Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Top Tens

Shots on target per 90 minutes (minimum 3 starts)
1.     Rooney 3.0
2.    Van der Vaart 2.8
3.    Aguero 2.4
4.    Dzeko 2.4
5.    Adebayor 2.3
6.    Van Persie 2.2
7.    Defoe 2.1
8.    Anelka 1.9
9.    Suarez 1.5
10. Di Santo 1.5

We've seen that correlation between shots on target and goals is (unsurprisingly) strong and the majority of the above players have benefited from that fact. Van der Vaart and Di Santo stand out for me and deserve a couple of words. Owned by just 3% of managers, Van der Vaart is somewhat of a forgotten fantasy force but the above indicates his lack of goals is not through a lack of trying. In his career, Van der Vaart is averaging a goal every 4 shots on target so if he carries on his current pace (9 shots on target in just 287 minutes) he should see his points tally start to rise quickly as his shots begin to hit the back of the net at their historic rate. As for Di Santo, he is obviously the cheapest option on this list but is still held by just 5% of managers. Shots on target aren't everything (Graham is 11th among forwards) but they are fairly predictive of future success, providing you feel Di Santo will continue to get into these good positions and continue to pull the trigger. He is making a strong push to be rated the best sub-6.5m forward.

Pass percentage in opponents half (minimum 100 passes)
1.     Anelka 73%
2.    Mata 68%
3.    Rosicky 68%
4.    Downing 67%
5.    Arteta 66%
6.    Taarabt 66%
7.    Osman 66%
8.    Nasri 65%
9.    Suarez 65%
10. Dembele 64%

I'm not sure if this means too much, but it certainly can't hurt to play in advanced positions for the majority of the game. Osman's name stands out and it highlights the good start he's made to the season, however, he is priced out of the market at 6.9m (who set that price!). Downing's stats across the board are fairly impressive and given his safety on that left side with Gerrard set to return, he makes a pretty good case for being the best Liverpool midfielder to own in the short term, until things shake out. This ranking underlines the value of three players I am very high on - Mata, Arteta and Taarabt - as each could develop into the focal point of their team, despite costing less than many of their peers.

Key passes by budget midfielders (6.5m or less)
1.     Murphy 21
2.    Taraabt 15
3.    Cabaye 14
4.    M Petrov 13
5.    Faurlin 13
6.    J Morrison 12
7.    Watson 12
8.    Larsson 11
9.    Sessegnon 10
10. Ramsey 10

Danny Murphy might be the very definition of an unsexy fantasy player. He rarely has big games, he doesn't do back flips, he didn't cost 30m but he does produce every year. He's already shown his worth across the board adding a goal, two assists and four bonus points while his underlying data (21 key passes and three shots on target) suggest more success to come. At 6.0m his price is too steep to bench consistently but he'd make a very nice three man rotation with a couple of the other names on this list. Watson bears mentioning as he penalty duties give his a good goal threat to compliment this assist ranking, while Faurlin deserves some attention due to his low price tag (5.0m). 

P$ (points per million spent) (minimum 270 minutes played)
  1. Best 1.500
  2. S Taylor 1.232
  3. Vorm 1.220
  4. Aguero 1.183
  5. R Taylor 1.163
  6. Pilkington 1.155
  7. Boyce 1.152
  8. Begovic 1.133
  9. Di Santo 1.114
  10. N Taylor 1.110
It's probably a touch early to start looking at P$ numbers just yet but I just wanted to highlight just how good Aguero has been. To deliver such value with his price tag is without precedent and if he carries this up for much longer, he needs to be owned by everyone (even more so than Rooney). Tevez's tantrum will help Aguero's ability to stay on the field and it's hard to look past him at the moment.

Defender touches in opponents half
1.     Bosingwa 182
2.    A Cole 161
3.    Rangel 159
4.    Assou Ekotto 126
5.    Sagna 124
6.    Jose Enrique 124
7.    Ward 115
8.    P Robinson 114
9.    Baines 109
10. Shorey 105

The top two aren't two surprising here, though Bosingwa's ranking does underline just how good value he could be this year. With Swansea emerging as a decent defensive option (at home anyway), Rangel's forward play could make him a very interesting 4.5m option, though he doesn't have anything to show for it yet. Baines owners might be somewhat concerned given that he was second in this category (to Sagna) last season, though he is on pace to come close to his totals from prior year.

