The Form Guide: Sensational Littler setting the tone in 2024
PDC Stats Analyst Christopher Kempf assesses the top ten PDC stars - based on their last 200 legs played - following an action-packed start to the 2024 season...
#1 Averages - Luke Littler
#1 OChE - Luke Humphries
#1 Doubles - Ryan Joyce
#1 171-180 - Luke Humphries
#1 99, 101+ Checkout - Matthew Dennant
Less than one month into his professional darts career, Luke Littler is a World Series champion, World Championship runner-up, and the player with the highest average of any PDC professional over their last 200 legs.
Littler makes his debut at the very top of the form rankings for his 100.66 average, bolstered by excellent performances against other PDC champions in Bahrain.
Most impressively, the World Youth Champion is winning nearly 15% of his legs in twelve darts or fewer, a mark which even the best players rarely achieve. (Only seven other Tour Card Holders currently exceed 10%.)
If this is how a player makes his debut before his 17th birthday, the future promises to be filled with some earth-shattering accomplishments from this young genius.
His non-ranking loss notwithstanding, Luke Humphries deserves credit not only for becoming World Champion, but for starting the year off strong as the #1 player in leg-winning efficiency, even after a decline of over four points since November.
Such was the brilliance he displayed at the Alexandra Palace, even a disappointing loss to Gerwyn Price in Bahrain leaves him more than two points clear of any returning Tour Card Holder from 2023 in terms of his OChE rating.
Humphries figures to win more than 64% of his legs on the 2024 ProTour on current form, even after the Bahrain Darts Masters, and is the most likely Tour Card Holder to win a leg in 15 darts.
There is no better indicator of a player's ability and competitive strength, and the new world number one is also on top for that metric.
Coming out of the World Championship, the most improved player in world darts is Chris Dobey, as 2024 dawns with the Masters champion as the #6 player in averages.
Though he will certainly not have fond memories of the tournament on the back of becoming the first person to lose a match after establishing a 4-0 lead in sets, that overshadows dominant performances against reigning World Champion Michael Smith and former European Champion Ross Smith.
Leading up to the quarter-finals, Dobey boasted the highest average of the tournament, and he averaged 99.84 in his last eight defeat to 2018 World Champion Rob Cross.
As impressive as Littler's 180 output over his last 200 legs has been, Dobey surpasses it with 76 - only his 71st best doubles percentage is holding him back.
IF he is able to turn that around, he could be threatening the Lukes for supremacy in the upcoming Masters.
Of the incoming Q School Tour Card winners, the most impressive player is Dom Taylor, who embarks on his PDC career with a 93.34 average for his last 200 legs, just ahead of Nathan Aspinall for 29th place.
Since those matches were contested against other aspiring professionals, it could be argued that such a figure is less impressive than the same figure from a ProTour regular.
However, even in the competition-leveling OChE rating, Taylor performs well, figuring to win almost 54% of his legs once he starts entering Players Championship events.
From the list of new European Tour Card Holders, Development Tour star Wessel Nijman holds his own, amassing similar statistics to Taylor's over the World Youth Championship as a semi-finalist.
*OChE (Ordinal Checkout Efficiency) explained:
OChE is a metric designed to evaluate the efficiency at which players convert their averages into legs won.
The statistic is the % of legs a player would expect to win on the ProTour, calculated from a weighted average of 4,5, 6 & 7 visit checkout rates.