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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. DavidBadWillie
      1 month, 20 days ago

      I like big butts and I cannot lie.

      1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        All you other brothers can’t deny...........

    • Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Seen a few really good discussions on Twitter so really wanted to bring this over to Scout. Really keen to know how you guys use EO (or not) and what you all reckon of using it for ‘safe’ plays. To me, it goes completely against why I play FPL...

      1. tbos83
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I use them as a guide to captaincy decisions. If I'm between cap options I'll generally go for the one with higher eo as I'm not chasing (top of both MLs and 22k overall) so don't want to risk missing a haul from a popular player.

        • Yank Revolution
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I love that it is an available metric and lean heavily on it to make my transfer decisions with a "Sword/Shield" mentality.

        • Westfield Irons ⭐️
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          How about additional points for low owned players?
          I can't think of another way to encourage FPL players to stop following the herd (for good reasons) and resulting in the dreaded template team, which means we all end up treading water, unless you gamble on low owned players (and I believe low owned players are low owned for good reason, so you are genuinely gambling with these picks). Reward low owned players with more points, something like

          1. Westfield Irons ⭐️
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            something like +1 point for appearance, CS, Assists and Goals

        • Arn De Gothia
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          No, i just play my game

        • The Units
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I just try to choose who I think will score the most points in that GW for captain. I do try to cover the 'big hitters' (which this season is not just about price) and them in my team with one or two differentials.

        • Sedemuda
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Apart from Mark, the other guys mentioned are all having an unsuccessful season. I go by who I think will score the most points each week. I do tend to play safe, no EO in mind. However, I do get swayed by the crowd some weeks & lose points on a differential. Lingard for example didn't cross my mind. Form is temporary etc & I trusted Kane's class to return points. Swings & roundabouts! Thanks for the article Az, definitely something to ponder.

          1. Az
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            No worries! It's true, this season hasn't leant itself (in my opinion) to the "risk takers". But I found the captaincy stats very interesting and theres ground that can be made up there, even in a season where the template is so strong.

            I was really suprised that so many managers don't share the view of "captain the one who you think will get the most points" - as mentioned, those that went for Kane because they fancied him to do well, fair enough... but people still backing him despite not being convinced on his potential is baffling to me.

            1. Sedemuda
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Nice one on Trossard btw. I had a FH to use & decided against it. He would probably have ended up on my bench with Auba starting!

        • Nimby
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          You're gonna make everyone captain Raphinha now Az. He won't be so differential anymore. Damn you!

        • ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Captain who you think is most likely to score most points. Start farting about with this sort of thing if the situation dictates towards the end of the season. Anything more than this is overthinking.

          1. Az
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Couldn't agree more...

          2. The 12th Man
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Well said.

        • Studs Up
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I prefer to keep things simple, so eo never really is/was an issue for me. I probably see it as "another variable" that could cloud my judgement when its time to pull the trigger.
          Eye test, few stats here and there and bobs ur uncle lol

        • pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Don't get EO fear as a way of playing the game.

          If you pick a player for EO alone you are more or less explicitly denying your own judgement by choosing a player who you don't really rate but others do.

          The other part of it is that EO is an opportunity as much as a risk. If the highly owned player fails and your choice succeeds then you are up as much as you would be down vice versa.

          Other point is no player is ever necessary. My road to Damascus was getting a healthy green with no Mo when he was massively owned and had high TC too when he hit a hattie against Huddersfield.

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Ah just read article - I'm firmly in the 3rd group where EO has no explicit role in my judgement making. Just more fun that way - can see more balance might mean better OR but that's not why I play the game.

        • g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I think you need a balance of the highly owned ( usually the guys scoring historic or through the season) then a sprinkle of low owned form/hot guys ( a way to climb rank)
          I looked at Spurs midweek, not impressed, lethargic & missing Son.
          Took a punt on Jesse C & was choking on my beer after 15 mins 🙂
          Struggled earlier in the season 3m at one point, hoping to beat last year’s 70k finish - getting harder every year!

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            3 million isn't struggling 🙂

            Do you actually look at ownership in buying a player? If you have a well set up side you will naturally end up with a load of highly owned players but that's cause and effect operating.

