By Russell Cane
When building your fantasy football team, seeking value is a vital element in the search for success. Premium priced players may promise the world, but do occasionally fail to deliver.
This season has presented fantasy football managers with a host of players who have offered exceptional value for money. Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Odion Ighalo have put premium priced players such as Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Christian Benteke to shame.
Many managers feel obliged to spend their full budget. It's a myth that money unspent is money wasted. Opting for the big names does not always guarantee big points. There are alternatives that not only come at a cheaper price, but offer better fantasy scoring potential too, especially this season.
Fantasy football game Oulala have delved into the stats of attacking duo Raheem Sterling and Dimitri Payet before the pair go head-to-head this weekend as Manchester City travel to West Ham in Saturday's late Premier League kick-off.
Using 70 different criteria sourced from Opta data, Oulala have identified which players offer exceptional value for money in fantasy football. Focusing on Raheem Sterling and Dimitri Payet, the stats show the West Ham star offers your fantasy team much better points scoring potential than the Manchester City winger, and at an improved price. Despite playing five games fewer, Payet leads Sterling in a host of key areas this season.
Although Sterling is averaging more shots per game than the Frenchman (2.2 to 1.7), he falls short for shot accuracy (63% to 68%), conversion rate (11% to 23%) and goals (5 to 6).
Creatively, the numbers again heavily weigh in Payet's favour. The 28-year-old has made more key passes per game (3.3 to 1.3), created more chances (53 to 28) and registered more assists (4 to 2). Furthermore, the West Ham midfielder is also averaging more successful dribbles per game (2.2 to 1.6).
While Raheem Sterling isn't a bad choice in your fantasy football side, Oulala's stats show that Dimitri Payet has the potential to offer your team more points, while costing less.