Spring review of rolling data

The current International Break feels like the first chance I’ve had since November to take fresh stock of my spreadsheet’s rolling data, and see what interesting trends have emerged in the meantime.

First off, a quick reminder to you that I ran parallel models last season to test which number of gameweeks provided my spreadsheet predictions with the strongest correlation to actual scores, and I established that an 8 gameweek data range was optimal.  Ever since then, my spreadsheet’s predictions have been based on each team’s last 8 home or away games (whichever is relevant) for the upcoming gameweek.

Every team is given a weighting for attack and defence strength, based on their last 8 home and last 8 away games. The resulting ratios represent how many xG teams are expected to score or concede against a defence or attack with a rating of 1.00 (average). They are updated after each gameweek, and by charting the fluctuations in these ratios we can observe the directions in which teams are trending.

The best to worst 8 game sequences are coloured on a scale of blue to red, making it easy to see where in the season each team’s best and worst xG form was leading into gameweeks 1 to 30. For example, the most noticeable trends in the home attack strength table below are the resurgent ones achieved by LEI and MUN, and the downward ones experienced by LIV and CHE.

Appendix I

Unsurprisingly, given their well documented fall from grace, the most dramatic decline seen by any team in any category is the home soil attacking form of LIV, which is now below average for the first time in a long time.

average xG expected to score vs an average away defence

Worryingly, for those heavily invested in Bamford, Raphina, Dallas et al, the rate of decline in home attacking form for LEE looks actually even more pronounced, due to their rating peaking a couple of gameweeks later than LIV. Their impressive looking improvement in the first half of the season should be disregarded as this likely only shows my initial best guess weighting for a promoted side underestimated them.

average xG expected to score vs an average away defence

The alarming drop off in both home and away attacking form for AVL since the injury absence of Grealish is captured by my rolling data, with the talisman’s last home appearance coinciding with Villa’s peak in GW23. Watkins owners ought to be very anxious for the club captain to return sooner rather than later.

average xG expected to score vs an average away defence

Trending in the opposite direction are LEI MUN and WHU (since GW20, GW17 and GW22 respectively) who all went into the International Break at the height of their home attacking powers.

average xG expected to score vs an average away defence

Evidently, the defences of teams visiting the King Power Stadium, Old Trafford, and the London Stadium respectively can expect to be thoroughly tested by these three hosts, who are currently ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively for home attack strength.

The home form of LEI has been something of a revelation, considering they have tended in recent seasons to be much more effective on the road. I wondered if the Foxes have had a particularly favourable sequence of home fixtures lately, but this is seemingly not the case as their last 8 were against EVE, MUN, SOU, CHE, LEE, LIV, ARS, SHU.

Kudos also to Ole Solskjaer for seemingly turning around MUN‘s home form, which was really quite poor indeed in the first half of the season. WHU on the other hand have been relatively consistent throughout this season.

Turning our attention next to the home defence strength table, the three teams that have noticeably cut down the quality of goalscoring chances they concede to visiting teams are BHA ARS and NEW.

Appendix II

BHA have been a very frustrating team to follow this season from an xG perspective. They have failed to score in games where they have had chances equating to 3+xG, and consistently managed to concede in games they’ve restricted opposing teams to very few scoring opportunities in.

Even so, their transformation from one of the most porous teams last season to now ranking as the second best home defence in the league on current form, sandwiched between CHE and MCI, is nothing short of astounding.

average xG expected to be conceded vs an average away attack

Not quite so impressive, but arguably more surprising, NEW currently rank as the 6th best home defence in the league, having shown steady improvement throughout the season (see chart below), which maybe should temper expectations somewhat with regards to likely popular GW30 captaincy selections in the form of Kane, Son and Bale.

ARS have been a lot more erratic in their home defence form, but they have improved enough lately to occupy a season high rank of 7th best.

average xG expected to be conceded vs an average away attack

Thus far, we have only focused upon teams’ home form, so let us examine the performances of teams on their travels, starting with attacking strength.

Appendix III

The trends that stand out most in the away attack strength table above are the role reversals recorded by LIV, LEI and MUN. The significance of the upward trajectories achieved by ARS and WOL are also worthy of closer examination.

Arguably the only case that can be made for not selling Salah for those who still own him is the fact that LIV remain an attacking force to be reckoned with away from Anfield. In fact, as the chart below shows, their attacking process away from home has actually gradually improved throughout the season. Only the champions elect (MCI) carry more goal threat on current form.

average xG expected to score vs an average home defence

Earlier on this season, it was well understood that LEI and MUN were counter-attacking teams served better by playing away rather than at home. Well, for whatever reason, managerial design maybe or random variance, this pattern has well and truly flip-flopped. Compare the chart below with the one shown in the home attack strength section, and you will see the home and away weightings trending in opposite directions.

average xG expected to score vs an average home defence

The drop from season best weightings experienced by MUN and LEI are among the three steepest experienced by any team in this department, albeit they are still ranked 8th and 9th best on current form.

