Market Forces: Falling Stars

We are deep into the season now and the FPL transfer market has continues to be a hive of activity.

Players have risen, fallen and risen again. We have seen Harry Kane‘s value fluctuate, peaking at 13.0 before dropping down to 12.8. Meanwhile, the biggest star of the season in terms of FPL points and performance, Mo Salah, has risen 1.4 in value from what now seems to be a modest initial valuation of 9.0.

However, this market forces article is not going to be about the stars that have lit up our seasons with their free-scoring form and consistent ability to return us FPL points.

Instead, we are going to be looking at six individuals who perhaps haven’t performed as owners would’ve expected, meaning they have fallen in value. However, these guys all display potential and could yet emerge bargains as falling stars’.

The falling stars in question

  1. Dele Alli | Price: 8.9 | Initial Price: 9.5 | Difference -0.6

After two amazing opening seasons in the Premier League, Alli has somewhat plateaued this year and is going down in value as a result. A return of five goals and ten assists so far seems reasonable at first glance, but turns to look quite measly when you compare it to last season’s grand total of 18 goals and 11 assists, which made him the second highest scoring midfielder in the game.

A relative bargain last year at 8.5, he consistently rewarded owners. However, it hasn’t been the same this year as he’s struggled to live up to his initial valuation of 9.5. As a result, we have seen his price fall again and again as owners have looked instead at either Kane and Eriksen as more reliable sources for FPL points, or the cheaper Son Heung-Min.

In fact, things have been so dire for Alli that he has not been rewarded with a single price rise all season. However, there is still a chance of redemption; with Crystal Palace, Huddersfield and Newcastle up next there may not be a better chance for him to end the season strongly. Last time Spurs had a run of good fixtures, we saw Alli pick up two goals and four assists – this was in games against Burnley, Southampton and Swansea between Gameweeks 19-22. Having picked up a couple of assists in the Champions League fixture against Juventus, perhaps this may be his opportunity to remind us of his quality.

Chance of redemption: 4.0 / 5.0 

2. Gylfi Sigurdsson | Price: 8.0 | Initial Price: 8.5 | Difference -0.5

Another player who had a quality season last year but has failed to live up to the billing this year: nine goals and 13 assists last year returned the Icelander 181 points, outscoring the likes of Raheem Sterling and Roberto Firmino.

Following a high profile transfer in the summer, many had high hopes that he could continue this rich vein of form and preserve FPL darling status in terms of his points potential. However, like many of Everton’s summer signings this year, he has struggled to deliver and has only managed to return four goals and four assists this season.

However, due to having reasonable fixtures and no blank in game week 31, the spotlight is on the Toffees again. As Theo Walcott is attracting the majority of the interest in the Toffees, maybe some will look to Siggy as the ultimate differential. If he can pick up his form from last year as he did for Swansea at this crucial point in the season, perhaps he has a chance to be reinstalled as an FPL darling once more.

Chance of redemption: 3.5 / 5.0 

3. Jack Stephens | Price: 4.5 | Initial Price: 5.0 | Difference -0.5

Stephens belongs to a class of 5.0 defenders all wildly overpriced at the start of this season. Alongside the likes of Erik Pieters and the now infamously priced Allan Nyom (of Nyomwatch fame), we were dismayed at young Jack’s 5.0 valuation from FPL towers.

This was a man who was close to a must-own at the end of last season given his consistent returns, including six clean sheets in his last 13 games for the Saints, which he started week in, week out alongside Maya Yoshida. This was ideal, considering he was only priced at 4.0 plus Southampton had double game weeks.

However, this time around it became clear that he was still fourth in line at the club behind the likes of Yoshida, the unsettled Virgil Van Dijk and new signing Wesley Hoedt. After many price falls due to lack of game time, Stephens has slumped to a more reasonable price of 4.5.

After Van Dijk getting his desired move, in recent weeks Stephens has nailed down a place in the Southampton central defence. He has also shown some attacking prowess, picking up a couple of goals to boot. With a continued run of reasonable fixtures, perhaps Stephens can continue to redeem himself and prove himself a cut-price bargain. He may even do enough to pick up a repeat of his 5.0 valuation from the start of the season for next year… that is providing Southampton do enough to survive!

Chance of redemption: 3.0 / 5.0 

4. Bernardo Silva | Price: 7.4 | Initial Price: 8.0 | Difference -0.6

For every Dilva there is a Bilva. Very much a bit part player in Man City’s barnstorming season, as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Sterling, KdB, Leeroy Sane and David Silva have all been lauded, the “other Silva” has barely raised his head above the parapet.

This has been partly due to lack of game time: although he has not been used only 2 games all season, he has only started 9 in total. In the 944 minutes he has played, he has managed two goals and five assists, but the insecurity of game time has meant he’s not attracted much attention.

However, in Leroy Sane’s absence, he has played a full 90 in the last three games and is looking like he may be settling into his role in the club. Though the German has returned to duty, as City’s fixture congestion continues and the title looks to be sewn up it is still likely Bernardo will continue to get game time in the league. We wrote about him in our prospecting the prospects article in the pre-season and, despite a return of eight goals and nine assists, we declared him a poor prospect at FPL and have been somewhat vindicated in our appraisal. Maybe however the final portion of the season could be more fruitful for him as his game time increases.

An honourable mention here to Gabriel Jesus, too, who has fallen 0.6 in value to 9.9 due to his injury – he may be another who could come in to play in the run in if City remain fighting on multiple fronts and Aguero needs some relief. With a record this season of ~7 points per 90 mins on the pitch, he’s always one to consider and, like his namesake, always in with a chance of redemption.

Chance of redemption: 2.5 / 5.0 

5. Cenk Tosun | Price 6.9 | Initial Price: 7.5 | Difference -0.6

It has been a heavy fall from grace for Tosun, who has seen back to back triple falls in his valuation. Those that took the punt on the new Everton striker have truly been punished as he’s only been on the pitch for 12 minutes in the last three Gameweeks. There was an urgency for the Toffees to buy a striker in the January window, but it appears there is little to be said as of yet for the one they bought with Allardyce opting to continue to give minutes to Niasse or Calvert-Lewin still in the number 9 position. Allardyce has been quoted as saying

“He is struggling with the pace of the Premier League which happens to more players than it doesn’t to who come in in January.”

BFS has also given indications that Tosun will only play once their top flight status is secured.

We rated him in our prospecting the prospects as a good prospect for FPL and it is not too late for him to prove himself. Everton have some great fixtures coming up and no blank Gameweek to boot. However, he needs game time and until then his price will continue to tumble, turning him into potentially a very good catch at his new price if he starts to play and produce.

Chance of redemption: 2.5 / 5.0

6. Manolo Gabbiadini | Price 6.2 | Initial Price: 7.0 | Difference -0.8 

Finally we spare a thought to the man who has taken the biggest tumble all season, Manolo Gabbiadini.

He started the season in a few teams (including Tom’s), but we have since seen him lose 0.8 from his original valuation. The villain of last year’s doubles, Gabbi has found himself dropping down the pecking order at Southampton, with even Shane Long getting more game time. This is perhaps not a surprise seeing as he hasn’t managed to register attacking returns since Gameweek 8.

Following the signing of Guido Carillo, it appears that it just isn’t going to happen for Gabbi and it will likely take a minor miracle for him to figure in our FPL thoughts again.

Chance of redemption: 0.5 / 5.0