Over the last six Gameweeks we’ve seen Champions-elect Bodo/Glimt finally lose, a record low number of goals scored in a Gameweek (for this season), a 4-4 draw thanks to three goals scored in the last six minutes of the game and a number of famous faces come and go. This article will look to dissect the main talking points regarding form, points and players and hopefully steer us in the direction of helpful differentials and reliable point-scorers for the last eight Gameweeks of the season.
Due to IK Start, Molde, Odds and Viking all missing a fixture in R17 & R21, I’ve looked at the form of all teams in regards to the last six Gameweeks (R17-22) as well as each team’s form over their last six fixtures.
Below is the league form table for the last six games played by each club. Only five points separate first place (Bodo/Glimt) from ninth (Molde) and Rosenborg are the only team to remain unbeaten during this period. Aalesunds have lost every single game while Brann have picked up a lowly two points from 18. (Forget what I said about Brann coming into some form – it’s not going to happen).
Sarpsborg 08 and Sandefjord – two very defensive teams – have fared incredibly well, each winning half of their games. Up until Viking’s shock 1-0 home defeat to the inconsistent FK Haugesund, they were the form team and if they won – as was widely anticipated – they would have replaced Bodo/Glimt at the top of the table on 16 points.
Seeing as Start, Molde, Odds and Viking have each played in only five of the last six ‘Rundes’, when this is taken into consideration the form table looks slightly different. I’ve not provided it here as I don’t want to bombard you with too many tables, but it basically shows that Viking and Valerenga swap places, Sandefjord (+1) and Kristiansund (+2) move up and Odds (-3) move down. Other than that, everything remains as it was.
GOALS SCORED vs FORM
As well as the ‘Form Table’ I wanted to show how many goals and how many Fantasy points each team has scored and how that translates to their form. The thinking behind this is that I’d be able to show if there is any correlation between these and what that means for us as Fantasy managers.
Reliability for attacking returns, clean sheets and assists is a huge aspect of any Fantasy football game and if a team is doing well in the actual league itself surely that means they are a viable resource for Fantasy points? Usually if a team is able to produce a lot of goals this means they are winning most of their games but this isn’t always the case and it would be helpful for us to identify which sides are guilty of this, so we can avoid any red herrings they may have in their ranks.
The table below shows goals scored in each team’s last six games. Glimt and Valerenga stay in their respecting positions but Odd and Haugesund are both four places better off. This means they are perhaps scoring more than we would expect and thus have the ability to produce goals independent of whether they win, lose or draw.
Rosenborg fall three places but the main losers are Sarpsborg and Sandefjord who are both drop five places. While Sarpsborg and Sandefjord have been in good form, it’s clear they don’t score many goals. This is indeed proof of that. If you’re looking at getting in some of their players you’d be best focusing on their defensive assets and not expect much in the way of goals. Although Rosenborg’s position has dropped by three places, only four teams have scored more goals than them and they’ve only failed to score in one of their last six games.
(There’s not too much difference between this table and the R17-22 table and so I’ve decided not to include it).
FANTASY POINTS SCORED vs FORM
There have been 22 clean sheets in between R17 and R22 (which is actually 1.2 per week less than the weekly average since the start of the season) with both Sandefjord and Sarpsborg keeping four each. They account for over a third of all clean sheets kept within this period and the consequences have been absolutely huge – only Bodo/Glimt (334) have scored more Fantasy points than either of them (324 & 321) over the last six games played.
Valarenga (319) remain in fourth again while Odd (302) jump up two places just behind them into fifth. Viking (287) drop three places into sixth and Rosenborg (271) a huge five places into seventh. This shouldn’t ring all the alarm bells but it does point towards the fact they are both probably underperforming Fantasy-wise relative to those teams around them.
The biggest take away is that second place Molde (in the actual table) rank fourteenth in this table. Over their last six games, they’ve produced 12 fewer points than Start. To put this into perspective just look at the first table and you’ll see how Start have won a paltry five points to Molde’s 10. Be warned to proceed with caution if deciding to invest in Molde assets as while they may be starting to come into some form, they’ve produced a somewhat underwhelming 137 fantasy points in their last three games (all wins).
