Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Selecting defenders within the same team

We talked about this earlier in the season, but with a couple more games in the bag, I've updated the viz which attempts to help you choose your defenders. The "All Players" tab should in theory help you do this coming with a blank slate, but the raison d'etre for the viz is to help you choose between players in the same side, once you've decided that, for example, you want a City defender.

The viz can be found linked from the main menu, and here and should be opened separately to best read this piece. A few notes as of GW5 below.

I'm not sure how much value there is with this defense right now, but if you are planning to play the fixtures and take a chance with one of Emery's men, this would suggest it should be Mustafi rather than the 10% owner Bellerin who you should target.

Cook is the man here for now, though if a clear winner emerges from the developing Daniels vs Rico battle then one of those players could topple him based on either a lower price tag (Daniels, 4.4m) or Rico potentially taking set pieces.

However you present the stats, it seems that Alonso can justify his lofty price tag, though I think it's worth noting Rudiger here, who has offered a genuine attacking threat and comes at a discount that will probably reach 1.0m soon. Luiz is a surprise here as he has offered very little at the attacking end, despite his prior reputation.

Crystal Palace 
Coming into the season I had serious doubts about Van Aanholt's ability to justify what I thought was a 1.0m premium over his teammates, but actually turned out to be a 1.5m premium, after the emergence of Wan-Bissaka. In a previous post we estimated that every 1.0m spent needs to earn somewhere around 26 points, and so with a 2.5-3.0 point advantage after 5 gameweeks, we'd project Van Aanholt to end up a little short of that, but not a million miles away. However, if we feel that Wan-Bissaka is going to keep his job then the gap becomes 1.5m and then you're looking at needing something like 35-40 points to justify the added cost, and I just don't think Van Aaanholt is there unless (a) he starts become a legitimate goal threat from direct free kicks or penalties, or (b) you think his playing time is significantly more locked down than Wan-Bissaka.

Keane is an interesting name here as he accumulated those projected attacking points in just three games. He's due to return as soon as this week after his head injury which could make him an interesting name to look at for the GW7-9 run which sees Everton face FUL (H), LEI (A) and CRY (H). Despite the lack of clean sheets and 9 goals conceded, Everton's underlying defensive numbers are actually reasonably good, which could suggest a few defensive returns in the future too.

I know Maguire got his goal but Chilwell continues to offer more attacking potential based on the underlying stats for less money and significantly less ownership. Pereira has received some recent buzz too, but he's only created one extra chance than Chilwell while Chilwell has also offered more of a goal threat than the Portuguese fullback.

17% of managers continue to hold out with van Dijk but even though Robertson's price has risen by 0.2m, I would still encourage people to make that move. Van Dijk has just two attempts on goal through five games, which is admittedly more than Robertson's one, but then of course the Scotsman blows his Dutch colleague out of the water with 10 created chances to 0. At this stage I think one can make an argument that Alexander-Arnold or even Gomez represent better value than Van Dijk, unless you feel that the return of Matip will overly complicate their playing time.

Man City
Similarly, there is really very little reason to stick with Walker over Mendy at this stage, unless we learn that the recent knee issue is a cause for concern. Even then, if you were worried about Mendy, I think Walker to Laporte makes a lot of sense as the Frenchman (rested over the summer) starts to make one of those centre back spots his own in Pep's side.

Man Utd
The worry here is that by the time United get their defense sorted, Shaw will face rotation with Young, Valencia and Dalot. Mourinho has already been discussing the need for multiple full backs and while Shaw has been solid, he's obviously far from rotation proof in this side. At 5.1m he's cheap enough to have benched every now and then though, so he's still probably the pick here.

I don't know if this will be useful information to act on, but prima facie it is remarkable to me that Davies is ahead of Tripper here. The chances created given a slight nod to the England man (7 to 6) but Davies has more total shots and SiB to give him the overall edge, not even counting that these came in fewer minutes. Alas, those words "fewer minutes" are probably the death of Davies' fantasy value as he is already being heavily rotated with Rose, where as we assume Trippier will only be rested as needed, with the less reliable Aurier stepping in. If Davies offered a discount of 0.5m or more, those benchings might be worth absorbing, but for 0.2m I don't think we can justify the risk as things stand.

The underlying data absolutely loves Matt Doherty, whose 8 total shots trail only Alonso, 7 SiB lead all defenders and who places a solid 9th in created chances too. The question here is how often you are going to play your Wolves defender. If he is just an enabler, recruited to warm the bench and deliver 2 points when you have an unexpected rotation issue, then Bennett - at 4.1m - is still worth a thought. However, I think this does a disservice to Wolves, whose 25 SiB conceded are tied for third, behind just Liverpool and City. I don't think we're ready to say Wolves defenders are every week starters, but if you think they might rotate into half your games, then the additional goal and assist threat becomes much more valuable and Doherty becomes an outstanding pickup. After back to back clean sheets, I am amazed his price is holding firm at 4.4m.


Eraser said...

Good stuff, I'm glad to see you're still writing Chris!

Van Dijk over Robertson is the decision that most haunts me so far this season. There's absolutely no reason to have VVD over any of the other Liverpool defenders but I've just always had another fire to put out elsewhere in my team. Eventually I'll wildcard him out, probably the week before he finally gets a set piece goal.

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