Friday, May 4, 2012

Gameweek 37 Captain Data

P90 Points scored per 90 minutes at home/away based on this week's opponents QG%Percentage of games played where the player scored 6 or more points xPct The percentage of his team's goals a player has accounted for, multiplied by the expected goals for this week Rating Based on the player's rankings in the other three categories. 

This week will be a big test for Cisse owners as he clearly has the much tougher fixture on paper, but all other factors suggest he is the best play for the week. I always say that the above data is a guide rather than a hard set of rules to be obeyed and this is one scenario where there is little chance I would go with Cisse over Van Persie or Rooney. Would I be surprised if Cisse scores? Not really, City have conceded recently at Swansea, Stoke and Norwich who are all far inferior teams to Cisse's Newcastle. Would I be shocked if Van Persie drew a blank? Again, probably not, his last four games have earned 1-2-2-2 points. Handing out the armband, however, should be a question of weighted expectations and with that in mind, you have to account for the substantial (though not necessarily probable) chance that Newcastle are simply shutout by a City side just metres away from title glory in the season's marathon.

I'm still tweaking the rankings system (and would welcome comments for consideration in the off season) but I still feel that xPct needs to carry the most weight (perhaps even more than the 50% is currently receives). This is still an imperfect measure, but it does account for the opposition which the other metrics noted above do not. Van Persie is the clear leader there and that ultimately is why I will personally lean that way this week.

If you don't own either of the above options, Rooney is of course another fine option, and probably better than the above ranking suggests given Swansea's apparent surrender after a fine first season in the Premier League. Like City, United need a win and anything but a convincing victory for Rooney and co would indeed be a shock, thus pushing Ronney into a good fantasy position. His home returns of late have been excellent and he trails only Van Persie in shots on goal over the past 6 gameweeks.

If you skewed the data to account for 'form' then Rooney would probably eclipse Van Persie for the week, though I am yet to be convinced that 'form' really exists in a fantasy sense. That said, the loss of Walcott and Arteta does bear mentioning as team form is very much something that exists. We know that United will show up and play this week, though probably not with reckless abandon while Arsenal could be apathetic, glorious or anywhere in between. If nothing else, Van Persie has the golden boot to go for, so expect the shots on goal to continue (if possibly from more acute angles and longer distances than we are used to).

It's closer than the above rankings suggests between this trio but all other things considered I would go with the old pair of Van Persie and Rooney as 1a and 1b with Cisse behind them in 3rd place. Fantasy Football Scout's captain poll suggests Van Persie will get a large proportion of selections this week, in which case Rooney may become a good value pick, gaining some differential potential without much loss in potential.


Gummi said...

Thanks again for the preview and an insight into your thought process regarding the numbers.

I have one question regarding the calculations: Do you have any bias for the likelihood of a player starting the game?

I ask because Dzeko is rather high up in the charts for a player most likely to start on the bench.

5 Times said...

Thanks Chris, food for thought as they say..!

Well, I had a nightmare gameweek. From being top with an 11 point lead, I'm now in 4th position with 22 points to catch up.

My team at the moment is:

Krul (Vorm)
Simpson, Enrique, Vermaelen (J Evans, Taiwo)
Sigurdsson, Pienaar, Dempsey, Moses (McClean)
Tevez, Rooney, Van Persie

I brought in Moses for Cabaye this week as I expect Wigan to get something at Blackburn and also think City will beat Newcastle.

If you were me, would you consider taking a hit to bring in anyone else? I've been top of my mini league all season until now and it's all falling apart, arrrggghhh!!

jonpaul3 said...

I'd definitely go for RVP and Rooney over Cisse this week, but honestly would have though Rooney would get given the nod given the situation at the top.

Man Utd's goal difference is 8 less then City's. Granted, City kick off 2.5 hours before Man Utd on Sunday so Ferguson's plans may change if City draw or lose, but you've got to think that City will win and Man Utd will have to rapidly close the goal difference gap?

Fully expecting Man Utd to aim at 4+ goals past Vorm on Sunday.

Just my thinking, would be interested to see if anyone else is thinking along the same lines!?

stooshermadness said...

@ 5 Times - can't see a hit being worth it. The only one - which I think is a reach - and you'd have to have some bank - might be Valencia/Nani for Sigurdsson. I would also start Taiwo ahead of Simpson (who may not play). I wuold expect Man City to score too.