Unsurprisingly the R17-22 table shows Viking and Odd in an even more unfavourable light sitting in tenth and eleventh place, producing 100 points less than Bodo/Glimt due to both missing a Gameweek. Molde actually move up slightly as do Kristiansund, Stromsgodset and Haugesund, although the difference is minute.
TOTAL POINTS BY POSITION
Before moving on to player performance I want to illustrate the distribution of points in across the last six Gameweeks. Only 8% of all points scored has come from goalkeepers. Hardly surprising due to the nature of the position. The point-scoring efficacy of forwards, however, can certainly be called into question as they are responsible for 14.2% of overall points. Midfielders have contributed a huge 44.4% of all Fantasy points since R17 and it should come as no surprise whatsoever to learn that Bodo/Glimt (170pts or 10.3%) are responsible for the most in that position.
Sandefjord may have started the season in lacklustre form but the same can’t said of their recent performances as we ascertained earlier in the article. Due to the amount of clean sheets they’ve kept, no other team has scored more goalkeeper points (41) or defender points (182). These numbers are quite frankly staggering. To put those figures into perspective, they’ve scored more points relative to those positions (13.7% & 14.6%) than Bodo/Glimt’s midfield. If you want good defenders, they’ve been the team (along with Sarpsborg) to go to.
Stromsgodset have been utterly forgettable (six draws and one loss) as the above tables will show, but somehow their forwards have scored more points (53) than anyone else’s. This is large in part down to 21%-owned Lars Jorgen Salvesen (8.8m) stepping up to produce two goals and three assists in his last six games, resulting in 32 points. Kasper Junker (9.4m) and Veton Berisha (9.4m) are the only forwards in the game to score more Fantasy points than him this season.
Ideally these tables and the analysis provided has shown us certain trends and correlation that will be applicable going forward. Of course there is the danger of expecting this form to replicate itself over the upcoming rounds which is very rarely the case save for the league’s better teams. While Sandefjord have been brilliant of late, I’d very much doubt them to be able to continue their fine defensive form up to the close of the season. Although I am open to new ideas.
I’ll now turn my attention to the best-performing players from the last six Gameweeks. To keep things simple, I’m only including players to have played between R17 and R22.
Bearing the word limit in mind I’ll keep things simple here. From this point on we are going to focus on the following metrics to determine which players have been the league’s standout performers:
• Goals (Orange)
• Assists (Blue)
• Total Points
• Points per Million
Any players highlighted in orange are those I’ve identified as being reliable, in-form differential goalscoring options. Any differential player who represents good assist-potential (AP) will be highlighted in blue with anyone who bridges these two aspects of the game highlighted in green. The key word in this paragraph is differential as I will only be drawing attention to high-performing players who are also differential options.
Do you really need me to wax lyrical about Philip Zinckernagel (9.2m), Zymer Bytyqi (7.2m) and Amahl Pellegrino (10.1m) when they make up three out of the four highest-scoring midfielders in the game? I didn’t think so.
Differential defenders with good attacking threat will be yellow and those with high clean sheet potential (CSP) grey. I have also emboldened a couple of names in some of the tables you’ll see below – these are other players which I’ve been impressed by for other reasons. All tables will be ordered by points per million rather than the primary metric and to qualify for inclusion, all players must have either returned at least one goal, assist or BFP between R17 and 22. (Players with clean sheets are not automatically counted due to difficulty in collating required data).
Despite missing a penalty in Runde 21, Vidar Kjartansson (11.4m) is two goals clear of anyone else since R17. It is Bytyqi who tops our table however for PpM, followed closely by Valarenga’s new signing Henrik Rorvik Bjordal (7.5m). He’s in just 1.6% of teams and has already scored three goals to go with his two assists and 5 BFP. That’s one more point than Pellegrino and just eight less than Kjartansson. Dino Islamovic (10.2m) and Mushaga Bakenga (6.9m) have also fared quite well scoring eight between them and get mentions for being in 11% and 17.5% of teams respectively. With Odd’s double Gameweek on the horizon, I’d expect Bakenga to find his way into more teams and potentially increase in price before the weekend.
