Predicting Uber-Premium Midfielders
I was really happy with the stuff I did on trying to predict uber-premium breakouts, but now with rule changes and the 17 match season over the last few years, it is hard to make good year to year comparisons anymore. But looking this over I think there is still some value. Anyways, I was trying to see if there was a way to predict players going 125+ for the first time, and now there are two more players who broke out and scored 125+ since I wrote the original, so I’m going to look back and see how they fit into the data. Then I’ll check if anyone is looking like they will break out this season.
Of the seven breakout players from the first study, four broke up at age 23, then one each at 24, 25, and 26. Neale also did it at 26 and Steele did it at 25. Touk Miller got very close at 25, but this is neither horseshoes nor hand grenades, so I am not including him.
Every one of the breakouts missed 0 or 1 game the previous season. Still true with Steele and Neale.
The 23 years olds who broke out averaged 110.3 the year previous, that has not changed. Neale averaged 121.3 and Steele averaged 122.5 so both over the previous known minimums.
Averages the previous season for other ages with Steele and Neale added
Average at 23 before Breakout at Age 24 – 118.9
Average at 24 before Breakout at Age 25 – 121.2
Average at 25 before Breakout at Age 26 – 122.25
Previous season average of all over 23 breakouts – 121.16
Previous season’s average over the last ten games over their full season average?
118.2 Neale so not quite but close. Nice to know.
125.5/125.25 (last ten / last 8 from 17 match season) by Steele, so yes either way
Average 3 seasons before boom:
2 Before 3 Before 4 Before
Neale 111.9 109 112.6
Steele 95 94 91
Both are pretty consistent with the other data.
So, a bit more variance, but still seems to be useful as a guide to guess breakouts.
Oh, the 2020 candidate, Dunkley, got hurt and of course did not go uber-premium, then or at 24. He is currently 25, based on his injuries he is not a 125+ candidate. Of course he averaged 129 over his first six games last season, prior to getting injured, so that’s awfully interesting to me. I feel like if he had not been injured he would have or close to, which is why I have him in my 2022 team despite his injury history.
So, anyone on the horizon this season?
There are six guys to check, plus Andy Brayshaw who is a year too young, at least in theory.
Brayshaw first: Too young, missed more than one game, last ten average of 114.9 higher than season average of 107.3. Prior season average of 101.3. Season before that just 70 and 60.
So, no, not very likely. But I am so checking him again next season, because he could fit the bill for an age 23 breakout based on his career so far. Also, just because he is not likely to average 125+ does not mean he will not raise his average by a lot. Just won’t be by more than 17.6.
Two of the candidates are 24 this season.
Clayton Oliver: Missed no games. Last ten average of 121.7 which is just under his season average of 123.5 Previous season’s averages are amazing. So, the thing with predicting Clarry to average 125+ is that he has averaged 122.2 and 123.5 in his last two seasons. Saying someone might average 1.5 more than last season is a nothing. Of course he can hit 125 or more; if he stays uninjured it is probably just a matter of time. And since he is already priced so close to 125, there’s not a lot of benefit from that prediction. However, the reason I always fear not having him is that I can see him going 130 or 135 some year. I kind of expect him to give his history. Anyways, I feel like yes he is a great candidate to “break out” but we all knew that.
Darcy Parrish: Missed no games. Last ten average of 109.8, which is well below his season average of 114.1. Last season averaged just 114.1, not close to 118/121 and previous averages are meh. So, no breakout predicted. Improvement is possible sure, just no breakout.
The rest of the candidates are 26:
Marcus Bontempelli: Missed no games. Last ten average of 111.6, well below his season average of 119.7. Last season average of 119 which is short of 121 but not too far and previous seasons good. Predicting no breakout but won’t be shocked if it happens.
Touk Miller: Missed one game. Last ten 130.9 which is over his season average of 124.5….um…..gosh I wonder if he can add HALF A FREAKING POINT to his last season’s average…..previous seasons ok…..I mean, he sure looks like a great candidate to add half a point to his average and go for 125 or more. But, I think with the strong finish to the season he could add, let’s say, “several” more points to his average. Again, a great candidate to “break out” but we all knew that.
Zachary Merrett: Missed no games. Last ten of 119.3 which is higher than his season average of 115. Past seasons are good, but last season’s 115 is well below the 121ish range so no breakout predicted.
Christian Petracca: Missed no games. Last ten of 117.3 which is well over his season’s average of 111.4. But a 111.4 is far off 121 so no breakout predicted.
Adding in the data from Steele and Neale makes it rather obvious that the guys who score 125 or more for the first time after age 24 are the ones who scored very close to that the previous season. That’s nice to know, but as I have said, predicting a small increase takes little predictive ability.
We have so many players floating around the 120s now I probably need to check on 130+ scoring breakouts. Probably next season…..
Thanks for reading!
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