In this new weekly series, @connect_nate will compare exciting players and project how they will perform over the coming gameweeks. Here, ahead of Gameweek 3, he previews Bamford, Calvert-Lewin and Jimenez over GWs3-7.
Bamford vs. DCL vs. Jimenez GWs3-7
In preparation for this article, I asked the Twitter FPL community to make requests about the decisions they’re struggling with most…
In a change of form, for the first time this season, the Twitter community’s attention has shifted to the forwards – probably as a result of DCL and Antonio’s excellent starts, Chelsea’s capture of Lukaku and the fixture swing which sees Ings facing harder opponents and Jimenez looking at kinder ones.
After considering the numbers and your comments, I’ve decided to include a 3rd player this week, because Bamford’s numbers were hard to separate from DCL and Jimenez.
While the focus of this article will be between Bamford, DCL and Jimenez, it’s important to start with the wider context of how the trio compare to their fellow forwards. Two GWs give insufficient data so we will turn to last season…
How Bamford, DCL and Jimenez Compare to Rivals (2020/21 Season)
*Jimenez’s stats are actually taken from the 2019/20 season as I consider it a better indicator than last season’s injury-ravaged campaign.
The table demonstrates the sheer quality of the options in the £7.5-£8m range. The underlying numbers for all of these players are excellent with the possible exception of Ings, whose numbers did drop last season despite the excellent output he still managed to achieve through out-performing his xG.
Given that fellow Villa forward, Watkins struggled for xG last season, there is little reason to think Ings will see a massive uplift in xG this season, especially as his fixtures turn darker from GW4.
Of the forwards, only Wilson was less involved than DCL. Antonio and Jimenez love touches in the box with 5.76 and 5.69 per 90 respectively. Jimenez also top-scores for shots per 90 with 3.27, just edging Bamford’s 3.15 per 90. Despite his lack of involvement though, DCL posts excellent chances – his 1.44 shots on target ranks highest of these forwards, and even more impressively, he averaged 0.97 Big Chances per 90, which far exceeds Jimenez’s 0.61.
Unlike DCL, Antonio, Bamford and Wilson had strong creativity numbers, but none were more creative than Jimenez who made 1.33 Key Passes per 90, created 0.36 Big Chances per 90 and set up a remarkable 0.19 xA per 90. This creativity gives Jimenez a clear edge over DCL.
Overall, there is plenty to suggest that trading in Ings might be favourable with Antonio, Jimenez and Bamford looking like the best options.
Bamford, DCL and Jimenez – Last Two GWs – Per 90
Although two GWs is a ridiculously small amount of data, it does give an interesting indication of early trends developing. An example of this is Bamford, who continues his struggles in front of goal from the second half of last season. His xG per 90 of 0.24 and pitiful 2.16 shots per 90 are worrying numbers.
Given the context of Bamford’s difficult early fixtures though, I’d take this with a pinch of salt. Bar GW4 against Liverpool, Bamford’s fixtures are about to become very favourable and I expect they’ll come with a big gain in underlying goal threat.
An area that Bamford does excel in is creativity, where he has recorded 0.54 Big Chances Created per 90 and 0.2 xA per 90 even though his Key Passes per 90 (1.08) are much less frequent than Jimenez’s (3.5). This hints at Bamford’s potential to get FPL points even in tough games where he is taken away from shooting opportunities.
Despite being highly involved with 8 Touches in the Box per 90, 4 Shots per 90 and 3 Shots in the Box per 90, Jimenez has had 0 Big Chances per 90 and a turgid xG 90 of 0.2. Like Bamford, Jimenez has had a fairly difficult start to the season, which will continue into GW3 when he faces Man United. Also like Bamford, this has meant Jimenez hasn’t been on the receiving end of a lot of his team’s best chances.
Meanwhile, DCL leads the goal threat by some margin. A lot of the concern from last season of DCL being uninvolved have been dispelled so far this season with DCL recording 6.54 Touches in the Box per 90 (compared to 4.7 last season).
He is top for Shots per 90 with 4.53 (compared to 2.6 last season), Shots on Target (3.02 vs last season’s 1.44), Big Chances per 90 – a staggering 1.51 – and xG per 90, which sits at 1.04. These numbers are the premium kind that you might see in a Kane or Vardy purple patch.
