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March, Mitoma, Joao Pedro & Estupinan: Which Brighton Assets Are Worth Considering for Your FPL Team?

March, Mitoma, Joao Pedro & Estupinan: Which Brighton Assets Are Worth Considering for Your FPL Team?

Brighton are a great side to watch play football. Under De Zerbi, they have grown in strength since Graham Potter with a Europa League campaign to look forward to this season. The first time they will be doing so in the club’s history.

In terms of Fantasy Premier League, their players are more popular amongst managers in comparison to the likes of Liverpool and Spurs assets.

What will the current campaign hold for the Seagulls? This article will aim to create a nuanced approach to their important players and squad in general to maximize Fantasy points.   

Pre-Season so Far:

The cause of most envy for many elite teams and well-established sides outside the top six looking at Brighton’s success is their splendid scouting system.

Players come in from the fringe, settle into the style of the play and continue the chain of what is going on at the club.

The likes of Enciso and Buonanotte are all examples of this well-established formula. For Fantasy managers this also means a worry of rotation.

Players slot in with ease meaning, tiredness, or a lack of form or specifics of strategy can see the most nailed-on players lose their spot for a game or two or even more.

The trend has continued in pre-season so far. Adingra (£5m) joined the club last season and immediately went out on loan to Italy last season. He started the Seagulls’ last friendly in place of Mitoma and scored a brace.

Good old Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) too has looked sharp with two goals scored. Joao Pedro (£5.5m), the much talked about record signing of 30m new number 9 scored from the spot and squandered a huge chance in the last game. He also has an assist.

March (£6.5m) has missed the last two games with club captain Dunk (£5.0m) and has missed the entirety of pre-season so far. Mitoma (£6.5m) has two assists to his name so far.

The Fixtures:

Brighton takes on Luton Town at home in their first game. For many Seagulls fan a walk down the Town’s turnstiles during the reverse round of fixtures will be a thing of nostalgia of where their club was a decade back.

Long gone are the days of renting stadiums and fighting governments to build a new one. The popular narrative going into the game is Brighton will be establishing their authority and dominance in the game in what should be a rout for the Seagulls.

However, Luton Town posted some of the best defensive numbers last season in the Championship.

Post Town, Brighton takes on Wolves and then a fixture against the Hammers.

It is post-game week 3 when fixtures turn sour for the Seagulls.

For many Fantasy managers looking to invest in the short-term, game week 4 will likely herald either a benching of the Brighton assets or a start of likely sales.

A triple-up of Brighton assets is then therefore ill-advised. A double can be necessary to build teams and pricing points like Mitoma’s means a bandwagon rising elsewhere at similar price points of £6.5m like the likes of Eberechi Eze or Mbuemo, who is also on penalties, will be easy to go to.

Three is too much of a number and handicapping oneself into too many sales going into a new season is never a good idea. Two is probably the magic number when it comes to Brighton assets.

March VS Mitoma

The March VS Mitoma debate has taken an interesting route this season.

Mitoma started from the fringes last campaign getting his first goal in game week 15. He ended up with season stats of 7 goals and 9 assists and no goals in the last ten.

For March who was never seen as a clinical player, he enjoyed a sort of rejuvenation under De Zerbi, finishing with statistics of 6 goals and 10 assists.

When Brighton had a string of double game weeks eyebrows were crooked and hair scratched to separate the trio of Mitoma and March and Mac Allister. There was a hair-splitting difference indeed.

This season at the time of writing, March sits on 2.9% of the squads while Mitoma is on 37.4%.

It might be a case of a few managers at the start opting largely for Mitoma, especially content creators and then the rest following the herd, but proper factual reasoning is hard to discern this wide gap in ownership percentage.

If last season’s stats are to be compared between the two, Mitoma had a non-penalty of xG of 0.31 to March’s 0.27.

While March had a better xA of 0.28 compared to Mitoma’s 0.25. Even when xGI is brought under the scanner, Mitoma had 0.56 xGI compared to March’s 0.55.

