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Crossed balls a bonus for FPL widemen

The Scout 31 Aug 2016
West Bromwich Albion v Everton - Premier League

Attacking full-backs are poised for FPL bonus points according to the system, says The Scout

Fantasy Premier League bonus points are distributed post-match according to the Bonus Point System (BPS).

This system collects an array of match events that measure player performance, such as successful tackles and key passes.

Players earn points in the BPS for completing actions and the top three tallies in a given match decide how the FPL bonus points are distributed.

Understanding how the BPS works, and which players are more likely to benefit, can be vital when selecting transfer targets.

In our previous article, we examined the role played by clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) in the BPS – with particular emphasis on selecting central defenders.

In this second BPS article, we address a key statistic when it comes to the selection of full-backs and midfielders: successful open-play crosses.

Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Clearances, blocks and interceptions are key for defensive bonus points

Each successful cross provided by a player earns them one point in the BPS.

In addition, a successful cross can often translate into a key pass – a pass that creates a goalscoring opportunity for a team-mate. These earn a player an additional 1-point in the BPS.

If the opportunity created by a cross is deemed to be a “big chance” (a chance where the receiving player should score) then another three BPS is awarded.

In this way, the BPS value of a single cross can multiply quickly. 

When selecting full-backs, their ability to get forward and deliver from wide areas can be a major plus.

When a team keeps a clean sheet, all their defenders will earn 12 points in the BPS.

But crosses can be a deciding factor when it comes to the bonus point shake-up, allowing full-backs to surpass the BPS tally of their central defensive team-mates.

Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia (£5.5m) earned the maximum bonus points in the Gameweek 3 win at Hull City.

Antonio Valencia, Manchester United
Valencia has delivered more successful crosses than any other defender this season

The Ecuadorian provided three successful open play crosses against the Tigers. He also earned three key passes via those crosses.

Ultimately that helped him pip team-mates Eric Bailly (£5.5m) and Daley Blind (£5.5m) for three points.

Valencia registered 38 BPS in the victory, nudging out Bailly (37 BPS) and Blind (36 BPS).

The United full-back has put in five successful open play crosses this season, from 18 attempts.

Only Swansea City’s Modou Barrow (£5.0m) can surpass that tally.

The jet-heeled Ghanaian forward has been in menacing form for the Swans, providing seven successful open play crosses from 17 attempts.

Indeed, Francesco Guidolin’s side contribute three names to the current top 10 suppliers of crosses so far.

Most successful open play crosses in 2015/16

Player Team Position Price TSB Successful Open Play Crosses BPS
Modou Barrow Swansea Forward £5.0m 0.7% 7 56
Antonio Valencia Man Utd Defender £5.5m 11.3% 5 75
Andros Townsend Crystal Palace Midfielder £6.5m 5.2% 4 37
Jefferson Montero Swansea Midfielder £5.5m 0.2% 4 27
Kyle Naughton Swansea Defender £4.5m 1.4% 4 66
Michail Antonio West Ham Midfielder £7.0m 4.8% 4 64
Leighton Baines Everton Defender £5.5m 8.8% 4 54
Nordin Amrabat Watford Midfielder £5.0m 0.2% 3 31
Marc Albrighton Leicester Midfielder £5.4m 1.5% 3 21
Cedric Soares Southampton Defender £5.0m 1.1 3 36

Jefferson Montero
(£5.4m) has delivered four, all via appearances from the bench.

Kyle Naughton (£4.5m) has also been a key contributor. The right-back has also fired in four successful crosses on his way to a tally of 66 BPS – more than any other Swansea defender.

While crosses and their contribution to the BPS should play some part in our selection of attacking players, the statistic arguably has greater significance when considering defenders.

Of the top twenty providers of crosses so far this season, nine are full-backs.

Those who can charge forward and deliver from wide areas will earn more BPS, putting them in line to benefit from regular bonus points, particularly when their team earns a clean sheet.

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