Fixtures

FPL 2022/23: Who are the best teams to pair in rotation?

We continue our analysis of the newly released 2022/23 Premier League fixture list with a look at which teams rotate well from a Fantasy perspective.

We’re using our customisable Season Ticker for this article, a tool that allows you to filter clubs by rotation amongst other sortable options.

The idea here is to simply find a couple of low-cost Fantasy Premier League (FPL) assets whose fixtures dovetail, either to offer successive home matches or, at the very least, a prolonged spell of favourable opponents.

We’re focusing on budget defensive options, mainly because many Fantasy managers will resist benching premium assets.

In theory, this approach can help maximise the points returns from two low-cost picks, freeing up funds for the premium assets like Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland.

It should be said that the rotation strategy is shunned by some Fantasy managers, as anticipating where a clean sheet or attacking return will come from is often not just as straightforward as picking the player with a home match or better-on-paper fixture. The move towards ‘big at the back’ also means fewer of us will consider having two £4.5m-and-under defenders in our squads.

HOME/AWAY ROTATION PAIRINGS IN 2022/23

There are 10 pairings that alternate home fixtures perfectly next season (credit goes to Fantasy Football Scout user Portsmouth Bubblejet for the research):

Paired team 1Paired team 2
ArsenalTottenham Hotspur
Aston VillaBournemouth
Brighton and Hove AlbionLeeds United
ChelseaFulham
Leicester CityNottingham Forest
LiverpoolEverton
Manchester CityManchester United
Newcastle UnitedSouthampton
West Ham UnitedBrentford
Wolverhampton WanderersCrystal Palace

Some of the above couplings are decided by geographical proximity, created by the need to spread police resourcing: Liverpool/Everton, Manchester United/Manchester City and Spurs/Arsenal being notable examples.

And a number of these combinations are largely irrelevant when it comes to rotation pairings because of the price tags associated with at least one of the respective clubs’ assets and their ability to score points on the road – Fantasy managers aren’t likely to alternate benchings for Kieran Tierney or Ivan Perisic simply because they have an away fixture, for example.

So for more realistic pairings, we have to box a little bit more clever.

BEST ROTATION PAIRINGS: GAMEWEEKS 1-16

For these pairings, we’ll look no further than Gameweek 16. It’s after that point that the Premier League takes a six-week break for the World Cup, which will be a good time to take stock. Wildcards or – if we are given them – unlimited transfers will also be flying at this point.

BRENTFORD/NEWCASTLE

Pairing Brentford and Newcastle through to Gameweek 15 avoids any meeting with a side that finished in the top seven last season.

A third of the 15 matches are against newly promoted clubs, while there are two home fixtures against an Everton side who had a woeful away record in 2021/22 and a brace of meetings with a Wolverhampton Wanderes outfit who were the division’s fourth-lowest scorers.

We’ve stopped before Gameweek 16 as Manchester City and Chelsea provide the opposition in the final round of matches before the World Cup.

There should be plenty of Brentford defensive options in the £4.5m bracket, although it remains to be seen how FPL price up Newcastle assets such as Dan Burn given the money being pumped into the club. We can certainly forget about full-backs Matt Targett and Kieran Trippier being any cheaper than £5.0m.

FPL managers might just want to ‘set and forget’ Bees assets such as David Raya anyway: Thomas Frank’s troops don’t meet one of last season’s top four until Gameweek 12, while Manchester City, Spurs and Liverpool aren’t concerns until November onwards.

WOLVES/WEST HAM

West Ham United are a bit like Newcastle in that their first-choice full-backs, Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell, aren’t going to be anything less than £5.0m.

FPL could price up their centre-halves a tad cheaper, however, given that only four clubs kept fewer clean sheets than the Hammers (eight) last season.

Wolves should be able to offer us a couple of viable options in the £4.5m bracket, with the likes of Jonny and Rayan Ait-Nouri potentially listed at that price point.

Rotating defenders from these two sides in the first 16 Gameweeks again gives us five fixtures against the three teams who have just come up from the Championship.

