Stats Summary: Expected Goals and Projections Week 9

If you listen to the MLSFI podcast, you’ve probably heard us talk about expected goals (xG). Basically, they’re a way to estimate the quality of chances a team creates and concedes in a game. The higher the probability of a shot being a goal, the higher the xG number awarded to it. You can get xG for teams, individual players, and also for each game over at American Soccer Analysis.

What I did is take the average xG for and against for each team both home and away. I then averaged those numbers with their opponent to come up with the below table of expected goals scored and conceded. This should be used more as a ranking of teams rather than an actual estimate of goals scored. These rankings won’t be great for another couple weeks as some teams have just two games played either at home or away.

Atlanta United1.521.21
DC United1.211.52
FC Dallas1.251.23
Kansas City1.221.06
L.A. Galaxy1.691.48
Minnesota United1.291
New England0.81.17
New York1.50.81
New York City FC0.931.81
orlando city1.491.37
Salt Lake1.061.22
San Jose11.29

Attacker Options

Columbus is the team projected as the most likely to score this week. I think Justin Meram is a must own player this week and we should consider Ola Kamara as well. Montreal surprised me as they grabbed second for goals scored. Piatti is the clear choice there but I think Montreal’s projected success is largely due to small sample size for a Vancouver defense who has had red cards and rotation due to CCL. LA, Atlanta, and NYRB round out the top five and all have great midfielder options in Alessandrini, Almiron, and Kljestan.

Defender Options

Seattle is projected as the best defensive bet this week. With a bunch of question marks about availability across the backline, Joevin Jones looks to be the pick. NYRB are a close second and Long is one of our favorite fantasy defenders this year. Columbus, Toronto, and Minnesota round out the top 5. Zavaleta is about the only pick from those teams I’d take.

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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