Arriving from Borussia Dortmund early last summer, Shinji Kagawa looked primed to become a key midfield target for the 2012/13 season. Having helped steer Jurgen Klopp’s side to the title in his final year in the Bundesliga, the Japan international’s displays in the role in “the hole” suggested United were set to shift formation to 4-2-3-1 and hand him a place behind Wayne Rooney as Sir Alex Ferguson attempted to wrestle the title back from City:

Three days before their Gameweek 1 opener at Everton, however, the acquisition of Robin Van Persie turned the Fantasy landscape on its head and made a significant dent in Kagawa’s prospects. While the Dutchman ran riot and grabbed the goals that recaptured the crown, the former Dortmund man struggled to settle in his debut season, with a knee injury and occasional game time on the left flank limiting his potential in what proved to be Ferguson’s final term in charge at Old Trafford.

Key Factors

  • Wayne Rooney’s decision to hand in a transfer request towards the end of last season looks key to Kagawa’s prospects. Omitted from the United squad for the final couple of league games under Ferguson, Rooney seems determined to leave after a lacklustre campaign – having dropped deeper to accommodate Van Persie, his possible departure would free up Kagawa’s preferred position in “the hole” and afford him the chance to slot in behind Van Persie.

  • New manager David Moyes’ penchant for a lone striker system may also be advantageous. While it’s all too early to ascertain just what sort of formation the former Everton boss has in mind as he takes the Old Trafford reins, his use of Marouane Fellaini as the most advanced central midfielder last term was hugely beneficial to Fantasy managers. Providing Rooney leaves, Kagawa’s playmaking abilities seem the natural fit amongst United’s current midfield crop – given that he produced 13 goals and eight assists from 31 appearances in his final year at Dortmund, his suitability to the role is more than apparent.

  • Having finished last season with just six goals and four assists over 20 appearances, it’s possible that Kagawa is in line for a slight drop in price next time out. Starting last season at 8.5 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), he racked up just 87 points and can resultantly be expected to slip to around 8.0 when the player lists are revealed next month. Given that previous mid-price options such as Fellaini, Michu and Kevin Nolan are set for a hefty price hike after their respective displays in a similar position, the Japan international could prove to be a little more budget friendly when assessing the midfield landscape.

  • Kagawa’s hat-trick and 21 point FPL against Norwich in Gameweek 28 highlights his capabilities. Granted, six goals over 1,314 minutes was far from impressive but compared to United’s other midfielders, it’s positively prolific – Nani and Antonio Valencia both notched one goal apiece, while Ashley Young failed to find the net at all last season. New boy Wilfried Zaha also offers an option but after a campaign where Michael Carrick was United’s highest scoring midfielder with a mere 101 FPL points, Kagawa could be primed to become a key player as the Moyes era gets underway.

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  1. As the "Is RVP worth it" debate keeps cropping up..here's my thoughts...I never had RVP all season last year...but i did have Benteke from day one..From 15 dec onwards Benteke was the best striker in the prem (16 goals to season end as oppose to RVP's 15 goals and Bale's 15 goals). Benteke was by a country mile the best value striker from mid season onwards...but...RVP's fixtures always looked better and he was totally consistent and so was an easy capt pick for everybody who owned him....I rarely captd Benteke because his fixtures always drove me elsewhere and so as far as FPL goes RVP was twice as good a pick as Benteke (?)...In addition RVP was rarely sensational last season, in terms of big goals hauls, scoring more than one goal on only three occasions...less than Rooney...less than Suarez...less than Michu...less than Lukaku..etc...and the same as Benteke... but he was always consistent with his goal a game,and again because of that an easy capt pick....By seasons end only 8% of teams had Benteke despite the fact he was outscoring RVP and was only half the price, so if only 8% had enough faith to buy the best budget striker in the game how low would the percentage be of people prepared to capt him be (or many of the other budget strikers) ? Final point is that, whether rightly or wrongly, the game is set up to reward clinical strikers with BAPS...so for the record...RVP attained 3 baps on 13 occasions last season as oppose to only four occasins for Benteke, So the real question isn't "is RVP worth 13-14 mil", the answer to that is no...what we should ask is "Is a reliable FPL capt pick worth 13-14 mill".... clearly after my experience of owning Benteke all last season the answer is yes...

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. You're probably right. But just to be devils advocate: http://www.bettingexpert.com/assets/images/blog/MarkTaylor/GoalScoringAge.jpg

      RVP will be 30 when the EPL starts.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. yeah..all a bit long winded but that's how it was...I'm still not getting him though (RVP)..

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
      2. and great graph btw...keeping that...

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
          • 2 years, 7 months ago
      3. If you fit a distribution to that then the drop from 29 to 30 is about the same as from 28 to 29. Which in RVP's case is none.

        That said I take your point.

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. Benteke was suspended for the last game of the season, he was on about 16% ownership before he got himself sent off.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. was he...thought it was low at 8%...but even 16% is ridiculously low for a player notching at a better rate than RVP and for the thick end of six months...

