Falling stars analysis

When the prices were announced, FPL managers (like Tom and I) were furiously scouring the market for discounts and offers so that they could find the best value for money when shopping with their £100m opening budget.

With that in mind, I’ve reviewed those who have suffered the biggest drop – the falling stars – and analysed their chances of redemption this time around, giving a (qualitative!) rating in the process. Though their light is slightly dimmer than in previous years we FPL managers, of course, may still love them again.

Here, then, are the nine players we’ve identified to have had the largest fall from grace in terms of FPL price and my views on their chances of redemption:

  1. Daniel Sturridge | Price: 10.0 | 16/17 Price: 8.0 | 17/18 Difference: -2.0

On loan from Hospital

Oh Daniel… after another season marred by injury, Sturridge became a fringe player under Jurgen Klopp, featuring for the occasional cameo to remind us all that he still exists. Despite only playing 772 minutes, he did manage 3 goals and 5 assists, which is a registering an FPL score above appearances every 96.5 minutes. This was a pretty reasonable return. However, even though his valuation has decreased by 2.0, higher than any other player in the game, he is still considered wildly overpriced by many. This is because the likelihood of regular game time (at least at Liverpool) is pretty slim. Roberto Firmino, who has been reclassified as a forward, looks to be the main man in the number 9 position (and literally now owns the shirt), and, at only 0.5 more expensive, he will be the go to guy in the Liverpool attack. Sturridge will also have to compete with Divock Origi (7.0) and young upstart Dominic Solanke (5.0) for starts, which further reduces his value. However, Klopp has been speaking up Sturridge in the media, stating that he is in his best condition since the manager joined the club.

Chance of redemption: 2.0 / 5.0 

  1. Wayne Rooney | Price: 9.0 | 16/17 Price: 7.5 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5


Manchester United’s all-time record goal scorer, returning to his boyhood club at the tender age of 31..and priced at 7.5? I have to say, it isn’t the most unappealing prospect. Rooney showed glimpses of his former greatness last season, such as his free kick against Stoke and may well take over the penalty duties next season. He managed 5 goals and 5 assists last season, starting only 15 games (with 10 appearances off the bench too). If he were to double this return next season and be ever-present next year for Everton then 10 goals and 10 assists for a 7.5 striker definitely wouldn’t be something I would turn down in a hurry. If Rooney is looking fit and staying away from the pork pies, when the fixtures turn for Everton in game week 6 then it may be time to invest…invest..invest.

Chance of redemption:  4.0 / 5.0

  1. Sergio Aguero | Price: 13.0 | 16/17 Price: 11.15 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

Aguerooooooo…a staple in our teams for the last few seasons. The man lost a little bit of his spark last season due to it being marred by injuries, suspensions and rumours of him losing favour with Pep following the emergence of the new young starlet Gabriel Jesus. Still managing to be the 5th highest scoring forward in 16/17, score 20 goals (the third campaign in a row where he has broken the 20 barrier), Kun has made it into this article following on from his 1.5 fall in value. In fact his average points per game for the 29 game weeks he did play was 6.03. Pep has come out in the media saying the striker will not leave, which indicates he is in the plans. If he can nail down a starting berth, the odds would be in his favour that he has another season where he nets 20+ goals.

Aguero’s points scored each game week illustrating his explosive potential  Data source: last season’s FPL data output

Chance of redemption: 4.5 / 5.0

  1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan | Price: 9.5 | 16/17 Price: 8.0 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

There was a hot topic on Fantasy Football Scout about Mkhitaryan and why few people are considering him. In the comments, I expressed my reasons as to why he isn’t being considered: his output in the PL was incredibly poor, with only 4 goals and 1 assist all campaign, his overall score was that of a similar level to the likes of Wayne Routlege and Jordan Henderson. He rarely featured in Mourinho’s plans too, with his first start not until September and his first goal not until December. He appeared at times to be a Salah or Cuadrado type: signed but, for whatever reason, unfancied.

The counterpoint is that he is obviously a talented player and his record at Dortmund speaks for itself: he was voted the player’s player of the season in 15/16 finishing as the league’s leader in assists with 15 alongside an impressive tally in 11 goals. His performances in Manchester United’s successful Europa League campaign were also pretty impressive, where he scored 6 goals in 11 appearances. If he can show this kind of form in the Premier League and Mourinho can trust him this campaign, giving him that elusive number 10 position behind the striker then he may well have his Premier League breakthrough season.

