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Pro Pundit Teams

What is ‘effective ownership’ and why is it so widely talked about in FPL?

Having successfully backed a differential captain in Blank Gameweek 29 when many of us handed the armband to Harry Kane, FPL BlackBox co-host Az takes a timely look at ‘effective ownership’.


The international break gives everyone a chance to pause and reflect on the season gone by and on their strategies going forward. As well as that, I think it allows for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers to consider their wider approach, including how they use all the information available to us to make their decisions.

In the spotlight this week is effective ownership (EO). For anyone who isn’t quite sure what this means, LiveFPL.net creator and site regular Ragabolly provides a perfect description:

EO = percentage of managers who started the player + percentage captained + percentage triple captained.

This summed percentage gives you an indication of the effect this player has on the average. If a player has an EO of 116%, it means every point he scores raises the average by 1.16 points.

Essentially, the highest EO anyone could have would be 300%, meaning that everyone in the game has triple captained this player. The lowest they could have would be 0%, meaning that no-one owns them.

This metric can help you determine the impact that various players will have on your rank should they perform. For example, if you own a player but haven’t captained them, and they have an EO above 100%, in theory, you will lose rank should they perform.

Above: The effective ownership of FPL assets in Gameweek 29 (source: LiveFPL.net)

Now there are caveats to this, namely that players will have different EOs depending on where you are in the overall FPL ranking. An example of this is Harry Kane (£11.6m) this week, who had an EO of 173% in the top 10k but 111% within the 1-1.5million ranking tier. You can use Ragabolly’s tool over at LiveFPL.net to see how different rank tiers affect EO. Don’t get hung up by the numbers too much, though: for the most part, there is a great deal of consistency between ranking tiers and who the players with the higher EOs are.

The debate

Learning from the Great and the Good 20/21 - Gameweek 28 and 29

Now, what you choose to do with this information is where you can start to mark out how you approach the game.

Probably the most common way of how we use EO is to see what is the “template”, ie which players are the highest owned. You can also use it to make educated guesses at who the most captained players will be in any given week. For example, it was pretty obvious that Kane would have an EO of well over 100% in Gameweek 29, due to the reduced set of fixtures and an ownership of a whopping 94.5% in the top 10k.

I’m going to use Kane in Gameweek 29 as my example in this piece but please don’t think I am solely referring to the round just gone, as this is just a jumping-off point for a wider discussion on the subject of EO.

The reason I see EO as an important thing to discuss is that I firmly believe that how you use it says a lot about your style as an FPL manager. This week was particularly interesting, for me, as not only did Kane end up having the highest effective ownership I can remember seeing in FPL, but many people freely admitted that EO had been a huge factor in their decision making.

Now, there are a few different ways in which you can use EO.

Firstly, you could see that Kane is going to have such high ownership and decide to block any risk of him hauling by handing the Spurs striker the armband. For some, the EO of Kane –  and the potential risk of him scoring big and not handing him the armband – is the only thing they need to consider. Some FPL managers don’t need to review any other information at their disposal. The context of Spurs’ form, gruelling midweek European football and Kane’s average recent record outside of the haul v Crystal Palace doesn’t factor into their decision making.

Others are influenced but not in such an extreme way; they may have done their research and still not have been entirely sure who to captain this week but opted to captain Kane because of his high ownership. Again, these managers are playing “safe”.

Gameweek 28 Scout Picks built on Spurs, Everton and Villa assets
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Secondly, there are groups of managers who go completely the other way. They see EO as a way of carving out an advantage for themselves by going against the grain. Again, there are different levels to this. Some might not even look at Kane’s stats or the fixtures, and simply back against. Now, this is, of course, a risky strategy, because if he does haul then those managers will likely have a huge rank drop. When not based on any real logic, it can be akin to playing with FPL fire.

