I’m a big believer that FPL is primed for a Moneyball type tactics; I don’t think it should be used as a rule across your whole squad however.
Every time I delve into a Moneyball type tactic what’s clear is that if you went full on Moneyball you simply wouldn’t spend all your budget. The best value players are never the most expensive players. What Moneyball also doesn’t consider is the Captaincy choice; if you were to captain the same player the whole season, his points would double so in turn his value to your squad (in relation to price) would also double.
So below I’m going to detail my Moneyball thinking: the way I’ve identified which players bring the most value relative to their price.
Even though you have a squad of 15 you can only play 11 and if we used the cheapest bench possible of 16.5m (4.0, 4.0, 4.0, 4.5) that leaves us with 83.5m to fill those 11 starting spots.
To provide a benchmark aim for Gameweek points I’m going to use 60 points per week, which would equate to 2,280 points over the season (in some years that would have been enough to win FPL overall).
Those 60 points per week are going to come from 11 starting players + captain, so I’m counting that as 12 players. 60/12 = 5 points per player so if we take away the captain = 55 points per gameweek.
Now here comes the Moneyball part: we want to achieve 55 points per gameweek from our 11 starters (the other 5 points to come from the Captain) and we have a budget of 83.5m to achieve this 55/83.5 = 0.66.
0.66 points per 1.0m spent is what we are trying to achieve.
So to analyse a player’s performance vs their expected benchmark I’ve multiplied their current price by this 0.66 points and then subtracted it from the actual point they’ve scored. This should show how they’re performing relative to their benchmark.
Here are the Top 10 players, by position, relative to their Benchmark:
Player – Points Difference to Benchmark
van Dijk +15.58
David Luiz +13.86
Felipe Anderson +0.91
As is often thought the value is in the defenders; what’s also surprising is how well the Goalkeepers fair and aside from Fraser & Wilson how poorly the Midfielders and Forwards fair.
As I mentioned at the start however, we shouldn’t use Moneyball to fully rule our decisions. The aim of the game is still to score as many points as possible, building a team from the 15 highest value players won’t result in this happening, you’ll have budget left over and less points for it.
We also have other factors to consider such as the captains pick.
Where this does bring value, I think, is filling in the blanks around your heavy hitters. Or making you think twice about downgrading Alonso or Robertson in order to free up funds.
What do you agree with here? How much do you look at value overall? How far can value be pushed to pick a good team?