Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fantasy Football Commandments

Those of you who saw my earlier post bemoaning the poor performance of my Fantasy Football team will know that I need some guidance. I plan to give myself that guidance in the form of some basic commandments that I will refer to before I make team choices in future.

At least that’s the new plan of action to turnaround the fortunes of my stuttering FPL team. Whether or not I actually use these rules and make impulse picks instead is another matter, which leads me to the first commandment…

Fantasy Football Commandments

  1. Thou shalt consult the FPL commandments before weekly team selection and transfers. Otherwise you might well end up regretting that transfer pick of Giroud and making him your captain. Again.
  2. Thou shalt make RVP captain. A bit of a strict rule perhaps, but I am prone to a crazy last minute captain choice, so I need this kind of discipline.
  3. If the apocalypse is nigh and RVP is unavailable, make a choice on captain from your top 2 valued strikers/midfielders. Keepers and defenders score/assist rarely, so the potential upside is often limited – if in doubt pick your captain based on price. Don’t worship false idols!
  4. Thou shalt model your team/squad around 3-4-3. This is generally the most efficient way of maximising points, followed by 3-5-2.
  5. Thou shalt prioritise expensive players in your team. Basically, try to find bargains in and around your team to enable you to afford as many top players as possible. Look at points per million (ppm) to help you in this, and consider ‘backup’ players in strong teams where the player ahead of them has recently picked up a long-term injury/suspension.
  6. Thou shalt ensure that your whole squad plays regularly. Even your cheaper ‘squad’ players should be ready to contribute points by automatic selection if by some catastrophe one of your starting 11 does not play.
  7. Thou shalt consider form and upcoming fixtures when making transfers. I’d say a 6-game horizon is useful to consider for players in teams outside the top 5. The most expensive players, like RVP, don’t really require consideration to fixtures but form can still be useful guide.
  8. Thou shalt not have an expensive keeper. Mid/lower placed teams face more shots and this can offset the number of clean sheets a higher placed team gains. In any case, at the time of writing, Stoke and Sunderland have conceded as many goals as Chelsea and Man City respectively.
  9. Thou shalt not spend points on transfers. The limit of 1 transfer per gameweek is worth adhering to, unless a player is injured/suspended/out of favour. If spending points on a transfer, you need to consider how likely it is that the new player will score >4pts more than the player transferred out in that gameweek.
  10. Thou shalt check the number of fixtures in each gameweek. Usually towards the end of the season, due to cup commitments and fixture adjustments, some players play 2 games in 1 gameweek. In these cases, capitalise and weight your team towards these players – even if it means spending points on transfers. If you can phase players in/out a week or 2 before that GW then all the better.
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Fantasy Football: Ba Humbug

I play the official fantasy premier league game.

But my fantasy football team is all too often lead by gut instinct rather than careful research and consideration. It annoys me how I keep letting my heart rule my head – a couple of weeks ago I thought I just knew Giroud was going to continue where he left off at Upton Park and score at least a couple at Norwich: he was therefore the obvious choice to transfer in and make captain. Well, that was a blunder of Massimo Taibi proportions and somehow he has clung onto his place in my team (I’m not an Arsenal fan btw) but I can’t really understand why – probably in the vain hope that he’ll prove my original decision right!!

As gameweek 11 is upon us, my team lies a poor 818,500th out of 2,474,305. That’s in the top third, I murmur to myself! Well perhaps so but I’d be surprised if more than 40% of teams were being actively managed like mine, which puts my team (quite aptly named ‘Ba Humbug’) in a distincly mediocre position.

So anyway, I’m trying to let my head rule my heart for a few weeks (at least) and I’ll let you know how it goes.

My first rule is to make RVP captain every week (as long as he is available). After all I spent about 14% of my budget on him and for good reason too. My captain picks (when not RVP) have been shoddy and RVP is the top points scorer in the competition.

Next I copied out some data from the FPL website and took a closer look.

I looked at the top players by points scored so far this season in each position. This enabled me to look at the average price of each position and average points scored in the first 10 gameweeks. I reviewed the top 10 keepers, top 50 defenders and midfielders and top 30 strikers.

I was also able to derive points per million (ppm) spent for the average player in each position, and listed the top 3 players in terms of ppm for each position to try and root out some possible bargains.

Lastly I looked at formations to help to determine where budget should be spent, and what formation is most efficient. All the info I came up with is below:

GK DF MF ST
ave price £5.29 £5.43 £6.57 £7.46
ave points 37.80 31.16 36.40 38.87
ppm 7.15 5.74 5.54 5.21
players 10 50 50 30
top 3 ppm Ruddy McAuley Routledge Ba
Jaaskelainen Reid Sidwell Crouch
Begovic Ivanovic Michu Long
simple budget £10.58 £27.16 £32.83 £22.39
suggested budget range £10.00 £21.00-26.00 £32.00-38.00 £32.00-£35.00
value per player £5.00 £4.60 £7.00 £10.50
GK DF MF ST  Total Rank
Ave points 3-4-3 37.8 93.5 145.6 116.6 393.5 1.0
Ave points 3-5-2 37.8 93.5 182.0 77.7 391.0 2.0
Ave points 4-3-3 37.8 124.6 109.2 116.6 388.2 3.0
Ave points 4-4-2 37.8 124.6 145.6 77.7 385.8 4.0
Ave points 5-2-3 37.8 155.8 72.8 116.6 383.0 5.0
Ave points 5-3-2 37.8 155.8 109.2 77.7 380.5 6.0
Basic ideas
Keepers under £5.5m are generally the best picks, as long as they hold a regular starting place
Defenders score fewer points on average than any other position, so weight your budget to 3 higher-value defenders, 2 low-value
Strikers have the highest average points, so the majority of the budget per player should be spent here
Most efficient formation is 3-4-3

Alas, before I started this table and review I’d already (rashly, as ever) made my transfers for this gameweek.

If you’re interested, Ba Humbug just sold Steven Fletcher and Yaya Touré for Luis Suarez and Michael Kightly.

My team selection is below:

My team is going to need gradual improvement over the next few weeks – I’m eyeing Demba Ba as a potential replacement for Giroud next as I am expecting a run of form from Newcastle in their next 5 or so fixtures.

Thoughts welcome!