2018 Round 2 Expected Points

Back for more statistics-based projections? Happy to oblige!

Unfortunately, I did not have the resources to include 2018 Round 1 scores in the model, so we are still working with 2017 data, along with the assumptions I mentioned below regarding LAFC and all the players new to MLS.

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.

Enough talk! Let’s project!

Round 2 Expected Player Points

Assumes each player plays 96 minutes in a game 
FirstLastTeamPosPos xCSxPt (96 min)
JosefMartinezATLF0.009.3
DavidVillaNYCF0.008.9
JoaoPlataRSLM0.228.9
SachaKljestanORLM0.298.3
AlberthElisHOUF0.008.1
MiguelAlmironATLM0.307.8
JustinMeramORLM0.297.6
YoshimarYotunORLM0.297.6
SebastianSaucedoRSLM0.227.5
DominicDwyerORLF0.007.5
LeeNguyenNEM0.327.4
RomellQuiotoHOUF0.007.4
TealBunburyNEM0.327.3
EzequielBarcoATLM0.307.2
RodneyWallaceNYCM0.327.2
MauroManotasHOUF0.007.2
FedericoHiguainCLBM0.337.1
MaximilianoMoralezNYCM0.327.0
MichaelMurilloNYRBD0.596.9
AlbertRusnakRSLM0.226.8
HectorVillalbaATLF0.006.8
BradleyWright-PhillipsNYRBF0.006.7
DiegoFagundezNEM0.326.7
DanielRoyerNYRBM0.226.6
JosueColmanORLM0.296.6
JesusMedinaNYCM0.326.6
KakuNYRBM0.226.6
LalasAbubakarCLBD1.316.5
TomasMartinezHOUM0.276.4
JeffersonSavarinoRSLF0.006.4
FredericBrillantNYCD1.236.3
KelynRoweNEM0.326.3
YuraMovsisyanRSLF0.006.3
LuisSilvaRSLM0.226.3
LeandroGonzalez PirezATLD1.136.2
JuanAgudeloNEF0.006.1
MaximeChanotNYCD1.236.1
ArturoAlvarezHOUM0.276.1
NemanjaNikolicCHIF0.006.1
DiegoValeriPORM0.156.0
JonathanMensahCLBD1.316.0
AKataiCHIM0.236.0
AntonioMlinar DelameaNED1.256.0
YangelHerreraNYCM0.325.9
AlexCrognaleCLBD1.315.8
GregGarzaATLD1.135.8
NikoHansenCLBM0.335.8
JackHarrisonNYCM0.325.8
RomainAlessandriniLAM0.135.7
JulianGresselATLM0.305.7
CarlosRivasNYRBM0.225.7
BennyFeilhaberLAFCM0.155.6
GrahamZusiSKCD0.835.6
BenjaminAngouaNED1.255.6
AndrewWengerHOUM0.275.6
PedroSantosCLBM0.335.6
DavidGuzmanPORM0.155.6
BenSweatNYCD1.235.5
CarlosVelaLAFCF0.005.5
KemarLawrenceNYRBD0.595.4
SebHinesORLD1.075.4
BoniekGarciaHOUM0.275.4
OriolRosellORLM0.295.4
MarcRzatkowksiNYRBM0.225.4
GilesBarnesORLF0.005.3
YordyReynaVANM0.135.3
DiegoRubioSKCF0.005.3
AlexMuylNYRBM0.225.2
AdolfoMachadoHOUD0.935.2
AaronLongNYRBD0.595.2
WillJohnsonORLM0.295.2
JoseAjaORLD1.075.2
KyleBeckermanRSLM0.225.1
AurelienCollinNYRBD0.595.1
AlexanderRingNYCM0.325.1
CristianHiguitaORLM0.295.1
FanendoAdiPORF0.005.1
JustenGladRSLD0.605.0
YohanCroizetSKCM0.265.0
JVargasMTLM0.155.0
ScottSutterORLD1.075.0
JonathanSpectorORLD1.075.0
AndrewFarrellNED1.255.0
xPt (96 min) = 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

  • Josef Martinez, David Villa, and Joao Plata dominate the rest of the field. Although Martinez’s xG numbers from last year are hardly sustainable, I believe he is still an excellent pick-up for this week.
  • Teal Bunbury is an excellent value at $6.5. Last season, his total stats suggested he was expected to score a goal once around every other game if he played the full time, and he’s continued his ways this season starting off with a 0.4 xG outing versus Philadelphia.
  • Hard to go against the Orlando offense this week with their matchup against Minnesota. Though it really is a shame both Kjlestan and Dwyer are both out for the game.

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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