Performance Buzz – start of season best player picks

The season is nearly upon us. In a little under two weeks, the domestic football season will be in full swing. This has potential to bring a bit of volatility to the Index as money flows away from transfer rumours and back into the performance buzz contenders.

My strategy for targeting performance buzz this season is quite a simple one – it is easier to be more precise with a scalpel than a sledge hammer. It ought to be possible to have a greater rate of accuracy targeting the smaller match days than days when the competition is fierce. Of course, that is not to say I disregard the bigger match days.

You would be silly to forego the likes of Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo, etc. just because they play on a treble day consistently. Targeting smaller days is just another weapon in your arsenal. Long-term holds should have the potential to return on type of match day.

The Breakdown

From 10 August onwards, at the time of writing, there is a high number of single days:

Dividend type Quantity Percentage
Media 10 45.5%
Single 6 27.3%
Double 2 9.1%
Treble 4 18.1%

Teams to target

All of this means nothing unless you know the teams to target. That is the teams with a few single match days. Optimally, you want to identify the ones with weaker opposition too. This will enhance your chances of hopefully bagging dividends.

There are five teams who will play more than two thirds of their matches in August on a single match day. Targeting these teams should, in theory, boost your return rate.

Team Single Double Treble Fixture difficulty average
Athletic Bilbao 2 0 0 1.50
Lyon 2 1 0 3.33
Levante 2 0 0 4.50
Leganes 2 0 0 5.00
Man United 2 0 1 5.33


Players of the month

Player PB Max PB Base Shots Key passes
Raul Garcia (Bilbao, Midfielder,  £0.81) 185 38 2.3 0.7
Why Garcia? Garcia was Bilbao’s top goal scorer last season scoring an impressive 10 times from midfield. He has taken 1.7 shots in the box per game. However, his passing statistics aren’t excellent. This means that, unless he scores, he is unlikely to win any dividends. That said, Bilbao have the easiest fixtures of all the single day targeted teams and so if he was going to have an opportunity to take plenty shots and score, this is it.


Player PB Max PB Base Shots Key passes
Leo Dubois (Lyon, Defender, £1.40) 23 97 1.3 1.7
Why Dubois? Honourable mentions to the trinity of Fekir (who now looks like staying), Depay and Traore. While they are fighting amongst themselves for the forward dividend, I expect Dubois to be dominant in the defender’s performance buzz contest. He has the highest base PB of any Lyon defender and has an impressive shooting rate. He may no longer be the go to for set pieces but I still expect Dubois to do well next season and he offers value.


Player PB Max PB Base Shots Key passes
Gabriel Pires (Leganes, Midfielder, £0.71) 156 42 1.5 0.7
Why Pires? Pires offers exceptional value for his price when you look at his underlying statistics. He has the second highest passing rate of all Leganes players but couples that with their highest shot rate. He was Leganes’ top goal scorer last season, albeit with 5 goals. He takes the lion’s share of Leganes’ free kicks but the penalty taker appears to be Alexander Szymanowski (£0.61), who may be worth a shout if you think VAR may lead to more penalties.


Player PB Max PB Base Shots Key passes
Enis Bardhi (Levante, Midfielder, £1.14) 180 42 1.4 0.9
Why Bardhi? I was a little disappointed to find that Jose Luis Morales is not on the Index yet. If he IPOs before the Spanish season starts then I’d recommend getting on board, at least for the month of August. He may be 31 but last season he was Levante’s top goal scorer and took an impressive 1.7 shots per game (1.2 per game in the box) with 1.3 key passes per game. Bardhi is far younger though and has some impressive stats. Last season he was Levante’s second top goal scorer and managed to return some dividends last season. He returned a positional win and a star player win on two separate occasions (both single days). He has the history to be able to do well.


Player PB Max PB Base Shots Key passes
Alexis Sanchez (Man United, Forward, £5.67) 232 74 1.6 2.2
Why Sanchez? I strongly considered Paul Pogba for this pick. He put up excellent numbers in what many dubbed a poor season for him. However, there will be doubts about him and the other Man United players who have yet to return, or only just returned, for pre-season following prolonged exploits during the World Cup. Alexis Sanchez is my pick because it is highly likely he will be United’s main man to start the season due to his lack of World Cup.  In a friendly on 31 July against Real Madrid, he scored and assisted a goal. I expect big things from Sanchez as he has had a rest during the close season for the first time in many years. Sanchez had an average pass rate of 48.5 per game which is excellent for a forward. His shot rate was massively inferior at United compared to Arsenal but that is something I expect he’ll want to improve upon in the season ahead.



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Brave Heart
Written by Brave Heart
Started on the Index Jan 2017 (seriously since April 2018). I'm an FPL obsessive who is looking to try and use proven fantasy football strategies to profit on the Index. A long suffering Liverpool and Scotland fan.
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