Don’t pick another fantasy football line-up until you read these 4 tips
After 5 rounds of the 2016/17 English Premier League, teams are starting to settle down and the league table is beginning to take shape. This makes it the perfect time to get a few basics in place that will help you to shoot up the rankings, if you are languishing towards the foot of the table in your season-long Fantasy Premier League or ensure that you feature on more leader-boards, if you are playing regular daily fantasy contests.
Here we highlight 4 key observations that should help you with your fantasy selections as the season progresses.
Everton’s current league ranking is backed-up by stats
One important statistic that gives an indication of a team’s ability is their ‘shots on target’ supremacy figure. This is the number of shots on target a team has in comparison to their opponents.
It’s possible to rank teams by this metric and at the end of each season, those sides that fair best will invariably be challenging for those coveted Champions League places.
Everton, who currently sit second in the league rankings, are topping the shots on target table after 5 rounds of the 2016/17 season with an average of 7.4 per game, while they have also conceded fewest, allowing their opponents to average just 2.20 efforts per game.
This is a marked improvement for a team that shipped 55 goals last season and a lot of credit must go to new boss Ronaldo Koeman. However, it’s also worth noting how instrumental new signing Idrissa Gana Gueye has been so far and he could turn out to be the signing of the season. WhoScored recently published an article, highlighting just what a vital cog the former Aston Villa midfielder is proving to be and although Gueye may not rack up too many fantasy points himself, the players around him are certainly benefiting from his presence. Romelu Lukaka, in particular, is starting to look every inch a Golden Boot contender and the Belgium forward is expected to weigh in with more high fantasy scores as the season unfolds.
Kevin De Bruyne is a worthy favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award
The last 2 winners of the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award – Eden Hazard and Riyad Mahrez established themselves as ‘must-have’ fantasy picks throughout the course of their triumphant season and Kevin De Bruyne is threatening to do the same for a free-scoring Manchester City side.
Under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage, the Belgium midfielder looks a shoe-in to better last season’s haul of 7 goals and 9 assists.
Ignore him at your peril!
Why Étienne Capoue could be the breakout fantasy football star of the season
A return of 4 goals and 1 assist from the opening 5 Premier League games is quite a remarkable feat for Étienne Capoue, especially when you consider that he failed to score throughout the whole of the 2015/16 campaign and only managed a solitary assist.
He arrived in England at Tottenham Hotspur with a CV packed with potential, even though things didn’t quite work out for him at White Hart Lane.
Capoue had scored 7 times in his final season at Toulouse, despite playing in the anchor midfield role, in a 4-1-4-1 formation but his game-time at Spurs was severely limited.
In his first season at Watford, under Quique Flores, he was mainly deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 system. However, the arrival of new boss Walter Materazzi and a change of tactics has allowed Capoue to play in a much more advanced role.
Watford have been playing a 3-man defence, in variants of a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation and the shackles have certainly come off Capoue. Playing to the left of the midfield three, the Frenchman now has the licence to get forward into the box at will and he seems to be relishing the opportunity.
His technique has never been in question and he is now being rewarded, so getting into double figures looks a realistic target for a player that can de described as a budget midfield pick, making it almost impossible not to factor Capoue into your calculations!
Keep Willian on-side
Willian may only have 1 goal to his name this season but he has played more key passes, attempted more crosses and taken more corners than any other player to date.
Chelsea have some tough fixtures coming up, while the return of David Luiz means that Willian will not have all final third free-kicks to himself but if the Blues’ winger can retain his current form, it looks just a matter of time before he starts to record some impressive fantasy numbers.
The arrival of N’golo Kante is a bonus too, with the former Leicester City midfielder fulfilling a similar role to that of the aforementioned Gueye at Everton. Both players cover a lot of ground, make telling interceptions and inject much-needed pace that allows their respective sides to launch rapid counter-attacks – all of which suits Willian.
We highly recommend that these 4 players stay on your radar, if you intend to propel yourself up those fantasy football rankings!