Analysis of last season’s overall winner – 1,500 word write up

Towards the end of last season my attention was drawn to a website ( which somehow pulls together all sorts of stats around Dream Team. It’s not something I’ve been personally involved in but as the information is available, I thought it might be worth looking at. The tool allows us to completely dissect the overall winner’s movements and choices throughout the season. Here are some of the key facts I’ve taken from it:

Point totals:

Total points: 2,926

This works out at an average of 75 points per game week. 

To achieve this total each position needs to score roughly 266 points across the season.

If we break this down further, it works out at 6.8 points per player per game week. 

These stats really put into perspective how much you need to achieve on a player by player basis or per game week to win the whole thing. It’s a huge amount really and in my opinion can only be achieved with a mixture of strategy and luck.

Player selection trends

View the table below to track player selection across the whole season. Or follow this link to see the raw data:

I would add that I compiled it manually so it’s not 100% accurate but it’s pretty much there. 

Here’s a breakdown of each position:

Goalkeeper: A premium goalkeeper was used throughout the season and only one transfer was made in this position. Started with Kepa and swapped to Ederson in February.
Points generated by this position: 156

Defender 1: Van Dijk remained in the team for the entire season. 
Point generated by this position: 282

Defender 2: Robertson also remained in the team for the entire season. 
Points generated by this position: 221

Defender 3: The third defensive position was initially occupied by Alexander-Arnold, this was then swapped to David Luiz for a couple of months then back to Alexander-Arnold and finally Laporte for the final month of the season. 
Points generated by this position: 223

Midfielder 1: Hazard was a constant in the team, only replaced in the final game week of the season for Eriksen.
Points generated by this position: 360

Midfielder 2: This position started with Keita who was quickly moved on for Sigurdsson who was then replaced by Mane for the final few months of the season.
Points generated by this position: 223

Midfielder 3: Richarlison made a good start in this position, then he picked up a red card and was replaced by Moura. Richarlison then came back in and was swapped for Sterling after game week 14.
Points generated by this position: 261

Midfielder 4: A weak start from Fred in this position, who was quickly moved on for Pedro. B. Silva then came in for a couple of game weeks, he was then swapped for Willian, who was then swapped for Sane who was finally swapped for B. Silva. A lot of rotation was made in this position but still generated 262 points.
Points generated by this position: 262

Striker 1: Mo Salah was a constant in the team. He was only taken out for 2 game weeks during the whole season.
Points generated by this position: 282

Striker 2: Augero was a constant in the team, but was rotated with Jesus for 6 game weeks. He was then swapped for Kane for the final game week. This swap included picking up 43 points for Jesus in one game week.
Points generated by this position: 361

Striker 3: This position saw the most rotation. I’m assuming because the player couldn’t opt for another premium striker he simply rotated between the likes of Firmino, Rashford, Lacazette, Jimenez and Aubameyang. 
Points generated by this position: 263

Some key trends regarding player selection:

Harry Kane was not picked up until the final game week. This suggests to me that no one player can be classed as absolutely essential. This is backed up by the fact that the player didn’t bring Sterling in until game week 14 and hardly used Aubameyang at all during the season. Considering these two were in the top 5 point scoring players for the whole season it does show that points can be made up elsewhere.

Another key takeaway is that the player never selected a player outside of the top 7-8 teams in the league. The majority of his team was made up of players from Man City and Liverpool. He rarely used players from Man Utd or Chelsea but occasionally took advantage of cheaper players from Everton and Wolves.

A strong start isn’t always essential. The player started with a midfield of Hazard, Keita, Fred and Richarlison. Keita and Fred both flopped instantly but the player moved them on very quickly. He also utilised some fantastic cheaper options for these positions in Pedro, Willian, B. Silva and Sigurdsson.

The team wasn’t set up to target Burnley’s additional Europa League fixtures. Either the player chose to ignore these games or wasn’t aware that they counted. Regardless it made little difference to his overall performance, which suggests targeting these games may be a little overrated. Having said that Wolves are a different prospect to Burnley this time around.