            1. g40steve
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Luckily managed to get some of the very hot players from the start or early doors when they were low ownership.
              Need to get some extra differential players but not easy spunking WC previously,

        • Gnu
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          For me, this is the part of season where low ownership is key.
          You now start to see low ownership players starting to come out of the pack, either from a youngster breaking into the team, lack of form from somebody else or injury. You can start to see the odd player hitting form without maybe turning it into FPL points but that's the 'eye' test. Catch them now especially as I'd always have a playing 15 squad with the BB chip usually still to play.
          Not a fan of following EO and especially not at this time of the season.

          1. Magic Zico
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Yep am with you, see below

        • Nimby
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I really want to use your article as inspiration, Az. I captained Kane in 29 even though I didn't expect him to do particularly well. Only his inventive cheating got him his penalty as well. In 30 he has Newcastle and I have to fancy him to do well there. The realistic differential alternatives in my team are Raphinha, Bamford and Lingard. I will ponder this for the next couple of weeks and likely wuss out and give it Kane anyway.

          1. Az
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Kane vs. Newcastle is a bit of a no brainier. But Kane vs Villa wasn’t in my mind, and that’s why I’m so suprised that so many went for him.

            For example, in the great and the good it was only myself and Lateriser that backed against Kane... couldn’t believe it!

            1. Magic Zico
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              It's not the Kane v Villa is the reason, the other options were not convincing enough and therefore people chose to stay 'safe'

              1. Major League Shocker
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 20 days ago

                Yeah, most are only comfortable captaining premium assets. I think last year the stats did suggest that most managers would have been better off captaining Salah more often than they did. Many may have over-learned the lessons of last season and avoided unconventional options that were actually good.

            2. F_Ivanovic
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Kane had the highest predicted points by a reasonable margin - Dunk was actually the closest to him and I imagine the majority of top managers look at prediction algorithms when deciding who should be in the captain mix and then go off other metrics if it's fairly close. I know Fabio Borges in particular heavily relies on it - hence why he's captained Salah (like myself) in weeks where he's not been backed by the community because he's often at the top of the list.

              This week a lot of the differential captains all did well, but so many weeks they don't - yes, you get some people who get lucky with a differential captain who you hear about but you don't always hear from everyone who had a captain punt that failed miserable.

          2. Magic Zico
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Because you think those captaincy options will all do well, I would pick the one I think to score the most regardless of their EOs.

        • Magic Zico
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          As to any information, I have used EO for getting awareness of the risk I am committed to. For captaincy, picking an asset who I think to score the highest remains the week in week out approach. Only when it's a neck to neck such as GW29, EO may have clouded my decision to pick [C] with the perceived lowest risk. I also used EO as a parameter to choose a differential when transferring in an asset that I think will do very well and may propel my rank because I feel am in front of the curve. Hope these make sense!

        • Nanoelektronicar
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          My two cents:

          https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2021/03/24/who-has-the-best-and-worst-upcoming-fpl-fixtures-8/?hc_page=1&hc_sort_by=comment_date#hc_comment_23625905

          TL;DR - target the opposition is the way to go for me, i.e. big hitter against whipping boys. Most of the weeks, it is the high(est) EO player.

        • Zen Arcade
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I like any stats analysis and theory related to FPL so this stuff does appeal to me, but I do ignore ownership completely and just play my own game. If I start thinking about what others are doing, it just detracts from my own enjoyment and stops me thinking straight.

        • TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Occasional (5-10) times a season differentials which are well thought out with high upside relative to downside = elite players and key to an awesome rank

          Differential captain almost every week just to be different (or at this stage of season out of desperation) = will end badly

          Luke and Lateriser may be good managers but it’s pretty clear to me they have gone too differential too often this season and now are really going ‘bold’ (e.g Lookman last week).

          Also I get saying that nailing a differential captain is great and a good feeling. But if you do say 4 differential captains, 1 works
          And 3 don’t and you have less points than if you’d gone for 4 template Captains - is that something to get excited about?

        • michaelington
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          If I look back to my most successful seasons, it’s the ones where I did what I wanted without any real outside influence. This was back in the good old days when you had to wait until about 8 pm to see your rank change.

          These days I am influenced by live fpl and Twitter. I think if I stayed away from these I would generally do better. It just seems to be the way it is now. I went against the EO in a dgw and captained Kane instead of Gundo, made huge gains and now around 20k. I think we all need to take it back to basics and simply captain who YOU think will score the most points.

