Monday, 25 December 2017

2017-18 Fantasy Premier League: Mid-term report

Between Man City's utter domination of the Hardest League In The WorldTM, blood-pressure-inducing rotation and "most transferred-in" frustration, those 19 weeks zipped by pretty quick, huh?

Pep Guardiola, Man City manager
"I own you. Every single one of you."

The time is ripe to review the happenings so far short time that remains before the second half of the season kicks off, and get an idea of where to invest in the weeks to come. For the purposes of this post, players who've played at least 900 minutes have been considered.

Top performers

Let's begin by looking at players who make the most of their time on the pitch.

Setting fire to turfs countrywide

The return of Mohamed Salah to the Premier League is the biggest highlight in PP90 terms as he leads the way with just over 9 points per 90 minutes. The top 5 is, perhaps predictably, dominated by the current front 3 of Manchester City. If you wish to look past the randomly-rotated Man City strikers, you might be surprised to see that the best delivery for time on the pitch up front comes next from Rooney, edging out Morata and Kane.

Value for money

Next, let's add a slight twist to the above by dividing PP90 by the player's price.

Everyone loves a discount

Tom Heaton's deputy Nick Pope leads the way, having outscored his current price 1.12x every game. He is joined in the top 10 by his teammate Stephen Ward, who recorded 0.93x. Early-season favourite Ben Davies is now caught in rotation, but racked up numbers good enough to see him second on the list at 1.08x. Depoitre should be a hot favourite as third striker, scoring close to his price every 90 minutes.


Aggregate statistics are decent, but ideally you'd also want your players to not blank often (especially if you have designs on the FPL cup). Defining the event of outscoring 'free' points (3 points for midfielders, 2 points for others) as having impacted a match and ranking the top 10 players by the proportion of matches they impacted, we get this:

We detest firing blanks

Salah leads the ranks of men least likely to blank, scoring under 4 points in just 5 out of 19 gameweeks. Manchester United are represented by 4 players in the top 10, with 3 from their sturdy backline. Meanwhile, Sterling's presence in the top 5 of all the above rankings underlines his status as a must-have at this moment as a player with great output and minimal blanks at a reasonable price.

Extra notes

So, what else can one make of all that?
  1. Pope and Fabianski form the best goalkeeper duo: They both feature in the top 10 (across positions) for consistency as well as value for money, and are in the top 3 for total GK points as well.
  2. Given the points output trends this season, doubling up on Liverpool or (and?) Man City midfielders may not be the worst idea.
  3. Your backline needs Phil Jones (5th overall in value and 7th in consistency), and if scoring points every week is important to you, no nailed-on premium striker is doing that as frequently as Lukaku (63% games impacted).
If there's anything else you wish to see/know, don't hesitate to let me know. Greetings of the season to you, and good luck for the second half!

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