The Gaffer’s buy low, sell high list

One of the keys to success in the RealFF format, and one of its biggest pros, is a successful trade. Timing is everything when trading, and can be so satisfying when your new player scores or the player you’ve let go is benched or succumbs to a loss of form. Getting one up on your league mate makes a good trade especially satisfying, unlike in other formats where you just pick up and drop players without anyone else being involved.

I always try to ‘sell high, buy low’, ensuring the maximum potential benefit from my trade.

Selling high - Although it may on the face of it seem counter intuitive to trade away a player that’s been doing well for you, it’s vital that you identify when their trade value is at its highest and take advantage. As an example Watford’s Capoue had a storming start to the season, way above his career production levels, and at one point had good trade value. Having now reverted to his ‘norm’ performance levels, that of a 2 point machine with little upside, you’ll soon struggle to get any value for him in the trade market. Trading Capoue at the height of his goal scoring run could have netted you a slower starter such as Ramsay or Willian, who’ll far outscore Capoue over the course of the season.

Buying low – again this may seem like the opposite of sensible, bringing in a player in poor form. However short term form is just that, short term. Players like Giroud and Tadic have done very little for your RealFF teams thus far, and may well be frustrating their fantasy owners. You may be able to grab someone like Tadic for very little in return, but we know that he’s highly likely to perform well over the season as a whole.

With these points in mind let’s take a look at some prime buy low, sell high candidates as we approach game week 10:

Sell highs

A midfield five to trade away for value should you own any of them:

Cazorla (Arsenal), Milner (Liverpool) – Their production thus far has been very much based around penalties, which simply isn’t sustainable. Milner is playing in defence but listed as a midfielder, and so you don’t get the clean sheet bonuses. Cazorla is vital to Arsenal’s team, but is playing further back and will not be the creative force he has been in years past. I don’t see either of these players being anything better than a fifth midfielder at best long term, so trading for value given their bright start to the season is a sensible move.

Capoue (Watford)– I mentioned him in my example above, a guy with little attacking history who is starting to cool off. His strong start to the season was all based around scoring almost every time he shot, even players like Aguero and Costa can’t maintain the shots to goals ratio Capoue flukily had. He shouldn’t be owned in RealFF, so get what value you can whilst he’s still fancied by some.

Lallana (Liverpool)– A slightly different kettle of fish is Adam Lallana. He’s playing in a very attacking Liverpool team, and is getting forward a lot. I don’t however see him maintaining production at the level he has thus far, and certainly won’t keep pace with Coutinho, Firmino or Mane. If you can get a top ten to fifteen midfielder for him then do so now. Given Liverpool’s fixtures it’d be a great trade if you could pick up one of Coutinho, Firmino or Mane, but you would need to provide an upgrade elsewhere in most cases to make this happen.

Antonio (West Ham) – He started this season as hotly as he finished last year, over the last thirty games he has a brilliant attacking record. The issue here is that Bilic keeps shifting him back into defence, which virtually nullifies his attacking threat. This combined with West Ham’s tough run of fixtures makes him a sell high for me, as with Lallana if you can get top 10-20 midfielder value for him then do so. Certainly an ownable midfielder, but his perceived value is higher than his current role warrants.

Buy Lows

Five candidates here who have started relatively slowly this term, you may be able to trade for them at a good price right now:

Alonso (Chelsea) – Has only cemented his position in the Chelsea defence in the last month, and looks set to stay there after three consecutive clean sheets. The main benefit to Alonso now that he’s assured of starts is his attacking threat, in the last three games he’s been the league’s premier attacking defender. I’d certainly take him over any other Chelsea defender right now, and you may just be able to snap him up before people realise his true worth.

Barkley (Everton) – Perennial underachiever Barkley has once again flattered to deceive so far this term. I can imagine he was drafted fairly highly in most RealFF leagues and that owners are pretty sick of him, especially after he was dropped for game week 9. I think it’s time to swoop in, he’s key to Everton’s attacking threat and will be on penalties whenever Lukaku is off the field. Koeman is a fantastic manager, and I have faith he’ll get the best out of Barkley. If you can get him for anything less than top 20 midfield value then it’s time to do so.

Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) – Managers who drafted Ibra will have done so in the first round, and will have expected far better returns than they’ve had. The stats are there, he’s shooting a ton and they will start to go in. He’s too good not to turn his current form around, and at home to Burnley this week may well be the start of it. If you can get Ibra from a panicking manager for anything less than an elite player you should go for it. Have faith in Ibra, because he certainly has faith in himself regardless of the goal drought.

Tadic (Southampton) – similar to Ibra above, Tadic’s underlying stats point to a definite upturn in fortunes coming soon. The Serbian has been everywhere, running the Southampton offence, but hasn’t seen the RealFF returns deserved as yet. Grab him now before the Saint’s plum run of fixtures if you can.

Benteke (Crystal Palace) – He’s started well for Palace, but I’m including him as a buy low because he’s deserved to start even better. A couple of attempts hitting the woodwork and a missed penalty have masked just how good he’s been since the switch from Liverpool, and I can see him finishing the season as a top striker with at least fifteen goals.

Hope this helps some of you improve your squads through the joy of trading, I’d love to know your thoughts. As always if you need any advice on trades or transfer in your RealFF journey, ask the Gaffer.

@RealFFGaffer