For this table to make the intended impact, I’ve had to include far more players than the goals table. Out of the top 10 I’ve highlighted an impressive seven players. Five of Jonathan Lindseth’s (5.7m) seven attacking returns have come in the last six Gameweeks, seeing him all of a sudden present himself as an incredible Fantasy option. His form coincided with Sarpsborg’s unbeaten stretch from R17 to R20 where they remarkably didn’t concede a single goal. It’s worth noting he also scored his team’s only goal in their 1-0 home defeat to Rosenborg in R22.
Johan Hove (5.9m) has only scored fewer points than Lindseth due to earning two fewer clean sheet points. The Stromsgodset 20 year-old is an affordable midfield option and while he is in almost 16% of teams, there are seven midfielders who can boast higher ownership, meaning he is in my mind still a differential to some degree.
Tobias Heintz (6.6m) has been a revelation since re-joining Sarpsborg recently and it’s something of a coincidence that since his season debut against Aalesund, midfield teammate Lindseth has become more productive as well as the defence becoming more impermeable. He may have blanked for the second week in a row but he’s shown he’s capable of stepping up when required.
Stabaek defender Emil Jonassen (4.2m) can’t do much more to convince Jan Jonsson to keep picking him. He’s got two assists and two clean sheets in the last four Gameweeks and being so cheap and in so few teams he’s potentially a great option going unnoticed. He did play just ten minutes against Aalesund (a match which Stabaek won 4-0) but managed to register an assist even if he did miss out of on guaranteed clean sheet points. Upcoming fixtures are a bit hit and miss but if he’s finally adding assists to his game then could he become a viable option?
Any player to have scored 30 or more points makes this table. Only two players in our top ten are in more than 10% of teams. This shows how many points are going wasted as we stick to the safe, mainstream options. Of course the big boys are well up there for total points scored, but when we look at their relative values, they really are outshone by quite a few promising individuals.
Sandefjord defenders Marc Vales Gonzalez (4.6m) and the very much out of position Vidar Ari Jonsson (4.5m) have three goal involvements between them to go with their eight clean sheets and look an absolute steal. Together they’ve amassed 67 points – exactly the same amount as Pellegrino and Bytyqi over the same period. It won’t last forever but did we ever expect it to happen in the first place?
Sarpsborg 08 pair Bjorn Inge Utvik (5.6m) and Mikael Dyrestam (5.1m) offer slightly less value due to costing more, yet have returned similar yields regarding attacking returns, clean sheets and total points. Sarpsborg will be regarded as the better team but even so it’s worth remembering only one point separates them in the league and they have very similar records for this season.
One of the best players in the league (in my opinion) this season has been Oliver Valaker Edvardsen (6.3m). His appeal as a footballer extends beyond the reach of Fantasy football and has been absolutely integral to any success Stabaek have had this season. He’s scored two in the last two Gameweeks as well as picking up two bonus points in successive weeks. Being in so few teams and costing so little, he represents brilliant value. One major stumbling block will be Stabaek’s goal production: they’ve scored just 5 more goals than Aalesund.
It’s the same old faces again but Mjondalen midfielder Isaac Twum (4.4m) was awarded 3 BFP in two matches in his last four (it would be 9 if we went back to R16 where he was also given 3 vs Aalesunds) which has seen him score a very respectable 16 points since R19.
FK Haugesund defender Benjamin Tiedemann Hansen (5.3m) has scored 17 of his 62 points in the last two rundes. Clean sheets against Sarpsborg and Viking saw him pick up 2 and 3 BFP respectively. Before R19 he’d only accrued 5 bonus points all season which could indicate the start of a purple patch for the Danish centre-back.
POINTS PER MILLION
Due to the nature of this table, at the time of writing only three players are in more than 10% of teams. No less than four Sandefjord players have PpM’s of 6 or higher, while three Sarpsborg defenders also make the top 10.
Odds defender Kevin Egell-Johnsen (3.8m) has seemingly come out of nowhere with a goal, assist and clean sheet in his only start of the season away to Aalesund last time out. He’s in less than 400 teams and if he continues to deputise for the brilliant but currently injured Steffen Hagen (5.5m) he could be one to watch.