Maybe, it could be argued that DCL has benefited from kind fixtures just as the other two have suffered from harder ones. Nonetheless, the early suggestions are there that Benitez may be even better for DCL than Ancelotti.
Bamford, DCL and Jimenez xMins
*Again, I’ve chosen to show Jimenez’s data from 2019/20 rather than 2020/21 as I feel it’s a closer reflection of what to expect going forward.
Unlike previous weeks for this article, this time round we have three very nailed players to speculate about for xMins.
DCL started every game he was available last season and averaged 87 minutes per start. He has continued in the same vein this season so my xMins calculation puts him at 97%. Like DCL, my projection has Jimenez to start every game he’s available, earning him a total xMins of 97%**.
Bamford on the other hand is prone to an early sub, which is reflected in his 81 minutes per start. With Rodrigo finding his way into the starting XI alongside Bamford this season, it’s possible Bamford will see less rotation. However, the risk remains and his xMins comes out at 90%.
**A major caveat to these xMins projections is that Jimenez could be called up to Mexico’s World Cup Qualifiers during the International Break. If Wolves release him and he plays in Mexico’s 3rd game in the early hours of Thursday 9th, he may not feature 61 hours later in GW4. In that scenario, Jimenez’ minutes would lose a whole 90 to DCL and Bamford.
Fixtures – GWs3-7
Apart from their difficult home game vs Liverpool, Leeds have an excellent run, particularly with three of the games at home.
Everton’s run is decidedly trickier with away games to Brighton, Villa and Man United, all of the whom are likely to be very difficult to score past.
Wolves have the kindest run on paper with 3 home games and from GW4, they play two promoted teams and two of last season’s bottom 10.
Projections for GWs3-7
Finally, we move to the crunch of the matter – using historic career numbers weighted with the most recent run of games, below are my point projections for Bamford, DCL and Jimenez over the next 5 GWs.
The first thing that strikes me is how strongly each player comes out. Bamford and DCL are projected to average almost 5 points a game, while Jimenez is projected just under 5.5 points a game! Jimenez’s creativity, his career numbers (particularly his historic conversion rates) and fixtures mean that he just pips the other two in my projections.
However, whether Jimenez can return to his previous best is still to be determined, and certainly if the projections were weighted more to recent form, DCL would have finished top of the list. As it is, 2 GWs is too small a sample size to give much weighting to, and it’ll be a few more GWs before recent form will have equal weighting to historic numbers.
(These projecting assume no injuries take place over the GW range.)
Although Jimenez tops the chart and his creativity means he has multiple routes to points, the World Cup Qualifiers give me reservations about recommending him. Should Jimenez play in Mexico’s 3rd qualifying game, Jimenez could easily miss GW4 altogether, dropping him to the worst option on the list. Luckily, Jimenez’s next game against United is his worst in this run so it is easy to wait until we have more information before pulling the trigger on him.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a transfer for GW3, my recommendation would be DCL. Although he runs it pretty close to Bamford, Calvert-Lewin’s blistering start to the season gives me hope that this season could be his best yet. Given his explosively purple recent numbers, he is the most likely player of the three to smash past his projections.
In addition to this, DCL does look like he may be on penalties for the upcoming season. After taking a penalty in GW2, he said the following:
“I spoke to the manager before the first game of the season, we had that conversation. He put me on the pens and thankfully I put one away against Leeds…”
Therefore, it does look as though DCL now has penalties on his side.
Finally, my thoughts on Bamford are that for all he tore up FPL last year, we need more evidence that his regression at the back end of last season hasn’t continued into this one.
Thank you for reading!
I hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from this article. Let me know what you think or any questions you have by commenting on Twitter, and don’t forget to like and share!
More to come
We have plenty more lined up throughout the season, including advice, team reveals and strategy guides so be sure to keep your eyes on the FPL Connect twitter page for all our latest releases.
We’ve also launched our ‘custom mini-league’ site, a huge innovation on the current mini-league format. To find out more, click here and become a member for FREE.
Fantasy Football Fix (65% OFF premium membership)
If you would like to take your analysis to the next level and get premium membership with Fantasy Football Fix, click on this link here to get 65% off premium membership and claim a free strategy guide (worth £10).