In this article Weekly Statistical analysis – The road so far (GW8), we will present the key facts and statistics of the Fanteam 1M PL Season game. It will be part of a weekly series of articles, where we will be doing a statistical analysis of the last Gameweek. Below you will see an analysis of the situation from the start of the season until Gameweek 8.
Weekly Statistical analysis – The road so far (GW8)
In our next articles, we will be analyzing the situation for each unique Gameweek, starting from Gameweek 8.
The road so far – Best players until Gameweek 8
In the first 8 gameweeks, we had many surprises, a lot of up-and-downs, and some great performances. Below we list the top 5 players from each position, and you will see some very surprising facts:
Aston Villa is first, with four players on the list, Southampton tied for second place with 2 entries, and a complete absence from top teams like Manchester City & Manchester United!
Best players so far – Top 5 Goalkeepers
- Rui Patricio (Wolves – 5.0M): 44.5 points
- Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa – 4.6M): 44.5 points
- Alex McCarthy (Southampton – 4.6M): 41.5 points
- Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester – 5.0M): 40 points
- Carl Darlow (Newcastle – 4.3M): 40 points
Best players so far – Top 5 Defenders
- Kurt Zouma (Chelsea – 4.8M): 45 points
- Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton – 4.4M): 44 points
- Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa – 4.7M): 42 points
- Ben Chilwell (Chelsea – 5.6M): 41 points
- James Justin (Leicester – 5.0M): 37 points
Best players so far – Top 5 Midfielders
- Heung-Min Son (Spurs – 10.3M): 73 points
- Mo Salah (Liverpool – 12.5M): 71 points
- Jack Grealish (Aston Villa – 6.9M): 65 points
- Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace – 6.9M): 55 points
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool – 11.9M): 53 points
Best players so far – Top 5 Forwards
- Harry Kane (Spurs – 11.3M): 79 points
- Jamie Vardy (Leicester – 10.7M): 58 points
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton – 8.3M): 54 points
- Patrick Bamford (Leeds – 6.9M): 54 points
- Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa – 6.3M): 51 points
The road so far – Most popular players until Gameweek 8
In the most picked players list, we would normally expect a high correlation with the player performances so far, but is this the case? Let’s explore the top picks below:
Most picked players so far – Top 3 Goalkeepers
- Illan Meslier (Leeds – 4.2M): 46.1% owned
- Jordan Pickford (Everton – 4.5M): 24.8% owned
- Karl Darlow (Newcastle – 4.3M): 20.1% owned
Most picked players so far – Top 5 Defenders
- Ben Chilwell (Chelsea – 5.6M): 36.8% owned
- Kurt Zouma (Chelsea – 4.8M): 31.2% owned
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool – 7.0M): 30.0% owned
- Andrew Robertson (Liverpool – 7.0M): 23.9% owned
- Hector Bellerin (Arsenal – 4.7M): 23.3% owned
Most picked players so far – Top 5 Midfielders
- Mohammed Salah (Liverpool – 12.5M): 57.8% owned
- Heung-Min Son (Spurs – 10.3M): 51.1% owned
- Jack Grealish (Aston Villa – 6.9M): 35.8% owned
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City – 10.9M): 34.7% owned
- James Rodrigues (Everton – 7.1M): 33.1% owned
Most picked players so far – Top 5 Forwards
- Harry Kane (Spurs – 11.3M): 49.4% owned
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton – 8.3M): 37.6% owned
- Timo Werner (Chelsea – 9.9M): 30.7% owned
- Raul Jimenez (Wolves – 8.9M): 20.5% owned
- Patrick Bamford (Leeds – 6.9M): 15.5% owned
Salah, Son, and Kane are standing out as the only ones above or around the 50% mark. Not surprising, as they are the current point leaders of the season.
Below them, we find some overachievers like Chilwell, Calvert-Lewin, and Grealish, whose prices are a bargain for their great performance so far.
What’s surprising is the presence of the Liverpool backs and Sterling around the top spots. It looks like very many managers lied their hopes on them, but their disappointing seasons so far proved them wrong.
