Which Players Maintain Form in Fantasy Premier League?

Who were last season's top fantasy performers after GW10 and how did they do for the rest of the season?

In this article we look back on the best players after 10 gameweeks in Fantasy Premier League 2013/14 to see how they fared through the rest of the season. 

Below you’ll find the top 15 defenders based on points per game across the first 10 GW of the 2013/14 season of FPL. Further down are the top 15 midfielders and top 10 forwards. In each table you’ll see how well these players scored up to GW10 compared to GW11-38. We’ve applied a filter so that only players who played at least 600 minutes in each of the two periods are considered.

In the final column of each table is a plus/minus score to rate how well they did from the early part of the season to the latter, as well if the player’s form latter season form was great, good, average or poor.

How many players were able to maintain their very impressive early season form and how many weren’t? In the wrap for this article we’ll see what we can infer from the results regarding this season’s current crop of top players.

Defenders

Player Form
GW1-10
Form
GW11-38
+/- GW11-38 Rating
Jan Vertonghen 6.1 2.4 -60% Poor
Dejan Lovren 5.9 3.1 -48% Average
Luke Shaw 5.8 3.2 -46% Average
Leighton Baines 5.6 5.4 -4% Great
Jose Fonte 5.6 3.8 -33% Average
Nathaniel Clyne 5.2 4.7 -11% Good
Guy Demel 5.1 3.3 -36% Average
Winston Reid 5.1 2.0 -61% Poor
Phil Jagielka 5 3.4 -33% Average
Michael Dawson 5 2.5 -49% Poor
John Terry 5 5.1 +2% Great
Ben Davies 5 2.5 -49% Poor
Kyle Walker 4.9 3.5 -28% Average
Gareth McAuley 4.8 1.7 -64% Poor
Steven Caulker 4.8 2.6 -45% Poor

For defenders, we’ve rated ‘Great’ as better than 5 PPG, ‘Good’ at >4 PPG, Average > 3 PPG and less than this as ‘Poor’. Most of last season top defenders early on in the season did not maintain that form through the season, and there are some big fallers. Spurs and Southampton players in particular, who both started the season with lots of clean sheets. A goal in GW5 boosted Lovren’s early form, but he only scored once more for the remainder of the season, and the clean sheets dried up too. Jose Fonte score twice more after GW10 so was able to maintain some resemblance of form. 

Spurs' and Vertonghen’s tale is slightly different. They picked up 7 clean sheets in the first 10 weeks with Vertonghen racking up 12 bonus points along the way. Spurs’ defensive bubble was soon to burst though when first West Ham and then, more emphatically, City and then Liverpool fund out Villas-Boas’ high defensive line. AVB was given the chop, and once Sherwood took over, Spurs could never recapture their early defensive form.

The standout performers between GW1-10 and GW11-GW38 are Leighton Baines, John Terry and Nathaniel Clyne. Despite the drop off in clean sheets suffered by Southampton, Clyne was able to pick up 5 assists over the remainder of the season. Baines and Terry of course are premium defenders in FPL and it shows. Their consistency of attacking returns and clean sheet points generally proves worthy of your fantasy dollar. Note Terry was Chelsea’s bonus point magnet at the back last season, this year he’s not, that honours looks to have fallen to Azpilicueta. 

Midfielders

Player Form
GW1-10
Form
GW11-38
+/- GW11-38 Rating
Aaron Ramsey 7.8 6.1 -21% Great
Mesut Ozil 6.8 4.9 -29% Average
Yaya Toure 6.3 7.4 +17% Great
Emboaba Oscar 5.3 4.6 -14% Average
Hatem Ben Arfa 5.1 3.8 -27% Poor
Adam Lallana 4.9 5.0 +3% Good
Ross Barkley 4.8 4.4 -7% Average
Steven Gerrard 4.4 7.1 +61% Great
Eden Hazard 4.3 6.7 +54% Great
Jack Wilshere 4.3 3.8 -12% Poor
Kevin Mirallas 4 5.5 +38% Good
Jonathan Howson 3.9 2.1 -47% Poor
Kevin Nolan 3.8 4.5 +18% Average
Leandro Bacuna 3.7 3.4 -9% Poor
Paulihno 3.7 4.2 +14% Average

We’ve upped the ante for midfielders, ‘Great' is now > 6 PPG, ‘Good' > 5 PPG, and so on. The midfielders tell a more promising story than defenders with many of the best players over the first 10 gameweeks remaining very decent players for the rest of the season. There’s only really Hatem Ben Arfa who takes a big dip. Oh, and Bacuna and Howson… who could have guessed!  There were also some significant improvements from under-performing elite mids at the time like Gerrard and Hazard, which perhaps goes to show that class is indeed permanent. There’s not much more to add really. With a bit of due diligence, picking four of the top scoring midfielders for your team after GW10 would probably have given you a good-to-great midfield for the rest of the season.

Forwards

Player Form
GW1-10
Form
GW11-38
+/- GW11-38 Rating
Sergio Aguero 10.1 5.6 -44% Good
Daniel Sturridge 6.9 7.0 +1% Great
Robin van Persie 6.8 4.9 -27% Average
Wayne Rooney 6.8 6.7 -1% Great
Olivier Giroud 6.1 5.0 -17% Good
Roberto Soldado 5.5 3.8 -33% Poor
Rickie Lambert 4.3 5.4 +24% Good
Fraizer Campbell 3.6 3.1 -15% Poor
Andreas Weimann 3.4 3.3 -6% Poor
Ricky van Wolfswinkel 3.0 2.0 -33% Poor

The first thing to note is there are less forwards to consider. Remember that we are only counting players who played >600 minutes between both GW1-10 and GW11-38 and hence the absence of Luis Suarez (who clearly was ace throughout the season!). Also, outside the top 5-6 here, forwards did not really do so well compared to defenders and midfielders, scoring beneath 3 PPG and really nothing to get excited about.

This lists of forwards has the same pattern overall as with the midfielders; the established and recognised forwards who start the season well continued to do so for the remainder of the season. Admittedly Aguero’s form at the top takes a fair bit of a dive from an unsustainable 10 PPG but his latter season was strewn with broken gametime and early substitutions due to injury. 

Wrap-Up

The key points are really that the a lot of last season’s best defenders early on did not show a tendency to maintain promising early form over the full course of the season. Southampton and Spurs could not maintain their defensive strength indefinitely. Going forward, this is not to say Southampton cannot keep picking up clean sheets this year, we looked at their performances a few weeks ago and they do look the real deal. Where a defender scored a goal or a few assists early on his points total was probably artificially inflated, except in the case of Leighton Baines whose attacking talents and penalty duties are well-know and rightly set you back a premium in fantasy football.

Midfielder and Forwards show a much greater tendency to maintain their early form, especially the elite/established players whose teams can be relied upon to keep creating chances and winning games throughout the season. This pretty much aligns with common sense and an article we wrote last season about players maintainign form. To us, it underline the mantra that fantasy football is marathon and not a sprint. Flirting with ‘form players’ who don’t have genuine pedigree is one of the biggest pitfalls of any fantasy team. Your transfers are scarce, use them wisely! For our own FPL team and the 'Player Picks' in our we're constantly asking the question : is this player good enough to be a contender for the Dream Team at the end of season? If not, don't go there

Check these out too...

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