Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tales from the Chalkboard

I've been using my favourite new analysis tool to look at some of the weekends performances to see if we can draw some conclusions on the future success of fantasy players. The analysis and fantasy impact for several key fantasy prospects can be found below:

Andrey Arshavin I spoke about Arshavin after the Portsmouth game, where I concluded that despite the lack of shots, the Russian magician was sufficiently involved in the action to still give value for money. However, with zero shots this week and only assist and no goals to his name despite Arsenal scoring 10 in their opening two games, I am a little concerned about his production. His passing analysis from the Portsmouth game is below:Arshavin played very deep - around the halfway line - and only played one ball into the box from his right sided position. His total pass total of 38 is okay as it shows that he isn't running the game as one might expect but is involved regularly none the less. I am far from ready to give up on Arshavin yet, though as mentioned previously I transferred him out in week 2 due to the bye week and games at United (week 4) and at City (week 5). The fixtures after that look great and I will be bringing Arshavin back in and giving him at least 4 weeks to prove he can be as good a fantasy player as in real life. If however the points do not come then you must be decisive and cut your losses. Despite the desire to avoid 'point chasing' its better to follow the crowd and be right than be defiantly wrong.

Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen is a frustrating player who has never delivered on the promise shown during the 2006/07 season when he contributed 155 fantasy points including 6 goals and 12 assists. He appears to be in the first teams plans of Allardyce, having played 90 minutes in both Rovers' games this year, though has yet to contribute anything more than appearance points to date. However, a look at his passes from gameweeks 1 (left) and 3 (right) gives an indication that assists may start to come in the next few games:

In 2 games Pedersen has played no less 28 balls into the area, though admittedly only 5 of them have connected with their intended target. As the old cliche goes "you have to buy a ticket to win the lottery" and its clear that Pedersen is not shy with throwing the ball into the area. At 6.5m Pedersen is not extremely cheap and I think Malbranque (6m) and possibly Koumas (5.1m) are better value. However, 6.5m is a good price and pairing him with the aforementioned pair alongside two studs (Lampard and Gerrard) would make a very nice midfield of 5 players who will play every week and are arguably the focal point of their respective teams. Blackburn have a great run of game from weeks 4-7 but then have 3 red light games in the next 4 so I would either make a splash for Pedersen now or wait until week 12 when the fixture list opens up once more.

Carlos Tevez
Tevez is the most held City forward (9%) and he rewarded his owners with an assist yesterday against Wolves. However, I have voiced my concerns over the number of minutes the Argentinian will get in the year and a look at his chalkboard from yesterday brings up further questions:With just 19 touches in 72 minutes and only four touches even close to the box, Tevez is just simply not in the right positions to generate significant fantasy points. At 8.4m he is cheaper than his fellow City forwards, but with good reason. To consider him in the same class as Defoe (8.7m) and ahead of the likes of Bent (7.2m), Jones (7m) or Cole (7m) is crazy. His one redeeming feature were his 4 shots, but then only one hit the target. If you want to get in on the City revolution I'd advise either getting Adebayor or Ireland who, although more expensive, will deliver much better bang for your buck.

Scoring defenders
Gallas hit the headlines this weekend after scoring his 3rd goal in as many games for the Gunners. However, before getting overly excited it is worth looking at the nature of the goals and determining if they are chances designed specifically for that player (like Laursen and Lescott have had in previous years) or just random opportunities that fall to the feet (or face in Gallas's case on Saturday) of the player in question.
To date nine defenders have scored in the league, with Gallas getting on the scoresheet twice. According to Fox Sports, of these nine players four have converted all their shots for the season into goals (Gallas, Upson, Givet and Bassong) which suggests they are not being targeted from set pieces and should therefore not warrant extra consideration based on the offensive potential. Two players however stand out as genuine goal threats, namely Shawcross and Kaboul, who have had six and five shots so far this season respectively. This suggests that their teams are directing free kicks and corners their way and so they should contribute more goals this term. I cannot recommend a Portsmouth defender due to their awful defense but Shawcross looks to be great value at 4.7m though with 15% ownership this is far from a secret. Stoke have a couple of tricky fixtures in the next few weeks but Shawcross is the best sub 5m defender available and you should consider him for at least your bench.


skipdeedy said...

Hi Chris. Going back to a previous chalkboard discussion I compared the play of Modric and Lennon from today's West Ham game. Yet again Lennon grabs the points over Modic and I'm starting to worry I'm backing the wrong horse.

The chalkboard tells an interesting story –

Modric had 6 shots on goal (1 on target), most from outside the box whereas Lennon had only 2 shots (1 on target which was a goal).

In terms of passes in and into the box, Modric had only 7, with most again from the outside the box into danger areas. Lennon had 12 passes, far more action in the box plus a higher pass success rate.

Modric seems to cover far more of the field but confining his involvement in attack to long range shooting from the edge of the area. Lennon seems to like to get in deep from the right, providing useful crosses but also not being afraid to take on defenders and get in there himself.

Is it time to jump the ship and swap Modric for Lennon? Or am I coming to wrong conclusions?

Chris Glover said...

Hi skip,
Thanks for the great contribution. I am having the exact same worries. I think we all agree that Modric is the 'better' player but that does not really translate into fantasy points as even bonuses are skewed by goals and assists.
I am giving Modric one more game (Birmingham) as he then gets United and Chelsea anyway so I will go in another direction. Based on those three games I might then bring Lennon in unless Modric can start producing.