The Big Stat Awards are back! After last year’s awards we’re taking a look at the season just finished to see which players came out top for some of the most important stats in fantasy football. The winners of these awards could be key targets for all FPL managers going into next season. Unless stated otherwise, all players had to have started at least 19 games and scored 7 or more goals.
Most Shots In The Box Award
- Gold: Mitrovic (96)
- Silver: Salah (95)
- Bronze: Aguero (92)
Shots in the box highlight which players have the most goal threat and Aleksandar Mitrovic is perhaps the surprise winner here with 96 shots in the box in 37 starts. It should be noted that Aguero only started 31 games and he is number 1 in the league when it comes to ‘minutes per shot in the box’ (26.9 compared to Mitrovic at 34.2). It is also worth noting that 54 of Mitrovic’s goal attempts were headed goal attempts. By their very nature, headed goal attempts are less likely to lead to a goal than a shot on the ground with your dominant foot. This is reflected in the significant difference between the Expected Goal Involvement (xGI) for Mitrovic (16.00) and Salah (28.63), who both started the same number of games and had almost an identical number of shots in the box. This said, if Mitrovic was to secure a move back to the premier league next season, he is certainly a budget striker to watch.
Most Chances Created Award
- Gold: Maddison (99)
- Silver: Hazard (97)
- Bronze: Fraser (92)
The Chances Created stat reveals which players have the most assist potential and Leicester’s James Maddison is top of the pile with nearly a century of chances created in 35 games. The now departed Eden Hazard was just behind Maddison and he would surely have overtaken him if he hadn’t of started 3 fewer games. Most strikingly, 3rd place Ryan Fraser obliterates all competition when it comes to the arguably more important metric of ‘Big Chances Created’. In the same number of starts, Fraser created 28 big chances to Maddison’s 13. So while Maddison is creating an abundance of chances, they tend to be of a lower quality and less likely to lead to an assist.
Minutes Per Save Award (NB: Based on at least 10 starts)
- Gold: Hart (21.6)
- Silver: Fabianski (22.6)
- Bronze: Sergio Rico (23.5)
Minutes Per Save indicates which goalkeepers are likely to rack up the save points in a match, which, when coupled with a clean sheet, can also bag the bonus points and lead to a big haul. While it’s currently unclear whether first place Joe Hart and Fulham’s Sergio Rico can secure moves to a premier league team next season, Fabianski is definitely one to keep a close eye on.
Not only is he second for minutes per save, but he is second for total ‘shots saved outside the box’ with 45 (shots from range tend to be easier to save, which makes it easier to keep clean sheets and accumulate save points), joint first for ‘minutes per baseline bonus’ (baseline bonus refers to the common, everyday player actions on the pitch that are recognised in the BPS system) and first again for ‘Expected Goals Prevented’ (a score of +10.9 is almost double that of Liverpool’s Alisson who is in second place with +5.5). This essentially means that Fabianski prevented West Ham conceding 11 fewer goals than they were expected to based on the quality of the shots on target they faced.
When pouring over FPL stats, the Holy Grail and the biggest thing you are looking out for is player who appears in a “funnel” of stats – in other words, one player who is top or near the top for many important metrics. Fabianski is that player and, if West Ham can keep 3 or 4 more clean sheets than they did last season, this budget stopper will almost certainly be the leading points scorer for goalkeepers in 2019/20.
Most Attacking Defender Award (Based on ‘Goal Attempts’)
- Gold: Doherty (46)
- Silver: Van Aanholt (45)
- Silver: Alonso (45)
- Bronze: Duffy (37)
While we have split the silver medal between Patrick Van Aanholt and Marcos Alonso, PVA started 36 games while FPL-Legend Alonso started 31 games, so it’s fair to say that the latter is more attacking. Indeed, if Alonso had started 35 games like Matt Doherty did for Wolves, it is almost certain he would win gold here. With speculation rumbling on about Maurizio Sarri and who will be Chelsea’s Manager next season, this is a timely reminder of just how attacking Alonso can be whether playing as a wing-back or a full back.
The Donkey Forward Award (Based on ‘Big Chances Missed’)
- Gold: Aubameyang (23)
- Silver: Wilson (20)
- Bronze: Vardy (17)
A bit of fun, the Donkey Forward Award showcases which centre forwards missed the most big chances and the top 3 make for interesting reading. Pierre Aubameyang missed 23 of his 36 big chances (64%), Callum Wilson missed 20 of his 29 big chances (69%) and Jamie Vardy missed 17 of his 33 big chances (52%). While Bournemouth’s Wilson is generally regarded as having had an excellent season and is expect to get a significant price hike next season, the fact that he misses nearly 7 out of every 10 gilt-edged chances is a worry.
Talisman Award (Based On FPL Goal Involvement)
- Gold: Hazard (60%)
- Silver: Wilson (54%)
- Silver: Arnautovic (54%)
- Bronze: Diogo Jota (53%)
Talisman and Goal Involvement is a crucial stat to look at because it says “if a team is going to score a goal, who is most likely be involved and who will get those precious goal and assist points.” Incredibly, when on the pitch, a Chelsea goal had a 60% chance of involving Eden Hazard and this shows just how reliant they were on him and just what they will be missing next season. Fascinatingly, the Wolves Talisman is not Raul Jimenez as most people might expect – he was involved in 52% of Wolves goals and was pipped by just 1% to the bronze medal by his strike partner, Jota.