FPL

2 weeks ago

The Value In Promoted Players - Goalkeepers

 

With a new Premier League season just days away, FPL managers are undoubtedly trying to squeeze out every single drop of their 100.0 transfer budget and because of this, the hunt for value becomes rather frantic.

As like every other season that has gone before it, the teams that have gained promotion from the EFL Championship could potentially offer the ability to either find a diamond in the rough or at the very least, an enabler for bigger recruitment elsewhere.

With that in mind, we are going to carry out some analysis on how promoted players have fared in the five previous seasons of the FPL and take a look at just how much value they can provide at the start or during any fantasy campaign.

 

Goalkeepers

To get things started, we are going to look at how goalkeepers have fared, if only because the teams who have been promoted offer an interesting proposition, and although they may be slightly less in quality, the ability to earn points is potentially greater.

If we use the theory that promoted teams have less ability in terms of defence, we can suggest that the goalkeepers behind them could be kept a lot busier throughout ninety minutes, and with that, they could rack up additional points through multiple saves.

Therefore, we are going to take a sample of the last five seasons to see how promoted goalkeepers have fared and whether there is a trend that suggests these are one of the better choices in terms of shots stopping personnel.

Looking at last season, there was certainly value in terms of opting for a promoted choice and with Dean Henderson picking up 160 points for his efforts, the then Sheffield United ‘keeper was the second overall highest scorer in this position.

 

Historical data

But was this the exception rather than the rule? Let’s take a deeper dive at the five highest-scoring promoted goalkeepers (one person from 2016 to 2020)

Player

Club

Points

Season

Overall

Gomes

WAT

157

2016

2

Heaton

BUR

149

2017

1

Ryan

BHA

146

2018

5

Etheridge

CAR

154

2019

4

Henderson

SHU

160

2020

2

On the evidence of the highest scoring (per promoted goalkeeper per season) sample above, we can see there is some form of positive trend when it comes to selecting goalkeepers from clubs who have played in the second tier the season before.

Of course, you still need to select the correct goalkeeper to gain benefit from such a concept and it must be noted that not all the potential options will provide success. However, looking at the quintet above, we can gleam these insights.

The average ranking for the best performing goalkeeper is: 2.8
The average points tally for the best performing goalkeeper is: 153

Therefore, we now know that should you select the right goalkeeper of the three or four options that are available each season (depending on whether the trio of clubs have competition for places in this position or not), you should be rewarded rather handsomely.

 

Team or Individual Performance

With that said, we must ask the question as to why the selection of goalkeepers of this kind does reap a sizeable reward. Is it due to good overall performance from the team as a whole or is it more down to just keeping busy?

The answer is something of a mixed bag and of the five goalkeepers in our sample, only one of them found themselves sent back down to the EFL Championship, with the unfortunate member of this elite club being Neil Etheridge.

If a club such as Cardiff has been relegated, it makes one wonder just why Etheridge claimed so many points for himself. While the answer is two-pronged and does not involve just being kept busy at the back.

It also accounts for an incredible three penalty saves during the 18/19 season and although the Philippines international will have gained personal acclaim for such heroics, he himself could not stop the South Wales outfit from relegation.

More often than not, the accumulation of goalkeeper points comes down to being kept busy through saves, and when you look at the four league places that each of the non-relegated clubs finished in their respective league tables, it paints more of this picture:

2015/16 – Watford 13th – 50 Goals Against
2016/17 – Burnley 17th – 55 Goals Against
2017/18 – Brighton 15th – 54 Goals Against
2019/20 – Sheff Utd 9th – 39 Goals Against

 

Conclusion

With that said, there is one obvious outlier in all of this and that is the performance of Dean Henderson at Bramall Lane last season, especially when you consider just how few average goals the Blades conceded in the previous campaign.

At just an average of 1.02 goals against, the propensity for clean sheet points would have been high, and that is why Henderson can be considered to be a ‘keeper who was not just bailing out a leaky back four/five but was actually part of an overall impressive unit in defence.

In conclusion, there is certainly value in opting for a promoted goalkeeper and this means the likes of Fulham’s Marek Rodak, West Brom’s David Button or Leeds’ Kiko Casilla should be in your last-minute considerations. Now the trick is to pick the right option of the three and pick up the bundle of points that should hopefully come with it.

Dan the Stat Man
Author

Dan the Stat Man

Armed with experience as a data analyst, Dan has become a successful writer during the past few years, combining his loves of football and statistics.