Deulofeu Is a Popular FPL Pick but Is Deeney Being Overlooked?

As FPL players tinker over their drafts, one budget forward that seems to feature frequently is Gerard Deulofeu. However, Troy Deeney may be the Watford striker that managers should be looking at.

Favorable Fixtures For Watford

One of the main reasons managers are picking Deulofeu is because of Watford’s favourable fixtures to start the season. According to FDR (FPL’s Fixture Difficulty Rating), their first 4 games score an average difficulty rating of 2.75. This is a decent start but looks even better when you see the actual fixtures on paper.

In Gameweek 1, they face Brighton at home, and in Gameweek 4, Newcastle away, two teams already predicted to be fighting relegation.

Following Brighton, they play Everton away, which is a tough fixture on paper. However last season, Watford scored 3 goals overall against Everton, drawing one match and winning the other.

In Gameweek 3, they play a West Ham side at home who, in 2018/19, had a terrible defensive record, beating only Fulham and Huddersfield in clean sheet totals. Therefore, it seems pretty clear you should want a Watford forward… but which one?

Stats Show Deeney Leads Most Budget Forwards

Last season, Deeney slightly outscored Deulofeu (when we account for Deulofeu’s positional change, not including bonus points).

Deeney had an ICT index of 216.9, higher than most other forwards around the 6.5 million price point, including Barnes, Wood, Jota, Murray, Calvert-Lewin, and importantly, Deulofeu. ICT is a system FPL uses to measure a player’s influence on the outcome of a match, his ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for others, and his ability to threaten the goal himself.

Therefore, at least according to the ICT index, Deeney is one of the best budget forwards. Other stats also show Deeney’s dominance.

Deeney had the 3rd most xG (expected goals) last season among £6.5m or less forwards, ahead of Deulofeu. The Watford captain also had more shots in the box and big chances than his Watford teammate.

Who’s More Consistent?

Perhaps Deeney’s biggest advantage over Deulofeu is his consistency. While Deulofeu is streaky, Deeney is better at giving you returns week in and week out.

This can be shown when we calculate what is called the “standard deviation” of each player’s scores. Standard deviation measures how close a player gets to his Points Per Match every match. So, the lower the score, the more consistent the player is, while the higher the score, the more erratic a player is.

Deeney has a standard deviation of about 4.1, while Deulofeu has a standard deviation of about 5.0. This clearly shows Deeney is more consistent and can be relied on for regular returns.

Could VAR Have An Affect?

Another advantage Deeney has over Deulofeu is that Deeney takes penalties for Watford. Admittedly, it may be a rather small advantage. With that said, Watford were tied for the least amount of penalties won last year, with only 1, which Deeney converted.

However, with VAR set to arrive in the Premier League this season, that number may increase. VAR has had varying results in other leagues, increasing the number of penalties given in La Liga, and decreasing the number of penalties given in the Serie A. In the 2018 World Cup though, it seemed to award many more penalties.

So Which One – Deeney or Deulofeu?

While Deulofeu is a popular pick among the 2019/20 FPL Community, sitting at 11.5% TSB (as of the time of writing), Deeney remains a differential. Only 2.7% of FPL managers own him, behind almost all other budget forwards.

The major reason Deulofeu’s ownership is so high is because of Watford’s opening fixtures, but many seem to be forgetting that Deeney plays for Watford as well! They also seem to be forgetting that Deeney has a better ICT Index and xG, is more consistent, and on penalties.

Based on those facts, it seems that Deeney is a much better budget forward than his teammate, Deulofeu, and many other options around his price point.