FPL Poker Tables GW9

Last week I conducted a review of rolling data to see what trends have emerged during the early stages of the current season. Many were identified, and I recommend using that blog as a reference point before making any transfers in the near future. Of more immediate relevance to these FPL Poker Tables blogs, however, was something that became abundantly clear during the course of that exercise. Namely, the inaccuracy of the initial weightings given to the promoted sides in terms of their attack and defence strength at home and away.

In only two out of a possible twelve instances were my initial best guess weightings found to have overestimated how much more difficult LEE, WBA and FUL would find life in the Premier League. The two exceptions were the home attack strength of LEE, and away attack strength of FUL, which have both fared better in xG terms than anticipated.

Consequently, my model has had to play catch-up since the start of the season, constantly modifying its evaluation of these teams’ true capabilities. Inevitably, this has had knock on effects on the accuracy of my spreadsheet’s predictions thus far. And this is why I’ve generally not published my spreadsheet’s predictions before the second international break in years gone by.

The subtext here is a plea for your patience whilst waiting for my model to reach equilibrium. In truth, I never expected that to occur before GW16 anyway, because only then will my model be drawing exclusively* on data drawn from this season.

[*Except for 1 home game each from last season for BUR and MCI, and 1 away for AVL and MUN, because of their GW1 blanks.]

Thereafter, the results could be well worth waiting for though, if last season is anything to go by, when I secured seventeen successive green arrow gameweeks in a row, climbing ~4.2 million places in the process!

As stated previously, another complicating factor for my model this season has been the ridiculously high number of penalty kicks being awarded (41 so far compared to 19 during the same period last year), and this is a theme that appears repeatedly this week.

Supporters of SHU were warned last time of a potentially devastating storm by the name of Chelsea headed their way, and so it proved, with the Blues succeeding in living up to their star billing in my last expected goals table where they were predicted to score 3 goals.

This time around, there are no teams predicted to score 3, and only five teams (WHU, LIV, BUR, MCI, CHE) deemed more likely than not to score at least 2 goals in GW9.

Not for the first time this season, BUR sound the dubious prediction klaxon, which is probably due to them ending last season in uncharacteristically attacking fashion once safety from relegation was assured. As I pointed out in my 2019-20 season review of rolling data blog, this came at the expense of their defensive process, and it was always likely that Sean Dyche would revert back to type at the start of a new season. BUR have only played twice at home so far this season, which means three quarters of the data used by my algorithm dates back to the ReStart period when they were playing a much more cavalier brand of football. It will take a few more home games for my model to realign to the new reality, but I expect the downward trend in the Claret’s home attacking strength ratio shown in the graph below to continue.

BUR attack strength weighting reverting back to its pre-lockdown mean

I have a confession to make about the BIG mistake I made last week when I rounded down my spreadsheet’s prediction of THREE goals for CHE to two, and TWO goals for MUN down to one, in the Correct Score Forecast table last week. I have to hold my hands up here to being too trigger happy with a new concept I was in far too much of a hurry to roll out. Namely, the significance I attached to the xG difference between teams playing against each other. With hindsight, I was likely swayed by a desire to justify rounding down the 2 goal forecast for WBA (vs TOT) that I felt embarrassed about.

I did the same with WBA in GW7 too, and the outcome vs FUL seemed to vindicate the policy. There is a simpler explanation for my model overvaluing the WBA attacking strength though, which is they started the season with an overly generous interpretation of their Championship form last year, and it’s taking time for that flattery to fully filter out. WBA have really struggled away from The Hawthorns and, as the graph below shows, their away attack strength weighting has been in freefall since the season began.

For what it’s worth, there are 3 matches in GW9 with insufficient predicted xG difference between the teams to credit one of them with a goal advantage, but I will not be repeating last week’s mistake, and the 2 goals that CHE, MCI and LIV are predicted to score will be allowed to stand (see table below).

GW9 correct score forecasts

My spreadsheet’s predicted players points table last week had Fernandes (17), KDB (5), Werner (7), James (2), Kane (9) and Chilwell (8) occupying the top 6 places, and averaging 8 points between them, so which players are ranked highest for GW9?

The table below shows how many points players are expected to get on average (excluding bonus points, and yellow/red cards). The red ‘P’s indicate where predicted scores have been inflated by the effects of recent penalty kicks, and the numbers in the column to the right of expected points show what these scores would have been if the distorting effects of penalties are removed. In other words, these are the average expected points assuming there are no opportunities to score from the penalty spot.

Kane maintaining his 100% appearance record

Last week’s table was dominated by players from big clubs, whereas this week’s sees greater representation from smaller clubs. I’d have been bullish about Antonio‘s captaincy credentials but for his recent hamstring injury, while Wood‘s elevated position is suspect given the overestimate of Burnley’s home attack strength alluded to earlier.