        • Hotdogs for Tea
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          generally players with a high EO are players that are likely score lots of points .... if Kane or Bruno are playing teams that defend well and don’t conceded and I have other players that are likely to score more goals then I look elsewhere, but generally Kane, Bruno or Salah/KDB are the go to players for ownership and captaincy, simply because they have high ceilings and tend not to blank as often as other players

          Now, Salah and KDB have not only fallen away from a good choice of captain but have actually fallen out of my squad, so the question for me will be whether to back against some one else scoring more points than Bruno or Kane, and generally there is only one answer to that question.

          Then there is the option of perma captaining someone with a high ownership so that you never miss out on the hauls by chopping and changing the Captain.

          I think the best FPL players look at it game by game with a bias to players that are likely to score the most points, and those assets are generally highly owned.

          Captaining Kane or Bruno most of the time and make your climb up the rank by picking other players that score more than you rivals seems a happy middle ground 🙂

        • Rasping Drive
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I pay little to no heed to EO. It makes no sense to me to go with a captain pick just because of high ownership if there are what I perceive to be better picks out there. I don’t care if the highest EO pick scores well just as long as my pick scores more.

          I rarely look at what the so-called crowd are doing, nor who the Captain’s poll leader is, nor even my rivals’ teams. If I start to worry what other managers are doing, I lose focus on my own team and end up allowing others to make my decisions for me. All of which defeat the object of why I play the game in the first place.

          Also, if you make think that player A is the best captain choice in one week, but go with player B because the latter has a high EO, decisions based on EO and it doesn’t go well

          1. Rasping Drive
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            ...you end up kicking yourself all week because you didn’t trust your own instincts. And that is a one way ticket to the madhouse.

      2. The 12th Man
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        WC active, tinkering.

        Mendy
        TAA,Shaw,Alonso,Rudiger
        Salah, Fernandes,Mahrez,Raphinia
        Kane,Bamford

        Martinez,Saka,Coady,Ineacheo. 1m itb for upgrades.

        1. g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Triple Chelsea is guaranteed to end in tears!

          1. Little Red Lacazette
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Spoken like 10 wise sages.

          2. The 12th Man
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Alonso is short term punt. Will be moved later for Cresswell and Don’t have to play them all every week.

        2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Looks great!

      3. Fred54
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Really insightful article. Looking forward to the next one about midfielders getting an extra point for a goal and 1 point for a CS over forwards.

        1. Az
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Do I detect sarcasm there Fred54

          1. InterUranus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Remember when FFScout had a partnership with a company that literally lost people thousands of pounds and it was never spoken about again?

            I think that should be the next article. Maybe discuss effective ownership of each financial asset lost.

            1. Az
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              It's been spoken about a lot. The partnership is on hold and Scout isn't promoting them.
              FI itself is down and we're all waiting to see what's going to happen with it.

              1. InterUranus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 20 days ago

                If you could point me in the direction of a public post or article about the situation that'd be handy.

                1. InterUranus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/?s=Football+index

                  Doesn't seem to be much on here considering it's been talked about a lot.

      4. COVID-CASUAL
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I use livefpl so it’s impossible to not be aware of EO, but I’ve never considered it for decisions. At least consciously. Possible there is some unconscious bias at work at times though.

          1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            This!

          2. Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            it got to the stage where I simply had to get Gundo and ownership was a factor

            1. COVID-CASUAL
                1 month, 20 days ago

                Surely the main factor in getting Gundo was he was scoring loads of points at under 6m?

                I think you're confusing the cause and effect there.

                1. Hotdogs for Tea
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  not really and only brought him in in GW20.

                  I doubted he would keep up his goal scoring exploits and thought he would be rotated when others came back from injury ... in the end his goals were killing me because he was so heavily owned. If he was owned by 10% I doubt I would have brought him in

            2. Az
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Yeah I can't argue with this. It would be really interesting to know how different we'd all play if we couldn't see the ownership of players at all!

          3. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Which midfielder are you tempted to bring in that you don't own?

            1. Little Red Lacazette
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Jota

            2. Magic Zico
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Yep Jota

            3. Better off with a pin and a…
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 20 days ago

              Lingard.

          4. Finding Timo
              1 month, 20 days ago

              How confident are people that Alonso will play v wba ?!

