Fantasy Premier League

Scout preaches patience on Pickford

The Scout 16/06/2017
Jordan Pickford, of Everton, playing for Sunderland

Everton's new signing backed for big 2017/18 in FPL despite tough opening fixtures and potential decline in save points

Everton's signing of Jordan Pickford ensures that Fantasy Premier League managers can benefit from his shot-stopping talents in 2017/18.

Pickford produced 102 FPL points from 29 starts for Sunderland last season. 

He earned that tally from only four clean sheets, relying instead on a stream of save points, 36 in total.

His save tally of 135 was second only to Burnley's Tom Heaton (142). But Pickford's average of a stop every 19.3 minutes was superior to Heaton's.

The Everton signing also made a recovery every 7.3 minutes, more frequent than any other goalkeeper.

A key metric in the Bonus Points System (BPS), recoveries occur when a player takes possession of a loose ball. They helped Pickford earn nine bonus points across the season.

CC

Importantly for FPL managers to consider, Pickford's potential for the new campaign will shift now he is at Everton, with a greater emphasis on clean sheets as a means of returning points.

Sunderland conceded more shots (676) and shots on target (248) than any other team last season, far more than Everton's 447 and 148.

Pickford's reflexes will remain a factor in his appeal but, with greater protection, he may struggle to match his tally of saves.

Ronald Koeman's rearguard earned 13 shutouts last season, a total bettered by just four other sides, and so returns from clean sheets appear far more likely.

Joel Robles ended the season as Everton's No 1 and produced 4.5 points per match (ppm). Maarten Stekelenburg averaged 3.6.

Both bettered Pickford's return of 3.5 points per match with Sunderland.

Pickford v Everton's 2016/17 goalkeepers 
  Robles Stekelenburg Pickford
Minutes per save 32.1 39.1 19.3
Clean sheets 10 4 4
Points per match 4.5 3.6 3.5 

An initial price of £4.0m was key to Pickford's appeal last season and fuelled an ownership peak of 665,000 by Gameweek 18.

FPL managers will likely need to pay out around £1.0m more to acquire his services this season and Everton's testing opening fixtures will likely calm initial investment.

Although they open with a home match against Stoke City, this is immediately followed by meetings with four of last season's top six.

Everton's first five fixtures
GW Opponent
1 Stoke City (H)
2 Manchester City (A)
3 Chelsea (A)
4 Tottenham Hotspur (H)
5 Manchester United (A)

But with greater potential for clean sheets and a steady supply of save and bonus points, Pickford is poised to challenge the top-ranked FPL goalkeepers.

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