Mid priced forwards can often cause dilemma’s for fantasy managers, due to the number of those in the price range and their unknown output. In this article we will analyse the xG and xA’s of these mid priced forwards to see which players should make our fantasy teams.
xG stands for Expected Goals. It is a way of analysing each goal scoring chance a player has had and analysing the quality of the chance. If a shot has a low xG, it indicates that there was a low probability that it would result in a goal.
If a shot has an xG of 0.3, it would generally result in a goal 30% of the time, however an xG of 0.99 would indicate that you’d have to be missing an open goal from 2 yards out to not score.
The same goes for xA, which stands for expected assists. You can now calculate all of the shots a player has, or crosses and passes into a metric for that player. If they continue playing and getting into the same positions, and providing the same quality of shots or balls into the box, then it will result in an expected output.
I keep chopping and changing my £6.5m striker so I have taken to the numbers to help support my decision. I have used Understat.com for the xG and xA figures using in this article.
Comparison is done by taking the forwards that played in the Premier League last year and sourcing their xG and xA. This excludes new signings and promoted players such as Pukki, Wesley, Sharp, Adams, Rodriguez and a few others. It also doesn’t include Batshauyi as he isn’t in the Fantasy Premier League game yet. All expected outputs are all based on 90 minutes.
A couple of things jump out from this. Firstly, if Giroud performs to his expected output, and gets game time, he could be an amazing option for £7.0m. Furthermore, if Ings can nail down the number 9 place for Southampton he has great underlying stats, as does one of my personal favourites, Ashley Barnes. There isn’t a lot between Deulofeu, King, Jota and Deeney and then at the bottom end you have Woods, Murray and Calvert-Lewin.
I’ve taken these players expected stats and for comparison purposes produced results if all of these players were to play 33 games. Obviously this is very difficult to predict as game time for many of these players could be restricted by rotation or injury, but below are the results
|Name||Predicted Goals in 33 Games||Predicted Assists in 33 Games|
Giroud, Ings and Barnes could be real gems if they get solid game time this year. I think the most surprising player from this analysis is Calvert-Lewin who just doesn’t look like a great goalscorer, or assist provider.
I have then looked at the first few fixtures, as really if you are shopping in this band you will be willing to move the Striker out if someone else starts the season like a train.
Olivier Giroud (£7.0m) – Chelsea
Giroud starts with Manchester United (A) and the Leicester (H), but then his fixtures open up, with Norwich (A) and Sheffield United (H) in the gameweek 3 and 4. He then has Wolves and Liverpool, but from gameweek 7 to gameweek 13 he doesn’t play a top 6 side. I think he may not be one to start with, but if he is the Chelsea number 9, seriously consider bringing him in with gameweek 3 or 7.
Danny Ings (£6.0m) – Southampton
Ings has a real mixed bag of fixtures, with Burnley (A), Liverpool (H), Brighton (A), Manchester United (H), Sheffield United (A) and Bournemouth (H) in the first 6 gameweeks. With the potential for rotation looming over Ings I am again going to put him on my watch list, possibly bringing him in gameweek 5.
Ashley Barnes (£6.5m) – Burnley
Ashley Barnes starts with Southampton (H), then plays Arsenal (A), Wolves (A) and Liverpool (H). A seemingly tough start, but actually the first 3 defences he plays aren’t wonderful. He then has a great run of fixtures, only playing 1 top 6 side until gameweek 15! Barnes is on my potential starting list. Woods has the same fixtures, but his expected performance is slightly lower, so unless I see an upturn in form, Barnes will be my pick.
Gerard Deulofeu (£6.5m) – Watford
Deulofeu may not be as much of an out and out goalscorer as the other on this list. All of his goals last year, other than one, came against Huddersfield, Cardiff and West Ham (his other was against Man City) so it could be argued he is a bit of a flat track bully. However his starting games are against Brighton (H), Everton (A), West Ham (H) and Newcastle (A), so that is a solid start for a streaky player. Deeney of course has the same fixtures and could cause all 4 teams problems with his physicality, however I think Deulofeu has the higher points ceiling.
Joshua King (£6.5m) – Bournemouth
Josh King is currently in nearly every draft I’ve seen (including my own) basically because he’s cheaper than Wilson and plays Sheffield United (H) and Aston Villa (A) in his first two. However, he then plays Manchester City (H), Leicester (A) and Everton (A) which isn’t a great run of fixtures. I’m tempted to start with him because of his soft start, however I think I will definitely be moving him on for gameweek 3.
Diogo Jota (£6.5m) – Wolves
Diogo Jota has been moved to forward this year and faces a relatively tough start to the campaign. Wolves play Leicester (A), Manchester United (H), Burnley (H), Everton (A) and Chelsea (H) in the first 5 weeks, whilst also playing the qualifying rounds for the Europa League. Even though I’ve been seriously impressed with him I am willing to go without any Wolves assets until after gameweek 5.
Glenn Murray (£6.0m) – Brighton
Glenn Murray is still looking to be Brightons main striker next year, and could benefit from a more attacking line up. Brighton’s first 3 fixtures are reasonable with Watford (A), West Ham (H) and Southampton (H), but then fancy Manchester City (A), Chelsea (A) and Spurs (H) in 3 of the next 5. Murray could be the £6.0m enabler to start the season with and move out by gameweek 4.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.0m) – Everton
Finally we have DCL, who prior to my analysis I was pretty sweet on. Everton have really solid fixtures playing only 1 top 6 side in the first 10 gameweeks, and only 2 in the first 14, however he isn’t the nailed on choice as striker, and his underlying stats are quite disappointing. He’s going on my watch list, but i’m staying away for the first few weeks.
Overall I have no narrowed my initial choice to King, Deulofeu, Murray or Barnes. I had always planned on switching to Barnes in gameweek 5, but his first 3 fixtures aren’t too bad, so I may try and save a transfer by starting with him. I now have Giroud at the top of my list to see how he does in the first few weeks and if he can become Chelsea’s main starting striker, along with Ings as a possible transfer a few weeks in.
Written by @LotmerFPL