Fantasy Football tips: 5 star players to avoid

Just because they performed well last season, doesn't mean they will this time - and here's why...

Michu applauds our choices (Image: Pablo Sánchez)

Psst! Hey, kid! Wanna pull a fast one on your friends and colleagues? Read on for more of our golden Fantasy Football tips, success guaranteed or your money back.

You paid nothing to get here, right? Good. Then follow these simple instructions for 2013-14 Fantasy Football glory (we’re using the official Premier League version as our basis, but the principle applies across the board):

Simply fill your team with our top 10 Fantasy Football bargains while you advise everyone else to sign up as many of the following star players as possible, safe in the knowledge that it’ll backfire in their stupid faces like nothing they’ve ever known. We’re talking comedy soot-covered faces, folks.

Fantasy Football tips? We puke ’em. Now, here are our top 5 star players to avoid this season…

Robin van Persie, Manchester United – £14m

Surely some mistake? RVP’s a goal machine, last season’s top points-scorer and a surefire handicap to omit! After all, everyone else will have him in their team, in many if not most cases as captain (pending the successful completion of Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid, anyway).

Well, we figure one of two ways: he’s due a long-term injury having gone without for an unprecedented two and a half years or so – heck, he’s even picked up a niggle this pre-season, hence that other Dutch bloke calling Moyes a ‘dinosaur’ – and he might suffer from the change in management.

Moyes asks a lot from his centre-forwards – witness the travails of Nikica Jelavic last season. Van Persie might well find his feet in Moyes’s system, but the changeover won’t necessarily be a smooth one.

Get Sergio Aguero instead and save yourself three million to spend elsewhere on the side. You know it makes sense.

Well, you don’t, but trust us.

(Er, not that you necessarily should.)

Juan Mata, Chelsea – £10.5m

Wonderful player, Mata. However, the guy played 64 club games last season, 54 the season before that and goodness knows how many international matches in that time.

He’ll suffer from burnout, we reckon. Plump for either of his younger, cheaper teammates Eden Hazard or Oscar.

Michu, Swansea City – £9m

Three words: second season syndrome.

If he scores another 20 this season, we’ll eat our sombrero.

Marouane Fellaini, Everton – £8.5m

He may have scored 11 Premier League goals last season but chances are he’ll be playing a deeper role this time around, what with Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Steven Pienaar knocking about. Go for one of them instead.

Asmir Begovic, Stoke City – £5.5m

The goalkeeper was a popular pick last season off the back of a flurry of early-season clean sheets, but the Potters’ back line struggled after yours truly saw fit to pack his defence with Stoke players sometime around Christmas.

More pertinent than that decidedly personal experience, though, is the fact that Mark Hughes’s men don’t look to have strengthened significantly from the squad that flirted with last season’s relegation battle. Let’s call that our main rationale.

There you go, more Fantasy Football tips for you all. Good luck and happy picking!