Over the radar: Dimitri Payet

This is the first in a series prompted by Fantasy Football Scout member Ryan, who suggested I look at the “template” Fantasy Premier League options for signs of when it’s time to drop them. This will only be an occasional feature because we need to allow time for change to happen.

Ryan and I thought the current “template” midfield for many FPL managers is: Alexis Sánchez, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Sadio Mané and Dimitri Payet. There are some other popular options out there – Mesut Özil, André Ayew and Georginio Wijnaldum for example – but those five seem to be most frequently seen.

I decided to start by looking at Payet because his upcoming fixture list (EVE, tot, WBA, mun, STO, swa) has some managers wondering whether to keep hold of him.

I’ll come back to the fixture list, but first let’s see how Payet has done since I highlighted him after Gameweek 5.

Dimitri Payet GW1-11 2015

The number of shots Payet takes is looking healthier over the past three gameweeks than at any time this season. Last time I looked at the West Ham midfielder, I was worried about his Shots on Target (SoT) statistic because he had converted three Shots on Target into three goals by the end of Gameweek 5. That conversion rate has more than halved, though 45 percent could still be a little too high, as the next chart shows.
Dimitri Payet Shots on Target Conversion trendWith the 2015-16 season still relatively young, the usually strong Shots on Target to Goals correlation is not really there yet so we should exercise some caution with this data at the minute. Nevertheless, Payet is a little above the current trend line for Shots on Target to Goal conversion among midfielders who have played more than 500 minutes. He may not continue to convert shots on goal at quite the same rate, but his Shots on Target numbers put him in the pack not far behind Mahrez and Sánchez so he should remain a good option.

Where the Frenchman really excels is Chances Created. He is second in the league by that metric, just behind Özil. However, unlike the Arsenal maestro, Payet’s team mates are not converting anywhere near as many of them into goals, as the next chart demonstrates.

Dimitri Payet Chance Created conversion trend

Even with a season-long sample size, the Chances Created conversion rate trend does not usually correlate as well as Shots on Target conversion rate so we should be even more cautious here. However, if I was an Özil owner I’d be mentally preparing myself for the possibility that while assists are likely to continue flowing, the current rate may slow down at some points. With Payet however, there’s reason to be optimistic that more assist points could be on the way because regression for the Hammers midfielder in this metric would bring him up towards the trend line – i.e. in future he may record more assists per chance created than he currently does.

Put simply, Payet may not score quite as often but the potential to deliver more assists may help make up for it.

One key factor left then in deciding whether to keep Payet is the fixture list. To judge that I have charted the average Shots Conceded (SC), Shots on Target Conceded (SoTC), Shots in Box Conceded (SoTC), Goals Conceded (GC) and Clean Sheets (CS) per match so far this season by West Ham’s opponents. I’ve broken those figures down into home and away so, for example, the Gameweek 1 record shows Arsenal’s home defensive form because it was an away match for West Ham.

West Ham United opposition defensive form

West Ham’s Gameweek 6 match against Manchester City and, to a lesser extent, the match against Manchester United in Gameweek 15 show up clearly on the chart. Interestingly, Payet’s strong shooting performance in the last three weeks has coincided with meeting opponents who are less prone to giving up shots than West Ham’s rivals in Gameweeks 7 and 8.

However, it is the ability to get goals or tee up team mates that largely defines the FPL value of midfielders. The blue lines on the chart do suggest that, in the next four weeks at least, the Hammers will be facing opponents who tend to conceded fewer goals and record more clean sheets than most of the teams they have played against to date. Whether that is enough to put you off Payet, given his reasonably solid statistics, is another matter.


10 thoughts on “Over the radar: Dimitri Payet

  1. Ruth_NZ says:

    This was a good idea of Ryan’s.

    I have that template midfield minus Mané (Surman is my 5th midfielder). And the question of who to drop and when is an important one, especially considering all of them have substantial embedded value for me (I bought Mahrez at 5.5, Payet at 7.5, Sanchez at 11.0 and KDB at 10.2).

    Taking Payet first (as you have), I have looked at him and dismissed it for now. He is riding high on chances created but they haven’t been converted in great numbers as you explained. Despite that he has 38% goal involvement for West Ham and that’s a strong number. He seems like one to keep for me, there’s nothing in West Ham’s fixtures to get overly excited or worried about either way.

    Sanchez next. Well, my reading about Sanchez is that his FPL potential varies according to who is playing alongside him. As with all players, it is when he is getting into central attacking areas that he is at his most dangerous. When the Giroud/Özil axis is in place that seems to happen less. When Walcott plays as striker it happens more because of Walcott’s mobility and interchanges of position with Sanchez. Whether I’d want to replace Sanchez will depend entirely on how long Walcott is going to be out for.

    KDB I am ambivalent about but I do think he’s the best City option while Aguero and Silva are out. I expect to keep him at least until I bring Aguero back (though I don’t plan on doing that any time soon).

    That leaves Mahrez. I really want to drop him soon. With the others I don’t see better options at similar price points other than sideways transfers like Sanchez to Özil which I am reluctant to use a FT for without good reason. But with Mahrez I do see an option. I want to get Bolasie into my team.

    Palace have a kind fixture run from GW13 (SUN NEW eve SOT sto bou SWA) and Bolasie (12 assists last season) could really profit. His stats are down on last season but Palace have had some tricky fixtures. Now they are easing he could well be set for a good run and I’d like to be on board the train before it leaves the platform.

    Mahrez, by contrast, has a harder-looking fixture run over the same period (new MUN swa CHE eve liv MCI). But he has a whopping 60% goal involvement for Leicester so far, he’s on penalties, I’d be selling a 6.7m player for 6.1 AND I don’t have Vardy. I’d need to be sure and I’m not. It would be a high-risk move.

    So, where I am is watching all four. I’m not wedded to any of them and I’m itching to bring Bolasie in soon. But I’m completely unsure what course of action I will take. Maybe the international break will bring more clarity. Or possibly your article on Mahrez. 🙂


  2. Balders says:

    Nice one Diva, I’ve been avoiding him because of SoTs but now he’s turned that around its a real headache. Maybe week 16 after tot, WBA, mun I can bring him in for Mane just before Southampton host Spurs and Arsenal.

    I think the overall verdict is hold your position whether you are on or off his train at the moment. He’s got the talent to hold onto but not the fixtures to consider bringing him in.


  3. Ryan says:

    Nice write up Diva. His improvement in the goal threat department is a serious plus. For a player known mainly for getting assists however it is a bit of a surprise that he’s only gotten 4 so far but that is the result of having inept finishers around him. Perhaps that is why he’s looking to score more often himself.

    I am concerned about the fixtures after the international break though, tot, WBA, mun. Those are going to be some seriously tough teams to break down and I’m wondering if West Ham as a whole could be due some regression in the offensive department. I think its already started to happen with only 2 goals in the last 3 games. This might make his goal involvement stat a little bit moot.

    Liked by 1 person

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