Most armchair managers will recognise that a player’s goal total does not always reflect their opportunities – but how can you predict whether your Fantasy Premier League stars will keep delivering?
Shot totals can offer some insight but there is a big difference between a point-blank header and a 30-yard punt. That is where the FPL’s own Threat score can help, as it looks at the number of attempts made by each player but gives “greater weight to actions that are regarded as the best chances to score”.
By examining a large sample of matches we found that around 100 Threat points typically equates to one goal. While better finishers will require less and some players appear to need considerably more, there are certain ratios that appear unsustainable.
Of the 10 players with the most Threat this season, half have a Threat-to-goal ratio better than Jamie Vardy’s league-leading mark of 63.1 since the metric was introduced – should you be concerned about your main man?
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has made a blistering start to the season, racking up six goals in his first four appearances, but the amount of Threat he has needed to score each of those goals raises some concerns.
The Evertonian is scoring at more than twice the rate he had managed up until the start of this season, 45.3 threat points per goal compared to a historical average of 108.4.
While it would be easy to argue that his finishing technique has improved under Carlo Ancelotti’s tutelage, it would be harder to demonstrate that he is now a better finisher than Vardy or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
If Calvert-Lewin has done well to register six goals from the opportunities that have come his way, Son Heung-min has truly defied the odds to achieve the same feat.
The South Korean has hit the back of the net once for every 30.2 points of Threat registered so far this season, which is more than twice as low as Vardy’s average and a third of Son’s established rate, and therefore almost certainly unsustainable.
This is not to suggest that either player will see their goals dry up altogether, merely that their scoring rate is likely to decline to a more realistic level over time.
Finding their feet
Whilst Calvert-Lewin and Son are currently overachieving, they each have a team-mate who could reasonably expect to have more goals under their belt.
Richarlison has required more opportunities than the average player to find the net in his Premier League career so far, with an average of 118 Threat per goal before this season kicked off. However, his ratio of 179 Threat per goal scored in Everton’s opening four matches is surely beneath his capabilities and it would not be a surprise to see his name on the scoresheet more often.
Over at Spurs, Harry Kane has proven to be one of the division’s most ruthless finishers with just 67.9 Threat per goal prior to this season. While England’s number nine has hardly been quiet this term, he has twice as many assists as goals to his name and looks capable of increasing his scoring rate.
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