This article is part of our Window Watching series.
Despite all of the "it is not confirmed? - it is confirmed?" back and forth, Wilfried Bony is now officially a member of Manchester City. There are plenty of predictions for what this means for the Premier League championship race, but you are not here for that. You want to know what it means for your fantasy team.
This is a move that affects more than just Bony. There are players that are going to get a bump because they will be filling his role. There are players that are going to be displaced because he is joining the club. There are also players affected because much of what they do involves Bony. Let's take a look at these situations and determine the fantasy impact to be expected, and we'll start with the transferred man himself.
Wilfried Bony – The first reaction here is that Bony is going to take a hit to his value. Manchester City can only take so many shots each week, and it is likely Bony will see the biggest drop. There is some merit here, as it is difficult to predict Bony to continue to average 3.3 shots per match now that he is with City. Only Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure currently average over three shots per match for Manchester City. After those two, the next-highest total comes from Stevan Jovetic and he is averaging…. 2.8 shots per match, not far off from the 3.3 shots Bony is averaging.
It's very easy to see Bony slotting into the second fiddle role notably split between Jovetic and Edin Dzeko. The takeaway here: do not fall into the trap of thinking that Bony is going to lose opportunities. Swansea City is averaging only 11.9 shots per match as a team this season. Manchester City is averaging almost six more shots in their league contests. Bony will still see plenty of chances to score each time he takes the field.
It should also be noted, playing alongside Aguero potentially makes you a better player. Take Jovetic and Dzeko for instance: this season, they both average a better conversion rate in matches Aguero is included in the starting XI. Bony's nine goals this season are very nice, but he is actually a little off his pace from last season. There is clearly potential to see growth in his conversion rate, and playing alongside Aguero may bring that out.
The final point to pay attention to here is Aguero's health. He is not the model of consistent availability, and that plays into Bony's hands. It would not be surprising to see Aguero get some rest in less-critical matches as the season winds down (read: against poor competition) and it would be reasonable to think Bony would be the major benefactor of decisions like these.
Ultimately, Bony's fantasy value probably takes a slight increase. Let everyone else drop him and pick up someone else, but at his price you're going to find he's still the best option.
Sergio Aguero – Aguero is still the man. He is still going to get his looks and convert his opportunities. If anything, you can expect him to get a few more assists with a more consistent finisher playing beside him.
Manchester City Midfielders – The thought process is the same for all these guys (Toure, David Silva, etc.). They will likely see an increase in assist-conversion rate, but don't be surprised to see shot attempts and goal rates drop with the inclusion of Bony in the lineup.
Bafetmbi Gomis – Gomis is the clear winner on the Swansea City side of the transfer. He has been the man to play when Bony rests and clearly is fitting into that role with 90 minutes played in each of the last two league matches (Bony absent from both). He has been the focal point the past two weeks, as he attempted 14 shots over that span. Before coming to Swansea City, he was a double-digit goal scorer for Ligue 1 side Lyon and proved his ability to score against top competition by producing goals in European competitions. His play is not of the same caliber as Bony's, but he is certainly in line to make some noise in the second half of the season. At this point, he is certainly undervalued in just about all FPL competitions (including daily).
Gylfi Sigurdsson - Sigurdsson is the player that feels the most negative effect from the Bony move. Currently with four goals and eight assists on the season, he is having a fantastic season, especially from a fantasy standpoint. However, every single one of those goals and assists have come with Bony on the field.
Much of what Sigurdsson has done and is able to do is because of Bony's presence on the pitch. Of Sigurdsson's eight assists this season, three have been to Bony. Take those three away and he is not the same fantasy value he is today. Currently, Sigurdsson is tied for the second-most assists in the Premier League this season. Without someone of Bony's ability to finish many of those assisted shots, it is very possible to see Sigurdsson drop out of the top-10 in that category.
And it is not just the assists that will be impacted by Bony's departure. Of the four goals Sigurdsson has scored this season, three of them were scored off free kicks (two of those were free kicks Sigurdsson took himself, the other was a free kick taken by someone else but finished by Sigurdsson). No one drew more fouls on Swansea City than Bony, and his absence will likely have an affect here.
Bony's move to Manchester City is easily the biggest transfer of 2015, but as you can see, it is certainly more than just the direct impact it has on his fantasy value. This move will likely be felt by a number of players, including more than were mentioned here. This should hopefully give you some idea and guidance when it comes to thinking about the best course of action to take with your fantasy squad now that the move is official.