Goalkeepers – Do “Premiums” win the day or are there bargains to be had?

Guest post by Chris Martin aka Sutton_Chris

With the 19/20 SDT fantasy football game finally concluded, I thought now would be a good time to look back on the performance of the Premier League players within the game for the season. This should hopefully help our decisions as we eagerly await the launch of the game for the new season.

Where better to start than the boys between the sticks. In order to analyse the performance of each keeper (I’ve only chosen keepers who’ve played at least 10 games), I’ve compiled a simple spreadsheet to help us better understand how each keeper has performed within the SDT game. *(Please note: The spreadsheet was complied ahead of the FA Cup final)

First of all, if we take a look at the season points totals, we can clearly see that only 5 keepers managed to break the 100 points barrier:

Pope 121 pts
Ederson 116 pts
Henderson 107 pts
Patricio 102 pts
Schmeichel 100 pts

The surprising thing here is that only one of the goalkeepers from “the big six” teams has managed this feat. We do have to bear in mind however that Alisson (and Lloris) did face long spells on the side-lines through injury. Alisson would have most likely broken the 100 point barrier if he had remained fit but I very much doubt Lloris would have given the season Spurs have had to endure.

Of course, simply looking at the total points over the season does not tell the whole story and it doesn’t show where the true VALUE lies. This is where the good old PPM figure (Points Per Million) comes in. To help us understand the PPM value a little deeper, I decided to break it down into three categories;

PPM for current/final price player valuation
PPM for starting price player valuation
PPM for the average (overall) of these two figures

As we take a look at these figures, we can clearly see that three keepers stand heads and shoulders above the rest. Pope came top with an impressive 61.94 average PPM for the season. Considering his start price was £1.5m at the start of the season, this represents excellent value. His end value was a lofty £2.8m.

Next one down was the impressive Henderson with and average PPM of 55.48. Not many goalkeepers playing for newly promoted sides manage a PPM total like this so this is a fantastic achievement. He started with a bargain price of £1.5m and ended at £2.7m, another remarkable rise in value.

Taking the bronze medal, we have Patricio of Wolves bringing in an average PPM of 46.75. Whilst Wolves struggled in the early exchanges of the season (seems like an age ago), they eventually got their house in order and had yet another impressive season overall. Patricio started with a value of £2.0m and ended at £2.4m.

So, in conclusion, with these findings, I believe it shows there is very little value in targeting the Premium keepers, especially when their price is high at the start of the season. If their price does fall a fair bit as the season progresses though they can sometimes be considered. You can sometimes pick up a cheap keeper for a “Premium” team if the first-choice keeper picks up an injury as Alisson did. This didn’t work out too well for Adrian owners however as Liverpool struggled for this spell defensively.

There is clearly value to be had rummaging through the bargain bucket of goalkeepers, and if you can drop on a consistent, reliable keeper, playing for a solid, settled team, then they could genuinely be a season-keeper (pardon the pun).

Given that Pope, Henderson and Patricio are probably likely to rise next season in terms of value, here are a few selections that I think could be good value for the start of next season;

McCarthy (SOU) – Southampton had a sticky time in the first part of the season, epitomised by their 9-0 drubbing at the hands of a rampant Leicester (Gunn played as keeper for this one and didn’t get his place back since I believe). However, just before and after lockdown, they’ve looked a completely different team. Fit, well-drilled and very organised with McCarthy looking very assured between the sticks.

Dubavka (NEW) – Bruce has probably been in the hot seat long enough now to have the players understand how he wants to play. This selection appealed more so when the take-over still looked on as I think this would have lifted everyone at the club. Now it’s fallen through however I’m less inclined to recommend him as much.

Lloris (TOT) – May seem a strange choice given he’s at one of the “big 6” but his terrible PPM should see his price valuation plummet. With this in mind and with Jose now at the helm, he could well be a sound choice if the price is right. Jose may well shore Spurs up a little more defensively and its also worth remembering they will be playing in the Europa League next season too, thus more games.

Ryan (Bri) – Potter is another manager who’s been in the hot seat for a while now and Brighton are a decent outfit nowadays. They’ve recently acquired the services of Veltman from Ajax so you might expect Brighton to be even more solid at the back next season.

I’m sure other names will be worth considering also, but these are the ones that could give excellent value at the start of the season in my opinion. Would love to hear your thoughts on any alternatives folks.

32 thoughts on “Goalkeepers – Do “Premiums” win the day or are there bargains to be had?

  1. Hope you enjoy the article folks. I’ve since had a glance at the stats for the 18/19 season and noticed that both Alisson and Ederson both posted scores of 209 and 178 respectively. Alisson came in with a PPM of 49.76 whilst Ederson’s was 42.38.

