After each gameweek, Joseph Crilley is going to be writing an article reviewing all the Premier League games from a fantasy perspective. He will be providing some stats and a brief summary on the performances and prospects of a few of the players. This is the fantasy premier league GW29 review. Last year, Joseph finished with an overall rank of 13k.
FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE GW29 REVIEW
For each game, I will be providing a stats table containing the following: Goals (G), Assists (A), Shots (S), On Target (OT), Key Passes (KP), Bonus points (BP) and fantasy points (FP). Any statistic highlighted in yellow signifies that the player leads that category for his team. Blue highlight shows the players that registered a fantasy return (goal, assist or clean sheet) and green shows any player that scored 10+ points.
The tables also include the Expected Goals and Expected Assists for each individual player. This is in addition to the expected goals for each team in brackets within the scoreline. BBC Sport provided a very useful piece to help explain this statistic. Essentially each shot is given a score between 0 and 1 as to how likely it is to go in the net. For example, suppose a shot taken from inside the box is worth 0.56; this will be added to the xG tally of the player who take the shot and added to the xA of the player who passes the ball to him. All underlying stats are from the brilliant website understat.com. References to average position come from the twitter site 11tegen11.
The stats tables are all available via the following google spreadsheet link and I will speak about a few key players during the gameweek.
Arguably the key FPL team over recent weeks and certainly the key team for GW31, Liverpool stepped again this week with plenty of points on offer. Starting at the back, it was a comfortable clean sheet, but there were no attacking returns which saw the lesser owned options such as Karius clean up the bonus points.
Meanwhile, the front 3 all delivered with the first goal converted by the machine that is Salah who is naturally brimming with confidence. This was best shown by a cracking volleyed effort that went just wide, though this would have contributed to his lack of bonus; consecutive games without bonus despite scoring for the Egyptian. It’s a similar, though more expected story, for Mané who sealed the game with a nice finish and is showing enough form to advocate a triple up on the ‘Pool attack.
The other member, Firmino, adopted a creative role in this fixture demonstrated by an xA score of 0.68 thanks to 4 key passes. One of these was the assist for the second goal to keep his FPL score ticking over; no blanks in the last 3 games for the Brazilian.
A similar result and performance to the Reds from Tottenham who barely needed to get out of second gear with the midweek clash against Juventus clearly on their mind. There was a rare assist from Kane, just his 2nd of the season, after a brilliant cross that any midfielder would be pleased with. He failed to get on the scoresheet, but that was not through a lack of trying after 6 shots and on another day, he could’ve easily bagged a brace. He saw a close-range effort saved and a volley from a corner went just wide, plus Spurs should’ve been awarded a penalty. That isn’t much comfort for those who elected to captain him over the irresistible Salah, but it only cost those brave few 3 points in the end.
The star of the Wembley show was Son who was on fire and seemed to have his confidence back after his FA cup brace. He followed that up with a similar return here in a busy display which should put him back as first choice for that 3rd attacking slot in the Spurs’ midfield. There were some decent stats for Eriksen who fired in 3 shots and also created 4 opportunities for his teammates.
Popular transfer Davies started again which allowed him and his side to collect their 6th clean sheet during the last 9 gameweeks. I would advise owners of him and his defensive teammates to keep a close eye on the Champions league team sheet as there could plenty of rotation, even at centre back with Alderweireld coming back to fitness. I actually suspect Aurier is the most likely starter for the trip to Bournemouth considering his European suspension and a solid display here.
It was a very defensive performance from Chelsea for their tough assignment at the Eithad stadium and it was no shock to see them fail to score. Hazard was positioned in the false-9 position which has proved ineffective in the past and it continued here. The only chances of memory fell to Moses and Alonso who sent a stoppage time volley wide. To be honest, it’s tough to find anything positive to say about Chelsea other than they kept it to 1-0 so I’m going to leave it there.
It was all about the Silva linings for City after the winning goal was scored by Bernardo following a cross into a good area by David Silva. The latter ran the show, exerting his class throughout and could be a decent option for those looking to wildcard in GW32. The same could be said for Sané who is finding some form again and was a constant issue for Chelsea with his pace and dribbling ability.