When done in a more considered way, however, this strategy, while still riskier, presents itself as a way of making huge gains, very fast. This way of playing feeds into Lateriser‘s strategy of “Upside Chasing”, where managers try to hit big hauls by looking outside of the box when the crowd is heading in a different direction.

You can read more from Lateriser on the subject of Upside Chasing here:

The third, and easiest way of using EO? Ignore it completely and simply don’t factor it into your decision making at all. This allows you to, in essence, play FPL in its purest, most simplistic form. Backing players that you think will do well, avoiding those who you think will not perform – and ignoring what others are doing around you.

I put a poll out on Twitter which got around 2,000 responses from the engaged FPL community on how people use EO to inform their decision making.

Now the results here I find to be interesting. I didn’t realise going into this week just how big a part EO has on decision making – and how many of us actively use this information to play “safe”.

Mark Sutherns is an FPL manager who is very upfront about how he bases many of his decisions on others around him. He uses EO as a way to block, sometimes going against his gut to make sure he is covered. A perfect example of this came at the start of 2020/21 and involved Timo Werner (£9.2m), who he didn’t have any real faith in going into this season but who he was nevertheless worried about given his high ownership – and particularly in Gameweek 3 against West Brom, when he assumed he would be the highest captain in the game. Had Mark followed his gut, he would likely be even higher in the rankings right now as Werner, up to this point, has been a flop.

This doesn’t mean he has stuck to this approach. He mentioned to me about captaining Raphinha (£5.7m) over Patrick Bamford (£6.7m) in Gameweek 25 and here was swayed the other way – identifying an advantage in going for Raphinha that he could exploit to its maximum potential, due to Bamford’s EO.

EO has been a tool that has helped Mark, as ensuring that he can’t be “hurt” by certain players means he can instead use other slots in his team to try and rise through the ranks. Mark also happens to be one of the (if not the) best FPL managers in the world, so this approach must be taken seriously. He’s sitting at around the 6k mark this season, too, so it’s very hard to argue against this strategy. The poll results indicate that Mark’s way of thinking is shared by around 50% of engaged managers, as well.

I think that this approach is a sensible way of playing if the aim is to achieve a decent finish. I would expect that most people that stick to the “template” and base decisions off the back of this will finish in and around the top 100k. Despite Mark’s excellent record, he never feels as though he has been in a position to win FPL, making late surges to his best finishes. Could he have been braver in certain situations rather than worrying about others too much? Perhaps, but Mark serves as an example of where you can use EO to play more conservatively and do consistently well in FPL.

What’s important for me however is that people don’t become too rigid in their approach. Basing decisions purely on what others are doing sucks the fun – and a lot of the skill – out of the game. I strongly see EO as something that can be an incredibly advantageous tool as it can help you make a bet – but one in which the odds may be more in your favour – because of your expertise as an FPL manager.

Kane is a good example this week as for me, it was a week in which the context of his match against Villa meant that I wasn’t expecting him to get a huge haul and there were other options with a better fixture (e.g. Brighton v Newcastle) or form (Jesse Lingard v Arsenal). To me, these were at least as attractive a pick as Kane but it ended up an extreme minority of engaged FPL managers that chose to back against the Spurs man.

However, people seemed to settle on Kane for one of two reasons. One being that he is reliable, on penalties and, well, he’s the best striker in the league. I’m fine with that, he was a solid pick, no question.

But others opted for Kane purely because they were worried about what potential points gained might do to their ranks. Even those who genuinely felt that there may be other options this week failed to carefully consider them because they were playing with fear.

Lateriser and Luke (a.k.a. D1sable), both great FPL managers in their own rights, have done excellent threads on this topic, attracting plenty of discussions and really framing their thoughts on the subject.

I do worry that people are falling too much into the safety nets of picking players out of fear, rather than using the tools at their disposal to find an advantage over others. 

