Gaffer's yes, no, maybe
As we head into an international break I feel we now have enough data to make some initial assessments on players in the RealFF format. Here I go, team by team, with a:
Yes – a player you should want, trade for, or pick up if available
No – a player you should avoid or trade away
Maybe – a player who may turn out to be a good pickup, but is inconclusive so far. If you have spots you’re willing to gamble on they could be good ‘buy low’ candidates
Yes: Pepe – looks very dangerous and will clearly be a key piece of Arsenal’s attacking philosophy. Has some set piece responsibilities, matter of time before the points roll in.
No: Ozil – it’s not his renaissance year, that year is never coming. No desire, constant niggles.
Maybe: Ceballos – on all set pieces when he plays, massively benefits from the loaning out of Mkhitaryan. Just remains to be seen if he can be consistent.
No: Wesley – as we saw in the Belgian league he’s a hold up man more than a goalscorer. No points for holding the ball up well in RealFF kids.
Maybe: Jota – good record of returns in the past, looks super dangerous when he starts. If he can hold down a spot I can see him being Villa’s best midfield option. Not convinced Mcginn’s returns can outshine his yellow cards.
Yes: Callum Wilson – looks fit and sharp. Chipping in with assists thus far, matter of time before he starts scoring as he always does when fit.
No: defenders – they still can’t defend, won’t defend.
Maybe: Harry Wilson – the Liverpool youngster has looked exceedingly bright so far, but is the fact he’s a forward too much of a negative?
Yes: Trossard – a class apart in the Seagull’s team. He even looked mega dangerous against Man City, no mean feat.
No: Gross – The rotation has started already for this injury plagued German. Had a vintage 2017/18, don’t think he’ll hit those heights again.
Maybe: Maupay – Looks to have the striker spot nailed, but unclear as yet whether that means goals. The potential is there.
Yes: McNeil – the talent is undeniable, and with Gudmondsson already injured he has the set piece monopoly. I can see a huge season in a more attack minded Burnley side than in previous years, potential of a big move in January if someone needs a surge into the top 4.
No: Jay Rodriguez – a Burnley legend and a great backup, but he’s not getting the starts. Ashley Barnes was the man more likely to lose his spot, and he’s been brilliant this season.
Maybe: Erik Pieters – Burnley have an abundance of full back talent, he’s started well from an attacking point of view but can he hold his spot? If he does the combo threat of clean sheets and attacking returns make Pieters a top 30 defender.
Yes: Mount – Lampard’s love child seems to have made the spot his own and has a good amount of set pieces. Definitely one to target for now.
No: Ross Barkley – another year, another false dawn. You knew it deep down didn’t you Barkley owners?
Maybe: Abraham – a couple of braces has put Tammy in many a squad and cemented him as the number one Chelsea forward. But it’s a very small sample size. I still fear that a few bad games with no goals and Batshuayi could get his chance, and could well take that chance.
Yes: Milivojevic – simply put he has the set pieces and penalties, and Zaha stayed so those penalties and free kicks will still be plentiful. A boring pick but a good one.
No: Benteke – he’s lost his spot already, with the abundance of strikers on RealFF he shouldn’t be owned in any league.
Maybe: Cahill – A trusted fantasy asset who’s instantly made Palace look better defensively. It’ll be interesting to see whether his goal threat of old re-materialises. A great option for 4th or 5th defender.
Yes: Digne – looks threatening as ever in a cracking Everton defence. I love the Mina&Keane partnership at centre back. This combined with Digne’s set pieces and general attacking threat make him a top defensive option. A lot of managers favour players from the established top six teams, so you may be able to get him slightly under true value.
No: Calvert-Lewin – Once again he’s had his chance and done nothing with it. Without some serious development I can see him playing in League one within three years.
Maybe: Iwobi and Kean – they appear to have taken starting spots and looked very good against Wolves. A little too early to tell, but I suspect they’re both going to be decent returners.
Yes: Maddison – the centrepiece of everything Leicester are doing, this guy’s a star. I’ll be amazed if he’s not a top five midfielder on RealFF barring injury.
No: No obvious choice here as yet, Leicester are the real deal.
Maybe: Ayoze Perez – yet to fire, and was dropped for gameweek four. I think he’s a great option to trade cheaply for, we know he’s a class act. If you can score 10+ goals in turgid Newcastle offenses then you can do the same for a great Leicester team.