The current popular choices had pretty quiet days as Sterling failed to make the matchday squad and Aguero had just the one effort on goal. De Bruyne did have a team high 4 key passes but recorded successive blanks for the first time since GW3.
In defence, Otamendi continues to be first choice and it was a pretty comfortable day for him as City only had 3 shots to contend with. We are still yet to see rotation with the Argentine, though this may change later in the season when the league is wrapped up.
Continuing a similar theme to last week, I’ll be focusing on those teams that have a fixture during GW31 as they are important transfer options now.
Stoke have been showing some resilience in recent weeks following the appointment of Paul Lambert and kept a decent clean sheet away at Southampton. Butland made 6 saves to bring his total to 25 in the last 4 weeks which sent him on the way to another set of maximum bonus points. From an attacking view, Shaqiri was the main man again; though he failed to register a single shot, he had 5 key passes.
Another 1-0 win for Watford due to a Deeney winner who is making a case to lead our forward lines into the blank week. His young teammate, Richarlison, was withdrawn early again and seems to be a long way off the form he showed early in the season. A 3rd clean sheet in 5 games has highlighted some defensive solidity, but it’s a tough couple of away fixtures for the Hornets now.
Everton’s struggles away from home continued and they are starting to look like a team to avoid rather than one to target for options. Walcott had a high xG score of 1.01, but he was only able to sky the ball over the bar when a big opportunity came his way. The assist for the Blues’ goal came from the returning Coleman who could be a fun choice for the blank week, but managers should be wary of the clean sheet struggles for Allardyce’s team.
West Brom look desperately short of form and confidence – avoid in all areas of the pitch in my opinion.
It was difficult to judge Huddersfield during their tough trip to Wembley, but they probably have the most favourable fixture out of the non-blank sides in GW30.
Meanwhile, we may be seeing a change in our favoured Bournemouth forward as Wilson had no shots again and now seems to have lost spot-kick duties. Instead, it was King who stepped up to convert the penalty and perhaps the star of last year’s blank week will come back into contention for this year. In midfield, I like the look of Stanislas who has posted some consistent underlying stats and had 5 shots during this gameweek. You can vote for the most important GW31 player (Liverpool players excluded) in one of the additional polls in the GW30 Captain Poll article
The fixtures may be good for Arsenal, but their abject performances do not inspire any faith, especially in the defence. Aubameyang may be the saving grace after his poacher’s goal and will be immune from rotation due to his ineligibility in the Europa League, but the former Dortmund man comes with a hefty price tag. There was evidence of the potential rotation as Ramsey was absent from squad despite no apparent injury or illness and Wenger later stating the importance of the Europa League and the difficulties in Arsenal finishing 4th.
Mahrez grabbed a last-gasp equaliser with a fine free-kick to reward those who elected to bring the Leicester man in this week. He definitely looks the better attacking option at Leicester as Vardy continued his struggles against the smaller teams. Their teammate Maguire had 7 shots on goal, a ridiculous total for a centre back.
The brothers at Swansea were on fine form and caused West Ham all sorts of problems with Jordan Ayew converting his penalty and continues to look a good cheap option.
Burnley picked up a much-needed victory and they finally have their first choice back 4 together; Lowton started and created 4 chances including his assist. Gudmundsson had some impressive stats again and it was his corner which led to the second goal.
Arnautovic was positioned in an attacking midfield role and was only able to muster one shot on goal, though this was a big opportunity that he could only put straight at the keeper.
A massive win for Brighton and Murray continued his run of goals with 5 in his last 5 games while there were finally some attacking returns for their centre halves as Duffy set up Dunk to rifle the ball home for the first goal. Izquierdo has been a real livewire as of late and was once again, firing 4 shots on goal; one to watch out for next season maybe?
That concludes the GW29 review. Feel free to post any questions or feedback in the comments section or you can find me on Twitter.
Fantasy Premier League: 5379-1967
Sun: FantasyFootballGeek SGDKX9Y3
TFF: FantasyFootballGeek PIN 8000919 Passcode 1159
Sky: FFGeek 8310511
TFF Europe League PIN is 8000919 and the pass code 6296