Gameweek 17. Michaeil Antonio: 17.5 points. Gameweek 16. Emiliano Buendia: 21 points. Gameweek 15. Felipe Anderson: 19.5 points. What do they all have in common? None of them scored or assisted. They did, however, score big points for their fantasy managers, and they did so because of the underlying numbers.
The underlying numbers include key passes, shots on target, successful dribbles, accurate crosses, aerials won, interceptions, clearances, and tackles. They can help identify players on the verge of breaking out, or others that are due a fall. A midfielder with a decent FP/G, but without a single assist or goal (I’m going to keep naming Oliver Norwood here until he gets one!) could be poised for big things if he catches a break or two. Likewise, a forward banging in the goals and with a nice, but not exactly spectacular, FP/G might find his fantasy value drop if the goals dry up (Moussett owners have gone quiet after his mini-purple patch ended). But before we look at these numbers and think about what they might mean for gameweeks 15, 16, and 17, let’s look how we fared with our suggestions last time out.
Last Time Out in the Underlying Numbers: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
3/5 last time out…but boy, that Pieters one was a bad call. Sorry! McGoldrick hopefully made up for it, whilst Hojbjerg continues to be an undervalued asset at Southampton. I’ll try not to mention the Southampton man again; the Underlying Numbers table below should say enough. On to Gameweeks 18, 19, and 20!
The tables below show the players who are most and least reliant on either clean sheets (defenders) or assists and goals (midfielders/forwards). Only players who have played at least 400 league minutes and have an FP/G of at least 5 are included. Thanks to Stefan for the idea of adding FP/G’s next to players too.
…Underlying Numbers: High Reliance Players
…Underlying Numbers: Low Reliance Players
Gameweeks 18, 19, and 20: Targets and Tales of Caution…
Targets in Defense: Matt Targett (62% ownership) and Harry Maguire (98% ownership)
It’s a big Christmas period for Aston Villa, with Southampton, Norwich, and Watford all winnable games, so if you’re ever going to roll the dice on some of their assets, now is the time. Targett is scoring nicely even without many clean sheets, so he could be the safest shout.
Getting hold of Maguire would likely require a trade, but with a current FP/G of just 7.32, the cost of that trade might not be that high. Manchester United face Watford, Newcastle, and Burnley next – all teams that traditionally have a tendency to go route one, something that would play nicely for Maguire in terms of aerials won. United are due a clean sheet, and Maguire is due a goal, but even without these, Maguire is having a satisfactory season.
Targets in Midfield: James McArthur (70% ownership)
Palace is another team with some nice fixtures coming up, and there’s a number of different options that could work out. I’ve resisted the temptation to suggest Benteke (though I do genuinely think he could be a big differential!), and Kouyate is another that comes to mind (but he doesn’t always complete the full 90), so McArthur gets the nod here. The midfielder has been consistent all season, scoring less than 5 points in just 3 of his 16 games.
Targets in Attack: Everton’s Options (Richarlison – 100% ownership, Calvert-Lewin – 50%, Walcott – 14%, Kean – 31%)
Everton is improving (they also weren’t playing as bad as their results suggested anyway), and with a new manager imminent, now could be the time to jump on a few attacking bandwagons. Richarlison would likely require a big trade, so DCL may be the route to go. The 22-year old has looked very lively in recent weeks, and with 5 shots on target and 19 aerials won in the last two games, his underlying numbers are enough even if he doesn’t get on the scoresheet.
Tales of Caution: Liverpool’s Midfield Rotation
With Liverpool apparently playing a million games in December, there’s a good chance Klopp will utilize his fringe players to give the stars a rest. As a result, someone in your league will pick up the likes of Shaqiri, Keita, Lallana, and Milner if/when they see their names on the team sheet. Don’t worry too much about that. Not only do Liverpool have a blank gameweek this weekend, but they also have tough games against Leicester and Wolves to follow. This isn’t conducive to the points scoring of the players just mentioned. Keita (53% reliance), Shaqiri (53%), Milner (43%), and Lallana (35%) have all been reliant on goals and assists for fantasy points in their limited game time this season, and those will be hard to come by against the defenses of Brendan Rodgers and Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Final Whistle
So that’s your lot for this week’s underlying numbers. See if you can grab a hold of Targett, Maguire, McArthur, and an Everton forward, or make your own calls (and possible trade offers) based on looking at the two tables yourselves. Remember, the green table – those who are not reliant on the big three stats – could be ideal “buy low” players, whilst the orange table – those who are reliant – could be your “sell high” players. Or at least, be aware that tough matchups could require benching them. Note, all fantasy points numbers are based on the Togga-scoring format, whilst % ownership was correct as of Tuesday 22nd of October.
Predominant sources used include www.premierleague.com, www.understat.com, www.sofascore.com, and www.whoscored.com.
Good luck in Gameweek’s 18, 19, and 20!
Previous Editions of The Underlying Numbers: Gameweek 8 | Gameweek 10 | Gameweek 12 | Gameweek 15 |
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