Football Index: Fernandes makes Team of the Month as Cavani enters the thinking |

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Bruno Fernandes (£7.97) is doing very nicely at the moment, thank you very much.

As well as being the third-highest points scorer in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), he’s also the most expensive player in Football Index (FI) – and has just made the FI Team of the Month for the second month in a row, earning more Dividends in the process.

But there are other FI gigs going on in Manchester.

In case you were still wondering, Football Index is a kind of stock market where people use real money to bet on football.

You buy shares in individual players whose value can rise or fall depending on their performance both on and off the field.

I’m actively using FI this season with more than a nod to FPL, seeing which aspects of each game marry up, and which don’t.

And what is becoming increasingly clear is that performance means prizes in both FPL and FI at present – thanks to Match Day Dividends (MDD).

Gameweek 10’s best performers in FPL – Edinson Cavani (£1.38) and Riyad Mahrez (£1.76) – brought in 15 and 21 points respectively from their star turns at the weekend.

They also each collected £0.14 per share in Football Index MDD and, what’s more, were crowned Star Players on their respective game-days – earning another £0.14 each on top of that.

The Uruguayan has also topped the Media Dividends standings on Sunday and Monday, which meant another £0.10.

As we can see below, the press do seem to devote a lot of attention to Manchester United players.

Cavani is an interesting case. He’s a veteran striker, so his share price on FI doesn’t necessarily reflect his proven quality because traders often shy away from those without a long-term potential for growth in value.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t the possibility of profit being made.

The Manchester United forward’s buy price is now the highest it’s been over the last 12 months, with the potential of more rises to come because of his side’s packed December schedule.

The Red Devils will play 10 times from now until early January. Eight of those fixtures will be in the league and, based on his star turn at Southampton (two goals and an assist), Cavani is likely to figure in a good number of them.

Those betting with Football Index get performance-related In-Play Dividends for the first 30 days after buying shares in a player, so Cavani should still produce returns even if he doesn’t hit the heights of the St Mary’s game. United’s schedule is kind enough to suggest that, anyway.

And every time he impresses, his share price has a chance to rise with growing demand. At £1.38, he could still prove to be a strong bet.

As could Mahrez at £1.76.

Valued at just over £1 a fortnight ago, the Manchester City midfielder is some way off his £2.55 peak from January of this year, but his weekend hat-trick against Burnley looks very timely indeed.

As well as bringing in a chunky MDD payout, it has ignited interest in a player with a very pleasant run of fixtures to come from now until February.

Like United, Man City have a packed December that includes Champions League and Carabao Cup games.

But City’s schedule will keep on giving long after the decorations come down and we slump into the dark despair of January.

Once the third round of the FA Cup is out of the way, Pep Guardiola’s team will face Brighton, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sheffield United and Burnley – a group also known as ‘five of the bottom six’.

That’s a lot of potentially rich pickings to be had after the traditional festive feast is done.

Guardiola has used Mahrez consistently across competitions this season, resting him twice and starting him seven times in the league.

‘Pep Roulette’ is, of course, as much a thing in FI as FPL, but Mahrez can expect to see more domestic minutes from now until a switch in City’s fixture difficulty that will be ushered in by an early February trip to Liverpool.

And if you’d prefer another City midfielder who’s been used much more sparingly in the league thus far, Phil Foden (£4.45) is expensive, but he’s not started a Premier League match since early October.

Based on the crazy Christmas we’re all about to experience, it would be a shock if the England international is not more heavily-used.

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