Fantasy

Fantasy Premier League 2013 Week 11: Signings That Will Change Your Season

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Loic Remy of Newcastle United celebrates scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St James' Park on November 2, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Greg JohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportNovember 4, 2013

When looking for the ideal fantasy football signings to turn your season around, three things matter more than most: value for money, the player's popularity and his club's fixture list in the short-to-medium term.

Value comes from a low price in relation to the number of points scored by the individual. The ideal value signings are those players who match or exceed the points of those whose in-game cost is far in excess of their own.

Then the percentage of other users selecting the player comes into play.

If you find a high-scoring gem priced at a low cost who is yet to be picked up by the majority of your rival fantasy managers, you can enjoy a competitive edge until others grow wise and follow suit.

Until then, however, your undiscovered stars will offer you a boost that very few other users realise is available.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Leighton Baines of Everton is tackled by Jake Livermore of Hull City during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Hull City at Goodison Park on October 19, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Bruns
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Last but by no means least is the fixtures list, which offers managers an educated guess over how often a player will appear in the near future and what chances they have of scoring goals, making saves and generating the point-scoring actions required to bring home big totals.

Having built a squad using these principles, buying in those big-name signings who are expensive yet tried-and-tested, such as Sergio Aguero, Mesut Ozil and Leighton Baines, becomes all the more feasible.

To get you started, here are four players, one from each category—goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards—who made it through the process unscathed, ready to be injected into your fantasy teams going into Week 11.

All prices and stats according to fantasy.premierleague.com

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Tim Howard of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on November 3, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard

Price: £5.5m

Points: 53

Selected by: 3.9 percent of users

Howard is currently the joint highest-scoring goalkeeper in the Premier League's official fantasy football game.

At £5.5m, he isn't exactly dirt cheap, but he is far greater value than Petr Cech, who currently costs £6.3m on a return of 38 points, and David De Gea, who comes in at £5.9m for 31 points.

Southampton's Artur Boruc is even better value at £5.0m for the same points total as Howard, but looking at the fixtures that lie ahead for the Saints—Arsenal and Chelsea away and Manchester City at home within their next five games—the Everton keeper looks likely to overtake the Pole in the coming weeks.

With only 3.9 percent of users currently trusting in Howard to be the man between their fantasy sticks, the American is also something of a forgotten treasure for managers looking to get the most out of their man in goal.

 

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Erik Pieters of Stoke during a Pre Season Friendly between Stoke City and Genoa at Britannia Stadium on August 10, 2013 in Stoke, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Defender: Erik Pieters

Price: £5.0m

Points: 39

Selected by: 0.5 percent of users

Stoke City's left-back is a perfect example of an under-the-radar starlet who may just be able to offer canny managers a boost out of nowhere in the run-up to Christmas.

At a cost of £5.0m, the Dutchman is only really beaten at this points range by players such as Hull City's Curtis Davies, who will undoubtedly come unstuck sooner rather than later due to his club's form or the fixture list.

Since Pieters is also a full-back, he will not only benefit from the clean sheets secured by Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross in Stoke's back four, but he will also add extras to his tally from his own attacking surges down the flanks.

Think of it as the Baines effect.

For the same points haul as Pieters, Pablo Zabaleta would put you back £6.1m while Patrice Evra is priced at £6.4m for just 35 points.

Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne offer even better value coming in under the £5.0m mark but, like Boruc, their point-scoring form may soon suffer due to the games Southampton have coming up.

With Pieters currently only featuring in 0.5 percent of teams in the official Premier League fantasy football game, he could be a major find for anyone bold enough to add him to their squads now.

 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United in action during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on October 29, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj

Price: £5.0m

Points: 26

Selected by: 8.8 percent of users

Surprisingly, Januzaj has so far only been purchased by 8.8 percent of fantasy managers, which is odd considering his return of 26 points for £5.0m already trumps Santi Cazorla (23 points for £9.6m), Jordan Henderson (22 points for £5.9m) and Fernandinho (22 points for £7.3m).

Meanwhile, Stephane Sessegnon and Adam Johnson have brought in the same points tally of 26 for £6.6m and £6.5m respectively. Jack Wilshere has generated just two more points than Januzaj for a total cost of £6.1m.

Of course, Manchester United's young winger isn't as good a value as Leandro Bacuna (£4.6m for 27 points) or James Ward-Prowse (£4.2m for 26 points), but with David Moyes fast-tracking the Belgium-born Kosovar-Albanian, his opportunities to score major points will only increase.

 

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31:  Loic Remy of Newcastle United is seen during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham at St James' Park on August 31, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Ge
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Forward: Loic Remy

Price: £7.7m

Points: 50

Selected by: 8.1 percent of users

Finally we come to the business end of the team where the cash demands are their highest and value is difficult to find at the best of times.

A recommendation for Remy brings with it something of a gamble regarding the uncertainty that lingers over Newcastle United's true character and form this year, but at a cost of just £7.7m, the Frenchman has so far brought in a highly respectable points tally of 50 points.

That's one less than £9.1m Roberto Soldado, five less than £13.9m Robin van Persie and two more than £11.7m Luis Suarez.

With just 8.1 percent of users utilising the striker in their sides, a lot of people are missing out on a lot of value that could be better reinvested in other parts of their squads or even other big-name strikers.

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