Defensive units with reliable (played every minute when available) 5.0m or less options available 
1.     Swansea - 3 clean sheets - Rangel, Williams
2.    QPR - 3 clean sheets - A Ferdinand 
3.    Newcastle - 3 clean sheets - D Simpson, S Taylor, F Coloccini 
4.    Wolves - 2 clean sheets - Ward, Berra, Johnson
5.    Wigan - 2 clean sheets - Figueroa, Caldwell
6.    West Brom - 2 clean sheets - Shorey, Olsson
7.    Sunderland - 2 clean sheets - Brown
8.    Aston Villa - 2 clean sheets - Warnock
9.    Bolton  - 1 clean sheet - Knight, Robinson
10. Norwich - 0 clean sheets - Tierney

I'm not suggesting that I like all of the above players, just that there is real depth in the budget defender range this year. Ideally, you would settle on your premium forwards and midfielders for the long term, add a couple of reliable mid-rangers like Murphy or Taarabt and then grab a bunch of the above guys, rotating them weekly and replacing them in 5-8 week blocks. That of course is easier said than done, but the point is clearly that quality is much cheaper at the back than in midfield this year.

Corners taken
1.     Taraabt 34
2.    Cabaye 27
3.    M Petrov 25
4.    Watson 24
5.    Larsson 22
6.    Adam 22
7.    Nasri 20
8.    Duff 19
9.    A Young 17
10. Fox 17

It's hard to say how much impact taking corners has on a players' value, but it obviously can't hurt it. Of the 19 players to take over 80 corners last year, all but Nasri and Watson added 4 assists for the year with 12 players notching 6 or more. I liked Fox after seeing him in the year but his place in the first team doesn't seem assured and the above doesn't suddenly excuse that fact. For a player like Young or Nasri though, you might conclude that this gives the edge over teammates Nani and Silva (I disagree in those particular cases but the thought process is logical). Taraabt's lack of fantasy points continues to amaze, but is he keeps generating these kind of stats, the points will surely sure start flowing soon.

1.     de Gea 36
2.    Friedel 26
3.    Begovic 25
4.    Vorm 24
5.    Hennessey 22
6.    Al-Habsi 21
7.    Jaaskelainen 19
8.    Schwarzer 18
9.    Given 18
10. Reina 18

I'm highlighting this list for two reasons. Firstly, and most predictably, I want to point out that saves are the great equaliser for goalkeepers and the reason the big names rarely dominate their cheaper colleagues in the same way a Rooney or Aguero may crush a Zamora. 8of the top 10 keepers in fantasy points so far could have been had for 5.0m or less to open the year with, including 3rd ranked Vorm who came in at just 4.0m. A similar story is true for the above list with only de Gea and Reina ranking as high priced options from 'elite' teams. 

The second point to make is somewhat contradictory of the first. I say saves are the great equaliser, which is generally true, but occasionally you get a player from an elite team who also generates big save totals. So far, that is the case with de Gea. The United defense has suffered a number of injuries and thus being pretty disjointed, leading to just 2 clean sheets and plenty of chances for the opposition. This has been good for de Gea's save totlas but bad for his clean sheet points. The key is whether United can stiffen sufficiently to keep clean sheets but allow de Gea to keep his save totals high. If that happens, he might just about justify that lofty price tag, though I'd still only be tempted if I had cash to burn, which is looking unlikely in these early stages of the season. Worth monitoring though.

EA Sports PPI per 90 minutes
1.     Rooney 47
2.    Aguero 38
3.    Welbeck 34
4.    Dzeko 34
5.    Adebayor 33
6.    Milner 32
7.    A Young 31
8.    Yakubu 26
9.    Ba 26
10. Silva 25

Looking at the PPI points on a per 90 minute basis can be misleading, as finishing 4th on your team every week will generate a lot of PPI but precisely zero bonus points. However, racking up the PPI will generally lead to bonus points success and should be widely indicative of a player doing a lot of the things that lead to fantasy success. Aside from obvious candidates, a couple of names stand out. Welbeck's start to the season (though a small sample) cannot be discounted and with two mores goals tonight against Basel, he will surely jump back ahead of Berbatov in the pecking order and be odds on favourite to absorb Rooney's minutes for the next couple of weeks. His return to fitness would make me nervous about picking up Hernandez to replace Rooney as there could well be a time share situation when Rooney returns if Welbeck proves himself to be undroppable. Adebayor's presence on a number of these lists demonstrates how quickly his stock is rising and he should now be considered in the second tier of forwards, behind only Rooney and Aguero. 

Defender shots on target
1.     Wilson 2
2.    Naughton 2
3.    Koscielny 2
4.    Jagielka 2
5.    Ivanovic 2
6.    A Cole 2
7.    G Cahill 2
8.    Baines 2
9.    Lots of players 1

I repeat, don't pay for defender goals. By all means take shots on target into account (along with offensive touches (list #5)) but with so many budget option available (list #6) it just seems impossible to justify spending 8.0m on a 5.0m defense or 7.3m on Cole rather than Bosingwa.


amtosh said...

Great post Chris.

So... I've got Rooney, Aguero and Adebayor up front. Physioroom says rooney is out till the derby on 23 October. Even if he comes back for that, it's not particularly a game I'd prefer to have him for.