Like the Brentford/Newcastle pairing, it avoids any club who finished in the top seven of the Premier League in 2021/22.

A total of 11 out of the 16 matches would be on home soil, too.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST/WOLVES

If FPL don’t oblige us with cheap West Ham defenders, then Nottingham Forest’s fixtures dovetail fairly well with those of Wolves – if not quite as favourably, with Gameweek 9 a bit problematic.

The first eight Gameweeks are pretty good, however, for those FPL managers looking to Wildcard over the September international break.

There are four fixtures against Fulham and Bournemouth, along with a pair of matches against Leeds.

Forest conceded just 28 goals in Steve Cooper’s 38 league matches in charge last season, while it’s easy to forget that Wolves boasted one of the Premier League’s best defensive records – even if they were ‘overachieving’ based on the expected goals data.

FULHAM/LEEDS
FPL 2022/23: Who are the best teams to pair in rotation? 1

Fulham and Leeds defenders won’t be top of many Fantasy managers’ shopping lists but Rasmus Kristensen could be one of the more attacking options at £4.5m, should FPL Towers be feeling generous with their pricing.

The Whites have improved at the back since Jesse Marsch was appointed, while they’ve added a much-needed defensive midfielder in the form of Marc Roca from Bayern Munich over the summer.

We’ve got 10 fairly favourable home fixtures by pairing the two clubs together in Gameweeks 1-15, again stopping at that point due to two unappealing matches in Gameweek 16.

There are no meetings with any of last season’s top eight Premier League sides in the above sequence but five games against the newly promoted trio.

The Cottagers admittedly came up from the English second tier with a reputation for more attacking football, so there has to be a degree of scepticism about their clean sheet potential.

COVER FOR PREMIUM DEFENDERS

If we’re being realistic, the current trend for owning premium defenders will leave many FPL managers feeling cold about the above approach.

So what if we look at this another way and ask if there are any budget defenders who can step in on the rare occasions when we might be thinking about benching our three or four heavy hitters at the back?

TeamBenchable fixtures?Top of the ticker (budget teams only)
LiverpoolGameweek 11: Man City (h)Gameweek 11: Wolves v Nottm Forest (h)
Man CityGameweek 11: Liverpool (a)Gameweek 11: Wolves v Nottm Forest (h)
SpursGameweek 2: Chelsea (a)
Gameweek 7: Man City (a)
Gameweek 15: Liverpool (h)
Gameweek 2: Wolves v Fulham (h)
Gameweek 7: Leeds v Nottm Forest (h)
Gameweek 15: Leeds v Bournemouth (h)
ChelseaGameweek 8: Liverpool (h)Gameweek 8: Nottm Forest v Fulham (h)

Wolves provide good cover in Gameweeks 2 and 11 but have a rotten pair of matches against Liverpool and Manchester City in Gameweeks 7 and 8, to temper their appeal.

Any prospective owners of Ivan Perisic (presuming he’s a defender) could instead look to cover from the Leeds backline for meetings with City and Liverpool in Gameweeks 7 and 15. The Whites also face Southampton away in Gameweek 2.

Focusing only on the five Gameweeks above, Forest just about come out on top for fixture difficulty in our bespoke Season Ticker.

HOW IMPORTANT IS HOME ADVANTAGE AND OPPOSITION WEAKNESS?

2021/22 CLEAN SHEET STATS
2021/22 Premier League
% of total clean sheets kept by home sides56.1
% of total goals conceded by home sides46.3
% of games in which the home side kept a clean sheet31.3
% of games in which the away side kept a clean sheet24.5
% of games in which a ‘big six’ side kept a clean sheet41.7
% of games in which a ‘non-big six side kept a clean sheet22.0
% of games in which a ‘big six’ home side kept a clean sheet43.0
% of games in which a ‘non-big six home side kept a clean sheet26.3
% of games in which a ‘big six’ away side kept a clean sheet40.4
% of games in which a ‘non-big six’ away side kept a clean sheet17.7
% of games in which a ‘big six’ side kept a clean sheet against a ‘non-big six’ side48.2
% of games in which a ‘big six’ side kept a clean sheet against another ‘big six’ side23.3
% of games in which a ‘non-big six’ side kept a clean sheet against another ‘non-big six’ side25.3
% of games in which a ‘non-big six’ side kept a clean sheet against a ‘big six’ side14.9

A quick look at the clean sheet breakdown illustrates that while home advantage and opposition difficulty isn’t the be-all and end-all, it unsurprisingly does make a difference.

