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Setting the Table: Analyzing EPL Dream Teams

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

We now have so many different ways to play fantasy Premier League that it's tough to give advice on a general level because the scoring systems can be so different. Goals, assists and clean sheets are common throughout all formats, but sites like DraftKings, MondoGoal, DraftGoal, FantasyGol, Togga and Draft11, to name a few, make us expand our focus to chances created, shots, shots on target, successful dribbles, crosses, accurate crosses, recovered balls, interceptions, fouls suffered, fouls committed, tackles won, successful dribbles, etc. Needless to say, the industry has found ways to make many more players important for fantasy purposes.

With that being said, I'm going to focus on the Premier League's official game for a moment while reviewing the weekly Dream Teams from this past season. While the scoring system is a bit limited versus many other games, it still does a great job of showing how consistently inconsistent the top players can be on a week-to-week basis. Not only do we see plenty of names on the list, but the formations fluctuate just as much.

In 38 Gameweeks, we only saw a three-striker set produce a dream team 12 times. As someone who is a big proponent of the tactic, I was surprised to see how few times it produced the best result.

You'll also notice that stacking a goalkeeper and a defender doesn't always produce the expected enhanced returns. In fact, only 13 of 38 weeks included a goalkeeper and a defender from the same club in the Dream Team, and you won't find big names like Thibaut Courtois and John Terry or David de Gea and Chris Smalling or Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany in the group. Here's the list:

Gameweek 1: Allan McGregor and James Chester
Gameweek 5: Vito Mannone and Wes Brown
Gameweek 6: Robert Green and Mauricio Isla
Gameweek 11: Tom Heaton and Kieran Trippier
Gameweek 12: Costel Pantilimon and John O'Shea and Santiago Vergini
Gameweek 14: Brad Guzan and Aly Cissokho
Gameweek 18: Asmir Begovic and Toby Alderweireld
Gameweek 19: Robert Green and Mauricio Isla
Gameweek 21: Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic
Gameweek 23: Tim Krul and Massadio Haidara
Gameweek 31: Michel Vorm and Eric Dier and Vlad Chiriches
Gameweek 34: Steve Harper and Michael Dawson, James Chester and Paul McShane (double gameweek for Hull)
Gameweek 37: Costel Pantilimon and Patrick van Aanholt, Billy Jones, Sebastian Coates and John O'Shea (double gameweek for Sunderland)

Some other observations from the table below:

I don't want to make any sweeping generalizations from a table showing the best performances each week, but it's important to recognize that if you're playing for upside, you've got to think outside the box.

Note: number in parentheses represents points scored that gameweek.

