El Pistolero

El Pistolero – why his improving consistency could be the key to El Clásico

Super Sunday’s don’t come much bigger than this. Not only do we have Liverpool hosting Manchester United in a game that could prove pivotal in the race for those Champions League spots but there is also the small matter of El Clásico, a game that is likely to have dire consequences for the destination of this season’s La Liga title. Unsurprisingly most attention has been focused on how the BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo) are stacking up against the MSN as they have now been dubbed (Messi, Suarez and Neymar). Earlier this week Ben McAleer produced a really insightful article for whoscored which took a closer look at how these 3 forwards compare against each other.

What we would like to do here is to touch on two elements that will be of great benefit to fantasy football managers going forward – form and standard deviation. These will be discussed in more detail in later articles but for now we’ll provide a brief introduction. Form is self-explanatory and represents recent performances. Standard deviation is a useful tool because it gives us a great indicator of reliability. It’s a number that describes how far fantasy points differ from a mean (average points per game). Players with a high standard deviation can be erratic whereas those with a low one tend to be more consistent performers. Which type of player you go for may depend on the type of contest you are entering but more on that later.

In the table below we have used the Mondogoal Scoring criteria for the 6 aforementioned players:

This is just a taster for what is to come but it’s clear that the BBC are not performing anywhere near the level they showed early in the season. By contrast Messi and Suarez have both really upped their game of late, possibly as a result of that positional change that was referred to with Suarez playing more centrally and Messi to the right. Suarez, despite being more expensive, is closing the gap on Neymar, and with a much lower standard deviation seems a very reliable performer. He’s probably one for head to head or small field events where you’re looking for real consistency. Neymar on the other hand is clearly capable of some big scores but might be best suited to big-field tournament structures where you’re looking for a real spike from one or two of your players to give yourself the best chance of ‘cashing’. With such strong opposition it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if the majority of these players failed to produce this weekend but bear these facts and figures in mind for future events, particularly when they are playing ‘weaker’ teams.

Keep a close eye on our strategy page for future articles where we will discuss competition structures and the significance of standard deviation in more detail.

The Ginger Prince