Non-‘big six’ sides kept a clean sheet in 26.3% of their home matches versus 17.7% away.

They also registered shut-outs in 25.3% of their fixtures against fellow non-‘big six’ sides, compared to 14.9% of their meetings with the top half-dozen teams.


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377 Comments Post a Comment
  1. gooberman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    My thoughts on player prices. I think FPL get the prices hugely wrong every season. The premium player prices are way too high in terms of the points they get proportionate to their price compared to the cheaper players. Let's have a look at some of the premiums from last season.

    Salah starting price 12.5m. Total points 265.
    Saka starting price 6.5m. Total points 179.
    Maddison starting price 7m. Total points 181.
    Bowen starting price 6.5m. Total points 206.

    We can see here that Salah's price is almost double that of those other players but his points total is nowhere near double.

    It's an even worse scenario when looking at the forwards.

    Kane starting price 12.5m. Total points 192.
    Ronaldo starting price 12.5m. Total points 159.
    Toney starting price 6.5m. Total points 139.
    Dennis starting price 5m. Total points 134.

    Total points compared to the prices is massively disproportionate. Based on these prices, Kane should be scoring double that of Toney and Dennis so around 270-280pts but he has scored nowhere near that.

    So this means they have got the pricing way off. Yes the more expensive players are getting more points in general than the cheaper players but the actual difference in points is not at all proportionate to the prices. I hope FPL learn from this and adjust prices accordingly but I suspect they wont and we will still see Salah and Kane etc extortionately priced again.

    I am seeing a lot of speculation on twitter that we will see TAA priced at 8-8.5m. Whilst I agree that a player who scores over 200pts should not perhaps be priced at 7.5m, if FPL are using the same pricing criteria as previous seasons then there is not logic whatsoever in pricing TAA any higher than 7.5m again.

    He scored 210pts in the 19/20 season which is more than his score last season (208) but he was priced at 7.5m the following season. Also Robertson scored 213 in the 18/19 season which is still the record I believe yet he was priced at 7m the following season. So why are people thinking TAA will be 8-8.5m next season? It wouldn't make any sense unless FPL are planning on completely re-structuring their pricing criteria.

    1. Nomar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      The pricing is deliberately designed to be prohibitive, though. Otherwise everyone would have the same premium players in abundance.

      This season, it’s probable that managers are going to have to make serious choices about which players they have to forego to a much larger degree than before.

    2. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ
      • 7 Years
      6 days, 11 hours ago

      You've just cherry picked the high scoring mid-priced players. No one had Bowen in GW1.

      1. gooberman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        There are many other midfielders who I haven't mentioned who were also around half Salah's price but scored more than half of his points total - Zaha, Ward Prowse, Raphinha, Trossard, Gallagher etc.

        1. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ
          • 7 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Now list the ones that didn't

        2. Pasqualinho
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          And there are quite a few who are around his price who scored far fewer than half his points, so good luck! That’s the game.

        3. LangerznMash
          • 5 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          It's like picking a needle out a hay stack though. Salah is guaranteed 200+ points but for every Dennis there are 4 players like Barnes, Armstrong, Benteke, Daka...

          1. gooberman
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Yeah fair I guess but I would hazard a guess that they wont price the specific players I have mentioned proportionately according to their points totals of last year. For example Kane will probably be priced around 5-6m more than Toney despite scoring only 53pts more which would be disproportionate.

            1. LangerznMash
              • 5 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              You also gotta factor in Kane as captain pick.