    Not too shabby in the scheme of things and these figures would have seen them come in at 3rd and 5th place in the PPM spreadsheet if they were this season’s figures. Obviously Alisson’s injury hampered his score this season and City missing Laporte for such a long stretch no doubt dented Ederson’s returns.

    The point I’m trying to make is that if their starting valuations drop far enough, there could certainly be a case for considering them after all. It’s all dependent on those starting valuations though.

    1. I’ve always struggled to justify a premium goalkeeper as they don’t tend to pick up many points in relation to their value. I did a calculation last season (still not sure if it’s of any real use) but it looked at a player picking up 50 points per million spent. It was clear fairly early on that none of the premium goalkeepers were going to live up to this expectation. Both Allison and Ederson would have needed 225 points to reach this and neither came close (appreciate that Allison was injured though). Patricio came in bang on my expectation with 100 points and a starting value of 2m. I think he’s be up there with one of my players of the season. Being only 2m at the start of the season gave me so much freedom throughout the rest of my team.

    2. What would your thoughts/opinion be on schmichal as an option next season? With them having European also thanks

  2. Also big thanks to Frank at FFStuff as it is his site where I get most of my data from. 👍🏻

    1. This is what I mentioned last season on my thoughts on goalkeepers (post not available here now so reposting here as relevant):

      ‘First of all I decided to go with an expensive goalkeeper: Alisson or even Ederson it didn’t matter – they were the same value at 4.5m. Lots of talk here on the value of goalkeeper and ultimately people mainly went with Patricio. For me, it was only between Ederson and Alisson as most recent winners have had a expensive goalkeeper namely De Gea, Ederson and Alisson in recent times. With funds available, I will be transferring these two goalkeepers in my teams.’

      Now if I am being self critical (which I do a lot as my expectations are high – not high to win the whole thing), my premium goalkeeper strategy failed. The best goalkeeper no doubt was Patrício so credit to DTT for choosing wisely.

      Now I ask my question myself, do I go budget now instead. I am still drawn to the premium goalkeeper strategy although it didn’t work well, the strategy might have been the right one but the timing (unfortunate events as discussed by Chris) was wrong.

      1. I think there’s value in Ederson as he’s about the only consistent starter in City’s backline. However I still get put off by this 50 points per 1m spent calculation that I came up with last season. If we can achieve this, as Patricio did. Should we be using this calculation as a basis for selecting players or is just a red herring? I’ll do a full write up on the principle behind it but it did help players stand out to me last season as it was obvious they would reach their 50 points per 1m spent calculation.

        1. I can honestly say that I don’t use ppm or 50 points per mill. I think I do alright in fantasy football without it. My game play relies more on the eye test and gut feeling. Stats are the area where I spend the least amount of time on.

          1. We couldn’t be more opposite 😂 I can’t do an eye test as I rarely watch much football so I have to rely on stats. I tend to see the whole game as a maths equation to be honest. I’m sure someone a lot more clever than me would be able to come up with a solution to it based on previous stats and new values but it’s not something I’ve ever been able to crack.

            1. I think ultimately there are benefits to both approaches, and if at all possible, both should be embraced. The eye-test can often tell us things that the stats can’t.

              Is a player high or low in confidence? Is he making those positive forward runs?

              Conversely, the stats can often tell us things that we can often miss by just watching games for our judgement. I also recommend listening to podcasts if possible, both Fantasy Football based AND the general football ones too. Adds yet another dimension to the thought process.

              It’ll be interesting to see who wins out next season between you two! The Yin and Yang of Dream Team! 😉😂

              1. Yeah, there is so much information and stats out there. It can get confusing and time consuming to filter out the fantasy football noise.

                I don’t listen to fantasy football scout as it’s more FPL orientated. The people that play FPL are very in their stats. One of the reasons I am poor at that game but it’s ok as pretty decent in the SDT and TFF games.

              2. Not sure if it’s a trend but I noticed with Pope he rarely picked up a rating unless keeping a clean sheet . Do the keepers from the top teams fair any better ?
                Also his 4 man of the match awards in the latter half helped his points tally quite a bit !

                1. I noticed that quite a few times over the season with Patricio, I think keepers just don’t get the recognition from the scoring system.

  3. The other thing I find is it’s very hard to justify swapping a keeper during the season , unless injurted or really having a torrid time . Having said that this season I did take out De Gea around November time for Pope who I kept the rest of the season . Numerous times I was tempted to ditch Pope mind with losses to Palace and 4 and 5 goals conceded to city and Spurs after wasn’t great ! Not 100% sure but they seemed pretty inconsistent at times .
    Conceding to Brighton last game also did me no favours !

