1. xFPL review
xFPL is calculated primarily using expected goals (xG), assists (xA), which combine as Fantasy Premier League (FPL) involvements (xG + xA = xI), as well as expected clean sheets (xC). These numbers are a result of underlying statistics (i.e. shot type and location will give a probability of scoring = xG). xFPL is the combination of these statistics and factors in appearance and bonus points to give an overall expected FPL point score.
Sterling tops the xFPL table on the opening weekend with a score of 11.9 as he registered four shots on target (SoT), three of which were 'big chances', no real surprise to see him walk away with the hat-trick ball then. Rashford scored from both his SoT and sits in second in the table with a score of 10.0. Maitland-Niles was probably the most surprising addition and was the highest-scoring defender of the week with a score of 9.2, but it is worth mentioning that he only created one chance all game. No player took more shots (eight) or shots in the box (SiB) than Kane's six, and he also attempted two assists. Two Chelsea midfielders Pedro and Mount were the most creative players this week with five and four attempted assists respectively, indicating there might be Fantasy Premier League (FPL) potential in the Blues' midfield despite their 4-0 loss.
2. Battle of the big-hitters
All of FPL's premium assets (players priced at 11.0 or over) bar Mané scored this gameweek and their performances are put under the microscope using the Fix Comparison Matrix. Sterling led the way for goals and points but the underlying numbers for Kane are impressive with eight shots. The Englishman is reaping the benefits of a full pre-season under his belt and looks sharp at the start of the new campaign. Salah's shot volume is unusually low and the Egyptian scored from his only SoT. He did attempt three assists, the most amongst these players which explains why he is top for penalty area actions. Aguero's numbers cannot be analysed fairly due to limited pitch time but it was important to note that he took the penalty ahead of Sterling who was on a hat-trick at the time.
3. Finding the budget gems
While the heavy-hitters delivered, many budget assets such as Pérez, King and Jota disappointed their owners. The xFPL table of all attacking players (no defenders) priced at 6.5 or under is analysed for a closer look at their performances. Barnes naturally led the way with a score of 7.4 and the forward also took the most SiB but Pukki's numbers are impressive as well. The Finn took three SiB at Anfield and although he landed only one SoT these statistics are very encouraging for owners. Sharp comes in second, although his minutes remain a concern. McGinn highlighted his credentials with a goal ahead of a kind fixture run for Villa, and also attempted one assist. Jota took two SiB, none of which were 'big chances' and only attempted one assist, which explains his low xFPL score of 3.0. King posted similar numbers but took one less SiB, registering a xFPL score of 2.3. Pérez attempted just one SiB, notching a score of only 2.8. Mount was the most creative budget player with four attempted assists and a xFPL score of 2.8.