        4. LangerznMash
          • 5 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Even if you picked a squad with all the best value players in, it would still have Salah in or you wouldn't come close to using your £100m budget.

          This squad started at only £97.5 mil...

          Ramsdale 4.5, Foster 4.0
          TAA 7.5, Robbo 7.0, Cancelo 6.0, James 5.5, Cash 5.0
          Salah 12.5, Son 10.0, Bowen 6.5, Saka 6.5, Gallagher 5.5
          Toney 6.5, Pukki 6.0, Dennis 5.0

          absolutely no one had more than two of Pukki, Toney, Dennis, Bowen, Saka and Gallagher for GW1.

      2. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 5 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        My rival did lol, and Benrahma

    3. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      6 days, 11 hours ago

      So much wrong with this post

      1. gooberman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        what exactly?

        1. circusmonkey
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          6 days, 2 hours ago

          I replied below in the wrong post.

      2. gooberman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        I will quote this post when the game is released and we see KDB and Kane priced at 4m more than Bowen despite scoring less points.

    4. FPL Insanity
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      6 days, 11 hours ago

      If you've ever built a footy coupon for work or friends, you'll know you don't just have 20 games of massive odds on shots like Man City vs Norwich and Celtic vs Dundee. It's the same when pricing players like TAA at 7.5m, because you want your participants to have some level of difficulty in playing your game. There is a big chunk of luck in FPL but you want to draw out as much skill as possible at the same time. Cheers

    5. CAVEAT KING
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      6 days, 11 hours ago

      A nice read but "variance is required" it is not the points, but the group points. Salah for example who was exceptional 1st part of the season was a captain and worth double his points tally. There are +- 300 points on offer for captain alone. Team variance the key not the points. When templates arrive, this is a problem. FPL Towers don't have a crystal ball but they must move with the times though.

    6. RedLightning
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      6 days, 10 hours ago

      You can't replace one player with two players - you have to have exactly 15 in your squad.
      So you should only compare one player with another one, or two players with another two.

      Also, you shouldn't ignore the captaincy factor.
      If you perma-captain Salah, then you should double his points total when calculating his value.
      Or if you have two captains that rotate home and away, then you should increase both their points totals by 50%.

      And if you select only the best value players, then you won't be using all your budget and their combined points total will not be great. To increase your overall score each week you will need to replace some of your value players with others that are more expensive but will score more points.

      Value (points divided by price) is a misleading stat anyway. It doesn't allow for the fact that part of a player's price is a fixed overhead (4.0m or 4.5m depending on position). If the fixed overhead were to be changed and the total budget adjusted accordingly (for example if every price was increased by 10m and the total budget was increased by 150m) then this would have no effect whatever on the real relative values of the players, but the artificial ratios of points divided by prices would be different and so would the order of the best-value players according to this stat.

    7. nobwak
      • 6 Years
      6 days, 1 hour ago

      Don’t pick Salah then if he’s such poor value.

    8. RedRo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      6 days, 53 mins ago

      Why don’t you use all this knowledge to just pick the likes of Saka, Maddison, Bowen, etc. And just win FPL?

    9. yousunkmybattleship
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      5 days, 14 hours ago

      Cherry picking and hindsight are wonderful things

      1. gooberman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        5 days, 13 hours ago

        Its not hindsight though. The evidence is there every season that the premium players are hugely over priced compared to other players.

        A good example is the defenders. The top scoring defenders have been hitting the 200pts mark for many seasons and these totals will typically be around 50pts fewer than the best performing premium priced mids and forwards however still FPL price them 5-6m less again the following season which is hugely disproportionate.

        1. CantSpellFailWithoutFAI
            5 days, 9 hours ago

            It is literally hindsight though. You are using the points they have scored since those prices were set. Bowen's 21/22 score was an unknown variable at the time they picked 6.5m. What we did know was he had scores 44 (19/20 half season) and 141 (19/20). Using the 141 we would get 21.69 points per million. Salah had regressed down to 231 (19/20) and 233 (20/21) in recent seasons so we come out at 18.56 points per million. Given captaincy potential that would mean you'd be looking at Salah as being better value.