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
        1. Yes, at the halfway point of the season, Benteke's ownership was just 3.7%. I think this reflects the fact that he was unproven talent coming into the season and RVP was FPL aristocracy. Given the number of casuals playing the game, their relative ownership shouldn't be a surprise.

          • 2 years, 7 months ago
    3. In OOP Bale is as fixture proof as van Persie.

      On the left he used to use the space on the counter away from home more profitably than with home fixtures; But this bias has gone now.

      Result: RVP is surplus to requirements as far as consistent captain choices is concerned.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. Yeah of course my argument for RVP/Benteke applies equally to Bale/Benteke...The real point i'm making is the danger of wallowing around amongst excellent but less consistent players when it comes to capt choices...RVP playing for United against any team is far more enticing than Benteke against any team....so i was always reluctant to capt him whilst RVP owners just carried on regardless...

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
        1. You certainly need one fixture proof captain choice to avoid unnecessary hits, but Bale is sufficient.

          I get your Benteke concern. Although he and Lukaku had fantastic conversion rates from SiB
          how can you be sure they will get the requisite service in tough games?

          Fact is you can comfortably afford 3 strikers of your choice and Bale if you forego RVP and have a Ubercheap defence. Given the starting fixtures this and Chelsea exposure seems the logical way to go.

          • 2 years, 7 months ago
          1. I had Lukaku as well all season and Mirallas...I like to find some newbies...It all comes at a price though...Good and reliable capt picks...!!

            • 2 years, 7 months ago
        2. But how long did it take to realise Benteke was a reliable (c) choice? Probably at least halfway through his run from 15 December. With proven performers there's much less risk.

          • 2 years, 7 months ago
          1. I never did....that's my point. There was always what appeared better picks but in reality Benteke, just like RVP, was a good solid reliable capt pick...I never had the nerve to capt him very often despite him scoring all those goals...In the same way that an awful lot of people didn't even pick him despite scoring all those goals...RVP playing up front for United is an easy capt pick and i would have cashed in with far more pts had i gone for him over a better value player who actually outscored him in goals (from Dec 15)...

            • 2 years, 7 months ago
    4. I guess it depends what else is available with the funds that not having RVP would free up. If a load of cheap def and mid are doing well then everyone can afford to have RVP in, but the tricky part is when all the other pricey options are doing really well, as chances are you wont be able to have Bale, Higuain, Cavani, Aguero, Isco, Coutinho, etc.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    5. If you're talented at picking captains, RVP will be redundant for you. So if you want to go for gold in this game, going without may be a good idea.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. Aye...but i'm not...i did OK but that's about it...With RVP in your team you didn't need much talent at capt picks last season...If anybody was unsure they stuck it on him anyway...

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
    6. Stingy upvoters are stingy :)

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    7. so who do you see the best forward option then wakey?

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
    8. Hey Wakey, I bet if you do an analysis of RVP (+ captain) vs. Benteke (+ who ever your captain was) I think you'll find RVP is worth having. have you done this yet?

      • 2 years, 6 months ago
  2. Southampton are loving Celtic players.

    Boruc, Fox, Wanyama.

    Keep your hands off Hooper.

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. Wanyama is Q U A L I T Y

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. Nah, Southampton FC are loving Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva. :)

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    3. Celtic can win the SPL will their sub anyway.
      and they are not good enough for CL, so I don't see any difference 😆

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. We were good enough to get to the knockout stages of the CL last season and beat Barca. I'd like to see the majority of the PL teams do that.

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
  3. Snake Juice

    New Slum Village album out next week. Still got that Dilla sound.


    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. Next week? Cheers for the heads up man.

      Dilla sound indeed. I'm liking this.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_(Slum_Village_album)

        Scheduled for next week. Yeah it's a nice track.

        One of my favourites Dilla tracks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqylSGpyhOI

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
          • 2 years, 7 months ago
          1. Incredible track mate. Timeless!

            And this


            • 2 years, 7 months ago
  4. Taking a look at my FPL rankings since I started playing:

    2009/10- 809,081 (when I had Michael Owen as my captain, because I liked him)
    2010/11- 76.649 (when I actually started trying)
    2011/12- 55,203
    2012/13- 44,862

    So it looks like anyone who actually tries at this game should make top 100,000 pretty easily, but climbing up from there is quite difficult.

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. Position Name ID Pos 11-12 Pos 10-11 Pos 09-10 Pos 08-09 Pos 07-08 Pos 06-07 HoF Rating
      2611 David Humphries 41328 481747 8020 7028 82065 NA NA 87.98

      You have good and bad years, top 2000 this year :)

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. Too true. Not too hard to break top 10k.

      After that....well, you're a genius or a fool.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    3. Your progress Orm is heading in the right direction, top 30k this year fer sure.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. Thanks, that will be my goal!