The player used very few transfers on his back line and he never looked beyond players from the top three clubs. This suggests going strong at the back from the start might be a good strategy with a pick and stick approach working well. 

At no point during the season did the player have the “big three” up front. The third strikers position was always filled with a cheaper option which had very little damaging effect on overall points scored.

Despite the premium goalkeeper position scoring well. It was still the lowest scoring position throughout the team. I can’t imagine many players will look beyond Alisson or Ederson this season. However if we can find a keeper for slightly cheaper who might hit the 150 points mark it could be beneficial in the long run. I’m thinking Kepa or Lloris might be slightly cheaper. De Gea might be cheaper again but will Man Utd be strong enough defensively. 

The player used the 3-4-3 formation all season. I found this particularly interesting as it wasn’t a formation that really appealed to me. This might make me think twice about my approach to the upcoming season.

The player wasn’t afraid of using transfers straight off the bat at the start of the month. On a couple of occasions he used two transfers in the first game week. I was fairly cautious with my transfers last season and I may explore being a bit more bold this time around. 

The player definitely benefited on taking a punt on Jesus for the easier fixtures in the EFL cup – pulling in over 40 points in one game week. He also managed to hit some of the other big point scoring weeks on other players – Hazard picking up an early hat trick against Cardiff and Aubamyang scoring over 30 points in one game week towards the end of the season.

The flip side to the point above is that it’s not always beneficial to take out players if they are injured or suspended. When Richarlison was suspended for a number of game week it cost the player 2 transfers to take him out and put him back in. During this time Moura only scored 5 points. 

A more detailed look at the statistics:

The average points scored for each position was as follows:
GK: 156
DEF: 242
MID: 276
ST: 302

The percentage of total points scored by each position:
GK: 6%
DEF: 25% 
MID: 38%
ST: 31%

This does suggest to me that the attacking positions still pull in the most points. However there’s a big but. The gap between the positions is definitely shrinking and the big advantage of the defensive positions is that they tend to be much cheaper. Traditionally it’s fairly easy to pick up a premium defender for 4.5m or less. We would never near a premium striker or even a midfielder for this value. This could make them a wise investment. For me the big takeaway from the analysis of last years winner is getting a balanced team with players from the big clubs. I don’t think there’s such thing as a bargain player – for me it looks more important than ever to have a well balanced team and potentially leaving out a couple of the big names for cheaper alternatives. I think what the analysis also drills home is that we will all need an awful lot of luck to get anywhere near the top 100 teams. We can do our best to have a strategy and look at upcoming fixtures but the rest is out of our hands. Football can be very hard to predict at the best of times.

To keep up to date join our mailing list:

29 thoughts on “Analysis of last season’s overall winner – 1,500 word write up

  1. Fantastic detailed report here Paul! Very useful with some interesting points!! 👌👌.

    I will certainly be starting my team with VVD and TAA in defence this year.

    I’m also curious as to whether Kane will break this August duck of his, but then I say that every year and most years he doesn’t start scoring until Sept/Oct!!

    1. It’s going to be a very tough one this year. I’m definitely thinking a strong defence is essential but I still can’t come around to the idea of a 343 or the idea of leaving Kane, Salah or Aguero out. I think a bargain is going to be even harder to come by this season. I still can’t believe looking back now that Robertson started at 3m last season.

  2. I put jesus in for the game against Newport and he scored 7 points so it comes down to luck of the draw when taking gambles like that, I also gambled on Mahrez who got a rating of 10 and still didn’t get star man, it was the game where jesus scored 35 points!!

    1. That’s one thing you certainly can’t account for and I still think luck is a huge factor. I’m not sure there is such thing as a real formula for success as we all know how difficult football is to predict.

