Hey guys! @RichP_FPL here with this seasons first instalment of the Using FPL as a Metric data! This year my wife’s team is a Guinea Pig for this to see how it stacks up as a credible strategy for helping to achieve a decent rank in FPL.
We now have a small sample of 4 weeks of data, and despite those 4 weeks being crazy, we do have some outputs that we will use to guide us. For the metric team, I’ve played The Wildcard during the International Break so that I’ve got maximum time to tinker with it and get it into a good place.
We’ll look at the data first – position by position, highlighting my squad picks, and then I will show the Home/Away data and the Points Per Game data. I’m not drawing too much from either of those at the moment as we still have 4 teams who have only played 3 times, so whilst I’ll present it to you for transparency, I won’t be using it in my decision making until GW8.
I’ll be writing the FPL Data Metric articles every 4 weeks. I’ll use the FPL Points data to highlight teams with a nice run of fixtures, then drill down into some stats from places like Fantasy Football Hub and Fantasy Football Scout to ensure that any transfers etc we are making are well rounded decisions. I’d encourage you to do the same, don’t use one sole data point to make decisions. I’d also warn you that we are likely to take the odd punt and using this data as an experiment, so if you do choose to follow the punty picks, that’s on you 😂 One thing we will also consider even more heavily than normal is player “Form”. With how crazy this season has been, I simply don’t know if “Good Fixtures” are still “Good”. So a healthy dose of research into player form is also worthwhile.
Each player we pick from this analysis will be given those 4 fixtures in the team and after those 4 weeks, the next article will summarise if they have been a success or not. To be successful, ideally we want a minimum of a 50% return. So for example, defenders, a minimum of 2 games out of those 4 will need to have a clean sheet, goal, bonus point etc. You get the idea.
The Wildcard Team will be a mixture of “Cover Picks” ie players that are doing well generally and have good ownership (we don’t want to be left behind) and players from teams that the data throws up. We will be aiming to minimise hits, rolling where possible and then attacking fixtures with 2 free transfers.
Let’s start by showing you the team as it stands, pre-wildcard:
Not a bad start, but nothing spectacular. Ranked at 3 million on 195 points. I took one -8 in GW 3 to get DCL, James Rodriguez KDB and Werner in, at the expense of Kane 😳 Havertz, Brewster and Aubameyang. Now that we have the first set of data in, it’s time to wildcard. I think the team is actually in pretty good shape, but this was always the plan and it is an experiment, so let’s go for it!
Let’s have a look at the data then. We’ll run through each position first, starting (obviously) with Goalkeepers:
As I’ve mentioned in my explanatory article here, ideally we want a high scoring position (Points Scored For Table) playing a bunch of teams that are “green” in the Points Scored Against table. Teams with decent fixtures GW5-8 include Villa, Brighton, Burnley, Chelsea, Fulham and Wolves. Villa and Wolves keepers are both in the top 5 for FPL points scored as well. So I’m going to look at Martinez and Patricio. I’ve thrown them into the Hub Comparison tool as below:
Looks pretty obvious now. Martinez at £4.6m looks far better value than Patricio at £5.5m. They both have similar fixtures over the next 4, and there are Keepers with better fixtures in terms of the metric, but I want a budget player at this position, so we’ll be going Martinez. Jed Steer at £4m will be his backup.
Let’s take a look at Defenders:
Full disclosure: This is one of the positions where one of the spots will be a punt. We will be bringing in a Fulham Defender for 4 games. I know, I know. They face Sheffield United (SHU), Palace and West Brom in the next 4 games. Teams with good upcoming fixtures in addition to Fulham are Wolves, Leeds, Brighton and Palace. We’ll be keeping Trent despite the loss of Alisson for 6 weeks, as it’s easier to jump down from him than to try and get back up to him. He’s also heavily owned, so for now it’s a bit of a shield pick. So we’ll also look to include defenders from Wolves/Leeds/Brighton/Palace, but we have to make them fit within the budget.
You’re probably still reeling from the fact I said we’re picking a Fulham defender. I’ve done some additional research into this, not to convince you to pick a Fulham defender, as Fulham haven’t been good and I know that, but more to convince the wife! As this team is an experiment we’re happy to take the gamble, and you may not be. But below shows the information I found and gives me enough rationale to be confident that I’ve made an informed decision. Check it out:
- Fulham’s next 3 games are against SHU (conceded the most FPL Points to Defenders in the first 4 games), Palace (conceded the 3rd most FPL points to Defenders) and West Brom (conceded the 4th most)
- West Brom have only had 1 big chance in 4 games (the least) and SHU have had 4 (3rd least)
- SHU and Palace have only had 9 shots on target in 4 games, with West Brom only having 10 (Newcastle are bottom on 8)
- Aside from Man United, these 3 teams are the bottom 3 teams for Shots in the Box.
To balance that out, the stats also show me that only Man United and West Brom have conceded more big chances than Fulham, and only West Brom and Newcastle have conceded more shots on target.
