12 May

GW36 Buy, Sell, Keep

As the deadline looms closer, it is time to decide what to do with our precious free transfer(s). Aside from playing chips or selecting a captain, our transfers are the single most important aspect of our FPL campaign, and the importance of getting it right cannot be overstated.

In this article we crunch the numbers, analyse the fixtures, take advice from the Algorithm, and decide which player to buy, which player to sell, and which player to keep for Gameweek 36.

Caveat: this article was written on Friday 12th March, prior to the Premier League press conferences

BUY: Kieran Trippier

  • Cost: £6.1m
  • Selected by: 65.9%
  • Projected Points (until season end): 18.1 (5th)

Once upon a time, Kieran Trippier (£6.1m) was viewed as an essential part of any back line, but seven back-to-back blanks have made many look elsewhere. Indeed, since Gameweek 32, over a quarter of a million managers have transferred out the Newcastle full-back.

It is difficult to say why Newcastle have transitioned from one of the best defensive teams in the league, to a team who have only recorded a single clean sheet since Gameweek 22.

According to Opta Stats Sandbox, Newcastle, despite the lack of clean sheets, have still been one of the best teams defensively in terms of underlying numbers. Since Gameweek 22 – when the clean sheets stopped – Newcastle are still ranked fifth from top in terms of Expected Goals Conceded (xGC) (16.67) and have conceded the joint second least number of shots (137).

While the lack of clean sheets will be frustrating for those who invested heavily in Newcastle defensive assets, the data suggests they have probably been slightly unlucky to not come away with more.

trippier gw22 onwards

Left: Trippier attacking stats per 90 prior to Gameweek 22; Right: Stats after Gameweek 22 - click here for Opta Player Heatmaps

But with Trippier, it is not just about his defensive numbers. We must also look at his potential for goal involvements. Comparing his performance pre-and-post Gameweek 22, we can see that while there has been a drop off in some aspects of his underlying data. The difference is not significant – with the exception of crosses which is almost half of what it was – and so the attacking threat is still there, if not quite as potent.

According to Player Points Projections, Trippier is the fifth best player to own between now and the end of the season, and the best player to own in Gameweek 36.