Thursday 23 May 2013

Final F.SCORE Rankings

Below are the final player rankings using the F.SCORE metric - determined on underlying statistics only, mostly shot data, and not counting actual goals scored or assists at all.

Through the season these rankings were done on an average basis, as long as the player had featured in half of the available minutes. For the end of season rankings though I've done both the average score, and cumulative.

First the rankings by average F.SCORE per game.

And now cumulatively over the season...

Suárez 259 212
Bale 246 249
van Persie 232 262
Cazorla 201 205
Michu of  200 190
Ba 190 153
Benteke 183 166
Lambert 181 187
Nolan 180 149
Fellaini 179 167
Gerrard 179 185
Giroud 172 121
Walcott 170 194
Lukaku 169 159
Snodgrass 160 152
Mata 160 212
Koné 159 140
Walters 159 141
Cissé 159 113
Berbatov 157 163

F.SCORE this season has a correlation with FPL points of 0.963* which makes it an excellent indicator when wanting to know which players are scoring points for a reason and which just get lucky for a few games. Remember it's based on underlying stats only (the process) and the actual game points count results only (the output of the process). In a post next week I'll go over some of the highs and lows of the FSCORE model this season and which players over or underperformed the stats model.

* - deserved to be in a big bold font :) 

Friday 17 May 2013

GW38 Captain Rankings

If you've just popped by for a pre-GW look of the captain rankings and missed two posts earlier this week I'd advise you to take some time to go and have a look I find them pretty educational, even I do say so myself.

If you've followed this blog since Christmas you'll know how Sturridge shot to the top of the rankings on his move to Liverpool. He's a greedy so and so and likes nothing more than to put the ball in the back of the net. Good news for your fantasy team! Suarez actually edged out Sturridge in terms of statistical performance after a few fames together, and young Daniel lost his place in Liverpool's team. Suarez' appetite for self-destruction re-opened the door for Sturridge of course, and he has served himself up a banquet of goals since. He leads Captain Polls across other fantasy sites and tops these rankings too.

Bale too is going to be hotly captained, but you've got to fancy Sunderland as a tougher nut to crack than QPR. Watch out also for Michu.

Thursday 16 May 2013

FPL Team of the Year

If you've not subscribed to InsideFPL's newsletter (why?!) this is another retrospective I did, lifted from it's pages a few weeks back for GW34. As it was written a few weeks ago the points and prices will have changed, as will some of the (unimportant) player picks, but not the general message. That being that a reasonably predictable starting team and one or two key transfers early on would have been enough to see you finish very high in Fantasy Premier League without any further lineup changes or transfers, or even logging in.

After last week’s review of what it takes to get to be number one in FPL from an overall team perspective (check it out here if you missed it) this week we are going to look at the players you will have needed to own to pull in a big score..

We’ve used our optimisation software to pick the best single team from this season’s current points tally (upto and including GW35) and using starting prices.  What would have the best fire-and-forget team to pick from GW1 and how well would it have done?

The following team would have cost you exactly £100m on the opening day of the season. Current points and starting prices for each player in parenthesis and best starting XI in bold.

GK:  Begovic (137pts £4.5m ), Jaaskaelainen (134pts £4.5m)

DEF: Baines (162pts £7m), Mertesaker (119pts £5m), Rangel (93pts £5m), Bassong 114pts (£4.5m), O’Brien(116pts £4.0m)

MID: Bale (225pts £9.5m), Mata (192pts£9.5m), Michu (178pts £6.5m), Fellaini (160 pts £6.5m), Maloney (111pts £5.0m)

FWD: Van Persie (C) (244pts £13m), Suarez (212pts £9.5m), Lambert (174pts £6m)

A Top 50 Team
The starting XI from this team with the armband fixed on Van Persie would have scored you 2163 points so far this season, good enough to be in the top 250 of FPL teams. This is without using any transfers or changing the team around at all. Furthermore approx. 30 games were missed this season by these eleven players so if we can assume an additional 60 points from auto-subs that would move this team up into the top 50. 

The Essentials
This is not a too unrealistic set of players to have at least considered pre-season. The truly essential players to have owned are Van Persie, Bale, Suarez, Michu and Fellaini. Players who have scored 30 points more than their peers, or scored way beyond their value. All were well known about after a few weeks.

Recognising the potential in Michu and Fellaini at £6.5m would've have been particularly valuable but the signs were there for those in the know, Michu scoring 15 goals in La Liga last season and Fellaini scoring 3 in Everton’s last 7 games of 2011/12 after shifting to his now familiar striker support role. Missing out on these two for the first three gameweeks would have cost you 54 points. Not the end of the world. 

Decent Alternatives
For the likes of Baines, Mata and Lambert and the defence there are plenty of viable alternatives. Baines could have been readily replaced in your team by other elite defenders like Ivanovic, Johnson, Vertonghen without too much of a dent to your overall points. Rafael, Zabaleta and Enrique too would have made decent alternatives and freed up money to afford price rises elsewhere if needed. At lower prices Shawcross, Gibbs (when fit) and Dawson would have been fine.  

Mata’s points are not too far from the likes of Cazorla and Hazard, and Walcott, once he got into the Arsenal team, has scored well consistently. Around Lambert there have plenty of £6-7m players to score well over the season - Ba, Fletcher and Berbatov early on, and Lukaku,  Benteke and Sturridge of late. The Southampton man’s current points total of 174 is admirable for a £6m striker. 

