Player starting price changes are always exciting. Not only do we get the fluctuations of pre-established assets to feast upon, but it’s also our first look at how the Fantasy Premier League values new arrivals to the game.
The problem with new transfers, of course, is that the margin for calamity is that much higher than with proven players. It’s a risk/reward exchange; one that can often punish you if you’re not careful.
With this in mind, it’s more valuable at this point to focus on the players we already know and (for the most part) love. These could be the once-mighty stalwarts; the FPL favourites who have been forgotten, gathering dust on the mantle-piece as their batteries slowly fade.
Or they might be their replacements: the shinier players with better features who have emerged from the debris of the last few seasons.
Just as the value of some players has plummeted rapidly, others find their stock increasing remarkably fast.
But who has received the most notable price changes ahead of the 19/20 season? And how can you use those alterations to craft a better FPL team?
Notable FPL players who have a decreased starting price
18/19 FPL Price: £13.0
19/20 FPL Price: £12.5
FPL Price Change: -£0.5
I was a little surprised to see Salah’s price go down. The twice-consecutive top FPL points scorer looked set to continue his upward trajectory in value, but the price-setters at FPL HQ have actually lowered his price by £0.5m.
Though Salah couldn’t repeat the almost inhuman feats of the 17/18 season, his tally last campaign was enough to silence anyone who had him earmarked as a one-season wonder.
By making the Egyptian so attainable, the Fantasy Premier League have given us little choice but to own him. His great opening fixtures (including a tasty match-up against Norwich in Gameweek 1) make him all the more appetising.
One could be forgiven for assuming that the falling strength of the pound in this pre-Brexit flux has played a part in some of the pricing here.
18/19 FPL Price: £10.5
19/20 FPL Price: £7.0
FPL Price Change: -£3.5
Three seasons ago, Sanchez at £7.0m would’ve been the stuff of dreams. Today, it feels about right. To say the Chilean has underwhelmed at Old Trafford is an understatement, but underneath the petulance and the swollen wages is a talent who still has something to offer.
Let’s not forget that last season Alexis Sanchez was valued at £10.5m. For me, pricing him at just £7.0m is a gamble. The attacking midfielder has scored 2 goals in his last three Copa America matches for his national team; a sign that whilst the volcano may not have erupted quite yet, it’s at least showing some promising signs of dormancy.
If (and I appreciate it’s a big “if”) Sanchez can string a few good games together under Solskjaer, it would be hard for the United boss to justify not using him. As a best case scenario, we could end up with a top-six premium midfielder masquerading as £7.0m fodder.
18/19 FPL Price: £12.5
19/20 FPL Price: £11.0
The fact that Harry Kane managed to amass 17 goals last season was largely ignored by FPL managers. This was, of course, because Harry Kane was one of the most expensive players in the game.
Accusations of sluggishness have followed the Englishman around like an unwanted shadow. But a look at last season’s stats tell a different story: here is a striker who netted 17 times in 28 Premier League appearances, with an impressive xG/90 of 0.60 to boot.
In other words; if Harry Kane is fit enough to play 38 games, he only needs to sustain last season’s goal scoring rate to register 23 goals. That would’ve been enough for the Golden Boot in the 18/19 season.
An improved Kane in the 19/20 isn’t hard to imagine. It makes his £11.0m price tag very interesting indeed.
18/19 FPL Price: £6.5
19/20 FPL Price: £6.0
Chelsea are hardly the en vogue side at the moment. Losing Hazard, another manager and the ability to buy new talent has overshadowed what was actually a pretty good 18/19 season for the Blues.
A new manager always means uncertainty, but that might strengthen the case for Azpilacueta. His experience at Chelsea could be of particular value to the new boss, cementing a place in the regular 11 for yet another season.
If so, his revised price of £6.0m could make him an affordable way into what has historically been a premium defence. Chelsea’s lack of alternatives in that position make his claim even more compelling.
Notable FPL players who have an increased starting price
18/19 FPL Price: £5.5
19/20 FPL Price: £7.5
It was abundantly clear by November of last year that £5.5m was a criminally low starting price for Raul Jimenez, and though whispers of Wolves’ search for a new striker delayed FPL interest, he ended the season as close to a must-have as one can get.
Despite a £2.0m price hike, the Mexican has already found himself in many a first-draft FPL side. He has become emblematic of a 19/20 trend that has seen managers investing less in their front three in order to facilitate a premium defence. And when you have players as promising as Jimenez coming in at just £7.5m, who can blame them?
The only shock about Liverpool’s collective price-hike is that it wasn’t more significant. The full-backs have seen the biggest leaps, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson now priced at £7.0m from last season’s starting values of £5.5m and £6.0m respectively.
Virgil van Dijk moves from £6.0m to £6.5m too; a transition that echoes an imperious 18/19 campaign from the centre-back.
But in Klopp’s system, it takes four defenders to tango. The bargain, it appears, will be in that fourth position paired alongside Van Dijk. There are three options: Lovren, Matip and, perhaps most excitingly, Joe Gomez. With all priced at £5.5m, it appears OfficialFPL were cautious about committing themselves to one over another.
If Klopp can settle on one of them, they’ll surely represent the cheapest way into one of the league’s best defences.
Last season’s Wilson and Fraser partnership was the closest thing to 15/16 Vardy and Mahrez that FPL managers have seen since, well, 15/16 Vardy and Mahrez.
Cheap, consistent and so frequently combining, it was a match made in heaven that was reflected in their huge ownership percentages.
A significant price increase was expected and that’s exactly what we got. Both players have seen hikes of £2.0m, with Wilson coming in at £8.0m and his Scottish colleague clocking up £7.5m. Though the pairing lives on, it’s a far more expensive luxury these days.
But to say the Bournemouth stars are unworthy of these inflated prices would be harsh. Howe’s resolute attacking mentality has shaped the Cherries into an exciting goalscoring outfit; one that will doubtless see Wilson and Fraser continue to profit.
The bigger question, for me, is whether Fraser and Wilson are worth the extra capital compared to other Bournemouth prospects like David Brooks (£6.5m) and Josh King (£6.5m), who remain relatively cheap.
18/19 FPL Price: £11.0
19/20 FPL Price: £12.0
Aguero deserves a price increase. The Argentinian has repeatedly proven that, even at the tender age of 31, he still deserves his starting berth in the best team the Premier League has ever seen.
The concern, of course, is that he can’t – and won’t – sustain this level for much longer.
As City prepare to juggle the twin landmarks of a third consecutive Premier League title and a Champions League trophy under Guardiola, even the most optimistic Aguero fans must concede that he won’t be able to do it all.
This concern is consolidated by an impressive Gabriel Jesus, who seems to slot nicely into Pep’s system when Aguero is afforded a breather. The fact he’s been handed the coveted No. 9 shirt next season will fan the flames of speculation further. Will this season see the baton passed between City’s forwards? £12.0m feels like a large amount to wager that it won’t.
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