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Fantasy Football: De Gea, Payet, Aguero and high ownership debate

| 04.08.2016

Once the Premier League season has been underway for a few months, having a template team including numerous widely-owned players can be a good thing.

All Fantasy Football managers know which players are in form, assured of starts and gaining regular points returns by this stage. It is then a case of sprinkling in some less-owned differentials who are maybe due a goal or have a favourable run of fixtures upcoming to make ground on other bosses.

However, when it comes to picking a squad ahead of the opening gameweek, it seems more risk than reward in selecting numerous players that have been included in a higher percentage of squads.

As things stand at present, David de Gea (41.5%), Sergio Aguero (38%), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (33.8%), Hector Bellerin (31.3%) and Dimitri Payet (30.9%) are the most selected players in the game.

If they start the season well, managers to own this quintet will be rewarded with solid points hauls. Meanwhile, non-owners will undoubtedly be scrabbling to free up the funds to transfer them in.

The good news for the second batch of bosses, is that because the players are so highly owned, their prices are unlikely to rise much more than 0.1m at most across the opening few weeks. The price changes are based on the number of managers either transferring Player A in or out of their teams in any given gameweek.

On the flip side, if a low-owned player enjoys a profitable points start, the majority of managers will be keen to introduce them to their squads. A more substantial price rise than 0.1m is not out of the question.

Initially having a few of these lesser-owned points hoarders could be heavily advantageous from a Team Value perspective.

These are the key points to consider:

– Bringing in a widely-owned player in the first 2-3 gameweeks is unlikely to cost any more than at the start of the season because so many players already have them.

– Having a widely-owned player in the first 2-3 gameweeks who contributes little is dangerous, as multiple managers transferring them out will cause their valuation to drop. Managers keeping these players will be in the equivalent of negative equity.

– Transferring in a strong-starting low-owned player in the first 2-3 gameweeks will cost more than their original price. However, the longer the delay of making the transfer, the more the price could go up.

– Transferring out a weak-starting low-owned player in the first 2-3 gameweeks shouldn’t result in any price drop because so few managers will be in the same position.

Therefore, those managers opting for widely-owned players should remain on the ball in terms of their form and ditch them at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid selling them for a lower sum than that initially paid.

It could be prudent to begin with 10-11 low-owned players (4% ownership or less) on the basis that if a couple do well, their price could skyrocket. If they all fail, there is minimal risk of any price drops. There is always the wildcard if severe squad surgery is required.

These are among the players who currently have low ownership and have decent chances of starting the season well:

Antonio Valencia – Man Utd – (£5.5m and 3.8% ownership)
David Silva – Man City (£9.0m and 3.8% ownership)
Charlie Austin – Southampton (£6.5m and 2.7% ownership)
Bojan – Stoke – (£6m and 2.4% ownership)
Max Gradel – Bournemouth (£5.5m and 0.7% ownership)
Wayne Routledge – Swansea (£5.0m and 0.5% ownership)
Gaston Ramirez – Middlesbrough (£5.5m and 0.2% ownership)

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.