Sandwiched in between that pair come Golden Boot contenders, Vardy and Salah. The latter’s prominence in the table owes far less to penalty kicks than the former’s, so Mo might have been the one to beat, but for a positive COVID test result putting the spanner in the works, when analysing My Stats Tables in Fantasy Football Scout’s Members Area. Grealish is a new name for us to consider in this section and, judging from my predicted players points table for the next 4 gameweeks (see further down), he might be set to feature regularly here.

The 8 teams with representation this time are WHU, LEI, LIV, BUR, AVL, CRY, TOT, and EVE, and 6 of these are inside the top 8 for taking fewest minutes per xG accrued in my Team Offence table below:

best 8 teams for mins per xG

Because of the dramatic increase in penalties this season, however, I checked how it would affect the rankings if teams were sorted by non-penalty xG instead, and the table below shows how doing so changed things. Unsurprisingly, given the preposterous number of penalties they have already benefitted from, LEI are the main casualty of this measure, dropping from third best to eighth.

The only teams not showing up well in the tables above are BUR and CRY, which counts against Wood and Zaha. These two players are set to face each other at Turf Moor in GW9, as were Salah and Vardy at Anfield. The 4 teams our remaining captaincy contenders face are BHA, FUL, MCI, and SHU, so bear them in mind as we turn our attention next to my team defence table.

At first glance, the table above arguably puts Wood back into the picture, but note CRY have conceded 3 penalties (including the outrageous one given against Ward in the 89th minute, which deprived my FPL team of his clean sheet points!). So I checked again how sorting teams by a metric that excluded penalties would affect the rankings, and the result of doing so (see table below) sees Palace go from second worst to a much less damning ninth worst. Either way, SHU remain in the bottom 3, and FUL in the bottom 5, which bodes well for Antonio (if fit) and James Rodriguez, and by extension, CalvertLewin.

MUN and LIV drop out in the table above showing the worst 9 teams for non-penalty xG conceded during the last 6 gameweeks, while LEI and AVL come in. The ranking of fourth worst for the last named will come as a shock to Martinez owners.

More pertinently, you will note that the defences of BHA, MCI, and BUR were conspicuous by their absence in either table, and that is because they rank in the top 6 teams sorted by non-penalty xG conceded (first, fifth and sixth best respectively), which is unwelcome news for any would-be captainers of Grealish/Watkins, Zaha, and Kane/Son.

I turn now to my xG and xA tables to see if they can revive/solidify interest in any of the aforementioned players. Usually I sort my Players xG table by Minutes Per xG but again, because of the distorting effects of penalties, I’ve elected to sort by non-penalty xG instead this week, and the captaincy case for Kane, Watkins, Vardy and Salah is strengthened by their inclusion in the 7 player shortlist below. I’d much prefer this metric be ratioed for minutes played, but that option isn’t available currently.

The case for Captain Jack rests more on his creative output than his goal threat, and he is top of a very short shortlist of players meeting the criteria for a place in my expected assists table. Rodriguez strengthens his case for differential captain consideration too.

Honestly, I’m no clearer now about the best captaincy option this week than I was before repeating the processs I’ve found so helpful the previous 3 gameweeks. Players from MCI and CHE were unusually absent from my predicted players points table, and understandably so in the case of the former, but with CHE ranked 5th best for non-penalty xG in my team offence table, and NEW 6th worst for non-penalty xG conceded in my team defence table, a case could certainly be made for either Werner or Ziyech, albeit neither feature yet in my players expected goals or assists tables.

There were 3 defenders in the predicted players points table last week, but only Tarkowski this. Yet another Burnley player whose lofty position ought to be treated with caution though, given the previously discussed probable overvaluation of their team’s home attack strength.

That said, BUR are the only other team alongside WOL deemed more likely to concede zero goals than one (see table below). There were 4 such teams last week, with 3 of them (WHU, LEI and BHA) obliging with clean sheets. Unlike last week, however, there are no teams deemed more likely than not to keep a clean sheet in GW9.

>36.7% highlighted in green because conceding 0 goals is more likely than conceding 1

Longer term, my Clean Sheet Probability table (see below) has been signaling for some time the arrival of MCI as the best defence to be invested in from GW10 onwards, and I have been banging the drum for Cancelo since before the season began. Not only was he singled out preseason in my backline bonus magnet blog as the best Sky Blues defender to own, but he been one of the Citizen’s most attacking outlets in all of his appearances so far. Against him is the availability of Zinchenko, and imminent return from injury of Mendy. There’s no question in my mind that the Portuguese is first choice, but rotation remains an ever present risk in the game of ‘Pep Roulette‘.

Leading 8 teams for clean sheets over the next 6 gameweeks

LEI were singled out last week having moved up into 3rd best in my model’s projections for the next 6 gameweeks, courtesy of 2 good clean sheet prospects in their next 3 games (GW8 & 10). With the first of those clean sheet banked, however, they slip back down a couple of places.

