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FPL secrets: Bonus-point kings offer edge

The Scout 27 Jul 2019
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool

The Scout explains how utilising FPL favourites like Virgil van Dijk can make Bonus Points System pay off

As the 2019/20 season draws ever closer and Fantasy Premier League managers step up their preparations, The Scout explains the FPL fundamentals.

Additional earners

Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) is a prime example of how bonus points can make all the difference between a good Gameweek and a great one.

The Liverpool defender finished top-scorer in FPL's Bonus Points System (BPS) last season, with 932. 

BPS is based on player-performance stats supplied by Opta throughout each campaign.

In defence, factors such as clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) are key.

If players also have a good pass completion rate, win tackles and avoid fouls, they have a greater chance of earning bonus points whenever their team records a clean sheet.

Van Dijk's all-round style of play paid off handsomely in 2018/19.

All-round approach

He was the only ever-present in a Liverpool defence that kept 20 clean sheets and his 257 CBIs were more than double of any team-mate.

Van Dijk also placed second for completed passes among all defenders, with 2,724.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) impressed with his defensive work in his final season for Crystal Palace.

Manchester United’s new right-back won 90 tackles in the previous campaign, more than any other player in FPL.

Wan-Bissaka claimed 18 bonus points, a total bettered by only seven other defenders.

Enhanced chances 

Understanding the BPS can help shape transfer targets and improve a manager’s chances of earning additional points.

Apart from clean sheets, goalkeepers mainly earn BPS points through saves and recoveries.

Those who play in teams with low possession figures have a greater chance of bonus because their defensive team-mates often fail to reach 30 attempted passes in a match, the required mark to score in the BPS. 

Pope potential

Burnley are a case in point.

They supplied the top-scoring goalkeeper for bonus points in both 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The Clarets' No 1, Nick Pope (£4.5m), missed last season through injury, allowing both Tom Heaton (£4.5m) and Joe Hart (£4.5m) to start 19 Gameweeks.

If Pope can reclaim a starting role, he could be a big success as a cut-price stopper this term.

Further upfield attacking players can prove valuable, but, on occasion, costly too.

Penalty poser

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), the top-scoring player in FPL, earned 18 bonus points.

Despite firing 22 goals and providing 12 assists, he was punished by the BPS for a number of reasons.

The Liverpool midfielder missed 16 big chances, or opportunities he was expected to score.

A player loses three points in the BPS for missing a big chance, the same deduction for conceding a penalty.

Salah also fired 40 shots off target and lost possession a number of times, either by being tackled or dispossessed.

These actions also result in a loss of points in the BPS.

Big opportunities

On the flip side, Raul Jimenez’s (£7.5m) style of play for Wolverhampton Wanderers was a major factor towards his total of 31 bonus points.

He produced 13 goals and 10 assists, one of only four forwards to claim double-digits for both statistics.

Jimenez's ability to supply key passes is backed in numbers.

No forward bettered his total of 13 big chances created.

Whether it is a single Gameweek or the season as a whole, finding players with that kind of bonus point potential could prove decisive.

Also in this series

Part 1: Building a successful squad
Part 2: Finding the right formation
Part 3: Picking the perfect captain
Part 4: Save up to use mini Wildcards
Part 5: Make tactical use of your chips

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