The Great Kane Robbery

AUGUST CURSE

Last year was a case of Spurs front man, Harry Kane being a “must own.” While his August hoodoo voodoo caused concern and panic among fantasy managers, his underlying statistics were among the league’s best. This year, Kane participated in the 2018 World Cup, which saw him return late to Spurs, fatigued, he got the start to open the Premier League season.

While he appeared ready to start, his GW1 effort was lackluster, finishing with no attacking returns and being book. He broke the “August Curse” scoring in successive game weeks, but ownership over that week period, saw 174k managers transfer Kane out. His current ownership is at 28.0 TSB%, many managers have avoided the Spurs forward, but should we be looking ahead of some lucrative fixtures?

Last year, Kane did me wrong from the start of the season, as he didn’t return points when wearing the captain’s armband in three of the first six fixtures. It was a frustrating start, to a disappointing season because of failed captaincy selection, with Kane at the center of the controversy.

#KANEXIT 2017

Ahead of GW19 and James Egersdorff’s, #KANEXIT strategy that permeated through Twitter, I made the decision to move Kane and teammate, Christian Eriksen ahead of GW14, in favor of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard. It was a gamble that came with risk, but one I was willing to accept, due to Kane’s ineffectiveness when wearing the armband and upcoming strength of schedules.

It was 6 weeks later (GW14-19) and a difference of 78 points when the #KANEXIT strategy came to an end, going down in flames. It was a season defining moment, one that saw my squad loose many points and team value, as I picked up the pieces, with a  plan to transfer Kane back into my starting XI.

KANE IN?

At £12.5, Kane represents a big chuck of your budget, especially if you own Mo Salah, like 52% of current fantasy managers. Kane is currently 6th in forward scoring with 20 points, behind the £11.3 Sergio Aguero, the £11.0 Romelu Lukaku and four “budget” forward, none priced higher than £6.7 that include, Aleksander Mitrovic, Callum Wilson, Troy Deeney and Glenn Murray.
Based on fixture difficulty rating between GW5 and GW10, only Bournemouth have a better run of fixtures (LEI/bur/CRY/wat/SOU/ful) than Spurs, who are book ended by LIV and MCI. It’s four games in between (bha/hud/CAR/whu) that have be considering the Spurs forward.

It’s no surprise that a comparison of stats versus last year are down. The only three areas that have seen improve this season have been ‘mins per pass received,’ involvement and BPS baseline. All other metrics have taken a downward turn, which have many fantasy managers put off by Kane, especially with viable budget options posting attacking returns.

STRATEGY

So just how does a fantasy manager introduce a £12.5 forward when you’ve spent £13 on Salah and currently have £11 wrapped up in Aguero? The obvious answer, upgrade Aguero. With Champions League starting, there could rotation across the big six in the Premier League. It begs the question, who’s more “fixture proof” Salah, Aguero or Kane?

It’s easy to say those premium options will all see rest at some point. Based on the upcoming fixture run, I am willing to take the risk, based on FDR to bring Kane in, to partner with Aguero, thus allowing me three options at captain. That goes against the rational of owning a high priced premium if you aren’t going to captain him every week.

While many fantasy managers have activated their wild card over the international break, I am looking to make the necessary moves, without take a negative point hit over the course of a few weeks to introduce Kane, to partner with Aguero. This means a move away from Salah for a two week period, only to buy him back ahead of some good fixtures.

Crazy? Stupid? Logical? Risky? Guess it really depends on how you rate him, the FDR for the upcoming fixtures and potential returns over a five week period with Champions league and Carabao Cup action starting.

As shown above, you can see my 15-man squad as its unchanged (to date) during the international break.

TRANFERS

  • Gameweek 5
    • Out: Theo Walcott (£6.7)
    • In: Demarai Gray (£5.5)
  • Gameweek 6
    • Roll Transfer
  • Gameweek 7
    • Out: Mo Salah (£13.0), Marko Arnautovic (£7.0)
    • In: Will Hughes (£5.0), Harry Kane (£12.5)
  • Gameweek 8
    • Roll Transfer
  • Gameweek 9
    • Out: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.1), Wilfried Zaha (£7.0)
    • In: Mo Salah (£13.0), Issac Success (£4.5)

That is the transfer plan to add a third premium attacker to my starting XI, at the cost of a mid-priced midfielder and two mid-priced forwards.

Conclusion

Without have a third starting forward in my squad, I will be limited in available formations, that won’t allows me to start a 3-4-3 or a 4-3-3, as Success isn’t a starter for Watford. Even if I were to use that £0.4 to upgrade to Bonatini (£4.9), he’s still not a regular starter, thus limiting the flexibility I have.

IF and that could be a big if, Kane gets hot during this stretch of the games, this strategy could pay off. However, if Kane continues like he did against Watford, it will be another case of Kane of determining the outcome of my season.

It’s tough now chasing the top 10k, behind by 64 points., but the possibility of finishing that high is still alive, this early in the season. Kane could be that “differential” required, especially if you get in ahead of one of good runs.

 

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