The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is a gamechanger to the Fantasy Premier League world. Earlier this week, the official website announced his price point of 12.5m, so I want to go over some early thoughts on how this could impact our FPL thinking.
Should you transfer Ronaldo in straight away?
Make no mistake, the guy is still a goal machine and he’s going to be the talisman of this United team. In 33 games last season for Juve, he scored 29 goals. That’s a rate of nearly 0.9 goals per game. That’s unbelievable. But what’s even crazier, is that he blanked in 14 of those games. That means Ronaldo scored 29 goals in 19 games! So he’s ridiculously explosive but has the potential to blank quite a few times. It’s really hard to ignore those numbers. Then add the fact that he’s now arguably surrounded with better attacking talent, I can see him getting close to a return per game once again.
Personally, I’ve been trying to find justifiable reasons not to transfer him in straight away. This is because I only have 1 free transfer, I already own Fernandes, and I’ve been determined to remain patient this season. So this is my best case against it:
Although the first fixture he’s available is a home game against Newcastle, I assume you’d be transferring in Ronaldo for either Fernandes or Lukaku. Both have a great fixture, and there is always the chance Ronaldo comes off the bench to add to the drama of his United return. How many times have we jumped onto the shiny new FPL player only to find the old one has punished us for this? This makes me wary of taking a -4 point hit to bring Ronaldo in so early, as I expect Lukaku to bag a brace against Aston Villa, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fernandes get a goal and 2 assists vs Newcastle.
My conclusion – If you have chosen to wildcard, or have two free transfers in the bank, get him in. It wouldn’t surprise me if he bags a brace in his first game back at the Theatre Of Dreams.
Is 12.5m a fair price?
Many FPL managers expected Ronaldo to be priced at 12.0m. I thought given his age, a fair price would be between Lukaku & Kane. So when I first saw the price reveal, I was disappointed. But on reflection, this price makes sense. His numbers at Juve suggest he’s still an elite fantasy asset. Plus, I assume most FPL managers would have chosen Ronaldo over Fernandes, especially if he takes penalties for United. So now that there is a 0.5m difference between the players, it should give more variance in that decision. He is also a full 1.0m more than Lukaku, which makes Lukaku a really appealing alternative.
Can he rise in price before GW4?
At the time of writing, he has over 600,000 new owners. That’s crazy seeing as he’s only been in the game less than 24 hours. The good news is he is price locked this week so you won’t miss out on any price rises if you choose to wait, but the fear of missing out could prove costly. If he scores against Newcastle which he should, I expect his ownership to skyrocket.
Is Fernandes Void?
In the short-term – no. A home fixture against Newcastle means I think he’s worth holding onto for now. But if you don’t own Fernandes, I would not recommend selecting him over Ronaldo at this point. Long term, I just can’t help but think Fernandes will suffer the same fate Mane has at Liverpool. If Ronaldo takes penalties, which is very likely knowing his ego, I think Fernandes might lose his appeal and many managers will find better ways of using their budget.
Options, Lots Of Options
Being a Liverpool supporter, I never thought the return of CR7 to United would be something that excites me. But as a fantasy fan, I can’t help but think this is great news for FPL as a whole. We now have a genuine variety in our premium options, and this means that 1. Hopefully, we move away from the template team that most managers find themselves with, which should make the game more fun in general. And 2. It should make it easier to move up our mini-leagues as there’s plenty of options to choose from.
I am going to look into the potential premium player combos in an article later on during this international break.
MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo – Finally home: An emotional response from a lifelong United fan!