Elite Midfielder Goal and Assist Threat

We've updated our Goal and Assist Threat metrics for Fantasy Premier League's Elite Midfielders

Below you’ll find our updated Goal and Assist Threat for the main contenders for a place in your fantasy football team in the elite midfield bracket.

We’ve added Ozil to the table now he’s back in action too although didn’t make a major impact against Everton (2 key passes). We’ll be adding Di Maria’s stats once he makes an appearance for United, plus we’ll have a special look at the Argentine in a separate post later today. For next week too, we'll normalize the data by games played or minutes.

It’s very early days of course but we hope our focus on the key stats of these budget hungry players in your Fantasy Premier League team is going to give you very positive indicators of who the genuine top performers are likely to be this season and who you can cross of the list. 

As a reminder, the Goal and Assist Threat metrics are based on the quality and quantity of scoring opportunities the player has and those he creates for others. Each shot or key pass is weighted by shot location, shot type, pass type, etc so that each has an ‘expected goal’ value we can tot up and measure. You can read more about our 'Expected Goals' model here. This week we've also added an Overall column which is essentially an estimate at 'expetecd points" using 6 points for a goal and 3 pts for an assist.

Maximum Goal Threat – Aaron Ramsey & Raheem Sterling

It’s no surprise to see Ramsey with 2 goals already atop the Goal Threat chart. He’s also had the most shots in total (equal with Eriksen) and shots on target (equal with Sterling). Along with Sterling and Eriksen also, he’s been the most likely to get in the central penalty box -  the danger zone and where most goals are scored. Watching Sterling play is almost like watching a striker play. He's often so far up the pitch and looking to get behind the defence. Mario Balotelli will impact Sterling somehow, but the Italians physical presence up front could open up even more space for Sterling to exploit, rather than steal the shooting opportunites. At this point it's hard to know the impact but it's unlikey to be major and we'll be all over it in our analysis over the coming weeks.

Maximum Assist Threat – Cesc Fábregas

No surprises here, but if you want a real top midfielder in fantasy football assists alone aren’t enough, you need goals too. But Fabregas, whilst not quite as involved as Ramsey et al above, has posed a decent goal threat. It’s nice to see that only 1 of his 3 shots was from outside the box which shows he’ll make those forwards runs. Indeed, if not for a fine save from Schmeical he would have a goal as well as his 3 assists.

Fábregas vs. Hazard

Owners of Eden Hazard should be a little concerned. Obviously he got a trademark goal dribbling into the box against Leicester but so far has attempted just 2 shots in 2 games. He has though created 9 opportunities for others, the most of any elite midfielder so far, although not really carved out any high quality chances yet the way Fabregas has. But lots of key passes and few shots is not what you want from a goal-scoring midfielder in your fantasy team. You want them shooting, not passing to others. Diego Costa's injury however may give Hazard a little more license to get in the box. It's also worth noting it took Hazard a while to get up to full-speed last season too (GW6) and he's still on penalties as far anyone knows.

Eriksen vs Lamela

Of all the Elite Mids here Christian Eriksen can perhaps feel the most aggrieved to be without any points in FPL so far. He’s posed a real threat with 7 shots in total and 2 in the danger zone (equaling Ramsey for both). Lamela on the other hand could be considered “fortunate” looking at the data alone. Typically, teams score a goal from 1 in 20 corners and his cross for Chaldi’s goal doesn’t rate so highly in the expected goals model either. The biggest knock to Lamela’s potential however has to be his goal threat with little penetration into the box so far, even in what may be one of Spur’s easiest games of the season against QPR. 

Juan Mata

Mata got the goal to take the pressure off those looking to sell after United’s awful start to the season. Of all the players at the top of these stats though Mata is the one with the least shots in total. His Goal Threat has been essentially bumped up by a tap-in against Sunderland. This is good and bad, but overall we have to say bad.  It was positive to see him make the direct run from outside the area and into the 6 yard box for his goal, but we’d say the general lack of shots overall outweighs this. The Di Maria signing should be good news though. Di Maria is a creative winger who you’d expect will be creating of chances from out wide for Mata & co. to get on the end of. We'll of course be looking very closely at how this pans out.

Alexi Sanchez (and the also-rans)

Sanchez is the only player of those not already mentioned that has potential to come good in our opinion. His stats here from the Premier League so far are one game out wide right against Crystal Palace and then an ineffective 45 minutes up front against Everton. Expecting Sanchez to flourish so early on and at Goodison Park to boot would be naive, but Giroud’s 4 month lay-off should give the Chilean plenty of opportunity to find his form as Arsenal’s striker. He starred last night for the Gunner’s against Besiktas and got his first goal from an impressive 5 shots in total, 2 on target, and 4 of those shots from centrally inside the box. He's also taking corners and free-kicks.

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