Awards

Vote for the best FPL goalkeeper of 2020/21

The Fantasy Football Scout end of season awards are up and running, with the polls for best goalkeeper and defenders open for voting on the sidebar.

We’ll be assessing the key candidates in each position in four separate articles, starting with this piece on the men between the posts.

Overall score, points per match and value in Fantasy Premier League were all factors we considered when compiling this shortlist – the rest we’ll leave up to you.

2019/20 TEAM OF THE SEASON REVIEW – GOALKEEPER

  • Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
  • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Lundstram, Matt Doherty
  • Midfielders: Anthony Martial, Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne
  • Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy

Burnley’s Nick Pope was the runaway winner of our goalkeeper award last season, polling over 75% of the vote.

Starting the 2019/20 campaign out at a bargain £4.5m, Pope registered 15 clean sheets for the Clarets and finished as the highest-scoring goalkeeper in FPL.

His total of 120 saves was the fourth-highest in the division while nobody in the same Fantasy position came close to matching his 23 bonus points.

2020/21 CANDIDATES

EMILIANO MARTINEZ

  • Points: 186
  • Points per match: 4.9
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £5.3m

The red-hot favourite for the best goalkeeper nomination, Emiliano Martinez not only finished as FPL’s highest-scoring shotstopper of 2020/21 but he also came within a whisker of breaking Brad Friedel’s record points total.

Friedel racked up 187 points all the way back in 2002/03, a tally that Martinez fell one point shy of.

The Aston Villa custodian did it all from a now-unthinkable starting price of £4.5m, too, hitting the ground running with a penalty save and a clean sheet in Gameweek 2.

A run of four consecutive shut-outs between Gameweeks 11-14 was a high point and by the time we’d reached Gameweek 27, he was averaging more than a clean sheet every other game.

Only one shut-out in his final 12 appearances meant the season ended on a slightly sour note but he still finished a massive 26 points clear of his nearest positional rival and registered more bonus points (27) and double-digit hauls (seven) than any of his peers.

He was also the best-value FPL asset in any position, returning 35.1 points per million spent, and had the best points-per-match average (4.9) of any first-choice goalkeeper.

Unsurprisingly, no other shot-stopper could come anywhere near his ownership figure of 37.9% by the season’s end – a situation that had been the case for some time.

EDERSON

  • Points: 160
  • Points per match: 4.4
  • Start cost: £6.0m
  • End cost: £6.1m

Premium goalkeepers haven’t been in fashion for some time, with budget shot-stoppers such as Emiliano Martinez seemingly popping up every season to offer superior value – and even points totals.

Ederson still deserves a place in our poll, however, having not only scooped the Golden Glove award for the second season running but also ended up second behind Martinez for overall score.

The Brazilian registered 19 clean sheets in 2020/21, a tally that only Alisson has beaten in the last 12 seasons of Premier League football.

Ederson’s total of 160 points was also exactly the same that the much-heralded Trent Alexander-Arnold managed at Liverpool.

Other than price, the downsides to the City man were a lack of saves (his average of 1.76 stops per match was the lowest among first-choice Premier League custodians) and bonus points (just three all season).

Indeed, his only two double-digit hauls owed much to fairly freak occurences: an assist in Gameweek 24 and a penalty save on the final day.

EDOUARD MENDY

 1
  • Points: 140
  • Points per match: 4.5
  • Start cost: £5.0m
  • End cost: £5.3m

Edouard Mendy was always likely to be an upgrade on his predecessor and so it proved, with Chelsea’s backline looking more secure in his presence both before and after Thomas Tuchel’s arrival.

He returned a clean sheet in more than half of his appearances (16 of 31), with his purple patch from Gameweeks 26-34 resulting in six shut-outs in eight starts.

A price rise to £5.5m looks likely next season, which will perhaps deter more Fantasy managers – especially as the occasional benching under the ever-tinkering Tuchel could strike at any moment.

A bit like Ederson, the strength of the defence in front of him also has its downsides: Mendy recorded save points in fewer than a third of his run-outs.

ILLAN MESLIER

Wolves restrict heavily-backed Bamford as Meslier suffers freak own goal
  • Points: 154
  • Points per match: 4.4
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £4.8m

While a price rise to £5.5m seems inevitable for Martinez next season, it’ll be interesting to see how FPL Towers handle Illan Meslier.

The Leeds goalkeeper also started the campaign at £4.5m and attracted much less attention than Aston Villa’s number one in the Fantasy community, never attaining a double-digit ownership in FPL.

The Whites’ leaky defence was mostly to blame for that in the first two-thirds of campaign but a late-season improvement from Marcelo Bielsa’s troops at the back bodes well for 2021/22.

Between Gameweeks 25-38, only Liverpool (10) conceded fewer goals than Leeds (12).

Meslier relied on saves as much as shut-outs throughout the campaign.

He registered 36 save points in 35 appearances (contrast that with Mendy’s 10 and Ederson’s 12), with his total of 140 stops bettered only by three other custodians – two of whom he may well have beaten had he not been benched in the final two Gameweeks.

Only Martinez (35.1) provided better value among shot-stoppers than Meslier (32.1) based on points per million.

NICK POPE

  • Points: 144
  • Points per match: 4.5
  • Start cost: £5.5m
  • End cost: £5.5m

Nick Pope couldn’t match his overall score or indeed value from 2019/20 but his points-per-match average in the season just gone was actually marginally better (4.5 v 4.47).

The Burnley man hit five double-digit hauls in the first half of 2020/21, with seven clean sheets arriving in his opening 17 appearances.

Pope was well on course to smash last year’s points total at the midway point of this campaign but a deterioration in the Clarets’ defensive numbers from late-January onwards and a couple of late-season injuries stalled his progress.

He remains a good bet for bonus points, with 20 of those arriving in his 32 appearances.

And save points flowed, too: there were 28 of them in all.

A price drop is possible for 2021/22 and there’ll be a decent number of takers if he does come in at the £5.0m mark.

SAM JOHNSTONE/ALPHONSE AREOLA

JOHNSTONE

  • Points: 140
  • Points per match: 3.8
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £4.6m

AREOLA

  • Points: 124
  • Points per match: 3.4
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £4.5m

Goalkeepers of relegated clubs often make an appearance in our end-of-season polls, usually because they have been kept extremely busy.

Sam Johnstone rarely had a moment’s peace in the West Brom goal, making more saves (166) than any other goalkeeper in 2020/21.

That translated into a whopping 43 save points, which helped compensate for a dismal clean sheet total (six) and resulted in him tying with Mendy and Alisson for points.

Only Pope, Meslier and Martinez registered more bonus points than Johnstone (19) among FPL goalkeepers.

Alphonse Areola is more than a little fortunate to make the cut in this poll, with only his value (the fourth-best figure for points per million among goalkeepers) and a purple patch of form from Gameweeks 13-27 to boast of.

Eight of his nine clean sheets in 2020/21 arrived in the middle third of the campaign.


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107 Comments Post a Comment
  1. 4803054
      24 days, 17 hours ago

      First time posting here to share my first ever FPL season.

      Never played FPL before for a couple of reasons; 1. being a Leeds supporter, Leeds not being in the PL made my interest in football in general have been somewhat limited. 2. more spare time caused by the pandemic, I believe many new user/manager joined FPL had this same reason.

      I joined a few MLs, one of the league is a fellow high-school alumnus, and one other league I joined specifically worth mentioning is a local Leeds supporters league, where we have 2 significant rules, rules totally discriminate our FPL performance compared to other managers. We had to start with a minimum of 2 Leeds (first team) players each GW, and we couldn't pick any ManUtd players (from GW1 start to GW38 finish) no Bruno, no Penandes, zero ManUtd point.

      Now, I'd like to shamelessly brag my 7k OR, rank 1st on my local Leeds ML (2Leeds,0ManUtd), rank 2nd on my alumnis ML (no restriction league) with total points over 2502. All this bragging cause I don't know anyone from my Leeds ML, I barely knew any of them in person. No one congratulate my sorry a** achievement. I feel so special of my efforts, and no one really cares. I don't expect my alumnis competitors who played with common rules would ever really recognized my handicap.

      This could be my first and probably last FPL season ever. So long FPL & FFS.

      1. Goro Majima
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        24 days, 16 hours ago

        Well done - if I had that rank I don't think I'd be giving up (I haven't given up yet despite several seasons of terrible ranks!). Imagine if you had Bruno's points as well...

      2. panda07
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        24 days, 16 hours ago

        You can check-out for the summer but you can never leave!

      3. ORaghallaigh
          24 days, 16 hours ago

          That's a terrific ranking for a first-time player so don't be disheartened. I am not in any mini-leagues. I played it seriously for the first time in years for my 12 yr old son and got a 573 ranking so there's a personal satisfaction there. Get into a league with a good bunch!

