Pro Pundit Teams

Should we be concerned about high ‘Effective Ownership’ in FPL?

Ex-FPL winner Simon March: How to avoid getting carried away with your GW1 picks

It might be hard to believe but the majority of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers go about their lives having never heard of Effective Ownership let alone having allowed it to influence their decision-making (or their sleep). Inside the hardcore FPL community, however, Effective Ownership gets a lot of airtime. But should it? Is the importance of Effective Ownership exaggerated? Or is it in fact the secret to gaining an edge over less serious rivals? Those questions, and more, will be the focus of this article.

What is Effective Ownership?

Who are the best FPL captain options for Gameweek 5?

Each player in FPL has an absolute ownership percentage based on how many FPL managers own them. Effective Ownership is a calculation that factors in this number, the number of managers who actually started the player and how many of these captained or triple-captained the player. Unlike absolute ownership, Effective Ownership only really exists after a Gameweek has begun.

The significance of Effective Ownership (EO) can be fairly complicated but, to simplify, if your player has an EO of less than 100%, the points they score have a chance of improving your rank. If their EO is over 100% the points they score may decrease your rank unless you captain them. If their EO is 200% or above, you will only benefit from the points the player scores if you have tripled-captained them. Between each of these brackets are gradients that will influence how much or how little the player scoring will affect your rank.

A consequence of high EO is that managers see players like Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) nearing 200% EO and conclude, not without reason, that it effectively neutralises their captain score; Salah could score a hat-trick and the impact it would have on their rank would be fairly minimal at best.

Some managers have gone on to conclude that captaining a high EO player is a waste and that the only advantage comes from captaining a lesser-owned ‘differential’ player. Others maintain that it is too dangerous to captain anybody other than the high EO player. Like most things in FPL, neither perspective is entirely wrong, but neither is entirely correct either.

Differential Captains

Who are the best FPL captain options for Gameweek 9? 4

Since it’s been discussed many times before, I won’t get into the merits of differential captains too much here, but it is fairly logical that a successful low-EO captain will have a better impact on rank, assuming that they outscore the higher EO captain choices. That last bit, of course, is the crucial point. The benefit of captaining a low-EO player who hauls is only really meaningful if they outscore the high EO captains.

On the other hand, the negative impact of not captaining a high-EO player if your low-EO captain blanks or underperforms them can be huge. This is where the EO-anxiety we see a lot in the FPL community comes from and, if you game it out, the risk-adjusted payoff of a differential captain will almost never be big enough to justify the risk when a high-EO captain exists – unless your circumstances are desperate.

Does High EO Neutralise Captaincy?

The question therefore is; if it is too dangerous to avoid a high-EO captain, does high EO neutralise captaincy? To an extent, it definitely does but maybe not as absolutely as we believe.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge that EO varies depending on where you are ranked. The overall EO of a player might not be reflective of the EO of a player among the managers ranked near you (or in your mini-leagues) and, as a result, the benefit (or detriment) to you of a high EO player scoring might be different to the overall average.

Secondly, even if a player is approaching 200% EO, there will still likely be people ranked above you who either do not own or have not captained the player and, while these numbers might not show up much in terms of rank change in a single Gameweek, they will accrue to a significant level over multiple Gameweeks if your high EO captain consistently outperforms their selection.

Furthermore, while it might sound counterintuitive, rank change is not the only measure of success in FPL. You can obviously outscore another manager without overtaking them in a single Gameweek but you will then be in a better position to overtake them the next Gameweek. This effect is very apparent when you look at your mini-leagues but tends to get forgotten in the more impersonal overall rankings. Of course, there is equally a lot of value in outscoring the people chasing you.

Finally, it is worth bearing in mind that ownership and Effective Ownership are finite, zero-sum elements of FPL. A high-EO captain means that other players will have lower EO than they might otherwise have had if the captaincy was spread about more. With all the focus on captaincy, it’s easy to forget about the impact of a high score from a non-captained player but the potential impact of such a score increases the lower their EO (and this comes at a lower risk than betting against a high-EO captain), so there is good reason to embrace high EO-captains given the opportunities it creates elsewhere.

Conclusion

Who are the best FPL captain options for Gameweek 9? 1

In my view, the focus on Effective Ownership as a negative within the FPL community is a bit misleading. While it can be useful to avoid high-EO or even bet against it if you’re in a situation where you need to make up ground fast, at most stages of the season the ends won’t justify the means. This is not to say that a high-risk strategy is inherently worse than a low-risk strategy, it just means that it is high risk, and this is quantifiable.

Rank is ultimately as much about not being overtaken as it is about overtaking others so scoring points will always be beneficial in FPL, whether they have an immediate positive impact on your rank or not. While some will see a high-EO captain as neutralising that element of the game, it does put more emphasis on the rest of your squad which, many will agree, is a more multifarious test of FPL skill than picking the right captain each week.

In conclusion, an awareness of Effective Ownership in FPL is valuable and, more often than not, embracing it and looking for opportunities elsewhere in your squad is likely to be the sensible play. Trying to subvert EO with differential captains for the sake of it is unlikely to be a viable long-term strategy but it can still be a valuable move if you need to take some risks or if you are confident that your differential captain will outscore a high-EO player. In this scenario, you can very much take advantage of the risk-aversion that a highly-owned player can generate among FPL managers generally.


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341 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Milkman Bruno
      12 days, 9 hours ago

      Damn so busy in work that I didn’t see the early kick off line ups and didn’t notice Haller was benched. Could have subbed in Cancelo…

      1. RogDog_jimmy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Haller benched (who i bought in for Antony who didn't make the squad)
        Pasveer benched
        Mazraoui conceded the penalty to lose the clean sheet.

        GARBAGE START TODAY!

        haha. WC has not gone well.

        1. Milkman Bruno
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            That’s unfortunate Jimmy, I used my LL and didn’t get a chance to make substitutions today due to work. Made some last night thankfully but still not ideal. You will do well regardless I hope

            1. RogDog_jimmy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              12 days, 9 hours ago

              nah - i'm a lost cause on this one, but doesn't bother me.
              maybe after the groups i'll come roaring back.

              hoping some of the folks on here continue to do well though!

      2. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Hi.....what move would you look to make here please? 1ft. Zero cash...thanks

        A....dias to alonso

        B.....foden to jota

        Ramsdale
        Taa James cancelo dias (livra)
        Salah foden raphinha mbeumo (normann)
        Kane King (antonio)

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Give it 4 hours.

      3. Make United Great Again
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Really hope Rashford and Sancho eventually find form. Great potential FPL options

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Yeah, both be decent for those fixtures

        2. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Rashford was one of the very few bright sparks in that team in recent weeks since he came back, naturally most will go to Ronaldo if they pick up soon especially around thar good fixture run but he could be a nice differential

      4. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Evening all. 🙂 So Chilwell >> Alonso? 0.2 short for James. Or take a hit and get James?

        Sanchez
        TAA. Cancelo. Chilwell
        Salah(C). Jota. Raph. Gallagher
        Kane. Antonio. Toney
        (Foster. White. Livra. Gilmour)

        1. The 12th Man
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Tough choice.
          Think I’d play White this week and bench Chilwell. Then have the choice of either with 2 Frees next week.

        2. Yozzer
          • 4 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Easy hold .

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Why?

        3. stooshermadness
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          If Chilwell is confirmed out for a few weeks, maybe go to Rudiger.

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Yeah can do a straight swop to Rudi

        4. FPL Pillars
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          If chilly is confirmed out a while I am going there for sure 😀

        5. THFC4LIFE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Wait for news, if Chilwell confirmed out for ‘weeks’ easy move to Alonso imo

      5. The 12th Man
        • 8 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Thinking maybe Ronaldo > Aubamayang this week.
        Livramento > Alonso next for free.

