Forward focus: Could Mitrovic give your FPL team a late boost?
With just three games remaining in the Premier League season, time is running out to make the decisive move with your Fantasy Premier League team.
And if you are looking for an off-the-map move to help win the short-term battle in your mini-league, Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic could be just the man.
The big Serbia striker has seen his ownership fall in six of the last seven weeks, from over 870,000 managers to fewer than 660,000, while his price has dropped by £200,000 in the same time to £6.3million – but here is why it is worth bucking the trend.
The run-in could be kind to Fulham
The Cottagers have long since been consigned to relegation but with the pressure off, they have produced back-to-back wins over Everton and Bournemouth and have home games against Cardiff and Newcastle to come, either side of a trip to Wolves.
The FPL website assigns a difficulty rating to each fixture and both games at Craven Cottage are rated only two out of five – and Mitrovic has thrived in such matches this season, averaging six points.
Indeed, when projecting points based on past fixtures of the same rating, Mitrovic ranks second among strikers in the remaining games behind £11.8m Manchester City star Sergio Aguero.
Mitrovic is tipped for 15.0 points to the Argentinian’s 15.4, with only Raul Jimenez (14.7), Roberto Firmino (14.4) and Salomon Rondon (13.9) close behind him.
His slump was due to end
Mitrovic’s declining ownership corresponded to a goalless run stretching from gameweek 25 against Crystal Palace until his winner at Bournemouth.
That followed an assist against Everton and represents an overdue course correction, with his underlying statistics pointing to much greater scoring potential during that time.
Mitrovic scored seven goals in his first 17 games this season and only four in his last 17, but his expected goals (xG) tally – the number of goals he would have been expected to score based on an analysis of similar shots in the past – was almost identical, down only from 6.5 to 6.2 xG.
FPL’s own “Threat” statistic, which draws on similar information, ranks Mitrovic top over the last 10 games among strikers who have played in at least seven of those 10.
His threat is rated at 48.2 per appearance, 0.3 ahead of Aguero despite scoring only one goal to the City man’s eight in that time.