        • A Kun & Mateta
          • 7 Years
          24 days, 16 hours ago

          Well done, I win my mini league most years (this year with rubbish rank of 50 something k) and never congratulations. Take it as a complement! How do you think Leeds will do next season? Let's hope Bielsa stays.

        • Runaway
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          24 days, 15 hours ago

          Well done, great achievement especially for someone playing first time in such a turbulent season. If you could have Bruno's points, I assume you would end up somewhere near (or within) 1K, top performance!

          Through the end of every season, I am telling myself this sh*t is taking away a lot of time and energy (and sometimes mood) so I will leave at the end of the season but I have not been able to do so in ten years. Once you get the taste, it is difficult to leave..

      4. Salarrivederci
        • 5 Years
        24 days, 16 hours ago

        Early thoughts on UEFA fantasy for the European World Cup (first time I'll play this format):

        Set up a decent team for the first two weeks:
        All countries will go full strength for the first two matches to secure their places beyond the group stage. Countries like Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and England got pretty nice fixtures.

        Limitless in the the final GW of the group stage:
        All countries securing a place beyond will somehow rotate making your squad for GW3 a risk. It is very likely that the countries mentioned above will already have a slot secured while others need to go all out to secure themselves (target all those players)

        GW 4 with unlimited free transfers:
        Set up your squad perfectly for free.

        GW 5 or GW 6:
        If your GW4 squad looks good for GW5 too then no worries you can WC in GW6 - otherwise WC in GW5.

        Is this how you plan to use your chips too?

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          24 days, 16 hours ago

          Seems really easy strategy wise.

          GW1: Play it like a FH
          GW2: Limitless
          GW3: Wildcard
          GW4: You get a free WC
          GW5 and 6: Use FTs since you have a few.

          1. Salarrivederci
            • 5 Years
            24 days, 16 hours ago

            Actually really like that!

        2. Stoichkov#8
          • 5 Years
          24 days, 16 hours ago

          Agree with most but think I would use both FH and WC in GW 2 and GW3.
          Will have to look at fixtures but doing that you can make "perfect" team for every GW in group stage. Than in next stage you will get unlimited transfers so its 4 GWs straight wher you can build team with unlimited moves. Than you will get much more transfers to use every GW so its easier to make changes and WC/FH wont give you that much advantage.

          1. Salarrivederci
            • 5 Years
            24 days, 16 hours ago

            Ye! I'll be using that strategy too.

            1. Stoichkov#8
              • 5 Years
              24 days, 15 hours ago

              I played all fantasy Euro/WC even fantasy Copa America but think that this year will take a break to enjoy pure football as even forgot how it was before FPL got me in 🙂
              Those Fantasy tournaments arent same as FPL. First of all its really short so there is no time to climb the rank if you have bad start. I finished really high once around 130th place after great GW1 but most of the time had meh start and meh finish.

              My advice is that to pick some punts in GW1 team like for example 3xdef from one team and/or punty C etc. I think that if you go template than there is a big "chance" you will finish meh. If you are ok with it than fine but if you want to risk it to finish high than going template wont work imo.

              Good luck.

      5. Zen Arcade
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        24 days, 16 hours ago

        If this site used a forum rather than the comments sections per article, or alongside them, it’d probably see a lot more activity during the off-season. The issue with the comments pages is during the season there are so many folk who will only post their own A/B or RMT questions then disappear, but they clog it all up preventing very much discussion.

      6. Stoichkov#8
        • 5 Years
        24 days, 16 hours ago

        @mods
        Any news when roughly Hall of Fame will be updated? Cheers!

        1. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
          • 7 Years
          24 days, 16 hours ago

          They get paid by traffic so tough times atm.

        2. Mr. O'Connell
          • 9 Years
          24 days, 15 hours ago

          A decent substitute for now

          https://www.premierfantasytools.com/whats-my-all-time-rank/

          1. Stoichkov#8
            • 5 Years
            24 days, 15 hours ago

            Cheers!
            Its not FFS HoF but official FPL rank of all time,right?

          2. RoysCallerAnne
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            24 days, 15 hours ago

            345th
            🙁
            Doesn't reflect my elite status enough. May as well move in to a mud and wattle hovel with the other peasants.

            1. Jam0sh
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              24 days, 13 hours ago

              609 here 😀