Here’s the Sky Sports fantasy football version of the 2nd part in a series of articles on the players I rate in Sky Sports fantasy football. 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 Sky Sports fantasy football 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 and heres the Sky Sports fantasy football version. 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 Sky Sports fantasy football 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 Sky Sports fantasy football 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 Sky Sports fantasy football ranking:
Van der Vaart (£8.0m) 33 Sky Sports fantasy football appearances 11 goals and 7 assists
A keen price at £8.0 compared to Silva at £9m, Bale at £8.8m and Mata at £8.9m. He’s cheaper than Cabaye! Current injury and injury record in a format like Sky Sports fantasy football where transfers are scare is the only drawback. That aside the best performer by far in Sky Sports fantasy Football 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. As stated earlier this points to the only negative on VDV which is his patchy injury record. Bale may make man of the match awards difficult to obtain
Ashley Young (£8.3m) 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. However Sky Sports fantasy football is not the site for rotation prone players and this is the issue with Young. 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. Fair value at£8.3m and still in my reckoning. Will struggle for man of the match with Rooney in the team.
Clint Dempsey (£8.6m) 37 appearances 17 goals and 3 assists.
A machine and the top goal scoring midfielder last year. 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. Also at Fulham never rotated which is important with no subs in Sky Sports fantasy football. Questions over which club he will play for at the start of the season means he has to be monitored. Fulham are ranked 11th in ease of the first 6 fixtures fixtures. Then its Man Utd A West Ham A and WBA home. Will dominate man of the match awards
Bale (£8.8m) 36 appearances 9 goals and 10 assists
Third most expensive midfielder behind Silva and Mata. High amount of shots per game although accuracy not as high as most in the elite group of Sky Sports fantasy football. Got in the box alot but not the highest % of shots were from there. Underlying stats didn’t appeared to be effected by VDV being in the side. AVB will only make Spurs more attacking than Redknapp and as for VDV I don’t 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 him. Not rotation prone so good for Sky Sports fantasy football. Style of play will see man of the match domination.
Walcott (£7.5m) 35 appearances 8 goals and 8 assists
18th most expensive midfielder? Good value but shame about the opening fixtures. Far behind the above in the shooting regularity stats but unrivalled on accuracy in Sky Sports fantasy football and getting in to and shooting in the box. Assists definitely flattered him but when you’ve 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. Has cemented his place now although still has Gervinho as a potential rival although mainly a different flank. Good value but wait for improved fixtures. Man of the match which are just given to RVP before the game may become a better prospect if RVP leaves but this will be matched by the loss of assists given his clinical finishing
Sigurdsson (£7.3m) 18 appearances 7 goals and 3 assists
Not bad value but not enough to pull me away from VDV. Also need to see his role and game time security. The best stats of everyone in Sky Sports fantasy football shooting regularly made up for ordinary stats in everything else. Hint of overperformance in my mind and will need monitoring this season. Early pre-season suggests he will play further back than when at Swansea. Showed the ability to create chance regularly though. Tottennham have 4th best start but Bale and VDV are the better options especially given VDV’s price. Cant see him getting a good share of man of the match awards with Bale there
Silva (£9m) 36 appearances 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 although Silva got more assists. Too expensive and too rotatable after being flogged to death for too long for Sky Sports fantasy football. Many stars will see competition for man of the match awards but style does suit. Give a wide berth.
Osman (£7.5m) 30 appearances 5 goals 1 assist
I’m a fan but seems a far expensive at this price compared to the above and compared to Pienaar at £6.0m who ‘s allround play will suit man of the match awards far more. Cahill going may give Osman even more room to go forward though. 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. Price is far too strong, go for Pienaar at £6.0m in Sky Sports fantasy football instead once he moves from Tottenham
On the 3 main new guys
A must have at this price. Will have to compete with Mata for man of the match once Mata starts playing after the Olympics. Good value and should be a regular. see my article below for analysis
Relatively good value but questions at the moment on game time but has made a promising start to pre-season. see article below
See article below but at 19 and having done the Olympics probably until a week before the season starts he will be eased in. One to monitor at the moment.
Reasonably priced in Sky Sports fantasy football and with the best of all fixtures worth a punt. 15 goals last season in a relegation threatened team says it all. No article sorry
That’s part 1 of Midfielders. Another to follow. The next lot are less straightforward.
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Here’s the links to other articles as mentioned. Copy and paste in to browser if they dont work