FPL player tips. @RichP_FPL uses FPL points as a metric to unearth the key teams/players for consideration for the run in!
Today we will look at the season run in from a ‘Using FPL Points as a Metric’ point of view. Armed with fixture tickers for each position, we will look at the data provided from the metric as well as Hub OPTA data and to try and help us identify targets to bring in. You will see tables for Fantasy Points both For and Against – Green is good and red is bad in both tables. Green indicates a team is either scoring lots of FPL Points at this position or is conceding lots of FPL Points to this position. The below tables give you totals for and against, tables of points split into home and away games and also home and away on a Points Per Game (PPG) basis. Let’s get started with the data and then look at the fixtures to see which teams we could target…
(Please note that tickers currently don’t include blanks/rearranged fixtures)
So here we see not only who is scoring and conceding the most FPL Points at this position, but also their fixtures according to Points conceded. With plenty of people considering a Wildcard in 31, the switch from Emi Martinez (£5.4m) to Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) is a question a lot of people have. Chelsea have great fixtures and Aston Villa have been struggling for clean sheets recently. Since Gameweek six, Only Ederson (£6.1m) has kept more clean sheets than Mendy. What Mendy lacks however, is bonus and save points. This is where Emi Martinez (£5.4m) pips him, and everyone else for that matter. Using that same time period, Martinez has 17 bonus points, whereas Mendy only has five. The main of this is because Martinez has made almost double the amount of saves (85) as Mendy has (44).
Using the Hub’s Comparison Tool to look at these guys specifically, we get the below:
This shows you why Martinez is such a monster at that position, leading the way for saves and bonus. However, over the last six gameweeks, Villa are conceding an average of 13.57 shots per game, with Chelsea conceding an average of 7.67. Only 2.5 of those are on target, where is Villa are conceding an average of 4.14 shots on target per game. When you compare these two over the last six weeks in respect to FPL Points, Mendy is averaging 6.6 whereas Martinez is averaging 5.29. When you look at it this way and checking the fixture ticker above, I think Mendy is a great shout between now and the end of the season. Whilst he only has two “green” fixtures, the “white” fixtures are against Crystal Palace & Brighton in the short term, so I’d be confident of clean sheets there.
Taking a look at other options, Rui Patricio (£5.3m) has 4 of the teams conceding the most FPL Points to opposition Goalkeepers in Gameweek 31-34. There are pros and cons to bringing him in, on the assumption he’s back to full fitness of course. One issue is that his cost is quite prohibitive, especially when you have Goalkeepers performing much better than him at a similar price point. Also we have to consider that Wolves haven’t been as solid defensively as they are historically. Over the last six gameweeks, they have conceded the most shots in the box (63) and fifth most shots on target (32). However, only five teams have conceded less goals than Wolves over that same time period. Defensively, Wolves assets could be a shrewd differential for the next few weeks.
One final suggestion is from a good friend of mine, @LowFPLTSB. He identified that having both Martinez and Bernd Leno (£5m) as rotating goalkeepers gives you a tasty fixture run to the end of the season. Between Gameweek 30-38, your keeper would be coming up against one of the five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition goalkeepers in seven of the remaining nine gameweeks! If you are into rotating your goalkeepers, this could be a lovely option going forward.
As noted above, Wolves have great fixtures between Gameweek 31-35, playing four of the five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition defenders and also Brighton, who currently give up the seventh most FPL Points at this position. It gets tricky after that, but you don’t have to keep them, right? Recently, Conor Coady (£4.8m) has added a bit of goal threat to his game, and as captain, is pretty much nailed. He could be a decent differential at 4.7% ownership. Romain Saiss (£4.9m) is also lowly owned at 4.9% and we’ve seen how dangerous he is from set pieces, but he may be more prone to rotation now that Willy Boly (£5.4m) is back from injury. I think a Wolves defender is a sound punt over the next few weeks, especially for those on Wildcard, but as mentioned above, they have conceded the most shots in the box (63) and fifth most shots on target (32) over the last six gameweeks. However, only five teams have conceded less goals than Wolves over that same time period.
Another team that could strangely be a decent differential defensively is Liverpool. The only team they face that is close to the teams giving up the least FPL Points to opposition defenders is Man United. Other than that they have a great run, as per the ticker. One stat I like to use with defenders is chances conceded on specific flanks. Of Liverpool’s opponents between now and the end of the season, the short term fixtures seem to favour Andy Robertson (£7.1m), whereas the fixtures at the end of the season favour Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m). With so much money involved, both carry a risk. If you were to choose one of the two, you’re likely going to want to stick with one, so I’ve compared their stats over the last six gameweeks:
This shows that Trent is outperforming Robertson at pretty much every stat over the last six gameweeks. As the man in form, he is potentially a great shout if Liverpool can regain some form. In fact, him and Robertson are both under 14% owned now, so if you fancy one of these, go for it. If you can’t stomach that much of your budget on either of them, then maybe consider Nat Phillips (£4m). He is 0.8% owned and appears to be nailed in this Liverpool back four now, so he could potentially be a low risk punt in a team with great fixtures.
