While results are often looked to for indicators of a football team’s form, FPL managers would do well to consider a team’s cumulative Threat totals too.
The FPL’s Threat metric measures the quality of chances in front of goal, with around 100 Threat equating to a goal’s worth of chances.
By analysing a team’s Threat scored and conceded during a game then, FPL managers can work out whether a team have overperformed, underperformed, or were deserving of their result.
Panic on the streets of (north) London
The graphic above plots Threat scored and conceded during each team’s GW2 fixture – bottom right of the graph is good, top left is bad.
It might be confusing then to see Tottenham – who beat Wolves 1-0 this weekend – near the top left.
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This is because Spurs managed just 168 Threat in attack, conceding 291 at the defensive end of the pitch, suggesting Wolves were unfortunate to leave without a point, or indeed a goal.
With Watford at home next, now is certainly not the time to label Spurs players a lost cause – but managers would do well to be cautious until Tottenham exhibit more in attack.
For Arsenal, the underlying data simply confirms their fans’ worst fears – they are off to a shocker.
The Gunners scored less than 100 Threat in attack and conceded more than 300 against a Chelsea side that didn’t need to get out of second gear to win 2-0.
With champions Manchester City up next, only the most optimistic FPL bosses would feel inclined to back Mikel Arteta’s men at present.
Reds + Blues = purple patch
Arsenal’s opponents Chelsea however have plenty of reasons to be cheerful, having conceded the lowest amount of Threat (137) so far this season in the PL.
Their 491 total Threat scored also suggests they are excellent value for the five goals they have scored this season, at around 100 Threat per goal.
The Blues’ 336 Threat against Arsenal was second only to Liverpool in GW2, who managed 377 in their 2-0 win against Burnley.
The Reds’ 635 total Threat is the highest so far this season – their GW3 opponents? Chelsea.
The United paradox
Team Threat scores can also help prevent reactionary decisions among FPL managers, with Manchester United’s two results so far this season a fine example of that.
United dazzled in their 5-1 win against Leeds in GW1 before falling back down to earth with a bump in a 1-1 draw against Southampton.
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However, in both games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side scored exactly 133 more Threat than their opponents, at 193-60 and 212-79 respectively.
Looking at the Threat scores then, one shouldn’t get overly carried away by the big win OR the disappointing draw – anyone with Bruno Fernandes et al in their fantasy squad can see that United played encouragingly in both games.
Stacking your side with three expensive United players then may be an overreaction to GW1, but then, selling Fernandes in the blink of an eye after GW2 would appear equally rash.
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