PP90 Revisited

Now then FFUK-ers, I was looking at the FPL stats last night and ended up deciding to write a brief follow-up article to my pre-season PP90 article, as I know you all love stats (well, at least a couple of you do).  As a quick reminder, PP90 is ‘total points’ divided by ‘minutes played’, multiplied by 90.  It kind of sounds like ‘points per match’, but does spit out slightly different results.

Take Leroy Sané for example – the top scoring player in FPL so far.  He’s scored 7.1 points per match (71 points ÷ 10 matches), but his PP90 comes out at 10.9 due to the fact that he’s played less than 90 minutes on several (six to be precise) of the times he’s made an appearance this season.

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To be totally honest, most of the time I think you might as well just look at the points per match figures and save the effort of calculating PP90.  But sometimes PP90 can expose the odd potential diamond – for example someone that regularly comes off the bench and performs well, and thus might be in line for more regular starts in the near future.  After all, if you can spot that cheeky differential before he explodes and everyone else jumps on the bandwagon you’ll gain a vital advantage.

First, a quick reminder of the top ten highest scoring players so far:

JDS1

It’s no surprise that the list includes several Man City and Spurs attacking players and several Man United defensive assets. Plus Lukaku and Salah (my transfer this week) have been consistently strong.

However, when you look at points per match the list looks a little different:

JDS2

Despite playing three less games than Sané, Agüero has only scored 12 less points, thus giving him a better points per match return and indeed the best points per match return in the league. Pogba was scoring almost eight points per match before his injury, so he’s definitely one to keep an eye on when he’s fit again. Okaka is perhaps the rogue player on this list as he’s only played one game, but the others are all pretty well up the ‘total points’ list and won’t come as surprises.

Let’s now look at PP90 to see if it throws up anything interesting…

(Note that I’ve excluded anyone that’s played less than 200 minutes this season to avoid oddities like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who’s scored one point from one minute and thus has a PP90 of 90.00)

JDS3

Low and behold, Anthony Martial comes out on top in terms of PP90 – I don’t reckon he’d have been in my first two dozen guesses.  He’s scored 39 points in nine league appearances (a pretty average 4.3 points per match) but has only started three of those matches and he averages only 30 minutes per appearance – hardly tempting from an FPL perspective.

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Digging a bit deeper though, two of those three starts have come in United’s last three league games, plus he started in Europe this week against Benfica, and against Swansea in the Carabao Cup last week.  All-in-all that means he’s started four of United’s last six games in all comps.  He’s also taken two penalties this season (scored one, missed one) so that’s another factor to consider.

I imagine that jumping on the Martial bandwagon right now might not appeal to many of you, but if he does start nailing down regular starts in the league then the PP90 data suggests he’s definitely one to watch.

While I was messing around with PP90 I thought I’d develop it a bit to give it a ‘value’ aspect (I just divided PP90 by the player’s current price).  Below are the results:

JDS4

If Fellaini gets fit before Pogba and claims his starting berth back from Herrera then he looks great value, at least until Pogba returns.

The other player that stands out on this list for me is Demarai Gray.  He’s scored a paltry 23 points in nine league appearances (a disappointing 2.6 points per match).  However, he comes out 14th on the PP90 list, and he started and scored against Everton last weekend – the first match under the stewardship of new Manager Claude Puel.  At only £5.3m he could represent excellent value if he goes on to nail down a regular start, especially when Leicester’s fixtures take an upturn (nice little run from GW15).

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So, in summary, if you’re someone that likes a differential (Reidy?!), I reckon you could do worse than a data-led punt on Martial or Gray (ownerships of 2.4% and 0.7%, respectively).

Jamie Stewart (JDS)

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