A Deeper Look at Price Points and Defining a Flexibility Rating | fpl.wiki


I’ve been thinking lately about a broad theoretical framework surrounding price points, especially as they relate to setting up your team to start a new season.

Basically, the price point structure of a team can be taken as an indicator of how flexible the team is for getting new players in with ideally just one free transfer, or two at the very most. I’m not one to obsess over exact price points (e.g. drawing distinctions between £8.0m forwards and £7.5m forwards), so basically I conceive of only three broad price points for midfielders and forwards, and two price points for defenders and goalkeepers. You essentially start the season with a certain number of poker chips, or I’ll call them tokens to avoid confusion with FPL chips like Triple Captain. Premium midfielders and forwards cost 2 tokens each; premium defenders and goalkeepers, as well as mid-priced midfielders and forwards, cost 1 token each; and budget players at all positions fill out the team, costing 0 tokens. (For the rest of this article, I’ll ignore premium goalkeepers, as FPL managers tend to make very few goalkeeper transfers, and the top scoring goalkeeper is often a £4.5m option.) Mid-priced midfielders and forwards, for the purposes of this article, are between about £7.0 and £9.0 million.

How many tokens do you start a season with? I’ll argue that the usual player pricing corresponds to 7 tokens (whether this is deliberate game design, or just what FPL Towers have arrived at over many seasons of trial and error, is left for the reader to judge). Seven tokens are just enough to cover every price point once, except for a premium goalkeeper. In a 3-4-3 formation, with each player shown by the number of tokens they cost:

0

1 0 0

2 1 0 0

2 1 0

The good news is that this is a perfectly flexible team in terms of being able to have one of everything. The bad news is, you can’t have two of anything, except budget players. Often the two best captain options are both midfielders, which can require a significantly less flexible formation.

Before looking at other formations, let’s define a flexibility rating for each possible formation. A perfectly flexible formation that covers all the possible price points would get a perfect 10. If all price points are not covered, we deduct two points for each missing 2-token slot, and one point for each missing 1-token or 0-token slot. We deduct more points for missing 2-token slots because it’s possible to downgrade a higher-priced player to a lower-priced player with just one transfer, whereas upgrading will almost certainly require two transfers.

The only perfectly flexible formations possible, then, are the above 3-4-3, as well as a 4-3-3 version with the budget fourth midfielder replaced with a fourth defender:

0

1 0 0 0

2 1 0

2 1 0

Initial formations that get a flexibility rating of 9 would still have to have a premium midfielder and a premium forward, to avoid a 2-point deduction for missing either of those slots. In fact, they would still have to have exactly one premium midfielder and one premium forward. A 3-premium-attacker formation would eat up 6 points for just the premiums, meaning that two of the 1-token price points would have to be missing. For example, each of the following earns a rating of only 8:

A 1-premium-attacker formation might seem on paper to be more flexible, but in this case a 2-point deduction is incurred for omitting either a premium midfielder or premium forward. On the positive side, there are many more different possibilities in this setup for the distribution of the 5 tokens not spent on premium attackers. For example, such a team could have as many as three premium defenders:

0

1 1 1 0

2 1 0 0

1 0

Or it could be very heavy on mid-priced midfielders:

0

1 0 0

2 1 1 1 0

1 0

What would be the worst possible formation in terms of flexibility? Well, you could have five premium defenders and a premium goalkeeper, leaving only one token to spend elsewhere:

1

1 1 1 1 1

1 0 0 0

0

This structure loses 4 flexibility points for lacking both a premium midfielder and premium forward, as well as 2 additional points for lacking a budget defender and a mid-priced forward, for an overall flexibility rating of 4. Obviously, getting the money out of defence in this setup without wildcarding is essentially impossible.

Returning to almost-optimal formations, formations that would get a flexibility rating of 9 would still have two premium attackers, one midfielder and one forward, but would be slightly less balanced in lacking one of the 1-token slots, such as this:

0

1 1 0

2 0 0 0

2 1 0

Nonetheless, if we are fairly confident that there are no premium forwards worth owning until after our next wildcard, a 2-premium-midfielder setup, even though it only achieves a flexibility rating of 8, is quite acceptable. Later in the season, after team values have risen and more than 7 tokens are available to spend, even a 3-premium-midfielder setup can be quite flexible. By late in the season, a “power-5-mid” formation may be perfectly achievable, such as:

0

1 0 0

2 2 2 1 1

1 0

Even at the start of the season, however, I think a case can be made for a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2, even though it must necessarily omit one of the forward price points. For the 2021-22 season, I like starting with a 3-5-2 because it seems that most of the previous season’s budget forwards have been raised into the mid-priced category, whereas many midfielders have remained quite cheap. Prioritising a price-point structure too strongly over picking the best value players can also be a mistake. I also feel that omitting the mid-priced midfielder slot is a common error, which I avoided in the previous season out of pure luck (having chosen Christian Pulisic over Timo Werner) – but now know that I want to make an effort to do the right thing intentionally. Most Premier League teams now start five players classified as FPL midfielders and only one FPL forward, which is somewhat out of sync with the requirements for the perfectly flexible 3-4-3 I mentioned at the start of this article. So far, I’m on this, with a flexibility rating of 8:

0

1 0 0

2 2 1 0 0

1 0

I can always gain a premium forward easily on my first wildcard if I do not want to stick with only premium midfielders as captain options. In an emergency, I can move a premium midfielder and budget forward to a budget midfielder and premium forward with two transfers, for a hit if necessary.

Hopefully this article has provided some insight into why some team structures are more flexible than others. Price points are not everything, and need to be balanced against the need for the best value players, but should definitely be a consideration in planning your initial team.


#Deeper #Price #Points #Defining #Flexibility #Rating

Source : www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk – https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk%2F2021%2F07%2F19%2Fa-deeper-look-at-price-points-and-defining-a-flexibility-rating%2F

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