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          That's bold, you wouldn't just hold Ronaldo with a good fixture run starting in a couple of gameweeks? I can see a lot trying to get him in then. Although I can understand you probably wouldn't be keen on playing him for the next 2 and it'd feel a waste having that money on the bench.

          1. The 12th Man
            • 8 Years
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Holding is an option,yes. However with Carrick in charge how much will change?
            Plus Downgrading Ronaldo and keeping the money itb could give me the option to do Vardy > Ronaldo later if needed.

            1. NateDog
              • 1 Year
              12 days, 9 hours ago

              True, I wouldn't be hoping for much with him at the helm either but perhaps they'll appoint someone by around then. But if you have an easy route there then that makes sense, I'd say go for it

      6. Fero1905
        • 2 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Somebody know how works the new fantasy cup system? Is than more than one cup?

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Same as the FPL Cup, just less rounds.

      7. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        "Can Liverpool stop Porto's Copa America star whose career was threatened by malnutrition?"

        Am actual article title by the BBC. Never cease to amaze me

      8. The Mandalorian
        • 9 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Alonso looks to be price protected.

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Was red flagged over the IB.

        2. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Red flagged > unflagged. Definitely helps numpties like me that transferred in Chilwell this week early, I'll have to hope Chilwell can survive without dropping until Saturday, assume being red flagged on Friday after Tuchel's presser will help if he lasts that long

      9. FCSB
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Ramsdale
        TAA Cancelo James Chilwell
        Salah Son Foden Raphinha Gallagher
        Jimenez

        Foster Antonio Livramento Davis

        0FT 0itb

        1. Chilwell >> Alonso (-4)
        2. Save FT (play Antonio)

        Thanks

        1. tyron
          • 6 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Def 2.

      10. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        just over 6.3 million teams do not contain reece james

        1. BrockLanders
          • 6 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Playing tonight, so nice rest at the weekend

      11. Naby K8a
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Alisson, Williams Matip Konate Tsimikas, Morton Thiago Ox, Salah Minamino Mane

        @TheKopHQ

        1. FPL Pillars
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Morton essential

        2. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Risking players unnecessarily

          1. Naby K8a
            • 5 Years
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Back up either not ready to start (Origi,Hendo) or not good enough. No other real options really

            1. mynameisq
              • 8 Years
              12 days, 9 hours ago

              Disagree, origi is definitely good enough for this kind of match to rest one of mane or Salah

              Didn't Curtis get 5 assists against them, away

              1. Naby K8a
                • 5 Years
                12 days, 9 hours ago

                I said Origi isn't ready to start,which he isn't. Was ruled out with illness on the weekend. He would've started tonight if 100%

                1. mynameisq
                  • 8 Years
                  12 days, 9 hours ago

                  That wasn't clear that you meant they're both not ready to start because I definitely wouldn't expect anyone to say hendo wasn't good enough!

                  1. mynameisq
                    • 8 Years
                    12 days, 9 hours ago

                    Will be interesting to see who is on the bench

          2. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Saving Salah's rest for this weekend then

      12. BENOIT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Preferred option?

        A) White, Raphina, Broja
        B) Alonso, Gilmour, King

      13. Captain Vantastic™
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Foden not in the squad today

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Time to sell?

        2. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Knock that bad?

        3. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Phil Frauden

          1. The Knights Template
            • 8 Years
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Fodenfraud!

        4. F4L
          • 6 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          damn

        5. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          This week is just full of great surprised

          1. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            12 days, 9 hours ago

            Including me not being able to spell surprises

        6. bigwig
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Wrapped in cotton wool for WH destruction this weekend

      14. F4L
        • 6 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Cancelo even more OOP tonight ?

      15. Rainer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        #LFC subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Milner, Henderson, Jota, Robertson, Origi, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold.

