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Who was the best goalkeeper in FPL last season?

Introduction

The 2021/2022 season is over and we now have 38 Gameweeks of stats to look back on to help us pick our FPL teams for next season. Goalkeepers are perhaps the position we give the least amount of thought to, but using a free transfer to change a dud goalkeeper is something most experienced FPL managers would like to avoid. With this in mind, we’re going to delve into the most important goalkeeping stats from last season to try and unearth the best “set-and-forget” options for our Gameweek 1 teams.

The Case For The Premium Goalkeeper

So, who was the best FPL goalkeeper from last season? Well, going off perhaps the most important stat of all – FPL Points – Liverpool’s Alisson, Tottenham Hotspur’s Lloris and Manchester City’s Ederson were the three best keepers with 176 points, 158 points and 155 points respectively. They also made the top three for clean sheets, which perhaps reinforces the old adage that clean sheets are the bread and butter of any FPL keeper. While Lloris got a very respectable 16 clean sheets, Alisson and Ederson kept 20 clean sheets, more than one every other game. Alisson’s minute per save was 42.6 and Ederson’s was 54.6 so they were unlikely to top up their clean sheet points with a save point (3 saves a match for an extra point needs a minutes per save average below 30 minutes). However, it should be noted that Alisson got 15 bonus points (more than any other goalkeeper) and only 11 players (all outfield and more expensive) scored more FPL points than him. Most serious FPL managers will baulk at the idea of paying £6m for a goalkeeper, but a steady stream of 6, 2, 7, 6 points each gameweek could be worth a second thought.

The Budget Options

The stat Big Chances on Target Faced is rarely used, but it is an important one. It stands to reason that the fewer big chances a goalkeeper faces, the more likely it is that their clean sheet will stay intact. Brentford’s Raya Martin excels here: in 24 starts, he has faced just 19 big chances. Crystal Palace’s Guaita has faced 25 big chances in 30 starts. Raya’s minutes per save is 27.7 and Guaita’s is 31.6 so they should be in the mix for 3 saves and an extra point in most games they play. 

Saves from shots outside the box is another good goalkeeping stat to look at because shots from long range are easier to save. This makes it easier for keepers to rack up the saves. Leeds’s Meslier is number 1 for these types of saves with 52, but his xG Prevented is horrendous and the worst in the league at -16.80. This means he conceded nearly 17 more goals than he was expected to concede based on the quality of shots he faced. While we’re on the subject of bad goalkeepers, Ben Foster conceded 49 goals from just 33 big chances faced while playing for relegated Watford last season. For context, Liverpool’s Alisson faced just 5 fewer big chances (28) than Foster, but let in less than half the goals (24).

Conclusion: Go Big Or Go Home?

Topping the table for xG Prevented is Jose Sa at Wolves with +7.50. Sa kept 11 clean sheets in 37 starts, which is a clean sheet roughly every 3 to 4 games. Waiting 3 to 4 Gameweeks for 6 points doesn’t sound overly appealing, but 11 clean sheets actually puts him joint 6th for goalkeeping clean sheets last season. And this is the crux of the dilemma FPL managers face going into the new season. Just 10 points separate the 5th best goalkeeper for FPL points (West Ham’s Fabianski on 136 points) and the 12th best (Brighton’s Sanchez on 126 points). The majority of goalkeepers are packed closely together for points and, unless you are willing to stump up the cash for Alisson, who broke out at the top of the pile, there is no clear standout option between the sticks. 

22 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    21 days, 23 hours ago

    Thank you Virg! Are you going to do the other positions as well?

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 21 hours ago

      Thank you so much for publishing this, R.A.E.

      The defender article is already done - get me on the payroll! 😉

  2. RedRo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    21 days, 23 hours ago

    Thanks for the article. Would be great to hear your thoughts on Ramsdale.

    1. Top Mark.S
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 23 hours ago

      😆

    2. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 21 hours ago

      "Get out."

