Next in our new ‘Player Value’ series, we ask: Has Zaha slipped under FPL Towers’ valuation radar?
One eye on the past – considering his injury record, there is a good argument that he has been priced correctly after only 29 Premier League appearances last season. But the positive is that when fit, he managed to string a decent number of successive games together.
The flip side of the argument is his FPL points – in the long-term (which partly includes his second spell injured last season), he achieved an average of 2.7pts* per game (goals, assists & bonus points) – and versus our value for money target of 2.5pts per game (4.5 including appearance points) he is looking good. In fact, it probably makes more sense to consider his medium-term points as more indicative as to what he can do, and at 4pts* per game he looks like a no-brainer.
*goal points measured as a forward
One eye on the future – Palace are only forecast to score 1 goal in each of their opening three fixtures – albeit the first game is away to Fulham who are new to the Premier League, so you might feel there is more potential here than our algorithms are predicting. In the fourth and fifth games they are forecast to score 2 in each.
A set of particularly impressive numbers are Zaha’s stats versus similar opposition (to Palace’s opening five fixtures), where he is averaging 1 goal involved-in and 1-2 big chances per game.
We also need to remember that he has been recategorised as a Forward this season, which will see the BPS system award him more points per goal, increasing the chances of maximum bonus points. On the flip side, he will only collect 4 points per goal (as opposed to 5 as a midfielder) and will not be eligible for a clean-sheet point.
What to do? – we need to be confident he will continue to play in this forward position, else he might be rendered an undesirable FPL asset due to playing out-of-position (which basically means he is playing a deeper role with less goals potential, but only scoring FPL points relative to a forward). That said, his value for money target his so low versus his potential, this might not matter.
Be sure to keep one eye on their friendlies to see if Zaha is still operating as a forward, rather than back out on the wing, but all in all, everything points to a fit Zaha being a must-have value for money option – unfortunately, you are unlikely to get a steal on your opponents, because 32% of players (at the time of writing) have already worked this out.
FPL Tip: in order to make better informed decisions, understand factors like injuries or games missed for other reasons, that might adversely impact player stats.