Friday, 20 December 2013

FPL Performance, Stats & Analysis (Dolphinomics)

Picking players, making transfers and choosing captains in fantasy football is hard enough at the best of times but in a season which has seen bizarre, unpredictable and frantic results and action, it would seem that fantasy football is even harder this season. With this in mind, just like in real football management, every manager should look to seek to utilise every resource at their disposal in any way they can to maximise their team’s performance.

Stats can be a big help and indication as to how teams perform throughout a season, in previous seasons and more specifically home and away.

Football is dynamic in some ways yet simple in others, ultimately there can only be three outcomes in a football match; a home win, a draw or an away win. This can and should be a factor when choosing players to boost your team’s game week score. As with real life football, the possibilities are endless therefore there are more windows of opportunity in fantasy football to pick up points from players regardless or the score or the result. It is for this reason that variation and balance in fantasy football starting line ups and on the bench is vitally important, in terms of team and club representation as well as getting the balance right economically.

Value, Economics, Efficiency, Transfers, Selection, Squad management & Rotation

Getting the balance right in selling and buying players can be difficult in fantasy football with the amount of games this hectic time of year, where the games are coming thick and fast (8 rounds of games starting from 30th November to January 1st) Managing your squad, not just team, is massively important given not only the sheer amount of games at this time of year but also the injuries that can and do occur.

Fantasy football in some ways is a reflection of real football. In order to succeed, you need to treat your team like a real team and act like a manager and/or a chairman. Being efficient in the transfer market is important to increase your points total and ultimately contribute towards your final standings in your friend’s leagues and other leagues. The great thing about finding ‘bargains’ is that they free up funds for transfer kitty as well as offering your squad nice ‘options’. Horses for courses could be a useful tactic at this time of year, admittedly it is a tricky and risky strategy but can be very useful in the long run if executed correctly.

Stats can be very useful. They can be very telling but also can be deceiving, therefore patience, concentration and context should be used when looking to anticipate or predict results, scenarios and scorers. However, they are well worth using and hopefully the following stats can help boost your fantasy football performance.

General

Stoke have conceded more goals (20) than scored goals (15) in the Premier league this season.
Manchester City are the league’s highest scorers in the Premier League (47).
Kun Aguero has scored 13 of Manchester City’s 47 league goals.
Manchester City’s league goals and assists have been spread widely across the team/squad.
Liverpool are the second highest scorers in the league (39).

Home & Away

Manchester City, Everton and Chelsea are the only two teams in the Premier League to remain unbeaten at home.  Newcastle United have yet to draw a single game away from home; their 8 away games have either been won (4) or lost (4).  Aston Villa have lost less games away from home and conceded less goals on the road than at Villa Park.

The 3 Essentials of Fantasy Football

Stop goals (clean sheets) - Create goals (assists) - Score goals

I look closely at players and teams performances, results and form in keeping clean sheets, getting assists and the amount of goals they create. However, just because top quality players have a history of dazzling in previous seasons and games does not mean that they’ll do it all the time. There have been key examples of this so far this season most notably the more expensive players such as Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Leighton Baines, Miguel Michu have struggled to find their feet quite the same way as they did in the 2013/14 season.
It must be stressed that these players remain top quality players and at any given moment and win a game on their own but it would seem that for different reasons just have not been able to perform quite as good this season. The following factors could explain why:

New managers and different styles of play.
New signings – changing their role in the team.
Tactics  managers being more weary of opposition players.
More competitive league.

Forms, Runs & Other

Prior to facing Hull, Southampton had only conceded 4 goals in the Premier League but have not kept a clean sheet since beating Fulham in October (2-0). This is a great example of how form changes, also a tough run of games for the Saints against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea could be part of the explanation for conceding more goals. Southampton have now conceded 15 goals in the league. Could the absence of Boruc and Clyne also being affecting the change in form?

Form is temporary? Or Class is permanent? Or Somewhere inbetween?

Naturally there is a desire to get as many class players in our team as possible but perhaps it could be that having too many quality players is counter-productive as well as being economically damaging.

Last season’s top assister Juan Mata has been rotated in and out of Mourinho’s new Chelsea side. Whilst the new signings have not only kept him out of the side but have meant he does not quite have the same role and ultimately influence when he does get game time.

Leighton Baines created more chances than any other player last season.  But he has only created 15 chances in the Premier League this campaign under new manager Roberto Martinez. The former Wigan man is still worth considering either keeping in your squad or buying (back) as he nears fitness, not only because of the outstanding threat he possesses on set pieces – direct free kicks, in-direct free kicks, penalties and corners – but given how solid Everton have been defensively. The Blues defence has been very solid and has picked up several clean sheets this campaign.

Oddly enough, despite being injured this month and not having played a Premier League game since scoring against Everton (3-3) on November 23rd  (GW 12), Daniel Sturridge is still currently the league’s 3rd top scorer with 9 goals, all of which came in 9 different games. Despite appearing to be an odd stat, it is perhaps reflective of what a strange season it has been and perhaps a sign of the inconsistency or lack of quality of some of the attacking players in the league this season.