Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Looking Beyond Clean Sheets | Goalscoring Defenders & More | 2016/2017 | Fantasy Premier League |

Choosing the right defender for you FPL team goes far beyond having players who just get clean sheets. They must have another outlet to bring home big points for your team through goals, assists and bonus points. I’ve created a spreadsheet in order to help you try and make selection decisions for more than just coverage.


Attacking Returns
I found the goals and assists for all the selected defenders for the last 2 seasons. I feel that this was a good way of soothing out erratically high scorers for the strikerate %. That said, I have separated the goal columns to give some clarity to the numbers and also to show which players found themselves further forward than others last season. The best indicator here is the strikerate as it forgives those who have played less games. I found the results quite surprising.

In spite of suffering from rotation at the hands of Pochetino, Danny Rose leads the way followed closely behind by Leighton Baines. Baines of course has struggled to return to his best from injury and has been stripped of his old penalty duties. However, his prolific assisting in 2014/15 sees him still appear to be a bargain buy, especially at his reduced price tag of 5.5m. Hold off on selection of the Englishman until his position in (or out of) the team becomes clear.  His teammate Seamus Coleman had a poor season in 2015/16 by his own standards as his production dropped dramatically along with his goals. As a guaranteed starter, he may well the best FPL pick of Koeman’s Toffee defence for now.

Southampton new boy Jeremy Pied may also be a cut price gem. If he can continue his old assist rate that he managed in Ligue 1 supplying big Shane Long and co, he will prove very popular at 5.0. Liverpool new boy Joel Matip on the other hand looks less enticing. 
A special mention also goes to Sunderland’s attack-minded full back Patrick Van Aanholt. Last season saw the Dutchman find his shooting in boots in the league under Big Sam in addition to his assists. If deployed correctly by new manager David Moyes, PvA could prove to be outrageously good value, especially if the Black Cats start keeping cleanies again.

We all know defenders’ BAPs are strongly linked to them keeping clean sheets. However, defenders who get forward to take shots and create chances are favoured strongly by the calculation metric. That’s why Hector Bellerin regularly took home bonus points and why Bacary Sagna somehow got them when no other Man City defender could get near them post-Christmas (yes, slight exaggeration but you get the idea). Christian Fuchs and Ashely Williams were the stand out bonus magnets.

Fuchs was the most dynamic of all the Leicester defenders in their title run, meaning that he more often swept up the max BAPs in the low scoring games. Ashley Williams on the other hand was richly reward for his defensive stats while getting clean sheets when it mattered most for Swansea toward the tail end of the campaign. If his move to Everton is completed, he will be gold at 5.0 in their defence which is no longer weakened by the presence of Tim Howard in goals nor Martinez’s disregard for defensive coaching.

Many FPL managers are guilty of forgetting just how important discipline is for defenders in FPL. Obviously, a well-disciplined player is less likely to be sent off, but they’re also more likely to score bonuses. The most tragic case in this department is Scott Dann. His prolific goal scoring last season should have seen him score so much more than 11 BAPs in 2015/16. However instead, his goals were not supplemented and hence it’s hard to justify that 5.5m price tag when there are perfectly good cheaper and safer starters for the Eagles.

The aforementioned Ashley Williams is the exception to this rule. This is explained by the fact that most of Williams’ cautions came in games the Swans conceded in and hence he was never getting bonuses anyway. Basically, when the Welsh won, Williams was rewarded more often than not.

Elsewhere, Branislav Ivanovic along with the aforementioned Pied and Rose all come with unfortunate stings in the tail. All have poor records when It comes to cards and this blemishes their attraction. Ivan also faces stiff competition for a place in the Blues first XI and Rose’s position will continue to be hit or miss.

This article has highlighted two 5.0m players in particular to me; Pied and Van Aanholt. Both are relatively inexpensive given their attacking prowess and the latter is unlikely to be card. One would expect the Black Cats’ defence to shore up under Moyes and for even more bonuses to rain on the Dutch full back. Elsewhere, premium priced Bellerin and Alderweireld both highlight again why they’re so pricey. They hoover up bonuses, getting some attacking returns, are well disciplined and crucially score cleanies regularly.

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