Once upon a time in fantasyland there were three midfield kings. They busted the budget but they were quite simply too good not to have (could only ever afford 2 of the 3 as well). These kings were instant captain choices sitting in the bracket of 10.5-12.5 in midfield. Maybe they were freaks, maybe the game was different then in terms of formations or were we just lucky to see such class in the premier league?
Through the introduction the point I was trying to make is that Gareth Bale is the new midfield king of the premier league at a measly 9.8 well below the price premiums of the past.
Owned by only 17.8% of the game Bale has significant room for price rises this season (if we compare him to Michu’s quite outstanding 50.6%). Bale should hit 10.5 so currently you are saving 0.7 (think of it that way makes the possible point hit to get him worth it).
Now lets look at some stats:
- 5 double point hauls out of 16 games
- Returns (goals or assists) in 8 of 16 games (50%)
That means Bale has returned in only 3 games outside of his double point hauls. It is not exactly encouraging reading as fantasy managers we want constant returns to boost our gameweek totals. Therefore I am going to look behind the numbers and discuss some of the other factors that limited his consistency of returns over the first half of the season. (That’s it guys halfway there!)
GW 1-3: 5 points @ 1.67 a game (adjustment period)
GW 4-7: 38 points @ 9.5 a game (1 blank)
Gameweek 8 child is born
GW 9-14: 40 points @ 6.67 a game (2 blanks)
Gameweek 15-18: injured + return against stoke (return games are tough)
GW 19: 21 points (hat trick = masses buy him)
Taking out the adjustment period of games (in which spurs really struggled) as well as the game Bale got injured (GW 15) the consistency is starting to reach king status.
Just 3 blanks are found in that period of time:
- Home to villa in a 2-0 win (law of averages made up for it this time hey!)
- Home to wigan in a 1-0 loss (LOL)
- Away to Manchester City (can be hard to score assist against the best teams consistently)
After discussing those adjustments Bale’s numbers are 8 returns in 12 games (67%) playing at absolute full throttle & demolishing defenses. This is more then enough for me at 9.8 especially when 41% are double point hauls.
Manchester United (H)
Those fixtures really make Bale a must have over Silva, Cazorla, Hazard & Gerrard (the latter is blooming lately but still overpriced I feel). To increase the template to 4 of 5 midfielders:
Bale – Mata – Michu – Felliani – budget filler of choice
Flying under the form radar: Chris Brunt
This guy always finds his way to my watchlist. Season after season he is there and always in a mid price bracket of less then 6 million. Brunt is quite handy if you can jump on him at the right time. Add to that the fact he has only 0.4% ownership and you have a real point of difference.
Looking at 90-minute performance since returning form injury (GW 11 to 19) in which Brunt had 7 such appearances he has returned 37 points (5.28 points a game). That is exceptional value from the West Brom captain over a sustained period of time.
Comparing it to Morrison the other West Brom asset (6.2) over that period of time is 27 points (3.85 points per game). It is incredibly disappointing for anyone who was or is holding Morrison in the hope of his stronger returns from earlier in the season.
The fixtures read:
Manchester United (A)
Aston Villa (H)
It must be remembered Manchester United are leaking goals at a high rate. Brunt could very much be involved at Old Trafford although that is a high risk trade. (It would be worth it if you needed to burn cash to get Bale though)
Please feel free to discuss this article in the comments below and provide any feedback on the piece.