Professor M's Numbers: Which Teams Give Up the Top Scores?

Jan Kruger

I am just full of numbers this week, and I thought I would share one set that I calculated.

I have always been curious if certain teams are more likely to give up good fantasy points than others. Now, this may seem obviously true, and we can look at the table to see who scores goals and who gives them up, but while goals are certainly part of YFF, they are not everything. I decided to investigate further.

Which Teams Give Up the Top YFF Performances?

What I did was take the top 20 performers from each of the last 10 gameweeks (GW13 to 22) and noted whether the player was home or away and who the opponent was. This gave me an admittedly small sample of 200 players, but for my initial evaluation purposes, I thought it would be fine. I then calculated which teams gave up the most top 20 performances both home and away. Here are the teams ranked from worst to best.

Team Away Home Total Total% GD
AST 9 7 16 8.00% -7
STO 11 5 16 8.00% -14
FUL 11 4 15 7.50% -26
NOR 8 6 14 7.00% -17
CAR 8 5 13 6.50% -21
WHU 6 7 13 6.50% -11
SWC 8 4 12 6.00% -6
HUL 6 5 11 5.50% -6
MAN 5 6 11 5.50% 9
NEW 6 5 11 5.50% 4
LIV 6 4 10 5.00% 25
WBA 5 5 10 5.00% -5
SHN 5 4 9 4.50% 4
SUN 2 7 9 4.50% -15
CRY 5 3 8 4.00% -17
MAC 3 3 6 3.00% 38
TOT 2 4 6 3.00% 3
CHE 3 2 5 2.50% 23
EVE 2 2 4 2.00% 15
ARS 1 0 1 0.50% 24
Totals 112 88 200 100.00%
56.00% 44.00%

The Comforts of Home

The first thing to note, and this should not surprise you, is that teams are much more likely to give up a top performance on the road (56%) than at home (44%). This difference appears significant, but it was perhaps not even quite as large a I might have expected. Players can put in a top 20 performance on the road, it is just easier when they are at home.

Goals are Not Everything

When we look at the individual teams, we can see that there are some expected, and some interesting, patterns.

Not surprisingly, the teams at the top of the points table tend to give up the fewest top 20 performances. Arsenal leads the way, having given up ONLY ONE such performance in the last 10 gameweeks. Close behind are Everton at 4, Chelsea at 5, and Spurs and Man City at 6.

Also not surprising is the presence of Stoke, Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff and West Ham toward the "bad" end of this table, giving up 13 to 16 of the 200 top performances.

There are a few surprises in the data, however. Aston Villa, despite having a not terrible -7 GD is tied for giving up the most top 20 performances over the last 10 weeks; and they seem to be almost as generous to others at home as they are on the road.

As more positive surprises, Sunderland and Crystal Palace, despite goal differences of -15 and -17 respectively, have only given up top 20 performances 9 and 8 times, as good or better than teams above them such as Southampton, Liverpool, Man United, and Newcastle.

Data always Limited

As with all data, especially with such a small sample, there are limits to what we can learn. I did not look at whether one or two bad weeks skew the data for any particular team, although by only choosing the top 20 each week I hope that I limited these kinds of effects. Still, this could be a problem.

I did not examine whether certain teams were worse at given up points to attackers or defenders. While this would be nice, I simply did not have time to do it.

I focus on the top 20, rather than the actual number of points a team gives up. Perhaps some teams often give up the 17th or 18th or 19th scorer over several weeks, but rarely the very top.

I am sure there are other limitations you could think of for the data, but remember, I am doing this for fun, you get it for free (no subscription required), and so I ask that you just roll with me here. When you start picking all those players going against Aston Villa, and begin rising up the Global Rankings or in your private league, you can, in the back of your mind, send a little good mojo in the direction of...

Prof. M

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