Which GK to pick for the whole FPL season?
Most FPL players must be wondering who the next Nick Pope will be? The answer is simple: Nick Pope.
Most devoted FPL players are currently doing research on which 4.5 GK will be the set-and-forget option for the season and with good reasons. The difference in points between budget goalkeepers and premium ones at the end of the season is usually minimal. Actually, it is possible that the former out score the latter by quite a margin.
Last season, for example, Pope and Henderson delivered more points than Ederson by a fair margin.
Priced at 5.5 for the season 20/21, Pope is surprisingly owned by 25% of players even though he has a blank in GW01 and in spite of his price increase. No longer a budget goalkeeper, the Claret GK still offers value. Not only does he have good stats, he also offers something other budget keepers don’t: consistency. He excels in a team that is famous for being defensively solid. Since Dyche helped Burnley get promoted into the Premier League in 2016, the clarets have kept at least 10 clean sheets per season and that’s good enough for a 5.5 goalkeeper who is a magnet for saves and for bonus points.
In his debut season, Pope kept more clean sheets than all keeper outside the top 6. None of Burnley’s defenders is set to leave the team, so if Dyche manages to strengthen his squad, Pope is bound to have a good season.
Let’s put into perspective his fantasy appeal now that’s he is not exactly cheap anymore.
In FPL, goalkeepers don’t merely rely on clean sheets to score points but also on save points and bonus points. It’s worth comparing him to other goalkeepers in such departments. Other mid-priced goalkeepers such as Ramsdale (5.0) or Drubravka (5.0), the latter is currently injured and will miss the start of the season, had a better save per 90 ratio (3.35 and 3.52 respectively) than Pope (3.00).
Notably, Lloris, who’s been priced the same this season and who plays for a defensively-minded manager too is quite superior to Pope in some departments. The French goalkeeper was number one at saving shots from outside the box per 90 mins last season (2.07) and he had a better save ratio per 90 (3.81). Even so, Pope has been more consistent when it comes to clean sheets and is quite decent in most departments.
Only Ryan and Ramsdale, for instance, faced more shots on target last season, so Pope is likely to keep on delivering save points.
As it’s been suggested, there’s another department in which Pope stands out: bonus points. Being part of a low-scoring team, defensive assets are more likely to get bonus points and Pope excels in actions that award bonus points. Last season he was top for recoveries and only five goalkeepers from those available this season had a better CBI per 90 ratio. While he is not outstanding at tackling and pass completion compared to other keepers, his BPS baseline (15.14) is quite decent.
If we correlate Burnley’s propensity to get clean sheets with Pope’s ability to deliver save points and bps, he is definitely a “safe bet”. But there’s a caveat here. As he starts the season with a blank, another goalkeeper will be needed and investing in an active keeper would be too much money tied in goalkeepers who offer low upside compared to other positions.
Banking a transfer on a goalkeeper is definitely a put off, so Pope remains an option for those who are planning to wildcard early. Particularly if we consider Burnley has good early fixtures.
Also, Pope makes an awesome punny FPL team name =)
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Gerardo L is a Mexican bloke who is obsessed with Fantasy Football games. Taking FPL seriously since 2016 and inside the top 10 in Mexico for four seasons in a row.