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:

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!


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