Today I have been running through a spreadsheet of 500 of the most FI relevant midfield and forward players (defenders coming later) to work out who should benefit most overall from the matrix changes.
I already highlighted who was strong for individual actions like dribbles etc last night. But that’s just one action – what happens when you pull it all together?
Whilst going through all this data, my thinking has also clarified over the day so I’ll share that first and then share some player lists too.
I have long said that the coming changes to performance scoring would likely make good players better, not turn previously weak players into performance God’s.
My analysis of the data leads me to think that is absolutely right. In fact, maybe more so than I thought. The new matrix is particularly generous to creative players. But your player is still almost always going to need at least one goal to win too, FI is goal centric and that is not going to change.
I have always targetted this kind of high creativity high goal threat player because they were the strongest points scorers under the old system. They are also the biggest winners of the changes and should get even stronger.
These changes have a way of rewarding players who were already strong on FI For example, previously, if you got assists and made a lot of passes you tended to do well and were desirable anyway. Now, you are getting rewarded even more for Key Passes, long/through balls, big chances etc.
What this may do is reward those who attempt riskier passing a bit more, so lower passing accuracy may become (only slightly) more forgivable provided you are hitting key passes / big chances etc.
It’s early days but I suspect we may see a smaller group of elite high creativity/high threat players dominating, especially with the random element of game winning goal now slightly reduced.
Secondly, there is a lot of data being shared on social media of varying quality with data dumps of players who are the best for aerial duels, dribbles, etc and should benefit most.
However, we should not focus too narrowly on this. For a start, historical data is historical data. It can give us clues but we need to also use the type of pre-season scouting I am doing through the site to be able to judge whether it will continue or not.
And, a weak player who benefits strongly from the changes is probably still weak or average at best.
For example, when was the last time you bought a player just because they make an above average number of tackles?
Probably never. You need a lot of different attributes to come together to make a strong performance player, and we should not over emphasise the new metrics just because they are new.
First a few health warnings:
– This is a curated list of midfield and forward players I think are of interest because they are strong for performance or generally popular on FI, it’s not an assessment of every player that exists!
– A player who benefits strongly from the new changes is not the same as a good performance player. For example you can find Haller as a player set to benefit strongly, but he is still unlikely to score big on FI unless he knocks in two or more goals.
– A player who doesn’t benefit much from the new changes is not necessarily a bad player either. Lewandowski is unlikely to benefit much from these changes but he can still be good for IPD and put up big scores when he pops off.
We should not be buying based off these lists alone.
As a rule of thumb, I would say if a player was strong anyway and they benefit nicely from the new system, AND we are seeing good signals on them from pre-season, AND they have a reasonable or better price, that is a good buy signal.
If the player used to be weak under the old system but benefits strongly from these changes, they are probably still weak or average regardless.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some more on defenders.
Strong Benefit – Strong in multiple new scoring metrics
Mild Benefit – Strong in one new scoring metric, or have decent performance across a number of them
No Clear Improvement – No major scoring increase expected.
(Lists in no particular order).
This morning I plowed through the 500 most FI suitable defenders picking out notable improvers from the new scoring matrix or those set to stand still.
Again, it’s worth noting that we should not buy from these narrow lists alone – we are looking for the whole package based on pre-season performance, overall performance scoring suitability and price.
If a player will clearly improve from performance scoring changes then that might tip us over the edge but it shouldn’t be the only reason we buy.
For defenders, the same story seems true as for mids/fwds. On the whole, this is going to make many good players even better, it’s very unlikely that it will flip the definition of a good player on it’s head.
In the old scoring system, good defenders often struggled to assert themselves regularly amidst a large number of high scoring ball playing defenders that would trade wins with each other. Predicting a streak of wins was very difficult.
There is now more scope for players with particular advantages to dominate.
Creative defenders who have a high number of passes and convert them into assists and key passes should perform very strongly this year, particularly from dominant teams who keep clean sheets.
With the way you can stack up points now for just one assist, a good creative high baseline defender might have enough to punch through a weak defender who scores a game winning goal now.
This could further hurt the high baseline defender who does a lot but does not regularly score or assist. This could have a big impact and upset holders of many popular players.
As a rule, I would make sure that any defender I hold will have a) a good basline but also b) something that can spike their score and mark them out from a crowd of other high baseline players.
That could be assist potential now, or exceptionally high goal threat (the old advantage of penalties remains the same if you can find a defender who will have a decent baseline and take penalties).
Potentially, as noted in the previous performance articles, the spiky nature of aerial duels which can really rack up when teams play long ball against a good aerial centre back could also become a factor that can add 20-35 points to a score. It doesn’t feel like that alone is enough to compete with assists or goals but it is worth noting.
With the changes to the way players are classified, there should be fewer “out of position” prospects who are listed as defenders who actually play as wingers and therefore have far higher goal threat than most defenders. So players like Guerriero or Alves who I would aggressively target at times last season may now be difficult to punt on if they are quickly reclassified.
For some players like Kimmich, Alves or Caligiuri we may still be none the wiser about their playing position for some time because they keep getting shifted around on the pitch.