Welcome back to the FPL Matchups article. A bit of a different approach this week as I would like to examine the 4 popular premium players that are capturing the attention of FPL managers. In this analysis, I wanted to honor season long production, while giving special emphasis to sustained form (6 GWs). I have taken 7 stats I deem important and have averaged the last 6 GWs with the season long stats.
A bit of a shorter read this week as I spend more time with family. I hope you all have the same privilege.
I’d like to begin with the raw data. Reminder that we all see and value stats differently. This is where it gets interesting. The way we value stats and give import to matchups, is how we will choose the right combination for our teams.
Last 6 GWs allows a variety of fixture to discern form is not exclusively tied to fixtures.
All stats per 90.
Salah is the clear winner here, but he is not without red flags. His stats, similarly to Kane in the first 6 GWs, is buoyed by a being involved in 8 goals in the last 6 with an expected involvement in 2.57 goals. The xGI Delta of +5.43 is concerning. The fact that he is putting his chances on target more than the rest, however, may indicate sustainability. 3rd in xGI raises an eyebrow, and we hope he becomes more of a talisman, as he was in the first few GWs.
Doesn’t get in the box as much as we’d like, but that is not news to most managers. The interesting thing is that despite shooting from distance (4th for SIB), he is 2nd in accuracy. Getting shots on frame is key to future FPL points, and a sign of form in my opinion. His xG of 0.5/90 leads this bunch, which indicates the chances he is taking are still high quality. We must also remember penalties are a factor here.
The fact that KDB leads in SIB and is last in SOT is obviously a big red flag. For those of us with the privilege of being able to watch the games have seen KDBs shots get blocked repeatedly. As a coach, I see KDB taking too long to get the shot off. The ball is often getting stuck under him, requiring an extra touch. The other thing I see happening is KDB is finding the target AFTER he takes his first touch. He needs to see the shot before the ball gets to him, and shoot without looking again.
The drop in BC, BCC, and xG is almost identical. I believe they are linked, and the one that pulls the others is the BCC. Kane’s decline in production has come with his reduced creativity, imo. When he is creating chances for Son, he is simultaneously opening space for himself. Spurs have the potential to explode and bury any manager without an asset, as evidenced by the fact that he is maintaining a respectable 1.33 SIB/90 (same as Salah), and 1 SOT/90 (same as KDB) over a period of depressed attacking form.
Your selection of these players will largely depend on how you value each data point here. I read the data as follows:
Salah is doing Salah things. He is wizarding the path of the ball into the goal. TAA returning behind him is also a big bonus.
Bruno is joint top for BC in this group with Salah. The difference is that Salah is last for BCC, while Bruno is 2nd. The variety of ways to points is appealing.
KDB being 1st for SIB is as surprising as being 4th for SOT. As stated earlier, KDBs shots are being blocked often. For me, this is a sign of poor form. Do we think KDB will find form? If yes, get him. If no, don’t.
Kane seems the bottom pick here, but he was a phenom of statistical overperformance over the first 8 GWs. The last 6 GWs tell a different story for Kane, but we must not rely too much on the stats with a player in his role.
I intentionally do not want to over-analyze these stats. I mostly want to present them and give a brief glimpse of the process.
Will Salah continue overperforming? Will Bruno’s form persist? Will we know who is MCI? Will Kane overperform again? Your answers to these questions are in the way you see the games and the stats.
The Little Prince Pick of the Week
I’m going with a gut pick of a preseason favorite of mine. No stats here, just the knowledge that Basham and Baldock push high up the field. I expect Richarlison to post juicy returns this GW in a prime fixture for him and his skillset.
Thanks, as always, for spending a bit of your time with my FPL thoughts for GW15. Please tag me in the telegram chat if you would like to engage on this topic. You can also reach me on twitter. Only the happiest of holidays to you all! Be kind.
Gabriel Penaloza.Follow @FPLLens