EFL fantasy team of the month: August 2018
Seeing as they were so popular last season I’ve decided to try using the EFL fantasy point scoring graphics to calculate a team of the month in each division. Technically the first match of next weekend is in August, but it feels fairer to draw the line here. If you’ve not seen these before, here are 2017/18 versions for the Championship, League 1 and League 2.
I’ve applied the official Premier League scoring system (which can be found here under Rules > Scoring) to each of the three EFL divisions to see what the best possible squad would be. Just like the official game, I’ve picked the best-scoring combination of two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards (hopefully without putting anyone into the wrong category), although if this were a real game then you probably wouldn’t be able to afford to put all of them in the same team.
The only element of the scoring which I haven’t been able to apply is the bonus points, as these include stuff like tackles and passes for which there isn’t data available (at least to me). Also I think the FPL rules are a bit more generous around assists, but overall I think it gives a reasonably accurate impression of what would happen if they rolled it out across the EFL (fingers crossed).
For each division I’ve laid out the top players on a pitch, in a style reminiscent of the official Premier League version.
The top points earner so far is Neal Maupay of Brentford with 37 – he has five goals and three assists to his name already.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given who their manager is, five of the seven defensive players in the squad belong to Middlesbrough, who have only conceded twice so far. It’s not been easy though, with Darren Randolph earning top spot through plenty of saves.
As I mentioned above, the defence is almost entirely Middlesbrough players, although Blackburn take the other spot here and in goal. Rovers’ Charlie Mulgrew scored impressively last season and is already the top defensive point-earner thanks to his two goals.
A reinvigorated Leeds have three players in the squad and two of these are midfielders, with Pablo Hernandez the division’s top point-earner in the middle of the park. Nick Powell of promoted Wigan is the nearest challenger here – like Hernandez he has three goals and two assists, but one fewer clean sheet. Norwich and West Brom round out the team here with a player each.
Nobody’s close to Maupay at the moment, although his suspension will probably see the gap closed: Kemar Roofe and Andreas Weimann of Bristol City have reached the 30-point mark already with four and five goals respectively.
It’s a close battle for top-scoring player between the leading lights from this squad’s two dominant clubs. Jason Cummings – one of four Peterborough players – just edges out Dimitri Cavare – the top scorer among Barnsley‘s six representatives.
Blackpool‘s Mark Howard is the best-scoring keeper thanks to three clean sheets and plenty of saves, edging out Adam Davies of Barnsley who’s managed an additional shut-out but has had far less to do.
There’s even more red in this defence than in the one above, with Barnsley‘s excellent start seeing them provide four of the five. Cavare’s goal and three assists – alongside the team’s four clean sheets – sees him top the list, with Doncaster‘s Joe Wright the only non-Tyke to make the cut this time.
Sunderland look set to have an enjoyable season at last, with Lynden Gooch shining in midfield – he tops the list here with four assists. There are two more Peterborough representatives here, plus one more from Barnsley and – notably – one from promoted Accrington: Sean McConville has two goals and two assists already despite his side being expected to struggle.
Cummings’ Peterborough team-mate Matt Godden is also his nearest competition with three strikes to his name, while Fleetwood manager Joey Barton’s gamble on Ched Evans looks to be paying off so far.
Swindon‘s Michael Doughty is tied with Jason Cummings in the division above as the EFL’s top point scorer so far, thanks to five goals and two assists from midfield. He edges out Brennan Dickenson of Colchester who has two goals, two assists and three clean sheets as the fourth tier’s top player by just two points.
Exeter‘s Christy Pym has only recorded two clean sheets but plenty of saves – including one from a penalty – make him the top keeper so far. MK Dons‘ Lee Nichols isn’t far behind and would actually occupy top spot if it weren’t for that saved spot kick.
Unlike the other two divisions, there’s no dominant team here, although Colchester provide the two top-scoring defenders. Another MK Dons player and one apiece from Carlisle and Yeovil complete the leading quintet.
A varied midfield doesn’t have anyone whose points tally comes close to Doughty’s, although Otis Khan has made a strong start at Mansfield and is one of three players here with two goals and an assist to their name already.
Five goals apiece for Ollie Palmer of Crawley and Tranmere‘s James Norwood see them tied for best-performing forward, with Port Vale‘s Alex Revell trailing in third: he’s also been involved in five goals but only two as a scorer.
Get the data
If you want to see how your club’s players stack up in more detail (or just want to check my calculations), I’ve provided the full data for all three EFL divisions here.