Sandefjord goalkeeper Jacob Storevik (4.6m) is the form goalkeeper as things stand. He’s kept four clean sheets in his last six and made 22 saves. Only Valarenga’s Kristoffer Klaesson (5.1) 23 and Aalesund keeper Andreas Lie (4.4) 28, have made more. His PpM of 8.9 is staggering and a full 3.4 more than his nearest rival. David Mitov Nilsson (5.6m) also catches the eye but at a full 1.0m more, his appeal seems less obvious as we head into the final third of the season.
FK Haugesund shot-stopper Helge Sandvik (5.4m) may offer a slightly more realistic long-term option than either of Storevik or Nilsson as he faces the failing attacks of Aalesunds and Brann in his next two. In case you’ve missed it, cult hero Sean McDermott (4.9m) has been back in Kristiansund’s starting XI since R19 and he’s not hung around. He’s already kept one clean sheet, produced ten saves and been awarded two BFP to amass a rather nifty sixteen points in four Gameweeks.
MY PICK OF THE BUNCH
From those highlighted players I’ve chosen a few to look at a bit more closely, dissecting their performances from Runde 17 to 21. The main areas of interest differ per position but I’ll just get straight into it and it’ll be pretty self-explanatory going forward.
It’s hard not to be impressed with Sarpsborg recently. Admittedly they lost their last two games but in between R17 and 20 they’d kept 4 consecutive clean sheets and currently have a wide array of viable defensive options. I’ve focused mainly on one – Mikael Dyrestam – but find it impossible not to recommend Nicolai Naess (5.2m), Magnar Odegaard (5.1m) and Bjorn Utvik.
Dyrestam is in 1.8%. He most certainly shouldn’t be. An out of position defender who primarily plays out wide in midfield for Sarpsborg, he represents more than just clean sheet potential. In a league as volatile as the Norwegian Eliteserien that’s discernibly a good thing. He may get stuck in a bit less compared to Utvik and Odegaard but he’s won more aerial duels (14/20) than either of them and like Odegaard provided 2 key passes.
A first goal of the season came in the 4-0 win over Stabaek and despite missing the Haugesund game due to quarantining at home, he was back in the squad for the 2-1 home defeat by Rosenborg. He started as part of a flat three in that game but seeing as Utvik should be back for their next game, he’s expected to slot back into midfield.
Ari Jonsson is a player I’ve wanted to bring in for a while, so I was far from disappointed when I finally took the plunge last week and he rewarded me with 9 points. Ignoring the two games against Valerenga and Bodo/Glimt (games which Sandefjord would be expected to lose) he’s been in fine form bagging 3 consecutive clean sheets against Mjondalen, Stromsgodset and Molde along with his clean sheet and assist against Start.
He’s another out of position defender, playing on the wing for Sandefjord and has been in good attacking form. 9 key passes (4 coming against Start), 14 attempted crosses and 6 shots resulting in one goal and an assist makes him a good option with Brann up next. He’s also in just 2.3% of teams.
Bjordal has got 3 goals, 2 assists and 5 bonus points in his first 5 games of the season, resulting in a brilliant return of 38 points. He’s part of an exciting Valerenga setup that has scored 15 goals in 6 games and boasts a talented array of attacking players. He’s made 12 key passes, been fouled 17 times, won a penalty, had 8 shots on target, 6 shots off target, 4 shots blocked and a passing accuracy of 81%. To say he’s hit the ground running would be an understatement, to say the least. His 1.4% ownership means he’s a differential with the potential to be lethal if he goes on ignored.
Valerenga teammate Aron Donnum (8.5m) has flourished since Bjordal’s arrival, scoring 2 goals and 3 assists as well as 5 bonus points. Like Bjordal he’s been good on the ball, providing 13 key passes and creating 4 big chances. He’s attempted 20 dribbles – more than twice Bjordal – but has seen much less of the ball (283 touches compared to 348). He’s had 19 shots, attempted 24 crosses (10 coming at home against Kristiansund) and been fouled 9 times, winning a penalty in the process. It really is a case of taking your pick between those two.
