As the 2021/22 season draws ever closer and Fantasy Premier League managers step up their preparations, The Scout explains the secrets to success.
Players who produce plenty of clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) are favoured in FPL's Bonus Points System (BPS).
The BPS is based on player performance statistics supplied by Opta throughout each campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) was the only centre-back among the top eight defenders for bonus points, with 17.
His 156 CBI were more than any team-mate, while Dunk also scored five goals and returned 11 clean sheets.
In defence, creative full-backs with clean sheet potential dominated the bonus point allocation in 2020/21.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m), Luke Shaw (£5.5m), Aaron Cresswell (£5.5m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and Lucas Digne (£5.5m) were the top five defenders for bonus points.
It is no coincidence they all five were also among the top two players for key passes at their respective clubs.
The 23 goals scored by Harry Kane (£12.5m) helped the striker to last season’s Golden Boot, earning the forward his best-ever campaign in Fantasy.
His improved creativity was also vital to his success.
Kane supplied a further 14 assists for 242 points, averaging a league-leading 6.9 points per match (ppm).
By contrast, the 28-year-old had managed just 10 assists in the three seasons beforehand.
Indeed, his highest haul for assists in a single campaign was just seven heading into 2020/21.
That all-round contribution helped Kane finish as the top scorer in the BPS last season, with 880.
Crucially, forwards are rewarded more favourably for scoring in the BPS. They earn 24 points in the BPS for every goal, compared with 18 for midfielders and 12 for defenders.
Furthermore, Kane’s total of 14 big chances created was more than any other forward, placing third among all players in Fantasy.
As a result, he amassed 40 bonus points, more than any other player in 2020/21 Fantasy.
Despite scoring 22 goals to the 23 of Kane, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) earned just 21 bonus points, almost half the England forward’s 40.
The Egyptian also provided six assists on his way to third spot in the player standings.
Yet he was punished by the BPS for a number of reasons.
Salah missed 19 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.
The Liverpool star lost possession by being tackled on 130 occasions, a team-leading total for the Merseysiders.
These actions result in a loss of points in the BPS.
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 tend to complete fewer passes, therefore scoring less in the BPS.
Burnley are a case in point.
Their ‘keeper Nick Pope’s (£5.5m) total of 20 bonus points was more than twice any Burnley defender and second only to the 27 of Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m) in that position in Fantasy.
Finding players with that kind of bonus point potential could prove decisive and can make all the difference between a good Gameweek and a great one.