ARS on the other hand have been rapidly improving, and are now ranked a season high third best in this category, which contributes to them being predicted by my spreadsheets to be the fourth highest scoring team over the next 6 gameweeks.

average xG expected to score vs an average home defence

WOL are currently predicted to be the sixth highest scorers over the next 6 gameweeks and, on the cusp of a favourable fixture swing, it is encouraging for would-be investors in their assets to see the recent turnaround in underlying attacking stats. The fact they enter the appealing upcoming fixture run in better away attacking form than at any point in the season bodes well indeed for owners of Neto.

average xG expected to score vs an average defence

For the purposes of the next team under the away attack strength microscope I will show the same away table again, but this time with the teams colour shaded relative to all the other teams in the league.

Appendix VII

Having already referenced the improved home defence strength of NEW as a cause for concern for those planning to captain a Spurs player in GW30, it should be pointed out here that the case for doing so is weakened further by the lowly 16th place ranking TOT occupy in the away attack strength table above. Only SHU, NEW, CRY and BUR are reckoned to pose less goal threat on the road than Mourinho’s men, and it’s not as though the trendline below offers much in the way of encouragement either.

average xG expected to score vs an average home defence

And finally, here is the table for away defence strength, and the teams drawing my attention the most, for good reason and bad, are LIV, CHE, AVL and WOL.

Appendix IV

For those contemplating investing in WOL defenders ahead of their aforementioned favourable fixture run, the picture is not as promising as it is for their attackers. It appears at though the upturn in Wolves’ attacking process has come at the expense of their defensive process. Excluding the promoted sides, the extent of the decline in home and away defence performance are the worst and second-worst respectively. Consequently, having started the season considered as one of the best defences, they are now ranked only 12th best at home and 11th best away.

average xG expected to be conceded vs an average attack

Apologies to the legion of you who own Martinez (41.5%) and Targett (15.1%), but only one non-promoted side has suffered a worse decline in away defence strength weighting than WOL, and that is their West Midlands neighbours, AVL.

The visible ‘V’ shape below is indicative of striking improvements having been made in the first half of the season, followed by a no less dramatic reversion to expectation levels slightly lower than they were pre-season.

average xG expected to be conceded vs an average home attack

On current trends, the top 3 away defences in the league are MCI, LIV and CHE.

average xG expected to be conceded vs an average home attack

Whereas MCI have been consistently good throughout the season, the appointment of Tuchel has contributed towards eradicating the disparity that used to exist between the performances of the CHE defence at home versus those away. They are the most improved away defence in the league according to this review of rolling data.

Surprisingly, given they were last season’s runaway champions, it is LIV who are the next most improved in this department, and memories are revived of the preseason hype for Alexander-Arnold and Robertson. Now might not be the worst time to be owning either of that formerly much-vaunted duo.

Changing the lens through which we looked at the away defence strength table at the start of this section to one whereby the teams are colour shaded relative to all others, we see that the next best teams in this category are LEI TOT WHU ARS MUN and BHA.

Appendix VIII

Once again, I have found this to be a useful exercise to undertake, with some genuinely surprising findings. Admittedly, this retrospective analysis of team performance is not by itself predictive of future results. To that end, these tables and charts will need to be cross-referenced with my model’s predictions for future gameweeks, which take into account the relative strength of opposing teams to be faced, so keep an eye out for my screenshots later in the week; they will become my latest pinned tweet.

This season has been a long old slog, but we are entering the home stretch now, so best of luck to you all on the run-in. Wishing you all a green arrow fuelled late charge to the finishing line.

Coley (aka FPL P0ker PlAyer)

#FPL – WHERE ARE WE PLACED? (#GW22 & ahead)

WHERE ARE WE PLACED

While I was working as a Trader I used to always write a proprietary report for trade ideas called, “Where are we placed?”. The idea was to first analyse where we stand currently and based on that and our forward assumptions (based on historical evidence and future event risks) try and envision the best possible outcomes in the various asset classes.

I have now decided to the do the same here in FPL and I will be publishing this report every 4 to 6 GW’s keeping the above process in mind. In case I can time it with a large fixture swing or Wildcard deadline then I might do that as well.

If you’d like to read the previous edition please press the link below:

Firstly, I have been away from the groups, the community, had to shut down the #GFCT Core research group and I wanted to explain why this was the case.

Last October my father had to get a pacemaker for his heart and when he went for the operation he unfortunately contracted COVID (already an acute asthmatic).

It was a horrible time for the family and we were very close to losing him. I am happy to say that he has recovered very well now but we decided to proactively deal with the family portfolio and real estate due to which I have been preoccupied.

I thank each one of you for understanding and really appreciate all the good wishes I received during this time. I am hopeful of a lot more interaction going forward.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following:

Shom Biswas, Chase Blocker, Chris Turner and Gabriel Penaloza. They were instrumental in the GFCT core research group and I will never be able to thank them enough for their help to the group!

I wish them all the best for the future and I will continue to learn a lot from their game play.

Alden Morris, Nitesh Ray & Rajat Aggarwal as they administered the chats exceptionally well and have also been instrumental in helping managers in their biweekly HELP DISCUSSIONS!

They remain an extension of me on the chats and they will continue to run them as they deem fit.

FPL Numbers, FPL Poker Player, FPL Legomane, FPL Corf, Rich FPL & FPL Pup continue to share their research on the chats and I am hopeful I can start publishing FPL Poker PLayer’s research once again on the GFCT website once he finds time to publish.