Sarpsborg midfielder Lindseth isn’t even in 700 teams. He’s seen more of the ball than either of Bjordal or Donnum and almost matches them for key passes (9). Like Donnum he fancies a dribble (14 in 6) and while his last outing was more industrious than creative, he got Sarpsborg’s only goal to ensure Rosenborg left Viken without a clean sheet. His clinical nature of late has turned heads but a tricky run of fixtures including Odd, Viking and Valarenga in their next four will potentially keep him out of too many teams. That being said, Sarpsborg don’t need to win the game for their players to score points.
Finally I make a case for Elbasan Rashani (8.0m). In his last six games, Rashani has five attacking returns and three bonus points although sceptics will point to the fact he’s been directly involved in one out of the last seven goals Odd have scored, despite playing in both those games. He’s by far one of the most accurate passers in the league (84.4% R16-22) but he’s only made 4 key passes in that time. Despite his efforts, he finds it hard to get his crosses in (4/20) but he had four of his five shots blocked against Aalesund at the weekend and can hopefully look to build on that in Odds next two games. His appeal is further-enhanced due to having two games this week.
Islamovic is the only forward I’ve drawn attention to due to ownership of alternative options. It’s obvious that Bakenga, Kjartansson, Berisha and Junker are the go-to forwards and have a huge attacking ceiling, but they’re also in pretty much everyone’s teams. Two of his last three goals have come from the penalty spot and he’s scored five in six games, blanking only once in 390 minutes. He’s a combative player and gets stuck in as much as his position allows him. He’s won more than half his aerial duels (22/36) and while passing isn’t really a big part of his game he’s provided 2 key passes and attempted 7 crosses. He’s becoming a proven goal-scorer who shouldn’t really be relied upon to do much else.
MOVES FOR THIS WEEK
Last week I brought in Ari Jonsson for Andreas Hopmark (4.7m) and was rewarded handsomely. My other potential move was to bring in Odd full-back John Kitolano (5.8m) who would have scored me an extra point but for over a million more. The home fixture against Brann makes it hard to regret moving for the Sandefjord man even if Kitolano has two fixtures this week.
As ever – like most people I suspect – I try to target Aalesunds if possible. Following on from an impressive 1-0 away victory over Viking, FK Haugesund will be full of confidence when coming up against the league’s whipping boys. Kristoffer Velde (6.8m) scored 14 points against Sarpsborg in runde 21 and four midfielders have scored more all season. (Five including JP Hauge).
While I’ve been impressed with the contribution Marcus Antonsson (7.5m) has given to my team I’m more than likely getting rid of him this week for Berisha if it’s likely he’s to be included in Viking’s squad for their away trip to Stabaek. His high ownership combined with his high ceiling make him hard to ignore though I question whether I would be attacking on fear rather than logic. I may mull this one over a bit more, truth be told.
I’m also contemplating getting rid of Pellegrino as Kristiansund are finding it hard to score goals lately and their next two games are against Bodo/Glimt and Molde. I could bring in Rashani for the double along with Berisha and/or Velde and while it would cost me points to do so, the potential reward is huge.
Stabaek’s Edvardsen is also a good choice for this week as while Viking have been performing well, Edvardsen and co. are more than capable of putting a few past them and is a cheap differential option that will probably go overlooked once more.
It’s been a while since I mentioned him but Magnus Wolff Eikrem (12.3m) is looking more like the player he was last season. He bagged a brace against Glimt in R21 and got two assists last time out against Stromsgodset. Next up are Mjondalen who should be absolutely annihilated by Molde. It’s a fixture in which he could realistically haul and as much as I’d like to bring him in I’d need to make a few moves to accommodate his price which unfortunately probably writes him off as an option.
Antonsson to Berisha
Pellegrino to Rashani
Osame Sahraoui (6.2m) to Velde
Islamovic to Junker
Rashani to Donnum/Bjordal
Comment below with any moves you’re thinking about making ahead of the double and whether or not you too are prepared to take a hit or two in a (desperate) attempt to win big.