Opinion

Using points per game to assess the key FPL decisions of 2019/20 so far

With some spare time on my hands, I thought I would look back through the Fantasy Premier League season so far and highlight some key moments.

There were some important decisions to make over the first 29 Gameweeks of the campaign, mostly on the fluctuating runs of form from well-owned Fantasy assets.

Some of these I got right, some I got wrong, and I’m sure many of you lie somewhere in between.

All of these decisions have likely played a big part in your current overall ranking and going over them should help us learn some lessons moving forward.

The Lord

FPL 2019/20 In Review Part One - Goalkeepers and Defenders

Who would have thought that deciding whether or not to start the season with John Lundstram (£4.8m) in your side would be such a key decision?

Go to the FPL website, go to the statistics tab, click all players and then sort by value (season).

How fitting that the Lord sits in the number one spot, the best value player in the game – one of only two outfield players amongst eight goalkeepers in the top ten.

Sure, it’s easier for a player priced at £4.0m to achieve this goal but his point tally is no joke either.

The out-of-position legend is currently the 16th highest scoring player in the game and the fourth-highest scoring defender overall.

Cottoning on early to including the Sheffield United man in your starting XI each week was the smart play here, with a very respectable 4.41 points per game (ppg) and the money saved allowing upgrades elsewhere.

With five double-digit hauls, including a 21 point return in Gameweek 11 it’s safe to say the Englishman will have been responsible for large rank swings if and when he featured in your team or your bench.

Think you’re a big man?

FPL Gameweek 26 team news and injury updates

Oh Raheem Sterling (£11.7m), what happened? Last season’s wonder asset started off with a bang. Hitting a hat-trick in Gameweek 1 and coming away with 20 points it looked like his hot form was set to continue How wrong we were.

To be fair, a ppg of 20 is hard to maintain but following this up with just 98 points in the following 28 Gameweeks meant Sterling’s ppl since the opening weekend stands at just 3.5. That’s nearly a whole point per game less than Lundstram, who cost £8.0m less!

Many of us (myself included) stuck with Raheem for far too long, convinced he would return to form.

Selling the Englishman after Gameweek 1 would have been seen as madness to most, but it turns out this was the best play. Seeing as very few would have done this without hindsight the defining moment here was just flat out ignoring him from the start, if you did that you likely saved yourself a lot of headaches, blank captain returns and structure issues.

The deep-lying playmaker

 1

Pretty much the polar opposite of his team-mate above, choosing to skimp out on your Manchester City asset and opt for Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m) was, in fact, a stroke of genius.

Only just back from a long-term injury, rotation worries and an expected deeper role meant there was genuine cause for concern ahead of Gameweek 1… but turns out being one of the best players in the world can compensate for those issues.

Another Gameweek 1 decision that likely impacted your entire season, the Belgian returned 63 points in the opening seven matches – an average of nine points a game.

He’s not been bad since by any means at 5.23 ppg but early acquisition likely set you in great stead given his near 50% ownership and £1.1m price rise since.

The Belgian didn’t stop there though. He has recorded seven double-digit hauls for the season with Gameweek 6 a particular highlight for some when he scored 17 points against Watford. Sterling was still being heavily captained at this point, with many leaving the vice-captaincy on KDB, so a no-show from the Englishman secured a 34-point haul for some. Coincidently, this happened the same weekend that Lundstram came off many a Fantasy manager’s bench to return an unexpected 12 points away at Everton. A 46-point swing for a lucky few.

Fixtures? LOL

Sticking with early-season decisions, bargain front men Ashley Barnes (£6.1m) and Teemu Pukki (£6.5m) decided tough early fixtures didn’t apply to them and thought they would hit the ground running. Only after they had amassed hordes of owners and embarked on easier fixtures did they drop off a cliff. How typical.

Barnes picked up 25 points in the opening three weeks (8.3 ppg) to keep the Hindumonkey-inspired train steaming. New owners in Gameweek 4 were in for a treat though as the battering ram decided he was done for the season, managing a staggeringly bad two ppg up until his injury in Gameweek 21. 18 Weeks of two pointers. Lovely stuff.

