Acquiring premium assets as an FPL manager is, unsurprisingly, an expensive business – so how can you make sure you’re parting with your funds at the right time?
By analysing the fixture lists of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, we can see which weeks will be kind to our premium purchases.
Furthermore, by comparing the Fixture Difficulty Ratings of each of these teams, it is possible to plan a strategy for buying and selling those assets at the right time.
Consider Chelsea, whose big summer signing is priced at £11.5m – many are rightly excited by Romelu Lukaku‘s arrival, but his value is more than 10 per cent of a manager’s starting budget.
A glance at Chelsea’s fixture list shows they have two games rated four out of five for difficulty (Tottenham away and Manchester City at home) in their next three, while the Belgian striker has a thigh knock to contend with.
It would make more sense to bring Lukaku in ahead of gameweek seven then, the first of a run of fixtures which sees the Blues face Southampton, Brentford, Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley.
For those itching to see if Cristiano Ronaldo is the real deal, bringing the £12.5m forward in for the next three gameweeks could see him appear in two games rated two out of five for difficulty (home games with Newcastle and Aston Villa).
While it is unclear whether he has trained enough to be considered for selection, FPL bosses could always swap Ronaldo out for Lukaku in a few weeks.
The Red Devils have three consecutive games rated four out of five for difficulty from GW9, so bosses might feel more comfortable trying their luck with a United player such as Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes (£12m) from GW15 when they have six games in a row rated two out of five for difficulty.
Liverpool’s premium picks Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mane (£11.9m) might be better immediate options, with an encouraging fixture list and individual form to back up their value.
Salah has scored two and assisted two in just three weeks, while Mane has a goal and an assist – the former is ranked second among midfielders for Threat scored so far, while the latter is ranked number one.
Games against Leeds, Crystal Palace and Brentford in GW4 to GW6 make both look like tantalising prospects.
Harry Kane (£12.3m) and Son Heung-min (£10.1m) were two of the game’s hottest properties last year, ending the season with 40 goals and 25 assists between them – however, it might be best to wait to splash the cash for these two.
Kane has played just 108 minutes so far after speculation over his future at Tottenham, while Son is a doubt with a calf injury for GW4.
Their fixture list from GW11 until the end of the calendar year however looks encouraging, and might give managers enough time to see whether Kane can find his form, and Son can shake off his knock.
Manchester City also have a run of six games without a game rated higher than three out of five for difficulty, but that takes place from GW13.
With Pep Guardiola’s side getting used to life without Sergio Aguero, and Kevin De Bruyne‘s (£11.9m) return date from injury unknown, it might be a few weeks yet before City’s premium players feel like a safe pick.