Fantasy Premier League

Ciao Joao and thanks for the FPL memories!

31 Jan 2023

We look at the numbers behind the Man City defender's stellar Fantasy career

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The transfer of Joao Cancelo from Manchester City to Bayern Munich means Fantasy Premier League has lost one of its best defenders of recent times, albeit one who was slipping off the radar of late. 

A string of blanks and absences from Gameweek 17 meant more than half a million FPL managers had sold the Portuguese before his move was confirmed. But he provided so many good memories for those who owned him.

Here are some of the reasons why Cancelo became an FPL legend.

No defender could beat his nine double-figure hauls over the last two seasons, joint-top with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m).  

Over the last two seasons, Cancelo had 98 shots, 26 of which were on target. Both of these stats were top among Premier League defenders.

Since the 2020/21 season, Cancelo registered 17 assists, five goals and 44 clean sheets in the competition.

2021/22 season 

Last season, Cancelo was the second-highest scoring defender in the game, with 201 points. Only Alexander-Arnold outscored him, with 208.

Cancelo also became an FPL favourite because he was one of the few Man City players who avoided "Pep roulette". He started in 36 of their 38 Premier League matches in 2021/22.

From those 36 starts, he averaged an impressive 5.6 FPL points per start. He ranked top for expected goals (xG) among defenders.

In a team full of stars, Cancelo's 31 returns that season were the most of any City player and could only be beaten by four other players. 

Alongside Son Heung-min (£11.6m), Cancelo was the player whose FPL price went up the most during 2021/22, rising by £1.6m across the campaign. 

2022/23 season

Until Gameweek 17 of this season, Cancelo had started 50 of the last 51 league matches for which he was available. But threafter that started to change; he started only two matches and was withdrawn at half-time of the 1-0 win at Chelsea in Gameweek 19.

Yet, despite this lack of minutes since the FIFA World Cup 2022, Cancelo leaves with more returns than any other Man City defender this season: 10.

His three double-figure scores in home matches this season are bettered by only Erling Haaland (£12.2m) and Marcus Rashford (£7.2m), with five and four respectively.

Cancelo's 12 chances created this season are seven clear of Nathan Ake (£5.0m), who is City's next most creative defender.

Two of Cancelo's biggest FPL returns have come during this season. He returned 18 points in the 4-0 victory over Southampton in Gameweek 10 and 12 points in the 6-0 success against Nottingham Forest in Gameweek 5. 

Cancelo's biggest FPL returns
Season Opp. Result FPL points
2022/23 SOU (H) 4-0 18
2021/22 NEW (A) 0-4 18
2020/21 WBA (A) 0-5 17
2021/22 MUN (A) 0-2 14
2022/23 NFO (H) 6-0 12

Cancelo is owned by more than a third of FPL managers. The next most-heavily owned City defender is Ruben Dias (£5.9m), at just 5.6 per cent.

Following Cancelo's move, FPL managers will need to consider who the best replacements are for one of the best defenders in the game in recent memory.

See: Best Cancelo replacements in Fantasy Premier League

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