Selected by 31% of fantasy managers, and coming in priced at 13.4M in the Fantasy Premier League game, Robin van Persie will make or break your fantasy season this year. No question about it – his status as a “must own” player – as in Cristiano Ronaldo or, to a lesser extent, the great seasons of Drogba, Lampard or Gerrard in the past – will make or break thousands of mini leagues worldwide.
Last year, RVP was a “must own” player. He finished with a whopping 30 league goals, 13 assists, and 45 bonus points. 269 points. He played a career high 3,331 minutes. If you didn’t own him [and most importantly - if you didn't captain him] week in and week out, you just weren’t a fantasy contender. It made the rest of the game a bit more straightforward – finding the hidden gems and rotating in form players around RVP’s automatic 8-10 point gameweeks.
But there are so many questions left unanswered this season, as we wrote just a week ago:
First and foremost, how often will RVP be rested with Rooney, Hernandez, and Welbeck all willing and able to take on Premier League minnows? If RVP continues to see 20 minutes in the ‘easy’ fixtures, as he did against Wigan in a 4-0 win just a few weeks ago, fantasy managers could decide enough is enough. Next, is he on penalty kick duties or is Wayne Rooney? RVP scored at Anfield, but is Rooney up next from the spot? That’s 4-5 additional goals over the course of the season.
Here are a few undeniable facts for you. Take it from us – the pundits. The experts. The sane.
- If RVP plays 3,331 minutes again this season – he must be owned.
- If RVP scores 269 points again this season – he must be owned.
- Manchester United will lead the league, or come close to leading the league in goals scored.
- If RVP plays less than 3,000 minutes, or scores less than 200 points this season, he will not be worth owning.
Manchester United have scored 17 goals in the league this season. RVP has participated in 7. 5 goals and 2 assists. That is 41% participation.
The team scored 89 goals last season and 79 the year before. Let’s say they score 90 goals this season with Rooney & RVP up front. And let’s say RVP contributes to 41% of those – that’s 37 goals or assists over the course of the season. And let’s say the ratio is 70/30 [as it currently is - 5 goals to 2 assists] – that’s 26 goals and 11 assists.
26 goals and 11 assists equals about 135 fantasy points. If we can factor in games played 33 x 2 – that gets us another 66 fantasy points and puts us on 201 for the season. And then bonus points come in to play. RVP has 7 in 7 games. Let’s give him 33 for the season – in 33 games played. That’s 234 fantasy points. Let’s divide that over 38 gameweeks to normalize his returns – that’s over 6 fantasy points per game. Worth of a captain’s option week in and week out? Worthy of ownership at a 13.4m pricetag? Those are the questions…
RVP must be on penalties to reach his total goals scored target. He must also not get rested against minnows like Wigan [or Stoke in just 10 days time] to achieve fantasy greatness. If Sir Alex plays him as the out and out penalty taking striker, who is not rested against minnows, and Wayne Rooney becomes the 11.7m FPL rated ‘in the hole’ Fabregas-esque service provider, than RVP will be a Fantasy Premier League Manager’s dream once again this season. Captain him week in and week out, and just forget about it. Don’t stress out on late Friday nights or early Saturday mornings about Tevez vs Torres vs Bale vs Hazard vs Cazorla. Surely you’ll choose the one who puts up 3 points while the other will have scored 12. And RVP? Yup, he would have scored his 6. Or 7. Or 8. And while you’re playing Fantasy Premier League Captain Roulette with your ‘second tier’ options, hitting some weeks but missing most, and your hair is turning grey, RVP will be laughing all the way to the FPL bank.
Now that’s if and only if Sir Alex has RVP on penalties AND he plays more than 3,000 minutes this season. Forget a long term injury – obviously owners will drop him. When he’s fit, will he be rested for the Champions League semi-regularly? Will Hernandez or Welbeck get the surprise start here and there? These are the questions that are keeping hardcore fantasy managers up at night…
I think the game at Stoke could be a huge test for RVP. If he plays the full 90 minutes, [after most probably completing 120+ for Holland in the next 10 days], just 3 days before a Champions League match, and he scores 2+ goals – he could be seen as that essential “must own” main man once again.
If he’s featured for just 30-60 minutes and returns only an assist? Fantasy managers will be banging their heads on their desks and looking to rip up their virtual team sheets.
I’d love to see who takes Manchester United’s next penalty when both are on the pitch – Rooney or RVP. That’s good for 20-30 fantasy points per season [with bonus] and could make a massive difference. Can you really own a 13.4M player who isn’t on penalty kicks?
It’s still 50-50 for me on RVP. He will define our seasons. For now, we must wait anxiously.
Good luck to all fantasy managers.