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A lot of traders, focus a lot on players with good capital appreciation, but often under-estimate the value Dividends play, especially so with media, and perhaps even more so with in-play Dividends too. I thought I would look at some of the Top Performing In-Play returners this 2019/20 season so far and see if any of them appeared to offer any value over the coming months, with congested fixtures they could supply a little boost in returns during that time. It's also worth noting that FI often do promotions to enhance their appeal, such as Double Dividend or super-matchplay points, so you can get even better returns by having a regular investment strategy on some of these guys. It can be difficult to time the ‘fixtures' but you can optimize it, more of that later BUT if you do believe in a long-term hold, it's best to top up every 30 days and let the fixtures take care of themselves, from a trading admin perspective. Thanks to IndexGain and Football Index Edge for the data and analysis tools, both are highly recommended.

WHAT ARE IN-PLAY DIVIDENDS

You basically get paid the following payouts, with details of the eligibility period of 30-days. As you can see, it favours scoring forwards and midfielders, who can also get assists, and also, especially so for scoring defenders. Note that clean sheets are only awarded for goalkeepers, which gives them a little bit of value  -:

TOP IPD RETURNERS

So, we can look at this a number of ways. The chart below has the following titles -:

MB = Media Buzz Divs

PB = PB Divs

IPD = In-Play Dividends

IPDPG = In-Play Dividends Per Game

IPD% = In-Play Dividends Yield (current price – not ideal but there you go, I'm too lazy)

IPDPG% = In-Play Dividends Yield Per Game

MBY% = Media Buzz Divs Yield%

PBY% = PB Divs Yield%

IPD% = In-Play Dividends Yield%

IPDPG% = In-Play Divs Per Game Yield%

Matchday MB = Media Divs returned on Matchdays

%Match Days = % of Media Divs won on a Matchday

Players are sorted by IPD Dividends.

So, you can see by the example above, that someone like Robert Lewandowski returned 33p in PB Dividends this seasonm but actually returned 51p for In-Play Dividends. Ciro Immobile has won 16p in PB Divs but has returned over 3 times that with 40p In-Play Dividends. I've also added an insight, to how many Media Buzz points each player scored on a Matchday and the % figure of their overall MB Divs that represents. If you can find a player with a high yield and can attract media, you could potentially get the trifecta of PB, IPD's and Media Divs if a player has a good day. Someone like Ronaldo, especially Messi who has great PB, IPD's and gets 36% of his media on Matchdays.

Now let's have a look at some of the teams that feature multiple IPD returners, sorted by their Yield Avg – you can clearly see the focus on those players that are high up, in quality squads, in their respective leagues. Something you should always factor into ANY trading decision. Bayern Munich once again head the way, thanks in large part to Lewandowski, Gnabry and Muller. Man United also have 14 returners, Rashford, Martial and Fernandes.

Finally, let's look at the breakdown by sub-position – we can clearly see Centre Forwards return the most Divs, which is understandable given the rewards for goals, assists. They also have the highest average Yield return and Yield return per game. It's also interesting to note the Full Backs are best from a defensive aspect. However, forwards have returned £17.11, midfielders £12.67 and defenders/goalkeepers £3.79. So forwards have returned 78% more than defenders and 26% more than midfielders. So, for me I'd focus on Centre Forwards, Attacking Midfielders and Second Striker/Wingers to maximise your IPD returns with perhaps the odd Full Back.

 

FIXTURE DIFFICULTY STRATEGY

One strategy that I thought might tie in well with an IPD approach is to look at fixture difficulty for teams, even FI mention it in their example at the top of this blog post, then identify players with GOOD IPD Yields, that could be best placed to take advantage against potentially weaker teams. If they have media or PB potential, then all the better.

Thankfully, @AndyGaudi on Twitter has produced some excellent fixture difficulty spreadsheets for each league which you can view on this Twitter thread.

Bundesliga shouldn't be overlooked as they still have quite a few weeks left there and Ligue 1 will be starting sooner than others in all likelihood but I think the momentum is in the other 3 leagues right now.