  3. Brilliant article Paul and lots to take away from this. One things that struck me is that he/she wasn’t afraid to act quickly when he/she realised that a certain player selection was destined to fail. It shows that you can’t afford to be stubborn with your selections. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, admit it to yourself and put it right asap.

    Pick and stick is appealing to me this season with the keeper and defence. You know that Liverpool and City are likely to keep the most clean sheets over the course of a season so if you can select an ever present from these teams (or as close a possible) there is simply little point in moving them on (injuries & suspensions permitting).

    Because of this strategy I can see me having to go budget with a midfielder and a striker. I’ve sent an article to Paul (which should be available to view soon) which briefly looks at going big at the back, so I might follow this up with another looking at the cheaper alternatives for midfielders and strikers when the prices are announced.

    1. Yeah the pick and stick approach at the back makes sense to me as well. I’m thinking I might strategically try and approach things a little differently this season. Possibly assigning a rough value for each position and rotating players in these position to squeeze the most out of certain players. For example having two slots up front for 7.5m players and using the final position to rotate between a cheaper option and rotating the big three in the remaining two places. I’ll definitely post your article up this evening – thanks again for sending it over.

  4. I find it interesting that the winning team took out TAA for David Luiz, seems a strange move as Liverpool were still getting clean sheets. Richarlison and Sigurdsson combo is against the template as Everton didn’t have any extra European games. Sigurdsson lasted a long time. No pogba as well is interesting as he was in top form once Mourinho was gone.

    The winning manager had money in the bank at the start of the season so could afford a premium striker in Kane instead of Firmino but also went against the norm as choose to ignore Kane. Firmino in the team a long time despite not having a great season is the winning manager a firmino fan as he had selected him in all his teams. So a few moves outside the box can pay off – something I have always encouraged us to do when I have written on this site.

    1. I would imagine the defensive moves were fixture related as I did the same thing taking out VVD for LaPorte (right at the start of Man City’s run of no clean sheets, VVD went on to score over 60 points while LaPorte scored literally nothing for weeks on end) and this also relates to Chris’s point of not being stubborn with your transfers and admitting you’ve made a mistake and rectifying it quickly, which is not always possible with price changes and having no transfers left.

    2. It’s an interesting one regarding Firmino – he obviously didn’t play an absolutely perfect game all season because I’m fairly sure another player would have given better returns than Firmino did. He’s not really someone I’m a big fan of from a Dream Team point of view.

  5. Love the article! Got me thinking how I might set my team up. Thinking 3-4-3 with ederson
    Van Dijk
    Might cost close to 20m but wouldn’t have to touch any of them bar injuries.

    1. Well Ederson not cheap at 4.5m plus city had a run last season where they kept conceding one goal in about 10 games in a row so his value decreased but returning to the norm towards the end. City organisation in general might miss the leadership skills of Vincent Kompany at the club. Hopefully Alisson will be at 5m as should rightfully be the most expensive goal keeper in the game.

      Robertson finished the season with 4.6m value so his current value of 4.5m seems fair. Van Dijk was the highest scoring defender and should be priced accordingly at 6m when the game launches. Any less than that VvD is a bargain. Laporte finished second overall in defender scoring so a value of 5.5m will be suffice. TAA matched VvD for points per game but security of starts (got Gomez and Milner who can play right back if needed to give him a rest) should see him priced at 5.0 or 5.5m region. Same price as Robertson then you got two bargain Liverpool defenders on your hands.

      So all in all that defence costs close to 25m leaving 25m for the rest of the team.

      1. I think you’re right value wise for those players and although it’s frustrating that the rule about having more than 3 players from one team is unlikely to come in, I do think it’s going to be very difficult to get a mixture of purely Man City and Liverpool players who start on a regular basis.

    2. I’m certainly thinking of going stronger at the back this season. I’m hoping Kepa comes in at a decent price. Chelsea players always seem to do OK defensively and if he can chip in 100+ points for a cheaper outlay he might be my choice.

