Sky Fantasy Football
1 year ago
What a start to the English Premier League 2020/21 season it’s been! 144 goals from the 38 games so far equates to an average of 3.79 goals per game. Does this suggest that we should be focussing on an attacking 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formations post overhaul? Certainly something to consider over the next couple of weeks.
Kicking off our Sky Fantasy Football Overhaul series, I will start with analyzing how the Goalkeepers have fared in the first four weeks of the season. My focus will be on the good, the bad and the ugly of the opening game weeks. This is the first of four featured articles to be released across the international break as we prepare our overhaul teams for the Premier League’s return.
Firstly, let's take a timely reminder of the highest-scoring goalkeepers from last season:
The highest-scoring goalkeeper from the opening four game weeks, despite only playing three games in this time, is Aston Villa’s summer recruit, Emi Martinez. A 14-point haul against Sheffield United in GW2 rewarded owners who chose to ignore that Villa had a blank in GW1 and took a punt on their new keeper. A penalty save and a clean sheet against Sheffield United catapulted Martinez to the top of the goalkeeper points table. Another clean sheet followed against Fulham in GW3 before he collected tier 2 save points against Liverpool in Aston Villa’s thrashing of Liverpool in GW4. Martinez is currently the seventh-highest owned goalkeeper, but I’m sure that he will be a lot more popular after the overhaul. Could he be this season’s Dean Henderson?
Following a fantastic 2019/20 season, it was no surprise to see Nick Pope as the highest owned goalkeeper (16.37%) despite having a blank in GW1. However, things haven’t quite gone to plan with the English goalkeeper collecting just 3 points from the opening 4 game weeks. Burnley have conceded 8 goals from their opening three games with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Leicester in GW2 being the worst result of them all. Pope has hit save tier 1 in just one of the three games he’s played in but, unfortunately, lost 5 points from the goals that he has conceded. I will be very surprised if Pope is so well owned post overhaul.
West Brom’s Sam Johnstone has collected the most save tier points so far this season with 8 points. However, he has also picked the ball out of his net on 13 occasions, which has led to him losing 9 points for goals conceded, leaving him on a measly 7 points overall. Johnstone has averaged 4.8 saves per game so it’s likely that he will continue to hit the save tiers. It’s just a question of whether he can start getting clean sheets on top. At the moment, I very much doubt so, unfortunately.
Karl Darlow has once again taken his opportunity with both hands, stepping in for injured Dubravka. Darlow is currently has the top saves per game ratio with an average of 5 save per match so far. This has resulted in Darlow earning the save tier 1 bonus twice and saves tier 2 once. More impressively, Darlow’s saves have led to him boasting the third best defensive record in the league with an average of just 1.3 goals conceded per game, only bettered by Aston Villa’s Martinez (0.7) and West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski (1.0). His fantastic display against Spurs in GW3 also earned him 3 bonus points for the Man of the Match award. With Dubravka likely to be back in contention soon, has Darlow done enough to keep his spot between the sticks at Newcastle?
I really do think It’s important to nail your goalkeeper at overhaul, you really don’t want to be wasting your transfers on rotating your keepers. That said, it’s amongst the goalkeepers where you’ll often find the best points per million value. Here are my top four keepers to consider at overhaul.
As discussed earlier in the article, Martinez is already standing out as the best value keeper in the early stages of the season. In the opening 3 matches, he is the highest-scoring goalkeeper with 27 points and points per million ratio of 4.29. Villa have managed two clean sheets in their opening three games, and I back them to get many more through the campaign. Emi Martinez, Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa provide a solid defensive unit, and with hard-working Matt Targett and Matty Cash either side of them, I really do think that it’s an impressive setup at Villa.
Next 8 fixtures: LEI (a), LEE (h), SOU (h), ARS (a), BHA (h), WHU (a), NEW (h), WOL (a)
Currently on 22 points (3rd highest), I think Patricio offers some smart value for Sky Managers. At overhaul, he was owned by 12.23% of the game, these managers were rewarded with 9 points from Patricio against Fulham in GW4. Two clean sheets against Fulham and Sheffield United but seven goals conceded against Man City and West Ham, it’s been a little up and down for the Wolves defence so far this season, but they are well set up and will undoubtedly have plenty more clean sheets as the season progresses. Interestingly, Patricio ended the 2019/20 season as Wolves’ second-highest points scorer behind only Raul Jimenez. So if you are looking for Wolves coverage and don’t want to use a striker spot, then maybe Patricio is your man.
Next 8 fixtures: LEE (a), NEW (h), CRY (h), LEI (a), SOU (h), ARS (a), LIV (a), AVL (h)
No doubt a lot of people will be double taking at Guaita being in my top 4 spots. However, he was Crystal Palace’s top scorer last season and, truth be told, has got off to a pretty good start already this year with 21 points from the opening four games. The one thing you can almost guarantee at Palace is that they’ll be set up well in defence making it hard to break them down — last season they managed 10 clean sheets. With Palace making it difficult for teams to pass through them, they will often invite players to take a dip from distance, this can often result in Guaita cleaning up on save tiers. Upcoming fixtures look good for those who are looking for a slightly more differential keeper between the sticks.
Next 8 fixtures: BHA (h), FUL (a), WOL (a), LEE (h), BUR (a), NEW (h), WBA (a), TOT (h)
Expensive in comparison to the others, yes, but what Ederson brings to the table is almost guaranteed Man City coverage. We all know about Pep roulette, having to try and guess who’ll line up for City every week, but the one name that is always on the team sheet — Ederson. The 5 points from the opening three games for City is hardly eye-catching, but I’m sure that once City get in to their stride and new signings Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias settle in to the defence, things will calm down again. Following the restart last season Man City kept 7 clean sheets from the 10 remaining games, if they can find this sort of defensive form again, Ederson could be worth every penny of the £7.9m.
Next 8 fixtures: ARS (h), WHU (a), SHU (a), LIV (h), TOT (a), BUR (h), FUL (h), MUN (a)
Note: Right now Karl Darlow is worth every penny of £6.3m, but with Dubravka’s return imminent, I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. Should Dubravka return to the starting eleven at Newcastle, moving Darlow to another keeper won’t be easy with him being so cheap. This might result in two transfers needing to be used. Avoid
If you enjoyed this article or found it at all useful towards your SkyFF overhaul planning, do keep an eye out for the defender’s article that will be dropping very soon. Thanks for reading!
Cardiff City fan with a soft spot for Manchester United! An FPL enthusiast with 4x top 100k in the last 4 seasons including 5k in 20/21. Also playing SkyFF, FanTeamMillion and GAFFR. You can find me on Twitter if you have any questions! Would love to hear from you! - @CORF_FPL