Below table is what I posted a couple of days ago. Now let’s go through the methodology and team notes:
dingoR is basically a possession based system. Each possession has certain likelihood of becoming a goal as an outcome. So each action on the field can be represented in terms of x% of a goal. Actions that do not change possession or lead to a goal are not relevant for dingoR. dingoR raw scores over a season can be converted into points associated with players. Each player’s contribution can be represented as pts/90. Using this number and a very basic age curve we predict a player’s contribution to points and team point projections.
Of course this model has huge assumptions. First of all, even if we assume our points projections per player is correct(which is not) we do not know which players are going to play over a 38 game season. Second, managers are irrelevant for this model which can have significant effect on output of players due to different tactics. We think most managers do not have much of an affect beyond selecting the squad(ie. they can’t significantly get more or less from most of their players) but there are very good or bad managers out there who do. Finally, there are a lot of new players every season. Some come from other countries which poses the problem of how to convert their output into EPL. Others are younger players which are complete black boxes as far as stats go.
Having said all that, this is the first year I am doing EPL projections and my experience from NBA suggests that things will be tweaked in following years or might go through major revamps if new data becomes available.
Man City vs Chelsea
Bookies and many others have these 2 as clear favorites. They top our table as well but the difference between them and the next 3 is much closer. Big question for Man City is whether Hart (0.08 pts/90) or Caballero (0.19 p/90) will start. If they can improve on goalkeeping versus last year then they are our favorites to win.
For Chelsea addition of Courtois is a huge boost. He should be one of the best keepers in EPL for many years to come. (0.25 p/90). Way up front is the problematic area. Diego Costa is very good but not exceptional. (0.23 p/90). Ba and Eto’o were slightly better last year, even though Torres was horrible. (0.08 p/90). If Schurrle becomes a regular starter he could be the difference maker (0.32 p/90).
Arsenal, Liverpool and ManU
We think Arsenal has a decent shot at winning the EPL this year. Addition of Alexis (0.33 p/90) can be a game changer. Given that another very efficient player, Walcott (0.30 p/90) has been injured most of his life the combination of the 2 should provide them with a very decent forward line alongside Giroud (0.21 p/90). The big if is Ramsey; he was the most improved player last season, and if he can recreate the same magic (0.44 p/90) then anything is possible.
We are not as down on Liverpool as markets. Suarez, best player in EPL last year (0.51 p/90) is gone but Sturridge can be almost as good (0.43p/90). They bought some useful players in Lovren (0.21 p/90), Emre Can (0.17) and Moreno (0.16) but if something happens to Sturridge they will be in trouble. Another forward is necessary as well as an improved Mignolet (0.06)
ManU has not bought many significant players (Shaw 0.17 and Ander 0.13) but their core squad was good to start with. One of the problems is aging though. If Mata (0.22), RVP (0.29) and Rooney (0.32) can start most of their games they should be in contention for a CL spot.
It will an exciting year among top 5 and last minute transfers or injuries can change the balance.
Everton and Spurs
Two very opposite teams.
Everton has a small squad and perhaps the easiest team to guess the lineups. Howard (0.26 p/90) is projected to be the best goalie like last year and he makes a huge difference. Whether Europa League is going to stretch them personnel wise is the big question.
Spurs has a huge squad and without knowing the preferred lineup of Pochettino it is very difficult to predict them. Even if we knew how many minutes Townsend is to play would make a big difference. dingoR does not like neither him (-0.01) nor Chadli (o.04). We do not think Spurs will do well but they have the players to achieve great or horrible things.
Southamptan has a new team; and we think they should comfortably come 8th again. Our big assumption here is Pelle (0.18) and Tadic (0.16) do not end up being another Altidore and Chadli, other Eeredivisie imports who flopped.
Swansea’s big coup is Sigurdsson (0.22) who should form a formidable duo with Bony( also 0.22)
Stoke’s new man upfront Diouf is intriguing.(0.16) Give him a try on your fantasy teams.
We expect Aston Villa to be much better than everyone else due to most players’ youth. If they improve as foresee no relegation danger.
Newcastle is not that different from S’hampton in the sense that we do not know what to expect from Riviere (0.22), Cabella (0.14) and de Jong (0.17). If two of three are not performing as expected they can even be relegated.
Sunderland looks doomed especially if they start Pantilimon instead of Mannone (0.17) who was their best player last year. Rest of the squad also looks very weak.
Others I have nothing to say really.
Let the games begin.