Fantasy managers who scour the official website for tips each week will be aware of the game’s Threat metric which, in the Premier League’s own words, produces “a value that examines a player’s threat on goal”.
While it is not specified how Threat equates to goals, studying a large sample shows the average to be roughly 100 points per goal scored.
Looking at a player’s Threat can therefore reveal whether their goal tally represents an under or over-achievement relative to their attacking performances.
We’ve compared this season’s goal and Threat totals for every player with at least three goals to their name this term to highlight those for whom good – or bad – luck may have influenced their fortunes.
Timo’s goalscoring blues
There was sufficient excitement around Chelsea’s new signing Timo Werner for 2.8 million managers to put him in their teams for Gameweek 1.
However, that number has more than halved after just four goals and regular rotation with both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham in the centre-forward position.
It may be too soon to write the German off as a transfer flop, though, given how dangerous he’s looked overall.
Only six players have generated more Threat than his 608 points so far, which at 152 points per goal suggests that he just needs a bit more luck with his finishing.
Werner’s 28 goals in the Bundesliga last season make it difficult to argue that he can’t find the net and with a double gameweek on the horizon he could yet prove a shrewd investment.
A similar argument could be made for Raheem Sterling, who also finds himself on just four goals for the season despite generating enough Threat for at least one more.
Manchester City have one of the easiest-looking runs of games between now and February and with both of their strikers nursing injuries, the England man is the standout candidate for a more advanced role.
Bruno punching above his weight?
There are also plenty of players whose goal tallies exceed their underlying Threat numbers.
And some of the goalscoring achievements so far this season look unsustainable.
A few of Werner’s Chelsea team-mates fall under this category, with penalties accounting for three of Jorginho’s five shots this season and Kurt Zouma racking up four goals from just 10 attempts.
Neither player looks likely to continue scoring at the same rate given the extent of their overachievement.
The same can be said for Southampton’s joint top points scorer James Ward-Prowse, who has scored three of his seven direct free-kicks this season.
While nobody would rule out the Saints captain finding the net via this route again, such a high conversion rate would be difficult to sustain over a whole campaign.
A few big names in this list also raise eyebrows. Bruno Fernandes and Son Heung-min have been among the most successful signings in recent Premier League history and are driving their respective teams forward at the moment.
Both are undoubtedly special talents who look set to keep finding the net, but doing so at their current rates – both over twice the divisional average – appears unlikely.
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