GW 12 Transfers and Team Selection

In this post, I analyse transfer and team selection decisions of FPL managers in GW12. I take a look at 2 samples: randomly selected 20,000 FPL teams and the top 10,000 FPL teams. Because of the law of large numbers, we can make inferences about the overall FPL league based on the statistics for the random sample.

TRANSFERS AND TEAM VALUE

  • As one could expect, there was relatively more transfer activity at the top of the overall league. Top 10K managers made more transfers and took more point hits. However, they behaved more responsible with respect to the size of a hit and ended up with less points deducted on average.
  • Few top 10K managers have their wildcards spared comparing to the the rest of the game. Taking into account the number of dead teams, there are serious doubts if all of the players are going to use it though.
  • There is a striking difference in team value between top teams and the rest of participants, which is hardly a suprise. Top teams are at the top for that very reason that they own right players at the right time, and the right players tend to get more expensive. Some people have it all.
Random Sample Top 10K
Number of Managers 20,000 10,000
Transfers Made Per Team 0.74 1.11
Point Hits Taken 10.0% 14.0%
Average Points Deducted (Incl. No Hits) 0.72 0.69
Wildcards Played 1.4% 0.8%
Wildcard Status
– played 40.2% 74.0%
– available 59.8% 26.0%
– active 0.0% 0.0%
Average Team Value ₤99.8m ₤104.2m
Average Money in the Bank ₤0.8m ₤0.8m

TRANSFERS MADE

  • Only a third of all the managers in the game made any transfers for this gameweek. In contrast, only a third of all the managers in the top 10K didn’t make any transfers. Of course, some people decided to save their transfers this week. But even assuming that every second team didn’t make a single transfer on purpose, it’s fair to say that at least a third of the teams in the game are dead at this moment.
Number Random Sample Top 10K
0 64.4% 31.0%
1 15.8% 37.2%
2 13.0% 26.3%
3 3.4% 3.8%
4 and more 1.9% 0.8%
Wildcard 1.4% 0.8%

POINT HITS TAKEN

  • As already mentioned above, the top 10K teams took more hits, but they were more cautious with respect to the size of a hit.
Point Hit Random Sample Top 10K
0 points 90.0% 86.0%
4 points 6.5% 11.4%
8 points 2.1% 2.1%
12 points 0.6% 0.4%
16 points and more 0.8% 0.1%

TRANSFERS IN

  • There was a lot of demand for Remy this week, especially among the top 10K players. According to the FPL site, with 211,561 net transfers in, or 7% of 3,066,275 teams in the game, he was the most purchased player this week. In my random sample, 7.6% managers bought him, but 0.3% sold him.
  • Luis Suárez was also very popular on the transfer market, however, he wasn’t even among the 5 most popular transfer targets among the top 10K. Yeah, they all already have him.
Random Sample Top 10K
340 different players bought 263 different players bought
1 Remy 7.6% 1 Remy 18.5%
2 Suárez 5.0% 2 Rooney 5.8%
3 Lallana 4.3% 3 Cabaye 5.1%
4 Rooney 2.9% 4 Morrison(WHU) 4.9%
5 Morrison(WHU) 2.7% 5 Hazard 4.0%

TRANSFERS OUT

  • I’m writing this article as I already know the Saturday results, so, yes, this table is hilarious. Some serious ass-biting this week.
Random Sample Top 10K
439 different players sold 327 different players sold
1 Sturridge 7.0% 1 Sturridge 11.2%
2 Lukaku 3.7% 2 Lukaku 8.8%
3 Barkley 2.7% 3 Barkley 7.9%
4 Giroud 2.6% 4 Giroud 3.2%
5 Ivanovic 1.8% 5 Oscar 2.7%

FORMATIONS

  • Looks like a lot of players in the game didn’t bother to change their initial formation. Can’t say that playing 4 at the back has been a bad choice this season so far. Well done, casuals.
Formation Random Sample Top 10K
‘3-4-3’ 42.4% 73.8%
‘3-5-2’ 7.0% 3.4%
‘4-3-3’ 15.9% 16.9%
‘4-4-2’ 31.2% 4.7%
‘4-5-1’ 0.9% 0.1%
‘5-2-3’ 0.8% 0.7%
‘5-3-2’ 1.6% 0.4%
‘5-4-1’ 0.4% 0.0%

