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Fantasy football rounds 12 & 13: Following the form book

Just a quick tip this week – and a reminder that there are two Fantasy Premier League rounds this week, with the transfer deadline for round 12 being 19:30 GMT tonight (Tuesday) – so get your transfer thinking caps on quickly!

Thanks to his recent hat-trick against Sunderland, Kevin Nolan is the most in-form fantasy player, averaging eight points per game over the past month

As all fans know, form is often a fleeting phenomenon. A team or a player may be laying waste to all before them one week, only to come crashing down the next. The very best are those who are able to combine talent with the ability to maintain those peaks of form while minimising the troughs. Looking at a player’s overall points score in the fantasy scoring tables tells you something about their consistency, but a high score may mask a player who is struggling for form currently. Conversely, a low score may lead to managers ignoring an in-form player who has been injured or previously out-of-form.

The easiest way to seek out in-form players at a glance is to go to the ‘Fantasy Stats’ page and apply the ‘Player statistics’ filters. By selecting ‘Leaders’ from the upper drop-down box and ‘Form’ from the lower one, you will be presented with an immediate list (sorted by position) of all the current in-form players. The front screen displays those who are averaging five points or more per game over the past 30 days. Alternatively, if you click on the position label above each list, you can see a more detailed analysis by individual position. For instance, here is the form list for midfielders:

David Silva - in good form

This quick and easy check can throw up some real gems which are easily missed. For instance, Manchester City‘s David Silva has a middling rank in terms of overall points but is in good form currently, having been gradually introduced into the side. Similarly, WolvesMatt Jarvis – a strong performer in the second half of last season – has also hit good form recently after a slow start.

Of course, past form is not necessarily a measure of future performance. A player may lose form, or become injured. Or it may be that their high average for the month has been skewed by a relatively easy fixture schedule or a single stellar performance. But in general, recent form is probably the best statistical predictor of short-term productivity. As a supplement to the evidence of your own eyes and judgement, it is certainly as good a starting point as any.

Previous posts in the Fantasy Football series:

Ten tips to boost your score

Don’t panic!

Improving your squad

The importance of formations

A question of rotation

Following and bucking trends

The top 20 forwards

In-form midfielders

Defenders’ goals are vanity, clean sheets are sanity

Goalkeepers make saves – and savings?

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About Tim
Father of three. Bit of a geek. That's all, folks.

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