Now, this is a double-edged sword. This season, backing Riyad Mahrez (£8.1m) over Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) was an unmitigated disaster. But would I do it again? Absolutely. My greatest triumphs in FPL have been when going against the grain. I ignored Willian a few seasons ago when every man and his dog had him in their team and it was the right decision. Sadio Mané (£11.8m) is on my wall because I brought him in for Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) just as he entered a purple patch. Last season, I backed Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) because I saw something in him after Project Restart and he saved my season.

For those who call out Gameweek 29 as being an anomaly – or who say that I am only talking in hindsight – a great thread by FPL Swede reveals that out of 29 Gameweeks, on only five occasions has the most captained option been the highest-scoring player among the main runners and riders for the armband. This tells me that there is real potential here to be different and go against what others are doing.

For me, the biggest issue with what I see on the boards and Twitter is that too often, leftfield picks are shot down and ridiculed. Often captaincies and strategies are judged off the back of one Gameweek, and many people are afraid to stick with their gut because of their fear of future disappointments and further ridicule. “Falling in line” with what everyone else is doing becomes the norm because everyone falls or rises together. It’s safe. I get it.

But this doesn’t mean that bravery should be mocked. Those who go against what everyone else is doing, when based on solid reasoning and consideration, should be applauded. To truly reach the upper echelons of the game, we need to do something different to everyone else.

I think it’s time to start being accepting of other people’s strategies, not purely judge people on their ranking history, and play the game that you want to. 

I’m interested to see what you guys think. How do you use EO in FPL? Do you find that it has a major part in your decision making? Leave your comments below!


My Double Gameweek plans and why the Wildcard/Bench Boost tactic has its downside

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192 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ziyech on the Bench
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Any thoughts on the below? 1FT 0.9 ITB 10k within reach!

    Martinez / Sanchez

    Shaw, Stones, Dallas / Konsa, Maitland Niles

    Salah, Bruno, Gundogan, Raphinha, Lingard

    DCL, Bamford, Kane

  2. 3 A
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    I have Kane but I'm captained Lingard GW29. U can check my previous comments.

    Rose 300K.

    I pick differential since I got 4.5 millions rank in GW10. Now in top 1 million.

    Family problem made me that bad. .

    U must be brave to be different. But always check with STAT and EYE TEST. Thats the key.

    1. Champions League Varane
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Nice!

      1. 3 A
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        Thanks bro. And thats gw29 rise without a free hit button.

        Its a plan that i'made earlier

        1. hueycho
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 28 days ago

          Do ya want a pat on the back?

    2. gonzalocampos
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      You captained Lingard because you had nothing to lose (1M rank).

      If you were fighting for TOP 10K / 5K/ $$ ML, you would have chosen Kane.

      1. 3 A
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        Yeah thats one of the factor. Play sword and shield.

        But u cant denied another factor too. Last match Kane play without Son while Lingard have rest because cant play against Man U.

        Son is the main creator for Spurs. So thats why I dont give Kane the armband.

        When Son is back, Kane become one of my main captain too.

        I talk earlier about take note all the stats and do the eye test.

        Kane definitely good but if he can outscore by any players, I will choose the players.

        Calculate the risk carefully.

      2. Az
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        I don't agree with this. No matter where you are, you should be wanting to move up the ranks. If you've got that far, you're doing something right... don't just change your strategy to play safe and consolidate if you don't believe in your pick.

        Exception to this would be if you're in the top 100 and are looking to block others, or are going all out to win a mini league of course.

  3. King Henrik
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Anyone offer any advice for me on this lot please.

    Martinez Fabri
    Dias Trent Dallas White El-Mohamedy
    Salah Bruno Jota Gundogan Raphina
    Kane Calvert-Lewin

    1 Free transfers. Thanks.

    1. Ziyech on the Bench
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      I’m thinking of getting trent in. Nice team maybe get rid of White?

    2. Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      I think the popular move would be White or El-Mo to Rüdiger.