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
    4. 2011/12 - 251,522
      2012/13 - 3164
      2013/14 - 1


      • 2 years, 7 months ago
  5. hello

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. baa

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. meeow

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
  6. Can I ask why people on this site hate RMT's so much?

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. They don't want you giving their secrets away...

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. Frequency and volume.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. +1

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
      2. Plus it's just annoying speculation at the moment when people fill up their teams with players who have yet to sign and have no ideal of the valuations...


        Schmeichel Westwood
        Rami Olsson Ramis Demel Pjanic
        Thiago Ronaldo Isco Gomis Fer
        Higuain Cavani Lewandowski

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
    3. Because we don't have prices yet, and some people will jump on an excuse to have a good moan :)

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. But even when the prices do come out people still don't like them

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    4. The real reason is uncertainty about their own selection when bombarded with alternatives. The good players dont even notice them. I do....

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    5. It's not the RMT per se that ticks people off; in fact it's one of the most fundamental posts contained in a fantasy football forum.

      It's the flood of RMT's during certain times of the season that gets on people's nerves. Like 1966 said, frequency and volume.

      I don't mind them actually. Some individuals simply want feedback on their squads.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. Agree with you on that. I don't mind them either and an outside view of a team can be very helpful at times.

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
      2. I don't mind them either :)

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
    6. I object to RMT's because they lack affort from the poster. To write out your team and simply ask for a rating takes no thought whatsoever.

      Breaking down your dilemna into a A or B question takes thought and effort and shows that the poster actually cares.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    7. Because people expect others to pick their team for them, often without giving anything back.
      Because people don't bother to think for themselves
      Because it spams the site and crowds out more worthwhile discussion.
      Because it creates groupthink
      Because it usually generates far less meaningful discussion than people claim it does.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. I think HC will prevent No 3 from happening this season.

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
        1. Yes, one of the benefits of HC.

          • 2 years, 7 months ago
      2. An RMT basically asks for surface-level feedback from knowledgeable players. Then issues and dilemmas concerning the squad are hashed out once a discussion gets going.

        The primary concern here is the give-and-take factor; usually random RMT-ers merely ask for feedback without proving any help towards others.

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
        1. & some folk post the same team over and over again. And again. A separate RMT article for those interested in posting one would help somewhat. If that kind of thing were possible. Probably some simple solution somewhere.

          • 2 years, 7 months ago
          1. Agree there should be an article or section of the website just for RMT's. Another Tab along side 'Members' , 'HOF' etc at the top would be handy

            • 2 years, 7 months ago
  7. Anybody got the link to the rotation spreadsheet?

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. Great thanks!

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
  8. What if they classify Bale as a forward? 😯

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. Oh geez, don't be saying stuff like that, you'll send this place into permanent meltdown

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. Can't see that happening.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    3. Walcott has a slight chance of being classified as a forward, not Bale.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
      1. the opposite in-fact

        • 2 years, 7 months ago
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knNQV-1V1-g

    I think he will be a bigger legend than Leo or CR7.

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    1. Charles Njurdia.

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
    2. At least Mikel is staying

      • 2 years, 7 months ago
  10. So what happens to either Reina or Mignolet with the pending medical? Who will be number 1? Is Reina purported to be leaving Anfield?

    • 2 years, 7 months ago
    • 2 years, 6 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 26

  • Hennessey
  • Coleman
  • Ivanovic
  • van Dijk
  • Daniels
  • Payet
  • Oscar
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Ozil
  • Aguero
  • Lukaku
  • Cresswell
  • Barkley
  • Afobe

From the Community…


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The Watchlist


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:01pm
Player Club Factors
Up Forster SOT A, Vs
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A, Vs
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
No Change Boruc BOU B, Vs
Up Hennessey CPL C, £
No Change Cech ARS A, VsX
Up Fabianski SWA B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Adrián WHM B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:08pm
Player Club Factors
Up Fuchs LEI A, Vs, £
Up van Dijk SOT A, Vs
Up Daniels BOU A, Vs, £
Up Dann CPL A
No Change Ivanovic CHE B, Vs
No Change Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Bellerín ARS B, VsX
Up Johnson STO C, Vs
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Up Van Aanholt SUN A
No Change Williams SWA B, £
Up Smalling MUN C
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
Down Dawson WBA C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:17pm
Player Club Factors
Up Mahrez LEI A, Vs
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
No Change Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
No Change Ozil ARS C, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT A
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
Up Sigurdsson SWA A, OoP
Down Barkley EVE B, Vs
Down Roberto Firmino LIV A, VsX, OoP
Down Sánchez ARS C, VsX
Up Lingard MUN B, Rest, £
Up Khazri SUN B
Up Oscar CHE B, Vs
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:44pm
Player Club Factors
Up Vardy LEI B, Vs
No Change Kane TOT A
Down Aguero MCI A
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Down Lukaku EVE C
Up Afobe BOU A, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
No Change Defoe SUN A

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Yacob WBA 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Brunt WBA 7
McClean WBA 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular