Scout Notes

Gray, Doucoure, Townsend: Everton’s budget FPL mids compared after Norwich win

We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 6 write-ups with analysis of Everton v Norwich City.

For a summary of all seven of Saturday’s games, click here, while the footer at the bottom of this piece will direct you to our detailed Scout Notes on the other Gameweek 6 action.

EVERTON 2-0 NORWICH CITY

  • Goals: Andros Townsend (£5.5m) pen, Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m)
  • Assists: Allan (£4.6m), Demarai Gray (£5.8m)
  • Bonus: Doucoure x3, Townsend x2, Michael Keane (£5.0m)

TOWNSEND ON PENALTIES – FOR NOW

Gray, Doucoure, Townsend: Everton's budget FPL mids compared after Norwich win

In the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Richarlison (£7.4m), it was Andros Townsend (£5.5m) and not Demarai Gray (£5.8m) who was given the responsibility to score from 12 yards when Everton were awarded a penalty against Norwich on Saturday.

Gray had taken a spot-kick in pre-season when Everton’s two forwards had last been absent, although Townsend was also off the pitch at the point.

With Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison expected to be nearing a return after the October international break, Townsend will probably only have one more game on penalty-taking duties before at least one or both of the strike pair return.

Rafael Benitez said the following after Gameweek 3:

“We had this conversation before and I told him if we have two penalties, the first one is Dominic’s and the second one is his. Obviously he wants to score goals, which is normal. I am pleased because Dominic scored, we played well and we won, so everyone has to be happy with that. Richy will understand that.” – Rafael Benitez on Richarlison

TOWNSEND v GRAY v DOUCOURE

Gray, Doucoure, Townsend: Everton's budget FPL mids compared after Norwich win 2

Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m), Gray, Townsend and even Allan (£4.6m) all delivered attacking returns in Gameweek 6, with the first three of those all now among the top 10 highest-scoring FPL midfielders.

Townsend is level with Bruno Fernandes (£11.9m) for points, with Gray and Doucoure ahead of the Portuguese playmaker.

“It is not easy with these games and not too many players, we are missing two or three who played every game last year and scored a lot of goals.

“Hopefully, they can be with us soon and make the difference helping the rest of the team.

“The others are working a bit more, so are a little bit tired but, hopefully, they have time to recover and we can have a good game [at United] and get a good result.” – Rafael Benitez

Unsurprisingly, Townsend, Doucoure and Gray are among the 10 most-bought midfielders of Gameweek 7.

Gray is level with or narrowly ahead of his two teammates for some of the key goal threat metrics (shots, penalty box touches), with Townsend on top for creativity (chances created, big chances created, crosses).

But there is precious little between the three of them, and the fact that Doucoure is right up there for a number of key stats – his total of 10 shots is just one fewer than Gray and one more than Townsend has managed – shows how different a player he is from the double-pivot midfield shield of the last few seasons.

His tally of seven shots in the box after six Gameweeks, for example, is only three fewer than he managed in the whole of 2020/21.

One thing we should note is their ‘overachievement’ so far, at least compared to Opta’s divisive expected goals (xG) metrics.

All three are among the top five overachieving midfielders based on expected goal involvement (xGI).

The better players can and often do exceed their xGIs, sometimes by quite a margin, given their superior finishing abilities and those of the teammates on the end of their chances created.

But these aren’t three historically clinical finishers we’re talking about here:

SeasonDoucoureGrayTownsend
2021/2220%27.3%22.2%
2020/2111.1%6.3%2.8%
2019/206.6%8.7%8.3%
2018/199.6%8.5%9.5%
2017/1814.9%8.3%3.2%

Above: Shot-to-goal conversion rates of Doucoure, Gray and Townsend


Of course, Benitez’s general idea for all three (certainly Doucoure) is that they’re now closer to goal and getting better-quality chances where they’ve been taking wild potshots from distance in the past.

But the current rate of returns is very unlikely to continue: even just among sub-£6.0m midfielders, Townsend, Gray and Doucoure are only 8th, 9th and 21st respectively for xGI – and Townsend’s number was inflated by the Gameweek 6 spot-kick.

NORWICH “SOLID”

Daniel Farke set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation and the struggling Canaries were largely successful in stymying Everton, with both goals stemming from Norwich errors.

Townsend’s penalty, Doucoure’s breakaway goal and Ben Godfrey‘s (£4.8m) late effort from a set play accounted for 1.65 of Everton’s 2.00 expected goals, with Benitez’s troops creating little else of note.

“It was a tight game and our game plan more or less worked. We wanted to be more compact today and rock solid. We were solid from the first second and didn’t allow them one chance in the first half apart from the penalty.

“We needed 25 minutes to find higher pressing areas, be more brave and be better in our possession, but from then we had periods when we dominated and controlled the game. We definitely weren’t the worst side and had the better chances.” – Daniel Farke

Budget FPL defender Brandon Williams (£4.0m) got forward plenty in his advanced wing-back role (see Norwich’s average position map above), registering more final-third touches than any of his teammates, but continues to look suspect defensively.

It’s difficult to champion any player from the point-less Norwich, indeed, despite the Canaries sitting third on our Season Ticker over the coming eight Gameweeks.


Everton XI: Pickford, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Townsend (Gordon 76), Doucoure, Allan, Iwobi (Dobbin 89), Gray (Davies 83′), Rondon.

Norwich City XI: Krul; Aarons, Kabak (Rashica 69), Hanley, Gibson, Williams (Giannoulis 86), Normann (Tzolis 70), Lees-Melou, McLean, Sargent, Pukki.


225 Comments Post a Comment
  1. BigRedDog
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Oh how i wish I saved my wildcard for right now.

    1. gellinmagellan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Same though I'm happy to have played it to have gotten rid of Barnes alone lol

      1. BigRedDog
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        I had to get rid of Digne, Sancho, Mahrez.. Was a proper mess lol

    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      You will have this feeling every week till the 2nd WC is available. You will activate that. And will have exactly this feeling all over again.

      1. Thanos
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Lol so true

  2. Tomsk
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 8 days ago

    If Reece James injury not serious then I think surely people going to regret looking elsewhere in Chelsea defence. Every time he’s played this season he’s been brilliant( gone up level from last season).He’s so attacking and taking corners. He’s going to put up some big scores.

    1. gellinmagellan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      I guess the rotation risk has everyone going for the safe bets in Rudiger and Azpi

      1. Tomsk
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Think rotation issue is being overplayed. Tuchel needs his wingbacks to be a threat the way he likes to set up.

    2. BigRedDog
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Good shout. I think you're right

    3. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      From what Ben Dinnery has posted about his injury the quickest he'd be back is in 4 weeks, and average time is nearly 2 months.

    4. Z
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Nope...he is masive risk

    5. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Not very attacking sitting on the bench week after week!

    6. Tomsk
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      He was benched once this season apart from first game when lots of England players didn’t play. The risk of rotation is being massively overstated.

    7. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Agreed. So much more attacking than Rudiger and Azpilicueta who will also be rotated occasionally. Alonso could be the one but surely Chilwell gets a run at some point.

    8. Tomsk
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      The fact that he was sent off in one match, suspended for one match and then injured early in one match was unfortunate for owners but otherwise his performances have been brilliant and Chelsea need his attacking threat.

  3. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Is Manquillo nailed on?

  4. gellinmagellan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Sanchez Foster
    TAA Livra Coady Shaw White
    Salah Jota Greenwood Ben Torres
    Antonio Lukaku Scarlett

    Thinking Shaw > Rudiger for my FT.
    Who should I bring in for Torres for -4? Raphinha, Sarr or Saka?

    Any other moves here?

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Sarr

      1. gellinmagellan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Inclined to do that actually but Raphinha is always so reliable...hopefully the flag makes it easier

    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Raph if fit

  5. Inazuma X1
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Imagine not owning Sarr for NOR NEW LEE

  6. Eat my goal!
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    A Crystal Palace goal is all I ask for!

    1. FOO FIGHTER
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Scored by Gallagher 🙂

    2. Andy_Social
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      NO Crystal Palace goal is all I ask for!

    3. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Nice 1-1 from nobody’s

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        In the last 4 seasons I believe the encounter has only 1 offered a CS and that was to Brighton at home.

        1. pingissimus
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Pretty sure you'll find that the clean sheet belongs to Palace. 😉

          It's one of fixtures that almost guarantees goals at both ends. Strange things happen in this one all the time. The 2-1 victory for Palace last season was hilariously bizarre. Two entries into the box and two worldies - from Mateta and Benteke of all people. Should have finished 4-0 to Brighton by rights.

          1. Eat my goal!
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Oops!

            Yeah it’s blood thirsty- always an enjoyable fixture!

    4. 1984 TC
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Zaha goal and assist + Sanchez own goal please.

  7. offspinnersinahurry
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Sorry but Sky fantasy question, best Brighton defender tonight as a season keeper?

    1. pingissimus
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Have Duffy here and quite happy with him

      Could lose his spot perhaps but Potter has been talking him up and I defo hope to hold him through to overhaul. Great enabler and he'll surely get a couple of goals.

  8. NateDog
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Was planning on moving Gray to Gallagher this week but with the James injury I'll have to hold off a bit longer. Gray against a leaky ManUtd side isn't too bad an option at least.

  9. T.Henry14
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    WC active.

    A
    3-4-3
    Sanchez (Foster)
    TAA, Cancelo, Alonso (Duffy, Livramento)
    Salah, Grealish, Raphinha, Gray (Smith-Rowe)
    Lukaku, Antonio, Toney

    B
    4-4-2
    Sanchez (Foster)
    TAA, Cancelo, Alonso, Rudiger (Livramento)
    Salah, Grealish, Raphinha, Gray (4.5)
    Lukaku, Antonio (Armstrong)

    1. Devos
        2 months, 8 days ago

        I prefer A, but you might consider this?

        3-4-3
        Sanchez (Foster)
        TAA, Cancelo, Alonso (Duffy, Livramento)
        Salah, Ward-Prowse, Raphinha, Gray (leftovers)
        Lukaku, Antonio, Jesus

    2. bso
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Which 3 of Luka, Ronnie, Haaland, Lewa?
      Thanks!

    3. FOO FIGHTER
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      If Brighton win tonight they go top of the League. One can only assume it will not last long though.

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Weren't Saints top about this time last season?

      2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Southampton did the same last year.

      3. Echoes
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Will be quite pleased for the xG champions to stay top as long as they can, though it'll probably be a short stay. Or will it?

    4. Echoes
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      What does everyone need from tonight's game?
      A Veltman hattrick for me 😀

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        0-0 would be good. Have Sanchez and Duffy

      2. Jullepuu
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Sanchez penalty save and cleansheet

      3. FOO FIGHTER
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Gallagher goal and assist will great!

      4. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        1-1 Bis & Schlupp G

      5. Dthinger
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Everyone in my league has Sanchez, so a big day from Duffy would be nice

      6. pingissimus
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        4-2 for Palace

        Dunk has a superb record of getting sent off in this one so here's hoping 😉 . Duffy to pick up a couple of set piece goals (Sky) and Zaha (pleasure as it's his 400th) and Edouard (FPL) to get braces.

        1. FOO FIGHTER
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Could be Zaha's night...

          1. pingissimus
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            He'll be wired that's for sure

            Arsenal fan he may be but he's also Palace through and through and this is one he is always up for and has a great record in. Red card quite conceivable of course 🙂

    5. Jullepuu
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      I was planning on playing the wildcard gw8 but if I played it now I could play Christensen and Jose Sa insted of Veltman (or Ayling) and Sanchez. Worth it or not?

      1. Devos
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Not worth it imo. Use it later on.

          1. Jullepuu
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Well that will be gw8 then

            1. Baps hunter
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              If it is between now or weeks later, comparison is impossible. But if it's between now or week after it's a different story.

        • Baps hunter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Hard to say without seeing your whole team. Yet Chelsea is likely to keep cs, Sa I don't trust, Sou shots were so soft and they just couldn't finish. But I decided to WC this week since going heavier at the back and getting likes of Saka shouldn't be too big risk. How many points do you expect to gain immediately if you WC now? If it is 4 or more, you are winning if you take one hit during itb. 8 or more and you can make 3 transfers next week.

          1. Jullepuu
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Great comment. If Chelsea keep a cleansheet, Wolves don't and brighton don't then the wildcarding now will get me 4 extra points. Tough call as my team is fine exept for defence

      2. Devos
          2 months, 8 days ago

          My team (0.0 ITB):

          Meslier | Sanchez
          TAA | Rudiger | Tierney | Duffy | Amartey
          Jota | Benrahma | Fernandes | Sarr | Ward-Prowse
          Bamford | Jiménez | Lukaku

          Already transfered in Rudiger yesterday. What plan do you like most?

          a) GW7 keep current team | GW8 Fernandes to KDB
          b) GW7 Jota to Raphinha (-4) | GW8 Fernandes to KDB & Bamford to Firmino (-4)
          c) GW7 Jota to Kovacic (-4) | GW8 Fernandes to Salah & Bamford to Jesus (-4)

          If Bamford recovers, I plan on keeping him and use the funds elsewhere in GW9.

