As submitted by FPL Shake n Bake
Every Gameweek, there are 60 Bonus points up for grabs, spread across 30 players in ten games.
As the official Fantasy Premier League (FPL) website states:
The Bonus Points System (BPS) utilises a range of statistics to create a BPS score for every player. The three best performing players in each match will be awarded bonus points. 3 points will be awarded to the highest scoring player, 2 to the second best and 1 to the third.
This article will dive deeper into every position to assess the players that could be in line to maximise their bonus potential, using Baseline BPS (a measure which removes goals, assists, clean sheets) to see whose overall gameplay could put them in pole position for further points, should they then provide a ‘traditional’ fantasy return.
One noticeable feature is that the baseline BPS figures are higher in defensive players than attackers, meaning that if you can find that holy grail of a defender with attacking returns, they’re likely to deliver bonus points on top of their usual return.
Below I look at the top Baseline BPS scorers for each position, and attempt to see if any of them have potential to become high-scoring options over the next few games.
Illan Meslier (Leeds) – 130 Baseline BPS
Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace) – 118 Baseline BPS
The first name on the list isn’t much of a surprise. Despite Leeds’ poor start to the season, Illan Meslier (£5.0m) has made the most saves in the league so far, carrying on from last season where only Sam Johnstone accumulated more. And that was with Meslier making three less appearances.
In 2020/21, Leeds initially looked leaky in defence but tightened up towards the back end of the season and Meslier soon started racking up the bonus points, ending the season with 20. If Leeds can find that defensive resoluteness again, I expect Meslier to be back amongst the bonus points.
Vicente Guaita (£4.5m) has seen his bonus potential increase, due to a change in playing style since Patrick Vieira took over the managerial reigns at Selhurst Park. Whilst always being a fairly solid keeper, the fact that Guaita is now encouraged to play out from the back has seen his pass completion rate increase, allowing him to be in contention for bonuses when Palace keep clean sheets.
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – 117 Baseline BPS
Aaron Wan Bisakka (Man United) – 113 Baseline BPS
Grant Hanley (Norwich) – 106 Baseline BPS
Ruben Dias (Man City) – 106 Baseline BPS
Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – 105 Baseline BPS
Joao Cancelo (Man City) – 103 Baseline BPS
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – 103 Baseline BPS
Aaron Creswell (West Ham) – 101 Baseline BPS
Matt Ritchie (Newcastle) – 101 Baseline BPS
Amongst the nine defenders to have a Baseline BPS score over 100 so far this season, it is no surprise to see established names such as Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), Joao Cancelo (£6.2m) and Virgil van Dijk (£6.6m). Yet some may raise eyebrows, such as Grant Hanley (£4.4m) and Matt Ritchie (£4.9m).
Whilst I can’t bring myself to consider a Norwich defender, Ritchie is a player I will continue to keep on my watchlist. He has been a real creative influence for Newcastle so far this season, creating 21 chances (joint best in the league, with Alexander-Arnold) and, if there is to be a turnaround in performances following the completion of their takeover saga, Ritchie could soon see those chances created turn into assists. Add in some clean sheets, then he is in line for some bonus points.
We also see FPL stalwarts Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.5m) on this list, further enhancing their reputation of solid assets that you can’t really go wrong with.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham) – 122 Baseline BPS
Declan Rice (West Ham) – 120 Baseline BPS
Joao Moutinho (Wolves) – 108 Baseline BPS
Dwight McNeil (Burnley) – 105 Baseline BPS
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.9m) is mainly played as a midfield destroyer for Spurs but has shown glimpses of attacking potential for both club and country. There have been signs that Nuno Espirito Santo is ready to loosen the reigns and let Hojbjerg become more of a box-to-box midfielder, shown by his goal against Aston Villa in Gameweek 7. By improving his goal threat, the Dane will begin to stake more of a claim on bonus points.
Another midfielder looking to improve their box-to-box effectiveness is Declan Rice (£5.0m). As a full disclaimer, I may be biased towards Rice, as my five-year-old son fell in love with him during this summer’s Euros, but it’s hard not to be impressed with him. Whilst team-mates Michail Antonio (£8.0m) and Said Benrahma (£6.6m) have taken the early-season plaudits, Rice continues to impress – albeit without ever threatening the FPL top scorers.
However, Rice is beginning to see some attacking returns creep into his game. He has two assists in the league this season and has scored twice in the Europa League, plus a goal for England in Hungary from September.
With Mark Noble (£4.5m) becoming a peripheral figure, there is also confusion about who will be West Ham’s main penalty taker and Rice could potentially be the man to step up. If he can add either this or his Europa League goal threat into league games, his £5.0m price could become a bargain.
Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – 69 Baseline BPS
Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle) – 68 Baseline BPS
Ivan Toney (Brentford) – 50 Baseline BPS
Baseline Bonus doesn’t suit forwards, with no-one anywhere near 100. This addresses the imbalance that these are more likely to add goals and assists to their baseline and therefore stops forwards monopolising bonus points.
Ironically, Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m) ranks highest for Baseline BPS and he’s been playing as more of a midfielder for Man City this season. Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) and Ivan Toney (£6.4m) are unsurprising names to see feature due to their talismanic status for Newcastle and Brentford.
Bonus Points are still weighted towards those that provide match-defining actions – goals, assists and clean sheets. Several names in this list haven’t shown the consistency in those areas to truly be considered as options but, if they start to deliver those returns, their underlying performances suggest could soon be amongst the bonus points too, becoming effective differentials.