Research Dead Teams

Dawn of the Dead 2

With only seven gameweeks left, we’re almost there. In just 44  days another FPL season will be over. I guess for most of us, it’s already clear whether it is a season to remember or one to forget. Personally, I’m heading to my worst finish ever and only a miracle can help me escape it. But I keep playing. However, many others have decided not to wait until the very end and have already forgotten about this FPL season before it’s over. As a result, FPL is swarming with dead teams. How many of them are around? How successful are they? Let’s take a look.


In December, I wrote my first article on dead teams. That article showed that 20% of FPL teams had been dead since the start of the season, 40% hadn’t been showing signs of life for 5 gameweeks. Some of the dead teams were doing relatively well: in the first 1 million, 0.6% of teams were the ones without any transfers at all.

In this post, I replicate that analysis using new data. I’ve run a script for another random sample of 50,000 randomly selected FPL teams. Here are the results.

Transfer inactivity

This graph shows what percentage of teams haven’t made any transfers for a given number of gameweeks. Click on the graph to enlarge it.


  • 55% of all FPL teams haven’t made any transfers for the last 5 gameweeks. It’s relatively safe to declare these teams dead: with all the blanks and DGW opportunities, recent weeks would have required transfer activity from any active FPL manager.
  • Roughly 40% have been dead since mid-December, the time of my first article.
  • 20% have made no transfers since the start of the season.

Given that there are 3.2m teams in FPL, it means that 640K teams were born dead, 1.1M teams died in process, and 1.5M teams are still playing.


This graph shows where all the inactive teams are ranked in the FPL standings. I’ve broken down the overall FPL league into 32 groups of 100,000 teams based on their overall rank and estimated the share of dead teams in each group. Here are the shares of teams with no transfers for the last 2 gameweeks, 5 gameweeks, 10 gameweeks and the whole season.Click on the graph to enlarge it.


  • The vast majority of the dead teams are located in the botton half of the overall league. The percentage of dead teams starts to increase drastically as we approach the middle of the overall table. It pays off to be active.

Cumulative Rankings

This graph shows cumulative numbers, i.e. the shares of dead teams in the first 100K, 200K, 300K, 1M etc. Click on the graph to enlarge it.


  • Only 0.1% of all the teams in the top 1M were dead from the beginning; 5% have made no transfers for the last 10 gameweeks; 14% have been absent for the 5 gameweeks.

Top 10K

At this point of the season, one would expect that only dedicated managers would have made it into the top 10K. Let’s see if that’s the case. Here is the number of teams in the top 10K that have been inactive on the transfer market for a given number of recent gameweeks:


  •  There are 131 teams in the top 10K which haven’t made any transfers for 5 gameweeks, and only 6 teams which haven’t made any transfers for 10 gameweeks.
  • With no transfers for 11 gameweeks and only 11 transfers in total, this team is the ghostilest in the top 10K: click. Less total transfers (9, including wildcard transfers) have been made only by two teams: one & two.

8 comments on “Dawn of the Dead 2

  1. Smarty Pants this is incredible!
    I especially enjoyed the top 10k part as it’s a fair indicator of how much luck is involved.
    So assuming this was performed after 11:30 today there may be a fair few managers who Wildcarded for the DGW and are not making a transfer this week, so from 3GW without transfers you could say they’re a bit ‘ghostly’!? That’s 270 teams, 2.7% of the top 10K. Much more than I thought!
    I’m currently ranked 997 myself but I don’t imagine there’s many of those teams above me as the points gaps get bigger up there!

    • Hi!
      No, I prepared this article yesterday. Transfers for GW 32 are not considered here. 1,055 teams in the top 10K as of Friday didn’t make any transfers for GW31; 408 didn’t make any transfers for GWs30-31, 270 for GWs29-31 and so on…
      So, unless they revive soon, they seem to be clear candidates to leave the top 10K in the near future.

      • Wow. So really then it’s more likely that between 408 and 1055 teams are at least partly ghostly as to not require a transfer for the DGW seems a bit mad.
        It’s all open to interpretation though I guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s