Secondly, I would like to touch upon the season we are having this year.

At the start of the season if you had told me that I would be comfortable owning Gündogan as my third City asset I would have laughed it off. However, I not only own him but expect a lot from him going forward too.

What’s been important this season is that managers who have been able to adapt have been the real winners. The good thing is that we still have half the season left and those who remain nimble and don’t judge a player by his past performance and price tag will continue to do well with the help of a little bit of luck!

This season we have so many good assets at so many different price ranges that there truly isn’t any one way to come up the ranks. Surprisingly both patient and impatient approaches are working as well with regards to transfers so one can really play one’s own game and this makes it all the more interesting!

Yes, even I’ve had an injury almost every week over the last few GW’s but one has to embrace it with a smile and keep oneself motivated with the most important attribute – Grit!

Moving forward, let’s attack the upcoming GW’s and try and learn from the data what it is that it signals and whether there are any moves we can make that can help us accelerate our overall rank going forward. We intend to continue to do well and make better FPL decision, so lets get right to it!

I will be dividing the analysis between the entire 21 GW’s and the last 8 GW’s. This way we can compare results to reach a more fruitful conclusion seeing recent developments as against seasonal performance.

Let’s start with the TEAM DATA:

GW1 To GW21:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by total goals for the season.

We have has a total of 544 goals from an xG of 588. This gap has increased as the season has moved forward and we feel this is a healthy development. Infact if this level of xG is sustained we can see more goals going forward.

We had stated that we want attacking assets from teams that score in excess of 60 goals per season (1.5 goals PG) and currently the only teams over the season that are not at that average are: LIV, LEI, MNU, MCI, LEE, CHE, AVL TOT, WHU and EVE.

We can also see that the above table shows that the current teams are significantly outperforming their Big Chances Created – which needs to be monitored as goals could dry up if this outperformance reverts to the mean: LEI, SOU, WBA.

GW14 To GW21:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by total goals for the season.

LIV, FUL, MNU, TOT are underperforming as per the big chances they create.

SOU has seen a significant drop off recently which might be due to the injures the team has faced along with fewer games played. ARS has really picked up pace with regards to their attack. MNU, AVL, MCI and LIV are miles ahead with regards to Big Chances Created.

SHU, FUL, CRY, NEW, EVE, WBA really need to find some form if they want to start winning games as despite having very average data they are underperforming with the same.

GW1 To GW21:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

Looking at the total shots in the box and under performance as compared to the expected goals conceded we can see that both BHA, CHE, WOL have been unlucky.

Having studied the big chances, shots in the box, goals conceded and clean sheets we can say that the following defences have been stronger than others: MCI, ARS, AVL, CHE.

A gentle reminder:

The worst teams give us around 7 to 9 CS’s a season. So anything above 10 CS’s is good and anything above 12/13 was fantastic!

13GW’s out of 38GW’s is 34%.

So before jumping the ship on decent defending FPL assets please realise that most of the time (66% in this case) you will not have a CS even with the best. We are relying on their attacking threat for returns and attacking defenders in good teams cost top dollar!

GW14 To GW21:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

NEW, BUR, CRY, WBA, LEE, CHE, FUL are giving away too many big chances and conceding goals as a combination and as a result are unable to keep clean sheets.

MNU, AVL, BUR, CHE, MNU, SOU, TOT have conceded big chances but have somehow not conceded so many goals and have been able to keep clean sheets as well.

MCI, LEI, LIV, EVE, ARS, BHA have been the best defensive teams recently with regards to the data.

Fixture Difficulty Rating – FDR

As I will be publishing this report every 4 to 6 GW’s, I have taken the liberty to divide the FDR below into two halves.

I have used my own metrics along with other FDR’s to reach this. So please be advised to check your own too.

UPCOMING FDR

CRY has the standout fixtures over the next few GW’s and their assets are under owned and could provide us with an opportunity.

In the short term (6 GW’s) AVL, SHU, TOT, BHA are expected to have favourable fixtures but going forward (10 GW’s) CHE, SOU, MNU, NEW, EVE are supposed to have the favourable fixtures.

While this is system generated I request everyone to sit and analyze each fixture themselves because I do not agree with the results with regards to a few teams.

PLAYER DATA:

I have changed my manner of shortlisting players in this publication. Instead of finding good stats for players and short listing them, I am shortlisting based on total points for the period and comparing the outperformance to expected points.

This reduces the chances of choosing players who might or might not do well. We are analyzing and choosing from players who are already ticking along well.

Ofcourse we will take a call on upcoming fixtures, rotation, Captaincy options and team form for the final outcome.

FORWARDS:

GW1 To GW21:

FWD DATA 20/21

The above table is sorted by the max outperformance of total points as against expected points for the highest scorers in the period mentioned.

Kane, Wilson, Vardy, Bamford & DCL, have been the top performers over this season having scored the most goals, bonus points, and points outperformance.

Kane stands out as a player who has also created a lot of chances.

Firmino, Werner, Maupay & Watkins have the biggest underperformers.

GW14 To GW21:

FWD DATA 20/21

Kane, Lacazette & Tammy are the highest outperformers as against their expected points in recent GW’s.

