The first international break provides us time to review what has been a roller coaster season so far.
Here are the lessons learned so far:
The Holy Trinity
As discussed in the previous article of ‘Lessons Learned So Far‘, left backs have dominating the FPL point standings so far with standout performances from Marcos Alonso, Benjamin Mendy, Andrew Robertson and Jose Holebas. While some people are susceptible about whether Holebas can continue his fine form, there has been no doubt that Alonso, Mendy and Robertson have quickly formed the FPL template. Alonso has provided attacking returns in all of his four games so far, as well as providing three double digit hauls in four gameweeks. While Robertson and Mendy are the joint third highest scoring defenders in game with 32 points each, and their underlying statistics suggests that more of the same should continue. No defender has received more passes in the final third of the pitch (111) than Mendy, whereas no defender has more number of touches in the opposition to penalty box than Robertson (17). Left is continuing to be the Right!
No Eden can be Hazardous
Two goals, two assists, four bonus points in just 223 minutes has helped Eden Hazard score 27 points and joint 4th highest scoring midfielder in the fantasy premier league. The figures are backed by underlying statistics. Hazard has the most number of touches in the final third (204) and the most number of passes received in the final third (141) among the midfielders, and that is even more impressive considering that he has played just 223 minutes so far. With favorable fixtures coming up and an added advantage of him being the designated penalty Taker (as discussed earlier in the previous article) not owning Hazard can be very Hazardous for your team!
Sadio continues being the Mane Man from LFC
4 goals, 8 bonus points, 3 double digit returns and 0.5 price hike from the start of the season, it has been a breathtaking start for Sadio Mane. After all the pre-season hype regarding Mohamed Salah, Mane has clearly outperformed his LFC teammate. However, digging a little deeper shows a different picture. Salah has better underlying stats in almost all the departments compared to Mane – like better minutes per goal attempts in box (28.2 for Salah to 34.2 Mane), better minutes per shots on target (48.3 for Salah to 57 for Mane). However, Mane leads Salah in one crucial statistic – Goal conversion. Mane has converted 4 out of his 10 attempts whereas Salah has converted 2 out of his 19 attempts. As of now, not only is Sadio proving to be the Mane Man but he is also proving value for Mane.
Mid-price midfield options suddenly diminishing
After providing excellent value for the first few weeks, the mid-price midfield options have suddenly decreased. With Richarlison de Andrade suspended, Theo Walcott injured, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma being rotation doubts, Roberto Pereyra to face some difficult opponents, and suddenly we are no longer blessed with a plethora of options in mid-price midfield.
Newly Promoted Teams are providing players who are proving good value for money
Wolves, Fulham and Cardiff are providing Fantasy Premier League managers with a variety of options in each department.
Fulham have scored 6 goals in their last two games and the chief contributor to that has been Aleksandar Mitrović (6.7) is the second highest scoring forward in that game and he has been ably supported by Jean Michaël Seri (5.4) and André Schürrle (5.9).
Wolves have shown that they can very much live up to the hype surrounding them after impressive performances so far, most notably their 1-1 draw against Manchester City. Wolves’ impressive defensive statistics suggest that Rui Patrício (4.5) and Matt Doherty (4.4) can be good picks. Not to forget the value of Ryan Bennett (4.0), who is the cheapest starting defender in the game. Ruben Neves (5.2) is always handy with his set piece duties and long range efforts, and up front Raúl Jiménez (5.5) can be useful cheap forward considering the favorable upcoming fixtures for Wolves.
Meanwhile, Cardiff can be happy hunting ground for bargain basement. Midfielder Danny Ward (4.5) started up front versus Arsenal and scored and could be an Out Of Position option. Another goal scorer was Victor Camarasa (another 4.5m midfielder), who started on the right of midfield. These two can be valuable fifth midfielders for our FPL squad.
Need for better bench
With injuries, rotation and suspension it is vital to have players on the bench who at least start and if possible can provide attacking or defensive returns. As witnessed by the cases of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Richarlison de Andrade, Wilfred Zaha, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester City midfielders (to name a few) – suspensions, injuries and rotation can have a huge impact on our FPL squads. Furthermore, with the start Champions League and Europa League, rotation will only increase and the days of having cheap non playing players in the bench (the likes of Colin Quaner, Aboubakar Kamara, Lee Peltier, etc.) might be over.
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