On the Goalkeepers spot, we see a very wide spread of picks, with no player being owned by more than 25% of the teams. The only exception is Meslier, who priced at 4.2M, seems like the perfect backup goalkeeper for any team!
A surprising fact is that only 13 players in the whole game are owned by more than 25% of the teams, which hints that the league is very competitive, with many players standing out week after week.
The road so far – Overachievers and disappointments
Let’s now have a look and compare the ownership situation after Gameweek 8, with the original player ownership at the start of the tournament, on Gameweek 1:
Comparing player popularity to Season start – Goalkeepers
At the start of the season, Illan Meslier (Leeds) was the most popular pick with 33.8%, and rightfully so! Behind him, there was Alex McCarthy (Southampton) at 24.6%, who so far had a good season, but his percentage dropped surprisingly from 24.6% to just 10.9%. Jordan Pickford also stands out in the list, having risen from 14.9% ownership to 24.8% as of today.
On a more general note, on GW1 we had nine goalkeepers with at least a 9% ownership rate, and now we have only 6. This shows a trend of managers limiting their options to capitalizing on the same players.
Comparing player popularity to Season start – Defenders
On the Defenders, the picture at the start of the season was unique: almost 2 out of 3 teams (62.4%) owned Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), and behind him, there was a huge gap until the second Virgil Van Djik (Liverpool) at 32.9% and Kieran Tierney at 21.9%!
All three of them had a bad season so far, with the first two being injured at the moment, with Van Djik losing the season!
However, many managers correctly picked Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) at 16.6%, and James Justin (Leicester) at 9.4%! Both of them are still among the most popular defenders of the game, and their ownership rose considerably.
Comparing player popularity to Season start – Midfielders
On the Midfielders list, Mohammed Salah (Liverpool) was the top pick with 55.8%, which he pretty much holds until today (57.8%). With the two teams of Manchester having a blank GW1, we had some surprising players behind Salah in popularity, in Tomas Soucek (West Ham) at 37.1%, Kai Havertz (Chelsea) at 33.8%, and Yves Bissouma (Brighton) at 30.6%! All three of them turned out to be great picks for their managers, with Havertz being unlucky with a positive Covid-19 test in the last Gameweek, leading to a drop in ownership.
Some big disappointments included Delle Alli (Spurs) at 19.4%, Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle) at 13.7%, and Mason Mount (Chelsea) at 7.0%.
As for the biggest risers of the list, Heung-Min Son (Spurs) rose from 29.7% to 51.1%, James Rodrigues from 9.9% to 33.1%, and Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace) from 9.4% to the impressive 29.2%!
Comparing player popularity to Season start – Forwards
As for Forwards, here we had some huge changes over the eight gameweeks so far! The most popular pick on GW1 was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), with more than half (51.3%) of the teams owning him. His ownership has dropped astonishingly to a mere 8.2% until then!
Behind him, we had Timo Werner (Chelsea) with a similarly high percentage (48.3%). After his early struggles, he’s now coming back, having risen to a 30.7% ownership.
Other disappointments included Alexandar Mitrovic (Fulham) in 7th place (15.5%) and Michail Antonio (West Ham) in 8th (10.9%). They now have dropped to 7.2% and 0% respectively!
The overachievers in this position are a long list, with Harry Kane (Spurs) and Dominick Calvert-Lewin (Everton) leading the pack. Kane rose from 17.5% to 49.4%, while Calvert from 4.4% to 37.6%!!!
Also, Patrick Bamford (Leeds) started from less than 1% (0.7%) and reached an astounding 15.5%. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) followed suit, rising from the same levels to 15.2% since the season start!
The road so far – Biggest price changes until Gameweek 8
There were lots of ups and downs in the first eight gameweeks. Some players did much better than expected, some flopped, and some got big transfers to occupy bigger roles on other teams!
As a result, most of our players had price changes so far, with some managers increasing their budget because of it and some others having to pay the price of their unlucky picks. Let’s have a look at the players that stood out so far:
Biggest price changes until Gameweek 8 – Top risers
- Jack Grealish (Aston Villa – 6.9M): +0.4M
- Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace – 6.9M): +0.4M
- Patrick Bamford (Leeds – 6.9M): +0.4M
- Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa – 6.3M): +0.3M
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton – 8.3M): +0.3M
- Heung-Min Son (Spurs – 10.3M): +0.3M
- Harry Kane (Spurs – 11.3M): +0.3M
Biggest price changes until Gameweek 8 – Top fallers
- Dele Alli (Spurs – 7.2M): -0.8M
- Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton – 6.9M): -0.6M
- Nicholas Pepe (Arsenal – 7.5M): -0.5M
- Christian Pulisic (Chelsea – 9.0M): -0.5M
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool – 7.0M): -0.5M
The road so far – Wildcards used
Let’s dig into an interesting aspect of the game’s strategy now. Wildcards are used to “reset” your team, allowing unlimited transfers to be made for a single Gameweek. Each team has two wildcards available, one in the first half of the season, and one for the second half.
Some managers tend to play their wildcards early in the season, capitalizing on the early information of who starts in each team and which players took a big role. Others, prefer to hold on strategically to use on a double Gameweek, where some teams will be playing twice in the same week. The third strategy is to hold the wildcard for an “emergency” case, such as numerous players being injured or some games being cancelled. This season, this is even more likely with the Covid-19 situation and the many injuries due to the intense schedule.
Here’s the breakdown of the wildcards used so far:
- Gameweek 2: 9.5% of teams
- Gameweek 3: 12.8% of teams
- Gameweek 4: 3.6% of teams
- Gameweek 5: 9.6% of teams
- Gameweek 6: 5.9% of teams
- Gameweek 7: 1.8% of teams
- Gameweek 8: 1.7% of teams
- Wildcard still available: 55.1% of teams
Interestingly, around one in four managers chose to reset their teams very early in the season following the first strategy. Gameweeks 5 and 6 saw a very high number of wildcards played, probably due to the transfer deadline with important players coming in and out of rosters.
However, more than half of the teams haven’t tapped into the wildcard capability yet. Are they holding on for emergencies to cope with Covid-19? Or are they planning to play it on Gameweek 11, when three of the most important teams (Man. City, Man.Utd., Aston Villa) all play double a gameweek?
How are the team standings so far?
Below you will see a distribution of the team standings so far. For charting purposes, we’ve hidden the very low scores (below 300p) that represent 0.6% of the sample.
Surprisingly, almost all teams are really close to each other! The average score is 447.5 points, and most are very close to this!
- 86.4% of the teams fall inside the 375-525 points range, meaning that two good gameweeks can turn a very bad team into a pretty good one!
- Only 5% manage to score above 525 points, creating a very elite club on the top!
- The top 2% mark is found at 544 points, meaning that the standard deviation of the curve is somewhere around 48p. (if we consider this a normal distribution curve)
- Above 575 points, we only find 44 teams, representing less than 0.2% of the total field.
- Only three teams managed to score more than 600 points. This is 0.01% of the field!
The road so far – performance per Gameweek
It has been a crazy season so far, full of surprises and high variance! We had weeks with 4+ goals in every match, and others that went by quietly. Did this affect our managers’ scores?
Below we have charted a breakdown of the average and top scores of every Gameweek so far:
The 40-60 point area is clearly where the average score lies each week. But we see quite some swings there! Top teams tend to score 2-3x more points than the average team. This means that just two or three good scores in a row, can bring anyone in the top 1% easily!
Also, the week-by-week variance is quite high as well. The difference between 40 and 60 points is 50%! But we only saw an average that low in Gameweek 3. Since then, the trend is going up, probably because managers slowly shift from some original bad picks, to the players that are performing well so far.
In contrast, the red line is trending a bit downwards as the season progresses. We are not sure what this means, but our best guess is that not many managers tend to go all-in on wild teams anymore. As the picture of the Premier League has clarified, there’s less opportunity for picking big surprises and more upside to sticking to the proven players.
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