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FPL tips: why leaving it late can pay when picking your players

Newcastle United v Burnley – Premier League – St James’ Park
(Image credit: Peter Powell)

Fantasy managers need to be mindful of both fluctuating prices and potential fitness concerns, but trying to stay ahead of the market seems to have bitten many of them this week.

Even though Newcastle’s match with Aston Villa has been postponed, Callum Wilson remains the most transferred-in striker this gameweek. Over 200,000 managers have brought in the former man even though there is now no chance of him playing.

Conversely, Wilfried Zaha was a doubt for Crystal Palace – flagged as 25% likely to play as late as Friday morning – before being declared fit by Roy Hodgson in his press conference.

The doubts over his fitness will have surely contributed to him being the most transferred-out player this week and the news he would make the game came too late for more than 300,000 managers who had already pulled the trigger.

Whether or not you’ve been hurt by early transfers this week, this cautionary tale should make you think twice about early moves in the future.

Cav-a-go hero?

Calum Wilson is the most transferred-in striker in the cheap bracket.

(PA graphic)

If you are one of those who has kept their powder dry, what else can we learn by looking at the players subject to the highest volumes of transfers so far?

Trailing just behind Wilson in terms of net transfers in this week is Edinson Cavani.

Before last weekend, the Manchester United man won’t have been in the thoughts of many fantasy managers, with just one goal and less than 90 minutes on the pitch all season.

Two goals and an assist, to turn the game around, after his halftime introduction against Southampton has obviously grabbed the attention of many bosses and a starting berth against his former club PSG in the week shows that he is now firmly in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.

Adios, Sadio!

Zaha and Mane were removed en masse.

(PA graphic)

Meanwhile, Zaha wasn’t the only midfielder whose stock fell sharply this week. After registering six attacking returns in the first six gameweeks of the season, Sadio Mané has now returned just one assist in his last four Premier League appearances.

His benching against Brighton looks to have been the final straw for more than 130,000 of his owners who transferred him out this week.

Riyad the signs

If managers have been shifting Zaha and Mane, then who have they been bringing in to replace them?

Jota, Mahrez and Ward-Prowse have all been fancied this week.

(PA graphic)

Before his side travelled to Burnley, Riyad Mahrez had not scored or assisted since Gameweek 3, despite having started five matches in that time.

With a hat trick against Sean Dyche’s side, Mahrez became the fifth player this season to register 20 points in a single match and has turned more than 300,000 heads in the process.

The Algerian had been registering a healthy amount of Threat in the intervening matches so his large haul would appear to be more than just dumb luck. And a visit from a Fulham side who boast the league’s leakiest defence means that this might be a bandwagon worth jumping on.

No-one hotter than Jota

Diogo Jota is fast becoming a fantasy must-have and for the second week in a row he is the most transferred-in player in any position.

With four starts in Liverpool’s last four league matches and the same number of goals in that time, Jota has now proven that he is not just playing second fiddle to Jurgen Klopp’s established front three.

A note of caution to remember: rotation is still a risk as the Reds compete for multiple trophies.

At just £6.9m, though – compared to £12.2m for Mohamed Salah or £12.0 for Mane – it seems increasingly like a risk worth taking.