Food for Thought
What strikes us most at InsideFPL about all this is that an unchanged starting XI of reasonably well known players like these can even get close to the Top 100, without using complicated rotation strategies or clamouring over double gameweeks and juicy fixtures..

Of course in hindsight it’s all too easy to pick out the right playes but one thing we've found personally this season is that chopping and changing players, particular the elite ones, has frequently resulted in missing out on an unexpected points bonanza.  Perhaps it’s wiser to put faith in some players to perform well despite bad runs of form and fixtures and save those precious transfers for making sure you can get on board with the surprise packages like Michu and Fellaini as soon as.

For more like this pre-season and next season make sure to sign up for the free InsideFPL weekly newsletter here.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

What It Takes to Win Fantasy Premier League

If you're not a subscriber to InsideFPL's free weekly newsletterhint, go subscribe ;) - than you will have missed this article I did in the week following Gameweek 33. But here it is and I will post another article in a similar vein from the newsletter later this week. I found this very educational personally and I am definitely going to bear this kind of info. in mind when I pick my team for next season.

What does it take to be the very best in Fantasy Premier League? How many points do you need to be scoring from your captain each week, from your defence, midfield and attack?  How much money should you spend in each area? To try and answer this question we’ve taken a close look at the gameweek history this season (up to GW33) of the No.1 ranked FPL manager. It's too late to help you this season so be sure to follow us next year when we will recap this inforamtion as part of our build up to the new season.

3-4-3  Formation
Invariably the de facto FPL formation the 3-4-3 was played by our top manger 26 times out of the possible 33, 3-5-2 being the next most selected.

65 Average GW Score
A supreme weekly average of 65 pts/week, well clear of the game’s overall average of 45 pts/week. This essentially means a return of 6 points from each player every week. For the stattos out there the median gameweek score for our No.1 was 59. importantly, the No.1 only scored lower than 40 points once this season demonstrating the consistency that is needed in FPL that you get from decent squad depth and forward planning.

-4 Transfer Cost
No.1 took just one 4 pt hit all season. Again this shows great planning and squad depth as well as some fortune with injuries to key players. It also showcases great personal discipline and patience. Bravo. The single -4 pt hit came before a DGW too.

31Transfers Made:  17 single transfers, 7 doubles
Most players make a single transfer each week. The No.1 banked his weekly transfer around 25% of the time in favour of a double swap in a later week.  This again shows good planning and also the advantage you can get from a double transfer and being flexible with where your money is spent (think liquid assets).

266 Captain Points 
The No.1’s captain picks were good, but not game-winningly so. He scored an additional 266 points from captain picks which averages out at 8pts/GW.  To put this into context, captaining Van Persie every week would see you gain an additional 219 points, and indeed our manager selected RVP as his captain on 17 out of the 33 weeks and therefore picked up an extra 50 or so points sharing the armband around, Bale, Mata and Hazard being the next most selected.

15 Goalkeeper & Defence: 16 pts/week (4pts/player)
Between the goalie and three defenders No.1 has scored an average 15pts per gameweek.  Given that these 4 will nominally get 8 pts from appearances each week this is equivalent roughly to 3 clean sheets every 2 weeks plus a save point or two.

24 Midfield: 24 pts/week (6 pts/player)
Excluding captain points and assuming again a 3-4-3 formation to win FPL you’ll need to score 24 pts on average from your midfield. Minus 8 appearance points leaves 16 points to be accrued, equivalent to 3 goals, or more likely 2 goals plus bonus points and any extra assist or clean sheet point or two,

18  Forwards: 18 pts/week (6 pts/player)
The No.1’s front line has been racking up goals on average of 2-3 a week, depending on bonus points and assists.

£££  Distribution of Budget
The average value of for goalkeepers played was £4.7m, defenders £5.3m, midfield £7.5m and forwards £9.1m.  It terms of overall spread of team value it’s GK+DEF: 27%, MIDS 38%, FWD 35%

Friday 10 May 2013

GW37 FPL Captain Rankings

My money this week is on Van Persie.  His popularity in various polls has jumped quite significantly since Alex Ferguson announced his retirement. This will be his last game as manager at Old Trafford and the atmosphere is sure to be sufficient to re-galvanise United after a slight post-title winning slump. Looking down then, I also would not be surprised if Liverpool knock a few past Fulham. If Reading can then I'm sure Daniel Sturridge can, and he'll will want to give Rodgers something to think about over the summer too.

Similar to Old Trafford, the Goodison Park crowd will be up for David Moyes' last game there so a goal or two could be expected from the Toffees. Could this also be Baines or Fellaini's last game at Goodison too?

Arsenal players and Theo Walcott are noticeable by their absence here. Remember that these rankings are statistically generated and my computer won't know how desperate Wigan will be to get at least a point. Fact is, Wigan have a fairly decent away defensive record for their league position, although they have taken the odd pounding from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. 

Friday 3 May 2013

GW36 Captain Rankings

I've extended the number of players on show for this week with the double and all. Personally surprised to see Gareth Bale so high when City have such a pearler of a double fixture but I guess this just shows how amazing Bale is and that City have not quite been at the party this season. The Welshman was similarly high up in these rankings last week too and did pretty well so I shan't argue.  Good Luck.