              1. Az
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • Has Moderation Rights
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 20 days ago

                I’d be suprised if he didn’t play

                1. Finding Timo
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Ok cheers I am stuck between shaw or a Chelsea defender for GW30 but I need someone who plays due to rubbish bench

                    1. Major League Shocker
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Don't take a risk, I have owned Alonso since GW25 and there was a week when I only fielded 9 players due to Alonso and Man City no shows. Tuchel roulette is no joke!

                      1. Finding Timo
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Ok cheers mate looks like shaw best bet

                        • F_Ivanovic
                          • 5 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          What this should read is: don't take a risk if you already have a plethora of rotation risk options in your starting 11. If most of your team is nailed and you have a strong bench it's more OK to take a risk.

                          1. Az
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • Has Moderation Rights
                            • 11 Years
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            Agreed. I like Alonso as a one week punt, but if longer term then Shaw or Azpil are the guys to get

                2. g40steve
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Of course Bale A the G!

                3. Lindelol
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Pope Johnstone
                  Canelo stones AWB Lowton Coufal
                  Salah, Gundo, Son, Raphinia ESR
                  Kane,Bamford DCL

                  4 itb and 2 FT

                  What should I do with these 2 free transfers? Son to Bruno and Stones to Rudiger?

                4. pingissimus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Re the Kane example I’d be interested to know how many who went elsewhere genuinely expected two returns from the man they did back.

                  Trossard had done this once all season
                  Leeds were bang out of form in attack and facing a form defence
                  Lingard was in form but facing a defence that - like Fulham - rarely conceded more than one

                  If you rated Kane as likely to score it wasn’t simply fear that drove the decision. A Kane goal means 9 points more often than not and essentially only a double return elsewhere would better that .

                  1. Steve The Spud
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    to be fair it was a pretty jammy pen but that's the advantage of having the pen taker, always increases the probability of a return

                    1. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Oh agreed - it was a stinker

                      I had been on Lingard all week but I decided in the end I was just being different for the sake of it.

                      As it happened Lingard Trossard and Bamford all out pointed Kane but I still fail to see any strong argument for any of them as better captain picks.

                  2. Zen Arcade
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    On the other hand Spurs were playing after being terrible away in the EL on a Thursday night and wjth no Son, so backing against wasn’t that big a decision.

                    1. g40steve
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      This

                    2. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Then you look at how poor Villa have been all season against top 8 and the likely high motivation of Kane. He wasn’t a necessary captain but he was more than a safe choice.

                      I’m simply curious here about the motivations of those who went elsewhere.

                      1. Zen Arcade
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        Bit of fun man.

                        1. pingissimus
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Fair answer 🙂

                          1. Zen Arcade
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            I capped Kane tho

                  3. Az
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    To me it was just the chance to take a calculated gamble. I wasn't sold on Kane due to their confidence and gruelling European game. I felt there were other options who had good upsides, namely Trossard, Raphinha and Lingard (and spoke about them on BlackBox before the game).

                    When you can make a case for going against such a highly owned player, it just makes sense to me.

                5. gooberman
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Soucek has scored 2 for Czech Republic. He seems to have been forgotten about FPL wise. Still a great option.

                  1. Steve The Spud
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    true, shame about his own goal, would have been a nice little return

                  2. Zen Arcade
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Top scorer at West Ham isn’t he?

                    1. gooberman
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Yes. Hat-trick now!

                  3. 3 A
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Didnt watch the match. How he scores? All headers or some from his legs, butt etc? 😀

                    1. gooberman
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Dont know mate. Didnt see it.

                6. Jkennard16
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Interesting Article Az.

                  Personally, I view EO as similar to baking a cake. To be successful, you need to include the basic ingredients such as butter, sugar, eggs and flour as they have such a massive impact on the outcome of the cake. In FPL terms, at the time of writing, these include players such as Martinez, Bruno, Gundo and Kane (usually around 75% EO). You can get away with excluding one of the ingredients but any more would likely have a detrimental impact on the outcome of the cake.

                  However, the quality of the cake is not necessarily down to the basic ingredients, but more the fillings/toppings which not all other cakes would include. Over the course of the season, I have used players such as Targett, Rudiger, Stones, Cancelo, Antonio and Coufal while still low ownership to gain significant rank while not compromising on the premium assets with higher ownership. This method removes the large downside of not owning high EO premiums and, if done correctly, can have a decent upside when these players perform.