Watkins & Martial are underperforming their expected stats in recent GW’s. Luckily for both they have a fantastic run coming up where we can see them improve their final product.

Another important observation we have seen is that most strikers have been involved in assists as well especially for Bamford and Watkins which was non-existent earlier in the season.

MIDFIELDERS:

GW1 To GW21:

MID STATS 20/21

Son, Maddison, JWP & Salah are miles ahead of anyone with regards to outperformance.

Fernandes, Grealish, Zaha, Barnes & Soucek have all be very good this season and are clinical too.

KDB, Mane, Rashford, Sterling & Neto while scoring well are still showing signs of underperformance as against their expected data.

GW14 To GW21:

MID STATS 20/21

It’s fair to say that we have a wide variety of mids performing very well over the last 8 GW’s. Let’s hope this run continues and we continue to have so many good options available to make rank!

DEFENDERS:

GW1 To GW21:

DEF STATS 20/21

This is a very surprising outcome. Minus Stones there is no outperformer this season amongst Defenders.

I think this is because as compared to the expected points the final outcome has been very poor. We can blame the lack of clean sheets in the earlier part of the season and the conversion of their goal involvement for the same.

Zouma and Dallas are goal scorers where as Robbo, Cresswell and Chilwell are the assisters.

Robbo and Cancelo are way ahead when it comes to creating big chances.

GW14 To GW21:

DEF STATS 20/21

Stones, Dias, Targett, Azpilicueta, Holding & Cresswell are the most out performing defenders over the last 6 GW’s.

Silva, Dias, Cash, Holding and Cancelo have been the bonus magnets recently.

Robbo, Maguire and Dunk have under performed their expected points in recent weeks.

GOALKEEPERS:

GW1 To GW21:

GK STATS 20/21

Martinez and Pope have been the pick of the lot this season despite having played less games but we can also see that bonus points are so important for Keepers as shown by Lloris, Fabianski and Guita.

There is a very tight range between the keeper returns and we can see that despite more CS’s Ederson still has fewer points as compared to Pope & Martinez. A mixture of saves and CS’s is important.

This once again confirms that we shouldn’t waste transfers on our keepers once we have made out decision.

GW14 To GW21:

GK STATS 20/21

MCI have been solid. Leno has been very good in recent weeks.

Meslier, Ramsdale, Darlow, Guita have conceded a lot of goals in the last few GW’s.

Finally, an update on my team and future plans:

While it’s been a very average season for me till now I write this as I finally revert back into the top 1 million managers, Woot Woot!

I have used my 2nd Wildcard early in GW20 and my luck to import injury prone players and players who get dropped continues haha! (Kane, Mitchell & Chilwell)

I still have my FH, BB & TC left and I am confident I can still try and aim for the Top 100K by end of the season!

What has gone well for me this season is my calls on Captaincy. It has been a volatile few GW’s due to my rule of only Captaining Premium options but this has been my best run at mid season till now and I’m hoping I continue to get this right.

Below is my updated team for GW22:

I have 1.0 mln in the bank and hopefully if no players are injured I can use the extra funds to get a decent BB team for GW26.

Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to your constructive feedback as always.

I look forward to learning every game week and I wish you all the very best for your FPL teams!

Regards,

Ajit Dhillon.

I would also like to thanks FFHUB, FFScout and FPL Tools for the data above used in this publication.

#IFCT Road To Indian FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW21

#IFCT Mini League Update

GW16 to GW21 has seen the defenders top the weekly FPL return tables.

The likes of Mee, Tierney, Keane, Stones, Cancelo & Azpilicueta all scoring very well.

The premiums have been a let down with Salah finally returning this GW against WHU, a team he has a good personal record against. Mind you WHU is in hot form and we should see them bounce back soon.

Chelsea has seen a manager change help them tighten things up in defense but they are yet to find their free flowing attacking rhythm.

We still expect rotation over the next few weeks due to back to back deadlines and UCL & EUL post GW24. Spending on your bench remains essential for now in our opinion.

The next update will be done in a few GW’s, thanks a lot for your patience!

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 305

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 1370.00

Our League leader is: Jerry Stanly.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW21

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cropped-gfct-image-1.jpg
#GFCT MINI LEAGUE UPDATE

GW16 to GW21 has seen the defenders top the weekly FPL return tables.

The likes of Mee, Tierney, Keane, Stones, Cancelo & Azpilicueta all scoring very well.

The premiums have been a let down with Salah finally returning this GW against WHU, a team he has a good personal record against. Mind you WHU is in hot form and we should see them bounce back soon.

Chelsea has seen a manager change help them tighten things up in defense but they are yet to find their free flowing attacking rhythm.

We still expect rotation over the next few weeks due to back to back deadlines and UCL & EUL post GW24. Spending on your bench remains essential for now in our opinion.

The next update will be done in a few GW’s, thanks a lot for your patience!

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 627

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 1383

Our League leader is: Haris.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#FPLMatchups #GW15 – The 4 Horseman of the Budget & the 7 Deadly Stats + The Little Prince Pick of the Week

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.

4 Horsemen

  1. Salah
  2. Bruno
  3. KDB
  4. Kane

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.

Legend:

Salah
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.

Bruno
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.

KDB
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.

Kane
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.

