Fantasy Football Scout’s latest Members Articles Unlocked series starts with a look at the players with the best points potential in January.
To do this, we’ve delved into the Members Area to bring you four takeaways from Gameweek 21 to what we’ve already seen of Gameweek 24.
This information should bring together a clear picture of the key players and key teams as we move into February, a time when many may be tempted to play that all-important second Wildcard.
This article has been written prior to the final fixture of Gameweek 24, West Ham United vs Liverpool. All statistics and the report tables are available in the Members Area and can be used on a regular basis.
Each metric takes into the account the last four Gameweek’s: a useful short-term indicator of form within the underlying statistics.
Goals Report: The Sergio Show
It’s Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) who dominates the latest Goals Report, not least because he’s scored six goals in his last four games: that’s three more than any other player. He’s also second for big chances, again with six, behind team-mate Gabriel Jesus (£9.5), demonstrating quality his chances have been over this period.
Aguero has rediscovered his accuracy too, now top for shots on target with nine, furthering the already compelling case to include him in our Fantasy squads.
With Jamie Vardy (£9.9m), Tammy Abraham (£7.8m), Marcus Rashford (£8.9m) and Harry Kane (£10.8m) all flagged with varying degrees of injury, it could be the perfect time to sign Aguero up.
Naturally, the main argument against the Argentinian is the ongoing threat of rotation with Jesus. The two strikers have played similar minutes over the period we are studying, with the Brazilian also scoring three goals and missing a penalty. He’s top for shots with 16, top for shots inside the box with 15 and second for shots on target with eight.
We have seen the pair start a Premier League game together, but with both of them having such strong underlying statistics, it’s could prove difficult to separate and put faith in either of them.
Aside from assets at Manchester City, Raul Jiménez (£7.5m) is another name who regular crops up towards the top of these charts. The Wolves man has scored three goals in his last two games, since myself and many other managers parted company ahead of seemingly difficult fixtures. Those three goals have arrived from six big chances and he’s within the top three for shots, shots in the box and shots on target.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.1m) has emerged as the best budget forward since Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton, scoring two goals in his last four outings. The statistics suggest he’s been somewhat unfortunate not to find the net more often, as he’s had five big chances in this spell, with 11 shots inside the box.
Chris Wood (£6.2m) may challenge Calvert-Lewin for his value status though. He’s more than survived Burnley’s difficult fixture run, with three goals in four games coming from four big chances. He’s top of the league for headed goal attempts too, with a total of six.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) are joint top for shots in January with 16 each, the Egyptian managing seven on target, and his centre-forward colleague on five. The pair are also joint-top for shots inside in the box with 15, clearly demonstrating their worth in our Fantasy teams as their promising fixture run continues into February.
Gerard Deulofeu (£6.1m), Neal Maupay (£5.9m), Danny Ings (£7.0m) and Troy Deeney (£6.2m) all have promising underlying statistics, which suggests that it’s worth holding onto them. Maupay has perhaps been the most unlucky over this spell: he’s failed to convert from three big chances, having had 14 shots in the box and six on target.
Considering both form and fixtures, a frontline of Aguero, Jiménez and Wood each have a good shot at forming part of the new template.
Creativity Report: The Belgian Magician
Reassuringly, Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) is right back up there as the key creator in the Premier League so far in the calendar year of 2020. We had seen some unusual activity in his underlying statistics of recent months, where he was dominating the goals and shots metrics, but he’s back where he belongs now.
De Bruyne is top in almost every creativity metric in the table: having three assists from three big chances created, plus 14 chances created and 13 successful crosses. While Aguero and Jesus may be sharing the glory when it comes to scoring Manchester City’s goals, De Bruyne is the consistent source of ammunition for them.
His big numbers are being threatened by another name though: Adama Traoré (£5.7m). The Wolves man is the only other player to register three assists in January, beating De Bruyne for big chances created too with five. Traoré having an incredible season, trusted on the right of a potent Wolves front-three. He’s created eight chances, with seven successful crosses.
Some other players from Manchester City have entered the equation for creativity: Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) has two assists from four big chances, in three starts. Benjamin Mendy (£5.5m), who is currently flagged with injury, has provided eight successful crosses and created nine chances.
Everton may be at the start of an upwards trajectory, after some generally improved performances in January. One player in the limelight is Lucas Digne (£5.8m), who has two assists and one clean sheet. He’s third for big chances with three and second for successful crosses with 12. He is even ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) for both statistics right now.
Team Report: Resurgent Foxes?
It’s been a tough spell for Fantasy managers holding Leicester City assets, with Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) and James Maddison (£7.6m) springing to mind in particular. However, the Foxes have scored nine goals in their last four games, second to only Manchester City.
They’ve had the most shots on target of any side over this period (31), creating 12 big chances. Many of us are debating selling their assets, with less favourable fixtures on the horizon, but it could be a shrewd move to hold them for a little while longer – or maybe we should look to Ayoze Pérez (£6.1m) who has six attacking returns in his last five Premier League matches.
At the opposite end of the table, Tottenham Hotspur have scored just two goals in January, both coming against a leaky Norwich defence. Only five sides have had fewer big chances than Tottenham’s seven in that time, with their 16 shots on target far lower than we would expect from Spurs.
Southampton are building momentum, having scored seven goals in their last four, with a variety of sources, rather than the usual dependable Ings. They’ve had 23 shots on target in this spell, with just Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester having more.
Defence Report: Laporte Returns
Aymeric Laporte’s (£6.3m) return from a long-term injury, coincides perfectly with Manchester City’s upturn in defensive form. They may have conceded four goals in their last four games, but the underlying statistics suggest clean sheets are on the horizon.
City have conceded the fewest goal attempts in January (23) and shots on targets (seven). The quality of their opponents may be a reflection of this, having faced Everton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United, but they are looking more like the side that kept 20 clean sheets last season. Ederson (£6.0) has even been jokingly suggested as in the frame for spot-kick duty too!
Liverpool are still the defensive kings, with three clean sheets in four and just one goal conceded. They may have been a little fortunate here though: they are mid-table for big chances conceded, with eight and City, Chelsea and Southampton have better underlying statistics for goal attempts conceded.
At the other end, Bournemouth and Aston Villa are the latest whipping boys, having conceded nine goals in four, without keeping a single clean sheet. Newcastle United are top for big chances conceded (15), with the Crystal Palace and West Ham United defences not faring too well either.
Burnley are top for goal attempts conceded, including in the box, but Nick Pope (£4.6) has survived this tough period, saving a Vardy penalty and keeping a shut-out at Old Trafford. Chelsea and Aston Villa were the Clarets other opponents in January.
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