Here’s the 2nd in a series of articles on the players I rate in fantasy premier league. I’ve done strikers and now (see link at bottom of page) I’m on to midfielders (or at least part 1 of midfielders).
If you read my article on strategy “23 rules of play ” see link at bottom of article, you know that I believe that the underlying shooting stats are the key to a players success in fantasy premier league whether they be midfield or a striker. I wont go in to detail but it is primarily due to the lack of correlation between underlying data and assists making assist based players more unpredictable in terms of returns than shooting based players. Now I’m going to do a piece on each game format starting with the Barclays fantasy premier league. The articles will be tweaked for each format so only read the format you intend to play to avoid repetition. I’m not covering in detail the new players to the premier league such as Hazard, Kagawa and Oscar as there are no stats to analyse and in some cases separate articles written (Links at the bottom of article) This series will be about players in fantasy premier league last season. Its also important to remember that the new season will bring new stats which will dictate our thinking. This is more about your starting and early round lineups.
My analysis of the best midfielders in fantasy premier league is based on the following stats:
1. Shooting stats
2. % shots are on target
3. Percentage shots are in the box
4. Touches in the box
So here’s my fantasy premier league ranking
Van der Vaart (£9.0m) 33 fantasy premier league appearances 11 goals and 7 assists
What can I say, the best performer by far in fantasy premier league in terms of regularity of shooting and accuracy. Doesn’t shoot in or get in to the box as regularly as some but makes up for it with regular and deadly accurate shooting. Surprisingly he also outshines the significant majority in chances created for others. Has been talked up by AVB and should have a guaranteed place. I see Sigurdsson playing further back as has been mooted in pre-season and VDV being unaffected. Spurs have the 4th best fixtures and in my mind VDV is a must have. Has an injury at the moment with no return date on physio room but Im banking on him being back. This points to the only negative on VDV which is his patchy injury record. Not an issue in fantasy premier league though as transfers are relatively aplenty.
Ashley Young (£8.5m) 25 appearances 6 goals and 7 assists
People who go on to this site regularly will be surprised given my admiration for Nani but you cant argue with stats. Young should have scored more with those underlying stats. Consistent on shots, accuracy and getting in to the box. Also decent on creating chances. Big issue in fantasy premier league is rotation. Young, Nani and Valencia only fit in to 2 flank positions. United are ranked 10th in ease of opening 6 fixtures. A hard trip to Everton to start but then its Fulham H Southampton A and Wigan H. Did go to Euro 2012 but so did Nani. Rotation should be kinder in early season before other distractions.
Clint Dempsey (£9.5m) 37 appearances 17 goals and 3 assists.
A machine in fantasy premier league. Shoots more than virtually everyone and gets in to the box a very high percentage of the time. Not the best on accuracy but the regularity of shots in the box makes up for it. Questions over which club he will play for at the start of the season means he has to be monitored. Price is high but could have been worse. Fulham are ranked 11th in ease of the first 6 fixtures fixtures. If Chelsea didnt have 2 fixtures, Norwich at home in the first game could have been a captain option. Then its Man Utd A West Ham A and WBA home. Monitor for transfer activity, other options may squeeze him out for first game.
Bale (£9.5m) 36 appearances 9 goals and 10 assists
High amount of shots per game although accuracy not as high as most in the elite group of fantasy premier league. Got in the box alot but not the highest % of shots were from there. Underlying stats didnt appeared to be effected by VDV being in the side. AVB will only make Spurs more attacking than Redknapp and as for VDV I dont see Sigurdsson affecting production. Spurs are 4th ranked in the ease of opening 6 games. Difficult one first up away to Newcastle, then home to WBA and Norwich. Good stats on creating chances but perhaps 10 assists flattered them
Walcott (£9.0m) 35 appearances 8 goals and 8 assists
Far behind the above in the shooting regularity stats but unrivvaled on accuracy in fantasy premier league and getting in to and shooting in the box. Assists definitely flattered him but when youve got RVP as the recipient of chances created that’s probably not unexpected. Arsenal are ranked 17th in ease of fixtures in the first 6 games. After a home game to sunderland theyre away to stoke then Liverpool. Wait to fixtures improve.
Sigurdsson (£9.0m) 18 appearnces 7 goals and 3 assists
The best stats of everyone in fantasy premier league shooting regulalrly made up for ordinary stats in everything else. Hint of overperformance in my mind and will need mnitoring this season. Early pre-season suggests he will play further back than when at Swansea. Showed the ability to create chance regulalrly though. Totennham have 4th best start but Bale and VDV are the better options especially at this price
Silva (£10m) 36 appearnces 6 goals 15 assists
Shooting regularity stats are better than Walcott and Osman but not great on accuracy which is surprising given the strong percentage that were in the box and the regularity hat he got in it. Only Mata was better at creating chances though althoughSsilva got more assists.
Osman (£6.5m) 30 appearances 5 goals 1 assist
In my mind one of the better cheap options. At the limit of shot regularity but good accuracy and percentage in the box. Playing for Everton however, doesnt get in to it as much as the sides above him here. Not chance creating stats though. Everton have the 7th best opening 6 games. Many will prefer Pienaar if he eventually gets to Everton. I’m sticking with Osman.
That’s part 1 of Midfielders. Another to follow. The next lot are less straightforward.
Here’s the links to other articles as mentioned. Copy and paste in to browser if they dont work