Next in our new ‘player value’ series, we explore if FPL managers might be missing a trick with Alexandre Lacazette
One eye on the past – based on the long-term, he only returned an average of 2.3pts per game (goals, assists & bonus points) – which is some way short of where we’d need him to be versus our value for money target of 3.3 points per game (5.3 including appearance points).
In contrast to Aubameyang (click for review), who was 4.3pts per game (goals, assists & bonus points) over the same period.
However, just as we deemed, Aubameyang might be considered to be closer to 6pts per game due to missing games, we need to make the same adjustment for Lacazette – and here is where things get very interesting – because over the long-term he missed 40% of fixtures due to injury and didn’t start a further 20% due to being rested for Arsenal’s Europa League campaign – so we could double his historical returns, to 4.6pts a game, for a reasonable estimate as to his potential.
More so, the discerning FPL manager will recall a Lacazette who lacked confidence in front of goal, until Aubameyang handed penalty duties to him in one game, he scored the penalty and his form was transformed. So even his adjusted potential might be a little light – in the sense that he wasn’t firing on all cylinders during the whole of our long-term assessment.
One eye on the future* – our algorithms are predicting that Arsenal might struggle to score much in their first two opening fixtures, but in GW3 vs West Ham, they’re expected to hit 3/4; in GW4 they play Cardiff with a predicted 2 goals (they are new to the Premier League, so you might feel there is more potential here than our algorithms are predicting).
*note that goals forecasts might have changed slightly versus previous reviews because of enhancements to our algorithms.
Looking at Lacazette’s stats versus similar opposition, he has a big-chance and goal involvement of 0.5 to 0.6 per game – which is about one third lighter than Aubamayang, but is perhaps a little too light compared to what he is capable of, based on the same games-missed and improved-form logic as above.
What to do? – Lacazette looks like he can exceed our value for money target – so in isolation, he is worthy of a place in our teams. Aubameyang will most probably outscore him though, so if you only want one of them, you need to make a judgement call as to whether you want to spend an additional £1.5M for Aubameyang’s likely higher returns, or put that money into other players who might make up the difference in points.
Based on the data, we don’t feel managers are missing a trick. Out of the two options, both look like they can provide good value for money however, we still feel that Aubameyang will score more points at a more reliable rate, making him a good captaincy candidate, and will ultimately reign supreme over Lacazette.
FPL Tip: Coverage is a controversial concept in FPL. Some people will look to ‘cover’ a team’s point scoring potential because of a good run by bringing in a player from that team, even if the player himself isn’t actually that great an FPL asset or isn’t even nailed-on. You need to look at each players’ potential in isolation.
For example, Man City have a wonderful set of opening fixtures and people have quite rightly identified this, but are bringing in Man City players for the sake of ‘covering’ their fixtures and point scoring potential, but what good is having a player from City, if you aren’t sure he’s even going to start? Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend the money on a player you’re more assured will start?
In this context, people are scared of missing out on the FPL points City can give, given that we know they can rip teams apart, but by obsessing over City cover, you blind yourself to the other players who might have better potential.