  4. Phil's Stamps
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Anyone considering triple Liverpool attack on WC31? I expect most will have either Salah or Jota, a few will have both, but having Mane as well could be a huge differential if it pays off. They've shown glimmers of an uptick in performances and if there was ever an opportunity to return to the form we saw last season it's in that fixture run. If it doesn't seem to be working out Mane is an easy switch to one of the Spurs mids after GW33. It would mean sacrificing KDB for me, but at least I know Mane is nailed on.

    1. 3 A
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      I will not sacrifice KDB. He is on red hot form while Mane play more centrally on pitch (not on paper), he still cant convert his chances.

      I will if KDB is not in form.

      Many people not owning him because the blank in gw33 and he is not cheap. But ownership doesnt count instead low ownership is better for owner of this kind of player.

      1. Phil's Stamps
        • 10 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        The issue with KDB is rotation though with that crazy fixture schedule. I wouldn't be surprised if Mane starts 2 or even 3 more games than KDB in the run-in.

    2. gogs67
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Go for it.
      All part of the fun of the game.

  5. Dirty Harry
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Is going without Man City assets on WC31 for the run in crazy?

    Toying with some drafts at the moment and can't seem to squeeze in City...

    Mendy (4.0)
    Azpi Shaw AWB (Coady N.Phillips)
    Salah Bruno Havertz Jota Neto
    Kane Vardy (Brewster)

    1. HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      i think it depends if city somehow get a dgw in 32 from the postponed games
      in saying that their fixtures are so crazy across all competitions you won't know who is going to play anyway

      1. Dirty Harry
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        Yeah the fact not knowing who is playing could even be enough for me to say, yep staying away. You could probably say that about any team but City is the worst when it comes to rotation.

        If I can remove a larger headache and have a smaller one then happy days.

        1. HMC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 28 days ago

          i'm planning on going dias in wc31, maybe kdb then switch to salah in 33 when they blank
          far from certain yet

      2. Major League Shocker
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 28 days ago

        That's not a DGW, it's just a rescheduling of the game that was supposed to be there to midweek. They play FA Cup on the weekend, so there's no room for them to play a league game on that weekend.

        City have already played 30 games; their fixture from GW33 was played early in GW27.

        1. HMC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 28 days ago

          thanks for clarifying

    2. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      I am personally sticking with at least one City defender, most likely Dias as I presume he'll get more minutes than Stones but if i knew they'd be playing about the same minutes i'd go with stones as his price is still great. I like your team as a whole with a good mix of differentials and must haves. Only thing is you're putting a lot of faith in 2 defenses, could either be great or disaster

  6. Ragabolly
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    No price changes

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Thanks Ragabolly.

  7. Thomas Magnum
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    The daily question: What's up DZ, how we all doing today. How's the IB treating you all?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      About to watch Kong v Godzilla. Not sure who I'm going for.

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        Have also drunk most of my wife's frozen coke so am already in the doghouse!

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Pretty boring with not much to do...

    3. baggs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Its proper dead in here today

    4. Party time
      5 months, 28 days ago

      This place is now a ghost town

  8. S3
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Initial thoughts on GW 30?

    Martinez
    Cancelo, Shaw, Digne
    Salah, Lingard, Son, Gundogan
    Kane, DCL, Watkins

    Sanchez, Stones, Vestergaard Pereira 1FT 2.1ITB

    A. Vestergaard >> Azpi/Rudiger (bench Watkins)
    B. Pereira >> Raphinha (bench Watkins)
    C Pereira + Salah >> Bruno + Jota (-4)
    D. Save FT

    1. The Units
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      C if no WC.

    2. Steiger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      If you still have your WC then just Salah>Bruno. If not then just save.

  9. Echoes
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 28 days ago

    "What is ‘effective ownership’ and why is it so widely talked about in FPL?"

    It's that crazy concept which doesn't let you enjoy the game quite as much as you can once it takes over your captaincy decision makings.