CAPTAINCY

  • Confidence in Suárez is extremely high at the moment, even a relatively tough fixture didn’t scare his owners off from captaining him. The days of van ‘most captained’ Persie are over, but he’s not far behind in the overall rankings yet.
Random Sample Top 10K
224 different captain choices 52 different captain choices
1 Suárez 15.4% 1 Suárez 39.8%
2 van Persie 14.9% 2 Agüero 22.8%
3 Agüero 11.7% 3 Rooney 13.0%
4 Rooney 8.1% 4 Remy 9.6%
5 Sturridge 6.3% 5 Özil 4.7%

TEAM SELECTION

STARTING GOALKEEPERS

  • Almost 40% of teams own Mignolet, even more at the top of the rankings. Some people bench him from time to time though. This week around 5.5% of all teams did so, 6.1% of the top teams. Are they regretting it?
  • Boruc is the second most popular goalkeeper in the game, but this week he was one of the two most popular players on the bench.
  • Harper was a popular choice among the top 10K, but as we know, his days in the starting line-up are over. Looks like a lot of his owners will get Boruc’ points instead.
Random Sample Top 10K
54 different goalkeepers 31 different goalkeepers
1 Mignolet 33.4% 1 Mignolet 40.6%
2 Boruc 12.0% 2 Boruc 16.6%
3 Cech 8.9% 3 Begovic 5.3%
4 De Gea 7.7% 4 Harper 4.6%
5 Begovic 6.3% 5 Jääskeläinen 3.8%

STARTING DEFENDERS

  • Baines and Coleman stayed at the top of the defenders rankings despite playing against Suárez this week. Dawson, Fonte, and Zabaleta have tough opponents as well. So, this week gives those with differentials at the back a good opportunity to make up some ground.
Random Sample Top 10K
183 different defenders 124 different defenders
1 Baines 26.7% 1 Coleman 33.6%
2 Zabaleta 23.4% 2 Baines 25.7%
3 Coleman 23.0% 3 Zabaleta 21.4%
4 Ivanovic 22.8% 4 Dawson(TOT) 18.6%
5 Fonte 17.3% 5 Fonte 18.6%

STARTING MIDFIELDERS

  • Even though the names are almost identical for both samples, the numbers are rather different. There is much more diversity in midfield in the overall league than in the top 10K.
Random Sample Top 10K
225 different midfielders 127 different midfielders
1 Ramsey 55.3% 1 Ramsey 89.1%
2 Yaya Touré 37.0% 2 Yaya Touré 54.5%
3 Özil 30.2% 3 Özil 46.6%
4 Barkley 21.0% 4 Lallana 27.9%
5 Hazard 16.8% 5 Hazard 21.7%

STARTING FORWARDS

  • Despite recent injury concerns, Sturridge remained the most popular striker in the game. Top players have switched to either Suárez or the SAS combination long time ago. Judging by the number of Suárez owners in the top 10K, this has proved to be a brilliant move as the Uruguayan has been the definiton of ‘essential’ since his return.
Random Sample Top 10K
96 different forwards 45 different forwards
1 Sturridge 30.4% 1 Suárez 91.1%
2 Giroud 29.5% 2 Agüero 66.0%
3 Suárez 29.1% 3 Rooney 27.0%
4 Agüero 26.6% 4 Sturridge 25.3%
5 van Persie 22.0% 5 Remy 23.6%

BENCHED PLAYERS

Random Sample Top 10K
578 different players on the bench 471 different players on the bench
1 Boruc 12.4% 1 Barkley 25.3%
2 Whittaker 12.3% 2 Boruc 23.5%
3 Barkley 11.2% 3 Dawson(TOT) 16.7%
4 Kelvin Davis 10.1% 4 Whittaker 16.2%
5 Given 9.2% 5 Fonte 13.2%
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