As any fantasy football addict would know, stats play an important role over the course of a fantasy premier league season. They allow us to gain an insight that less studious managers would otherwise miss out on. Stats can show the true story of a performance where highlights only give you a glimpse of the action.
So to help you out, we’ve taken a look and found statistics that showcase the highest performing players so far this season in Gameweeks 1 to 7…
27 Goal Attempts – Olivier Giroud
With Wenger unable to bring in any striking reinforcements barring the youngster Sanogo, Giroud’s been given plenty of opportunities to fill his boots and fill them he has. With a massive 27 goal attempts, it’s a surprise that he’s only got the 4 so far but with another 2 assists to his name, Giroud is currently the second highest scoring forward. Owned by almost 40% of all managers, his price has shot up from £8.5m at the start of the season to £9.5m now.
Addict Outlook – With practically no rivals to the lone striker role, Giroud should receive plenty of gametime and with magicians like Ozil playing behind him, more goalscoring opportunities are sure to come his way. If you’re one of the 40% who have him in your side, there’s little reason to get rid of him just yet. However, for those who are without, at £9.5m he doesn’t come cheap and you might want to wait to see how players like Walcott (£9.2m) and Cazorla (£9.6m) perform, who come in at a similar pricetag.
12 Shots On Target – Daniel Sturridge
Next up we have the highest scoring player in the Fantasy Premier League so far, Daniel Sturridge, with 54 points to his name and only 7 games gone. Whilst Suarez was out of the picture, Sturridge carried the burden admirably, scoring the deciding goal in Liverpool’s first 3 games of the season. He’s continued this fine form since Suarez’s return, forming a deadly partnership that has led to comparisons with Shearer and Sutton.
Addict Outlook – So far, he has fought off any injury scares to play every game for Liverpool and so long as he can return from the international break unharmed, it’s hard to question his position in a fantasy squad. Sturridge is full of confidence and in the form of his life, and in Suarez, he’s got a pacey partner in crime who has bags of trickery. At £9.9m, he doesn’t come cheap but without European distractions, if Liverpool can keep them both fit, SAS could prove to be a fruitful FPL double.
17 Chances Created – Mark Noble
An unlikely name to appear amongst these statistical heavyweights is Mark Noble, given his modest haul of 22 points so far. However, this is not all Noble’s fault, after all you can feed a goat but he won’t necessarily score. In this case, Noble has created a total of 17 chances so far this season, more than any other player but West Ham’s issue is a lack of strikers with Carroll yet to play a single minute. This problem was highlighted by Allardyce of all managers, going to Spurs and playing a false 9, who would’ve guessed it. However, it paid off and they pulled off the shock of the weekend.
Addict Outlook – Noble comes in at a modest £5.5m and clearly has the ability to create alongside penalty duties. However, until Carroll returns, he may not have the striker to put away the chances. In addition, his team mate, Ravel Morrison lit up the Premier League in the 3-0 win over Spurs and priced at £4.4m, he is considerably cheaper as a budget midfield option.
55 Crosses – Leighton Baines
To fantasy football veterans, it’ll come as no surprise that Baines is part of this list. Over the course of last season, he was head and shoulders above any other player in terms of crosses and he’s picked up from where he left off in 2013/14. With set pieces firmly in his locker, Baines has already racked up 55 crosses and now that Lukaku has joined the starting eleven, he has a true target man to aim for.
Addict Outlook – Everton started the season in fine defensive form with 3 clean sheets in their first 4 games but this has tailed off since, conceding 7 in their last 3 games. It’s far from certain that Baines will pick up clean sheet points, leaving any managers looking to gamble on his heavy pricetag reliant on attacking returns. This is always a possibility as shown by his 16 point haul in Gameweek 5 but Baines also managed a solitary point from the subsequent two gameweeks.
154 Passes in The Final Third – Eden Hazard
Another under-achiever in terms of fantasy points is Mourinho’s favourite attacking midfielder, Eden Hazard, but the above statistic shows that it might be a matter of time before he starts producing. Surprisingly, his first goal of the season came in Gameweek 7, where he appeared from the bench to punish Norwich with a quick counter attack.
Addict Outlook – As with any Chelsea midfielder, there is always the risk of rotation given the options Mourinho has to choose from. However, Hazard has started practically every game for Chelsea this season and is by far the most secure attacking midfield option. At £9.0m, he may be an expensive gamble but as he showed against Norwich, he doesn’t have to start in order to return points.
31 Saves – Simon Mignolet
It may have come as a shock for Liverpool fans to see Reina depart but it’s clear that Rodgers had lost faith in him and by securing his main target, the Spanish keeper was able to leave for Italy. This decision has been backed up by Liverpool’s 3 clean sheets to start the season and a number of fine goalkeeping performances from Liverpool’s new no.1, Simon Mignolet. Their defence has been given stern tests in recent weeks and despite failing to keep clean sheets, Mignolet has picked up 4 additional points from saves made.
Addict Outlook – With Mignolet starting in many a team, this has prevented his price from rising too much. Currently, at £5.8m he’s a secure option in the Liverpool backline and when Johnson returns, we may see an end to the formation experiments, which could help Liverpool’s chances of clean sheets. As mentioned previously, with no European or Capital One Cup distractions, Liverpool can have little excuse for not performing in the league.
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonker/