I've posted at length before about the GK rotation strategy, with the basic idea being that good keepers with great fixtures tend to perform better (and score more points) than great keepers with average fixtures. To maximise the strategy you need two teams' fixtures to 'gel', that is, maximise the number of home fixtures and weak opponents and minimise the number of times both teams face a tough opponent.
Though I have always focused this strategy on keepers, there is no reason it cannot be used for defenders, and I'm sure many of you do it already. The availability this year of players from good mid-range teams for a budget price suggests that this strategy might be even more fruitful this year. With that in mind, I have expanded the GK-ranking combinations to include all teams which contain a regular starter available for 5.0m or less (thus excluding 6 teams - Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea). I know Liverpool do have a 5.0m starter in Jose Enrique but I figured you are realistically going to start him every week and including an elite side like Liverpool would potentially skew the data a bit.
The below shows the average number of goals per game predicted to be conceded, having taken the best fixture from the two teams each week. The period reflected is the next 10 gameweeks. I will update these pairings each week and you will be able to find the table in the 'Strength of Schedule' tab.
As with all early season data, it is largely backwards looking with only minor tweaks made for player transfers and manager movements. The promoted teams numbers are based on their Championship performances, adjusted by a historic ratio of how teams perform when promoted. Hence, don't put too much stock in a certain combo being 0.02 better than another, but rather note where a combo clearly doesn't appear to work.
As a basis for comparison, here are the average predicted goals conceded over the next 10gameweeks for those six excluded teams:
- Man City 1.17
- Chelsea 1.19
- Arsenal 1.22
- Man Utd 1.23
- Liverpool 1.27
- Everton 1.32