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FPL tips: Traore ready to rumble and Salah overperforming?

Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Vicarage Road
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Analysing which players are contributing goals or assists is a straightforward task, but how can an FPL manager know when a player might be about to begin or end a purple patch?

Two FPL metrics can help: Threat and Data – the first measures the quality of goalscoring chances a player enjoys, while the latter measures the quality of chances a player provides.

In other words, these metrics help us work out which players are good value for the goals and assists they register.

With around 100 Threat historically equating to a goal’s worth of chances, and 100 Creativity historically equating to an assist’s worth of chances, measuring who is scoring more attacking points than they should be becomes easier.

So who is overperforming?

Ready to crumble?

A graphic showing five Premier League footballers who are overperforming in attack according to Threat and Creativity, two FPL metrics

With a certain number of FPL points available for a goal and an assist, it is possible to work out how many points players should have accrued by totalling their Threat and Creativity numbers.

And the season’s big overperformer so far is Jamie Vardy, who should have scored 15.4 attacking FPL points this term according to the data.

The Leicester striker has instead scored 27 points this season through goals and assists alone, with six goals and one assist.

Vardy’s six goals however have come from just 319 Threat – according to the average, this level of performance usually only warrants three (and a bit) goals.

The Englishman does historically have an exceptional finishing rate compared to his peers however, but the numbers suggest he is unlikely to continue scoring at the rate he is currently.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Sunday October 3, 2021

Jamie Vardy has been amongst the goals once again (John Walton/PA)

Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, has scored a whopping 42 points from goals or assists this season, his goals from midfield being worth one point more than Vardy’s in attack.

Salah is overperforming by 10 points in this regard, but once again is a player who has proven himself exceptional even by elite standards – will bosses continue to back him to beat the odds?

The really interesting case in this top five however is West Ham’s Michail Antonio, owned by around 46 per cent of managers ahead of gameweek eight.

However, his returns from attacking contributions are greater than the data suggests they should be, and the formbook certainly hints that his superman scoring could be over.

Antonio has managed just one goal and notched zero assists in his last three appearances, compared with four goals and four assists in his first three of the season.

Ready to rumble?

A graphic showing five Premier League footballers who are underperforming in attack according to Threat and Creativity, two FPL metrics

While some players appear to be overperforming, others appear to be underperforming, hinting that they could be on the road to a purple patch.

The number one man in this regard is Wolves’ Adama Traore, who has scored zero points from goals or assists this season, when Threat and Creativity suggest he should have scored 15.5.

The Wolves wide man has 170.5 Creativity this season and 208 Threat, enough to earn many players two goals and two assists – at £6m, if his performances continue, he could represent quite the bargain.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adama Traore (left) and Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Saturday August 14, 2021

Adama Traore has scored zero points from goals or assists this season (Nick Potts/PA)

Elsewhere Jack Grealish might be worth sticking with for a short while longer if the FPL’s metrics are to be believed.

Manchester City’s £100million man has just eight points from one goal and one assist so far this season, but the data says he could have scored more than 20 points in attack.

The England midfielder is ranked second out of the league’s midfielders for Creativity and fifth for Threat – ranks which could see him start scoring more heavily in the gameweeks to come.