                  As for captaincy, I find it difficult to back against the basic ingredients for most weeks. In GW29 for example, the massively high EO of Kane meant even if you owned him, any return was highly detrimental to your rank. As I could only field 8 players to start with, backing against Kane would effectively remove him as my player for the week. While this is a largely unique situation, I believe there are enough gains to be made elsewhere to not have to always back a differential captain as a means of rising up the ranks.

                  I understand the arguments for upside chasing (and obviously it can be highly effective), but I would suggest gains can be made without removing highly owned assets bur rather with techniques such as double/triple defences or backing mid-priced players with low ownership and good fixtures. Ultimately it depends on your own personal risk appetite (mine is rather low) but either way EO is a useful tool for evaluating possible gains/losses and is definitely an important factor in my FPL decision-making process.

                  1. Az
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Thanks for the reply Jkennard16!

                    I think thats a good analogy for the most part - I think where I disagree is that if your eggs have gone bad, you wouldn't add them to the cake. In the same way, if Salah is not performing (0 goals in 5 games) and you don't see him returning back to form any time soon, sticking with him just because you are worried about his EO seems the wrong strategy to adopt.

                    I'm also not sure about this "only had 8 players so had to go safe" thing, Mark is saying the same thing. The players don't care about how many players you have, they'll all score the same points regardless. If you didn't see Kane as the best option, I just can't see any reason to back him, yet many did.

                    I just think that when we start playing the game worrying too much about other people, we can lose our sense of what FPL is about, the joy of backing our own decisions and trying to find an advantage.

                    1. Jkennard16
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      For me personally, the eggs going bad would signal a players ownership dropping significantly (out of the template) and not necessarily a loss in form - Brunos points have dried up recently but his high EO means I would want him in my team regardless. Salahs ownership (albeit due to form) is dropping to the point where I would argue he's quickly changing from a template pick to a more 'differential' option. Even though the egg (Salah) may have gone bad, it makes him more of a filling/topping which would help me gain rank if he does well and I decide to keep him. It also means a new egg (Kane/Son/KDB) would take his place if their ownership jumps rapidly due to people selling Salah.

                      I think we'll never agree on the safe captain pick, sorry to say I fully back Mark on that one! It's never a bad thing to listen to different views on playing FPL though, I really enjoy learning how other people approach the game.

                      Anyway, love the content you're putting out recently, really enjoy listening to Blackbox every week. It has definitely helped me improve my rank over the season.

                7. Shark Team
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  SOUCEK HAT TRICK OMG

                  1. The Train Driver
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    It's like Yaya and Michu, I don't know how but he keeps scoring goals...

                8. BrockLanders
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Odegaard injured for Norway

                  1. Az
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 11 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    yeah this is really lame seeing as I have him in my actual FPL team

                9. pingissimus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 20 days ago

                  Another goal for KdB I see

                  Shooting boots back in working order. Getting seriously tempted now

                  1. Pompel
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Difficult call on KDB - possible rotation and blank GW, but I do fear no owning him for the next three.

                  2. 3 A
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    I take a hits -4 to bring him and ditch Gundo few gw2 back. He is a good choice.

                    Suprised at the hot topics rarely mebtion him hahahha. Good for me tough

                10. Milkman Bruno
                    1 month, 20 days ago

                    Why no VAR in the World Cup qualifiers?

                    1. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 20 days ago

                      Probably too difficult to set up at all the venues, and you can't have some having it and some not I guess.

                      1. Milkman Bruno
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Makes sense I guess

                        • NateDogsCats
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            Yet the FA Cup had some games with VAR and others without which really didn't make sense. Amazing

                      2. fusen
                        • 9 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        I think if you ignore it completely then you're not using all the tools you should be to succeed.

                        I went with Lingard captain last week as form and fixtures all pointed to it making sense, captaining Kane would have only made sense to me if I was basically top of all my mini leagues and it was the last gameweek of the season.

                        But, if there are two fairly equal 'good choices' for a gameweek then I'd very very likely go with the one that has the higher EO, as it makes more sense to do that over the course of the season to do well.

                        1. pingissimus
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Simple question of motivation

                          Do you play to get the highest rank possible or do you play to back your own judgement? Which one gives you more sense of fulfilment?

