13 Sept.

Introducing Unexpected Goals from FantasyBet

By Fantasy Football Fix ()

Welcome to Unexpected Goals; a series that looks at Fix’s underlying stats to find the most unlikely FPL returners from the previous gameweek.

The luckiest goalscorer in Gameweek 4

There were a few players vying to be the luckiest goalscorer last gameweek. As FantasyBet looked at in their Standout Stats article, plenty of assets massively overperformed their xG in Gameweek 4, including Sergio Aguero (+1.66), Richarlison (+1.63) and Jamie Vardy (+1.51). 

But we’re looking for the luckiest goalscorer; not the biggest overperformer. That accolade goes to Jannik Vestergaard who, according to Fix’s Stats Sandbox, registered an xG of just 0.06 and still came away with a goal.

Unfortunately for the Southampton centre back, there’s no correlation between height and FPL ownership, which means there won’t be too many managers benefiting from his uncharacteristic returns. 

The luckiest assists in Gameweek 4

Unlike goals, which - thanks to the introduction of VAR and goal line technology - are relatively unambiguous these days, assists are still anybody’s guess. Firstly, let’s remember that “FPL assists” are a unique category of goal involvement: some are gained from a perfect threaded pass and some are gained by getting fouled 30 yards away from goal. 

With that in mind, there were some quite ludicrous overperformers as far as xA goes. In Gameweek 4, both Christian Pulisic and Callum Robinson registered an xA of 0.00 and still walked away with an FPL assist. 

A special mention goes to Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Liverpool defender notched up an xA of 0.20 against Burnley, but the FPL assist he was actually credited for was surely the most improbable of the weekend. A speculative cross that ballooned off the back of a despairing Chris Wood and over Nick Pope, who looked about as stunned as the 12.2% of FPL managers who owned him were.

The unluckiest FPL players in Gameweek 4

As you already know by now, FPL is a game of euphoric highs and crushing lows. For every freakish Trent Alexander-Arnold assist, there’s a 1-yard tap-in put over the bar.

It would be easy to say that Chris Wood was Gameweek 4’s unluckiest FPL player. His admirable attempt to block Trent’s cross didn’t deserve to bag him -2 points; a fact his 0.6% ownership will lament until the day they stop playing FPL (which, with that kind of luck, probably won’t be too far away).

But in terms of Fix’s xFPL stat, there’s a rather different story to be told. If you don’t already know, xFPL combines underlying stats, including xA, xG and xGA, to calculate the number of FPL points a player should be scoring. So who was robbed of the most FPL points in Gameweek 4?

That dubious honour goes to Brighton’s Leandro Trossard and Wolves’ Willy Boly. Trossard had an xFPL of 6.37 in Gameweek 4 but emerged with a meagre 2 points for his efforts. Meanwhile, Willy Boly’s assist against Everton had him on track for a bonus point, until his last minute red card saw him trundle off the pitch with 1 point to his name. His xFPL of 6.01 is salt in the wound for his 6.4% ownership.

Join us next week where we’ll be looking at Gameweek 5’s unexpected goals in all of their, frustrating, unpredictable glory. 

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