Thursday, 26 September 2013

FPL Hints - Gameweek 6

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


Transfers (-4 Hit):
Whittaker & Nolan (OUT) / Vidic & Barkley (IN)

Folks, I'm back with a bang! The Ozil captaincy was an inspired choice that helped me rise up the rankings once again.  Ironically, my defenders and forwards only scored a paltry 7 points between them.  This got me thinking about my GW6 selections.

For this GW, I was tempted by the following players due to their capabilities and upcoming fixtures:


Vidic (MNU)
Rooney (MNU)
Sidwell (FUL)
Bent (FUL)
Barkley (EVE)
Lukaku (EVE)
Moses (LIV)
Suarez (LIV)

    I opted against Rooney as I didn't want to double up with 2 United players up front.  I'm sure Roo will do well for the next few GWs.  But I think RVP will return in GW6 too and will also benefit from their decent fixtures.  I think Bent is a steal purchase at £6.5M and is due an abundance of goals.  His next 3 games tempted me to purchase him.  But there was always the concern of him lacking form and Berba potentially cancelling him out.  Suarez was another striker I was looking at.  But his price put me off and he will need some time to re-adapt back in to PL life.  His teammate Moses was another tantalising prospect (especially with Coutinho out), but I felt that he needs to be consistent first.  Sidwell was another midfielder that I considered but he isn't attacking enough for me.  I am keen on purchasing Lukaku who could start on Monday, but I would want him to hit some form first.  In the end I decided that a solid defender and a value for money midfielder was what I needed.

    I decided to buy Vidic in spite of United's drubbing in GW5.  They will be determined to bounce back with a clean sheet and a win against West Brom at home.  In fact a good run of October PL fixtures swayed me to buy him.  On top of that he has a decent goal scoring pedigree for United and is due a goal.  By purchasing him, I had to sell a non-cheap midfielder in place for an even cheaper midfielder! This was no easy task.  But Nolan got the axe as I feel that he isn't making the most of filling the vacant faux-striker role at his club.  Fortunately, I had enough funds to buy Barkley.  I have monitored his progress in the PL and have been impressed.  His stats portray him as one of Everton's best midfielders so far this season.  With a World Cup spot in the horizon, I would expect him to further improve.

    I have decided to captain Barkley for this GW.  Some of you may say that this is a ballsy pick.  But from my point of view, I wanted to be bold.  Also I would hope that he can assist or score against a team (NUFC) that conceded 3 goals at home to a newly promoted team.  Not that it makes a huge difference, but my vice-captain is Van Persie, who I believe will feature in some shape or form against WBA.


    GW Reject:
    WHITTAKER (NOR)

    GW Punt:
    BENT (FUL)

    GW Hot Pick:
    BARKLEY (EVE)
      

    Why?

    Has good form on his side.
    He is value for money at sub-£6.0M
    Already has 1 goal & 2 assists in 5 PL games.


    FPLH's GW Star Picks:

    de Gea

    Vidic
    Enrique
    Baines

    Barkley (c)
    Y. Toure
    Moses
    Ozil

    Giroud
    Rooney
    Bent

    Subs:
    Hart
    Hangeland
    Fonte
    Lallana


    FPLH's Projected GW Results:






    Sunday, 22 September 2013

    Looking back at Gameweek 5 - Chief's "LESSLINES"

    EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    ASTON VILLA CAN KEEP A CLEAN SHEET AFTER ALL!

    LIVERPOOL DEFINITELY NEED COUTINHO & SUAREZ.

    THE TOON ARMY NEED TO STOP BEING COMPLACENT.

    DI CANIO IS ON COURSE FOR THE SEASON'S FIRST SACK.

    THE TOFFEES STILL HAVEN'T TASTED DEFEAT WITH ROB.

    185 PL GAMES LATER... MIKEL CAN SCORE. ABOUT TIME!

    OZIL IS AN ASSISTING MACHINE. DIDN'T REAL REALISE?

    GIROUD & STURRIDGE WILL NOT SCORE IN EVERY MATCH!

    EURO FOOTBALL JOY DOESN'T TIRE SWANSEA IN PL!

    SPURS SHOULDN'T BE CONTENT WITH THEIR 1-0 WINS!

    CITY THRASH UTD AGAIN IN ANOTHER MANCHESTER DERBY!

    AND FINALLY...

    IF YOU HAVE RVP, BENTEKE, WALCOTT, COUTINHO YOU MUST BE:

    :(

    *"LESSLINES" is a portamanteou of Lessons and Headlines.  They are intended to be bite-sized summations of what we learnt during the Gameweek!

    Thursday, 19 September 2013

    FPL Hints - Gameweek 5

    Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


    Transfers (-4 Hit):
    Lescott & Koren (OUT) / Davies & Ramsey (IN)

    2 red arrows... not a pretty sight, right?  Grrr... I can't stand it!  Especially when I have scored a paltry 81 points from the last 2 Gameweeks.

    I was very tempted to wildcard after having a dire GW4.  But as you all know by now I prefer to hold on to that till April/May time.  My defence suffered at the cost of having expensive midfielders and strikers that didn't perform collectively.  The Premier League thus far has seen an unusually high number of clean sheets to the benefit of teams with decent defenders.  But don't expect this trend to last!

    I decided to sell Lescott after his no show last week.  I can't see him featuring as much with Kompany returning back and with others above him in the pecking order.  I wanted to replace him with a player that plays regularly, has attacking pedigree, is cheap and is capable of keeping clean sheets.  This led me to 2 options - Jose Fonte or Curtis Davies.  Both have scored a significant number of goals in recent seasons (albeit in lower divisions).  But I opted for Davies as I feel that he is less of a rotation risk and a better long-term pick.  Besides, I met him 5 years ago and he was a cool guy back then! ;-)

    Curtis Davies - Keeping it real!
    You might ask why have I picked a player only to bench him straight away? That's because he has a tricky fixture with Newcastle away, where as Kolo Toure has an easier fixture.  Like Lescott, Kolo Toure isn't a guaranteed starter, but in the event that the Ivorian doesn't play, Davies can auto-sub on for him.  Simple, right?

    My other transfer was a straight forward "bandwagon" choice.  I decided to sell Koren for Ramsey.  The Welshman has scored 6 club goals in 7 matches this season.  This statistic on its own is hard to ignore.  All the more so with Arsenal's decent upcoming fixtures, his cheap FPL price and a guaranteed starting berth while Cazorla is out injured.

    Aside from Soldado and Van Persie, all of my players will be playing at home.  I was tempted to play Gayle who could cut through Swansea's tired defence (post mid-week Europa League), but have opted to place him as my sub 1 instead.

    My captain for this Gameweek is Ozil.  He will be looking to mark his home debut with a bang, even if it's against a resurgent Stoke City.  My vice-captain is Ramsey.




    GW Reject:
    LESCOTT (MNC)

    GW Punt:
    SESSEGNON (WBA)

    GW Hot Pick:
    ÖZIL (ARS)


    Why?

    Effectively plays behind the striker.
    Has one of the best assist rates in Europe.
    He can also chip in by scoring a few goals himself.


    FPLH's GW Star Picks:

    Mignolet

    Gibbs
    Enrique
    Cole

    Sessegnon
    Ozil (c)
    Ben Arfa
    Hazard

    Giroud
    Rooney
    Sturridge

    Subs:
    Cech
    Nolan
    Whittaker
    O'Brien


    FPLH's Projected GW Results:



    Monday, 16 September 2013

    Football Blogging Awards - Voting is Open!

    Hi all,

    Just to let you know, voting is now open for the annual Football Blogging Awards!

    Why should you vote for us?
    • FPLH loves its readership & Twitter followers.  You inspire us!
    • We have provided FREE (& continuous) #FPL advice since 2011.
    • Our blog team has finished in the Top 0.2% for the last 2 seasons.
    • With further widespread recognition we will continue to expand & improve.