Belatedly, BUR make their first appearance of the season in the table above with 2 good clean sheet prospects in their next 3 games (3 in the next 6), but these only raise them up into 8th place, due to how unlikely the chances are in the other games, but that matters not if we are benching the likes of Taylor for those.

After this gameweek, it will be the turn of ARS to have 2 good clean sheet prospects in their next 3 games.

Looking further ahead with regards to players predicted points, the table below shows the expected top dozen points scorers over the next 4 gameweeks. The attacking triumvirate of Watkins, Grealish and Barkley really catch the eye here with their debut appearances in this table coinciding nicely with a favourable fixture swing for AVL.

That’s all for now, folks. May the GW9 flop be with you.

Coley a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer

Captaincy – Netting that Haul

Given the current set up of the game, catching the captain pick correctly and netting those hauls has become an essential cog in the wheel of achieving that illusive 10k finish. I recall the heady heights of the 2018/19 season when 16 weeks into the season, I was sat just inside the top 10k OR with 14 captaincy returns at that stage thinking (naively) how easy it was. Turn the clock forward to the end of last season and I was licking my wounds and cursing my luck (or judgement) at 17 captaincy blanks.

So at the close of the season I was determined to try and find a way to untangle the birds nest of captaincy and a great Youtube video by 2019/20 FPL Winner @JoshuaAbull on mathematics and how to win at FPL whetted my appetite. This gave me some powerful insights into returns and trying to predict them.

So armed with the idea to look at this analytically and the data I had crunched in the close season I dove in and this article will share some of the inner workings of the metric.

Rules and Shortlisting

The Initial rule of no player being less than 8.5 Million in starting value produced a shortlist of around 20 players. Now prices fall and rise and new players have (and continue) to come to the forefront of our minds – for example DCL and James were not originally shortlisted but are now – and stop the press, I’ve just added Super Jack Grealish into the mix too, hardly surprising given his form.

I also have discounted defenders from the metric and I think this so far (in hindsight) was a good decision. I keep defender captaincy as a differential at the back end of a season when chasing rank for example.

Measurements

Three main measurements go into the metric that I have devised.

Potential for Returns

I originally worked on the likelihood of a 10+ points return (haul) and also a single return (4+) over the last 12 games but have recently adjusted the table to a slightly higher bar, 2+ returns and 1+ return over this season now we are ~ 8 games in. For example a midfielder with 2 returns would net at least 12 points (for 2 assists as a captain), appearance points (4) and probably BPS (4-6) making a return close or just above 20 points.

I then applied a weighting 66% single return vs 33% double to calculate a captaincy potential.

Form

Form wise I originally worked on actual returns versus expected involvement but realised that this might suggest over performance (as well as great form) I have therefore made another amendment to use expected FPL points (Credit FFHub Opta Stats) in 90 Mins (xFPL90) over the season and over the last 3 matches (again with a weighting).

FIxture Difficulty

For me this is the biggest factor of them all when it comes to selecting a captain so I have spent a lot of time trying to fine tune it. It is particularly important to consider match ups (@fpllens‘ domain)

Again using Data within FFHub opta stats, which are my go to reference for those interested, I have devised a new FDR rating. This continues to be built around the 1 to 7 rating of Ben Crellins FDR planner for ease and takes into account the match ups between attack and defence for Big Chances, Shots/Headers in Box and Expected Goals (for and against).

For reference this created the following FDR by team (based on the last 3 games).

Attack

Defence

So given the above, one key match up this week would be Bruno Fernandes v WBA. Man U last 3 attack rate 4.3 but WBA actually 3.9 (-0.4) so this suggests a tougher match up than many will expect based on recent results. Vardy on the other hand looks to be an interesting prospect against a weakened Liverpool (1.9 v 5.2 = +3.3).

However; this is only a small data set so only accounts for 20% of the FDR calculation with 60% of it referring to this season in total and 20% sis still drawn from post lockdown data. I hope this sets the scene as to its complexity.

Don’t forget extra points for midfielders!

Of course Midfielders will get an extra point for a goal and also for a clean sheet and this is doubled. However, now I have moved to a xPts90 metric for form this is covered and therefore I have removed a previous 10% weighting which was in place.

Calculation

I hope I haven’t lost you yet but now for the big decision, how do we weight form, returns and FDR? Well in reverse FDR is, as explained earlier for me by far the most important consideration and therefore it accounts for the largest proportion of the metric. Following this I consider the return frequency and then finally XPts90. The reason for this is that not only are we looking for consistency, we are looking for that haul. I then add them all together and voila!.

The Metric – Current Performance

So how have we done so far? Not too bad at all to be honest. In 8 weeks we have returned 7 in 8 and netted 138 Points, If we continue at that run rate we will be at 655 points for our captain. I just wish I followed the Metric like some do!