The Averages

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

Richarlison


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.

Regards,

Gabriel Penaloza.

#GW15 FPL GFCT Q&A SESSION

These are biweekly Q&A videos that the GFCT Core Research Team will be making to answer the questions we get every alternate Monday from the Global and the Indian Telegram Chat from FPL managers.

This will alternate with the research note sent out to the chat by the Core Research Team every alternate Wednesday as well. (Pragmatic Strategy Report).

This week we have our own Gabriel Penaloza, Nitesh Ray and Chase Blocker answer the FPL Questions.

They discuss whether one should keep or move on from DCL citing the fixtures firm up for Everton, whether one can go through GW19 without using the FH chip, which chips are viable for the DGW. They discuss everything FPL, from matchups, player potential, expectations going forward.

Please do enjoy the video and share it with your fellow FPL managers!

All our videos will be on BloccFPL’s youtube channel so please click the link below and subscribe to the youtube channel so you never miss our research going forward.

Members involved in the video:

Gabriel Penaloza

Nitesh Ray

Chase Blocker

Regards,

GFCT Team.

#FPL – WHERE ARE WE PLACED? (#GW15 & ahead)

WHERE ARE WE PLACED

While I was working as a Trader I used to always write a proprietary report for trade ideas called, “Where are we placed?”. The idea was to first analyse where we stand currently and based on that and our forward assumptions (based on historical evidence and future event risks) try and envision the best possible outcomes in the various asset classes.

I have now decided to the do the same here in FPL and I will be publishing this report every 4 to 6 GW’s keeping the above process in mind. In case I can time it with a large fixture swing or Wildcard deadline then I might do that as well.

If you’d like to read the previous edition please press the link below:

It’s been a fantastic season so far with a lot of exciting football being played. Some huge scores have been seen and teams that get thrashed one week go and thrash other bigger teams the next week.

Home and away advantage still hasn’t mattered much but the amount of goals has definitely dropped as can be seen from the xG for all teams in the last 6 GW’s has been 179 but goals scored are only 154. At the same time not many teams are keeping clean sheets either and we are getting goals both ways even in a low scoring game.

FPL wise its been a very exciting season with most of the managers I know doing really well. Well done!

Personally, I haven’t been able to catch the wind beneath my sails but I am looking forward to learning where I went wrong so I never repeat those mistakes again.

OWN YOUR OUTCOMES:

Expert from – Where are we placed #GW9

One should also notice that over the next 8 GW’s both these teams have the best fixtures with Liverpool actually signalling the best defensive fixtures as well.

LIV UPCOMING FIXTURES: LEI, BHA, WOL, FUL, TOT, CRY, WBA, NEW

Minus LEI & TOT their fixtures look extremely promising for clean sheets.

The community as a whole ignored LEI’s make shift defence recently with all the injuries and they have kept 2 out of 3 CS’s.

With the following line up by GW10/GW11:

TAA – Fabihno – Matip – Robbo with Thiago ahead of them.

I feel one should not fall for the Twitter bashing in this case. This is a solid line up and we can expect CS points apart from attacking returns till GW16.

This will be my contrarian play in the upcoming weeks and with my WC still intact I am willing to risk 5 GW’s of a LIV defensive double up!

While most are running away from their defensive assets, those with risk appetite might do very well picking one if not two defensive assets till GW16.

Fortune favours the brave!

This was my opinion in the last report. But what did I end up doing?

I did not have faith in my own contrarian call. In fact I got scared of the EO of Chelsea defenders and the damage they were doing to my overall rank and ended up getting them into my team for a hit!

What was the result from GW9 to GW14?

Robertson & Matip, the two assets I wanted to own have gone on to be the highest scoring defensive assets in this period with 37 and 30 points respectively.

Lesson Learnt:

“Dreams and hope won’t get you anywhere; only actions do; actions create results.

– Anas Hamsari.

So I’ve decided to make myself a promise:

I will never play fearfully again, never!

So let’s attack the upcoming GW’s and try and learn from the data what it is that it signals and whether there are any moves we can make that can help us accelerate our overall rank going forward. We intend to continue to do well and make better FPL decision, so lets get right to it!

I will be dividing the analysis between the entire 14 GW’s and the last 6 GW’s. This way we can compare results to reach a more fruitful conclusion seeing recent developments as against seasonal performance.

Let’s start with the TEAM DATA:

GW1 To GW14:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is total goals for the season.

We have has a total of 399 goals from an xG of 405. This gap has reduced as the season has moved forward and we feel this is a healthy development.

We had stated that we want attacking assets from teams that score in excess of 60 goals per season (1.5 goals PG) and currently the only teams over the season that are not at that average are: MCI, CRY, NEW, BHA, WOL, FUL, ARS, WBA, BUR, SHU.

We can also see that the above table shows that the current teams are significantly outperforming their Big Chances Created – which needs to be monitored as goals could dry up if this outperformance reverts to the mean: LEI, SOU.

Teams that are performing as per their data: LIV, TOT, CHE, AVL, LEE, WHU, MNU.

GW9 To GW14:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is total goals.

MCI, SHU, BHA, CHE are significantly underperforming as per the big chances they create.

TOT is the stand out when it comes to the drop in the table with the lowest SITB, and averaging on 1 big chance per game with 1 goal per game. Please be mindful that they had the toughest run of fixtures in this period being analyzed.

BUR, BHA, WBA, SHU & ARS really need to find some form if they want to start winning games as despite having very average data they are underperforming with the same.

GW1 To GW14:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

Looking at the total shots in the box and under performance as compared to the expected goals conceded we can see that both BHA, CHE have been unlucky.

Having studied the big chances, shots in the box, goals conceded and clean sheets we can say that the following defences have been stronger than others: MCI, AVL, CHE, MNU, LEI, LIV, TOT.

A gentle reminder:

The worst teams give us around 7 to 9 CS’s a season. So anything above 10 CS’s is good and anything above 12/13 was fantastic!

13GW’s out of 38GW’s is 34%.

So before jumping the ship on decent defending FPL assets please realise that most of the time (66% in this case) you will not have a CS even with the best. We are relying on their attacking threat for returns and attacking defenders in good teams cost top dollar!

GW9 To GW14:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

NEW, WOL, CRY, WBA, SHU, LEE are giving away too many big chances and conceding goals as a combination and as a result are unable to keep clean sheets.

MNU, LEI & LIV has conceded big chances but have somehow not conceded so many goals and have been able to keep clean sheets as well.

CHE, MCI, TOT, AVL have been the best defensive teams recently with regards to the data.

Fixture Difficulty Rating – FDR

As I will be publishing this report every 4 to 6 GW’s, I have taken the liberty to divide the FDR below into two halves.

I have used my own metrics along with other FDR’s to reach this. So please be advised to check your own too.

FDR RANKING FOR COMING GW’s

GW15 TO 17 leading up to the BGW shows that BUR, TOT, LIV have the best fixtures where as CHE, MCI, NEW on the tougher side.

I have not added GW18 in this FDR as it is a blank gameweek.

GW19 To GW25 we see that MNU, WHU, LEE have the best fixtures while TOT, SHU, NEW seem to be on the tougher side.

While this is system generated I request everyone to sit and analyze each fixture themselves because I do not agree with the results with regards to a few teams. For example: TOT.

PLAYER DATA:

I have changed my manner of shortlisting players in this publication. Instead of finding good stats for players and short listing them, I am shortlisting based on total points for the period and comparing the outperformance to expected points.

This reduces the chances of choosing players who might or might not do well. We are analyzing and choosing from players who are already ticking along well.

Ofcourse we will take a call on upcoming fixtures, rotation, Captaincy options and team form for the final outcome.

FORWARDS:

GW1 To GW14:

FWD DATA 20/21

The above table is sorted by the max outperformance of total points as against expected points for the 12 highest scorers in the period mentioned.

Kane, Wilson, Vardy & DCL have been the top performers over this season having scored the most goals, bonus points, and points outperformance.

Kane stands out as a player who has also created a lot of chances.

Richarlison, Werner & Watkins have the biggest underperformers.

Adams and Bamford are ticking along and where Bamford makes up in goals, Adams has made up in Assists and creating chances.

GW9 To GW14:

FWD DATA 20/21

Abraham, Kane, Vardy & Wilson are the highest outperformers as against their expected points in recent GW’s.

DCL, Firmino, Adams have been very good and are performing as per expectations.

Bamford, Wood & Martial are underperforming their expected stats in recent GW’s. Luckily for all three they have a fantastic run coming up where we can see them improve their outcome.

MIDFIELDERS:

GW1 To GW14:

MIDS STATS 20/21

Son is miles ahead of anyone with regards to outperformance and while most expect his form to revert it goes without saying that he has earned his high ownership this season!

Salah, Fernandes, JWP, Zaha, Grealish have all be very good this season and are outperforming too.

Neto & Bowen have posted great number and are ticking along very well this season for their price tags one should definitely take a punt on them from time to time.

KDB, Mane, Rashford & Sterling while scoring well are still showing signs of underperformance as against their expected data.

GW9 To GW14:

MIDS STATS 20/21

Salah, Son & Fernandes – the three highest PPG players in the midfield are at the top of the table and continue to be great FPL assets.

Neto, Soucek & Maddison are doing extremely well for their price tag and should be used from time to time.

KDB, Mahrez, El Ghazi & Rashford despite doing well are showing a lot of under performance in the last 6 GW’s.

DEFENDERS:

GW1 To GW14:

DEF STATS 20/21

This is a very surprising outcome. Minus Zouma there is no outperformer this season amongst Defenders.

I think this is because as compared to the expected points the final outcome has been very poor. We can blame the lack of clean sheets and the conversion of their goal involvement for the same.

Vestergaard, Zouma and Dallas are goal scorers where as Robbo, Cresswell and Chilwell are the assisters.

GW9 To GW14:

DEF STATS 20/21

Matip, Robbo, Stones and Taylor are the most out performing defenders over the last 6 GW’s.

Dias has the most underperformance as against expected as he did nothing with his 2 big chances and has had no creative involvement as well. The eye test shows he has been close to scoring and with him being the backbone of a very solid MCI defence I would not overlook him despite this.

Ogbonna, Lindelof, Dallas are ticking along well and all three have fantastic fixtures till GW25.