  3. 14th Time Lucky
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    21 days, 23 hours ago

    I'm surprised just how clumped together so many options were there. I wonder if there are any who would have stood out a bit if you compensate for the fact that they missed a lot of the season (Raya?) or had an improvement after a change in manager (Dubravka? Meslier?)

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 21 hours ago

      Yeah I'd love to do what Fabio does and look at "career" stats. Produces much more reliable data.

      There's speculation that Nick Pope might go to Forest. He'd be very tempting at £4.5m!

  4. Top Mark.S
    • 5 Years
    21 days, 23 hours ago

    No mention of ramsdale in an article about goalkeepers? If that does not prove that he was the best pick thus season nothing will. Stats not in favour of your agenda eh virg?

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 21 hours ago

      Nothing stood out about Ramsdale's stats for me. Plus I hate him.

  5. Monty the Magpie
    • 4 Years
    21 days, 22 hours ago

    Why would 'most experienced FPL managers' avoid changing their goalkeeper at some point?

    1. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      21 days, 22 hours ago

      I thought this was a general truism, except for last season with all the DGWs. Even as a first timer I always felt I could make more impactful FTs in other positions & stuck with Sa for the vast majority of the season. I may have missed on some pts though by not getting e.g. DDG for Utd's batch of doubles

      1. Monty the Magpie
        • 4 Years
        21 days, 22 hours ago

        It's news to me, mate. Very seldom I change my keeper, but when stinking performances meet stinking fixtures he's just a transfer to add to all the rest.

  6. The Mentaculus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    21 days, 22 hours ago

    Thanks for this. Nice stat on Raya who I think I might start with.
    Spotted a typo/error in the final paragraph that you might want to edit - should say less than 1 in 3 (not 4) CS for Sa

    1. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 21 hours ago

      Thanks so much! Yep, I noticed that myself, have asked for it to be changed!

  7. RedLightning
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    21 days, 18 hours ago

    Ramsdale is a perfect example of why it is sometimes an excellent move to change your goalkeeper mid-season, especially if you can do so on a wildcard.

    From GW4 to GW24 he scored 101 points in 19 matches at an average of 5.3 points per game, with 11 clean sheets, 60 saves earning him 13 save points and 12 bonus points,
    but after that he only scored 34 in 15 matches at 2.3 ppg, with only 1 clean sheets, 30 saves for 5 save points and 2 bonus points.

    He was by far the best goalkeeper to own up to GW24 and well deserves his place in our team of the season, but should have been transferred out soon after that.
    Set and forget for the entire season is not always the best policy, even for goalkeepers!
    Ramsdale could have been profitably brought in on the first wildcard and sold soon after GW24, possibly on the second wildcard.

    1. Zim0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      21 days, 18 hours ago

      Well at least we know when Mr. Virgin got him

      1. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        21 days, 15 hours ago

        😥

    2. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      21 days, 15 hours ago

      It's very tough to judge when to jump on and off a goalkeeper though (especially if you're not on wildcard). You jump on and the run of points comes to an end just as the keeper you jumped off on starts to put a run together.

      1. FPL Theorist
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        Yeah, we should probably consider it, even for a hit, if a team has injuries and is suddenly having to play someone like Nuno Tavares at LB.

        Outside of that type of situation, it's generally a tough call.

      2. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        If a key defender is out for a long time you might drop the keeper. VVD 2 seasons ago is a case in point.

        1. FPL Virgin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          19 days, 12 hours ago

          Absolutely spot on.

          You'd be much more weary backing the Liverpool defence if VVD was injured.

  8. No Need
    • 8 Years
    20 days, 19 hours ago

    Covid was the keeper game changer last season, think it was wise to have 2 playing ones not a non-playing fodder. And personally I think the bench boost setup is always key with keepers to get right they can sometimes rack up the points in the doubles and are rarely rotated for them.