@jonpaul3 - Like you, I expect Man Utd to try to get goals but I am not as sanguine about Man Utd pouring goals past Swansea. Frankly, I think it is impossible for Man Utd to close the GD gap given that Man City have QPR at home in the last GW. Swansea will have some possession as they always do. If it's 0-0 after 25 minutes, I would expect a long slog to a 1-0 or 2-0 win for Man Utd.

Chris Glover said...

Gummi - thanks! I don't currently adjust for likelihood of playing time, and that should be more explicit in the table. I will add a note for future weeks and seasons.

The rationale is that with so much uncertainty each week as to who will play, the data will get even more distorted if I try and guess what, for example, Mancini plans to do up front in a given week. I therefore simply present the results the data forecasts and then try and flesh out the narrative around who will/won't play in the text each week. Honestly I dont think I do a good job of this, for if nothing else the time constraints on keeping up with 20 teams' news. I'd always recommend readers heading over to FFS's team news section as well before making any decisions based on my write up.

Chris Glover said...

5 Times - I am generally hesitant to pay for transfers, though ovviously the more desperate things get the more risks you'll need to take. You'll want to consider how different your team is to those at the top of the league as that's all that matters at this point of the year.

You're going to want to focus on areas where you have financial flexibility as in reality the difference between a Pienaar as a number of other ~6m midfielders is really down to educated guesswork when it comes to a 2 game sample.

The obvious targets are therefore your front three, Dempsey and Vermaelen but I think you're in great shape there. I don't love Dempsey so if your opponent has him I would consider moving to Valencia or, if you can stretch, Silva though in reality they're probably widely held too.

Your bench is stretched thin with Evans being out so I suppose you could consider a move there but unless you can bring in a star player (ie you have 2m lying around) you dont want to be paying money for players who are essentially the same as those already in your team. Your keeper is a concern for this week and if you don't like Vorm (next week either (Liv H) you could consider a move there. Howard or Friedel would be my pick though it's likely your funds wont stretch that far. I wouldn't be paying 8 points to make 2 moves at this point.

Chris Glover said...

JonPaul - I'm sure United will be trying to makeup that goal difference but in reality I don't think it's possible. Remember that although it's 8 goals now, we are also assuming City will win too (otherwise the point is moot) so actually United will need to boost their own difference by 10. Swansea have obviously been shaky of late but to setout to score a hat full and then execute is extremely tough, especially given the way Swansea can hold possession when they want to.

That said, they havent looked as good lately so there are certainly goals to be had here, I just dont see the 8 goal difference having a major effect on how this game shakes out. I do agree though that Rooney might be higher in the rankings if you place more weight on form and circumstance but I try to avoid making too much judgements to avoid bias in the data sample.

Chris Glover said...

Stoosh - agree on both counts there. Great minds ;)

Gummi said...

@Chris Glover: Thanks for the explanation.

You have a point regarding the work behind trying to guess who will play. It's simpler to look at the calculated numbers and using that information to make educated guesses about who plays and who scores.

Bitzoboard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bitzoboard said...

Hi Chris,

I agree that xPct should be accounted for the most weight, but wouldn't you consider form in your table, at least over QG%.

I see your rational behind this QG%, but still think form could be slightly more significant since it could imply a player's goal scoring confidence or other subtle factors (eg. Ba's no longer a target man since Cisse arrived, or Dzeko dropped in the pecking order after Tevez return).

jonpaul3 said...

Cheers Chris and Stoosh, a viewpoint I hadn't really considered!

Haha, regular 30 min period of uncertainty here now - think I'm gonna stick on Rooney though (need the differential in my league).

First season though, so lessons learned and all that :-)

This is a great blog by the way, more so for all the comments that come in - pretty sure half my working week is spent here!

legendkiller said...

Two factors you could include in your calculations. First is the fraction of minutes per 90, a player has played (barring injuries). This can be multiplied to the rating. This will give an idea of the uncertainty of playing.

Form is the other factor you could consider. One thing that came to my mind is that you can have double weightage for the last 5 games, when you calculate p90.

Great blog though!

Steven said...

Week 38 deadline fast approaching Chris!

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