It’s a calculated risk. I get that. But I’ve used the FPL points data and then other stats to prove to her that it is worth a punt. Now we need to work out which Fulham defender to pick…
Joe Bryan. That was easy. He’s played the most minutes of the Fulham defenders and has the most attacking threat. He’s a left back and both SHU and West Brom have conceded 19 chances down their right flank (only Wolves have conceded more on 20). At £4.9m he is a bit pricey but he’s easy enough to downgrade to a £4.5m Defender after the 4 weeks. So we’re going to give him a go!
So that’s Trent and Joe Bryan. We’re going to keep Tyrick Mitchell of Palace purely based on his value and the fact they have decent fixtures. Patrick Van Aanholt is back in training and could come in and replace him, but we’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. We’re also going to bring in Tariq Lamptey based on both his fixtures from an FPL Points conceded point of view and also the fact he’s passed the eye test. For defenders £5.1m and under he has the most assists (3) and has really started the season well. The final defender will be Stuart Dallas of Leeds. Both him and Luke Ayling offer good attacking threat, but Dallas has been seen to play in midfield as well, so that gives him the edge for me. 4 shots are the most for defenders £5.1m and under and he tops the shots on targets category for these defenders with 4 as well. Leeds have 3 green fixtures in terms of FPL Points conceded, so let’s see if Dallas can get some results.
We’re going to need some cover picks here for sure. So we’ll be “Auto Selecting” both Mo Salah and KDB. They’re class and over the course of the season they will be right up there as some of the highest scoring players in the game, so little explanation is needed. They will both be locks in the wife’s team for the foreseeable future.
Looking at the data, the standout teams with what can be described as mainly a good run for the next 4 are Palace, Spurs and West Brom. I really like James Rodriguez as well but the Southampton and Newcastle games are sandwiched by Liverpool and United. Whilst both of them are currently in green, this can be attributed to the freak results both teams were on the end of in GW4 and highlights the small sample size we are working with. A system change against Brighton also meant he was playing as part of a front 3. That isn’t me saying Rodríguez is a bad pick – Rodríguez is a fantastic pick and he’s well owned. He may even end up as part of this wildcard team. But as we are experimenting with a metric, he isn’t part of our current plan. He is on the radar post GW8 and will likely be an important asset this season.
Our punt in midfield is going to be Matheus Pereira of West Brom. Two of his fixtures are against Brighton and Fulham, who have conceded the most FPL points to midfielders so far. Burnley also look a bit suspect and it seems things aren’t particularly rosy behind the scenes due to a lack of transfer activity. A goal and 2 assists isn’t a bad start to his Premier League Debut season, and he already appears to be The Baggies’ talisman.
Wilfried Zaha also comes up against those 2 in this next 4 fixtures, so he is also in. His other 2 fixtures are against Wolves and Leeds, who are both just outside the top 5 teams for FPL Points conceded by midfielders. 3 goals and 8 shots in the box already, and playing up front he is an OOP player that could be even more likely to get attacking returns, even if the man himself says it isn’t worth putting him in our FPL Teams:
That leaves one more spot in midfield. For this current draft that will be Dale Stephens of Burnley. At £4.4m he is a playing enabler and thats all you want from a bench player really. In respect to other midfielders we like, we also like Son at Spurs, but you’ll see why we haven’t gone for him in the next section…
Teams with decent upcoming fixtures include Brighton, Burnley, Everton, Spurs and West Ham. Let’s start with our first pick: Harry Kane at Spurs. Although West Ham could be a banana skin with the form they’re in, they play West Brom who have given up the most FPL points to Forwards, Burnley who are joint 4th for most FPL points conceded to Forwards and Brighton. Now Brighton are in the bottom 5 for FPL points conceded to Forwards, but they’ve conceded 10 goals in 3 games. Spurs have had the most Big Chances so far this season, and Kane has had the joint most shots with Mo Salah (19) and had the most shots on target with 10. As a man in form, I’d bet on him to do well in this run.
We’re also going with Neal Maupay at Brighton. He is on penalties, and Brighton play 3 of the 5 teams conceding the most FPL points to Forwards (only West Brom have conceded more than Spurs). Maupay is doing well for a Forward in that price bracket, only behind DCL and Michail Antonio for shots on target when you look at Forwards under £8m. Antonio is also doing well and although his fixtures are all green, you have to think that City and Liverpool especially will firm up defensively. So he’s one we have our eye on for future games.
Our final pick up top is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Simply speaking, he’s on fire. Ancelotti has him playing as a fox in the box and he is delivering so far this season, with all 6 of his league goals coming from inside the box. He’s a shield pick but he also has haul potential.
So this is our initial wildcard squad:
We will remain flexible as it is an unprecedented time at the moment, with COVID-19 and the International Break, so this may not be the final draft. However if all goes to plan, it won’t be much different from this. I’ll be sure to update this article if the team does change.
Home/Away Data & Points Per Game (PPG)
I’m not looking at either of these in much detail right now. Most teams have only played 2 games at home and away each, so I don’t feel like there is much that can be taken from the data just yet. However I’m showing it just in case you are interested!
So there we have it. My next article will be after GW8 and will highlight how we’ve got on with these players, line up some new targets and we will then have more information again, so hopefully we can start to predict a bit more about upcoming games! If we do update the team I will update this article and reshare.
Thanks for reading guys, and may your arrows be green!