Yes: Salah – once again running the show, by far Liverpool’s most dangerous player. Yes Sadio, I am selfish, and will continue to be so. Looks like the golden boot winner to me.
No: Keita – a string of injuries already this calendar year, something that off season bulking up was never going to help. With Henderson and Wijnaldum playing well I just don’t see him being a consistent starter right now.
Maybe: Shaqiri - Champions League is fast approaching, and when Shaqiri starts he scores points. Lots of them. It's a real gamble but that's to be expected given Liverpool looks so settled, maybe one to try as a cheap pickup in the coming weeks? I'm reaching here, their first 11 is too good!
Yes: Sterling, KDB – class is permanent and once again Sterling looks like a top three player. KDB looks back to his best. Simple.
No: Laporte – looks to be out for 3 months plus, that’s a lot of games to hold an inactive player for. I’d be trading him away or dropping him, not worth the wait.
Maybe: Cancelo – with Laporte out the picture for the foreseeable and Stones struggling with fitness I expect Cancelo to play a big role after the break. Every chance Pep plays either Walker or Cancelo at centre back.
Yes: Rashford – looks fit and despite some inconsistency is clearly going to play virtually every game when available. Expect him to have Man Utd’s highest points total.
No: Pogba - may or may not get more penalties, may or may not want to be there. Trade him to a delusional Man Utd fan asap.
Maybe: James – a couple of real strikes from the speedy youngster has him well and truly in the spot light. Is it sustainable? Jury is out.
Yes: None, they’re awful.
No: All of them, they have no standout fantasy assets.
Maybe: Schar, but only if we see a string of good defensive performances.
Yes: Pukki and Buendia – clear standout options in a very attacking outfit. Buendia is the creator with all set pieces, Pukki is a true finisher. Miles above any other option.
No: The defence, simply horrendous.
Maybe: Cantwell – the current FPL hot new thing has started well with multiple returns. A previously unheralded talent, can he sustain his early season fire? For me he’s nowhere near their best midfield option, Buendia’s your man.
Yes: Nothing I can firmly say yes to currently, they look to be one of those entertaining sides with no standout options.
No: Billy Sharp – a very familiar name to fans of lower league football, but he’s old and not Premier League quality. Avoid.
Maybe: Norwood – has the monopoly on set pieces, yet to see it translate into returns.
Yes: None, would have been the ever-reliable Nathan Redmond but for injury.
No: Vestergaard – his points total looks great but he’s a mediocre defender in a mediocre defense.
Maybe: Boufal – the dancing feet had the most successful dribbles of any player in La Liga last season. Looks motivated and fit, but can he be consistent on the south coast?
Yes: None, too many attacking options. None of which have started the season on all cylinders.
No: The defense quite frankly looks shambolic thus far. I wouldn’t be picking up any of them until things stabilise.
Maybe: Lo Celso – world class talent who wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t going to get game time. Question is whether he gets enough starts to be viable as a top value midfielder. Given his lack of game time thus far he’s a good gamble with plenty of upside.
Yes: Deulofeu – sticking with the ‘class is permanent’ belief here. A great buy low option having frustrated owners thus far, expect him raring to go after the international break. Best Watford asset by a country mile.
No: Pereyra – too many niggles, class is permanent but so are legs made of glass. Can’t be relied on to start, and when he does you never know how long he’ll manage. Avoid.
Maybe: Andre Gray – with Deeney out he’s good enough to establish himself as a first choice striker. Limited upside but a decent potential free transfer into your squad.
Yes: The attack – Haller is good, I mean seriously good. Yarmalenko is fit and has always been good. Lanzini the same. Any of the three are very viable buy low-ish trade targets.
No: Fornals – a very good talent but not necessarily a prolific RealFF asset, even if he makes his way into the side. One of those who’s real life value isn’t reflected by fantasy scoring systems.
Maybe: Masuaku – looks to have a spot nailed and is very attacking. Just a question over clean sheets i.e. will there be many/any???
No – All of them. Europa is a poisoned, if lucrative, chalice for any team with a smaller squad. Avoid at all costs those tired legs until they’re out of Europa.
Maybe – pick up several Wolves assets once they’re knocked out of Europe, by which time their perceived value will have plummeted.
It’d be great to hear yes, no, maybe’s from the wider RealFF community, especially regarding your own clubs.
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