Predicting who will score big points can be something of a fool’s errand as a Fantasy Premier League manager, but by analysing performance according to fixture difficulty, managers can make a more informed choice.
The FPL allocates each fixture a difficulty rating (FDR) with the most difficult games rated five and the easiest rated two.
By analysing players’ performances against opponents with the same FDR this season, and working out each player’s average score against those teams, a projected points total can be achieved.
With that in mind, this is the best XI to select for gameweek 36.
The XI takes into account the three players per team rule, and would leave enough money left over to select a bench.
With high-flying Liverpool hosting rock-bottom Huddersfield in the weekend’s first game, the team naturally contains three Reds.
Mohamed Salah’s average points return from matches with a difficulty rating of two this season is an impressive 8.3, which sees him take the captain’s armband as the highest projected scorer – Sadio Mane (6.4) and Andrew Robertson (6.3) are also projected to make strong contributions.
Perhaps surprisingly only one Manchester City player makes the team.
Only one of two players in the team facing a fixture with an FDR of three rather than two, Raheem Sterling has scored an average of 5.9 points from games of this rating, suggesting he’ll cause Burnley problems at Turf Moor.
With a projected points total of just four based on his average return this season, Sergio Aguero failed to make the cut.
Tottenham’s Son Heung-min could be worth backing as well. The South Korean faces West Ham at home, and while the game’s FDR is three rather than two, the projection has him scoring the second highest number of points this week at 7.8.
Elsewhere it’s a bargain strike-force that could outscore the more expensive strikers, with Newcastle’s Salomon Rondon and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic predicted to score six and 5.5 points respectively in their games against Brighton and Cardiff.
Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser, meanwhile, is the cheapest midfielder in the side, but could well improve on his already impressive seven goals and 12 FPL assists in the Cherries’ game against Southampton.
Crystal Palace’s Patrick Van Aanholt and Everton’s Michael Keane complete the defence in a game against one another, and Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge takes his place in goal against Fulham, predicted to earn six points.
Overall the team is projected to make 78 points – will this group of players feature heavily in the team of the week?
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