Pukki was largely in the same boat but on a more widely documented scale. 49 points in the opening five Gameweeks meant a ppg of 9.8 for the Finnish front-man against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City. Just when even the most stubborn of us had decided he was “must-have” the Canary went on a dreadful eight-Gameweek run, returning just one assist. That’s 2.13 ppg.

Starting well in Fantasy football is often vital if you’re after a good rank come end of the season, and these two had a lot to say on how the initial weeks panned out. With prices changes so volatile, getting on and off Teemu at the right time was probably a key point in your season.

We don’t do laundry

Premium midfielders with appealing matches headline Gameweek 26 Scout Picks

This season has seemed rather troll-like to many of us, with Liverpool often the exception to the rule. However, even they decided to pull us over the coals early on. Fantasy managers looked to double-up or even triple-up on their defensive assets after a strong shut out record in the previous season and a kind opening schedule.

Cue two clean sheets in the opening 15 Gameweeks…

Yes, there was a sprinkling of attacking returns from most of the defenders but given their prices the returns were far below expected. Suddenly, a switch was flicked and from Gameweeks 16 to 26 and they managed ten shut outs from a possible 11.

The disparity here is staggering; timing a double up on attack/defence from Liverpool will have gone some way to shape your season so far. Which leads us nicely to…

Jack Bauer

What Liverpool win at Leicester means for FPL assets involved

It still hurts. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) decided to finally come good on all his attacking promise at the least predictable time.

Up until that massive Gameweek 19 haul, the full-back had kept just three shut-outs all season and was on 4.4 ppg, not a terrible figure by any means but still less than the likes of Lundstram who also cost a fraction of the price.

Liverpool had a blank in Gameweek and the following round took them away to the league’s most in-form team, Leicester. Selling seemed to make sense…to some.

24 remains the highest return for a single player this season and, as mentioned above, was a kick-start for Liverpool as they started churning out clean sheet after clean sheet.

Did you stick or twist? Your rank probably answers that question.

Mr Glass

Danny Ings’ (£7.1m) Fantasy potential was never really in dispute, it was whether he could stay on the pitch long enough to deliver on it.

In the opening six weeks, Southampton looked in trouble, Ings scored just once and did not register 90 minutes in a single match.

From Gameweeks 7 to 22 (16 matches) Mr Glass finally became unbreakable, netting 13 goals, often with maximum bonus to earn 106 points. That’s a very impressive 6.63 ppg at a very low price.

It’s….Jamie Vardy

Of all the players mentioned so far it’s arguable your timing on signing, selling and captaining Leicester’s front-man has had the most impact on your season.

Just feast your eyes on Jamie Vardy‘s (£9.6m) numbers…

  • Gameweeks 3 to 18: 138 points (8.63 ppg)

His run of form was remarkable, in particular, Gameweek 9 to 13 where he managed 11.6 ppg and was heavily captained.

It all went wrong though when baby Vardy entered the picture. From Gameweek 19 to 28 (10 fixtures) he managed just 14 points in total. A ppg of 1.4!

Such a drop off really highlights the importance of timing in Fantasy football and how quickly form can change.

Honorary mentions

Final thoughts

 1

So what to take away from this? For me, it’s become clearer that forwards often have exceptional bursts of form, many of the highest ppgs over a certain window of fixtures. Of course, the length of this form varied.

This has made me think that knee-jerking in a forward after a decent haul might not be the worst play, it’s often said in football that forwards thrive off confidence and perhaps there is something in this.

Next season I aim to set up my front line with three low to mid-priced forwards that also have alternatives in the same price bracket. I can then monitor form and act fast; being cut-throat if they blank for two to three weeks and swap to any forward showing form in the hope I hit a golden ppg run.

Spending transfers up top where point swings can be huge and keeping faith in the midfield and defensive areas (unless its Raheem Sterling grr!) seems like a fairly common-sense rule that I had somehow veered away from.

disable https://twitter.com/d1sable/status/624344330765996033”

31 Comments Post a Comment
  1. pablo discobar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    The three divisions of England's National League have been suspended indefinitely because of coronavirus.

    The competition had been originally postponed until 3 April but that has now been extended following a board meeting on Tuesday.

    It comes after all non-league football in steps three to seven was ended immediately on Thursday with no promotion or relegation.

    The National League said it was looking at "how best to conclude" the season.

