The 2015/16 fantasy premier league (FPL) season is underway as of July 9th and as expected there has been a flurry of users logging on and creating their sides, ready for the new season. Some difficult decisions must be made in the coming weeks, deciding on a captain and team selection as a whole are at the forefront of many FPL managers’ minds. This series is designed to aid FPL managers facing selection dilemmas.
Of course it would be great if you could have every top player in your side, but this is not the case and in the world of FPL sometimes you have to miss out on one player for the sake of another. In this article I’ll be referring to Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez, two midfield must haves who are priced very highly (£11.5m and £11.0m respectively), however you can check out other ‘FPL Dilemmas’ in the exclusive articles section.
Last season Hazard was the top point scorer across the whole game, returning a whopping 233 points. On initial reflection it seems that Hazard is the easy option for everyone’s fantasy team, having a higher points total than any other player and playing every game of last year’s Premier League campaign for Chelsea contribute to this viewpoint – despite his higher price. Last season, Hazard did manage two more assists (10) than Sanchez (8) and has been a key player in Chelsea’s Premier League success for the past 3 years. Hazard’s enhanced role in Chelsea’s side gives him a greater opportunity to score FPL points, particularly as he is on penalties – a set piece that Hazard has a near 100% success rate on in the league.
Last season, Alexis was only 26 points off of the Belgium’s total, with his own tally of 207 points. Just like Hazard, Sanchez also has a lot to show and with Arsenal on the up he will be looking to impact dramatically on their campaign. Despite Hazard’s face value, Alexis actually scored more goals in the league last season (16) than Hazard who managed two less (14), which does lean the selection in Sanchez’s favour. Alexis Sanchez is priced at 0.5m less which may not seem much, but in the world of FPL can be the difference between green or red arrows. It is for this reason that Alexis may appear as better value for money, however one remaining factor that possibly swings the pendulum back in Hazard’s favour, is the fact that Sanchez competed in the Copa America Final. As a result of this it is extremely likely that Sanchez will be eased back into the starting XI, perhaps only making his first first team appearance in gameweek 3.
Who to choose?
Obviously it would be ideal to select both players however with their prices being so high it is unlikely that this is possible without making major sacrifices in other areas. In my opinion finding a balance between selecting ‘big hitters’ and ‘value for money’ players is essential and therefore sacrificing one big hitter for a value for money player can be very beneficial. Due to Sanchez’s possibility of being rested, it may not be a gamble you can take, if you are looking for a solid start and I would strongly advise Hazard over Sanchez as a result of this. Despite his value for money, Sanchez is only worth buying when his first team place is solidified.
FPL dilemma result: Eden Hazard.