Finding Value at Defense

Finding Value at Defense

This is part 3 of 3 in the “Finding Value” series where I look at finding pieces for the right combination of players to maximize your points while navigating the budget constraints. Today we’re looking for value at defense. Here’s a look back at the midfielders. Here’s a look back at the forwards.

I ran a regression that looked to see what PP90 a player with a given price is expected to get (e.g a player priced at 10.0 should get about 6.31 PP90). The column labeled “PP90 above predicted” is the important one for these purposes. The larger the number, the more undervalued the player is and anything less than zero indicates the player is priced too high.

If a cell is highlighted in green, it is within the top 25% for all players across all three positions for that category. Players that are highlighted for each of the three categories are the ones that should draw our attention the most as they not only produce well, but they outperform what should be expected at their pricing too.

Defender Analysis

Let’s get this out of the way: KNOW YOUR STARTERS. In the defense especially, there’s a lot of guys near the top of this list that are not starters – Opara, Ellis, Kah, Opara, Harris (possibly), Scott, Gehrig. Avoid them until they are shown to be the first choice.

That said, there really isn’t a ton of value to be found among the backlines. The top tier defenders didn’t rise to the top like we saw with the other positions and is why I strongly advise against getting anyone priced over 7.5m.

The best value play that is a locked in starter is Goodson. His teammate, Francis, comes in not too far behind and is probably the safest budget option at defense. Perrinelle is injured. Fabinho and Cabrera’s schedules aren’t great. I was surprised by how high Olave’s PP90 was last year, but I don’t like RSL to start the season. Loyd seems to be moved out of the middle and will surely suffer a production decrease.

I’m going to break the mold and recommend guys that aren’t on this list at all – Vincent and Harrington from Chicago are cheap and Parker from Vancouver is good value if he’s the starter.

Conclusion:

The value at defense is kind of a crapshoot. Get one of Goodson or Francis for sure. Anything beyond that is kind of a shoulder shrug at this point.

defenders

 

About Andrew Crollard

Andrew has worked as both an economist/data analyst and as a university and youth soccer coach. Naturally, marrying soccer and data together is a perfect fit.

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