The two even shared a very similar heat map on either side of the wings. Hair splitting difference as noted.

The player to bring in the draft between the two for game week 1 lies greatly on the Fantasy manager and the type of strategy one relies especially early on.

Mitoma is by far the popular pick and there is little that can go wrong even if the player fails to deliver with such high numbers of ownership.

March produces a similar number and is somehow lying under 3% of the teams. Chances are both will have an equal share of the points but if March takes off early the advantage can be potentially extremely beneficial.

Joao Pedro:

Thrown into the hat of all the players vying for the attacking spot is the inclusion of the twenty-one-year-old Pedro (£5.5m).

Signed in the summer there are chances of a partnership developing between Ferguson and Pedro. 30m pounds, a record signing for the club, and given the number 9 shirt, there is a debate to be had if either Mitoma or March is 1m pounds better than the new summer signing.

Fantasy managers opting to go with Salah from the beginning have welcomed Pedro with much delight. He is the solution of the second striker.

Now with the injury to Jesus and Nkunku, many others may likely follow suit. Playing time remains the main cause for concern with a quote of Ferguson doing the rounds, he expects all the forwards in the team to be rotated as the season rolls. There is of course still the presence of Danny Welbeck enjoying a great pre-season.

De Zerbi talking about his new number 9 mentioned, “He is a top player for us, he is still young, but I think he can be a crucial player for us this season because he has the incredible ability, he is a complete player.”

“He knows how to score, he has the abilities to attack the spaces on the field, he has incredible technical abilities and I am excited for this new player.”

Joao Pedro, at £5.5m certainly opens the doors of possibilities for many Fantasy managers. Mitoma is not the most clinical and so is not Solly March.

Mitoma didn’t have a goal in the last ten games in the previous campaign while March has missed the last two pre-season games completely.

Punting on Pedro for the first three games, especially with other midfield options, and exploiting potential opportunities is certainly a strategy now on the table.

Steele VS Estupinan

Pervis Estupinan (£5m) is currently the most popular defender in the game at the time of writing sitting on 50.9% of the squads.

That’s atrocious levels for the defender. Steele at £4.5m is the perfect candidate for that £4.5m goalkeeper spot.

Considerably a double-up on defense is not the brightest tactic one can have in regard to Brighton in particular owing to the fixtures.

There is the looming threat of Verbruggen, the newly signed keeper, starting between the sticks and he has shown his ability with his feet in the pre-season games but it is all but likely Steele will hold on to his spot at the start of the campaign. For now, he is Brighton’s number 1. Steele also has managed to conjure up an assist in pre-season to help his chances further.

Many managers were burned by Estupinan’s 17-pointers toward the end against Arsenal in the last campaign.

Season-long hard-worked ranks were toppled and managers without the Ecuadorian significant ranks lost. He sat seventh in 22/23 amongst defenders for the highest expected goal involvement with 5.68 xGI. All of the above-mentioned factors are certainly linked to the high number of ownerships for Estupinan.

However, a case against this trend can be done and not for going against the trend’s sake.

Estupinan had a low xG throughout the season of 22/23. Outside the game against Arsenal, the Brighton defender didn’t produce a single big-digit fantasy haul. He is of course progressive in his attacking output but to imagine a repeat of the 17-pointers will be naivety.

Added to that is the case of fixtures post-game week 4. Estupinan will likely either have to be transferred out to someone like a Chilwell or be benched in many of the fixtures.

There is a missing clear £4.5m go-to keeper for game week 1 this time. Brentford’s new goalkeeper Flekken has been poor in pre-season and even though Pickford is one of the options. Everton’s defense even under Sean Dyche is never going to inspire much blind confidence. Steele is amongst the best options in that price bracket. Thanks to save points, a goalkeeper can be started in almost every game unlike a defender, who has to rely on attacking outputs once the clean sheet is gone.

The asset to bring in the drafts lies in team structure and again the psychology of the manager. Steele is a long-term at least till the first wildcard set and forget the £4.5m keeper option. While for many going against a 50% owned player on game week represents stupidity.