    But it is not yet known if the competition, which is made up of the National League, National League North and National League South, will also be cancelled with all results expunged.

    "The National League is currently obtaining specialist legal advice, is consulting regularly with the Football Association and other stakeholders, and is committed to involving its member clubs in a pending decision on how best to conclude the 2019-20 season," a statement said.

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      It will be the EFL next, then you know what.

      1. Tufnell-Chimes
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Scenes!

      2. Little Red Lacazette
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        No LFC title.

      3. Ser Davos
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Understandable that they have to discuss ideas, but ultimately, there's too many unknowns to simply cancel and delete the season. Let's just breathe, let the NHS focus on what they've got to do and then football can adjust from there.

    2. Ser Davos
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Bit of irony that I forgot...

      remember earlier on in the season Norwich was beating City and thrashed Newcastle, Wolves were down there, Sheff Utd were doing well and Villa were picking up points? Well, there were several that tongue-in-cheek joked that, "relegation had been cancelled this year".

      There's a possibility that, of course, may happen!

  2. waltzingmatildas
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Hey guys, need some help.
    It's my nephews birthday on 13/04. He is football and Liverpool mad. He was supposed to be on holiday in florida/Mexico, but will obviously be stuck in the house.
    I want to try and do something a little bit special for him, football related.
    I was thinking, maybe try and get a tweet from virg or mo or someone. Is that realistic? Where do i start?
    Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

    1. GreennRed
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Fairly unlikely to get a tweet from a player. Get him a training top, jersey, retro jersey online?

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 10 days ago

        Yeah I'm getting the new shirt when it's out in July. Just thought something a little sourcier. Oh well, I'll try and think of something else. Thanks

        1. Ron_Swanson
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          4 months, 10 days ago

          If he watches Soccer AM you could get him a video message from Jimmy Bullard?

          https://www.cameo.com/jimmybullard

          1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            62 quid? Jesus, who does he think he is.

          2. waltzingmatildas
            • 9 Years
            4 months, 10 days ago

            Huh, I didn't know that was a thing. Not sure on Jimmy bullard though. Thanks!

    2. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 10 days ago

      Sale on LFC site on CL winning kits and merch etc. Much cheaper now that NB deal runs out in a few months.

    3. Poseidon.
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Mane and Salah in particular seem to be very giving sort of guys - obviously they’re getting mad numbers of messages all the time but it’s worth a go.

    4. The Knights Template
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Shaqiri might be free.

    5. Hotdogs for Tea
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      why would he want a tweet from FPL Virgin ?

  3. Ser Davos
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 10 days ago

    Raheem Sterling. The one player in every single draft. The one player that de-railed any hopes of a decent rank.

    Very little cover of this in the mainstream media (bit refreshing; usually hype pedestal to tearing a player down), but for a man Pep claimed would get 35-40 goals... it was sure disappointing.

  4. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Smarkets offering odds on when the next PL match will be played......

    April 68/5
    May 24/5
    June 6/4
    July or later 8/11

    1. The Knights Template
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      I'm betting 14th of never.

      1. Don Van Vliet
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        What's wrong with the 12th?

      2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        32nd of Nevember

    2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      “July or Later” can be laid for 2.02...

      That’s evens on next game being earlier than July - not great, but not a 100/1 shot either

  5. TorresMagic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Price Changes - 1st April 2020

    🔺  Jesus (9.6)

    🔻  Agüero (11.8)

    1. P-h-o-e-n-i-x
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Jesus!

    2. Debauchy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Crazy lol , cheers TM

    3. La Roja
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      lol

    4. Amey
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Amazing 😀

    5. Amey
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      These are so apt price changes for April Fools day 😮

      Aguerooooooo hattrick incoming !!

    6. RuudVanNistelrooney
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Is FPL randomly selecting players for price rise/fall ?

      Jesus rise after:
      Transfer in - 151
      Transfer out - 775

      Aguero fall after:
      Transfer in - 1230
      Transfer out - 1434

      Doesn't make sense when in the past 100thousand net transfer wouldn't result in rise/fall

      1. ChuckN
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        More rigged bullshit from FPL.

        Seriously all transfers and price movement should have frozen after GW 30 deadline. This is ridiculous.

      2. Hotdogs for Tea
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        must be linked to overall activity