So the difficulty is that he's at 12.5m right now and I'll get 12.2 if I sell him. I've got 0.1 in the bank so I'll either need his price to drop 0.2 while he's out or his replacement's (probably RVP) price to rise by 0.2 so that I can get him back in.

How do the price rises and falls work? Do you expect his price to drop while he's out injured?

Pat Vivat said...

any idea on who are going to play Forward for MUTD this weekend??
I know they have liv/MCI coming up, but i can't can't ignore MUTD playing NOR at home.
Should i get berba, welbeck or Hernandez???

Gummi at said...

Excellent analysis. Many thanks yet again.

The big question this Gameweek for me is: Will you transfer Rooney out? I'm very hesitant myself, but can see the value of replacing him with RvP or Aguero for the short term.

Murphy's inclusion is interesting and Bosingwa's numbers give me more confidence in holding on to him instead of replacing him for a City defender.

Steven said...

Pat Vivat: Based on what Fergie has done all season, expect to see Welbeck and Hernandez up front come this weekend. I would keep an eye on hernandez injury status, but 2 goals for Welbeck (and an overall strong season in general) mid week + Hernandez first team starter status makes it an easy decision for him. Berbatov has fallen out of favor along with Owen.

Grounderz said...

Adebayor or Agbonlahor? Any thoughts, anyone? Who would you pick for this gameweek's lineup if you have both?

Steven said...

I have both and I'm using both. Good matchups.

chemikills said...

Where do you get these stats, particularly the first two. I've had trouble trying to source shots on target stats for this season :(

tycho said...

I'm transfering Rooney out. He'll be rested ahead of the international break.

Anyone venture an opinion on Ramires vs Mata?

Ramires is vastly cheaper and has played 90 mins all games so far while Mata have played anything from 28 to 75 mins and has poorer returns so far.

I never hear Ramires name mentioned and I know your big on Mata Chris.

I'm hoping to fee up some cash in my midfield to reinvest in the forward line. Already have Nani and Silva but need some Chelsea coverage this weekend (apart from Boswinga).

Is Mata worth the extra if say, it means I'm ten having to stick with Best up front instead of having Ade team up with Aguero and Suarez?

Newcastle do have a good fixture this weekend but worried about Best's holding the position in the future.

Mell fantasyonthego said...

With Rooney's injury, is RVP essential this weekend against Spurs away? Everybody reckon its a see-saw 4-3 either way derby match, Spurs defense do look better than Gunners though...Might gamble on fantasy sleeper Drog with Torres absence

Gummi at said...

@Pat Vivat and @Steven: I agree that Welbeck is likely to play. He trusted him for the start of the season and his two goals will not have hurt midweek.

@Mell fantasyonthego: I'm thinking exactly the same. I'm very tempted to put RvP in for Rooney. It feels right but given Rooney's form it sound silly transferring him out.

tycho said...


I guess the thinking on Rooney is that RVP and Aguero has tasty fixtures over the next 3 weeks while Rooney will miss Norwich and then has two very tough fixtures (LIV, MNC).

So most people will be aiming for a Rooney buy back for the Everton game in GW10, after which there's a run of VERY favourable fixtures for MNU.

I think a lot of people including myself are betting on this strategy. If Rooney doesn't loose value, we'll be paying a 0.3mil cost for his return but I imagine his price will drop with the sales so it may not cost anything.

Except of course if he goes on the goal rampage against LIV or MNC.

tycho said...


Also, personally, I don't play the market so I don't care if there's a monetary cost to the strategy. I just want the right players for the right games.

If you're doing well, value will always be building in your team anyway to cover such strategies.

Gummi at said...

@tycho: Great points about the fixtures. My worry is exactly:

"Except of course if he goes on the goal rampage against LIV or MNC."

I have the feeling Rooney is getting better and nearing the form where fixtures don't matter as much as with most other players.

However, RvP has been a Fantasy goldmine whenever he is fit, so that is another consideration. I also play the market perhaps too much. Thanks for the tips.

tycho said...


That's what great about fpl. After cheering each goal til now, I'll be hoping Rooney fires blanks until GW10.

Which is easier for me as I hate MNU.

Gummi at said...

@tycho: I decided to hold on to him and will likely captain him after he was passed fit by Ferguson this morning.

So, good luck in the Gameweek, apart from Rooney. :)

Royce said...

Love this article, great stats Chris.

I cannot believe how dominant Taarabt has been for QPR's stats despite having no fantasy stats to show for it whatsoever. He is absolutely the focal point of that team. If they have any success at all going forward you would expect, based on these stats, for Taarabt to be a beneficiary of it. (But maybe they won't have all that much success.)

Seems like he is the most important reasonably-priced midfielder to watch.