A quick shoutout to Chelsea as well. It’s been well documented and we do in fact mention Chelsea above and we can’t ignore them at this position either. I’d strongly consider someone like Antonio Rudiger (£4.7m) as a budget, pretty nailed option, or Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.8) if your budget allows. Since Thomas Tuchel became manager in Gameweek 2o, Chelsea have kept the most clean sheers (8), have conceded the least shots on target (20), and the least big chances (6). Those stats, combined with a kind fixture run, show that they are well worth investment.
The team we will start here with is Liverpool. Based on the above ticker, they play four of the five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition midfielders between gameweeks 32-38, in addition to Man United, Burnley and Crystal Palace. Very good fixtures if they can get back to something resembling their best, despite the injuries in the team. Mo Salah (£12.4m) will never be too far away from our thoughts. His stats are still pretty solid but in the last nine gameweeks, he’s underperformed his xFPL by 15 points. It’s clear he’s not been at his best but with a Golden Boot in his sights and the fact he’s on penalties, you can never rule him out. Another player worth looking at is Diogo Jota (£6.7m). He’s scored 6 goals in around 700 minutes of action and only four midfielders at £7m and under have scored more, all with far more minutes played as per the Hub’s OPTA Stats Tool:
As you can see, when he is playing he is producing, so if you can deal with the odd spot of rotation, he could be a great option for the run in.
Tottenham, blank Gameweek 33 aside, have decent fixtures when using the above ticker, up until Gameweek 37. They face four of the five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition midfielders, and also Fulham who are ranked sixth. This includes that tasty double in 32 and means we need to consider someone like Heung-Min Son (£9.4m) where wildcarders were maybe looking at removing him. 13 goals (third) and 9 assists (third) over the season show how good he’s been this year, and only four midfielders have a higher percentage for goal involvement than Son.
Leicester midfielders are also worth consideration, subject to when Harvey Barnes (£6.7m) is back and also, if Leicester continue to play two Forwards. Barnes was in electric form prior to his injury, and Leicester play three of the five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition midfielders between Gameweek 32 and Gameweek 35. Of all midfielders at £7.1m and under, he leads the way for shots on target for the season (26), and is second for shots in the box (40). Only Ilkay Gundogan (£6.1m) has scored more goals than Barnes over the course of the season at this price point as well. We also need to consider James Maddison (£7.1m) once he is fit as well. Prior to him getting injured, he was in really good form, scoring two goals and contributing three assists between Gameweek 20-25. Once we see how Leicester line up when both him and Barnes are back to full fitness, either of these guys could be a tidy option.
The first player I’d look at here is a bit of a punt, due to some rotation, Alexandre Lacazette (£8.2m). Arsenal play four of the top five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition Forwards. They also play Fulham who are currently ranked sixth and shipped 11 FPL Points to Patrick Bamford in Gameweek 29. In the last four gameweeks, he’s started three games, scored three goals and got an assist. Overall, he’s scored 11 goals from 27 shots on target this season, so he has a pretty good conversion rate, and is the seventh highest scoring FPL Forward on 109 points. If you have a strong bench and don’t mind the odd benching, he could be a lovely differential at 6.1% ownership.
Next we will look at the Leicester pair of Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) and Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.7m). Starting with Iheanacho, he is the top scoring FPL forward since Gameweek 26 after scoring five goals in four games. Granted, three of them were against Sheffield United, but he also got a brace against Man United in the FA Cup. He is a man in form and if Brendan Rodgers decides to keep rolling with two up top, he is a great budget striker with some fantastic fixtures coming up. In gameweeks 32-35 they play three of the top five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition Forwards, and they also play Southampton, who give up the seventh most points. Vardy himself has never been a stat-mans dream, as he generally does well without a lot of volume, but he could be the safer play here as we know if he’s fit, he plays. Whilst the goals have dried up a bit recently (his last goal was in Gameweek 24), he has had four assists since then, and we can’t forget that he’s on penalties. An interesting differential could be to get both of them! Leicester are in the hunt for a Champions League spot and will be attacking each fixture, so hopefully both of the Leicester lads can stay in the team.
I don’t need to say too much about Harry Kane (£11.5m) but I can’t exclude him from this. Spurs play three of the top five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition Forwards, and they also play Fulham who are ranked sixth overall in this metric. Kane will be heavily owned and captained most weeks due to form and fixtures, so he’ll likely be one of the first names on most peoples team sheets each week.
The final shout out is for Michail Antonio (£6.7m). Fresh off the back of a 7-pointer against Arsenal (where he got booked and also hit the post when going for an open goal), that brings him to two goals and two assists in his last five games. He’s had four big chances but just one goal in the last four, so I think he’s due. He plays three of the top five teams giving up the most FPL Points to opposition Forwards, and they also play Southampton, who give up the seventh most points. Whilst that first fixture is red (Wolves are in the bottom five teams for least FPL Points conceded to Forwards), Wolves have conceded the most shots in the box over the last six gameweeks, which is where the bulk of Antonio’s chances are. He could be a great option between now and the rest of the season.
Well there we have it. I hope you’ve found this interesting and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Drop me a follow @RichP_FPL. I’ve dropped in the above data split into Home and Away matches, both overall and on a Points Per Game basis, if you want to do more of a deep dive into the data. Cheers!