Why Goalkeepers are so important in FanDuel

Our 12-week winning run on FanDuel came to an abrupt end last night thanks mostly to the fact Costa didn’t have his attacking partner Hazard to feed off, and Dembele not playing for Spurs does in fact mean Harry Kane WILL NOT SCORE. Had we been brave enough to defy the 85% of players that chose Kane (because the stats told us so) we probably would have been more successful.

However, from starting with just £25 13 weeks ago, we’ve nearly hit our first milestone of £1,000 profit. We aren’t yet at “quit your day job” territory but we are working on it.

As it is, we’ve found ourselves reflecting on what has kept us continuously in the points and in the money since the start of the season and what we can do to take it up a notch and keep it going – as well as what key tips we could share with our loyal fans to help them do the same?

Of course there are obvious things like having strikers most likely to score because they are playing Palace and Hull who just can’t defend. Or cheap centrebacks drafted in because Moyes wants to play a back 11 at home to a relegation rival so they spend 90 minutes defending and get 28 clearances.

Interestingly however, what we didn’t first think of until now was our goalkeeper.

Picking the best goalkeeper each week

Our first opinion of goalkeepers was to simply go for the cheapest and be happy with that. They rarely score over 20 points anyway so why waste money on them? As the weeks went on we started to change our mind a little after the likes of Heaton and Fabianski defied the odds and started scoring 30+ weeks.

We then started to put our focus on those keepers likely to keep a clean sheet, assuming the elusive 10 points was the key to success. Again this backfired as Courtois and Forster (9 and 7 clean sheets respectively this season) have one of the lowest average totals in the game, are amongst the lowest for saves made of any keeper, and between them have only scored over 20+ points once this season

So we went back to the drawing board to understand what it was that made for a good FanDuel goalkeeper pick and found this…

Average saves per game!

Average SPG (saves per game) is most definitely the key metric to look at when choosing your keeper!

Heaton, Pickford and Schmeichel all rank highest for average SPG, with 5, 4.5, 4.4 respectfully. It’s no surprise then that these three keepers are also the highest average points scorers so far this season. They’ve also scored 20+ points on 10 occasions between them so far.

In contrast, the likes of Zieler and Courtois, who have never scored over 20 points in a gameweek before, only average 2 saves or less per game. Even with Courtois’s 9 clean sheets to Heaton’s 3, Heaton has scored 53 more points than him this season having played two games less.

3 points for a save at 5 saves per game is more beneficial than the clean sheet.

The trick then is finding those keepers that are still cheap but likely to make most saves that week – basically, ignore clean sheet potential at first.

Once you’ve whittled it down to 2 or 3 that might fit the criteria it’s then about who is in best form, who are they playing and what are their opponents attacking abilities like? Are they at home or away? (Pickford has scored 20 points or more in 4 away games already this season and Heaton’s best performances came at old Trafford and St Mary’s – so check each individually) You should then find it easy to pick the most effective keeper for that week.

The fact is, you need to average 22 points per player in your team each week to finish in the money in the main contests. (You need to average 32 to win them). A goalkeeper that scores 10 vs 20 points is often the difference between placing and not.

Top 10 Performing Keepers

Keep an eye out for our TOP PICKS and CHEAP DIFFERENTIAL articles for GW17 where we will highlight those keepers and players with the best potential this week.

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