In this edition of Breaking the Fantasy Premier Leaue Template, @Hibbo_FPL examines how spreading funds across a range of big-ticket options could prove the difference as the game moves towards Salah “perma-captaincy”.
This article will provide FPL tips to help managers break the template and achieve that desired top 10k finish. All data used is courtesy of the Hub’s OPTA Stats tool.
Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate FPL Gameweek 10 Guide, which has everything you could ever need to be a successful FPL manager, including strategy articles, tools, stats, expert team reveals and much, much more…
The Data: Breaking The Template – FPL Gameweek 10
Such is the form of Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) that he has rightly entered the conversation as the best player in the world. The Egyptian has notched ten goals and provided six assists in his opening nine matches racking up an incredible 107 FPL points in the process.
Context as always is of the utmost importance – Salah has outscored his nearest rivals Jamie Vardy (£10.8m) and Michail Antonio (£8.2m) by 50pts. At his current run rate, Salah is on course to obliterate the record for most FPL points in a single season (303) set by himself in 2017/18.
The underlying data confirms that Salah has activated “beast-mode” dominating every key attacking metric with a significant uptick in his creative production. Amongst all players, Salah ranks first for shots (40), shots on target (23), and big chances received (12).
Impressively, Salah ranks first amongst all players for big chances created (6) and expected assists (4.42). The Egyptian is bettered for assists by only Manchester United malcontent and seven-time goal provider Paul Pogba (£7.6m) courtesy of his early-season flurry.
In terms of fixtures, Liverpool have a favourable run until the New Year although opponent difficultly is of no concern to Salah. Notably, Salah has recorded double-digit point hauls against last season’s “top four” counterparts – Chelsea (10), Manchester City (13), and Manchester United (24).
The Meta: Breaking The Template FPL – Gameweek 10
The captaincy element of FPL can be criticised for variance and big rank swings however such is Salah’s form that captaincy debates are almost rendered obsolete – for now. The dearth of captaincy competition from players in the premium price point space suggests that a one-premium structure could be the optimal strategy play.
Essentially, premium price-point players are inherently bad value when the captaincy multiplier is removed from the equation. Spreading funds throughout a strong flexible squad could help tap into the upside of previously avoided big-hitting players subject to rotation and also provide depth for the festive period.
The Players: Breaking The Template – FPL Gameweek 10
Heung-Min Son (£10.2m) would be my selection as the second most expensive player in a one-premium team structure. The South-Korean marksman has recorded double-digit hauls in three of his eight starts this season ranking second amongst midfielders for FPL points (53).
Spurs have struggled for attacking production this term ranking second-worst in the division for shots (94) however Son’s game is built on sniper-like goal conversion (19%). While the South-Korean ranks among midfielders tenth for shots (21) and fifth for expected goals (3.31) Son ranks joint-third for goal involvements (6).
Spurs have a favourable run from Gameweek 12 that includes three of the worst five teams this term for expected goals conceded (Norwich, Burnley, Leeds). Immediate opponents Man United and Everton inspire confidence in Spurs attacking returns having both shipped five goals in heavy Gameweek 9 defeats.
Manchester City starlet Phil Foden (£8.1m) has been deployed as a centre forward in City’s scintillating attack making him a must-buy given their output. City rank second across all key goal threat metrics to an imperious Liverpool side making an investment in a cut-price out-of-position prospect wise.
Foden was recommended in this series before Gameweek 8 with the injury to Ferran Torres (£6.8m) providing an opportunity to spearhead the attack. Since Gameweek 7, Foden ranks amongst all players first for shots in the box (12) and joint-first for shots on target (8).
In terms of fixtures, Manchester City are ranked fifth best on Hub’s ticker over the next five when sorted by attack. Immediate opponents Crystal Palace have recorded two clean sheets this term while Manchester United have fared worse registering a single clean sheet.
Diogo Jota (£7.5m) shipped significant ownership following an injury flag and the threat of reduced minutes with Roberto Firmino (£8.9m) returning to play. The Portuguese ranks amongst midfielders joint-fourth for shots in the box (16), third for big chances (7), and expected goals (3.81).
Jota has started seven times this term, appeared once as a substitute, and been substituted on five occasions. Significantly, Jota’s game time per appearance has increased this season from 58 minutes to 74 minutes albeit the sample window for data this term is small.
Despite the likelihood of Jota cameo’s reducing his attacking clip I feel there is huge appeal in a Liverpool attacking double-up given their production. Liverpool dominate all key goal threat metrics this term ranking first for expected goals (25.1) and goals (27).
Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) did not play a single minute of league football until Gameweek 7 but has since recorded back-to-back double-digit hauls. Since returning to first-team action Chilwell ranks first amongst defenders for shots (7), shots in the box (6), and goals (3).
Chilwell is far from exempt from “Tuchel Tombola” with very able competition from wing-back wonder Marcos Alonso (£5.8). However, since the German took the Stamford Bridge hot-seat Chilwell has never been introduced as a substitute in the league.
Conclusion: Breaking The Template – FPL Gameweek 10
In conclusion, keeping captaincy simple in the short to mid-term and locking on Mohamed Salah appears the wise play. Being contrary and backing against the Egyptian regularly in search of that elusive chunk rise on current form would be catastrophic.
Managers should aim to achieve marginal gains through the redistribution of the abundance of available funds from a one-premium strategy into Heung-Min Son and mid-priced midfielders such as Phil Foden and Diogo Jota. A strong overall squad could tap into the upside variance of Ben Chilwell while having depth to deal with the inevitable rotation.
Furthermore, a flexible squad structure with bench options should help FPL managers become economical with their transfers with alternative captaincy options off the menu for now. Managing point hits will help achieve consistency in your gameweek scores to help you climb both in terms of overall and mini-league ranking.
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