As we all prep for October 31st and the shenanigans that ensue on Halloween, I thought it would be appropriate to take a dive into the FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market and analyze the players who are “tricks” and “treats” in this year’s game. Catchy I know, I’m very creative when it comes to this type of stuff. Now the treats are obvious: players who are exceptional in the game that you cannot live without, either from a talent perspective or a pure chemistry link perspective.  The tricks come in many shapes and forms.

The “Inflator” is the most easily identified. There are some players that just flat out aren’t worth the money right now. When you compare them against similar players they’re average card price is astronomical. You see it in every league and at every position.

Let’s take the right midfielder position in the Premier League. You have three elite options, all rated an 85 overall, all different nationalities: Willian, Riyad Mahrez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Willian has more pace, rated an 89 compared to 82 for Mahrez and 83 for Mkhitaryan. Their shooting, passing, dribbling are all equivalent. Mahrez’s defense is much lower than the others and Mkhitaryan’s physical rating is much higher. All in all there is no wrong answer if you were to be given a card for free. But if you were to pay for them, it’s a different story. Willian is going for 2x the price and you can’t convince me that the additional pace and duel chemistry links (Premier League & Brazil) are worth the extra coin. Willian is a perfect example of an “Inflator”. screen-shot-102116-9-09-pmcapture

The “Depreciator” are the most dangerous cards in FUT. These are the players who are a valued item today but tomorrow they’re a regular commodity. These are the players you shell out 75,000 coin for and by Christmas they’ll hover around 30,000. Every year the market takes a steep drop three months into the game. Some players hold their values but the majority of them decline and some crash hard. If the community doesn’t help devalue the player’s value then FIFA will. Each month FIFA updates the min/max range of player cards typically lowering the max pushing values down. In Form cards will also devalue your base cards, it’s a never ending cycle of depreciation. Look for cheap buys early on and upgrade later when prices are more affordable.

The “Deceptor” is the player who’s overall rating means nothing on the pitch. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Not all overall ratings are created equal”. The overall rating on the card is far less important than the ratings on the sub-traits that actually equate to on field performance. I’m going to call out some of the “Deceptors” in my trick section. Either they flat out don’t deserve the rating on their card or for whatever reason they under-perform in relation to that rating.

So once again to summarize:

  • The Inflator – they cost too damn much in relation to substitute options
  • The Depreciator – they’re going to be priced 75% lower by Christmas
  • The Deceptor – they play below the rating on your card

THE TREATS

SEAMUS COLEMAN – 82 RB

He’s not the fastest, he’s not the highest rated defender but Seamus Coleman is the best all around right back in the Premier League. Coleman has above average pace, he’s a solid defender and also has good offensive traits. He was named to the Team of the Week 4, he has an 83 beast rating from Futhead thanks to his high/high work-rates. What I love most about him is the 90 stamina.screen-shot-102116-8-50-pm-2

MICHY BATSHUAYI – 81 ST

When it’s all said and done Michy Batshuayi (or the player after this) might be my favorite Ultimate Team forwards of all-time surpassing Alexandre Lacazette of FIFA 16. Batshuayi is a great combination of speed, power and ability. He has 84 sprint speed, 82 strength, 81 jumping with 83 ratings for positioning, finishing and shot power. You can pay 100x more for Sergio Aguero but I’ll take Batshuayi (under 3,000 coin) and his 88 beast rating, 4 star weak foot skills.screen-shot-102116-8-51-pm

KINGLSEY COMAN – 81 LW

Coolest name in FIFA? Yes. Biggest baller in FIFA? Quite possibly. Ever since I pulled Coman in a pack and threw him into my Bundesliga and French teams my FUT life has been in a better place. As I stated above he might turn out to be my favorite FUT forward ever. Sure he’s only rated an 81 overall but don’t judge a book by its’ cover. Having 93 pace off the left wing with 4 star skilled moves, 86 dribbling and 84 curve passing is a dream come true. He’s an above average scorer but slightly erratic and his one negative would be defense which is non existent. In a few years this 20 year old is going to be a star, Bayern Munich doesn’t sign scrubs.screen-shot-102016-8-32-pm-2