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      It can be fun if you look at it after deadline

    2. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      it’s when your player scores and you drop in rank, then work out you don’t actually want your player to score at all and you end up getting really grumpy 🙂

    3. Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      hehe thats the TL:DR version of the article!

      1. Echoes
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Hehe, yeah. Been really annoyed with the EO this season mainly, where I didn't go with my gut and followed the herd for 2 pointers, whereas my gut pick scored big points this season. Hence, stopped following the EO again like my former self used to do.

  10. kobewan
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Nice to see lesser number of comments on International break, people doing something else on this break..

    1. Party time
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Yeah. I will be back nexf gw

    2. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Yeah. Easter Holidays starting on Friday so anyone with kids will be busy.

  11. The 12th Man
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    On WC.
    KDB + Jota
    Or
    Salah + Gundogan

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      KJ

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      KJ

  12. CONNERS
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Morning

    Thinking of bringing in a Wolves defender for that nice run of fixtures.

    Is Saiss nailed and still the best option?

    Thanks

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      If I get one on my WC this week it will be Coady.
      Not sure about Saiss but Coady is nailed and cheaper plus of late he’s been getting some chances.

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Coady is nailed, Saiss has higher ceiling...

    3. CONNERS
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Coady the safer option, Saiss the higher risk/reward pick I suppose?

      Got some time to think about it at least...

      Thanks

    4. Ruth_NZ
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      No and no.

      Coady or Jonny.

    5. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      I’d go Semedo

      On the season he’s been much more involved in attacks than any of the centre backs - Doherty used to really make FPL hay from that role

      Semedo has treble the XGi of Doherty, treble the penalty area touches, 115 mins per goal attempt (Coady is 400 mins per attempt), chances created etc etc

      Gap has closed a bit over last 6 alright, but Semedo still looking more involved from open play

      1. InterUranus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        Semedo still manages to look like a really rubbish footballer though despite the stats.

        1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 28 days ago

          They all do tbf - Wolves are shocking to watch

          1. The 12th Man
            • 8 Years
            5 months, 28 days ago

            True

    6. 3 A
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Coady better imo if u want one

  13. The 12th Man
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    Mendy
    TAA,Dias,Rudiger, Shaw,Struijk
    KDB, Fernandes,Lingard,Jota,Raphinia
    Kane,Lacazette,Bamford
    WC active 0.4m itb.

    Considering Dias > Stones to afford Struijk > Coady.

    Plans.
    Wk 30. Bench Lacazette
    Wk 31. Raphinia > Saka (ARS double up v Sheff Utd) bench Bamford
    Wk 32 Bamford > Ineacheo or Lacazette > Vardy

  14. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    BBC Sport has gone innuendo-heavy this morning:

    - Belgium COME FROM BEHIND to beat Wales...
    - Portugal need own goal to EDGE stubborn Azerbaijan...
    - England ready to make SWEET SWEET LOVE to San Marino*

    *Last one may or may not be real

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      Nah. You’ve emphasised the appropriate words to make them innuendos . So that’s your mind working overtime, not the BBC’s.

      1. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        BBC also innuendo!

        1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 28 days ago

          Some filthy minds working in that organisation!

      2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 28 days ago

        That’s what they want you to think 😉

    2. Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 28 days ago

      i lol'd

  15. the dom 1
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 28 days ago

    1FT so think of either of these moves;

    a. Aubu > Salah
    b. Auba > KDB (have Gundo & Stone)
    c. Auba & Dunk > Salah/Jota & Rudiger for - 4

    These moves would be closer to deadline.

    Cheers

  16. OluOke
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 25 days ago

    I captained Iheanacho against Sheffield after he scored in back to back prem games & had 4 in his previous 4. The eye test also showed his confidence & how many dangerous positions he was getting into but for some reason EVERY post/pundit pointed to Vardy and now ranked 120k rn which is my highest ever ranking & as a Nigerian I'm so chuffed with my best ever FPL decision