First then, let's look at the facts so far, through 7 weeks of the new season:
- 92% of bonus points are awarded to players from the winning side,
- 51% of bonus points are awarded to players who score a goal during the week,
- The top 5 strikers account for 36% of all points awarded to forwards. The top 5 midfielders account for just 13% of midfield points,
- 47% of all bonus points awarded to midfielders have been given to players who cost 6m or less. This figure is only 24% for strikers,
- Goalkeepers account for just 4% of bonus points awarded and Ben Foster is the only 'keeper to score any points (2) from the big four sides,
- 32% of all defenders' bonus points have been given to a defender that scored that day,
- The 'big five' teams (including City) account for 38% of all bonus points awarded; including 44% of all forward points and 41% of midfield points.
- British and Irish players accounted for 58% of all bonus points awarded.
This really brings into question the 'big fish small pond' strategy I have championed in the past, as while players like Murphy (3), Lawrence (0), Hunt (0), Malbranque (0) and Jarvis (0) may well be the driving force behind their teams play, they are not being rewarded in the bonus point category. Now while there are exceptions to be found, such as Cattermole (6) and Dunn (7), it seems that these two are very much the exception rather than the rule.
I have mentioned previously that bonus points awarded to forwards are less deviated than those given to midfielders, and this trend is continuing through week 7. No less than 51 midfielders have been awarded bonus points, while just 29 strikers have been given the weekly nod from the pundits. Furthermore, the top 5 strikers account for a staggering 36% of all forward points, while the top 5 midfielders have scored just 13% of the midfield total. When reading this alongside the fact that 51% of all points are awarded to players that score, it looks to be increasingly likely that the likes of Rooney and Drogba will lead the league in bonus points this year ahead of previous champions Lampard and Gerrard.
The final point about 58% of all points going to British and Irish players confirms something that I have considered true for some time; that the pundits favour the domestic players. This won't stop Drogba getting the points each week but in a head to head contest between, say, Ashley Young and El-Hadj Diouf the points might go to the Englishman based on some underlying bias. I wouldn't let this point overly concern me when picking my team as alot of the best players are foreign and you'd be crazy to limit yourself based on nationality. However, if you are deciding between two closely ranked players such as Ashley Cole and Bosingwa or Milner and Denilson, it might be worth a thought.
As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts so please post below or tweet any comments.