EVER BANEGA – 84 CAM

Banega had a big jump from FIFA 16 to FIFA 17 increasing +3 on his overall rating. I had no idea who he was last year except the haircut on his card was a funny comb over with a solid five o’clock shadow beard. He’s the best play making CAM you’ve never heard of is the new way I’m describing him. With links to the Serie A and Argentina he’s extremely valuable as you can slot him with Higuain, Icardi and Dybala. His creator rating is an 85 with great vision and short passing. Four star weak foot and skilled moves doesn’t hurt either.screen-shot-91316-9-56-pm-3

ALEXANDRE PATO – 80 ST

Alexandre Pato hasn’t been this relevant since FIFA 13 when he was rated an 83 overall with 89 pace. His overall has decreased but his speed (86) is still up there. In fact he’s tied for second in La Liga in pace with Antoine Griezmann and just behind Cedric Bakambu. Pato’s shooting leaves something to be desired but high acceleration, skilled moves and ball control coupled with an 86 beast rating make him a must buy for any La Liga squad. The striker position is so expensive in La Liga (Suarez, Griezmann, Benzema) that it makes Pato the most attractive option in the second tier strikers (Morata, Torres, Adruiz).

KOSTAS MANOLAS – 84 CB

I’ve talked about Manolas before in my article “My Big Fat Greek Defense” so I won’t go too much into him. He’s a great defender, he has amazing speed and he’s great with headers. You can pair him with Sokratis and create an awesome hyrbid team which again you can see in my previous article. If you’re going to make the investment in Manolas see if you can scrape together some additional coin to purchase his 86 IF card it’s truly amazing and worth it.

MORGAN SCHNEIDERLIN – 82 CDM

Jose Mourinho may not love him at Manchester United but I love inserting Schneiderlin into my starting line-up at defensive central mid. I think he’s the most balanced player for the position at a reasonable price who fits multiple squads. The 66 pace would deter some people but in the right formation (433 with CDM or 41212) he doesn’t need to be in the 70’s. The sixty-six is more than adequate and it’s not a liability like a Schweinsteiger (51) or Xhaka (51). He has 90 stamina so he’ll play the full 90 minutes and his 85 aggression rating will bully softer players. I love a guy who will just punk a shorter opposing midfielder. He has a great interception rating (85) and his standing & slide tackles are all well above the norm.screen-shot-11116-10-28-pm-2

RADJA NAINGGOLAN – 84 CM

Radja Nainggolan breaks all my rules about what I consider a “Trick”. His price is extremely high, especially given the alternatives (Marchisio, Pjanic, Hamsek) at his position. He will absolutely drop in value as time goes on especially as he racks up Team of the Week honors. But with all of that said he’s a must buy and he’s the best all around midfielder you can buy in the Serie A. Nainggolan has better pace, shooting, defending, and physical traits than Marchisio (86) and Pjanic (85) who are both rated higher overall. He’s only 5’9” but he’s a bulldog and tenacious, high/high work-rates with 94 stamina and 87 aggression. He breaks all the rules but my god is he worth it once you get him on the pitch.

SAMUEL UMTITI – 82 CB

I clearly have a “thing” for French players as Samuel Umtiti marks the third Frenchy on my Treat list. Umtiti stormed on the scene last year earning Team of the Season honors in the French Ligue 1 with Lyon. After starting the season as a 79 non-rare gold he earned a Team of the Week card as an 80 and eventually ended with an 85 TOTS. A very similar story in FIFA 14 where he launched as a 76 and ended with an 81 TOTS card. This year as a member of Barcelona he’s getting a lot more looks. Umtiti was included in this year’s “Ones to Watch” program and with very good pace, strong tackling skills and big time jumping ability, he’s a beast you’ll want on your team.

