but is yet to reach more than 8 assists or goals in each of his 4 seasons at Liverpool, which raises concerns over his consistency and Liverpool's fixtures don't get easier until gameweek 6.

The early bandwagons could be for the mid-priced midfielders who were in and out of form last season. Adam Lallana has a similarly unspectacular FPL record to his teammate Coutinho, failing to improve on 9 goals and 9 assists in 2013/14 at Liverpool, yet his goal at the Emirates will raise his ownership. Game time is touted as an issue for Lallana with so many attacking players at the club, so Eric Lamela could be the cut-price midfield answer at the same price. Lamela scored on the opening day and may have some managers believe this is the season he can deliver on a regular basis for Spurs on the back of a strong Copa America with Argentina, in which he scored twice and a pre-season in which he also bagged a couple and an assist. Lamela has failed to live up to expectations when he arrived from Roma in 2013, but looks in faster and stronger physical shape than he was when he arrived in England. Having ended last season in fine form, has he finally found his feet at Spurs or will we see yet more inconsistency?

Xherdan Shaqiri disappointed in terms of goals and assists last season, but has already opened his account with a free kick against Middlebrough. He could be yet another past underachiever who has his breakout.

Redmond Shows Striking Potential

A lot of people were talking about midfielders who might play out of position in a more advanced role in pre-season, meaning more of a goal threat. These players are Gerard Deulofeu, Bojan, Nathan Redmond, Firmino, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard. Of these players, the standout in the first week was the cheapest, Southampton's 6.0 winger-turned-striker Nathan Redmond. His price-rise is predicted to be very high, as something of a differential going into the season at around 5% ownership. He had 4 shots inside the box, and only denied by good defending from Watford before finally finding the net. In the striker spot he could hit the ground running.

Differential of the gameweek:
Redmond (6.0), 10pts 

Surprise of the gameweek:
Diomande (4.5), 8pts

Fire sale of the gameweek:
Vardy (10.0), 2 points 

Kyle Norbury, obsessive fantasy football manager and have been for many years. Bit of a nerd when it comes to stats.  #TeamIbra.

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