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The Numbers Game – Opportunity Knocks

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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Chris Glover 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.” Follow him on Twitter

1,509 Comments Post a Comment
  1. The Mousa is Loosa
      5 years, 5 months ago

      Who to captain, Bale or Rooney?

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      1. Dynamic
          5 years, 5 months ago

          Rooney.

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          1. The Mousa is Loosa
              5 years, 5 months ago

              I'm hesitant, I've been burned a few time by him so far....

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        • Tadpole86
            5 years, 5 months ago

            January 13 at 8:29 pm
            TADPOLE86 SAYS:
            hi all! I need some help! this is my team:
            Sorensen/mignolet
            Richards/Enrique/Dawson/shotton/Simpson
            bale/Valencia/silva/benarfa/mclean
            ADe/rvp/aguerro
            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!

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          • Dynamic
              5 years, 5 months ago

              Will Evans play tomorrow?.

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            • Reacher
                5 years, 5 months ago

                Evans and a spurs def or Jones and a cheap deender

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                1. GunsnRoses
                    5 years, 5 months ago

                    evans & spurs

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                2. is_there_nanibody_out_there
                    5 years, 5 months ago

                    Clichy & Smalling or Richards & Evans

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                    1. GunsnRoses
                        5 years, 5 months ago

                        Richards >clichy
                        evans=smalling
                        so 2nd one IMO

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                    2. mr. inconspicuous
                        5 years, 5 months ago

                        Will Given play this weekend? I currently have him over Vorm

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                        1. GunsnRoses
                            5 years, 5 months ago

                            Rare chances to appear as a sub so you can keep him against Everton 😀

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                        2. wigsandwags11
                            5 years, 5 months ago

                            i want to WC but my team value plummets from 105.8 to 2.1 maybe just a few tweaks instead

                            vorm
                            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 .

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                          • champoz
                              5 years, 5 months ago

                              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?

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