And what about GW9?

Well given all the COVID woes and injuries it’s too early to call so the big reveal will be on my twitter account next Friday.

Enjoy the break and stay safe!

Mariner

#FPL – WHERE ARE WE PLACED? (#GW9)

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 has been a very enjoyable season so far and while we still have a long way to go before we can confidently state that the data is helping us make better decision or that the data is in sync with the team’s performances we will never the less try our best to make the best possible decisions through the process we have set out for ourselves.

To start with I would like to discuss that the community was in agreement that the number of goals (144) as against the total xG (118) in the first 4 GW’s was unsustainable. The penalty rules were also requested to be relaxed via VAR and we have seen a steady yet healthy reduction of goals as against the data. In the last 4 GW’s we have had a total of 101 goals from an xG from 107.

As stated previously we will stick with the understanding that the over or under performance of a team vis-a-vis the data will remain unsustainable and as far as the over or under performance of a player vis-a-vis the data can remain sustainable and will be seen as an indication of the players form. A large outperformance singling that the player is in clinical form and the outperformance is due to exceptional finishing.

We will now be entering the most interesting yet compact part of the season and the International Break has led to a lot of heart break and anger within the community about our players getting injured such that a few FT’s will not be enough to solve our team’s problems.

For this I share below something personal:

From book “The Buddha in me, the Buddha in you” by David Hare.

“When we are upset, it’s easy to blame others. However, the true cause of our feelings is within us. For example, imagine yourself as a glass of water. Now, imagine past negative experiences as sediment at the bottom of the your glass. Next, think of others as spoons. When one stirs, the sediment clouds your water. It may appear that the spoon caused the water to cloud – but if there were no sediment, the water would remain clear no matter what. The key, then, is to identify our sediment and actively work to remove it.”

– Josei Toda

Also,

“True happiness is not the absence of suffering; you cannot have day after day of clear skies. True happiness lies in building a self that stands dignified and indomitable like a great palace – on all days, even when it is raining, snowing or stormy.”

– Daisaku Ikeda

Take from these two paragraphs what you will but they always help me personally to look at each problem as an opportunity to improve myself!

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 8 GW’s and the last 4 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 GW8:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by xG (Expected Goals).

We have has a total of 245 goals from an xG of 226. 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: FUL, ARS, SHU, WOL, NEW, BUR, WBA.

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, CHE, SOU, WHU.

Teams that are performing as per their data: LIV, TOT, MCI, AVL, CRY, WOL

GW5 To GW8:

ATTACKING STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by xG (Expected Goals).

We have has a total of 101 goals from an xG of 107.

From the above table we can see the stand out drop has been by EVE. BHA has come down the table too. TOT haven’t fallen as much but have given up their spot at the top.

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: CHE, WHU & SOU.

MCI & AVL are the teams that have shown improvement despite volatile results over the last 4 weeks as compared to the entire season.

GW1 To GW8:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

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

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

A gentle reminder:

Last time we had analysed the seasonal data and seen that even 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!

GW5 To GW8:

Defensive Stats for EPL 20/21

The above table is sorted by Big Chances conceded.

Both FUL & LEI have been lucky not to concede more in the last 4 GW’s. LEE, EVE, SHU have given way too many big chances and this has happened despite Leeds giving a lot less shots in the box. Not a very healthy sign.

MNU and MCI are the two standout performers over the last 4 GW’s and with an improvement in their fixtures going forward should provide good assets for the same.

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. The first one is for the next 4 GW’s and the second one is for the next 8 GW’s.

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

City & Liverpool remain fixture proof for me and should continue to do well and provide Captaincy assets week in and week out.

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!

AVL has an excellent run as well and along with the MCI will have a DGW later on in the season.

EVE has great fixtures till GW12/13 but then difficulty rises significantly where as WOL, TOT, FUL, BUR, SOU are expected to have a much tougher fixture schedule than they have currently enjoyed.

PLAYER DATA:

FORWARDS:

GW1 To GW8:

FWD DATA 20/21

Sorted by xG we can see that Vardy and Kane top the table but Kane having created 8 big chances has shown sublime overall performance.

While looking at the difference between actual points and expected it shows that Kane, DCL, Bamford are outperforming and have been clinical.

Maupay and Mitrovic are performing below expectations.

GW5 To GW8:

FWD DATA 20/21

Sorted by xG we can see that Vardy and Bamford are top of the table and have also received the maximum big chances.

Werner, Kane and Adams are outperforming in the short term where as Mitrovic remains the stand out under achiever.

A lot of managers will be shifting from Kane to Werner or Vardy due to the fixture swing and the above data suggests that with the short term form – that is not a bad move.

I will personally be keeping Kane for now and I’ll make a decision after GW12 minus any injury.

