Thursday, 13 July 2017

FPL Launch Day - The prices and their implications

From May 22, FPL managers across the world settled into hibernation until the week commencing July 10. We had a tweet from the FPL Overlords confirming the game would launch for the 2017/18 season then.

Speculation was rife about when the game would start. FPL addicts seeking the time that they could get their next hit attempted to interpret the abacus attached to the official announcement tweet. There were numerous equations developed based on the beads’ formation. Others looked at the Holgate name on the side and tried to use numbers associated with the young Everton defender to get their answer. In the end, I don’t think anyone knew precisely when the game would be released, even those on Twitter who claimed to be #itk (in the know). Eventually, it launched on Wednesday morning London-time – July 12.

This article is not about “hidden gems”, “bargain basement”, or “the 5 players you need for fantasy success this season”. Instead, I’m interpreting the overall pricing in this year’s game in order to help people create balanced teams. Please bear in mind that I am writing this on launch day, so if I have missed a detail (though I don’t think I have), don’t be too harsh. Just tweet me @FPLStag and I’ll make an amendment. Firstly, I'll go through the four positions in the official Premier League salary-cap game. Then, I'll briefly examine the three ways I believe teams are most likely to distribute their budget.

The prices, the positions and the assessments


As with last season, there is little team value to be saved amongst the shotstoppers. Five of the Top Six’s ‘keepers will set you back 5.5m, Liverpool’s Mignolet is then priced at 5.0m along with five other goalies expected to score well. At the other end of the scale, there is a dearth of starting ‘keepers who will be priced at 4.0m. The only potential starter in this bracket is Newcastle’s Rob Elliot, who may get the nod ahead of Karl Darlow.
Thus, as per every season, the debate in this position boils down to a premium option (5.5 + 4.0 fodder), a more balanced approach (5 + 4.5) or a strategy which rotates ‘keepers priced at 4.5m.

(Click to enlarge)

Thanks to an article posted by Fantasy Premier League Hints , it seems that a mix of Crystal Palace and West Ham is your best bet if you want to select two cheap ‘keepers before an early wildcard. More on FPL Tips for your GW1 team from me later this summer.

On goalkeepers, expect to spend 9.0 – 10.0, though I recommend 9.0. Every season, a newly promoted side has an all-action miracle man who provides decent returns as Heaton did last year, and Marshall did Cardiff a few seasons ago. Keep that in mind.


First and foremost, it’s worth noting that James Milner (6.5) and Victor Moses (also 6.5) have had their position changed from midfielder to defender. In the case of the latter, who is likely to share minutes with new-signing Antonio Rudiger, this is barely newsworthy. But for Milner, this is huge. He scored seven times from the spot last season. Each of his goals from twelve yards this season will be worth one point more, while he’ll also get more points each time Liverpool somehow manage to keep a clean sheet. They did so twelve times last term, that’s an extra 36 points for James. The goals and clean sheet corrections would bring his total from last season up from 139 to 174 points according to the official FPL site. I presume they calculated this number by adding 36 and 7 for the clean sheets and goals respectively, before deducting points for goals conceded in games. I’ll wager the bonus point system would have favoured Milner further though, and that his total may in truth have eclipsed 174. Regardless, 174 would have made him the third highest scorer in the game. If Klopp fails to bring a new left-back to Anfield, or if Milner starts consistently when one arrives, I think he’ll be an essential pick.

Marcos ‘Goalonso’’s popularity will be sure to collapse this year since he was slapped with a 7.0m price tag. As I will mention later in this article, the game is forcing players to cut back on defensive spending to fit in more than four or five strong forwards and midfielders.

It seems that you can guarantee yourself access to most of the top defences for a steep 5.5m outlay, although you’ll be hard-pressed to get a starting Chelsea defender for that little. Here’s a tweet where I’ve highlighted some of the top backlines from last season:

If Kyle Walker's long expected move to Man City goes through, Kieran Tripper – assist king extraordinaire – will be available for 5.5m and should start. At the other flank, Ben Davies has the same cost and may deputise in place of the crocked Danny Rose early in the campaign.

I mentioned City in passing just there. Value may crop up in their defence yet as Guardiola will need to make a number of moves to make up for all the releases of their full-backs at the end of last season. City have currently got just FOUR registered defenders in FPL.

Mason Holgate 4.5), expected to stand in for Seamus Coleman until the new year, could well be the best value defender of all this season. I expect that most FPL managers may be forced to select two, if not three, defenders in the bargain bracket if they are to build a balanced squad. However, last year’s empirical evidence suggests that you would be committing folly to ignore the premium assets. None of last season’s top 20 come in at less than 5.0m. Only McAuley, Daniels, and Bertrand (at a stretch) come from outside the league’s elite rosters.

You can read the rest over on the Rotoworld site, where Stag continues looking at player values this season before he concludes how their prices will affect the formations we play with this season. Click here for that.

If you want to hear more from Stag, you can follow him on Twitter for #FPL hints, tips, help and reaction.