    1. I do as well – there were times I was considering taking Patricio out because Wolves weren’t in the best of form at times but I decided to just stick with him.

      1. I think it might be worth considering Leno/Martinez. Arsenal seemed to tighten up under Arteta towards the end of the season. If they are priced up reasonably say 2m they could be good value.

        1. Really think Tierney could be a great choice for Dream Team this season. Arteta could shore up the defence (I’m hearing Stones is a target), but it is Tierney’s attacking threat that really interests me. When he’s played left back he really has had licence to bomb forwards into advanced positions and always looks a threat.

          Just hope Arteta doesn’t persist in the three centre-backs with Tierney being one as he did towards the end of the season, probably more to prevent the usual Luiz cock-ups.

        2. Martinez has been nothing short of incredible since lockdown. I’d be seriously considering letting him stay in goal for the start of the season if I were Arteta. I think Leno will get the nod though.

          1. Yes Chris I think Tierney could be a good option depending on his value.
            I think Leno scores 69 pts and Martinez scored 63 pts with far less game time. Yes I think Leno will get the nod but he should be quite cheap, no more than 2.5m.

        3. It’s a tricky one – I try not to swap my keeper during the season and without being sure which one is going to start it’s hard to know who to pick. Could be a wise choice if you like a gamble though.

            1. It will all depend on prices but unlikely if they aren’t in Europe again.

  4. the way I see it keepers don’t give the same value as a decent midfielder or striker
    so spending big on a keeper at the start relieves you of a couple
    of million pounds to spend on the rest of your selections .
    50 mil seems a lot but once you start selecting players you would
    like in your team it dries up very quickly.
    so money saved on a premium keeper makes sense to me
    as always though its a matter of choice.

    1. It’s the path I’ve always chosen too Don, especially at the beginning. Worth noting that Alisson achieved a final score of over 200 points in the previous season though. Might just have one experimental team with him in but with my main ML team I’m sure I’ll be going for the bargain bucket option and spend more elsewhere in the team.

      1. I’d agree – especially when it comes to Liverpool. If Alisson and Robertson were both 4.5m to start with, I’d go Robertson all day long. I can see some value in Ederson though as the Man City back line changes so often other than him.

        1. mind you Paul
          not seeing prices yet I can imagine most of last years bargains
          will be a lot dearer this term.

          1. Oh absolutely, it will all be about trying to spot the very few bargains that are around – such as Patricio last year. He stood out like a sore thumb to me as being under priced.

  5. Gents
    Fodens the one to watch for me. His starting price will be interesting. I think by being picked to play Real, Pep has signalled his intentions for the future. I imagine however now that I have had that thought he will be dropped for the next game!

      1. Foden will get plenty of game time this season imo even with the signing of Torres. What really helps Foden’s cause is his versatility. He can play all across that front line (even as a false 9 as he did against Real) and all across the midfield too. Add to that Dilva (and Sane) are also now out of the equation and and he should get plenty of opportunities in the first XI.

        This is where he comes of age…

        1. Sometimes versatility can be a problem as you are not played in your best position and moved around in different areas or benched. The Torres signing has raised doubts for me on Foden (I like to look at pros and cons but agree this is all subjective) because I personally think Foden best position is on the right side of the front three with Sterling fixed on the left. Now on the right, you have Mahrez and Torres. Yes, Foden was up front vs Real Madrid. It suprised me and probably Real Madrid as well. Looking at the stats only (didn’t watch the game so eye test) his performance gained a 6.35 rating and he was the first to be subbed. We have seen Pep only a few occasions has played KBD and B.Silva upfront through the middle. Finally, Foden feels the natural successor to D.Silva but I feel that role has always been reserved for his namesake.

          1. I wouldn’t base any judgement on that Real game though mate. Yes it wasn’t his night from an individual stance but it did illustrate yet another role that Pep was prepared to trust him with….in a game of HUGE magnitude.

            I’m not saying he’ll get more minutes necessarily than your Bilva’s and Mahrez’s, but I’ll bet his price will be cheaper and I can honestly see him matching these players in terms of points return at the very least.

            I’m willing to back this kid early doors whilst his price should be relatively low because I predict there will be only one way his price will go over the course of the season………now what was that track by Yazz called again? 😉 *gets ready for all the youngsters to say “who the hell are Yazz?” 😂

    1. I think you’re right Martin. I’m not sure I’d go for him from the very start of the season but certainly one to watch.

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