    To place your vote, simply follow the instructions in this link:
    http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/how-to-vote.php

    Or Tweet the following:
    I am voting in @TheFBAs for @FPLHints as the Best #FPL Blog

    Feel free to vote for whoever else in the other categories!

    Regards,
    FPLH Blog Team

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    FPL Hints - Gameweek 4

    Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


    Transfers (-4 Hit):
    Dzeko & Snodgrass (OUT) / Gayle & Özil (IN)

    Folks, the international break is over and I'm back in #FPL mode!  The end of GW 3 coincided with the closing of the transfer window, which resulted in some last minute real-life transfers.  The most significant one being Mesut Özil moving to Arsenal for over £40 million pounds.  He is the star buy that they were looking for all summer.  He has a knack for assisting fairly regularly and isn't bad at scoring from time-to-time either.  Real's loss is truly Arsenal's gain.  He could become Arsenal's Cantona by helping them out of the wilderness.  I'm not one to join bandwagons, but I deemed it important to buy him now before his price rockets up from Saturday onward.  In the long-term it makes sense to purchase Özil and his upcoming fixtures aren't bad either.  His #FPL price is frozen at £10M right now.  However, over 200,000 have already transferred him in, which means that his price could comfortably hit £10.3 immediately after GW4.  If you want to accommodate both RVP and Özil in your team, it is best to buy the German international now.

    Purchasing Özil wasn't straight forward and required me to take a -4 hit.  I funded this by selling Dzeko and Snodgrass.  Dzeko let me down with his poor home performance against Hull.  I believe he will be prone to further rotation courtesy of Negredo and Jovetic.  As for Snodgrass, he hasn't done anything so far and his price didn't warrant me to retain him.  The aforementioned changes left me with £5.0M to spend on a new striker.  The only viable one within that price range was Dwight Gayle.  He has shown glints of promise and has already scored in the Premier League this season.  It is amazing to think that he was playing non-League football as recently as 2 years ago.  He won't score week in week out, but he does play for an attacking team (Palace are one of the very few PL teams to play with 2 natural strikers up front).  In addition, I believe Gayle could be a differential of sorts.

    For this GW, I have decided to captain RVP due to United's home fixture against Palace.  Ironically, I'm also starting Gayle, as I feel that Palace will lose in style at Old Trafford (i.e.  losing heavy but scoring).


    GW Reject:
    MAIGA (WHA)

    GW Punt:
    BENTEKE (AST)

    GW Hot Pick:
    VAN PERSIE (MNU)


    Why?

    Scored 56 PL goals in the last 2 seasons.
    Is arguably United's most important natural striker.
    Palace have conceded 4 goals in their first 3 PL matches.


    FPLH's GW Star Picks:

    de Gea

    Hangeland
    Zabaleta
    Shaw

    Fellaini
    Ozil
    Y Toure
    Lallana

    Benteke
    Soldado
    Van Persie (c)

    Subs:
    Boruc
    Taarabt
    Walker
    Baines

    FPLH's Projected GW Results:



    On a final note:  Nominations for the Football Blogging Awards open on Monday 16th September.  

    "WOOHOO - I'm On My Wildcard!"

    So the past few weeks have been great. Well, let me take that back; it's not all been great... it's been relaxing. No, let me take that back too. It's not been relaxing; it's been without pain. Yeah, let's go with that.

    The two-week break between Gameweek 3 and Gameweek 4 started out with a resounding thud. It was the kind of thud that greets you at the end of an FPL freefall; where your Captain plays against a newly promoted side at home in the early kickoff, has a little bit of a shitfest, gets yanked after 45 minutes and notches you 2 points to set the tone for the gameweek. Without sorely needed contributions from others, and having 8 guys in your squad bring home 3 points or less, the gameweek closes, you look on in horror, scan all of your minileague rivals while the FPL site goes into update mode, and you just feel yourself drop into the dark thin air.

