As we eagerly approach the start of a brand new Premier League season, I thought I’d offer my musings on a subject that’s been on my mind recently as I’ve turned my thoughts towards all things Fantasy Football. As the title suggests I’m wondering if this season is one to go big at the back. By that I mean investing in premium defenders as opposed to being top heavy with premium strikers.
I decided to do a little analysis, comparing three of the best scoring strikers from last season with three of the top scoring defenders, all of whom were playing for most of the season;
Strikers: Aguero, Salah, Aubameyang
Defenders: Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Robertson
Now at the start of the season the combined starting price for the strikers was £20m. Compare that with the starting price of the defenders of £10.5m and already you see a huge gulf in cost.
The next set of data I looked at was the total points of each player for the season. The combined score of the strikers was 867 compared with a combined score of the defenders of 728. The strikers win the day there, but when you take into account the starting prices of the players there is a lot more to take away from this than appears at first glance.
I then took each total combined score and divided it into the total combined starting prices and the findings were very interesting.
The answers to the above equations basically gives us the points per million figure, giving us a good reflection on true value.
The strikers points per million came in at 43.35. Now compare this to the PPM of the defenders and the result is very intriguing. The defender’s PPM came in at a staggering 69.93. This appears to offer tremendous value over the course of a season. The savings in cost from going big at the back last season as opposed to up front would have meant you’d have had way more funds to invest elsewhere in your team last season.
Now obviously the benefit of hindsight is always a wonderful thing and things may not play out in the same way this season. I’d argue however that I see no reason why the premium defenders (especially Liverpool) can’t offer more value than the premium strikers over the course of a season. Another caveat to add in for the coming season is that the Liverpool defenders will be valued higher this season (especially TAA and Robbo) but I’d imagine they will still be somewhat cheaper than those premium strikers within the game.
Whilst it can sometimes feel counter intuitive to go for that cheaper striker (or maybe go 4-4-2), I hope my analysis shows, that with a bit of bravery, the rewards can be potentially huge.
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