What is the FPL ICT Index and how useful is it?

FPL ICT Index

FPL ICT Index

When it comes to selecting a player, FPL managers trust the stats, It may be it goals scored, saves made, bonus points and the list goes on but the one stat that is the king of all stats is actually the ICT index and in this write up we are going to explain to you what exactly the ICT Index is about.


Definition of FPL ICT Index

ICT stands for Influence, Creativity and Threat.

  • Influence evaluates the degree to which a player has made an impact on one single game or throughout the season.
  • Creativity assesses player performance in terms of producing goal scoring chances for others
  • Threat measures the player’s threat on goal, gauging how likely it is that the player will score.

All three of these scores are combined to create an overall ICT Index score. That then offers a single figure that presents a view on that player as an FPL asset.

So now that we know how ICT works, let’s take a look at how good it really has been.

Our methodology

We decided to extract some FPL data up to GW11 from Github – we will like to thank vasstav for religiously updating this.

To find out how useful the ICT Index in predicting a player’s FPL score, we deployed a very simple statistical analysis – correlation. In statisticscorrelation is any statistical relationship, whether causal or not, between two random variables or bivariate data.

In layman’s terms:

  • The possible range of values for the correlation coefficient is -1.0 to 1.0. I
  • A correlation of -1.0 indicates a perfect negative correlation (ie one factor moves up the other moves down)
  • A correlation of 1.0 indicates a perfect positive correlation. Anytime the correlation coefficient is greater than zero, it’s a positive relationship.
  • A value of zero indicates that there is no relationship between the two variables.

Overall

We did a correlation test between all current players’ ICT Index score against their FPL score and noted that it is 0.891, indicating a very high correlation overall.

Goalkeepers

The ICT does not cover anything related to defence in terms of earning points with clean sheets or saves made, so do not expect to see any centre backs or goalkeepers to rank high on the ICT Index.

Most GKs score very low in terms of Creativity and Threat as expected.

For goalkeepers, the correlation between ICT Index and FPL scores is 0.798, 10% lower than the over correlation score, which is expected.

Suffice to say, ICT Index is not a particularly useful metric to use when you pick a goalkeeper.

Defenders

For defenders, the correlation is 0.889, very close to the overall correlation in FPL.

The defender who ranks 1 out of 219 defenders in the ICT table is Liverpool’s Andy Robertson with a score of 66.8. When we look at the points return of Robertson, he sits at 5th place amongst the defenders with a total points of 51 points.

In fact, the player at the top of the points list among the defenders is a centre back, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma with a total of 67 points and ranks at 11 on the ICT index due to his rank 1 in the Influence and rank 7 in the Threat. Like we expected, Zouma is not the most “creative” of players.

The 2 best players to pick according to their points return to ICT index ranking are both Chelsea players, Ben Chilwell and Reece James. Ben Chilwell has 58 points and is ranked 2 in the ICT Index for defenders while Reece James has 52 points is ranked 4 in the ICT Index.

Midfielders

Midfielders have a higher correlation score – 0.939

In midfield, Liverpool’s Salah tops the ICT Index among 204 midfielders and with his 9 goals and 3 assists so far, we can see why he is ranked so high although he is not top of the points list.

Tottenham’s Son Heung Min is top of the points table with 100 points although he is only ranked 4 in the ICT Index. Both Son and Salah are must haves in any FPL team this season due to both their ICT ranking and their points tally.

The other option in midfield who is ranked at 2 in the ICT Index is Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes. He is ranked 2 in Influence and 1 in Creativity and has scored a total of 80 points thus far.

 

Forwards

For Forwards, ICT Index and FPL scores are the most highly correlated – 0.956. This is no surprise at all given that forwards do not earn points from clean sheets, meaning that their FPL scores arew nearly 100% correlated to the attacking plays they are involved in (ie Threat and Creativity)

FPL GW03 Wildcard

Tottenham’s Harry Kane is the only player who tops the ICT Index among forwards and also tops the FPL points list among forwards. He ranks 1 in Creativity and Influence while he ranks 3 in terms of Threat.

The forward who ranks 1 in threat is none other than Everton’s Calvert-Lewin who is ranked 2 in the points table and is ranked 3 in the ICT Index table.

The other option presented in terms of ICT ranking is Leicester’s Jamie Vardy who is ranked at 2 in the ICT Index and is ranked 3 in the points table.

Conclusion

Both FPL scores and the ICT Index are backward looking statistics – ie they measure events which has already happened.

There is also an argument here – does a good ICT Index lead to high FPL score OR does a high FPL score causes a good ICT Index?

We don’t deny that ICT Index is a metric to sum up any FPL player’s attacking performance, but relying the Index to pick your next FPL transfer is as good as picking based on accumulated FPL points itself.

Perhaps the analysis of more forward looking statistics would carry more weight.

 


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