Last week we looked at how 'The Mighty Yaya' had come to dominate fantasy football this season in our article 'Yaya Toure Ate My Fantasy Football'. His fantasy potential polarized a lot of opinion amongst fantasy football veterans and generated a lot of useful discussion over at Fantasy Football Scout last week.
The concept of ‘differentials’ in Fantasy Premier League is really at the core of the game. Do you simply follow the transfer trends and pick the same players as everyone else, or do you seek out the unknown player that will really propel you up the rankings? Collective Wisdom (or ‘the wisdom of the crowd’) is not to be overlooked. Generally the most transferred in players do turn out to be the best. Aggressive Price Rises in FPL can really punish those who fail to get on board with an early trend. So, if you do miss the boat, what can you do about? How can you compete with those managers who did transfer early and have most probably a healthy points and team value advantage over you?
Last week we looked at the difference in form between home and away games and found a significant difference for midfielders, including the most expensive like Hazard and Yaya. In this post we’re going to put two and two together and propose a strategy that could help the 'have-nots' compete with the 'haves'. In all honesty, it’s probably too late for this season, with few remaining games and the fixture list the way it is, but it’d be worth bearing in mind for next season.
Imagine a rival team with Yaya and Hazard signed early, paying around the £9m mark for both. You’re late to the party and these two are going to set you back an extra £2-3m, which puts you at a disadvantage. But what is the downside of owning them early? There’s too much value embedded into the player which makes selling them a tough prospect. If you bought at the increased prices you can you are free to sell and buy back with only a minimal or even no cost.
We saw in last week’s post that Hazard’s home form is 7.3 PPG compared to 5.1 PPG away. Yaya’s is 7.1 PPG at home to 3.9 PPG away. We saw similar trends with most of the top fantasy midfielders too. It’s not a stretch then to imagine a transfer policy of transferring the best midfielders in and out of your team depending on home fixtures as a viable one to compete with those who have the same key players locked in early. Don’t get us wrong, it’s preferable to own the likes of Yaya, Haz and Lallana at close to their starting prices, but if that option has passed you by we can see this as an alternative to going without these players entirely in lieu of an unproven differential.
It’ll not be without risks of course, and would require careful planning around fixtures. It’ll also use up a lot of transfers and could put your squad on the back foot from any injuries that crop up (thus requiring decent squad depth). But in terms of pure points potential and use of transfers, getting the best from the elite fantasy midfielders whilst letting your rivals suck up the 2 pointers is certainly a strategy to consider.