MIDFIELDERS:

GW1 To GW8:

MIDS STATS 20/21

Sorted by xG we can see that Salah and Son are on top of the table. While all top 5 are creating chances as well it is Grealish who stands out with 6 big chances created.

While looking at the difference between actual points and expected it shows that Son and Grealish have been clinical.

KDB, Tielemans, Barnes & Mane have been underperforming.

GW5 To GW8:

MIDS STATS 20/21

While Salah remain above anyone in the xG department it is Grealish and Zaha that have created the big chances in the last 4 GW’s.

In the last 4 GW’s we have seen outperformance by Fernandes and Son.

Salah, Grealish, Mane, Lookman and Podence have underperformed as compared to what was expected of them.

DEFENDERS:

GW1 To GW8:

DEF STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by Expected Attacking Involvement returns.

Apart from Chilwell, Mings and Zouma we are noticing under performance across the board.

We continue to promote patience with your defensive assets especially if they are premium assets from LIV, MCI, MNU, LEI – teams that have historically kept more than 10 CS’s.

Chilwell is the standout pick as he has accumulated these numbers with only 5 games as compared to the others at 7 or 8 games.

GW5 To GW8:

DEF STATS 20/21

We notice overall underperformance once again as compared to the expected points for all top defenders as sorted by the expected attacking involvement returns.

We have also noticed that despite giving decent points returns most have lost out on bonus points despite attacking returns and clean sheets. Signalling that their team attacking assets must be the ones earning higher BPS.

We have already discussed CS’s above so please stay patient with your players especially if they are listed above. They will get you attacking returns if not CS’s.

GOALKEEPERS:

GW1 To GW8:

GK’s STATS 20/21

The above table is sorted by total FPL points.

We can see that Fabianski has the highest points despite having one less CS than others. Goes to show how precious BPS is for goalkeepers.

Martinez is actually outperforming while underperformance has been noticed with Leno, Meslier, Lloris & Darlow.

Darlow is miles ahead of any keeper as far as total saves go.

GW5 To GW8:

Over the last 4 GW’s we can see that all the keepers have almost the same expected points. However, despite an extra CS we see that McCarthy less points than Fabianski due to BPS.

Looking at team defensive data, fixtures and players data any of Martinez, Fabianski, Scheichel could be good picks going forward.

Finally, an update on my team and future plans:

I have been quite satisfied with my team. Please find the stats for my team below:

UPDATED STATS FOR DHILLON’S 11
UPDATED STATS FOR DHILLON’S 11

I am sticking with the simple decisions I had made at the start of the season for now which were – to maintain a balanced team, preferably Captain the premium options, take risks despite Covid etc while I still have my Wildcard.

I have some how managed to score 154 points from my Captaincy calls – this is what I feel has saved my season so far.

The above tables show that my defensive assets have been underperforming expectations. My mids and forwards have been ticking along fine.

I have survived benching KDB & James Rodriguez and will now be benching Salah for the next 2 GW’s (If he is out that long). I continue to have faith in the team I have built and have shared future transfers below.

I do not plan to use my Wildcard currently even though my team has been hit by possible injuries and covid cases. I have a playing bench currently that is expected to get the 2/3 points when needed.

I have gone early with my transfer for GW9. Keeping in mind the upcoming fixtures and the price points I want to maintain for my team I am happy with my decision.

TAA -> Robertson

This will be my team for GW9. If Salah does not make it then Ayling will come off the bench for him. I still expect Robbo and Coady to play.

GW9 TEAM FOR DHILLON’S 11

FUTURES TRANSFERS EXPECTATIONS/PLANS:

GW10 – COADY -> DIAS

GW11 – KEANE -> MATIP (LIV DEFENSIVE DOUBLE UP – CONTRARIAN PLAY)

GW12 – J.RODRIGUEZ -> GREALISH

GW13 – BURKE -> ELENY

These transfers are just an indication of the direction I would like to take. If I do go ahead with these then this is the what the team will look like by the next time I update this report:

(WILDCARD STILL TENTATIVE FOR POST GW15)

FUTURE DHILLON’s 11 TEAM

A 4-3-3 formation with 3 premium assets as my Captaincy choices most weeks. LIV/MCI/AVL of prime focus till the GW16 WC deadline.

As always, my decisions will be dependent on other research being shared by our GFCT Core team as well – 1. Pragmatic Strategy which is spearheaded by Shom Biswas aka BaganboyFPL, 2. FPL Matchups which is written by Gabriel Penaloza aka FPLLens, 3. The Poker Player Spreadsheets which is written by Martin Coleman aka FPL Poker Player and 4. GFCT Q&A videos which is spearheaded by Chase Blocker aka BloccFPL.

If you are on your Wildcard or are still deciding on how to attack the upcoming GW’s then please do use these research publications ahead of GW9 & GW10 on our blog!

Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to your constructive feedback as always. I look forward to learning every gameweek 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 GW8

#IFCT Mini League Update

The highest scoring player for the GW was Fernandes with 17 points, having scored two beautiful goals.

Despite having very less possession Crystal Palace thrashed Leeds showing once again that sitting back and waiting for your chances is not a bad strategy. Everton still trying to find their initial form but it was MNU was that came out on top. West Ham were very lucky to come away with a win and still show that without Antonio its going to be tough for them to win.

Missed penalties for Vardy and KDB reminding us that a team full of penalty takers isn’t always a blessing.

Villa has had very volatile results but won against Arsenal in a convincing manner despite the Gunners showing they are a decent defensive side over the last few weeks.

Current transfer trends continue to be towards budget defensive assets with most of money flowing to the midfield. Those patient with Liverpool assets lost out once again with TAA coming off injured. Hopefully he will be fully recovered post the IB.

We continue to advise patience due to International Break starting which may lead to injuries and players with COVID cases.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 305

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 546.00

Our League leader is: Ashutosh Khemka.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

We look forward to more managers joining us till the GW9 deadline. If you submit the League Google Form via the registration page we will email the details to join. This process is mandatory.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW8

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

The highest scoring player for the GW was Fernandes with 17 points, having scored two beautiful goals.

Despite having very less possession Crystal Palace thrashed Leeds showing once again that sitting back and waiting for your chances is not a bad strategy. Everton still trying to find their initial form but it was MNU was that came out on top. West Ham were very lucky to come away with a win and still show that without Antonio its going to be tough for them to win.

Missed penalties for Vardy and KDB reminding us that a team full of penalty takers isn’t always a blessing.

Villa has had very volatile results but won against Arsenal in a convincing manner despite the Gunners showing they are a decent defensive side over the last few weeks.

Current transfer trends continue to be towards budget defensive assets with most of money flowing to the midfield. Those patient with Liverpool assets lost out once again with TAA coming off injured. Hopefully he will be fully recovered post the IB.

We continue to advise patience due to International Break starting which may lead to injuries and players with COVID cases.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 626

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 542.00

Our League leader is: Boonyarit Keawaram.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

We look forward to more managers joining us till the GW9 deadline. If you submit the League Google Form via the registration page we will email the details to join. This process is mandatory.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

FPLMatchups GW8

Hi, and welcome back to FPL matchups for #GW8. As a reminder, these words take the perspective of a manager looking at exploitable matchups on the field to take advantage of opponents’ weaknesses. Thanks to those in the community that provided alternative captain suggestions. Let’s get to it.

Today’s menu:

  1. Captaincy
    1. Kane/Son
    1. Werner/Chilwell
    1. Aubameyang
    1. LIV/MCI
  2. Le Petit Prince – Ignored player that could catch a shooting star this week.

Kane vs Son
My minutes per opportunity model (still very experimental) indicates that WBA concede an average of 3 big chances AND 1.0 xG every 80.8 minutes. Only Fulham is worse at 78.1 min, but more on that later.

There is no question WBA are the whipping boys of the league this season, which is why the 2 Spurs players are almost automatic captains this week. To help us split the hairs on deciding who to captain, I took a look at WBA with a little more granularity.

When averaging the season, Kane and Son have similar stats. I believe their production is circumstantial rather than systemic, so let’s see what the matchup tells us.

Surprisingly, WBA have conceded the 5th fewest chances from the center of the field (17), and the 5th most chances from the right side of the field (27). They are mid table conceding chances down their left flank (16).
Kane 0 Son 1.

WBA have also conceded the 5th most headed goal attempts.
Kane 1 Son 1.

Time to turn the lens on the players.

Kane and Son both have 8 big chances this season and are both overperforming in different, yet complimentary ways.

Kane obviously has more box involvement and his 6 goals this season match his xG of 5.84. Son, on the other hand, has 8 goals this season with an xG of 2.72.
Kane 1 Son 2.

Here’s the flip side of the coin. Kane and Son both have similar xA (1.05 and 0.9 respectively), however Kane has 8 assists and Son only has 2.
Kane 2 Son 2.

So Kane is overperforming his xA and Son is overperforming his xG. A beautiful combination against WBA, but not sustainable in my opinion. Against a bottom 2 defense in the league, I am selecting the player that is overperforming his goals rather than the player overperforming his assists.

Werner & Chilwell
For those considering breaking from the masses this GW I truly think both Werner and Chilwell are enticing options. In the GFCT Q & A this week, I mentioned that no team has conceded more chances down their right side than SHU (37). For reference, CRY has conceded the 2nd most (29). I like both Chilwell and Werner to take advantage of this left flank. Shame Pulisic isn’t around to feast.

