Opta Gonz uses data from each game of GW1 to determine where to find the best and worst assets. Some of his favorites include Bellerin, Wilson, Soucek and Barnes.
Fulham vs Arsenal (0-3)
Arsenal took the 3 points with a solid, albeit not spectacular performance. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the benching of Mitrovic (£6.5M). Fulham with a lot of work to do if they want to stay in the division.
As for Arsenal, Willian (£9.0M) kick-started life at his new club with 3 assists and 13 points in FanTeam. He also hit the post with a free kick. With an ‘involvement’ (chance created or attempt on goal) every 15 minutes and an xGI (expected goal involvement) every 68.8 minutes, he was one of the top performers in Gameweek 1.
In defense, Arsenal conceded the least shots this Gameweek (5 in total) – that puts Bellerin (£4.5M), playing as a right wing-back, firmly on our radars.
Crystal Palace vs Southampton (1-0)
With something of a make-shift defence featuring Kouyaté (£4.5M) and Mitchell (£4.0M) it is perhaps surprising that Palace managed to keep popular fantasy duo Ings (£8.5M) and Adams (£5.5M), at bay. Ings was the more dangerous of the two strikers, with 3 attempts and 7 touches in the penalty area vs Adams 1 and 3 respectively.
Having Guaita (£4.5M) in goal certainly helped – he managed 9.5 points.
Zaha (£6.5M) scored the winning goal, had one disallowed and could have scored another one. A total of 10 points in FanTeam, with ‘just’ 2 attempts and 2 touches in Southampton’s penalty area, the whole game.
Liverpool vs Leeds (4-3)
Bielsa’s men might feel they deserved more, but were unfortunate to face, statistically, the best player of the week in Mo Salah (£12.5M).
With a new look, Leeds defenders might have been hopeful of a ‘Samson like’ effect on Salah – less hair, less strength.
Instead, Salah bagged a hat-trick, with 2 penalties and a screamer into the top corner. He had 9 attempts in total, 21 penalty area touches and still created 4 chances for his colleagues – that’s an astonishing ‘involvement’ every 7 minutes, resulting in the highest score of the week in FanTeam – 19 points.
As for Leeds, very positive signs on the pitch, putting Liverpool’s somewhat sluggish defence on the spot, various times.
However, Leeds scored 3 goals from their only 3 shots on target, were bottom 3 in the league for total attempts (only ahead of Palace and Fulham), with Liverpool defence being statistically thesecond best for the gameweek with an xGC (expected goals conceded) of 0.32 only behind Arsenal (with 0.15).
West Ham vs Newcastle (0-2)
New season, old problems for the London side. Something is wrong when you allow Newcastle to have the 2nd highest attempts at goal in the league (15, only behind Liverpool), and the highest xG (expected goals) from open play (1.50).
Callum Wilson (£6.5M) capped his debut with a goal from his 4 attempts. With 2 chances created, that’s an ‘involvement’ roughly every 15 minutes, and an xGI every 87.6 minutes. If he continues this form, he will soon be a ‘must have’ in our teams at this price point.
As for West Ham, Soucek (£4.5M) was unlucky not to come away with some returns – he created 2 chances for his colleagues and had a further 3 attempts, 2 of which inside the area.
West Brom vs Leicester (0-3)
West Brom was in the bottom 3 for both defensive and offensive statistics this gameweek.
In attack, they managed only 1 shot on target, 3 shots inside the box and an xG of 0.42.
In defense, an xGC every 32.9 minutes was the lowest in the league – although somewhat skewed by the 2 penalties conceded.
One man’s loss is another man’s gain – and what a gain for Jamie Vardy (£10.5M). He goes away with 2 goals and 12 points bagged in FanTeam, despite having had zero shots and a single touch in the penalty box, if we exclude both (well taken) penalties.
Vardy continues to defy underlying statistics, but in those that truly matter, he continues to excel – he has now surpassed another EPL and FPL legend in terms of goals scored in the Premier League – he totals 105 goals in 212 appearances vs Didier Drogba’s 104 in 254 games, or a goal every 2 games for 6 seasons in a row.
At the other end of the spectrum is Harvey Barnes (£7.5M), statistically the strongest attacker on the pitch (adjusting for Vardy’s penalties), with an xGI of 0.78 over the 90 minutes, but coming away with no returns.
Spurs vs Everton (0-1)
Digne (£6.0M) and Pickford (£4.5M) were the highlights in defence for Everton, with 10 and 9.5 points as a result of the assist for the only goal of the game and 5 saves, respectively.
Despite walking away with no returns, on another day, things could have gone very differently for both Richarlison (£8.5M) and James Rodriguez (£7.0M).
Richarlison had the highest number of attempts of all strikers in the gameweek (7 in total), with 5 taken inside the box. James Rodriguez, with 5 chances created and 3 attempts, 2 of which inside the box, therefore had an involvement roughly every 11 minutes. In this form, fantasy returns are just around the corner.
As for Spurs, nothing significant to highlight – perhaps the hauling of Dele Alli (£8.0M) at half time worth a mention.
Sheffield United vs Wolves (0-2)
Jimenez (£9.0M) delivers again, with strong underlying statistics against a traditionally tight defence. His 5 total attempts translated into a goal, an ‘involvement’ every 18 minutes and an xGI every 85 minutes.
Saiss (£5.0M) with a goal and a clean sheet was the top scorer defender in FanTeam for the gameweek with 13 points. His 3 attempts, with 2 on target, were highest amongst all defenders.
Sheffield United could consider themselves unlucky they didn’t score – they hit the post through Fleck (£6.0M) and saw Saiss clear a McBurnie’s (£6.5M) header off the line in the last few minutes.
Vinagre (£4.0M) and Jota (£6.5M) were unused subs – a salty taste for many managers in the game.
Brighton vs Chelsea (1-3)
Big expectations for the debuts of both Havertz (£8.5M) and Werner (£10.0M). In the end, it was two right backs who caught the eye.
Reece James (£5.0M) managed a spectacular goal with a thunderbolt from outside the area and an assist from a corner.
Lamptey (£4.5M) was electric throughout the match, creating 2 chances and getting an assist. If he continues playing wing-back, more returns will follow.
As for the debutants, Havertz was a disappointment, never really managing to get into the game. Werner got fouled for the penalty, and created some problems for Brighton’s defence with his movement, totalling 5 attempts in the match, all inside the box.As it stands, and with Pulisic (£9.5M) and Zyiech (£8.0M) still injured, he looks like Chelsea’s best attacking asset.