Towards the end of last season my attention was drawn to a website ( https://www.ffstuff.co.uk/) 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:
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:
The percentage of total points scored by each position:
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: