Fabian Schär (4.7) is a name that has been on fantasy manager’s minds ever since he burst onto the scene with a 21 point haul against Cardiff in Gameweek 23. Since then, he has become a stalwart in Rafa’s rejuvenated Newcastle side, who have won 5 out of 7 games since then, including away at Manchester City, and managed to keep 3 clean sheets in the process. He has returned 3 goals and 1 assist in a meager 1397 minutes since breaking into the starting lineup. However, it must be considered that he is often on the receiving end of the mustard, collecting 9 yellow cards already in his very limited minutes.

Now, its important to not judge the attacking statistics of a defender in the same way one would a forward, as they are hampered by their defensive responsibilities. That being said, these attacking stats are nothing to scoff at. Taking 0.93 shots per 90 minutes and laying on 0.35 key passes per 90 is a decent amount of attacking influence, especially in this notably goal-shy Newcastle side. However, his total xG is at 1.90, indicating a substantial over-performance of 1.10, while his xA is at 0.36, leaving us with an over-performance of 0.64. This casts a shadow of doubt on his viability as an asset able to provide consistent attacking returns through the end of the season.

Now lets examine Schär’s shot locations, which highlight some other issues in his attacking game. In this diagram, goals are represented in green, saved shots in blue, blocked shots in purple and shots that hit the post in yellow. The largest cluster appears to be within the right portion of the penalty area, but there seems to be a trend in that all but one are low xG (low quality) chances, as well as the worrying cluster in the far right, which indicates that he’s not afraid to have a rip from distance, to the detriment of his bonus point potential.

In conclusion, I believe that Schär would be an ill advised pick for your fantasy team. His goal hauls are not wholly supported by the underlying expected statistics, and his teammates Lejeune (4.4) and Lascelles (4.7) are equally able to reap the benefit of the tight Newcastle defense, without the constant stream of yellow cards.

Shots/90: 0.93
Key Passes/90: 0.35
xG/90: 0.1
xA/90: 0.05

Verdict: Not worth it, better options are available elsewhere