On the Wayne
Early in the season Wayne Rooney was seen as a fantasy must-have, scoring nine goals in the opening five gameweeks to put him alongside Sergio Aguero as the top-scoring player in the game.
That level of form, in fact pretty much any level of form, has now deserted the Manchester United man. With no goal since netting in the win over Chelsea in mid-September and not even an assist to his name since the Red Devils beat Norwich six weeks ago, Rooney is proving expensive to hold on to.
Rooney's price tag was approaching the £10 million mark a few weeks ago, but after being dropped back into midfield by Sir Alex Ferguson his attacking threat has waned. Even though that downturn in form has led to a drop in price to £9.4 million it is incredibly difficult to keep faith with him. And as he is doubtful for the weekend home game against Newcastle United it would be folly not to sell.
Rooney has already been dumped by 0.5% of managers this week, the most of any striker.
What is quite telling is the few number of players who are actually changing ownership. Only ten players are showing a rise in popularity this week across all positions, which suggests many managers have already used up their 20-transfer allocation or have to protect what they do have remaining.
One player not showing a rise in value who may be a wise investment in place of Rooney is team-mate Javier Hernandez, who bagged the winner against Swansea at the weekend.
Hernandez is ranked 17th in strikers but that position is false. The Mexican striker missed the start of the Premier League season with a head injury picked up on the club's pre-season tour of the United States which meant the game against Chelsea was only his second start of the season. He has now made seven Premier League starts and has still managed to net five goals.
Whether Rooney is playing in a deeper role or is out of the team entirely, Hernandez is now likely to become the focal point of the attack. And United's next six fixtures suggest there could be plenty of points on the table with home games against Newcastle, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan, plus trips to Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham.
Hernandez is in 11.1% of teams, which makes him the sixth most popular striker in the game. While ordinarily that might be a high percentage so many managers have their lot in with Rooney, Aguero and Luis Suarez it's relatively low. Despite the loss of form, Rooney is still in 52.2% of teams, making him the most owned player in the game, with Aguero 35.3% and the woefully out of form Suarez 34%. Man of the moment Robin van Persie continues to rise sharply, up 0.8% to 21.4%.
Bale stacks up the points
After a poor first half of 2011, by his recent standards, there was some scepticism about what Bale would offer fantasy managers this season. But with Spurs back in the groove Bale has rediscovered the kind of form which reignited his career 18 months ago.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart also look to be attractive transfer options from Spurs, but after Van der Vaart scored in five consecutive gameweeks there is the fear that the ship has already sailed on the Dutch midfielder - in terms of being a value addition at least.
Bale managed just the one goal and not a single assist in the opening eight gameweeks, but he has now recorded three goals and two assists in the last three to climb up to 66 points and is the fifth top-scoring midfielder available - placing him only a goal and an assist behind Man City's David Silva. His poor opening season form means he is still available at £7.5 million but he rose by £0.4 million last week and is likely to go up in price again on Saturday.
The Welsh winger may be in 20% of teams, but there is plenty of value in Spurs' upcoming fixtures. They travel to West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Norwich and also have home games against Bolton, Sunderland and Chelsea.
Value added facts
We've had a few enquiries as to how price fluctuations are calculated. Firstly, value change is based upon performance and not supply and demand (as it was last season).
One of the main queries has concerned the prices of David Silva and Rafael van der Vaart. Silva is now priced at £8.9 million and Van Der Vaart £9.7 million even though the Man City man has nine more points. The Silva-Van der Vaart comparison is perfect to show why one player may climb in price differently to another.
Silva has only scored two goals since gameweek two. Granted he got assists between gameweeks four and nine, but he was not scoring goals. Van der Vaart, however, scored in five consecutive gameweeks which means he will have received the top salary rise each week. However, he actually dropped £0.1m last week as he did not score or get an assist.
That is why Van der Vaart is more expensive - his recent, consistent scoring over a five-week period. He has been scoring more points than Silva on a week-to-week basis.
There has also been questions about pricing policy, especially for those who are long-term injured or unavailable. Prices are based both on past and likely performance and the level of club they play for.
Every player's price - whether they are injured for six months, AWOL or just not being picked, is based on their projected worth as a fantasy player. You cannot price a player a few million less than their true fantasy 'price' just because they are injured/suspended. They have to be priced as they would be when playing, otherwise it would present an unrealistic value to the market upon their return.
Spurs v Everton
This game has been rearranged for January 11 and as such the game will slot into Gameweek 20 - the last week of the segment. Points will not be added into Gameweek 1, so Spurs and Everton players will have two scoring matches in Gameweek 20.