THE TRICKS

YAYA TOURE – 84 CM – “Inflator”

The decline of Yaya Toure is upon us and while his performance in the real world is non existent his price in Ultimate Team is still flourishing. Toure has yet to see the field with Manchester City this season as he, his agent and Pep Guardiola are still engaged in the world’s longest pissing contest. When I checked the market the lowest BIN for Yaya was around 60,000 coin which is a massive for a guy who will never ever get an In Form card. For three years Toure was an 86 overall (13 to 15) and one of the most expensive and sought after players in the Premier League. But in FIFA 16 and now in FIFA 17 he’s dropped by -1 each season. He still has the size and raw talent to be impactful in FUT but I think his price is derived off the Yaya Toure of a few years ago and not the Yaya Toure of today.screen-shot-11116-10-37-pm-4

MESUT OZIL – 86 CAM – “Inflator”

Mesut Ozil is a very interesting player in FIFA Ultimate Team. He might be the best “point guard” in the game, let’s remember he was the FIFA 16 FUTTIES winner for “The Maestro – The Most Creative Player”. Since joining Arsenal his base rating has improved from an 86 to 87 to 89. His vision is second to none and he’s an expert passer from the CAM position. He also comes with a price tag of 80,000 coin, it’s a massive investment for a player who lacks high finishing traits and has limited physical & defensive abilities. He also has a two star rating on weak foot which makes his right foot completely inept and a huge liability for shots at the top of the box.screen-shot-11116-10-35-pm

LUCAS – 82 RW – “Depreciator”

This is the first year I’ve seen where Lucas’ price hasn’t been ridiculous to start the season. You can snag him for 2,000 coin right now which is pretty reasonable but like in previous years he’ll be below 1,000 in no time. Lucas is a speedsters’ wet dream, much like a Theo Walcott, but that’s essentially all he is. Guys like Lucas are a way one street. Get the ball up the right flank, mash turbo and hold on for dear life. It’s not my style of play, not my kind of player. I’m glad to see his price isn’t ridiculous but I’d say pass on him now and get him for dirt cheap in a few weeks.screen-shot-11116-10-38-pm

MARIO GOTZE – 84 CAM – “Deceptor”

Usually I don’t call World Cup heroes over-rated but my god Gotze in FIFA is just that. He doesn’t deserve his 84 overall rating and when you line him up against other CAM’s the comparison will show he’s on the short end of the stick. The FIFA street ballers who just roam around the field doing skilled moves will love him: 89 dribbling rating, 87 volleys, 90 ball control and four star weak foot & skilled moves. On my Bundesliga team he doesn’t even start, his ratings compared to his teammate Gonzalo Castro (82) and Hakan Calhanoglu (80) are lower in every category except dribbling. His Futhead beast rating is lower (76-79-77 respectively). Gotze is a cheaper buy like many of the CAMs in the Bundesliga but he doesn’t make the cut.screen-shot-11116-10-42-pm

GRANIT XHAKA – 84 CM – “Deceptor”

I’ve never been less thrilled to pull an 84 in a pack in all my life. Granit Xhaka is terrible, which makes sense given he’s on Arsenal. He’s super slow (51 pace), his defending is mediocre, his finishing (49) is atrocious and he has zero jumping (33) ability. Aside from having a cannon for a left foot (shot power – 88, long shots – 85) he’s really useless. The midfield in the Premier League is plentiful, take any one of these players over him: Alli, Ramsey, Lallana, Cam, Eriksen, Mata, Kante, Rooney, Oscar, Herrera, Wilshere, and the list goes on and on.screen-shot-11116-10-34-pm

THOMAS MUELLER – 86 CF – “Deceptor”

We all have players who we either player exceptional with or terrible with for whatever reason. In MLB the Show I dominate with Robinson Cano but can’t do a damn thing with Anthony Rizzo. My Rizzo in FIFA has been and always will be Thomas Mueller. I don’t know what it is but I can’t do anything with Mueller. I can’t put my finger on it but however Mueller is built he doesn’t work for me. Others may disagree but in FUT I think his 86 rating is completely inflated and he has no one individual trait that makes him stand out. I see his 89 finishing rating but other than one chip the keeper goal I’ve yet to make a mark with Mueller. For me he’s like a King Size Bar of Almond Joy, it’s great that it’s a king sized candy bar but Almond Joy is disgusting.screen-shot-11116-10-41-pm-3