Chance of redemption: 3.0 / 5.0

  1. Jamie Vardy | Price: 10.0 | 16/17 Price: 8.5 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

Vardy was a victim of the big Leicester inflation following on from their successful 15/16 campaign, where the man himself broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in consecutive Premier League games with 11 in a row: all of his owners were having a Jamie Vardy party each weekend in celebration. Last season, sadly, the party fizzled out and the hangover began as Leicester struggled in the lower reaches of the league, sacking their title winning coach Claudio Ranieri in the process. We did still see flashes of brilliance still from Vardy, including in a 4-2 win against Man City, where he netted a spectacular hattrick, making John Stones look like a clown in the process. His return of 13 goals and 8 assists was also still pretty impressive, finishing as the 6th highest performing forward in FPL and 22nd overall.

However, the inflated, premium pricetag of last year meant that very few owned him. He was subject to a fire sale at the beginning of the season as it looked like Leicester would not be repeating their heroics, with many who had drafted him in from GW1 disappointed by the loss to Hull. At 8.5 this season, he looks like a better bargain. This makes him the same valuation as the likes of Roberto Firmino who got a similar return with 11 goals and 11 assists. Leicester do have some tricky fixtures at the beginning of the season, but playing on the counter-attack and releasing Vardy to get behind the defenders was one of their strengths, so there is a chance the party might start again!

Chart capturing Vardy purchases and sales throughout the season Data source: last season’s FPL data output

Chance of redemption: 3.0 / 5.0

6. Islam Slimani | Price: 8.5 | 16/17 Priced 7.0 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

‘Slim’ chance of FPL success predicted

Bought by Leicester for an eye-watering £29 million last summer, the Algerian forward had limited impact for the Foxes and already it appears may well be moved on. Hopes for Slimani and Mahrez to utilise their national connection to once again cause Leicester to exceed expectations were not realised and instead Slimani had a frustrating campaign where he made only 13 starts and had 10 appearances off the bench. Still managing to score 7 goals and making 4 assists, there are rumours of him being sold though Leicester will want to recoup much of what they spent on him previously. With Leicester looking still to strengthen in attack and strong rumours that Kelechi Iheanacho is going to sign for the club persisting, 7.0 is far too much to be spending on a forward who is unlikely to start many games again.

Chance of redemption: 2.0 / 5.0

  1. Anthony Martial | Price: 9.5 | 16/17 Price: 8.0 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

Another expensive player, who flopped dramatically. The season did not begin well for Martial, who was ‘hurt’ when he lost the number 9 jersey to Zlatan. Another mercurial figure for Manchester United, like his fellow falling star Mkhitaryan, his return of 95 points with 4 goals and 6 assists did not justify his price point. Also subject to 1.5 fall in value, expectations are no longer high for the man who reportedly has a Ballon D’Or clause in his contract. With rumours aplenty of Martial possibly exiting the club with an attacking midfielder replacing him (Inter’s Ivan Perisic being the name touted around), little is expected from him as a FPL prospect and, as such, his ownership currently stands at only 0.6%. Still at a pricy 8.0, Pogba and Mkhitaryan both currently look better value for what they are offering in prospects and we will have to see a lot more from Martial next season if we are to splash out on him.

Chance of redemption: 2.0 / 5.0

  1. Moussa Sissoko | Price: 7.0 | 16/17 Price: 5.5 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

In our article assessing Tottenham’s FPL prospects for the 17/18 season, Sissoko was our designated flop. With reports in the media that he could well be farmed out on loan with Spurs paying part of the wages, it is clear that Spurs do not consider him part of the club’s future. A return of 43 FPL points with only 3 assists was very disappointing for the man Tottenham spewed £30 million on on deadline day last year. Despite impressive performances for France in the European Championships, the player doesn’t appear to have the right attitude to perform at the top level, with many Newcastle fans having made similar comments previously [link]. As such little is suspected from him again this season

Chance of redemption: 1.5 / 5.0

  1. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou | Price: 7.0 | 16/17 Price: 5.5 | 17/18 Difference: -1.5

You wouldn’t have known who this was!

Last season, Nkoudou was valued at… 7.0?! I had to double and triple check my data to make sure this was true. The 22 year old midfielder joined Spurs from Marseille for £11 million following a season where he scored 5 goals in 28 appearances in Ligue 1. However, he barely featured for Spurs all season, amassing a grand total of 54 minutes and 8 FPL points (all from substitution appearances). Most recently in the press for apologising for wearing a Chelsea shirt. He’s also recently managed to score in a closed doors friendly (albeit as part of the youth set up). However, as with Sissoko, Nkoudou doesn’t look like he will be threatening the first team set up any soon and it would take a loan deal at a lower league club to drum up any interest in him as an FPL asset.

Chance of redemption: 1.0 / 5.0