Back-to-back gameweeks with double figure points have brought Mesut Özil to the attention of Fantasy Premier League managers. In the first quarter of this season, the Arsenal midfielder, who has just risen back to his season start price of 8.5m, has scored 49 FPL points. That’s nearly half his score from the whole of last season and lifts him to seventh for total points scored by midfielders in 2015/16.
Özil’s attraction is further boosted by costing 0.5m less than last season and by being the second highest scoring midfielder in a vibrant Arsenal attacking side, but costing 3.0m less than Alexis Sánchez. Whether Özil is a good pick though depends on what FPL managers want from a midfielder.
If the manager likes players who deliver assists, Özil is looking a good choice. The German international did not play in Gameweek 4, so he is averaging more than 4.5 chances created per game. His team mates have slotted away six of those chances to propel him to joint first among FPL players for assists.
Özil is creating chances about a third more frequently than he in his past two seasons in the Premier League and they are being turned into assists at a higher rate – about six per cent more often than the average for midfielders this season. Before we get too excited, it’s worth noting that this chances created to assist rate is more than double Özil’s rate from last year and more than four percent above his rate the year before.
Generally, Özil hasn’t shot very often in matches this season, but his shot production did show a small spike in the Gameweek 7 match against Leicester City and in the following week’s clash against Manchester United. He is shooting more frequently than last seasons and the season before by about 12 minutes and 16 minutes per shot respectively. However, strip out the two games where his shooting stats spiked this season and he is shooting less frequently than in either of his other two Premier League seasons. His Shots on Target conversion rate look fine, but he does not feature anywhere near the top of the midfielder shooting charts so from a goals perspective he does not look a great option.
An FPL manager buying Özil may benefit from a steady supply of assists, albeit potentially at a slightly slower rate than he has displayed so far this season. That manager may also get the odd goal out of him. However, if those Gameweek 7 and 8 numbers turn out to be an anomaly rather than an indication that Özil has turned a shot production corner, those goals may be few and far between.