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Euro 2020 Quarterfinal Fantasy Player Picks: Price is No Object

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xG- and xA-based player picks for the upcoming quarterfinals, covering both wildcard and no-chip strategies

Harry Kane - England - UEFA Euro 2020 Photo by Shaun Botterill - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

What a thrilling week of football that was! The Euros Round of 16 fully lived up to its hype. Shocks, late comebacks, last-minute winners, and nail-biting penalties were the theme of the round. With the quarterfinals up next, It’s that time of the week again — Here are some fantasy player picks for the quarterfinals.


Chip strategy

Managers will now find themselves in two common situations depending on the previous decisions made,

1) No Chips

If both your wildcard and limitless chips have been played, no further chips will be available for the rest of the tournament. If your fantasy team has many eliminated players, your three free transfers may not even provide a full starting eleven, never mind your bench. You may need to spend on a 4-point hit, and your bench may be completely dead.

But fear not, it is not necessary to replace all the eliminated players. The free transfer cap increases to five in the semifinals, which will give a bit more breathing space. The logical approach would be to sort your live players and then costliest eliminated players into your starting-XI, and then replace the dead.

If doing just that much means replacing more than three, then take the hit(s). Taking a hit to build a bench is a subject of much debate, but if you have a completely dead bench, then it might be worth a 4-point hit to create your first outfield alternative. To know more about point hits, check out the fantasy tips and tricks article.

The good news is that because of several upsets in the Round of 16, most of your replacements will cost less than most of your crashed-out stars, so budget may not be a constraint on your planning.

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2) Wildcard

Managers with wildcard in pocket have a much easier task, especially since all of the super-premium priced players have crashed out or been injured (CR7, Mbappe, Benzema, Griezman, Lewandowski, KDB, Eriksen etc etc), leaving ample budget for high-performing players.

But you still must choose with an eye toward the semis and final. As always, pick keepers that play on different calendar days. More subtle, pick keepers who could play on different days in the semifinals too. The table below shows the potential semifinal scheduling:

Potential match ups for the semi finals

Match number Calendar day Team1 vs Team2
Match number Calendar day Team1 vs Team2
1.00 1.00 Belgium or Italy vs Switzerland or Spain
2.00 2.00 Ukraine or England vs Czech Republic or Denmark

What this means is that we should pick one from box 1 and one from box 2 (e.g. Donnarumma and Pickford).

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Managers using the wildcard in the quarterfinals will be able to select differential diamonds while fantasy players with no chips will be happy just to field a playing eleven. The value of the wildcard will decrease if used in the next round as the free transfer cap will be increased to 5, and you shouldn’t need much more if you distribute your picks well.


Player Picks

All stats presented in this piece have been sourced from theanalyst.com and have been converted to per-90. For more details, head over to theanalyst.com- player stats table.

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Glossary

* - Players who have played under 70% of the total minutes.

npG -Nonpenalty goals

A - Assists

npxG - Non penalty expected goals. In simple terms, xG can be defined as the accumulation of the quality of chances a player gets. Higher the xG, the higher the probability of a goal. For example, a 1-yard tap in from a favorable angle, with no opposing players between the shot taker and goal will have an xG closer to 1 while a long-range shot from an unsuitable angle with a large number of opposing players between the goal and the shot taker will have an xG closer to 0. If a player has more goals than his expected goals, it means the player is an above-average finisher. On the contrary, if the player scores less than his xG, it indicates a lack of form or finishing quality. Non penalty xG is the expected goal of the player without including the spot-kick. Although penalty takers majorly influence decisions in fantasy football, knowing the npxG of a player could go a long way in analyzing the individual finishing ability, positioning awareness, and the quality of service provided by the teammates. To learn about expected goals in detail, check out Ryan Kelly’s article on xG.

xA - Expected Assist. It quantifies the likelihood of a player assisting a goal. To learn more about xA, check out Jonny Whitmore’s article on xA.

npxGOT - Nonpenalty Expected goals on target. xGOT is the measure of the quality of a non-penalty shot on target. If the number of goals conceded by a Goalkeeper is less than the xGOT, it indicates that the keeper is performing well. To know more check out Jonny Whitmore’s article on xGOT


Goalkeepers

Gianluigi Donnarumma (£5.7M, Belgium v Italy)

Best suited for wildcard

Italy v Austria - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Alex Morton - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

npxGOT: 0.07

Goals conceded: 1

The strength of the Italian defense is the main reason for Italy’s successful Euro 2020 campaign. With a xGOT of 0.07, Donnarumma hasn’t been tested much yet. Italy’s leak-proof defense makes the Azzuri keeper a solid fantasy pick. Belgium is a tricky fixture for Italy. Select Donnarumma if you are confident about Italy’s qualification to the next round.

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Jordan Pickford (€5.7 M, England vs Ukraine)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard.