La Liga returns on the 11th June, EPL on the 17th June and Serie A on the 20th June.

Let's start with La Liga.

BARCELONA are interesting, they have their first fixture date on the 13th June, so if we look from the 13th June till the 12th July, they actually have 9 fixtures and 3 of them are against the bottom 3 sides and all 9 are Gold Days I believe.  In fact their first 2 games are against Mallorca and Leganes. MESSI is the obvious one, but GRIEZMANN could also be a good backup. I'd be looking to buy them on the 13th June to take full advantage.

REAL MADRID are also of interest. Their first game is back on the 12th June and they have 9 fixtures, 7 Gold Days. Toni KROOS is the only Real Madrid player worth noting, but I'd also be looking at RODRYGO who could catch light against some weaker opposition, and for me fits in well as a ‘future peak' forward, being able to top-up at the start of a favourable fixture run.

REAL SOCIEDAD another side, kicking off on the 11th June with a fairly decent fixture run, MIKEL OYARZABAL has returned 16p in Divs, compared to just 3p in PB Divs but is another ‘future peak' forward I've been interested in topping up on along the way.

Let's have a look at the EPL Fixtures -:

 

WOLVES – They have a nice run of fixtures here, starting on the 19th June, RAUL JIMENEZ has actually not earned any PB yet, but does have 25p in IPD's for a 14% Div Yield. ADAMA has 14p and JOTA has 13p and all of them make appeal for one reason or another, but especially so with opening games against West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa to start things off.

LEICESTER – They start up against Watford and Brighton, Chelsea is a bit of a kicker but overall they can get IPD's. VARDY has 23p in IPD's with a 19% Yield but I think I'd prefer HARVEY BARNES with a 12p in Divs and a 5% Yield as he fits more in with my longer term strategy.

Now, let's take a look at Serie A -:

INTER – Have 9 fixtures, 6 of them gold days, from the 20th June and they look in a great position here. ROMELU LUKAKU has 16% IPD Dividend Yield, having won 33p in IPD's compared to just 2p in PB Divs. Another option, that fits more in with my strategy is LAUTARO MARTINEZ with a 5% yield and 19p in IPD's and from a midfield perspective CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN with 14p in Divs and 17p in PB Divs, a great balance.

JUVENTUS – They have 8 fixtures, starting 20th June, not sure if Indexgain is right in suggesting 6 of them are on Bronze Days but that has to factor into decisions. RONALDO is the obvious one with 38p in IPD's and 54p in PB Divs and 87p in media. Basically ticks all the boxes with a 12% IPD Yield. DYBALA has a 5% IPD Yield with 18p IPD's and a rate centre back with DE LIGT who has 16p in IPD's compared to 8p in PB Divs.

LAZIO – Have 9 fixtures from 24th June, IMMOBILE has returned 40p in IPD's with a 20% Yield and LUIS ALBERTO has returned 17p in IPD's with a 8% IPD Yield.

ROMA – Also have a favourable fixture list from the 24th June. PELLEGRINI and ZANIOLO both have 12p in IPD's while KLUIVERT is a young centre forward who has already 8p in IPD's and could do well.

SUMMARY

If you are looking to get involved in a player, instead of lumping the whole load in straight away, it can pay to at least spread that over a few months, to take advantage of IPD's beyond the 30-day period, this can help boost returns and also help smooth out, and offset, any downswings in a player's price, should he drop.

A perfect example this last week is Timo Werner who is down 7p overall in the past month, after spiking and then falling on news of his transfer. During the last month he has actually returned 42p in media, 6p in IPD's and 6p in PB Divs. That adds up to 54p in Total Divs, so there is no need to sweat over a 7p drop in cap app over a month and gives plenty of room for a dip, more IPD's if topping up for their last 4 games, and averaging down as price dips, before it inevitably recovers again as he becomes oversold. It's just one tactic you can use. Personally, I like the fixture list approach to use to top up on players I feel will be strong IPD and PB contenders and hope the above has made you perhaps think about the timing of entry to take advantage of this additional, and under-rated bonus.