Community

FPL Moneyball

FPL Moneyball

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.

The Numbers

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.

The Results

Here are the Top 10 players, by position, relative to their Benchmark:

Player – Points Difference to Benchmark

Goalkeepers

Alisson  +20.81
Hart  +17.48
Pickford  +16.50
Hennessey  +16.48
Fabianski  +14.42
Kepa  +12.92
Ederson  +12.75
Etheridge  +12.48
Ryan  +9.42
Patrício  +7.42

Defenders

Robertson  +27.42
Alonso  +25.08
Doherty  +21.20
Alexander-Arnold  +15.98
van Dijk  +15.58
David Luiz  +13.86
Rüdiger  +8.64
Keane  +8.51
Pereira  +7.14
Duffy  +6.38

Midfielders

Fraser  +21.47
Richarlison  +3.71
McArthur  +3.37
Kanté  +2.26
Sigurdsson  +1.75
Felipe Anderson  +0.91
Milner  -1.14
Pereyra  -1.47
March  -1.86
Torreira  -2.86

Forwards

Wilson   +18.08
Jiménez   +7.58
Mitrovic   +1.25
Murray   -1.70
King   -9.53
Ings   -13.0
Vokes   -13.97
Arnautovic   -14.92
Iheanacho   -18.30
Pérez   -18.42

Conclusion

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?

Posted by

16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Geoff
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Thanks for writing this!

    Although I often look for value, I then look at what the extra money to get the lower value picks gives me. Often, in my opinion, it gives a security of starts, points, and potential. Using value to look back and see trends to project forward is useful but the risk, for me, is that the value picks move around quite a lot and are less secure in maintaining their form.

    Obviously there are exceptions but generally I'll trade a bit of value if the trade off gives me security

    1. Reckoner.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 13 days ago

      Yes fair point, just looking purely at the value and ignoring the fixtures will most likely result in a lot of blanks.

      There needs to be a combination of thinking when looking lower down the list.

      It also doesn't take into account any transfers you make, people won't have the same Midfielder in a spot for the whole season so who's to say the combination of players they've had in that spot hasn't provided more value then the one player high up in the value ranks would have.

      At the end of the day it's all about getting as many points from that 100.0 as possible and that's probably going to mean a lot of rotation and transfers to achieve this.

  2. reekster
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Very interesting. The names in the midfield and forward areas should give pause for thought. Especially as so many big hitters seem to be starting to hit form and WC enablers will be needed...

    Thanks and well done on the article!

  3. Zladan
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Playing my Limitless Wildcard:

    Neymar (c) Icardi Ronaldo (pc)
    Perisic Salah Di Maria Sterling
    Gimenez Marcelo Meunier
    Oblak

    Neuer Kimmich Pjanic Cancelo

    Thoughts?

    1. FPL Opinion
        3 months, 14 days ago

        Great article. Food for thought

        1. Zladan
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 14 days ago

          ?

    2. diesel001
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I think it supports going heavy in defence this season. City, Liverpool and Chelsea look a cut above the rest and will likely remain so given their squad depth and in Chelsea's case, prioritising the PL to the EL

    3. Keeneddie79
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Awesome delve into the value! Thanks for sharing

    4. Nose for baps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Goalkeepers do well and we could add also rotating gk pairs to comparison. Unfortunately I haven't got cs odds or RMT-tool suggestions to analyze which gk would have been fielded. Yet not very long ago my gk pair Rui/Lössl (not happy with them now) matched together the points Alisson had. So the question between having one premium gk or two cheaper rotating ones needs some extra study.

    5. Sterling Silva is better th…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      So a value team of
      Allison 4.0
      Alonso Robbo TAA Doherty AWB
      XXXX XXXX Richarlison Fraser 4.5
      XXXX Wilson Jimenez

      XXXX = big hitter captain options

      1. Reckoner.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 13 days ago

        Looks a good start, things to consider however:

        Alisson, Robbo & TAA taking up all 3 Liverpool spots, probably best to change TAA to Luiz a cheap bench player (Bednarek?) or maybe even Diagna.

        AWB was actually just outside the defender top 10 on +4.59 so good pick there.

        Something like this is possible for me, which is pretty tempting when you look at it:

        Allisson | Hamer
        Alonso | Robertson | Doherty | AWB | Bednarek
        Salah | Sterling | Richarlison | Fraser | Hojbjerg
        Kane | Wilson | Jimenez

    6. ENEMY
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 13 days ago

      I'm a big fan of value theory. For this season, I've picked my heavy hitters as Salah-Sterling and mostly rotated the captaincy option between them and chose the rest of the team based on value. I picked the rest of the team based on value and accumulated around 106M Team value for now. After seeing Wolves impressive defensive Xg stats, I've chosed my keeper as Patricio initially and then shifted to Fabianski in GW15. I used to have Salah-Sterling-Hazard. I've shifted Hazard to Sane and in the long term, I think that is the right move. I was fixed on Salah-Sterling perma captain by that point. The notable point though is that I've never benefitted from the most value mid fielder Fraser or never owned Alisson! It shows that you need not fill your entire squad with the free hitters. This is my current team. The only thing I'm worried is about the money distribution and leaving more on the bench. But I'm currently inside 3K and doing good.

      Fabianski Hamer
      Alonso Robertson TAA Laporte Doherty
      Salah Sterling Sane Anderson Richarlison
      Wilson Mitrovic Success
      (+0.7M in the bank).

    7. luv4rotties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 13 days ago

      Fully agree! Great way of looking at the numbers 🙂
      Do not know about past FPL seasons, but this year it points out that 4-4-2 might be equally successful to the 'more traditional' 3-4-3 (or even 3-5-2)!

    8. the Penman
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 13 days ago

      Nice article. Interesting to see that a £1m spent on your squad is worth more the further back you spend it...

    9. vibhormbic91
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 12 days ago

      The concept of Value is flawed unless you incorporate the amount needed to form a team. For instance, you will have to spend a minimum of $64M (GK:8, DEF: 20, MID: 22.5, FWD: 13.5) to get a zero point team.
      So, you need those 60 points from $36M and not from $100M.

      I have gone into a lot more nuances in an article. https://link.medium.com/uyUmiVL6BS

      I've been implementing this Moneyball strategy on my team since my GW9 Wildcard.

    10. Quite Big Dunc
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 9 days ago

      Always enjoy reading through these ideas and theories. Good stuff. Thanks.