Since Bale's last major outburst in Week 2 (33.5 points), he has been averaging 10 points/match and has cost approximately 15. Over the course of 11 matches, you've gotten approximately 110 points from him at the combined cost of about 165. For those of you who had Bale from the beginning of the season, you got those same 110 points for a cost of about 132. So, what else could you have had for your money over that stretch that leads me to believe that you should have spent differently?
Here's a list of 4 midfielders whose price ranged between 6 and 10 for the same 11 weeks. They ALL totaled between 96 and 105 points total over that same 11 match span for combined prices of between 75 and 85. If you want to talk in averages, you paid between 12 and 15 per match for 10 points from Bale while you would have paid between 6 and 9 for 9 points per match from:
- Stuart Holden
- Charlie Adam
- Chris Brunt
- Marc Albrighton
- Rafael van der Vaart
If your response to the above is "I had a few of those guys and had the money to spend on Bale" then the next question would be, is there a better premium player you could have had than Bale? Hello Nani... The ManYoo midfielder wouldn't have made you very happy this past weekend but over the 11 match stretch since Week 2, his price has been slightly lower on average than Bale's but we'll call them roughly equivalent because we don't want to go back and do the math. For that similar investment, you would have gotten 14 points/match from Nani and 10/match from Bale.
OK, Neal's discussed nothing but midfielders so far and I can't have 6 midfielders so where else could I have spend my money that would have been a better value? Petr Cech, despite giving up 3 goals in a bad loss at home this past weekend has scored more points than Bale in this time frame. The difference isn't much but his price has been similar to lower so he's been equal to better value since that time.
Think Bale has been the best value at the back over the time period in question? Not so fast my friends. No one's choice for best fantasy player in the Prem Nemanja Vidic has actually out-pointed your friend Mr. Bale since Week 2 118 to 112.5. Not a big difference but Vidic's price has been lower all the while as well. Even better still is Leighton Baines who has 121 points in the same time period. He's been expensive but not as expensive as Bale. Heck, even Liam Ridgewell comes in pretty close at 94 points compared to Bale 112.5 over the 11 week stretch. Pretty sure Liam's price would have been significantly lower than Bale's over that time as well.
This is the big red herring of the season so far. You HAVE to have two forwards but none of them have really justified the investment since Drogs lost his mojo after Week 7. Tevez is in the same ballpark as Bale but playing the match-ups and shifting horses has been important here.
If you check back to my posts early in the season, I was all in on Bale (for much longer than I should have been as it turns out). I don't have a bias against him, just against spending money on non-performing assets. That said, if you look at the numbers, unless you had money for Bale AFTER buying Cech, Vidic, Baines, Nani, Adam, Brunt, Holden, VDV, and two reasonably priced/reasonably productive strikers then you could have done better than buying Bale. This leads me to the conclusion that unless you can predict when he's going to hit for 25 plus points, he's not great value, even at 12.
If, as was mentioned in the comments thread, Spurs start collecting some clean sheets (they have only 1 so far this season) or Bale's teammate's start helping him out (he has a criminally low 1, count 'em 1, assist despite creating as many chances for teammates as anyone in the league) then Bale might represent value to those who have him at 12 and MAYBE those who got in at 15. Unless he becomes Henry in his prime, he's not going to represent value at 17+. Oh, and after 13 matches, does it seem reasonable to assume that Spurs are going to turn those two things around? Possible, especially if they acquire a better striker or two in January but seems sort of unlikely until then.
So, those of you who think I hate Bale and Spurs, I'm probably not going to convince you otherwise, but at the very least you can see that I base these things on some actual data rather than just saying "Hmmm, Bale, he plays for Spurs, how can I slam him so I can forward my pro-Arsenal agenda?" My goal, as always, is to help you pick a better fantasy team and beat your friends. Even when it means writing this entire article and having to give due credit to two ManYoo players, another Spurs player, and a Chelsea player while not mentioning a single Gooner.
Cheers - Neal