2018 Round 1 Expected Points

If you enjoy a more statistics-oriented approach to selecting your team, with a point projection for each player every week, you’re in the right place! For each player in the table below, I’ve calculated expected goals & assists, shots, expected clean sheets and negative points from goals against, bonus points, and even points differentiated by position (e.g., defender gets 6 points per goal scored, forward gets 5).

Want to know more about how this model works? Click here to read the inaugural article in this series, along with an explanation of the model’s basic premise.  I’ve included a couple paragraphs below for those who are more interested in the math behind the additional calculations I’ve made to start off the new season.

TL;DR – I did some fancy things to incorporate new players and the LAFC team into the projections.

For the players new to MLS, I had to use another methodology to calculate their expected points because they have no MLS data on which we could base the calculations. So what I did was to basically take the collective knowledge of those who set the prices for the players on the Fantasy MLS website and run regressions which determine the typical average points by position and price (shout out to Erik Thulin for that idea!). Then I adjusted for whether they are playing home or away (building matchup-based statistics for the new players is much more difficult at this stage).  As with any methodology which uses less data to guess expected value, take the new players’ expected points with a grain of salt.

For those of you who were wondering how I could possibly provide projections for LAFC players, I ran a linear regression on the offensive and defensive ratings in FiveThirtyEight’s MLS projections versus the expected goals from American Soccer Analysis and extrapolated the xG values for LAFC from there.

And we’re back!  Let’s get down to business and take a look at this round’s expected points!

Round 1 Expected Player Points

FirstLastTeamPosPos xCSTotal xPt
ValeriQazaishviliSJM0.2810.1
ClintDempseySEAF0.008.3
DannyHoesenSJM0.288.3
RomainAlessandriniLAM0.188.0
SebastianGiovincoTORF0.007.9
SachaKljestanORLM0.287.8
YordyReynaVANM0.297.8
JahmirHykaSJM0.287.7
AlberthElisHOUF0.007.7
NicolasLodeiroSEAM0.287.5
DavidAccamPHIF0.007.4
RomellQuiotoHOUF0.007.1
YoshimarYotunORLM0.287.1
CristianColmanDALF0.007.0
CristianTecheraVANM0.297.0
JustinMeramORLM0.287.0
ChrisWondolowskiSJF0.006.9
JozyAltidoreTORF0.006.9
MauroManotasHOUF0.006.8
TommyThompsonSJM0.286.8
DominicDwyerORLF0.006.8
OlaKamaraLAF0.006.8
VictorVazquezTORM0.286.7
JoaoPlataRSLM0.156.7
DiegoRubioSKCF0.006.7
JosueColmanORLM0.286.6
MagnusErikssonSJM0.286.6
DiegoValeriPORM0.236.6
KendallWastonVAND1.096.6
KeiKamaraVANF0.006.5
GrahamZusiSKCD1.116.5
SheaSalinasSJD1.006.4
MichaelBarriosDALM0.246.3
TomasMartinezHOUM0.266.2
EzequielBarcoATLM0.156.2
MaximilianoUrrutiDALF0.006.2
Marcelde JongVAND1.096.1
C.J.SapongPHIF0.006.1
WillBruinSEAF0.006.1
MauroDiazDALM0.246.0
YohanCroizetSKCM0.306.0
SMosqueraDALM0.246.0
RolandLamahDALM0.246.0
CristianRoldanSEAM0.286.0
JavierMoralesDALM0.245.9
RomanTorresSEAD1.035.9
DavidGuzmanPORM0.235.9
SebastianSaucedoRSLM0.155.9
ArturoAlvarezHOUM0.265.9
LeeNguyenNEM0.205.9
Giovanidos SantosLAF0.005.8
RyanHollingsheadDALD0.755.8
JustinMorrowTORD1.005.7
JosefMartinezATLF0.005.7
VictorRodriguezSEAM0.285.7
FlorianJungwirthSJM0.285.6
DavidVillaNYCF0.005.6
JesusMedinaNYCM0.195.6
HarisMedunjaninPHIM0.215.6
FanendoAdiPORF0.005.6
AlbertRusnakRSLM0.155.5
NickLimaSJD1.005.5
TimParkerVAND1.095.5
MiguelAlmironATLM0.155.5
AlphonsoDaviesVAND1.095.5
TealBunburyNEM0.205.5
CarlosVelaLAFCF0.005.5
Total xPt = total expected points for this round, assuming the player plays 96 minutes in each game
Pos xCS = expected points from goals against team (expected clean sheet points + expected negative points from goals against)

Analysis

  • Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili is my number one player for this round by two full points, though he comes with the risk of not playing the full 90, and his 727 minutes from last year is a small sample size compared to many on this chart, so we would expect more uncertainty behind his numbers. On a related note, almost all of San Jose has a good matchup versus Minnesota United.
  • Watch for rotation risks for Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro, Mauro Diaz, Cristian Colman, and the rest of the Seattle and Dallas teams coming off the CONCACAF games this week.
  • David Accam ($10.0) is projected to start off strong with his new team. He’s expensive, but worth it.
  • Yoshimar Yotun was a star coming into Fantasy MLS as an out-of-position defender late last year, but this year he has a rash of new players on the team and a midfielder designation in Fantasy MLS. It will be intriguing to see if he can repeat his phenomenal numbers from last year.
  • Vancouver has a strong matchup at home versus Montreal. Look for players such as Techera ($8.5), Waston ($6.0), K. Kamara ($8.5), and de Jong ($5.0) to provide good value.

For more fantasy data and insights every round, follow @MLSFantasyStats on Twitter.

Source data behind the calculations come from American Soccer Analysis and MLS Fantasy Cheatsheet. LAFC matchup calculations were derived using FiveThirtyEight’s MLS projections.

Note: I purposefully don’t project penalties and own goals, since they are nearly impossible to predict due to their infrequency. Expected points from passes, yellow/red cards, fouls received, and saves should be in future models but either require additional data sources (which I don’t have time to tie in yet) or deeper analysis (which I don’t have time to perform yet).

About Ryan Anderson

Ryan started out in fantasy football in 2015 and decided to take his analytical abilities to the MLS world in 2017. He is the founder of MLS Fantasy Stats, producing the first and only analytics-based weekly player projections in MLS Fantasy community. He is pursuing a master's degree in business analytics, and he lives with his lovely wife in St. Anthony, MN.

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