Blog

8 Aug.

GW1 Top Five Key Players

By Fantasy Football Fix ()

Headliner - Mohamed Salah (NOR)

Salah looked very lively against Man. City in the Community Shield, being denied an almost certain goal by an incredible off-the line clearance from Walker. He took a total of 10 goal attempts during the game, which included two efforts off the woodwork. The 27-year-old achieved an average of 10.5 points per game (PPG) during home matches against the ‘bottom six’ teams last season, and an incredible 14.0 PPG at home against the now relegated trio of Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield. He found 20 of his 34 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) involvements last season at Anfield (13 goals, seven assists), with only Sterling able to match that total, amongst midfielders. The Reds scored a total of 89 goals last season, only Man. City (95) fared better. Their total of 108 'big chances' was also only beaten by Man. City's 125. The Reds landed 218 shots on target (SoT) with only Man. United (222) and Man. City (255) testing the opposition keeper more frequently. Norwich only kept 13 clean sheets in the Championship last season, with seven teams bettering that number. They conceded a total of 57 goals with 23 of those coming on the road. Our Fix Algorithm backs the Egyptian to get on the score-sheet with a point score of 7.7.

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Harry Kane (AVL)

Harry Kane overcame his injury problems to make a total 27 starts last season, producing an average of 5.7 PPG falling just behind Agüero amongst FPL forwards. As the Fix Heatmaps feature shows, the England captain achieved an even higher average of 6.7 PPG, if we disregard matches against the ‘top six’ teams and 8.3 PPG if we just include last season’s ‘bottom six’ teams, highlighting his appeal against lower-table opposition. Amongst regular starters last season, Kane’s average of 0.6 goals per game was joint-best in the league; on par with Aubameyang, Salah, Agüero and Mané. His average of 3.6 shots per game also ranked joint-top amongst FPL players, while only Agüero (2.8 to 2.6) averaged more shots inside the box (SiB), and only Salah (1.7 to 1.6) fired more shots on target (SoT) per game. Spurs scored 67 goals last season, with only Arsenal (73), Liverpool (89) and Man. City (95) finding the back of the net with more regularity. They also rank fourth for goal attempts with 537, trailing Liverpool (575), Chelsea (607) and Man. City (683). Their opponents Aston Villa could only muster 12 clean sheets in the Championship, a number beaten by 10 teams. The Villans conceded a total of 64 goals at an average of 1.31 per game. Kane will be backing himself to get started early in August this time around and our Fix Algorithm projects a point score of 7.2 for the Englishman.

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Ryan Fraser (SHU)

An average of 6.9 PPG against the ‘bottom six’ teams last season highlights Fraser’s potential to for a strong start to the 2019/20 campaign. Bournemouth face newly promoted sides in the opening two gameweeks. The Scottish international was directly involved in 21 of Bournemouth’s 56 league goals last season, with only Sterling (15) producing more than his 14 FPL assists. As the Custom Stats table shows, 26 'big chances' created by the 25-year-old was at least 10 more than any other player managed, while only Maddison (99) toppled the Scot's 93 attempted assists. The Cherries scored 56 goals last season, the most of any side outside of the 'top six'. They fashioned a total of 95 'big chances', the fifth-highest in the league with only Chelsea (96), Man. United (98), Liverpool (108) and Man. City (125) faring better. Although Sheff. United had the best defensive record in the Championship last season with 21 clean sheets, only 9 of these were on the road. The Blades will have their work cut out trying to keep an attacking Cherries outfit at bay and our Fix Algorithm projects a point score of 4.6 for the Scot.

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Callum Wilson (SHU)

Despite being bumped up in price to 8.0, Wilson could still provide value up-front. As the Custom Stats table shows, with 14 goals and 12 assists across 30 appearances last season, the 27-year-old only trailed premium forwards Aubameyang (29) and Agüero (32) for goal involvements. Wilson provided 10 FPL involvements (six goals, four assists) in 11 appearances during the second half of the campaign (gameweek 21 - 38), only trailing Agüero (6.4) amongst forwards, with an average of 6.3 PPG. 1.1 big chances per game during the same period, saw the Bournemouth forward rank joint-first across all positions, level with Aubameyang and ahead of Mané and Vardy (each 0.9). Bournemouth scored 30 goals in their home matches, the eighth-highest in the league. They created 53 'big chances' on home turf, a number only beaten by Arsenal (54), Liverpool (61) and Man. City (76). The Blades conceded an average of 1.04 goals in away matches versus 0.74 at home, so are definitely more porous on their travels which is also evidenced by the fact that they kept a clean sheet in 39% of their away games versus 52% on home turf. Our Fix Algorithm projects a point score of 4.6 for the striker.

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Andrew Robertson (NOR)

Liverpool’s full-backs were responsible for a combined total of 25 assists last season, in addition to the Reds’ league-high clean sheet tally (21), making 7.0 appear a worthwhile investment for Robertson. The 2018/19 runners-up were especially resilient at Anfield, with no Premier League opponent keeping more than their 12 clean sheets or conceding fewer than their 19 'big chances' during home matches. The Scottish left-back picked up 8 of his 12 assists during the 2nd half of the campaign (gameweek 21-38), and only De Bruyne, Jiménez (each 9) and Fraser (11) created more 'big chances' in that time. He amassed a total of 103 FPL points during that period, matching Van Dijk and Laporte, and no defender returned more than the trio. As mentioned, Liverpool kept a league-high 21 clean sheets last season conceding just 22 goals. They allowed opponents just 40 'big chances' and 96 SoT, second only to Man. City (36 'big chances and 81 SoT). Norwich are known to be a free-scoring team, but the step up from the Championship is huge and they could not have asked for a stiffer task. The challenge of breaching the best defence from last season should be beyond the Canaries. Norwich were slightly less prolific in front of goal away from home (42 goals) than at Carrow Road (51 goals). Our Fix Algorithm projects a 70% chance of a Liverpool clean sheet and a point score of 6.4 for Robertson.

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