Aubameyang
Auba faces an inconsistent AVL side. While he could always hit form and return, Auba has only scored 2 goals this season and he is overperforming his xG by 0.72. AVL also has a balnced defense, not necessarily favoring Auba’s side. This punt could pay off if a bad AVL meet an energized Auba. IF.

LIV/MCI
Despite scoring quite poorly in my min/opportunity FDR, MCI seems to me a team that is finding some defensive synergy. They concede the fewest chances down the center and right side of the field so if I were to choose a Liverpool player it’d be Salah this week. On City’s side, I like whoever plays the 9 for them. Ideally it would be Ferran Torres because of his movement between the center backs. I believe he can exploit some of the systemic issues I wrote about in #FPLMatchups #GW2. Sterling would be my next pick playing against his former team.

Le Petit Prince
I had fun with this concept last week so I’m going to play it again. Mitrovic was last week’s recommendation and he returned with a couple of assists (what I expect from Kane this week).

This week’s Petit Prince is Pablo Fornals. This is an eye test selection up against the worst defensive team in my model. The way Fornals has been driving into the space between the mid and defensive lines can destabilize a fragile defense. Bowen on the other side has to go deeper to get around Soucek before he gets inside.

Thank you once again for spending some time with my thoughts. I wish you all the best of luck in GW8. Make it fun, if not, forget about it.

Regards,

Gabriel Penaloza

FPL Poker Tables GW8

These blogs are quick to trumpet the successes of previous gameweek’s predictions, so it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge that there wasn’t much to crow about last week at all. Having been blown off course a little by results in GW6, my spreadsheet floundered again in GW7, being bettered by bookmakers odds for the second week running, albeit the only two times so far.

Whilst it is possible that their models are adapting faster to emerging patterns in this most unusual of seasons, the sample size of 20 matches is far too small to draw any conclusions, and their recent success could just as easily be down to variance.

One aspect of this season so far that is making things much more difficult for my model is the ridiculously high number of penalty kicks being awarded, with several last weekend being of the ‘super soft‘ variety.

Hopefully, my spreadsheets can pick up a good tail wind in GW8, and avoid being marooned during the next International Break. The weather system predicted to be our ticket out of the doldrums has been named ‘Chelsea’.

Last week saw MCI be the first team this season predicted to most likely score 3 goals, but they never got out of second gear after scoring first, and showcased a new line in game management instead. This week sees another team predicted to score 3 goals against the same opponents, but SHU will be away this time, and not supported by stormy weather conditions, so maybe CHE can succeed where MCI failed.

Over the past 6 gameweeks, the average number of teams deemed more likely than not to score at least 2 goals has been slightly above 7, but there are 3 fewer in GW8, and in descending order of expected goals they occupy the top 4 places in the table below. Fewer goals equals fewer points, so don’t be surprised if we see a low average score in FPL this week.

WBA sound the dubious prediction klaxon for a second week in a row, which is almost certainy due to them starting the season with an overly generous interpretation of their Championship form last year. Note that the prediction in the Correct Score Forecast table below has them scoring only once, which is because just like last week, there is insufficient xG difference between them and their opponents to credit them with a goal advantage.

The score forecast for MUN has also been scaled down for the exact same reason, whilst CHE superiority over SHU in terms of xG difference doesn’t quite extend to three goals, so they are downgraded to scoring twice.

The top three teams in the expected goals table provide 10 of the 14 players who made the cut for predicted points in GW8 (see table below), with 5, 3, and 2 drawn from CHE, MCI, and MUN respectively. Kane, Wilson, Aubameyang, and Trossard are the only exceptions to the monopoly those 3 teams have.

Kane maintains his 100% attendance record

The table above shows how many points players are expected to get on average, excluding bonus points, and not factoring in yellow/red cards. The column to the right of the expected points only applies to players whose scores are inflated by the effects of penalty kicks, and show what they would have been if those are taken out of the equation.

Bruno owes his table topping position to having taken FIVE penalty kicks in his last 8 away games, whilst KDB took 2 in his last 8 home games. If we discount the distorting effect of penalty kicks, then Werner would be top, and the good news for his owners is that he established himself midweek as Chelsea’s number one penalty taker.

There are 3 defenders from CHE in the top 15 ranked players, which is to be expected given the Blues are ranked top for expected goals scored and conceded in GW8.

They are the only team deemed more likely than not to bank a clean sheet (see table below), while 4 teams (WHU, LEI, LEE, BHA) are considered more likely to concede zero goals than one.

In terms of captaincy, I backed the wrong runner in a two horse race between Salah and Kane yet again, but at least I didn’t bank another blank. For what it’s worth, I still believe both of my last 2 captain choices were correct judging from the number of chances to score squandered compared to the higher scoring alternatives.