        1. Ze_Austin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Phew! They're fit 🙂

      16. wulfrunian
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Nc one.I googled 'quantifiable'.

      17. Erez Avni
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Best option for next 4-5 GW:
        A. ESR
        B. Gallagher

      18. ClassiX
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Manchester City team news…
        Team to face PSG: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), Zinchenko, Mahrez, Bernardo, Sterling.
        Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Laporte, Fernandinho, Palmer, McAtee.

        1. Ze_Austin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Zinch back in midfield

          Wild

          1. bench boost for every gamew…
            • 4 Years
            12 days, 8 hours ago

            Even City can get thin in some areas if injuries comes at high frequence.

        2. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Short on subs, Foden must be really struggling.

        3. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Hm, Zinchenko reprising his Ukraine role in midfield for City?

        4. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Psg gonna become favourites by virtue of getting dominated and somehow winning in the first match and now facing a less than full strength city

      19. ClassiX
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Liverpool team news
        Team to play Porto: Alisson, Williams, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas, Morton, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Minamino.
        Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Milner, Henderson, Jota, Robertson, Origi, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold.

        1. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          I think I'd still play origi tbh, if he's not so unwell that he has to miss out entirely then surely he's fine to start

          Mane or Salah could get injured in this type of fixture as Jota did last year! I'm guessing klopp is thinking get 1 or 2 up and make subs early

      20. Rainer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Hits galore this GW 🙂

      21. bigwig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Anyone going Mbeumo to Jota this week? It's what I'm eyeing up

      22. AD2110
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Any news on Jota?

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          On the bench

        2. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          He’s on the bench, so must be good!!

      23. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        So chilwell is likely to miss the rest of year - Alonso surely the obvious replacement

      24. Cpthavoc
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Anyone know if Blackbox is on tonight? Thanks in advance

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Scheduled to be on.

      25. FCSB
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Is Foden injured?

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Had a knock, picked up a knock and missing such a big game, looks like it.

        2. TorresMagic™
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          12 days, 9 hours ago

          Doubt he's 100% so a niggle or 2.

      26. Casual Player
        • 1 Year
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        I generally try and get the players that I think will score the most points rather than worry about EO. I find focussing on getting the most points is the most effective way to get the most points.

        1. Yes Ndidi
          • 2 Years
          12 days, 7 hours ago

          I think you've made the mistake of trying to start a conversation based on the contents of the article, whereas you should have just asked who to transfer in for Chillwell.
          I try and keep my team at around 65-75% template, but I'm not confident enough to not (C) Salah based on EO (and the fact that there aren't many other in-form options).

      27. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Salah, Mane and Thiago starting tonight in a meaningless UCL game is beyond ridiculous. Going into the busiest period of the year and instead of resting them tonight they’ll miss a Prem game instead. All so FSG get their extra win money. Pure greed

        1. Jordan.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          12 days, 8 hours ago

          agreed ,probs only play 60mins though

      28. EL tridente
        • 4 Years
        12 days, 9 hours ago

        Which transfer?
        A) Foden and White to Gallagher and James for a hit
        B) Rüdiger to James
        C) White to Reguilon

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          12 days, 8 hours ago

          A

      29. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        12 days, 8 hours ago

        No surprise to see Champions League Mahrez starting.

        Guess if you want to sell Sterling to a European club you need to show some confidence in him too.

        Foden rested, or injured tho?

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          12 days, 8 hours ago

          Not in the squad and a weak bench by City's standards, must be still suffering from that knock that he had going into last weekend

      30. FPL Pillars
        • 5 Years
        12 days, 8 hours ago

        I hope at least one of Sarr or Raph is fit this weekend, my yellow flags are quickly multiplying.

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          12 days, 8 hours ago

          Raph and other first teamers, inc Bamford, have been training this week.

          1. FPL Pillars
            • 5 Years
            12 days, 8 hours ago

            Nice thanks for info matr