The above visualisation is going to form the centrepiece for a new regular post (probably bi-weekly) which is kind of the opposite of the fanning the flames piece. Rather than focus on players who did well this week, we're going to look at players who didn't, and particularly those who haven't for a number of weeks and identify whether, yes you guessed it, the panic button should be pushed.
Before we get into specific players, a quick review of what the table above shows:
xG - This is the expected goals a player should have scored in a given week based on the number of shots he took (inside/outside the box), his historic skill level regarding hitting the target and the league average rate of converting shots on target (SoT) to goals. This metric gives an overview of the chances a player is receiving, along with the quality of them and the way he is converting them.
Pts - simply the points scored by the player over the last five gameweeks
SiB% - the percentage of a player's shots that have been taken inside the box, as a cumulative total over the season. A sustained decline here would indicate that a player has perhaps been deployed deeper or is taking more reckless shots and thus might see his goals dry up.
SoT% - the rate at which the player is hitting the target, as a cumulative total over the season. As with SiB%, a decline here would suggest that the player is possibly taking ill advised shots or is getting into worse positions and thus his production may suffer.
pSiB% - the player's share of his team's shots inside the box, as a cumulative total over the season. A sustained decline could indicate he is becoming less influential in his team's success (it could also just mean his team are creating more chances, but either way it would need to be investigated).
CC - simply the number of chances created per game over the last five gameweeks
pCC% - the player's share of his team's chances created. A decline here would suggest a player is becoming less influential in his team's play and thus assists may be harder to come by in the future.
Let's focus on a couple of players. You can play along at home by selecting the player from the menu on the right hand side of the visualisation:
Eden Hazard - in terms of goal potential Hazard hasn't really seen any decline of late, though we do need to keep an eye on that declining SiB rate, especially given the very real possibility that player roles might change under new management. The assist potential is more troubling as Hazard's actual chances created and his share of Chelsea's total have both seen a fairly sharp decline. With away games at NOR, EVE and STK to come after the off week, I wouldn't say we're at the panic stage yet, but I would be tempted to pull the trigger here.
Santi Cazorla - Cazorla was one of the few players who could offer genuinely elite returns in both goals and assists and while that's still true to an extent, the gloss has come off of late, particularly on the assist front. That said, though declining, he still accounts for over 20% of Arsenal's created chances and just enjoyed one of his best xG performances of the year. The upcoming fixtures are too good to panic here, though I wouldn't blame anyone for at least sweating this one a little. With Bale injured and the Chelsea boys struggling s bit, Cazorla looks no more risky than most of the elite options so I'd stay the course for now.
Dimitar Berbatov - four straight two-pointers have seen close to 100k managers abandon the Berb-wagon, and the data shows that their panic is not totally unfounded. In his defense, the last three games have seen Fulham face @STK, @CHE and TOT and while Berbatov's xG has clearly suffered, he's still getting his shots in good positions and has only seen a slight decline in his share of Fulham's chances. This isn't a panic situation yet, and honestly it's not one I'm even that concerned about given Fulham's upcoming run of games.
Nikica Jelavic - Fire! Panic! Jelavic's xG has declined each of the past five weeks and his share of Everton's SiB has been creeping down by the game. Throw in two appearances without a single created chance and we have a player whose once promising 8.2m price tag suddenly looks massively inflated. With 50k sales in the past few weeks the general public are clearly tired of Jelavic's decline and based on the above there isn't much evidence to suggest he will turn it around in the immediate future. With 6% ownership there's still further to fall and if you own him you'll probably want to bail now or risk losing more money.
Kevin Nolan - the former Bolton man has gone four games without any fantasy joy but the data shows he hasn't really shown any decline and actually enjoyed a couple of his better games in the last two gameweeks. Considering these four games have been against some of the league's better sides (STK, @TOT, @MUN and CHE) there's no reason to worry about Nolan.
Steven Pienaar - There's reason for genuine concern here. Pienaar has always been more of an assist threat than a goal threat but two blanks in the xG column are still concerning. He is getting more shots inside the box but is hitting the target less which suggests the quality of those shots isn't really improving. His assist numbers remain solid and his share of Everton's total has steadied, but there's a chance that Everton's offensive success might flatten after a dynamite start to the year and thus Pienaar's going to be getting a piece of a smaller pie. In a vacuum I wouldn't panic here but given his price tag, the plethora of other options available for less money and his relatively high price tag, I'm pushing the button.
So that's the basic idea of this new feature. Hopefully the data will spark some thoughts if nothing else, and I welcome any comments below, @plfantasy or on Facebook.