WeekForwardsMidfieldersDefendersGoalkeepers
1 Saido Berahino (13) Gylfi Sigurdsson (13), Raheem Sterling (13), Cesc Fabregas (11), Aaron Ramsey (10) James Chester (15), Eric Dier (15), Laurent Koscielny (10), Branislav Ivanovic (10), Nathaniel Clyne (9) Allan McGregor (14)
2 Stevan Jovetic (13), Emmanuel Adebayor (12) Nacer Chadli (15), Stewart Downing (10), Nathan Dyer (10), Juan Mata (10) Eric Dier (14), Branislav Ivanovic (12), Ryan Shawcross (11), Fabricio Coloccini (9) Brad Guzan (7)
3 Andreas Weimann (12), Diego Costa (12) Nathan Dyer (16), Morgan Schneiderlin (15), Ramires (13), Nemanja Matic (12), Gylfi Sigurdsson (11) Alberto Moreno (11), Erik Pieters (11), Mike Williamson (9) Robert Green (9)
4 Diego Costa (17), Graziano Pelle (13) Angel di Maria (14), Jack Wilshere (13), Ander Herrera (13), Christian Eriksen (10), Cesc Fabregas (10) Leighton Baines (12), Paul Konchesky (11), Ryan Bertrand (11) Julian Speroni (15)
5 Jamie Vardy (21), Leonardo Ulloa (12), Peter Crouch (12) Mesut Ozil (13), James Morrison (11), Angel di Maria (11), Raheem Sterling (10) Kieran Gibbs (10), Leighton Baines (10), Wes Brown (9) Vito Mannone (10)
6 Edin Dzeko (13), Saido Berahino (12) Graham Dorrans (16), Willian (14), Mile Jedinak (10) Craig Dawson (13), Scott Dann (12), Cesar Azpilicueta (11), Phil Jagielka (10), Santiago Vergini (9) Asmir Begovic (7)
7 Steven Fletcher (15), Papiss Cisse (13), Connor Wickham (11) Riyad Mahrez (13), Jordan Henderson (13), Angel di Maria (13), Christian Eriksen (11) Andrew Robertson (12), James Tomkins (11), Winston Reid (8) Hugo Lloris (9)
8 Sergio Aguero (19), Graziano Pelle (15), Diafra Sakho (12) Dusan Tadic (23), Oscar (13), Alexis Sanchez (13), Gabriel Obertan (11) Leighton Baines (15), Phil Jagielka (14), Seamus Coleman (13) Joe Hart (9)
9 Samuel Eto'o (13), Charlie Austin (13), Wilfried Bony (13) Alexis Sanchez (16), Sadio Mane (11), David Silva (10) Martin Skrtel (9), Mauricio Isla (8), Nacho Monreal (8), Federico Fernandez (8) Robert Green (9)
10 Steven Fletcher (13), Enner Valencia (11) Alexis Sanchez (16), Stewart Downing (13), Victor Wanyama (11), Oscar (10), Eden Hazard (10) Calum Chambers (18), Gael Clichy (12), Kieran Gibbs (10) Ben Foster (10)
11 Sergio Aguero (13), Shane Long (12) Emre Can (10), Nacer Chadli (10), Sebastian Larsson (9) Daryl Janmaat (15), Fabricio Coloccini (14), Kieran Trippier (12), Leighton Baines (11), Paddy McNair (9) Tom Heaton (7)
12 Dwight Gayle (12), Danny Ings (12) Christian Eriksen (13), Eden Hazard (11), Leon Osman (10), Yannick Bolasie (10), Moussa Sissoko (10) John O'Shea (9), Massadio Haidara (8), Santiago Vergini (7) Costel Pantilimon (9)
13 Charlie Austin (10), Robin van Persie (10) Esteban Cambiasso (10), Mile Jedinak (10), Carlton Cole (10), Yaya Toure (10) Glen Johnson (15), Gael Clichy (15), Chris Smalling (15), Aaron Cresswell (15) Costel Pantilimon (10)
14 Sergio Aguero (16), Didier Drogba (11), Stevan Jovetic (10) Ki Sung-Yueng (11), Steven N'Zonzi (10), Jordan Henderson (10), Kevin Nolan (10) Cesar Azpilicueta (12), Aly Cissokho (9), Per Mertesacker (9) Brad Guzan (7)
15 Andy Carroll (16), Robin van Persie (13), Papiss Cisse (12) Jonathan Walters (12), Yaya Toure (10), Leroy Fer (9) Mauricio Isla (12), Ciaran Clark (11), Martin Skrtel (9), Jan Vertonghen (9) Allan McGregor (15)
16 Olivier Giroud (13), Steven Naismith (12), Robin van Persie (11) Santi Cazorla (14), Juan Mata (14), Eden Hazard (14), Christian Eriksen (13) Andre Wisdom (9), Eliaquim Mangala (9), Joleon Lescott (8) Tom Heaton (15)
17 Charlie Austin (17) David Silva (16), Cesc Fabregas (14), Ki Sung-Yueng (11), Adam Johnson (11), Stephane Sessegnon (10) Maya Yoshida (15), John Terry (15), Pablo Zabaleta (11), Winston Reid (9) Costel Pantilimon (10)
18 Wayne Rooney (16), Harry Kane (12) David Silva (14), Gaston Ramirez (13), Sadio Mane (13), Gylfi Sigurdsson (11), Raheem Sterling (11) John Terry (15), Toby Alderweireld (9), Mamadou Sakho (9) Asmir Begovic (8)
19 Mame Diouf (13), Ayoze Perez (9) Adam Lallana (15), Riyad Mahrez (11), Jordan Henderson (10), Fernandinho (10), Santi Cazorla (10) Erik Pieters (11), Mauricio Isla (9), Alan Hutton (8) Robert Green (10)
20 Harry Kane (18), Stevan Jovetic (11) Nacer Chadli (15), Steven Gerrard (14), Jack Colback (13), Ahmed Elmohamaday (11), Dusan Tadic (11) Danny Rose (11), Gael Clichy (10), Jores Okore (9) Fraser Forster (8)
21 Saido Berahino (9), Danny Ings (9) Alexis Sanchez (19), Oscar (13), Lazar Markovic (11), Jason Puncheon (9), Fernandinho (9) Paul Konchesky (15), Laurent Koscielny (14), Branislav Ivanovic (11) Petr Cech (7)
22 Dwight Gayle (16), Diego Costa (16), Enner Valencia (11) Eljero Elia (15), Oscar (15), Santi Cazorla (14), Jason Puncheon (12) Nacho Monreal (10), Branislav Ivanovic (10), Phil Jagielka (9) Ben Foster (7)
23 Harry Kane (13) Jonathan Walters (19), Santi Cazorla (17), Mesut Ozil (13), Daley Blind (11), Jonjo Shelvey (11) Patrick van Aanholt (12), Hector Bellerin (12), Massadio Haidara (11), Anthony Revelliere (11) Tim Krul (9)
24 Harry Kane (12), Danny Ings (11) Chris Brunt (13), Joe Ledley (11), David Meyler (10), Ki Sung-Yueng (10), Daley Blind (10) Maya Yoshida (12), Alberto Moreno (9), Phil Jagielka (9) Julian Speroni (19)
25 Dame N'Doye (12), Brown Ideye (11), Harry Kane (11) Samir Nasri (13), Leroy Fer (11), Willian (11), Mesut Ozil (11) Chris Smalling (17), Laurent Koscielny (10), Florian Gardos (9) Allan McGregor (8)
26 Edin Dzeko (11), Steven Naismith (9) David Silva (17), Samir Nasri (13), Philippe Coutinho (11), Victor Moses (10), Ander Herrera (10) Danny Rose (10), Ben Mee (9), Santiago Vergini (9) Adrian (10)
27 Wayne Rooney (13), Glenn Murray (9) Jason Puncheon (14), Philippe Coutinho (10), Mesut Ozil (10) Daryl Janmaat (12), Andre Wisdom (9), Phillipp Wollscheid (9), Hector Bellerin (9), Scott Dann (9) Lukasz Fabianski (11)
28 Harry Kane (15), Christian Benteke (12) Andros Townsend (15), Jordan Henderson (14), Ryan Mason (13), Ashley Young (11), Sadio Mane (11) Phil Bardsley (12), Kieran Gibbs (11), Andre Wisdom (8) Fraser Forster (7)
29 Christian Benteke (13), Gabby Agbonlahor (12) Michael Carrick (14), Aaron Ramsey (14), Marouane Fellaini (13), Patrick McCarthy (11), George Boyd (11) Ciaran Clark (9), Robert Huth (9), Martin Skrtel (9) Mark Schwarzer (9)
30 Harry Kane (17), Olivier Giroud (13), Glenn Murray (12) Juan Mata (15), Fernando (14), Aaron Lennon (10) Seamus Coleman (13), Ryan Bertrand (12), Nathaniel Clyne (11), Federico Fernandez (9) Simon Mignolet (8)
31 Christian Benteke (23), Charlie Austin (21), Bobby Zamora (13) Matthew Phillips (20), Ander Herrera (15), Eden Hazard (13), Alexis Sanchez (13) Phil Jagielka (15), Eric Dier (9), Vlad Chiriches (8) Michel Vorm (8)
32 Glenn Murray (14), Sergio Aguero 12) Yannick Bolasie (24), Ashley Young (14), Joe Allen (11), Aaron Ramsey (11), Cesc Fabregas (11) Toby Alderwiereld (9), Dejan Lovren (9), Aaron Cresswell (9) Brad Guzan (9)
33 Mame Diouf (8) Andy King (11), Chris Brunt (11), James Morrison (11), Jesus Navas (11), Eden Hazard (11) Wes Morgan (11), John Stones (9), Cesar Azpilicueta (8), Pablo Zabaleta (8) Tom Heaton (11)
34 Dame N'Doye (15), Graziano Pelle (13), Jamie Vardy (12) Marc Albrighton (13), Gylfi Sigurdsson (13) Michael Dawson (21), John Terry (16), John Stones (15), James Chester (13), Paul McShane (12) Steve Harper (19)
35 Leonardo Ulloa (13), Christian Benteke (13) Jordi Gomez (15), Alexis Sanchez (15), Philippe Coutinho (15), Jonjo Shelvey (12), Aaron Ramsey (12) Jonas Olsson (14), Wes Morgan (12), Marcin Wasilewski (10) Boaz Myhill (17)
36 Sergio Aguero (23), Danny Graham (9) Riyad Mahrez (16), David Silva (16), Steven N'Zonzi (11), Ashley Young (11), Steven Gerrard (10) Aleksandar Kolarov (13), Jores Okore (9), John Terry (9) Lukasz Fabianski (12)
37 Shane Long (18), Saido Berahino (13) Sadio Mane (23), Yaya Toure (15), Matthew Phillips (13) Patrick van Aanholt (15), Billy Jones (14), Danny Rose (14) Sebastian Coates (13), John O'Shea (12) Costel Pantilimon (14)
38 Mame Diouf (16), Loic Remy (12) Theo Walcott (20), Jonas Gutierrez (13), Marc Albrighton (10), Frank Lampard (10), Santi Cazorla (10) Eric Dier (12), Scott Dann (12), Eliaquim Mangala (12) Victor Valdes (10)