England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

xGOT: 0.35

Goals Conceded: 0

You read it right! England has yet to concede a goal this tournament, and Jordan Pickford has been instrumental in the Three Lions’ obduracy. The Evertonian came into the tournament after an on-and off season for his club. But it’s safe to say he has risen to the occasion and proved his critics wrong with his spectacular performances. With a xGOT of +0.35, Pickford is currently over-performing his expected statistics, which is testament to his fine form. England has the “easiest” route (on paper) to the final, which makes Pickford a seductive keeper pick.

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Kasper Schmeichel (€5 M, Denmark vs Czech Republic)

Best suited for wildcard

npxGOT: 0.33

Goals Conceded: 3

Denmark will face Patrick Schick’s Czech Republic, so Kasper Schmeichel will have an important role to play if Denmark is to continue its fairy tale to the next round. The prospect of facing England in the semifinals makes the Danish #1 a slightly risky pick long term.


Defenders

Joakim Maehle (€4.7 M, Denmark vs Czech Republic)

Best suited for wildcard

Wales v Denmark - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

npxG: 0.36

npG: 0.50

xA: 0.16

A:0

Joakim Maehle has been the bargain fantasy pick of the tournament so far. With a npxG of 0.36, the Danish defender has the highest npxG among all defenders. Adding to this, he is currently over-performing, with a NPG of 0.5. Like his compatriot Schmeichel, the prospect of facing England is his only off-putting factor.

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Harry Maguire (€5.5M, England vs Ukraine)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

npxG: 0.06

npG: 0

xA: 0.11

After his player-of-the-match performance against Germany, Maguire is peaking at the right time for the Three Lions. The Man United captain is both nailed-on as a starter and one of the cheapest English defenders. England’s “easy” route to the finals and Maguire’s aerial threat make him an excellent option.

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Luke Shaw (€6.1M, England vs Ukraine)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

npxG: 0.02

npG: 0

xA: 0.36

A:0.33

With his top-notch performance against Germany, Luke Shaw seems to have cemented his spot as the first-choice left-back for England. His attacking threat was on display for everyone to see as he consistently bombed down the left side. With England’s high clean sheet potential against Ukraine, an English triple-up in defense is a serious option to consider, especially as the maximum number of picks from any one country has been increased to five.

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Thomas Meunier (€5.7M,Belgium vs Italy)

Best suited for wildcard

Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

npxG: 0.20

npG: 0.35

xA: 0.11

A: 0.70

The Belgian defense is a well-oiled machine, playing a key role in the Red Devils’ 1-0 win over Portugal. Thomas Meunier is one of the most attack-minded defenders in the tournament with an npxG of 0.20. The Borussia Dortmund star is overperforming his expected stats in both goals and assists, which is the sign of a player in form. Italians are tricky opponents and will be hard to break down. Transfer in Meunier if you are confident about Belgium’s qualification to the next round.

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Oleksandr Zinchenko (€5.5M, Ukraine vs England)

Best suited for wildcard

npxG: 0.01

npG: 0.23

xA: 0.20

A:0.23

Our fantasy game lists Oleksandr Zinchenko as a defender despite his playing much further up the pitch for Ukraine. The Blue and Yellows will however face England, which makes Zinchenko a risky pick going forward. Consider him only if you’re looking for a differential defender for your wildcard team.


Midfielders

Raheem Sterling (€9.7M, Ukraine vs England)

England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

npxG: 0.66

npG: 0.80

xA: 0.16

A: 0.00

Raheem Sterling is in the form of his life. After a disappointing end to the club campaign, the Man City winger has stolen the limelight from Harry Kane with his amazing performances. Sterling is outperforming his expected stats, which is a good sign. If England is to “take it home”, Sterling will be their man to lean on.

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Andriy Yarmolenko (€8.7M, Ukraine vs England)

Best suited for wildcard

Sweden v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Steve Bardens - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

npxG: 0.42

npG: 0.51

xA: 0.11

A: 0.51

Playing an in-form English side will not be easy for the Ukrainians. But, the blue and yellows’ talisman Andriy Yarmolenko’s ability to single-handedly turn a game around shouldn’t be underestimated. The West Ham United star is both the main penalty taker and team-captain for his country.

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Mikkel Damsgaard* (€6.1 M, Denmark vs Czech Republic)

Well suited for no-chip and wildcard

Wales v Denmark - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

npxG: 0.13

npG: 0.44

xA: 0.44

A: 0.44

Christian Eriksen’s shock injury provided an opportunity for Mikkel Damsgaard to impress, and the Dane hasn’t looked back since. After a valiant display against Belgium, the Sampdoria star man scored a well-taken goal and provided an assist in his appearances. Playing as a second striker from the left side, Damsgaard is arguably the best midfielder pick at his price point.

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Pablo Sarabia* (€6.7M, Switzerland vs Spain)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

Croatia v Spain - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

npxG: 0.77

npG: 0.87

xA: 0.61

A: 0.00

Pablo Sarabia has forced himself into the starting 11 of Spain since his swashbuckling display against Slovakia. Although there is still a degree of uncertainty over the Spain starting lineup, the PSG ace could be a lucrative pick if he gets sufficient game time.

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Tomás Holes (€ 4.5M, Denmark vs Czech Republic)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

Netherlands v Czech Republic - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

npxG: 0.18

npG: 0.35

xA: 0.26

A: 0.35

Tomás Holes is the best enabling pick in the game. His heroics in the Round of 16 may have cemented his spot in the starting 11. The Denmark game will be a tough test for the Locomotives, but Holes is still a viable pick as he doesn’t cost much and could be a great differential if he maintains form.

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Jack Grealish* (€7.6M, Ukraine vs England)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

npxG: 0.00

npG: 0.00

xA: 0.44

A: 1.55

Gareth Southgate’s decision to drop Jack Grealish from the starting lineup could’ve gone horrendously wrong had England not beaten Germany. The Aston Villa man was the best player on the pitch after coming on as a substitute, having an instant impact on the gameand involved in the build up to both England goals. Picking Grealish is a gamble as his place in the starting lineup isn’t assured.


Forwards

Romelu Lukaku (€11.3M, Belgium v Italy)

Best suited for wildcard

Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

npxG: 0.36

npG: 0.76

xA: 0.10

A: 0

Although Italy is a tough opponent for Belgium, Lukaku’s 0.76 npG towers above his npxG of 0.36, which is a sign of the tremendous form he is in. The Inter Milan talisman will be familiar with many of his Italian colleagues in Serie-a, and if he channels his league form, the Azzuri are in for a tough game. Lukaku will be clinical if given a chance. The likely absence of Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard will see Lukaku taking penalties, which increases his value as a fantasy asset.

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Álvaro Morata (€9.1M, Switzerland vs Spain)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

Croatia v Spain - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Martin Rose - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

npxG: 0.84

npG: 0.53

xA: 0.04

A: 0.00

Álvaro Morata has had a mixed Euro 2020 campaign so far. In expected goals, the Juventus star sits right at the top with a staggering 0.84 npxG. However, the former Chelsea FC man is underperforming. Against Croatia, Morata grew into the game and scored a crucial extra-time goal, which will boost his confidence going into the quarters. If Morata manages to convert his chances, he could turn out to be an exceptional differential pick.

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Harry Kane (€11.5M, Ukraine vs England)

Well suited for both no-chip and wildcard

England v Germany - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16 Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

npxG: 0.50

npG: 0.27

xA: 0.04

A: 0.00

Coming into the tournament after a brilliant individual domestic campaign, Harry Kane has recently become British media’s subject of scrutiny. The Tottenham striker will be relieved to have scored the winner against Germany, ending his goalless run in the tournament. Harry Kane has the habit of scoring consistently once he gets going. Gareth Southgate will hope this is the beginning of Kane’s goal-scoring streak and will want him to prolong it as far as possible.

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Patrik Schick (€8.6M, Denmark vs Czech Republic)

npxG per 90: 0.38

npG per 90: 0.83

xA per 90: 0.49

A: 0

With Czech Republic likely to take a conservative approach against Denmark, chances will be at a premium for Patrik Schick to work his magic. But his npG comfortably eclipses his npxG, highlighting his clinical finishing skills. The Bayer Leverkusen star is Czech Republic’s main attacking outlet and penalty taker, which further raises his stock as a fantasy asset.


Closing Thoughts

Although npxG is a useful statistic to consider to pick fantasy assets, penalty takers have a huge advantage as the xG from penalties is very high. A penalty taker with a high nonpenalty xG is the ideal fantasy asset to target. Here is a list of the primary penalty takers of the quarterfinal teams:

Penalty takers , npxG and npG- QF Euro 2020

Team Penalty taker npxG per 90 npG per 90
Team Penalty taker npxG per 90 npG per 90
Switzerland Ricardo Rodriguez 0.01 0
Spain Alvaro Morata(shared with Gerard Moreno) 0.84 0.53
Belgium Romelu Lukaku(Eden Hazard injured for QF) 0.36 0.76
Italy Ciro Immobile 0.74 0.71
Czech republic Patrik Schick 0.38 0.83
Denmark Pierre-Emile Hojberg 0.07 0
Ukraine Andriy Yarmolenko 0.42 0.51
England Harry Kane 0.5 0.27

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What are your thoughts on the player picks? Was the information about npxG, xA, and xGOT useful? Did the stats help change your perspective about a player? What is your opinion on xG, xA, and xGOT? Which team will shock the world in the quarterfinals? Please let me know in the comments section!

Poll

Were the per-90 xG and xA statistics useful?

This poll is closed

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  • 18%
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81 votes total Vote Now

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