                          We probably have two different answers there. Picking someone simply because loads of others do seems unimaginably dull to me. I might consider their judgement - from on here for example - but I can’t see myself basing my own judgment on sheer numbers.

                          1. Ruth_NZ
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            Let's break that down.

                            "Do you play to get the highest rank possible?"

                            Most will say they do but they are deceiving themselves. The most common mindset is to avoid doing badly (fear of loss) rather than to try to beat everyone else. That's why you will incessantly see people talking about how they won't drop Salah, or Bruno, or whoever from their team "because it might hurt me". They don't even get as far as making a judgement of pros and cons because the question doesn't exist for them, they aren't going to do it anyway (not unless they see many others doing it).

                            To play to get the highest rank possible means taking risks, plain and simple. To win FPL you have to run red-hot for a season, on captaincy, on owning players at the right time, on playing your FH in a high-scoring week not a low-scoring week, all kinds of things. By making safety plays you reduce your ability to attain the highest rank possible whilst also mitigating the risk of doing very badly. That's not to say that safety plays have no place but for many managers they are the entirety of the approach.

                            That's why the FFS HOF has been so destructive to good play. It rewards consistent, above-average performance. It doesn't reward stellar performance preceded or followed by a poor season. In other words, it rewards people who run somewhat warm season after season rather than attempting to run hot at the risk of getting it all wrong and running cold.

                            "Or do you play to back your own judgement?"

                            Judgement consists of a whole host of things, it isn't just about which players to transfer in and out. But unless someone is attempting to run really hot they will curtail or confine their judgement to limited areas.

                            Here's an example. I need to bring in a defender this week, maximum 4.8m ideally. I have no Chelsea defender. If I asked on here, most everyone would say Rüdiger and that wouldn't be a bad shout, I would have taken him many weeks ago if I didn't have more pressing things to do. A couple of more maverick managers might suggest Coady. But I'll be taking Vestergaard, who I doubt many would suggest at all.

                            Why? Because I will WC GW33 and am looking at GW30-32. I think there's a decent to good chance that Vestergaard outscores Rüdi over those 3 weeks (I won't go into why but that's my judgement). And if it's close I will always prefer the 'road less travelled' because it gives me more opportunity to run hot. 🙂

                            That's because when I play FPL I do so to win, not to avoid the negative consequences of making 'different' decisions to most. If that's your mindset, your judgement is ALL you have. Approached the other way, your judgement will tend to atrophy through under-use. And then you'll end up being one of those who come on FFS and ask "what the template is". 😉

                            Effective ownership is simply the currently fashionable excuse for mediocrity. Unless you are very firmly set in backing your own judgement it would be better not to even know about it. And what I mean by that is that whenever a player has an EO of 60% or more it is an opportunity to gain ground by not having them, if your judgement suggests there is a better option. Rather than it being a situation where you dare not drop a player like that because you believe everyone else's judgement must be better than yours. Maybe it is but yours will never improve if you don't use it. 🙂

                            1. AC/DC AFC
                              • 5 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              Well said.

                              But Vestergaard for 3 weeks!

                            2. Major League Shocker
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 1 Year
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              Largely agree.

                              Actually the majority here are quite frank about their main goal being to win their (c**h) MLs. If they can win those with a 50k OR, then they're not going to take risks to do better than that.

                            3. pingissimus
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              That’s a great answer

                              My original question was of course deceptive as almost all binary options are. There is generally always at least one other unmentioned option - typically the yes and no type answer. Here: I want to do well but I also want to back my own judgement. That as I think you suggest is much the most common truth.

                              Nice to meet someone who really does fall into the black or white and plays to try and win.

                            4. Az
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • Has Moderation Rights
                              • 11 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              Great post, love the mentality!

                            5. fusen
                              • 9 Years
                              1 month, 19 days ago

                              I'm not sure your Vestergarrd example really works as you ask a question with no context and then say the answer you'd most likely be given wouldn't fit for you due to added context
                              If you asked what defender just for 2 weeks then you'd most likely get all sorts of random suggestions based on the games happening in the next 2 weeks.

                              "Doing well" for most people is as mentioned below either winning cash leagues or finishing as high as possible. Doing the opposite of what EO shows is not going to give you either unless you're very lucky.

