Michail Antonio

Earlier this week I looked at Étienne Capoue and expressed strong doubts about his ability to continue delivering his current returns given his high shots on target conversion rate and low shot volume. Today I’m going to look at another player with a high shots on target conversion rate, but one whose other underlying statistic look a lot healthier for the prospect of delivering returns in future – albeit not quite at the same rapid rate. That player is West Ham United midfielder Michail Antonio, who is currently priced at 7.1m in Fantasy Premier League.

Michail Antonio GW1-4 2016-17

As noted by Elvy in the comments section on my post about Capoue, Antonio’s shots on target conversion rate is at 80 per cent, which is above even the Watford man’s ridiculously high rate. However, despite failing to get a single shot away in 51 minutes playing at right back in Gameweek 1, Antonio has managed unleash twice as many shots as Capoue this season and his shooting metrics are already beginning to take on healthier looking proportions outside of the goals column.

Unlike the Hornets midfielder, who had only scored one goal in three previous Premier League seasons* (albeit two of them without consistent game time), Antonio has a brief but proven ability to find the net in the English top flight. Although he didn’t start a game for the Hammers until December, Antonio subsequently began every remaining league game after that last season and racked up eight goals in the process.

Michail Antonio 2015-16

Antonio’s underlying statistics last season were balanced and goals against Southampton, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United showed he was as capable of delivering returns against tough opponents as easier ones. Despite lining up as a defender for nearly a third of his 23 Premier League starts last term, the Englishman delivered shooting statistics for the season that were comparable with midfielders like Barkley, Tadic and Sterling.

Antonio’s spell as a defender did coincide with his longest run without a goal after he broke into the team – so  his position will be something to keep an eye on – but for 7.1m the 26-year-old should be considered as an option for a mid-price midfield spot. After facing West Bromwich Albion’s often stingy defence in Gameweek 5, Antonio has a run of kind fixtures (SOU, MID, cry, SUN, eve, STK) that could make it a profitable time to invest. The current rate at which he has been scoring may ease off, but the underlying numbers suggest there will be more goals to come this year.

*Note: FPL Diva guest poster Balders shared some data with me yesterday which coincidentally included Capoue’s shooting metrics from last season, when he failed to score a single goal from 35 shots, of which 11 were inside the box and eight were on target. We joked that his goals this season might be the regression.

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