Mo Salah’s high price as an asset in Fantasy Premier League had prompted many managers to look elsewhere at pre-season. Indeed, Bruno Fernandes or Odegaard and certainly Saka promised enough to match and outshine the Egyptian’s output.
Despite the concerns of the dwindling ratio between team goals with individual goal involvement of Bruno and Odegaard, the template picks were settled and locked in.
For Fantasy managers not going with Salah was not a sign of decreasing confidence in Liverpool as a team but that there was better value for money elsewhere.
Attempts were made to research Liverpool attackers not named Mo, but an abundance of options meant such research failed to yield many results.
There was simply too much uncertainty of starts to bank on Jota or Nunez or Diaz. Gakpo will find his name in the starting eleven more often than not, but he is not an option from a Fantasy perspective as highlighted in the first game week.
Game week 2 is now around the corner and old fears of Odegaard playing deep or Fernandes not having a clinical impact in United’s attacking displays had come to reality in the previous week.
Yes, indeed one week of data can’t possibly be taken too seriously given the small sample. It is Bournemouth home for Liverpool causing many managers to rethink their old thought about plans before the start of the season.
Salah’s high price has meant without managers opting for a very early wild card or ripping their teams apart. It will be difficult for them to get to the Egyptian. There is whole four million one needs to find to fund that move.
Luis Diaz has thus become an early alternative providing routes to the Liverpool attack for managers without the Egyptian. He has already had a price rise.
If team formations are anything to go by after one game week with that game week involving a match against a top side, it is increasingly looking like Salah and Diaz on the left are the more settled options for now in the Liverpool attack. Rotations seem more likely between Jota and Darwin Nunez.
Nunez is much-touted to start the game at Anfield against the Cherries. Diaz’s mid-priced asset means an easy transfer from the likes of Manchester or Arsenal, often cases saving a million in the process.
Against Chelsea, Diaz did play well racking up a goal, with four shots in the box including one chance created, and a non-penalty xGi of 1.04.
If he keeps his performance against Chelsea, Diaz looks well set to bag points against Bournemouth. This is what at least the thinking is perhaps for managers involved in getting Diaz the price rise.
A counterpoint to this is necessary, right from the release of the fixtures it was known that Liverpool will be playing against Bournemouth at home.
Thus, Fantasy managers opting without Salah were taking a calculated risk by going against him with the established thought process over a certain period another asset will outscore Salah even if Salah hauls big in one game.
Salah is the best asset from Liverpool, and he remains a vital asset to own for anyone buying into the Liverpool attack. To buy Diaz now is to backtrack on that plan while the small sample of data favoring Diaz does nothing in what was already known in a more macro sense.
The Bournemouth match to be targeted by Fantasy managers would either mean buying Salah or opting out and planning with other assets in future fixtures. Diaz’s transfer in game week two will likely herald future worries.
He may still not be nailed even if he starts against Bournemouth. Liverpool plays Newcastle after Bournemouth, and after that, their fixtures are a mixed bag.
Salah’s high price provides the owners with two free transfers and the option to practically go for any asset in the game.
Diaz’s price and if his security of starts to fall or he fails to deliver there is a transfer waiting to happen without the flexibility of being able to buy any asset like Salah owners will. The sample size is simply too small for managers to opt into Liverpool’s attack by buying any of their attacking players not named Mo.
Alexander-Arnold finished the game against Chelsea with a non-penalty xGi of 0.02 and a one-pointer from the game.
While managers not on the right-back will probably not even search his name on the Fantasy Premier League app. Others had bought him going into the season as a likely captaincy candidate for the coming fixture.
Liverpool will be playing without a defensive midfielder by trade accompanied in their misery by the likely injury to Curtis Jones.
The defense still looks shaky at the back and if early signs are to consider Arnold after the arrival of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai is not the fulcrum of the team to provide the forwards with passes in the opposition half.
Erling Haaland has already done enough against Burnley to show he is nowhere near slowing down so therefore to captain a right-back against him playing in a not-so-great defensive team is nowhere near the right option, perhaps.