In & Out of Form

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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.

Looking forward:

Sunderland (A)

Reading (H)


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)

Fulham (H)

Reading (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.


11 comments on “In & Out of Form

  1. mattcraigdt

    Great read mate, Bale is certainly a must have in my opinion, while Brunt is one I hadn’t thought of THIS year. Always a solid fantasy player, too risky at this stage though.

    • Liam Post Author

      true, just chuck him on the watchlist, as mentioned the midfield is quite undervalued this year, no massive price (over 10 must haves) and michu & felliani slotting in nicely. There has been no need for 5.5 players only 4.5-5 players.

  2. Hplate

    Awesome article mate. I’m loving your somewhat more mathmatically-orientated pieces. This is by no means a rip on the other bloggers who contribute here, the info and articles they provide are just as informative and entertaining reads, but it’s good to see someone putting forth articles that are a bit more numbers orientated to go along with the ‘watch the game, see how they play’ info.

    For mine I’m keeping an eye on Gerrard. With Lucas back he’s pushing further up the pitch and making more attacking runs then he has been at the start of the season. He’s kind of become a more expensive (and better) Morrison. If this continues he’ll be a pretty good differential to everybody elses Hazards and Silvas.

    • Liam Post Author


      It is pretty much the information that boggles around in my head when I personally weigh up options. I often look at the data as well as bringing in more personal things to do with the human side of the game. I honestly have not been watching as many games as I want lately but do a fair bit of reading.

      Gerrard has been the bane of my season, I started the season with him. I bought him again and after a week or so ditched him again (labelling him my most stupid trade).

      The last 3 games since lucas has been back he is doing exactly what I expected him to do!

      Major frustration, I have discussed him at length here before I was a writer. The important thing to take out of the last few weeks is:

      The stoke goal was a penalty (and liverpools first of the season at that) so ‘free points’
      They had an outstanding game against Fulham who are near bottom of the form table
      Can’t bag the header was a late goal that meant nothing to the game (the typical switch off late and concede a soft one by Villa)

      As always his a great player, has decent underlying stats but not enough shots within the box to really be worth 9.3. Combine that with Liverpool’s up and down form and it is a HUGE risk.

      Again it comes back to price not ability. I don’t think I can put 9.3 on someone who is so inconsistent when I can get bale and mata in the same price bracket. It is fair to keep an eye on him though he is worthy of watching especially in real life such a great passer of the ball.

      • Hplate

        Yeah he’s a risk, but with everyone else fielding Michu, Mata and now almost certainly Bale, he could be a good differential should Liverpool go on a run. The opportunities are there for Gerrard, just not as plentiful as the blokes mentioned above, for now. Definitely a watchlist candidate.

        Someone I think who’ll change Liverpool’s dynamic is Sturridge. When (and it looks like ‘when’ not ‘if’) he arrives at Anfield he’ll improve Liverpools attacking potential. Like you mentioned, Gerrards passing ability can only mean good things for a selfish gunner like Sturridge.

        • Liam Post Author

          Yeah I am really looking forward to who they bring in. The transfer window is going to change up fantasy for the better. It should help to break the midfield up things are getting a little stale.

          People are going to figure out how to defend Michu in the second half of the season too, the first time you play someone is often a surprise.

          • Hplate

            50% of the fantasy football world hope not! I dunno, Michu has got a touch of Van Nistrooy or Mario Gomez about him: typical poacher, always popping up in the right place at the right time to score. He just does it from a midfield position rather than up front.

          • Liam Post Author

            Haha he does I love him he is quality but is he truly top goalscorer material?

            He has been playing a lot of games as the main striker, the first 8ish he played behind Danny Graham before going on to lead the line.

            I only say it as a warning, Van Nistrooy & Gomez play in much better sides (although Swansea is great in its own way).

            Closing point Michu’s current strike rate (goals from shots on target) is better then messi’s, has to be a mixture of ability, the right team and the form of your life to do that.

  3. Liam Post Author

    “Many moons ago, it was common practice within the Fantasy Football community to refer to a combination of Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as “The Holy Trinity”. The cost was considerable, but many a season was saved by their union in a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) squad.”

    From the scout that is a creepy that we could open an article so similar ( I know my photo didn’t have Ronaldo in it)

  4. Pingback: In Form & Out of Form « FPLaddicts

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