GOALKEEPERS:

GW1 To GW14:

GK’s STATS 20/21

Martinez has the pick of the lot this season despite having played two less games but we can also see that bonus points are so important for Keepers as shown by Pope, Lloris, Johnstone and Fabianski.

Despite only 2 clean sheets and around 150 shots in the box we see that Meslier and Johnstone have scored 50 points which is very close to the overall score of the highest.

This once again confirms that we shouldn’t waste transfers on our keepers once we have made out decision.

GW9 To GW14:

GK’s STATS 20/21

MCI, TOT, AVL & BUR have been solid and their keepers have earned decent bonus points as well. Pope is a monster in goal and I feel he will continue to have a great season again.

Areola, Fabianski, Meslier & Johnstone have conceded a lot of goals on the last few GW’s.

Finally, an update on my team and future plans:

It’s been a tough season for me but I have stated before and I will state again that I really enjoy FPL and I’d rather finish the season at 4 mln+ knowing I tried my best than give up!

I had a great start after which I slid sharply till around GW7. Since then I’ve been trying to turn it around and this GW I was finally able to turn a corner closing at an overall global rank of 1.38 Mln with a Total of 796 points.

Please find below my team for GW14:

DHILLON’S 11 in GW14

This GW I have triggered my first Wildcard and I am excited to show you where I see my team going ahead:

I have tried to balance my team thinking of the longer term. I will not be using any chip in the DGW 19. I will be using my Free Hit in BGW18.

Using data, fixtures and most importantly my gut I have arrived at this team. The only change I will make is Burke to Eleny once Burke rises to 4.4 mln

I have also shared the players PPG and fixtures below so you can see why I am not against having Spurs assets as compared to the FDR listed above.

WILDCARD TEAM:

DHILLON’s 11 FIRST WILDCARD TEAM
PPG – FDR – BGW – DGW:
DHILLON’s 11 FIRST WILDCARD TEAM

My team formation will switch between a 3-4-3 and a 4-3-3 formation depending upon the fixtures but I am very happy with this team minus not having KDB. I love playing him in my team but with the Spurs assets having better fixtures and better underlying stats despite the recent dip I will be waiting before bringing him back. Also, MCI are currently not keeping up with the 1.5 goal per match ratio which I look for as a team selection.

I’m very excited with this team and I hope I am able to make rank over the next few GW’s.

Before I finish I wanted to thank all of you for voting for me on twitter!

It really means alot and I am grateful for all your interactions and about being part of such a great community!

Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to your constructive feedback as always. I look forward to learning every game week and I wish you all the very best for your FPL teams!

Regards,

Ajit Dhillon.

I would also like to thanks FFHUB, FFScout and FPL Tools for the data above used in this publication.

#IFCT Road To Indian FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW13

#IFCT Mini League Update

The highest scoring players for GW12 & GW13 were Maddison with 16 points and Holgate with 14 points respectively. None of the premiums have hauled in the last 2 GW’s and the difference between a good and bad GW in the last two has come down to very fine margins.

A dodgy penalty kept Salah Captainers alive in GW13 while KDB and Bruno who were the main choices for the armband let their managers down with no attacking return.

The DGW & BGW fixtures have been announced and we should get further clarity after the EFL cup fixtures post GW14. Planning will be in full flow and we can expect a lot of research in the community over the next few GW’s.

GW14 again seems to be providing us with a lot of Captaincy choices and it will be interesting to see if the Premiums will let down the managers 3 GW’s in a row. Hopefully they won’t!

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 307

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 842.00

Our League leader is: Ashutosh Khemka.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW13

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cropped-gfct-image-1.jpg
#GFCT MINI LEAGUE UPDATE

The highest scoring players for GW12 & GW13 were Maddison with 16 points and Holgate with 14 points respectively. None of the premiums have hauled in the last 2 GW’s and the difference between a good and bad GW in the last two has come down to very fine margins.

A dodgy penalty kept Salah Captainers alive in GW13 while KDB and Bruno who were the main choices for the armband let their managers down with no attacking return.

The DGW & BGW fixtures have been announced and we should get further clarity after the EFL cup fixtures post GW14. Planning will be in full flow and we can expect a lot of research in the community over the next few GW’s.

GW14 again seems to be providing us with a lot of Captaincy choices and it will be interesting to see if the Premiums will let down the managers 3 GW’s in a row. Hopefully they won’t!

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 636

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 851.00

Our League leader is: Boonyarit Keawaram.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

The league is now closed but managers are still invited to join our chats on Telegram. The link to which is on the registration page of the site.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

Mariner’s FPL Christmas Shopping List

It really is the most wonderful time of the year FPL wise and whilst I am looking forward to a Green rather than dreaming of a White Christmas, I can at least console myself with a rapid-fire football and FPL extravaganza that awaits this festive period which should lift spirits among the covid woes.

So I thought I would put together a Wishlist of differentials who could either spruce up your team or alternatively act as a band aid this for a period up to and including GW17. I will not however be discussing the blank and double game weeks in 18/19 as this is another topic entirely and very dependent on your current state of play, for example whether you have a wildcard still available or not.