  6. Good to see you back RR, hows the new job going my friend? I feared you wouldn’t be back again after what you said about struggling for time at the end of last season. 👍🏻

    Another thing to point out is that at no point did the eventual winner own Matt Doherty…… mind……blown 🤯

    1. Hi Chris, I will be starting the new job once the season starts. Well I do make time but not time on endless discussions on Liverpool and Man City assets. They doesn’t interest at all in fantasy terms. I won’t be stupid to ignore them but then I don’t particularly like to write about them as I know what the likes of Aguero, Salah, Mane, Sterling etc can do. I watch a lot of football on tv. I haven’t written any new notes on Salah since I did my research before he signed – that’s when he was an unknown and interesting to me.

      I like to discuss other teams or players I lack knowledge of. Well you know I like to think to think outside the box and it was always interesting in what people do against the herd. So this summer I spent time reading on the promoted teams. Also been reading mainly non footy stuff because once the season starts, I will be reading non stop about football.

      The telegraph have released the prices in their game and have significantly increased the prices for defenders so difficult to build blocks of city or pool defences without having a significant impact on the rest of the team budget. I can only pray that the sun follow suit otherwise things could get a bit dull.

      Yeah, interesting that the winner didn’t own Doherty but went for less owned Wolves player in Jimenez. Currently working on a piece on Wolves as I am debating whether to ignore them or include in my starting 11. Sometimes illogical choices can win over logic so it can be worth taking a punt.

      1. I tend to dismiss players quite quickly if I’m being honest. The fact that the overall winner last year didn’t pick a player outside of the top 8 teams in the league suggests to me that this is the way to go though. I can’t imagine I’ll be investing much time looking at players from the bottom to lower mid table teams. They simply won’t return the points required to achieve anything and this is backed up by the stats from previous season. This time around I’m more interested in the likes of Jimenez, who is someone I’ve probably talked the most about since the initial prices have been released. A big part of me is saying he’s got to be the bargain of the lot so far and should be the first name on the team sheet. However another part of me is saying he’s not playing in one of the top top teams in the league and he could well have just had a good season last time around. It’s certainly not a given that he’s going to produce the same form as last season, whereas we would all agree the likes of Aguero, Kane and Salah will be up there for the golden boot.

      1. Cheers John, can’t believe it’s so far away to be honest. Seems like it’s right around the corner.

  7. If we take the prices already released as a basis and have an educated guess at the others that people are likely to want you are probably looking at a combined team of:

    Ederson 4.5
    Robertson 4.5
    TAA 4.5
    VVD 6

    Mane 6
    Sterling 6.5

    Salah 7.5
    Aguero 7.5

    That leaves 2 players needed with 3m left but only 2060 points (from last seasons final points total) which is almost a third less than the winner so its definitely not just a case of filling your team with Man City and Liverpool players and it will take you all the way to the top

    1. I’m already thinking it’s going to be the most challenging season when it comes to picking that starting 11. Everyone is going to want a strong back line but won’t want to leave out Sterling, Mane, Salah, Aguero or Kane which is going to make it impossible to do both. Could be very interesting with less bargains to be had this time around.

  8. I thought that DT confirmed that there wouldn’t be a 3 player restriction on players from the same team???

    1. Yeah, we’ve already had that point cleared up Lee. There are no club restrictions in this year’s game again, same as last season.

      1. I wasn’t aware the Sun had changed their minds on the 3 player rule (I’m presuming that will be for the draft game) until yesterday so sorry if I have caused any confusion. They definitely said it in an article over the summer but not being on facebook and not being on here again until yesterday I didn’t know they had backtracked.

        Having said that I still don’t think its going to be feasible to have more than 6 from Liverpool and Man City without having to resort to the rest of your team being the cheapest of the cheap who are unlikely to play/score points.

          1. Apparently it’s a mistake in the blog post and the rule won’t be coming in.

  9. Typical Sun shambles, the left game doesn’t know what the right one is doing!!!

Comments are closed.