ONE BIG STAT is back, and this time it means business. FPL Gameweek 3 had some seriously weird crap, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something. Let’s learn this crap:
Aston Villa vs Everton
Everton’s shots were weird, and so is their offense
Everton took 12 shots. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin combined for just 3 of them. Alex Iwobi & Theo Walcott were second-half subs for two of those guys, and they also had 3 shots (and Everton’s best scoring chances). The other 6 shots came from defenders or defensive mids. This does not seem ideal. How much longer can FPL managers wait for Everton to sort this out? Where are Richarlison’s goals? Can Gylfi get back to his top-10-or-so creative form from last season? 1 goal in 3 matches isn’t going to cut it in real life or FPL life, and if Moise Kean isn’t the answer, then who or what is?
Norwich City vs Chelsea
Emerson (£5.5) – 31 Bonus Points System score
Yes, the Pukki Riot rolls on. Hopefully, either ONE BIG STAT or his 5 goals helped you add him to your FPL squad in the last two weeks. But today, we shift the focus to Emerson’s BPS score. (If you don’t know about FPL bonus points, read this.) In a nutshell, Emerson was extremely close to getting a bonus point in this match despite the fact that he had no attacking returns, and the Chelsea defense allowed 2 goals. His BPS score of 31 was the same as Mateo Kovačić (who had an assist), and it was 5 points higher than Todd Cantwell (who scored a goal). Emerson is doing it all so far this season except, you know, getting you FPL points. But those points are coming, surely...
Sheffield United vs Leicester City
Have some Sheffield & Leicester observations:
Ayoze Pérez (£6.4) has the same number of shots as Jamie Vardy (£8.9) so far this season – just 3. John Lundstram (£4.2), FPL’s early-season defensive darling, leads all Blades in shots (5) and shots on target (2). And add another assist for James Maddison (£7.0). If you’re one of the 17% of FPL owners with Anthony Martial, why not swap to King (Power) James? He’s taken the most corners (21) and attempted the most dribbles (11) of anyone in the Premier League, and his 4 shots in this match give him 10 total for the season, good for 6th overall. Bournemouth is up next, and there have been 8 goals in last 2 matches between these two. Seems like easy money, folks.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha (£6.9) – 10 Penalty Area Touches
While Marcus Rashford’s missed penalty and the injuries to Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw were the most FPL-significant issues, I’d like to say “So what?” and then highlight Wilfried Zaha’s performance. He looked better here, finishing with 10 touches inside of 18 yards, 2 of which were shots, and it was a very Classic Zaha bit of dribbling that preceded Patrick van Aanholt’s match winner. Palace’s upcoming fixtures are friendly enough that Zaha should be back on FPL radars.
Brighton vs Southampton
Leandro Trossard (£6.0) – SEVEN key passes
If you’ve listened to our podcast, you know my feelings about Brighton. They’re similar to the feelings you have about real seagulls when they’re actually swarming near you and your real snacks at the actual beach. However, even I can’t deny Leandro Trossard’s look in his two starts so far. I really can’t deny his 7 key passes here, which ties him for 10th in the Premier League. Plus, he took 4 of Brighton’s 8 corners. These are the stats that lead to FPL points, so after they play City, why not take a shot on a guy owned less than 1%?
Watford vs West Ham
Gerard Deulofeu (£6.3) – 7 shots
I listened to my own advice and added Manuel Lanzini last week, and I hope you did, too. While he was excellent, and very close to 2 real assists in addition to the FPL assist he got, I’d like to turn your attention to Gerard Deulofeu. His penalty area touch map looks like chicken pox — disgusting, red, and 13 touches to be exact, 5 of which were shots. He finished with 7 total shots, one of which hit the crossbar early in the first half of the match. He was getting over sickness in week 1, and he’s looked dangerous ever since. Why can’t he get his first returns against Newcastle this weekend?
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe (£9.4) – 7 dribbles
Bow! Bow before your new dribbling king! While some may mock Pepe’s one-footedness here, the fact is he stole the spotlight for the Gunners. His 7 dribbles in the match included THE dribble — the one past Virgil van Dijk — that made him the first player to do so in VVD’s last 50 matches. Too bad Pepe couldn’t have finished his one-on-one against Simon Mignolet Loris Karius a human pylon Adrian, or else FPL managers might be putting that .1 back into his price this week. A good performance in the North London Derby, and Pepe’s price could skyrocket, especially with Arsenal’s outstanding fixture list between September and mid-December.
Bournemouth vs Manchester City
Manchester City’s shots – 15 of 19 in the penalty area
“Wow,” you say sarcastically, as you gently daub the clown paint on your cheeks and then lower the clown wig onto your head, “this is the stat that finally changes my mind about Manchester City.” The fact is, over 22% of FPL managers are spending at least £6 to have Ederson, and I think this deserves a rethink, at least to open up the spot for a City defender, if not another attacker. With their 15 shots in the box against the Cherries, City have now taken 40 of their 63 total shots in the box, a higher percentage (63%) than they had through three matches last season (55%). Healthy Kevin De Bruyne might have something to do with this, but either way, what’s the downside to maximizing City attackers?
Wolves vs Burnley
Dwight McNeil (£6.0) – 7 crosses
While we’re likely to be treated to a sub-standard Wolves team that plays to 1-1 draws all season, it seems like we’re going to get above-average Burnley back! Ashley Barnes is the headliner and an obvious value pick right now, but don’t overlook Dwight McNeil. He had his moments last season, and it seems like he’ll have more of those moments this season. He supplied 9 crosses in the match, giving him 20 overall for the season (tied for 7th with Lucas Digne and Oliver Norwood). You know who he’s crossing to, and with 2 assists already, you know he can improve on his 3 goal, 4 assist total from last season. With improving fixtures on the way and just 0.4% ownership, he could be a big differential.
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Spurs offensive players – just 2 shots on target
Yes, just like we all expected, Spurs got shut out at home against Newcastle. We’re all just rolling around on the money we made from that bet, looking like Jamaal Lascelles rolling in front of Harry Kane. While we revel in that, let’s marvel at the Spurs’ high-powered offense managing just 2 shots on target. Both of those came from Son, the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal day. Tottenham is now 10th in the league in shots on target with 11 — just one shot more than the lowly, lowly offenses of tiny clubs like Brighton, Southampton, and Manchester United. The Eriksen saga isn’t helping, but with Son, Dele, and Ndombele all likely back in for the North London Derby, hopefully they can turn things around.
Those are some big stats! Let’s hope they point you in the right direction. Good luck to everyone in Gameweek 4!