I've been talking about the GK combo strategy for a number of years now, though the basic premise is worth repeating. There are two main issues which give to my support for this strategy:
- If you go for a 'big name' keeper you effectively burn 4.0m as you are highly unlikely to ever play the lesser player. Only in a perfect storm where Petr Cech travels to the Emirates while John Ruddy welcomes Swansea will you bench the 7.0m man.
- The correlation between cost and points for 'keepers (right) has never been particularly strong with low budget options showing up every year (Al Habsi, Foster) to rank close to, if not above, their expensive counterparts (van der Sar).
Method behind the madness
A couple of points to note on the methodology here:
- GPG data is based on prior year defensive records, which I have found to be a fairly reliable indicator of future results. Where significant changes were made halfway through last season or this off-season I have allowed a small adjustment.
- For the promoted teams, I looked at how previous newbies' goals scored declined upon entering the Premier League to generate a factor to apply to Norwich, Swansea and QPR's record from last season.
- Only 'keepers valued at 5.0m are included in the review. In prior year I had set this mark at 4.5m but this would leave us with just 8 viable options this year so I've expanded to 5.0m.
- Where there is some uncertainty as to who will start (Mignolet vs Gordon, Begovic vs Sorensen) I have opted for the pricier of the two, which also happens to be the keeper I predict to win the #1 shirt.
- The average GPG is calculated by taking a combination of a team's average GPG conceded at home/away and the opponents average GPG scored at home/away. We then select whichever keeper has the best fixture and finally take an average of these games to see which fixtures 'gel' best together. For this year, I have also included the number of games where the stats suggest a team will concede less than a goal (ie those with the best chance of a clean sheet).
I have chosen the first 10 gameweeks as a useful frame of reference to help select your keepers which will hopefully set you up nicely for the season, while allowing you to make the necessary moves if a particular team sees a substantial decline or improvement. For reference, I have included the data for the entire first half of the season at the bottom of this post.
|1||Given / Begovic||10.0m||1.05||5|
|2||Begovic / Moreira||9.0m||1.11||4|
|3||Begovic / Robinson||10.0m||1.12||4|
|4||Given / Schwarzer||10.0m||1.12||3|
|5||Hart / 4.0m GK||11.0m||1.12||5|
|6||Schwarzer / Moreira||9.0m||1.13||3|
|7||Given / Kenny||9.5m||1.13||3|
|8||Kenny / Moreira||8.5m||1.13||3|
|9||Schwarzer / Robinson||10.0m||1.16||2|
|10||Schwarzer / Begovic||10.0m||1.17||2|
|19||Cech /4.0m GK||11.0m||1.21||2|
|38||Reina / 4.0m GK||10.5m||1.27||4|
|48||De Gea / 4.0m GK||10.5m||1.29||2|
Once again, the stats seem to suggest that the GK combo pairing could top the elite 'keepers, and at a reduced price.A final caveat to add is that the new bonus system seems to favor 'keepers more than the old system and this could potentially be disproportionately to the benefit of the big name keepers. A boost in bonus points could help close the gap on the GK-combo system and hence this issue will need to be re-visited after a few gameweeks. Until then though, I am once again convinced that this is the best way to go, particularly as it will free up some cash to use on other areas of the team in light of the lack of reliable budget options this year.
The remaining team previews will continue to come over the next few days and remember to check back after Saturday for the write up of the inaugural SimPrem draft.In the mean time, all the latest news and links will be posted at @plfantasy.
First half data