Following on from my "Best Goalscoring Defenders" post, I'm back with another dosage of results from FPLH's Algorithm. This time around I wanted to know who was the "best pound-for-pound" assisting defender in the Premier League. More precisely, from the last two Premier League seasons (since 2012/2013). In my estimation an assist rate of 12.5% or more (or thereabouts) is exceptional for a defender. In producing the aforementioned results I looked at a number of factors such as the first 10 upcoming Gameweek fixtures of each player (up to the first week of November 2014), assists/assist rates since 12/13, 14/15 starting prices and latest ownership which amalgamated into producing the FPLH Algorithm scores. Please note; our algorithm score doesn't factor in non-Premier League goals, any assists, injuries, potential suspensions or possible squad rotation risk.
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1. Nathaniel Clyne.
2. Jose Enrique.
3. Aleksandar Kolarov.
4. Leighton Baines.
5. Kyle Walker.
Total Value: £29M
Top 5 Players - "Best Assist Attributes":
1. Nathaniel Clyne (FPLH Algorithm Score).
2. Aleksandar Kolarov (Most Assists).
3. Jose Enrique(Best Assist Rate).
4. Matthew Lowton (Best Differential).
5. Matthew Lowton (Cheapest Price)
Total Value: £24M
Honourable Mentions (Not in our list):
1. Luke Shaw.
2. Kieran Trippier.
3. Joel Ward.
4. Phil Jones.
5. Luke Chambers.
As with the previous goalscoring defenders article, I know that this post has also thrown up some surprises. Clyne seems to be the best all-round assist-orientated defender and like goalscoring-Fonte could flourish with their recent experience and good run of games. However, unsurprisingly, none of the top 10 of the best assisting defenders from my spreadsheet are centre-backs. They are the full backs who make the marauding runs, do the precision crosses or simply get the ball to their team's attackers by any means necessary. Incidentally, none of the Algorithm Top 3 have played 60+ games over the last two seasons, which may inadvertently show them up as rotation risks. Moreover, Baines made my Top 5 in the goalscoring and assisting category which makes him a banker for any FPL team.
With the culmination of both articles, this still begs the question, should you focus on getting assist making full-backs or goalscoring centre-backs? Looking at the stats, the best assisters are full-backs who incidentally seem to be cheaper than the goalscoring centre-backs. This ticks one box. But the game changer for me is the new change in bonus points calculation rules. As per the article on FFS, it seems that attacking full-backs will benefit the most. As a result, I may configure my team to have 3 or 4 attacking full-backs and only 1 or 2 goalscoring centre-backs. Ultimately, it's your call. I hope you have found my FPLH Algorithm articles beneficial and that the supposed theory can be backed up by the real life practical come Gameweek 1.