                              The game is all about trying to make chance be on your side, and to do that you need to read and use EO when is makes sense to. Not when Kane has a bad fixture and isn't in great form, but when the player with the highest EO has a great fixture so you would be foolish to ignore them hoping the low probability of them doing badly happens.

                        2. Old Bull
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          I start off the season trying to get the highest score possible but by Christmas I have to make a decision whether I’m going to continue doing that, or concentrate instead on my head to head league. Playing the head to head game calls for a totally different course of tactics. Each week I look at my opponent, see if their team is close to mine, whether they have preferences with their captains etc. Often I will try to match an opponent man for man and just aim to beat them on a few players. Sometimes I’ll match their captain, not because I necessarily think he will the most that week, but because I want to beat them without the worry of a captain double score. If we both score 4pts with Captain Kane for example, it’s not a problem so long as I score higher than them with my other players. Sometimes I’ll take huge hits when playing opponents with all teams in order to prepare for opponents with stronger teams the following week. This season my world ranking is In 900,000s with in excess of 50 transfers. Sounds horrendous but it’s actually lots of fun with less lows than you might encounter in the classic leagues

                      3. Baps hunter
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        Pukki Party started!!!

                      4. Saves the day
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        Soucek Hatrick lol

                      5. TheDragon
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 20 days ago

                        Theory experiment.

                        Player A:
                        Expected points for the week: 7.1
                        Effective Ownership: 0.1%

                        Player B:
                        Expected points for the week: 7.9
                        Effective ownership: 190%

                        Which do you captain and why?

                        1. TheDragon
                          • 3 Years
                          1 month, 20 days ago

                          Agh dammit - I mean 7.0 expected points for Player B obviously

                        2. Milkman Bruno
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            Captain B

                          • pingissimus
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            If you can stretch to a full 8 points I’d go A

                            In theory I always just captain whoever I think scores most - don’t think it ever comes down to 0.1 of a point 🙂 Sometimes I make a fun play if I don’t have a good captain choice - zero expectations

                          • Magic Zico
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            1 month, 20 days ago

                            If no clear predicted advantage from A, will go B.

                          • COVID-CASUAL
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              It's a bit too extreme in terms of EO to be anything but hypothetical.

                              Generally would be B

                              Expected points of 7.0 v 7.1 is basically margin of error stuff. The high vs low EO suggests B is a more proven or sustainable scorer, whereas A is trying to be too cute.

                              Of course, with perfect information (i.e. expected points = actual points) you do A

                            • Ruth_NZ
                              • 6 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              A. I want to increase variance, not reduce it.

                              However, if A is 7.0 and B is 8.0 then it would be B. I only want to increase variance when I judge the odds to be even or better.

                          • Milkman Bruno
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              Travers.... ffs

                            • SADIO SANÉ
                              • 5 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              Teemu should replace Aguero at City 😀

                            • AzzaroMax99
                              • 4 Years
                              1 month, 20 days ago

                              What a goal from Mitro lol

                              1. Milkman Bruno
                                  1 month, 20 days ago

                                  Gifted from an inexperienced keeper

                              2. GROBARI
                                  1 month, 20 days ago

                                  MITROS ON FIRE!

                                • Milkman Bruno
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Mitro and Tadic again

                                  • Baps hunter
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    • 3 Years
                                    1 month, 20 days ago

                                    Pukki brace!!!!!

                                  • GROBARI
                                      1 month, 20 days ago

                                      Portugal be ready,Mitro is comming!

                                    • Milkman Bruno
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Dara O’Shea is Sh1t

                                      • Messiah Hazard
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        • 9 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Everyone only considering Chelsea defense... Werner, Ziyech, Havertz have impressed in last couple of games... Is Watkins to Werner a good move?

                                        1. Old Bull
                                          • 7 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          Werner still looks out of place. Would have thought there are better Chelsea punts. I’m doubling on defence for the next GW but a midfield gamble with good cover on the bench he be fun

                                      • PP6
                                        • 2 Years
                                        1 month, 20 days ago

                                        Christensen will start most games right?

                                        1. 3 A
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          • 5 Years
                                          1 month, 20 days ago

                                          I have in my watchlist but finally I pick Rudiger when I saw Thiago Silva celebrate like crazy after Emerson score against..... ? In UCL.