In this article @Hibbo_FPL explains the mechanics of the bonus point system (BPS) in Fantasy Premier League, examining the top bonus point scorers this season and exploring the concept of baseline BPS. He aims to provide an insight that novice FPL managers can use to give them an edge in their quest for fantasy football glory.
The Bonus Point System awards BPS points for specific in-game actions and these create a score which determines a player’s performance rank in any given match. The three best performing players in each game will be awarded bonus points, three for the best, two for second, and one for third.
How is a BPS score calculated? A range of in-game player statistics are graded against a scoring matrix to calculate a BPS score. These OPTA driven statistics range from obvious to obscure aspects of player performance. For example, playing 60 or more minutes accrues six BPS points, but other actions receive a heavier weighting. For example scoring a goal earns a forward 24 points, midfielders gets 18 and a defender or goalkeeper 12. Clean sheets accrue 12 BPS points for goalkeepers and defenders.
Player’s that excel at the more intricate elements of the BPS system attract bonus points with greater frequency. Factors such as a high level of passing accuracy, the ability to create big chances, and prowess in loose ball situations (i.e. recoveries, clearances, blocks, and interceptions). A player can accrue negative BPS points for obvious inefficient actions such as being sent off, missing a penalty, and scoring an own goal. Furthermore, less obvious actions such as shots off target, being caught offside, and missing big chances all score negative BPS.
Bonus Point Magnets
In the table below you can see the best bonus point scorers in Fantasy Premier League at the close of Gameweek 23. I will examine the top two bonus point scorers below to gain an understanding about why their respective playing styles are suited to the BPS system.
|Position||Sum of bonus|
Harry Kane (£11.0m) has scored 13 goals and provided 11 assists this season posting some huge BPS numbers in Fantasy Premier League. Playing almost a trequartista role has sparked an upturn in creativity that has seen him become a bonus magnet. Kane ranks top amongst forwards this season for key passes (31) and big chances created (12), both fundamental BPS scoring actions.
Furthermore, Kane ranks top amongst forwards in accumulating clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI 42). Whilst Kane ranks top amongst forwards for shots off target (31) he has missed just six big chances. His new found creativity coupled with his goal scoring and efficiency are reasons why Kane has recorded the most Premier League bonus points.
|Kane (F) (19/20)||0.69||0.14||0.93||0.14||0.16||0.07|
|Kane (F) (20/21)||0.90||0.25||1.55||0.60||0.37||0.55|
Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) has become fantasy football essential since arriving to the Premier League. This term the Manchester United midfielder has amassed 13 goals and 11 assists to date. On underlying season data no player in the Premier League has created more big chances (16) than the Portuguese international. Furthermore, Fernandes ranks second for key passes (68) amongst all players and sixth for successful crosses (30) amongst FPL midfielders. It is noteworthy that since Bruno Fernandes signing for Manchester United no player has amassed more bonus points (43) in Fantasy Premier League. This combination of goals, assists and underlying creativity make him a high BPS asset that regularly collects top bonus.
|Fernandes (M) (19/20)||18|
|Fernandes (M) (20/21)||25|
The Concept of Baseline BPS
The concept of baseline BPS (bBPS) distils down a players BPS score to remove regular point scoring actions for each game. What remains is an accumulation of intricate statistical measures such as; passing accuracy, recoveries, CBI, chance creation, successful crosses and dribbling. Understanding baseline BPS can give FPL managers an insight into why some players are superior bonus point scorers.
However, analysing players based on bBPS alone requires context. For example many goalkeepers and defenders identify as having a good baseline but require clean sheets to haul. The metric is also keen on defensive midfielders however players in that position don’t normally produce attacking returns.
As save points are not removed goalkeepers score very highly for baseline bonus. FPL managers could identify a goalkeeper who scores well for the metric but perhaps a new manager appointment tightens up the defence. For example Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) could produce double digit hauls if Sam Allardyce delivered the impossible and turned West Bromwich Albion’s defence into peak AC Milan.
|Johnstone (G) WBA||386|
|Meslier (G) LEE||386|
|Pope (G) BUR||363|
Antonio Rüdiger (£4.6m) has been restored to a tightened Chelsea defence following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel. He ranks fifth amongst defenders playing more than 400 minutes for baseline BPS since Gameweek 16 and budget friendly price make him an excellent option for the coming Double Gameweeks.
|Name||bBPS GW 16-23 (Per Appearance)|
|Cooper (D) LEE||19.60|
|Thiago Silva (D) CHE||15.67|
|Wan-Bissaka (D) MUN||15.67|
|Evans (D) LEI||15.50|
|Rüdiger (D) CHE||15.43|
Defensive midfield players score well in terms of baseline, due to their pass completion and loose ball involvement, but rarely earn bonus due a lack of attacking returns. However, the baseline bps theory can be useful when applied to an out of position (OOP) player.
Ilkay Gündogan (£6.0m) ranks fifth amongst FPL midfielders for baseline bonus (15.18 bBPS per appearance) however a change in his role for Manchester City gave him creative licence to join the attack. Since Gameweek 13 Gündogan ranks first amongst FPL midfielders per start for xG (0.54). An upsurge in attacking output married with an excellent baseline has seen him accrue a monstrous 17 bonus points over the period.
|Name||bBPS GW 13-23 (Per Appearance)|
|Henderson (M) LIV||16.4|
|Rice (M) WHU||15.73|
|De Bruyne (M) MCI||15.57|
|Xhaka (M) ARS||15.33|
|Gündogan (M) MCI||15.18|
Many of the forwards in Fantasy Premier League score poorly against the metric. This is largely due to lack of involvement in their team’s build up play and on the defensive side of the ball. Therefore, forwards are dependent on the BPS from scoring a goal. However, baseline bonus should still be considered to identify forwards that will consistently deliver bonus. Harry Kane is an example of a high baseline forward and that leads to him accruing bonus points with frequency.
Danny Ings (£8.4m) notched more bonus points (40) than any other player last season. While the Southampton FC forward did not display much creativity he displayed an assassin like efficiency when converting big chances missing only 8. This term Ings ranks third amongst forwards this season for baseline bonus per appearance (6.18 bBPS) and is one to watch for the coming Double Gameweeks.
|Firmino (F) LIV||8.04|
|Kane (F) TOT||6.45|
|Ings (F) SOU||6.18|
In conclusion, understanding the bonus point system can be a powerful tool in the armoury of FPL managers. It is vitally important when carrying out due diligence before each transfer or captaincy decision to consider how likely a player is to be a bonus magnet. Players that contribute both goals and assists are the ultimate bonus point magnets. Furthermore, the style of certain players fits the BPS system better than others. Identifying high baseline players and understanding the correlation between bBPS and specific stats is a fundamental in selecting higher point per game players for our fantasy football squads. These finer details could help you achieve that top 10k finish or win your mini-league.
For those that have read, thank you. Keep an eye for more articles in the near future and good luck for the coming Gameweeks. Drop me a follow on Twitter @Hibbo_FPL.