Fantasy Premier League

FPL Lessons: Set-pieces key for midfield bargains

The Scout 23 May 2018
Luka Milivojevic, of Crystall Palace, and Pascal Gross, of Brighton

Dead-ball duties are a big factor when shopping for cut-price midfield talent, according to The Scout

With the 2017/18 Fantasy Premier League ended, The Scout reviews each position to highlight the players managers should consider for 2018/19.

Midfielders

Finding and moving quickly for value options in midfield is vital for any FPL manager.

This season taught us that, when seeking players for £6.0m or less, we should pay attention to set-piece takers.

Dead-ball specialist

Luka Milivojevic’s impressive campaign owned much to his prowess from the penalty spot.

The Serb's deep-lying role in midfield did not stop him producing 10 goals, a pair of assists and 144 FPL points for Crystal Palace.

Milivojevic scored seven of his eight penalties, more than any other player.

He also took corners and converted a direct free-kick.

Starting the season at a price of £5.0m, he finished third for points per million (ppm) among midfielders, with 27.7.

Gross gains

Pascal Gross was the only midfielder to better Milivojevic for points-per-million value.

Set-pieces were also a factor to the Brighton & Hove Albion playmaker's appeal. 

Gross produced more successful corners, 46, than any other player.

That helped him create 82 chances over the season, with only five players recording more.

However, his 36 chances created from set-pieces were a Premier League high.

Starting at £6.0m, Gross totalled 164 points with seven goals, eight assists and 24 bonus points.

Rivalling Salah

For points-per-million value, Gross was second only to Mohamed Salah among outfield players this season.

He trailed the Egyptian by 27.8 to 28.6 ppm.

The success of bargain midfielders such as Gross and Milivojevic proves that seeking out players who take set-pieces can be vital.

Promotion picks

Looking at the promoted teams, both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City produced 21 goals apiece from set-plays.

No Championship team bettered that number.

In terms of targets, wing-back Barry Douglas was the primary corner-kick taker for Wolves, taking 133 in total.

He supplied five goals and 14 assists over the season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Joe Ralls took more corners (94) and free-kicks (65) than any Cardiff City player. He produced seven goals and four assists.

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL Lessons: De Gea's season a game-changer
Part 2: FPL Lessons: Burnley battle is key for managers
Part 3: FPL Lessons: Promoted goalkeepers can save seasons
Part 4: FPL Lessons: Chelsea defence still on top
Part 5: FPL Lessons: Liverpool full-backs set to fly
Part 6: FPL Lessons: Cresswell a rare bargain
Part 7: FPL Lessons: Position and price crucial for Salah interest
Part 8: FPL Lessons: Watch out for 'forward' midfielders
Part 10: FPL Lessons: Kane still the go-to Fantasy forward
Part 11: FPL Lessons: Firmino soars as a forward
Part 12: FPL Lessons: Can Perez save the 3-4-3?

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