The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Fantasy EPL Gameweek 20: EPL Points Against… A Strategy For Streaming

A belated Merry Christmas to all! But more importantly, I hope everyone enjoyed the best day on the football calendar – what a day!

A common draft strategy voiced during pre-season was to not waste a pick on a goalkeeper. Or at least not to waste a high/moderate pick (i.e. first ten rounds). This is something I strongly believe in. Goalkeepers for the big teams often face few shots and are therefore very reliant on clean sheets for their points, whilst goalkeepers for the small teams are, clearly, at risk of conceding a lot and therefore actually ending with negative points. Finding the happy medium is an almost impossible task and one that is most effectively achieved on a week-by-week (“streaming”) basis by looking at EPL Points Against.


EPL Points Against…What is it?

EPL Points Against calculates how many points a position, in general, is averaging against a particular team. For instance, if the first 10 goalkeepers that have faced Arsenal so far this season have scored 2.25 points, 0, 16.25, 8, 0, 0.25, 6, 0, 11, and 4, then the EPL Points Against at that point would have been 4.78. It is essentially putting objective values to things that we already think of when making defensive decisions: “Manchester City may be on course for over 100 league goals this season, but surely this also means Dean Henderson will accumulate a lot of save points too?” (spoiler: he won’t….or at least, not enough).

But who to get? A buddy in my league, despite spending the whole summer admitting that I was right and that he would go for the streaming strategy, took Alisson in the 7th round. His explanation was that he didn’t want the hassle of having to research who to get each week. The hassle of having to dig into the numbers; looking at the opposition, past scores, trends, and many of the other things that could influence a goalkeeper’s points potential. It was a fair response. But he didn’t bank on these articles being written…


Last Time Out in the EPL Points Against: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

As mentioned in a previous article, rather than just giving out advice without any sort of accountability, I will instead be taking a brief looking back at my predictions each week to assess how I fared. Here is who I predicted to produce the goods in Gameweeks 17, 18, and 19, based on EPL Points Against:

Short-Stint Target

Tom Heaton (-0.5 away at Sheffield United, 5 at home to Southampton, 18 at home to Norwich)

A little bit of everything from Tom Heaton recently. The three-week FP/G of 7.5 looks good but is mainly down to the big performance against Norwich. Sheffield United away back in Gameweek 17 was the toughest according to EPL Points Against, and so it proved. A negative 0.5 is still very disappointing though.

Gameweek 17 Target

Aaron Ramsdale (18.5 away at Chelsea)

Backing a goalkeeper at the bridge sounds risky, but it’s proven lucrative all season – and Gameweek 17 was no different. A monster haul for the Bournemouth man made him the fifth keeper to score double-digit points away at Chelsea.

Gameweek 18 Target

Ben Foster (24 at home to Manchester United)

Following up Ramsdale’s 18.5 was going to be a tricky task…but then Foster went and blew it out of the water with the fourth-highest score among goalkeepers this season (fun fact, the highest also came at home to Manchester United).

Gameweek 19 Target

Dean Henderson (0 at home to Watford)

Is it just me, or was Henderson at fault for that Watford goal? Nobody seems to have mentioned it, but his positioning and indecision were shocking. Anyway, the goal cost Sheffield United, and cost any owners the clean sheet points.


EPL Points Against – Pre Gameweek 20

Pre GW 20 GK Points Against

We have a new leader in the EPL Points Against Goalkeepers! Facing Manchester United is now statistically the best matchup for goalkeepers from a Fantrax Fantasy perspective – who would have thought that? Having said that, the home-away split here is very large – largest in the league in fact. Facing United at home yields an average of 13.47 points, whereas facing them at Old Trafford yields an average of 5.28. Watford and West Ham have fallen, but still remain very good options, whilst Everton, Norwich, and Palace are also far above average. Steer clear of goalkeepers facing Leicester, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Wolves.


Short-Stint Target

Nick Pope (73% ownership, FP/G = 6.93)

Nick Pope has seen his ownership drop below 75% for (I think) the first time this season, which is very strange given Burnley’s upcoming schedule. It’s also strange given that he’s the third-highest scoring keeper in the league. If he’s available in your league, pick him up now. Manchester United and Aston Villa at home, followed by Chelsea away should be very rewarding if EPL Points Against is anything to go by; goalkeepers have averaged over 31 points from those three fixtures so far this season.


Gameweek 20 Target

Ben Foster (36% ownership, FP/G = 6.24)

Watford takes on Aston Villa at home in what is a massive relegation matchup for both teams. It should be a good one for Foster though, as Villa takes a fair amount of shots (6th most in the league) but are below average in terms of XG (bookends removed). I’m not overly confident with this one, as the EPL Points Against in this case is quite dependent on a clean sheet, but it’s still probably the second-best option out there according to the numbers.

Alternatives: Tom Heaton away at Watford, Alex McCarthy home to Crystal Palace


Gameweek 21 Target

Tim Krul (24% ownership, FP/G = 6.52)

Unsurprisingly, Tim Krul has been a busy boy this season, but he’s stood up to the test nicely. WhoScored had him as the second-best keeper in the league and Norwich’s joint-second best player, at the time of writing. A game at home to Crystal Palace is a very high-risk, high-reward scenario, with four keepers having scored double-digit points but three actually scoring negative points. The next best alternative, according to EPL Points Against, is Rui Patricio who takes on Watford, but I’m not a big fan of picking someone facing a new manager.

Alternatives: Rui Patricio away at Watford


Gameweek 22 Target

Dean Henderson (69% ownership, FP/G = 7.29)

Gameweek 22 doesn’t start until January 10th and this is being written 16 days before that, so there’s a whole lot that can change between now and then. One of which could be the manager of West Ham – Henderson’s opponents that day. If so, as I mentioned above, this matchup becomes a lot more uncertain, but we will assume Pellegrini lives to fight until that day. This is probably the safest of all the suggestions, with goalkeepers scoring very consistently when facing West Ham at home. Nobody has scored negative points and 7 out of 9 (at the time of writing) had scored at least 5.

Alternatives: Mat Ryan away at Everton, Aaron Ramsdale home to Watford, Jordan Pickford home to Brighton.


(Note, targets only include goalkeepers owned in less than 75% of leagues. This removes Alisson, Schmeichel, Ederson, de Gea, and Leno from selection).


Of Note…

Of Note Pre GW 20

The Final Whistle

So that’s it for Gameweeks 20 to 22. The EPL Points Against suggest that Burnley’s Pope could be a nice one to see you through the New Year and beyond, though if you do want to keep switching around, look for Foster, Krul, and Henderson.

Good luck – and Happy New Year!


Previous Editions of EPL Points Against: Gameweek 5 | Gameweek 7 | Gameweek 9 | Gameweek 11 | Gameweek 14

There are many ways to win or lose in Fantrax EPL. Some are more cliched than others. Which of the 12 Types of Gameweek have you experienced?

Follow me on Twitter for all the latest: @the_innergeek

Fantrax has been one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2019 and we’re not stopping anytime soon! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.