Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Accentuate the Positives

Guest post by @fplchips

 
The grass isn't always greener


After the long summer break the Premier League curtain was finally raised this weekend. If the pre-season dress rehearsals were anything to go by, our star-studded cast was expected to deliver a stunning opening night performance, but from the moment Wayne Rooney fluffed his first line, panic began to spread throughout the theatre of dreams...

A Tragedy In 3 Parts


Act 1


First up, Romero made an unexpected appearance on stage. Then Thibaut saw red and struck a fatal blow to Mourinho, but not before carelessly tripping up Count Gomis. The audience could barely watch as he then got to his feet and fired a shot that whistled past Thibaut’s understudy.

Act 2


Things did not improve in the next act, as Petr Cech, who had previously always played the hero, was instead miscast as a the pantomime villain.

Act 3


By the time Juliette appeared at the Etihad balcony in Act 3, much like this metaphor, most of us were begging for the end to come quickly.

Needless to say the reviews have been far from favourable:

Simply Barmy”, @fplhints
Nightmare!”, @BonusFPL

Many are calling for a complete recast before the next performance, and who can blame them, but before taking such drastic measures, I think it’s worth shining the spotlight on some of the positives. As usual, I’ll be looking to the stats to provide some clarity of thought.

Oh, and you’ll be pleased to hear the metaphor has now ended.

Low Ownership


Let’s start by looking at the ownership of the big scorers this week.

Goalkeepers


Adrián: 11 points - 3.8% ownership*
Romero: 8 points - 2% ownership*

*(based on current % minus net transfers in)

So it’s not as if every manager and their dog cashed in on these two goalkeeping performances and I dare say many owners will have benched Adrián away to Arsenal - we can assume that most Romero owners had him as backup to de Gea and therefore he will have played.

Defenders


Kompany: 14 points - 11.5% ownership*
Gomez: 11 points - 2.5% ownership*

*(based on current % minus net transfers in)

Those without Kompany will feel the pinch a bit here, but of the defenders who scored 5-8 points, Clyne is owned by about a third of all players - and may well have been benched by some away to Stoke anyway - Azpilicueta is owned by around one fifth of all players - and presumably most will have played him away to West Brom - and the rest had at most 7% ownership. So whilst you’d be unlucky not to have registered a single clean sheet, you might count yourself lucky if you got anything more than that from your defence.

Midfielders


Yaya: 16 points - 5% ownership*
Mahrez: 15 points - 4% ownership*
Albrighton: 15 points - < 1% ownership*
Coutinho: 10 points - 12.5% ownership*
Cabaye: 10 points - 8 % ownership*
Ayew: 10 points - 2.5% ownership*

*(based on current % minus net transfers in)

Whilst there may be some cause for alarm for managers who were without any of these six players, ownership is low and many of them will have been benched for GW1 anyway - either due to fixtures or because they were bought as a cheap backup option. One thing is certain: the 56% of you who own Eden Hazard won’t have to wait long for a return on your £11.5m investment.

Forwards


Koné: 11 points - 1% ownership*
Cissé: 9 points - 2% ownership*
Zárate: 8 points - 1% ownership*

*(based on current % minus net transfers in)

Not much to say here really. Koné was the pick of the bunch, but most of his owners will no doubt have stuck him on the bench when it became clear that Lukaku was likely to start. A few of Cissé’s owners will have backed him to get something at home to Southampton. Zárate is unlikely to have been in many starting elevens away to Arsenal.

Elsewhere, high ownership players such as Wayne Rooney and Romelu Lukaku scored just 5 points each. Though in my case, that was a relief, as captaining Rooney was the only thing that saved me from the indignity of averaging just 2 points per player.

So with low ownership and fairly low points hauls, no matter which of your big hitters failed to live up to their price-tag in GW1, you can rest assured that you only lost ground to a small proportion of FPL managers. The ones you did lose ground to may well stick rather than twisting and you can expect your big hitters to claw much of that back sooner rather than later.

Overall Standings


So what about those you lost ground to; how much ground did you lose?

Although the leading player scored an impressive 109 points, this included 48 points from playing his one and only Triple Captain chip on Yaya Touré. Whilst a 16 point base-score is reasonable, it’s nothing compared to what you might be able to get by playing the chip during a double gameweek.

Looking further down the table:

  • 78 points was enough to put you in the top 1,000 players overall
  • 60 points would have put you in the top 1% of all players
  • a third of all players scored less than 30 points

With just 26 extra points being enough to put a player with the average score of 34 into the top 1%, there isn't much ground to make up over the majority of your rivals, especially as Courtois can’t get sent off again!

Money Worries


One common reason to play an early wildcard is to cash in on the inevitable bandwagons that occur early on in the season. However, player price increases have been significantly slowed down since the rule changes last year. This, coupled with the fact that GW1 finished on Monday and GW2 starts on Friday, makes it very unlikely that any player will go up in value by more than £0.2m this week, with probably just a handful going up by £0.1m. Perhaps more importantly, no player is likely to go down by more than £0.1m either. So with that in mind, is it really worth playing your wildcard before you've seen enough games to determine who the regular starters are and before the end of the summer transfer window.

Check out the Fantasy Football Fix site for the latest predictions on price rises.

NB: at the time of writing no player has gone up or down in price yet.

Conclusion


So hopefully this has provided some much needed ointment for those of you still licking your wounds after GW1. If you managed to post a decent score then very well done; if not, you’re not alone :)


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