The Numbers Game – Opportunity Knocks

Filed under: Members - Posted by: Chris Glover

Fantasy managers are always looking out for any indicators of a player’s future success. Some, like increased game time or a team’s new attacking philosophy make total sense. Others such as a player’s performance in a single Gameweek or past success against any given opponent are a bit of a stretch. The final category is filled with hunches, feelings and long shots, often fuelled by adult beverages, and usually leading to ill-advised Friday night transfer binges.

One way of predicting goals is to look at the amount of opportunities a player is receiving, and what he’s doing with them. For anyone who has even casually glanced at a game of football (never mind hardened Fantasy managers like yourself), that sounds obvious but it’s a factor which is consistently ignored in favour of ‘form’ and the fact a player had a ‘big’ game the previous week, even if his lone goal came about somewhat fortuitously.

Taking last year‘s data (for forwards only), we see a correlation of around 88% when comparing total shots to goals scored (excluding penalties) and 90% when comparing only shots on target. This can be used as a predictive tool as players who are getting chances, but not putting them away will, on average, start to improve over time assuming they continue to receive the same opportunities in the future.

There are two careful, and important, distinctions to be made though.

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About The Author

“Creator of the plfantasy blog, providing a stats focused approach to fantasy football. Exiled to Canada but still prefer my sports played on grass rather than ice.”

Chris Glover @plfantasy

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  1. Who to captain, Bale or Rooney?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Rooney.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. I'm hesitant, I've been burned a few time by him so far....

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
  2. January 13 at 8:29 pm
    hi all! I need some help! this is my team:
    considerations at the moment are downgrading a aguerro to upgrade benarfa or McLean. I could change benarfa to nani/mata and Valencia to Dempsey. downgrading ADE isn’t really an option as I got him for £8m. I would have 6.1 (nani) or 6.9 (mata) for the third striker. any other more imaginative ideas also welcome too!
    any thoughts very welcome!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  3. Will Evans play tomorrow?.

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  4. Evans and a spurs def or Jones and a cheap deender

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. evans & spurs

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  5. Clichy & Smalling or Richards & Evans

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Richards >clichy
      so 2nd one IMO

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  6. Will Given play this weekend? I currently have him over Vorm

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Rare chances to appear as a sub so you can keep him against Everton 😀

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  7. i want to WC but my team value plummets from 105.8 to 2.1 maybe just a few tweaks instead

    Simpson R Taylor Louis en

    Nani Bale VDV Walters

    Adebay Sturridge RVP

    Westwood , de laet , Brown , De laet

    .8m in the bank 1 ft and a wild one

    VDV to Dempsey ? but i never like getting rid of the dutchman he's too good when he's fit
    prefer to sell Bale when VDV is fit and switch between the two but i only get 8.6 for Bale , maybe i should sit on it for one more week with spurs hoping to whip wolves today .

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  8. Welcome to FFS Chris - great write-up!
    No offence to the scout team but this analysis is just what I needed during my WC week and ongoing.
    Midfielders next?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 13

  • De Gea
  • Dann
  • van Dijk
  • Dier
  • Mahrez
  • De Bruyne
  • Sánchez
  • Mane
  • Bolasie
  • Kane
  • Lukaku
  • Coleman
  • Wijnaldum
  • Giroud

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The Watchlist


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:59pm
Player Club Factors
No Change De Gea MUN A
Up Mignolet LIV C, Vs
Up Butland STO A, VsX
No Change Hennessey CPL B, Vs, Rest, £
Up Gomes WAT B
Up Lloris TOT B, Vs
Up Pantilimon SUN C, VsX
Up Adrián WHM C, Vs
No Change Cech ARS B
Down Begovic CHE C, Rest
No Change Myhill WBA B
No Change Stekelenburg SOT B
No Change Howard EVE C
No Change Hart MCI B


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:55pm
Player Club Factors
Up Moreno LIV B, Vs
Up Dier TOT B, Vs, OoP
Down Bellerín ARS B, Vs
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
No Change Smalling MUN A
Down Otamendi MCI B, Rest
Up Zouma CHE B, Vs
Down Dann CPL B
Down van Dijk SOT B, VsX
Up Cresswell WHM C, Vs
No Change Janmaat NEW C
Up Simpson LEI B, £
Up Wollscheid STO A, VsX
No Change Dawson WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 25 Nov, 2015 8:42pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Ozil ARS A, Vs
Up Coutinho LIV A, Vs
Down De Bruyne MCI B
Down Sánchez ARS C, Vs
No Change Mahrez LEI A, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT B, Vs
Up Barkley EVE A, Vs
Down Mane SOT B, VsX
No Change André Ayew SWA B
Up Deulofeu EVE A, Vs
Down Wijnaldum NEW A
No Change Lanzini WHM B, £
Up Bolasie CPL B
No Change Willian CHE B
No Change Tadic SOT B, VsX


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:53pm
Player Club Factors
Up Lukaku EVE A, Vs
Up Kane TOT A, Vs
Up Aguero MCI C, Inj
No Change Vardy LEI A, VsX
Up Ighalo WAT A
Up Diego Costa CHE C, Vs
Down Pellè SOT C, VsX, Sus
No Change Giroud ARS A, Rest
No Change Martial MUN C, Inj
Down Benteke LIV B, Rest

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Clark AVL 4
Ritchie BOU 4
Cabaye CPL 4
Zaha CPL 4
McCarthy EVE 4
Huth LEI 4
Can LIV 4
Clyne LIV 4
Mangala MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Bassong NOR 4
Romeu SOT 4
Whelan STO 4
Williams SWA 4
Nyom WAT 4
Yacob WBA 4

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular