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 2 Ghost Point Hunters article is here to help!
Gameweek 2 Ghost Point Hunters
And we're back. It's been a fright-free summer but the supernatural reappeared this past weekend. Many fantasy managers reported ghost sightings in GW1 and we're here to break it all down. Rather than reiterating the ghost point prowess of stalwarts like Allan Saint-Maximin, this opening article will focus more on the relative newcomers: Kieran Tierney, Lucas Moura, and Ismaila Sarr. While none of these players will be on your waiver wire, they can be attainable via trades.
We are also adding an honorable mention section, which features a brief run down of a few other ghost point warriors this week. And, last but not least, we are introducing the Dr. Peter Venkman Award (named after Bill Murray's beloved Ghost Busters character), shaming the poor soul who flattered to deceive on the ghost point front this week. Happy hunting!
Ghost Points Per 90: 20.25 (6.0 last season)
Prospects: Injury prone but if he stays fit, he is the nailed on left back. No European football means less chance of injury. The attack should strengthen when one of Aubameyang or Lacazette returns.
Verdict: I am still not convinced this wasn't somewhat of a one off. I'd wait until the next two nightmare fixtures are over (Chelsea & Manchester City) to try and trade him in. Offer a MID4/5 + waiver wire DEF for him.
It's about damn time. I have been waiting for ages for Kieran Tierney's IRL form and production to be rewarded with fantasy points. It finally happened in an abject loss to Brentford in GW1. The no-nonsense, Tesco-bag-carrying, Scottish fullback dropped over 20 ghost points from a mouthwatering 6 Key Passes (one of which really should have been an Assist), 1 Clearance, 1 Successful Dribble, 1 Shot on Target, & 5 Accurate Crosses Not Corners (ACNCs). Tierney is always lively, bombing down the left channel, but this was even more than usual. It was likely the result of a lack of attacking thrust from any other place on the pitch. It fell to him to create chances. I don't expect this to continue, especially in the next two weeks when he and the rest of his teammates will be forced to sit back and defend against Chelsea and Man City. Historically, Tierney doesn't really score well in Fantrax - last season, he averaged just 7.7 points per start and 6 ghost points per 90 (for comparison, TAA & Cancelo average over 10 ghosties a game). This is why he was available later in the draft. So while this a good start, I'm going to need more convincing. He is one to keep an eye on.
Ghost Points Per 90: 16.0 (6.9 last season)
Prospects: There is still uncertainty surrounding Nuno's preferred formation and his plans for Lucas. New boy Bryan Gil will push him for minutes but this performance should keep him in... at least for now.
Verdict: Great performance but more data points are needed to solidify his ghost point standing. He is definitely worth a cheap punt based on this season debut. A MID4/5 & a little FAB may be enough to get it over the line.
Almost as shocking as the result in the Spurs-Man City clash was the fantasy performance of one Lucas Moura. Sans an attacking return and with a yellow card, the mercurial Brazilian posted 15 total points and 16 ghost points (minus the yellow card and clean sheet bonus point). These scary scores stemmed from the following: 3 Key Passes, 1 Shot on Target, 1 Interception, 3 Clearances, 6 Successful Dribbles (his bread & butter), and 5 Aerials (odd given his diminutive size). Unlike the vast majority of players, the matchup versus City was actually perfect for a player like Lucas. His speed and tenacity fit in perfectly with the game plan to attack City on the break. And the defensive stats above are a result of the nature of these tactics.
This is why I'm not completely sold on the fact that this will continue. Like with Tierney, I need to see more of this before jumping on the bandwagon. Last season, Lucas tallied a little less than 7 ghost points per game. I don't expect these GW1 numbers to continue but given the dearth of quality midfielders this season, he is certainly worth monitoring. If he nails down a starting role, he'll be a solid MID3 going forward. However, beware of any incoming transfers or formation shifts that could leave him out in the cold (Spursiness is also a hurdle).
Ghost Points Per 90: 18.0 (6.7 last season in the Championship)
Prospects: Sarr will be the main man for the Hornets but I expect ups & downs. GW1 might be a high point; the opposition, Aston Villa, were just awful. He is capable of monster days like this but will also have some stinkers.
Verdict: I would probably hold off on trying to trade him right now. Wait for a let off and see what his value is after a few GWs. If you already roster him, hold or think about trying to shift him for a more consistent & proven asset.
Watford is back in the Premier League, bringing some new blood to the competition. Ismaila Sarr, however, is no stranger to the EPL, having played for Watford the last time they were in the league. Sarr was fun to watch but he and the Hornets couldn't do enough to stave off relegation. But it was all smiles at Vicarage Road over the weekend as Watford put 3 goals past the hapless Villans. Sarr was integral in the attack - in addition to his goal, he ended the match with 4 Key Passes, 2 Shots on Target, 1 ACNC, 4 Successful Dribbles, and 2 Aerials. That comes to a grand total of 27 points (18 of the ghost persuasion). In continuing with the main theme, while very impressive, I harbor doubts that his supernatural form will continue apace. In his previous stint in the Premier League, his fantasy stats didn't really match his exciting play, leaving a lot to be desired. I think many Draft PL veterans (other than FFChaps) passed on Sarr in the draft as a result. I would probably try to trade him out on a high but these ghosties may tempt you otherwise.
Shane Duffy (DEF, Brighton): The aerial king is back. Duffy won an impressive 9 Aerials, among other counting stats, and should be a starter for now. As others have noted, he is worth a waiver wire pickup.
Nicolas Pepe (FWD, Arsenal): I'm never gonna pass up a chance to tout Nico - his 11.5 ghosties this opening GW give me a good reason to do so. Despite the ongoing chaos at Arsenal, this gives me hope.
Pablo Fornals (MID, West Ham): Usually a tidy but largely unspectacular fantasy asset, he showed out in GW1, dropping 13.5 ghosts. We'll see if it continues, especially if Lingard shows back up in East London.
Dr. Peter Venkman Award:
Said Benrahma (FWD, West Ham): While many fantasy managers were rightly celebrating the West Ham forward's 20 point display, it is worth remembering that he needed an Assist and a Goal to get there. He was doing nothing prior to these two attacking returns and finished with a paltry 5 ghosties. He will likely be good value given where he went in the draft, but I would trade him out right now on a high given this lack of a ghost point floor. And the impending arrival of Lingardinho could eat into his minutes.
***Click here to view the full Ghost Point Tracker table!***
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