Found September 15, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
This season of Fantasy Premier League has caused many owners to pull their hair out.  Or maybe you throw the remote at the TV.  And for the truly reckless, maybe you checked your fantasy score on your phone and broke it against the wall in disgust.  It’s been a long time since many ‘experienced’ players fell so often to players who simply hit Auto-Complete when building their rosters.  In any case, this season has been anything but predictable. And the root of the problem in choosing good lineups goes deeper than the new Bonus Point System.  Simply put, EPL clubs aren’t scoring at the rate they have been in years past.    It remains to be seen whether the teams pick up their pace or not, but for fantasy players – and simply fans of the league – it’s been frustrating trying to catch a game with explosive goal scoring.  I’ve analyzed the first three weeks of this season and put them up against the first three weeks of the past two seasons, and the contrast is as stark as it appears on TV.  I’ve listed the data below for total goals scored by week along with the number of clean sheets by all clubs combined: 2011/2012 Season Week 1 – 18 total goals / 8 clean sheets Week 2 – 23 total goals / 7 clean sheets Week 3 – 31 total goals / 7 clean sheets 2012/2013 Season Week 1 – 33 total goals / 8 clean sheets Week 2 – 24 total goals / 5 clean sheets Week 3 – 28 total goals / 3 clean sheets 2013/2014 Season Week 1 – 25 total goals / 7 clean sheets Week 2 – 17 total goals / 9 clean sheets Week 3 – 13 total goals / 9 clean sheets   The differences speak for themselves.  When tallied, the 11/12 season saw 72 goals in the first three weeks with 22 clean sheets.  The 12/13 season produced 85 goals and 16 clean sheets.  And finally, the 13/14 season totals to just 55 goals and 25 clean sheets. There has been a significant drop in offensive production – and you can’t blame your fantasy score on the BPS anymore.  The facts are the facts.  And at the time of writing this article, Week 4 isn’t shaping up to be much better (Week 4 wasn’t included because Liverpool is still set to play Swansea).  Even though it’s not part of the sample data, Gameweek 4  has already given us just 16 goals with 7 clean sheets – again, well below the marks of the fourth week of play from years prior. So when looking at your fantasy lineup, you have to make a choice.  Do you feel that this is an aberration that will correct itself?  Or do you simply accept that offenses aren’t scoring against new defensive schemes?  However you decide, take this data into account.  Strikers and midfielders are typically priced much higher than defenders and goal keepers, often by double, but the major point netters this year are coming off of the cheaper back lines. Currently, there are only two strikers that have produced more than 24 points on the year (Olivier Giroud and Christian Benteke).  But for that same amount of production, there are 2 goal keepers, 10 defenders and 3 midfielders that you could have on your team.  And the average price of the defenders that have produced 24 points in that time frame?  $5.9M. It’s a delicate course to navigate, so choose wisely.  Coming out of the week when many people used a wildcard, the higher scores of the week almost all have an ‘elite’ defense.  Nobody knows how the rest of the year will pan out, but if you’re trying to win week to week, you need to start putting out a squad that best reflects the reality of the EPL as it is now.
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