Kicking off his new column, FPL JERR takes us through some of his favourite FPL Investment Picks for the start of the season.
FPL Investment Picks 2018/2019
While everybody focuses on Salah and Aubameyang, some names go under the radar. 20-40% of our squads will be made up of ‘budget picks’ and its easy to go with the crowd and open up ‘team selected by’ and pick the top option here, for example; the top pick in 4.0m defenders by team selected is Huddersfield’s Malone who Wagner has said will not be featuring much this season. His ownership, which sits over 10% dwarfs that of the 4.0m assets who are set to start the season. Your bench and 1 to 2 spots on your teamsheet can be made of players who can surprise, do something useful but most importantly for this price bracket; rise in value, so pick wisely.
Last season; Andrew Surman, Doucoure and Milivojevic all saw big price increases from their low end starting budget while moving from providing back up, to providing actual financial and points benefit on the pitch. These value rises end up translating to effective budget increases come the end of the season when it is time to play our Wildcards and look for Double Gameweek players.
Surman who started the season at 4.5 rose as high as 4.9 as he put 2 goals and 2 assists in a productive spell. Doucoure and Milivojevic both moved up from the 5.0 bracket and Chancel Mbemba’s value rose before his injury while he was recording clean sheets at his 4.0m valuation.
Simply put, with the masses of players actively engaged in the early weeks of the season, kneejerk reactions to bring in form players will be high. The way to finance this is to dump underperforming low-mid tier assets for the best performing cheapest asset, being on these assets give you a good chance of a) not needing to make transfers to bring them in and b) picking up useful valuation rises. This article and accompanying video identifies 5 important players for this bracket. However, this video was made just before the community shield, and I had input Aguero in there at his 12.9% ownership (as of Saturday night). His performance in the Community Shield has already seen his ownership rise above 20% which starts to undermine his potential as a different kind of investment asset.
Although his statistics last year were not hugely impressive from an FPL point of view, his role in Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson’s team is of note. He has ousted Ward and has started 5 of 6 pre season games, noticeably always along a first xi team. Palace are proud of their academy asset as the documentary on their YouTube shows. As with the video I will now draw out his key appeal notes for our investment bracket.
– His price, 4.0m. Sitting at the lowest available price in the game is always a good appeal. Many players will put it one lowest price player at least at the bottom of their bench without even thinking about who or why – all to enable them to pick the big guns on the pitch.
– His ownership, 7%. Lower than other 4.0m defenders who will not play. If he indeed does play, as is expected, many people could jump over to him as 93 out of 100 FPL managers currently do not have him in their teams.
– His fixtures. Palace have one of the best starts to the season apart from perhaps Manchester City and Burnley. With a succession of games where Palace could compete for Clean Sheets, one 6 point return could see FPL managers wonder why they have invested 0.5 to 1.5 more in other assets not returning as much.
Deployed on the right with Mitrovic down the middle and Schurlle to the left Kamara could be one of the only playing 4.5m strikers in the game and for the reasons that echo a lot of Wan-Bissaka’s this could see him rise in price.
If Fulham continue to play Sessegnon at left back it does leave a whole higher up the pitch which Kamara could fill. However, if Sessegnon does get moved up the pitch Kamara could see more rotation issues. Kamara has had a good pre Season scoring and assisting.
Joe Ralls (My Star Pick)
The way my team is set up I have one 5.0m midfielder as a flex. I wanted to engineer my team so that I had an asset in sub1 position so that if injuries or rotation hits I have a backup. This could save me a vital transfer at some point, and keep me from a kneejerk reaction (like salah out for one-two weeks and back in again) causing problems down the line. I have tried Neves and Cairney in this position, doing research into their performances in previous years. But I have settled upon Joe Ralls.
Ralls is a center midfielder for Cardiff and currently has an ownership of less than 0.5%, put this in direct contrast to Neves at over 15% you see a big difference in price fluctuation is on the cards here.
Neves may be on penalties, but missed his most recent one in pre season. Moutinho is taking over responsibility of set pieces in the absence of Douglas (transfer to Leeds), and Neves is also susceptible to a booking (or two) with 11 last year and 1 red (this would see 5 matches missed in the premier league by suspension rules of accumulation.
Ralls on the other hand is on penalties, taking five and scoring five last season. Cardiff took two without him being on the pitch, notably missing both against Wolves in that blockbuster finish last season. Ralls also scored a few penalties the season before when competing with other players no longer at the club for the role. Ralls, a naturally left footed player also provides a bulk of freekicks and corners with his whipped in delivery, often connecting with Sean Morrison’s head. Ralls has contributed 40 goal contributions in 217 games as a pro with the ratio increasing as he reaches his prime. Ralls picked up 3 less yellow cards than Neves and no red cards as well.
At 4.5m with a goal and 3 assists in pre season he is the only 4.5m asset providing goal contributions consistently in his team. He missed a large chunk of last season with injury but was a key part of the promotion campaign for the Terriers before this. All of this means he will fly under the radar instead of more popular 4.5m picks like Dale Stephens (over 11%) or Elneny (4%) – Billing at 0.1% could see a massive swing in ownership not just from these above assets but also from players downgrading mid tier assets to afford big guns.
Finally Kante (5.0m), the only player on my list with a truly high ownership. At over 15% he is an unorthodox pick as an investment potential but with Sarri-ball sweeping into Cobham it seems as if Jorginho (also 5.0m) will play at the base of the midfield 3. Jorginho, who has come over with Sarri from Napoli is key to the way Sarri organises his high press as he instructs and directs the wingers and supporting midfielders how and when to press the defence of the opposition on pitch. Sitting at the base Jorginho sprays balls and pushes the team about opening up the half spaces for teammates to explore. Kante therefore has lost his role in the Makelele role, however his tenacious tackling and accurate passing could be devastating in the high press. If he sits either side of Jorginho (with Fabregas or Barkley on the other side) he could be tasked with pressing high up the pitch, if he records as many turnovers as expected he is then one pass away from a goal scoring opportunity for Hazard or others. If Kante adds Goals or Assists to his name he could hit extremely high Bonus figures, as his baseline bonus is already huge (hitting 650+ bps system points last season but only returning 9 actual bonus points). Playing for a fashionable, potentially attacking team, he could become a must own at his price, seeing his 17% ownership move up significantly with little risk of it coming down due to his good record with injuries and importance to the team (especially with Chelsea facing no Champions League rotation).
Until Next Time…
Make Good Choices!
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