Thankfully, there are different options to consider this week with LIV away to a defensively improving MCI. Judging from my spreadsheet’s expected goals predictions our focus should be on players from CHE, MCI and MUN, and Kane‘s prominence in the players points predictions means we should include TOT in our research.

Repeating the same process as for the last few weeks means turning to My Stats Tables in the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area to assist me in determining the best captaincy option. Once again, LIV and TOT are at the head of my Team Offence table, with neither of the Manchester clubs in the top 8 according to the Minutes Per xG metric.

CHE only 8th best for Mins Per xG

In both of the last 2 weeks, my Team Defence table cautioned against Kane captaincy due to the BHA and BUR backlines being shown to be performing well according to the Minutes Per xG Conceded metric. Encouragingly for GW8, however, TOT‘s next opponents are the worst team by this metric over the last six gameweeks.

WBA, EVE, SHU and LIV are all in the bottom half of the table for Mins Per xG Conceded

Turning to my Players Expected Goals table, it can be seen that Kane is the sole representative of the 4 teams under the microscope here, so my captaincy decision this week feels refreshingly clear for once.

Sorted by Mins Per xG

Looking further ahead with player ratings, the table below shows the expected top dozen points scorers over the next 4 gameweeks. The prominence of Wilson here rubs my face in my regrets about my rushed decision to bring Bamford in as my Antonio replacement instead.

Top dozen expected points scorers GW8-11

ARS were highlighted last week as being more likely to concede zero goals than one at Old Trafford, and they vindicated their recent arrival on my spreadsheet’s radar. With that clean sheet banked, however, they slip back down 3 places to 6th best in my model’s projections for the next 6 gameweeks. LEI take over their 3rd place with 2 good clean sheet prospects in their next 3 games (see table below).

As stated last week, at least one defensive assets from MCI is strongly advisable from GW10 onwards, and Cancelo, who was singled out preseason in my backline bonus magnet blog, has continued to look one of the Citizen’s best attacking outlets in all of his appearances so far. Against him is the recent return from injury of Zinchenko, and the everpresent danger of ‘Pep Roulette‘.

That’s all for now, folks. May the GW8 flop be with you.

Coley a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer

#GW8 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, Chase Blocker and Ajit Dhillon answer the FPL Questions.

We discus everything FPL, from matchups, player potential, expectations going forward and we have also spent a little bit of time on the mental health of FPL managers which we do not take lightly in our group chats.

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

Chase Blocker

Ajit Dhillon

Regards,

Ajit Dhillon.

#IFCT Road To Indian FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW7

#IFCT Mini League Update

The highest scoring player for the GW was James Ward-Prowse with 17 points, having scored two beautiful free kicks.

The total xG for all teams in first 4 GW’s stood at 119 where as the number of goals stood at 144. Now with an xG of 81 the total number of goals stand at 77 for the last 3 GW’s. As always at a team level the numbers usually revert to the xG and so this is not a surprise. The over performance on the number of goals being scored has reduced and is now in line with what the data suggests.

Teams like MNU, MCI, CHE who were very porous in the first 4 GW’s have become much better defensively over the last 3 GW’s and this is being seen in the transfer market with defensive transfers towards their assets.

Current transfer trends continue to be towards budget defensive assets with most of money flowing to the midfield.

We continue to advise patience due to UCL/EUL competitions starting which may lead to injuries.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 305

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 480.00

Our League leader is: Ashutosh Khemka.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

We look forward to more managers joining. If you submit the League Google Form via the registration page we will email the details to join. This process is mandatory.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

#GFCT Road To Global FPL Glory Mini-League Update GW7

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

The highest scoring player for the GW was James Ward-Prowse with 17 points, having scored two beautiful free kicks.

The total xG for all teams in first 4 GW’s stood at 119 where as the number of goals stood at 144. Now with an xG of 81 the total number of goals stand at 77 for the last 3 GW’s. As always at a team level the numbers usually revert to the xG and so this is not a surprise. The over performance on the number of goals being scored has reduced and is now in line with what the data suggests.

Teams like MNU, MCI, CHE who were very porous in the first 4 GW’s have become much better defensively over the last 3 GW’s and this is being seen in the transfer market with defensive transfers towards their assets.

Current transfer trends continue to be towards budget defensive assets with most of money flowing to the midfield.

We continue to advise patience due to UCL/EUL competitions starting which may lead to injuries.

Please find the league update below:

No. of participating Managers: 626

The league average (Top 5 managers) is: 473.00

Our League leader is: Boonyarit Keawaram.

TOP THIRTY LEAGUE TABLE:

EFFECTIVE OWNERSHIP:

CAPTAINCY:

CHIP USE:

We wish our participants all the best!

We look forward to more managers joining. If you submit the League Google Form via the registration page we will email the details to join. This process is mandatory.

Good Luck!

#GFCT Team.

Credit: Premier Fantasy Tools & Live FPL

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