        • Flynny
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Is Ronaldo to lukaku worth - 4 this week to captain him v saints?

          Or just go with Ronaldo?

          Thanks

          1. Echoes
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Not for a -4, as Ronaldo himself could haul this week. Do it for free next week.

          2. jackruet
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Saints blocked city at etihad.
            Chelsea lacks creativity at midfield and isnt scoring loads.

        • jackruet
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Thoughts on jimenez? Extremely good fixtures for next 6-7 gameweek. Thinking Between him and vardy

          1. Dthinger
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Vardy is the better option if you can afford it

          2. Bobby Digital
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            If Bamford is out for a longer time...

          3. FOO FIGHTER
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Vardy. He returns whether Leicester do well or not.

        • bso
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Your suggestion needed:
          Which 3 of Luka, Ronnie, Haaland, Lewa?
          Thanks!

        • dshv
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          0:1 palace . Zaha!

        • g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Team for this week, GTG?

          If Bamford fit swap about.

          Sa
          Trent, Alonso, Tierney, Semedo
          Salah, Greenwood, Saka, Gray
          Lukaku, Antonio

          4.0, Sissoko, Livramento, #Bamford

          .7

          1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Yes

          2. Devos
              2 months, 8 days ago

              If you have a FT, I would get a replacement for Greenwood. Otherwise, GTG!

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Already used FT

            • g40steve
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Ta

          3. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Have Rudiger as my Chelsea def cover and a non reliable bench. Who should I go for:

            A) Christensen in a 4 4 3
            B) ESR in a 3 4 3

            1. FOO FIGHTER
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Formation does not really matter but I prefer 343.

              You have to decide who between Christensen and ESR will get you more points.

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                This, how bad is bench?

                1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  It's Gilmour, Livra, Mendy right now. With Christensen it will remain as is.

                  With ESR it will be Gilmour, Livra, Manquillo.

              2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                True. It's also who gets more games between those two.

          4. jackruet
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Ok. Another comparison.
            Cancelo + jimenez
            Or
            Livra+vardy?

            1. Devos
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Jimencelo

              • Eat my goal!
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                A if jimi continues with his account

              • Firminoooo
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Would be lovely if TAA and Traore could get a son. Traore Arnold running down the wing..

            2. hewittj1
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              I want to follow the pack and hit the WC button this or next week but I feel like my team is already fairly similar to the WC teams i'm seeing out there. I don't think I need a major overhaul. I'm doing Shaw -> Alonso (would be Azpil but i'm 0.1 short) and then the following week probably Ronaldo to Lukaku followed by Jota to Grealish/Foden.
              Feels like I can get to what most people are targeting with 0 hits in 3 weeks.

              Sanchez Foster
              TAA Rudiger Shaw Tierney Livra
              Salah Jota Raphinha Sarr Brownhill
              Ronaldo Antonio Toney

              1. Eat my goal!
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Save it then!

                Unless you’re doing an overhaul it is needed.

            3. Corgzzzz
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Good evening the wise folk of FFS. I need some of your wisdom.
              Shaw out for......
              A, Rudiger.
              B, Alonso.
              C, Cancello
              D, Dias.

              Money not an issue and obviously will wait till Friday night

              1. g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                B or C are capable of huge scores.

                Watching Alonso play & not owning is not a good experience

              2. BrockLanders
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                I like A personally. Safety of starts too

              3. jackruet
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                2 months, 8 days ago

                A or C

            4. BrockLanders
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Any changes to make here?

              1FT and £0.8itb

              Sanchez
              TAA, Tierney, Duffy, Livra, Marcal
              Salah, Jota, Sarr, Docoure, Gallagher
              CR7, Antonio, Bamford

            5. Eat my goal!
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Really hope Bamford returns!

              1. BrockLanders
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                THIS

              2. Gomolon
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                It would be very handy!

            6. PatrickDawson1976
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 8 days ago

              I play Draft.

              Gallagher or ESR long-term?

            7. Scrumper
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Anyone going for five big at the back? Am strongly considering this WC team:

              Ramsdale / 4.0
              Alonso / Rudiger / TAA / Cancelo / Dias
              Raph / Salah / Saka / Luiz / 4.5-7m mid
              Antonio / Lukaku / 4.5-7m mid

              Keen to hear your thoughts on going 5 big at the back?