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Six matches into the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season and it’s fair to say that many managers are not happy.
The football has been so unpredictable, and the results so varied, that finding players producing consistent returns, week in, week out, has proved… tricky.
In fact, it’s boiled down to owning Harry Kane. Or Son Heung-min. And ideally both.
Even FPL experts have been left, at best, bemused.
So imagine what it’s like for someone trying to use FPL to guide his moves in another setting, Football Index.
In case you’re still not sure, Football Index (FI) is a kind of stock market where people use real money to bet on football.
You buy shares in individual players whose value can rise or fall depending on their performance both on and off the field. I’m new to FI and it’s beginning to show.
I’m still in profit, but it’s a figure in decline at present with the widespread unpredictability the season has brought so far.
Dividends – money paid out for the performance or media profile of my players – have been my saviour. Without them, I’d be making a loss right now.
I need to shake up my portfolio. Bring in new faces.
The problem is, only two of the seven players I currently own shares in would make me a profit if I were to sell.
It’s not like these players are doing badly. I own FI shares in three of the top 10 FPL forwards – Danny Ings, Raul Jimenez and Callum Wilson.
All three have had solid starts to the season, scoring four goals apiece. But it’s beginning to dawn on me that solid just doesn’t cut it on FI.
Traders don’t look just for solid performances. They consider many other factors that have an impact on the Index. It’s a bit like the FPL tendency towards knee-jerk decisions that some managers can’t help but display. Slow and steady might win the race, but crash, bang wallop is also a strongly adopted approach on FI, with big haulers paying out big dividends and attracting big trader interest.
As a result, I have three players in good form who would make me a loss if I were to sell them today.
And the less said about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the better.
My long-term bet in the Arsenal forward’s value has gotten off on the wrong foot, as Mikel Arteta continues to flirt with the idea of turning the Gunners into a David Moyes-like unit so intent on stopping the opposition that they forget how to actually play.
It’s a notion so dull that even Moyes doesn’t subscribe to it anymore, although Frank Lampard is another who seems to be getting a massive kick out of clean sheets.
Which means that another in my portfolio, Mason Mount, is just not cutting it at the moment with his reduced playing time.
He and Aubameyang are getting close to being sold now. The former should make me a profit, while the latter will not. At all. His sale will hurt, but it really needs to be done with Arteta’s current gameplan.
Then I can look to Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area and try to find the next big thing with the form and fixtures to direct my strategy on FI.
But it’s not going to be easy. The three teams with the best upcoming schedule are Crystal Palace (drab), Everton (squad issues) and Aston Villa (bubble burst?).
Chelsea and Manchester United are up there too and have Champions League football to offer the prospect of a tidy midweek dividend for decent performers.
But their players aren’t cheap and, as mentioned, Lampard’s current flirtation with owning a fleet of parked buses has compromised the otherwise excellent pedigree of his attackers.
Whatever I end up doing is likely to come with a short-term loss. But, with the bigger picture in good shape.
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