Updated: Jan 10
We ain’t afraid of no ghosts. In fact, we seek them – ghost points, that is. Ghost points are fantasy points that do not come from attacking returns or clean sheets. These can come in the form of key passes, successful dribbles, interceptions, accurate crosses, and aerials, among others. Identifying these points is essential for your Fantasy EPL prospects, and our Gameweek 13/14 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
Gameweek 13 /14 Ghost Point Hunters
GPH is back from holiday, well rested, slightly (ever so slightly) less pale, and ready to get stuck in again. With the onset of mid-week games this week, you're getting a two for one. We'll be factoring in the supernatural from both of these past two gameweeks. We have Martin Odegaard, Douglas Luiz, & Leander Dendoncker/Jeffrey Schlupp (in keeping with the 2 for 1 theme) on the big board. Salisu, Dunk, & Coufal are on the honorable mention tip, with Ademola Lookman serving as Dr. Peter Venkman going into the festive season.
Ghost Points Per 90: 5.1
Ghost Points This Past 2 GWs: 8.5 & 10.5
Prospects: Had a spotty start to the campaign and was briefly dropped as a result. But has come back into the team and found some form the past 2 GWs. Should be relatively nailed on from here on out with a nice schedule.
Verdict: He is on the waiver wire in many leagues - pick him up! If not, try a DEF3, MID5, or some FAAB.
The blonde fjordsman - yes, I'm sure that's a thing in Norway - had a decent loan spell in North London last time out, so much so that the Gunners decided to bring him back permanently over the summer. A tricky diminutive midfielder, Odegaard was supposed to solve the lack of creativity issues in the attack. Other than a tasty free kick against Burnley, he failed to reignite early in the season, losing his spot to Alexandre Lacazette. But that has changed the past few weeks - he has come back in as the #10 and posted scores of 9.5 & 19.5 (ghosts stemming largely from Key Passes & Shots on Target, with the occasional successful dribble & defensive work). The knock on Odegaard fantasy-wise has been that he plays "the pass before the assist" and thus won't score very well. This has certainly been the case for much of his time at Arsenal.
However his set piece deliveries - he usually dominates set pieces, especially when Pepe is not on the pitch, which is unfortunately the case every game now - and greater involvement in the attack, which culminated in a goal v Manchester United, has tempted me into a rethink on this. He took 7 set pieces against Man United and his free kicks look dangerous. He has passed the eye test and the points have started trickling in. I expect him to crack on from here. Odegaard will be more expensive now given said goal but he is certainly worth bringing into your side for the festive season. Arsenal has a nice run of fixtures forthcoming - Everton, Southampton, West Ham, Leeds & Norwich. Merry Christmas.
Team: Aston Villa
Ghost Points Per 90: 8.7
Ghost Points This Past GW: 15.5 in GW 14 (0 in GW 13: only made a brief cameo)
Prospects: Critical member of the Villa midfield and is now back from injury.
Verdict: Pick up if available on your wire; if not, try offering a solid DEF like Thiago Silva and add to that if need be.
Douglas Luiz has always been an effective midfield enforcer in real life but now he is a viable Fantasy EPL asset. What happened? He started taking set pieces and venturing further forward, to go along with his solid defensive stats. Earlier this season, under Dean Smith and before getting injured, Luiz built himself a solid floor and posted some tasty scores (with back to back assists v Everton & Man United). His ghost point avg of nearly 9 is fantastic for a defensive midfielder. Our trusted Set Piece Taker tracker indicates that he takes roughly 34% of Villa's set pieces per start, which equates to almost 3 a game.
This happened under Dean Smith and has continued under new manager Stevie G, with the Brazilian taking 2 set pieces against Manchester City, one of which led to a goal. Luiz ended up dropping over 15 ghost points in that outing, and from a variety of sources, including 5 Key Passes, 2 Interceptions, 2 Clearances, 2 Successful Dribbles, 1 Blocked Shot, & 1 Aerial. The lot. He was indeed very busy against City. Early days but he and others are seemingly thriving under the new Gerrard - McGinn has also continued to ball out. And as Villa further gel and adapt to the system, all boats will rise. Luiz should crack on from here.
Leander Dendoncker/Jeffrey Schlupp
Team: Wolves & Crystal Palace
Rostered: 3% (both of them)
Ghost Points Per 90: N/A (haven't started enough games to accrue data)
Ghost Points This Past GW: 10.5 & 10
Prospects: Both are heavily rotated but should see some more time during the festive season.
Verdict: Medium to high-end streamers; pick them up and start when you see them in the lineup.
Why on earth are these two paired together? What do they have in common? Well, they both are rotational midfielders who tend to ghost out when given a chance. And thus should be picked up and streamed during this festive season when you see them in the starting xi. Perennial streamers Dendoncker & Schlupp appeared on their respective team sheets and our eyes lit up over here at TDS headquarters. Sure enough, they both did the business, dropping double-digit ghosts in their rare starts. Schlupp, true to form, thrived off Tackles Won (3) and Successful Dribbles (3) and was unlucky to not get a great chance at least on frame (turns out that 4 months out left him a little rusty). And Dendoncker had a similar workman-like performance but hitting different stat categories, finishing with 3 Key Passes & 6 Aerials. These two stalwarts, again, are not long-term fantasy studs. But they will get you 8-10 (without attacking returns) like clockwork. They will start again when the fixtures come thick and fast and quality starting players are at a premium. And these two performances have reinforced their streaming value - act accordingly.
Momo Salisu (Southampton DEF; 16.5 ghosts): This guy just doesn't stop ghosting out of his mind. I'll be forced to mention him every week if he keeps this up.
Lewis Dunk (Brighton DEF; 13.75 ghosts): This seems to be an aberration but worth keeping an eye on it.
Vladimir Coufal (West Ham DEF; 11.5 ghosts): Is he back? We told you to pick him up; let's see if this is him reverting to his old ways.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Ademola Lookman (Leicester MID; 3 Ghosts): Ademola, I hardly knew ye. Where is the swashbuckling attacker we saw at Fulham last season? Well, he's been Brodged. Lookman was setting the world on fire at Fulham but did end up with nearly 9 points per game and could get spooky. At Leicester, the ghosts have all but dried up, he has resorted to only scoring one goal when playing against yours truly (you're not special, Ademola). He unsurprisingly has been heavily rotated. But when he has started, he has underwhelmed, brandishing less than 5 ghosties per start. This is not what fantasy managers were hoping for when news came of his move to Leicester. Sadly, he's now a low end streamer. Lookman can still put it in the net every now and again but there are a lot more reliable players to stream during this festive season. Bah Humbug.
***Click here to view the full Ghost Point Tracker table!***
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