Shady Statistics


Fantasy Football managers love statistics, but how useful are they really?

Starting Eleven

How many times have you used positive statistics to vindicate a transfer move or a captaincy decision in Fantasy Premier League?

There’s no denying the accuracy of these stats. But Fantasy Football is complex: real word scenarios have so many factors. Statistics can show a pattern but can never accurately predict what happens on the football pitch.

I’ve felt compelled to write this article as I love data and statistics. I’ve got a strong statistics background, with a degree in Mathematics. I try to bring this knowledge to FPL, but sometimes these statistics defy logic.

Starting Statistics

I’ll use this as the starting point. Mohammed Salah in the luminous third kit worn occasionally in away games.

There’s certainly a strong correlation between Salah’s kit attire and his Fantasy Premier League points. So much so, that I’m tempted to put the armband on him for every appearance in the famous orange from now until the end of the season.

Despite this, I’m fully aware of the causation, or lack of, in this stat. The performances aren’t this strong because of the colour of his kit. Could it be that it’s so easy to spot the passes that scoring opportunities are more prominent? Probably not!

Reverse Statistics

The fixture scheduled has been uniquely modelled this season so that each of the later gameweeks have the alternate home/away fixture of a previous one this season.

I’ve been using this information in my captains article with reasonable success. Hazard, Salah and Niasse all performed strongly in Gameweek 27 but the overall results of the games were different.

In Gameweek 26, Kane came good with his returns against Liverpool once more. Ramsey and Murray were other players to perform strongly. But does prior performance correlate with future returns?

Vs Statistics

FPL_Vs posts prior performance statistics each week on Twitter. They tend to be a reliable source of information.

Kane loves scoring against Arsenal. Now this one could be causation: Kane has gone on record to say that being rejected by Arsenal as youngster means that he is always determined to score against them. He didn’t disappoint in Gameweek 27.

Aguero boosted his record against Leicester, Vardy continued his run against City and Lukaku disappointed the charts at Newcastle. Sterling and Firmino managed to prove their prior performance wrong, whereas Sanchez and Eriksen backed the trend.

Obviously there must be something in a players psyche when they face a club where they have a strong/weak record. It could be to do with the suited style of play or the strength of the opposition faced.

Community Statistics

There’s several statistics that were handed around the community backed up by Gameweek 27.

Vardy the king of scoring against the top 6? He’s one of the most talented strikers outside of the top 6, and nobody playing for one of these clubs can achieve the same accolade.

Arsenal are much stronger at home than away? Obviously the home advantage plays out in a whole host of sports and this is just another example of that. Are they considerable worse than everyone else though?

The St. James Park curse for Mourinho is an interesting one. It’s a bit like the ‘Kane doesn’t score in August’ statistic, to name just one. Some of these statistics are obviously more useful than others.

Gameweek 28 and beyond

Starting Eleven

Obviously we need to be careful with the statistics, but plenty of them could be useful going forward. Here’s a selection of statistics that you may or may not find helpful.

We’ve also identified a pattern in the all important captaincy decision between the big 3. It came off spectacularly in Gameweek 27? Could it continue to Gameweek 28 and beyond….

Captain Analysis