Fixture Difficulty

Those who follow me on Twitter will know how much emphasis I put on Fixture difficulty hence our starting point which for reference is based on a match up principle of Attack v Defence and vice-versa for expected goals and expected goals conceded, Shots in box taken and conceded and also big chances created and conceded. This then creates an arbitrary number based on the match ups, dark green is good, dark red bad etc

As for the range of data I continue to use a period which generally does not involve fans in the ground, so in other words, since the world has been living in dread and fear of COVID19  – from project restart onwards and last years data is still weighted in at 20%, 2021 (full season) at 50% and the last three game weeks at 30% (GW 10-12). This is important as it gives us the opportunity to take into account sudden changes in fortune (& rating), for example Everton without Richarlison etc heralded the clanging chimes of doom for their attack during that period.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

So, what does it tell us? Well firstly a general statement that attacking match ups are still better than defensive ones, this immediately makes me only want to consider a defender with the potential for attacking returns ideally with favourable attacking and defensive match ups in the coming weeks.

We cannot forget rotation and the risk of suspension therefore I will only select shortlist those who have played at least 60% of available time on the pitch with 3 or less yellow cards, and as we are talking differentials here we shall limit at those owned by 10% or less. This will mean some players may be missing from the lists.

DEFENCE

Firstly looking at FDR, it isn’t a great Christmas surprise to see that the teams that stand out are Aston Villa, Spurs and Manchester City who all have match ups in positive territory shown by green in the table below.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

Moving onto expected involvement per match (Xi90), this gives us a top 3 of Cancelo (Man City) 0.21 , Reguilon (Spurs) 0.20, who stand out for expected involvement and third, Konsa (Villa) 0.15.

Data thanks to @FFH_HQ

But both Cancelo and Reguilon do bring some rotation risk and a world of dread and fear (of a benching), so this may suggest if you are not invested in a Villa defender that Konsa could be your man given he is slightly underperforming his Xi and that little bit cheaper. That said i prefer the upside of Man City or Spurs given my bench depth.

So our top 3 targets are set, but I would also give a notable mention to Charlie Taylor 4.4M, who’s Burnley side will be buoyed from a win at the Emirates as they run into some easier fixtures despite the FDR saying otherwise

MIDFIELD

Turning our attention to midfield, Fixtures wise its hardly surprising to see the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool heading the field with respect attacking match-ups, with West Ham Chelsea and Leeds following. Interestingly Fulham attack eye test is now starting to be supported by statistics too.

Moving onto expected involvement per match (Xi90), this gives us a top 3 of Mane (Liv), 0.80 Mahrez (Man C) and an early Boxing Day sale special in Ademola Lookman (Ful) 0.65. Noteworthy others (outside of the big 6) are a second Fulham option in Cavaleiro who topped Big Chances in the last 3 GW’s and interestingly Podence and Neto from Wolves who may be worth watching given the continued absence of Jiminez and a possible turn in fortunes for Wolves?

But as for our top 3, Mane, Mahrez are obvious choices and offer significant upside, although Mahrez could be naughty or nice given his rotation. Personally i am not totally sold on Fulham but Lookman and Cavaleiro have the potential to Make Fantasy Fun Again – who knows you may pull a cracker ?. Sterling is a a hold not buy in the form he (& Man City) are in, so if funds were available Rashford may be a safer option with Podence of wolves a more punty but interesting one. For non Soucek owners Bowen, (Aka Dasher given the festive period) also looks an excellent differential as i cant support a West Ham double up at the moment.

FORWARDS

We dont need to repeat the FDR for attack but for the record forwards sorted by FDR is below with Firmino (Liv) topping the pile followed by Watkins (villa) and Decordova-Reid of Fulham, who despite playing almost as a wing back is still getting plenty of opportunities and is also due according to his stats. Brighton and Everton attacks are also in green territory.

If we sort again to account for Xi90 this puts Neil Maupay top of the pile with 0.84 Xi90 although this does not account for his tantrums and hot/cold performances so he gets a sack of coal for Christmas. Prancer will not be in my team. Richarlison, the pantomime villain is 2nd in the list with 0.78 Xi90 but if you own DCL the double up is clearly a no-go so we will pass on him.

This brings us to Danny Ings AKA Blitzen!, coming back into fitness from a relatively short injury (for him) so he is my first recommendation to have us rocking around the Christmas tree. Werner needs to be put out to pasture so to Ings may be a nice move to free up cash, even though Southampton are not treated well by FDR, this due to their tougher run and general lack of creativity recently. I wouldnt bet against him though, would you?.

Watkins (villa) follows him into my second choice, despite his loss of penalties he still appears good value with favourable fixtures.

My third choice, and a long-shot would be Chris Wood, I have a feeling that Burnley are about to turn a corner and if they do, Wood will be front and centre of any recovery. He is also massively underperforming and well overdue a return.

As for Christmas Poo, the team to avoid are undoubtedly Sheffield United, who get a resounding HOWDY NO from me. Fans cant return soon enough for them as Bramwell lane even with 2000 fans will make a difference.

Thanks for reading, have a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas wherever you are reading and if you are finding it tough particularly if you are away from your loved ones (as I am) my DMs on twitter are always open if you need to talk.

MARINER

PS, how many Christmas song titles, lyrics and Reindeer names did you spot in the article? DM me via twitter @FPLmariner for the answer….

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