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 1||Paired team 2|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||Leeds United|
|Leicester City||Nottingham Forest|
|Manchester City||Manchester United|
|West Ham United||Brentford|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Crystal 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.
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.
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