Are you still trying to figure out which budget defenders to pick into your FPL team for 2022/23 season? Are you asking a question, which non-top-six teams are likely to get the highest number of clean sheets? Using statistics, we examined number of clean sheets of all teams from the last four seasons in order to find the best and most stable defensive teams.
Best Premier League defenses
In the table below, there is the list of teams sorted by the lowest value of the Coefficient of Variation of clean sheets. It is calculated from the number of clean sheets from last four seasons. The lower the coefficient, the lower the dispersion of clean sheets around the Expected Value (mean).
Based on this, we may assume that in the next season teams with low Coefficient of Variation will more likely achieve the number of clean sheets close to its Expected Value.
For example, Wolves have the Coefficient of Variation of 0,14. We may assume that in the next season the number of Wolves clean sheets will be very likely close to the Expected Value (mean) of their clean sheets from the last four seasons: 10,75.
Manchester United has the Coefficient of Variation 0,27. Based on this, the number of Manchester United clean sheets in the next season will be less likely close to the Expected Value (mean) of their clean sheets from last four season: 10,25. It may vary in both directions: it may be much higher than the Expected Value but also much lower.
Most stable defenses
It is no surprise to see Manchester City at the top of our table. They performed very well defensively in the last four seasons without fluctuations in their clean sheets count. It means, their defenders are the best defenders to own in Fantasy Premier League. In the 2022/23 season, they are likely to register the number of clean sheets that would be very close to their expected value – 19.25.
For comparison, Liverpool’s clean sheets number fluctuated more around its expected value during the last four seasons. Measured by standard deviation and coefficient of variation, their clean sheet count was not as stable as Manchester City’s. So their defenders do not offer as much safety (in terms of clean sheets) as those from Manchester City.
From non-top-six teams, the most stable teams in the last four seasons were Southampton, Wolves and Palace. In the next season, they will likely get numbers of clean sheets close to the Expected Values. For Saints it is 8,25 CS, for Wolves 10,75 and for Crystal Palace 10,5.
Those three non-top-six teams had really low volatility of clean sheets in last four seasons. On the other hand, it doesn’t say us anything about defensive qualities of these teams. Based on this, we can expect that Southampton will probably achieve 8 clean sheets in 2022/23 season. Is it enough to include Saints defenders in our plans?
On the contrary. Despite the low value of the Coefficient of Variation, the Expected Value is very low. We have to look in the table for the combination of low Coefficient of Variation and high Expected Value.
From non-top-six teams, Wolves looks the best defensively based on this statistic, because the Expected Value of their clean sheets from the last four season is high and the Coefficient of Variation is very low.
Pick defenders from those teams
So, to sum things up, if you want to pick reliable defenders into your fantasy teams, with “predictable” amount of clean sheets, focus on these teams:
- Manchester City (in the last four seasons, their clean sheets count fluctuate very little around its expected value – 19,25, so you can expect 19 clean sheets from them in 22/23 season)
- Wolves (in the last four seasons, their clean sheets count fluctuate very little around its expected value – 10,75, so you can expect 11 clean sheets from them in 22/23 season)
- Crystal Palace (in the last four seasons, their clean sheets count fluctuate very little around its expected value – 10,5, so you can expect 11 clean sheets from them in 22/23 season)
- Arsenal (in the last four seasons, their clean sheets count fluctuate very little around its expected value – 10,75, so you can expect 11 clean sheets from them in 22/23 season)
FPL defenders from those teams are especially good options, if you are looking for set and forget defenders that you will have in your fantasy team for a long period of time.
This does not mean that you should avoid Liverpool, Tottenham, or Chelsea defenders. Their clean sheets numbers are just more volatile, so it is not going to be a surprise is those three teams will keep much less or much more clean sheets in the 2022/23 season as their expected value. Because of the high Standard deviation and coefficient of variation, their number of clean sheets is very unpredictable.
Based on clean sheet data from the last four seasons of Premier League football, we can conclude that there are teams that are regularly keeping almost the same amount of clean sheets in every season. Those are stable defensive teams that we should pay attention to when selecting players into our FPL teams, because (to some degree) we can predict that that will keep the same amount of clean sheets again in 2022/23 season again.