            Hard to do much on the forwards as Toney and Dennis were new to the league but as others have said, there were plenty of forwards who came in worse PPM than Kane

            1. gooberman
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              5 days, 7 hours ago

              My previous post perfectly demonstrated and evidenced why its not hindsight with the examples I gave regarding the defenders but still you say its hindsight. lol.

              Yes you are right Bowen's pricing of 6.5 was proportionate based on his previous seasons performances.

              However I can almost guarantee and I will quote your post that when the new game is released, Bowen will be around 4m less than KDB and Kane despite getting more points and again the defenders will be around 5m cheaper despite matching their points showing yet again how disproportionately inflated the premium players are priced at.

              Some will argue that Bowen had an unusual season and may not hit the same heights again next season whereas Kane and KDB are seasoned 200pts+ scorers. I would say to that yes I 100% agree and Kane and KDB should be higher priced higher but a 4m difference? No way. Completely disproportionate. Accurate pricing would be to price Kane and KDB at 11m and Bowen 9m but Im confident this is unlikely to happen.

              1. CantSpellFailWithoutFAI
                  5 days, 7 hours ago

                  It is still "hindsight" though as the exact players that outperform isn't known when prices are being set. I always expect the best value pick is not going to be a Salah/Kane/KDB, however knowing who will be the ones to outdo hthem is the challenge. Even at 6.5m Bowen was still a niche enough pick (at his ownership trough he was in under 65k teams and had fallen to 6.3m). It turned out he was a bargain but that's not something we can tell before time. Raphinha had about 10 times the ownership of Bowen in GW1 so this suggests who we generally thought was the better value at the start of the season

                  You are correct in that defender value has been stronger. You're point about defenders topping 200 regularly is a tad skewed though. Trent has now done it twice, Robbo, Cancelo and VVD have all done it once. I expect these should get big price increases as the modern game has now shifted to include FBs in the attack way more for a few seasons now. The issue is that the opportunity cost of going for expensive defenders is that your squad then hits issues in affording any sort of playing bench (there is also a minor twist in that your baseline defender is 0.5m cheaper than the corresponding midfielder).I also think the DM/fodder options in mid/fwd should be dropped to 4m. That would negate the opportunity cost and therefore put the defs on a level field with the other positions

      2. Nomar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Out of interest, how many £4.5m keepers do people genuinely think there will be this season?

        I think max of 6: Fulham, Bournemouth, Forest, Southampton, Brentford and/or possibly Leeds.

        Cannot see Newcastle, Brighton, Everton or Palace keepers at that price point this time.

        1. Rassi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          6 days, 12 hours ago

          Why not Everton?

        2. Zim0
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 12 hours ago

          Pickford should be 4.5

          1. Nomar
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 12 Years
            6 days, 12 hours ago

            Should, yes, but he’s England no 1 and they will probably think Everton will be better this season.

          2. TheBiffas
            • 1 Year
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            No chance

        3. No Need
          • 8 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Ramsdale will be a handy pick at 4.0

        4. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Those 6, plus some backup keepers at big clubs.

        5. Herogrows
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            It would be immense for a Leeds 4.5 keeper

          • LangerznMash
            • 5 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            If Meslier or Raya are £4.5m then surely everyone will have one or both of them. I fully expect them both to score around 130 points again making their value around 29.
            Raya missed 14 games last season and the Leeds defence was devastated by injuries and suspensions (most games missed in the league).

            1. LangerznMash
              • 5 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              ignore the word *again*

        6. circusmonkey
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          6 days, 2 hours ago

          Look up some old articles by 'Hedge'. He looks at incremental points and prices, not just raw points per million. The cheapest squad is £64m so you actually have £36m to spend and you assess that in increments.

          1. circusmonkey
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            6 days, 2 hours ago

            Oh, reply to Gooberman.