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Into week two of my adventures in the land of Football Index (FI) and I’m learning some lessons already.
Just as a reminder, FI is, in essence, a stockmarket where people use real money to bet on footballers, with the value of these shares then going up or down based on market forces.
Players can also win money on these shares through a series of dividends, which are individual pay-outs based on match day performances, positive coverage in the media and consistent excellence across each month of action.
And the shares I’ve bought in the last week or so have certainly been on a few… journeys recently.
My pick for last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, is a great case in point. The Arsenal man enjoyed a decent Gameweek 1 at Fulham, scoring his first goal of the season in a 3-0 win.
That was particularly pleasing for his massive Fantasy Premier League (FPL) ownership – close to 50% now – as he was the captaincy choice of many, so brought in double points.
Over on FI, his performance score of 127 – based on a wide range of metrics, including goals scored, chances missed etc – was well above his average of the past few months, but not good enough to win extra cash from a match day dividend when the likes of Mohamed Salah are hitting hat-tricks and recording a performance score of 358.
Not that dividends and Aubameyang haven’t been a success for me so far. Ongoing contract talks and his solid performance at Craven Cottage have meant he’s been in the news consistently, thus winning me media dividend pay-outs.
I mentioned last week that the Arsenal man was going to be a longer-term bet, and that’s just as well based on his yo-yoing share price.
I bought into him at £2.22 a share. That peaked at £2.53 the day before the season started, and at the time of writing, he’s trading at £2.27. One to hold, especially with the dividend opportunities that await in the Europa League.
To add to a positive week, Aubameyang has just signed his new three-year contract, so was able to win media dividends through this breaking news.
As for my other two bets, Callum Wilson’s share price is (currently) plenty higher than when I bought in and he’s also won me the most in dividends, while Leeds man Rodrigo’s key moment in the 4-3 madness at Anfield was to give away the penalty that won Liverpool the match.
So well done Rodrigo, you mugged me off there. But he’s another one I’ve bet on for the long term, so I’m maintaining a Zen-like calm. For now.
Overall my portfolio is up, so Gameweek 1 has been a qualified success.
This Week I Am Mostly Buying Into… Everton.
One game does not a season make, but the world and their life partner were left very impressed by the Toffees’ away win at Spurs.
James Rodriguez’s debut was a belter and, at the time of writing, he leads the way for Gameweek 1 chances created (five), although it was Lucas Digne who ended up with the assist for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s winner.
I’m tempted by all of Everton’s attackers, and new man Abdoulaye Doucoure shouldn’t be ignored either – he created four chances against Tottenham, although he had no attempts on goal, whereas James managed three.
The jury is, therefore, out on exactly which Everton player I’ll bet on, but it will definitely be one of them, especially as they’ll be entertaining West Brom next; a team that allowed a Gameweek-high four big chances at the weekend.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have a great schedule from now through to the middle of December, with their two trickiest matches – a Merseyside derby and Manchester United – both taking place at Goodison Park.
The blessed union of form and fixtures is a beautiful thing in FPL. It’s time to see if the same applies to FI.
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FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 1
- Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
- Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton
- Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United
- West Ham United 0-1 Newcastle United
- West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Leicester City
- Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Everton
- Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-3 Chelsea