    Arms flailing, legs kicking, looking down into the seemingly bottomless pit, you gain speed, watching all that was once below you rocket on past as you whizz by, knowing that the landing is gonna hurt, but having no idea just how far you're gonna drop while bonus points are being tallied and distributed and the league tables are updated; when finally, after almost blacking out, you smash into the ground and do your best to limp away, seeing stars all the while and wondering if you'll ever heal.

    Click the screen shot to zoom in!

    That's how gameweek 3 ended for me; and how the past two weeks started. Luckily I was cognizant enough to activate my wildcard immediately after the gameweek closed, but I was still dizzy, battered and bruised. After a few days of recuperation, I got my wits back about me and felt brave enough to revisit the scene of the accident. The crash was serious, the damage was heavy, there was still mangled pieces of debris and heavy layers of dust scattered over a widespread area, but that beautiful little wildcard gave me the piece of mind to know that there was time to clean up the mess. And the real healing began.

    I know; kinda crazy, but that's a little bit how it feels, right? These wildcards are priceless. But they are extremely limited and must only be used after carefully examining all other options AND the consequences, including the lost opportunity of not being able to ever ever ever get it back. Once you've reached that place though and are convinced that the time is nigh, they're wonderful. Once you click "Activate Wildcard", you get to breathe a little. And when you've activated it during a two-week break, the pain of the crash subsides and you're left with a renewed feeling of optimism; a chance to relax and forget about how shitty the squad full of you-know-whats you carried for the past 3 weeks has performed. You can turn your attention from the ranking "they left you with" and focus on getting "better" guys in to get you moving back in the direction you want to go.

    And just like the start of the season, having that wildcard puts the world at your fingertips. You don't have to worry about the 6-7 step sequence it would take to rearrange your squad to where you want it or the injuries that might set you back at steps 2, 4 and 6 that would cause you to deviate from your master plan. And most importantly, you get to dream again.

    Let's face it; we all do it. We scan through the FPL listings, starting first with the multi-position "Total Score" listing, and we come face to face with all of the guys that we considered having in our original squad but didn't. We get on Twitter and lament the fact that "Of course I had that guy in version 284 of my original squad!", "If I had done what I wanted to do in the first place I'd be 150,000 spots higher!". And my personal favorite, which I have painfully experienced first hand this year, "I swore back in June that that guy would be the first guy in my squad this season; I can't believe I didn't follow through!"  Seamus Coleman, thank you very much. You have proven me quite wrong my friend, and I will now gladly pay 0.4m more to get you today than I could have spent in August, so don't start sucking now. I really don't have a good reason for not selecting you for GW1 like I had planned, other than the fact that I tried to outsmart myself by considering your opening fixtures and had this new defensive strategy that blah blah blah okay I'm just a freaking idiot.

    But it's okay; because I'm an idiot with a wildcard! And I can live with the stupidity I've exhibited over the past 3 gameweeks while carrying this do-over card in my hand. I know that the last three gameweeks are still shit for me and forever will be, but I can get 9 or 10 new guys now; even though the 9 or 10 I just let go of are about to reach levels of FPL greatness that even they never dreamed possible. And it's okay. Because it hasn't happened yet. I'll worry about that on Saturday. (Okay, I've already started worrying about it today and the stress will increase like a balloon being blown up between now and Saturday morning, but you know what I mean).

    Here's to two more days of freedom!

    If you've activated your wildcard as well, have fun with it over the next couple of days. Mix and match all kinds of combinations and permutations of EPL'ers. Sometimes in the randomness we display while simply fooling around with different options, we open up windows into new ways of thinking about FPL that we hadn't before, and you just may surprise yourself with a squad you feel 10x better about than the one you almost locked in yesterday. It's the only wildcard we get until 2014 and is one of only two chances during the entire season that we get to reset our entire squad for free. Plus, I for one am left with the almost guaranteed assurance that there is no possible way I can pick a squad that will do WORSE than the one I've had for the first 3 gameweeks.

    See; no pressure;)

    Cheers,

    Walt (EPLFanForLife)

    Tuesday, 10 September 2013

    FPL picks with a bit of "Dolphinomics"

    Fantasy football is full of dilemmas and decisions; some difficult and some less so but ultimately it comes down to trying to find the edge, that something different and finding ways of maximising your points tally to ultimately get the edge over your rivals.

    My approach is similar to the Moneyball system of analysing and accessing data or more specifically stats before choosing players. Stats can indicate how a player performs mainly in terms of an attacking sense such as the amount of goals or assists.

    I put a lot of emphasis on looking at how many goals and/or assists a player has had throughout a season or even his career while also monitoring the movements of players via Four Four Two’s Stat App which includes seeing how many shots or crosses some players make and the specific positions they get into. I like to have as an attacking team as possible therefore my aim is to have a team full of mainly direct, creative and versatile players. Although I’m open to playing different formations I tend to mostly play 3-4-3 so that I can have as many attacking players as possible. Think about not only potential points defenders can gain for picking up clean sheets but for also scoring goals and getting assists. With this in mind I have invested more money on the league’s most attacking defenders Zabaleta, Vertonghen and Baines. 

    Leighton Baines is the epitome of an attacking defender as the Everton left back takes penalties, corners and free kicks as well as getting 33 assists and scoring 23 goals since joining the club. He is no secret to the fantasy football world but is an absolute must on my team sheet. In addition to these impressive stats the former Wigan man created more chances in Europe last season than any other player. This is a mind blowing stat but goes to show the importance defenders can have in an attacking sense, especially in the case of full backs. Essentially after gradually evolving my team last season I have learnt the importance of maximisation. My intention is to get value out of each player and each position to ultimately have as strong, effective and efficient team as I possibly can. 

    Normally I only pick full backs as they are almost like wingers in the modern day game and tend to get very high up the pitch to join attacks.  As an exception I have chosen one centre back, Jan Vertonghen. The Spurs man is extremely versatile as well as playing in his more preferred centre back position he can play at left back and even on occasion midfield.  The Belgium international scored a combined total of 19 goals in 2012/13 and 2011/12.

    When it comes to midfield, ideally you want to go attacking. Although Theo Walcott is classed as a midfielder, his electric pace and good movement almost makes him a striker at times and therefore is an example, admittedly quite a rare one, of how a player’s position can be ambiguous. Also he was one of only four players to reach double figures in goals scored and assists made last season.


    Another way of gaining an advantage is by checking out the stats of new arrivals to the Premier League. Norwich City record signing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel is a good example as he is differential and well priced. The Dutchman already had a prolific goal scoring record since signing for Sporting Lisbon from FC Utrecht in 2011. The twenty four year old scored 38 goals in just two seasons for the Portuguese club in all competitions. Although weary of the fact that he may need time to adjust to the Premier League, Van Wolfswinkel got off the mark against Everton on the opening day of the season and could be a deadly threat. He only had 12 touches against Everton but one that mattered was the solitary goal in the game.

    Sunday, 8 September 2013

    Gameweek 3 FPL Wrap-Up

    Gameweek 3 is over and in its place are fond memories for some, good riddance for others, and a little bit of "meh" for others still.  Before the internationals are over and the frenzy of pre-gameweek 4 begins, let's recap the goings-on of the 9-fixture gameweek that was.  Since it's a recap of gameweek 3, I'll give you a 3-line summary of each fixture, plus a short list of the top 5 FPL point earners from each fixture. Away we go....

    Manchester City  2  - 0  Hull City

    Captain Dzeko; no collecto. Captain Zab, you're feeling fab.
    Hull City supporters leave the Etihad with heads held high
    Negredo on target and Yaya slots home a beaut

    FPL managers were smiling because of:
    Zabaleta 12, Y Toure 11, Hart, Kolarov, Lescott, Negredo  6

    Cardiff  0  -  0  Everton

    Cardiff follow up huge home win vs City with scoreless home draw to Everton
    Mirallas and Kim both squander good chances
    Baines not fouled in box at 41st minute; or was he?

    Happy happy joy joy to those of you who had:
    Distin 9, Baines 8, Jagielka, Coleman, Marshall 7

    Newcastle  1  -  0  Fulham

    Newcastle finally score - and win!
    Cabaye does not say Goodbye
    Ben Arfa makes the home supporters happy

    Good stuff from:
     Ben Arfa 9, Coloccini 9, Yanga-Mbiwa 8, Krul, Santon, Debuchy, Riether 6

    Norwich  1  -  0  Southampton

    Redmond seals 3 pts in 3rd EPL match
    2 penalties that "weren't" - Lallana and Snodgrass
    Elmander starts; new boys Fer and Redmond shine

    Fortunate FPL managers started: 
    Redmond 11, Fer 8, Bassong 8, Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner, Garrido 6

    West Ham 0  -  1  Stoke City

    Pennant highlights bore fixture with fantastic 82nd minute free kick
    Jaaskelainen comes up big on Wilson volley and Walters' follow up
    No 3rd point of interest; 2 is more than enough for that borefest!

    Despite the bore, some FPL managers could smile:
    Wilson 9, Pennant 8, Begovic, Shawcross 7, Huth, Pieters 6


    Crystal Palace  3  -  1  Sunderland

    Palace result leaves Holloway dancing and DiCanio craving a candy bar
    Crystal Palace fighting spirit / great atmosphere earn them fans who love the underdog
    Paulo cries foul-o on his own Captain O'Shea

    FPL high earners include: 
    Gabbidon 9, Gayle 9, Fletcher 7, Colback, O'Keefe 6

    Liverpool  1  -  0  Manchester United

    Pool crowd celebrate birthdays of Bill Shankly and Daniel Sturridge with 1-0 victory
    Liverpool yet to concede amid 3 straight 1-0 wins - all goals from Sturridge
    United held scoreless for 2nd EPL fixture in a row for first time since May 2007 - WOW

    To the victors go the spoils:  
    Agger 12, Mignolet, Sturridge 8, Skrtel, Enrique 7, Johnson 6

    West Brom  0  -  2  Swansea

    Davies delivers in 22nd - cracker of a volley
    Hernandez follows up with nice second goal of his own
    West Brom yet to score this season - uh oh

    FPL All-Stars: 
    Davies 15, Hernandez 13, Chico 7, Vorm, Williams 6

    Arsenal  1  -  0  Tottenham

    North London Derby on Deadline Day Eve - Yes Please!
    Olivier rules the day
    Wenger has last laugh - for now

    The icing on the FPL gameweek 3 cake provided by:
    Giroud 9, Szczesny, Mertesacker 8, Gibbs, Jenkinson 7

    Well, there you have it.  Gameweek 3 in a nutshell.  Here's a nice little screenshot of the Gameweek 3 Dream Team.  FPL managers carrying these players will look on and shake their heads with proud satisfaction while those who have activated their Wildcard during the international break can use it as a teaser as they build their "new" squad.  Good luck in gameweek 4 everyone!



    Cheers,


    Thursday, 5 September 2013

    Moneyball, FPL and the Premier League

    What is Moneyball?

    In a nutshell, Money ball is a bio-pic about a US baseball team that uses statistical theory in the form of sabermetrics to recruit players (based on a shoestring budget). This analytical approach was revolutionary as the general manager and his assistant assembled a team of under-rated players that on face value seemed average, yet had certain strong attributes which could be optimized. The statistical approach initially doesn't fare well, but the team eventually defies the odds and goes on a 20-match winning streak.  We later learn that sabermetrics is eventually accepted as a mainstream baseball theory and is eventually adopted by another team who win the World Series for the first time in 84 years.



    Is Moneyball possible in the Premier League?


    It depends how one interprets the theory, but I suppose in some respects it is possible.  From my perspective, picture a PL club with a shoestring budget that is looking to rebuild its team.  All they need is an open-minded chairman and a manager willing to take risks and be driven by well calculated stats for player recruitment.  Imagine them purchasing players in each position, not based on their overall qualities per se, but rather on specific attributes or stats and their potential to excel when gelled with other players of different specialisms.

    For instance, a team may purchase a left-winger on a free transfer who has gone under the radar, yet has decent crossing ability and a proven record of assisting from out wide.  Or an attacking midfielder that may not have the best shooting ability, yet has natural pace to accelerate past defenders, etc.  Or more radically, converting the likes of Peter Crouch and Nikola Zigic into centre backs due to their height.  Stats and key attributes will determine what type of player is needed in which area and ideally they don't have to cost that much either.

    The problem in the Premier League today is that a manager doesn't have total control of player recruitment.  The only exception to the rule arguably is Arsene Wenger, where as the rest have to rely on scouts or so-called "Directors of Football" to recruit players (or in Joe Kinnear's case make boasts yet spend £0).  Moreover, why would a Premier League club blindly rely on statistics? In addition, they may have a preference to go by certain football agents and their stable or perhaps focus on versatile players that have sufficient all-round attributes for their chosen position.

    Having said the above, some may say that a stats-based method has already been used in the PL to recruit players.  Courtesy of FPLH Walt (from across the pond!), he cited an alleged example of this taking place under Liverpool's American owners, i.e. apparently by their 2011 purchases of Adam, Henderson and Downing.  I'm not sure how true that is.  But it's not beyond the realms of possibility.  Whether an adapted version of sabermetrics can be used successfully in the Premier League remains to be seen.


    Is Moneyball possible in FPL?


    Technically sabermetrics can't be fully integrated into FPL due to the scoring system being based on certain fixed statistics.  However, I believe that the principles which propelled the Moneyball team are significant.  Statistics can be used to help identify under-rated players (in particular differentials) which can help you score better than your FPL rivals.

    I have to confess that my GW1 team had a bit of Moneyball about it.  The best example of which was my in defence via right-back Steven Whittaker.  I could have bought various Norwich FC players, but I opted for him specifically.  I hadn't noticed him that much till the England v Scotland match.  I then discovered that he had a fantastic scoring record for Rangers (28 goals in 209 matches) and would have played more for Norwich last season (had it not been for injury).  I also assembled other under-rated Moneyballesque players such as Morrison, Snodgrass and Downing. I chickened out at the last hour and made Whittaker my sub 2.  Fortunately, he had a fantastic GW1 and auto-subbed on for me!

    Mish Mash: A Moneyball team with FPL Price caps?


    All the above begs the question, could I assemble a Money ball inspired team with FPL price caps? i.e. a team of under-rated players that stand out on an individual basis but play for ordinary teams.  Here are the parameters I set myself as a guideline:

    • Attack-minded players (ideally).
    • Under-rated yet possess good attributes/stats.
    • Newly promoted or finished 6th-17th last season.
    • Goalkeepers maximum value: £4.5M.
    • Defenders maximum value: £5.0M.
    • Midfielders maximum value: £6.0M.
    • Forwards maximim value: £7.0M.

    My Moneyball team:




    I could justify all of my selections; the most random of which is Gerhard Tremmel.  He isn't even Swansea's first choice goalkeeper.  However, when you look at his saves statistics in the PL you wonder why hasn't he been given a better run between the sticks!  Anyway...

    My fellow writers also came up with their own Moneyball teams, albeit with a bit more flexibility on the parameters.

    Matej's Moneyball team


    Walt's Moneyball team


    What are your thoughts on Moneyball principles being used in the EPL & FPL?  How would your Moneyball team look like? Tweet me on @FPLHints or comment on this post.  Cheers!