Following on from the Captain’s Influence article another question that lots of FPL managers ask is ‘What is the optimal way to spread my funds’?
With FPL now live I did some research to see how some of the ‘best minds’ in FPL set up their teams for the opening Game Weeks of last season. How much did they spend on each position? How many premiums do we get for each position and how much bench fodder? In order to do this I analysed the top 30 OR managers from last season along with the top 30 HOF managers and 15 random seasoned veterans. A total of 75 managers.
Very much like my previous article I realize that 75 teams is a small percentage of the overall pool of players but I was still hoping to see a trend.
Goalkeepers (Premium £5.5m+ and bench fodder £4m)
Probably the easiest budget to adhere to is GK’s. The majority of managers in FPL choose one of two options. 1) Good rotating £4.5m Keepers or 2) Premium GK and bench fodder £5.5m-£6m/£4m. No surprise to discover that 44 (59%) of the 75 teams analysed used £9m on their GKs. However what did surprise me was that only 11 managers (15%) opted for option 2 last season.
|Goalkeepers cost||Amount of managers||Percentage %|
8 Managers chose premium keepers Ederson/De Gea – 6 of which chose fodder to accompany them. As you can see from the figures above, 20 managers chose a bench fodder keeper with a £4.5m option. 32 managers in total chose a bench fodder keeper. 36 of the 75 managers (48%) went with the £4.5m rotating GK option.
Nevertheless the average amount of money spent on GK’s was £9.0m.
Defenders (Premiums -6m+ and bench fodder £4m)
Already FPL Managers around the world are drafting in 3 or 4 premium defenders ready for the new season with 2 of the Liverpool trio of VVD, TAA and Robertson along with Laporte, Mendy and Digne all being popular selections. This could amount to having a defense costing close to £30million.
How does this compare to the top managers last season? Well, last season 57 teams (76%) chose a defense costing between £24.5m – £26m. Obviously the highest valued defended at the start of last season was Alonso at £6.5 million so the hike in the premium Defender prices will inevitably have a knock on effect to our team budgeting for the upcoming campaign. My recently selected 1st draft equates to £31.5m across the back 5. The costliest defense in GW 1 from all the managers analysed last season was £28.5m. Something is going to have to give somewhere because the numbers just don’t add up.
Unsurprisingly last seasons GW 1 bench fodder Wan-Bissaka was selected by 71 of the 75 managers (95%). 36 of which (48%) doubled up on their bench fodder with the likes of either Peltier, Bednarek or Schelotto. 3 managers chose a real budget defense with 3 £4m assets. Who will this seasons £4m playing defender be?
Premium assets across the defence was quite varied- 52 (69%) managers chose 2 premium defenders, 6 chose 3 premium defenders and 2 managers went with 4 premium defenders. 15 managers only went with 1 premium defender (20%). Looking at early drafts on Twitter I think this number will fall dramatically.
The average cost of defenses last year was £25.5m – £6m less than I’m planning to spend!
|Defenders cost||Amount of managers||Percentage owned %|
Midfielders (Premiums £9m+ and bench fodder £4.5m)
With the midfielders you would expect there to be a huge variance in price given the amount of viable options as opposed to other position. However, this didn’t necessarily prove to be the case – 40 managers (53%) had a midfield budget between £41m – £43.5m. The cheapest midfield came in at a measly £34.5m with the costliest setting their manager back £46m. I expect much the same this year with sacrifices being made up front if indeed managers (like myself) are likely to invest more in defense.
69 of the 75 managers (92%) started with Salah at £13.m. However the mix of premiums and bench fodder midfielders was understandably more varied than the other positions. 51 of the 75 managers (68%) chose 2 premium options. 16 Managers chose 3 premium midfield assets (21%) and 6 managers only went with 1 premium midfield asset.
33 (44%) of managers went with just 1 bench fodder midfielder (predominantly Dale Stephens) The remaining 56% didn’t select a bench fodder player from their midfield budget.
The average cost of all midfields last season from the 75 managers analysed was £41.5m.
|Midfielders cost||Amount of managers||Percentage owned%|
Attackers (Premiums £9.5m+ and bench fodder £4.5m)
50 of the 75 teams analysed chose their 3 attackers from a budget between £23.5m – £25m. A whopping 66.6%! 32 of which (43%) used £24.5m to fund their attackers.
Like the midfielders the vast majority of managers had very similar thoughts about team structure. There were only 5 managers who chose an attack of £21.5m or less and 9 managers who used a budget of £27m or more to fund their attacks.
58 (77%) managers selected 1 Premium forward, 15 managers chose 2 premium assets and surprisingly only 3 managers started without a premium striker.
Only 16 (21%) managers selected a bench fodder attacker. The other 79% went without. I feel that this will increase for the upcoming season with more money potentially getting pumped into defences.
The average cost of forward lines last season was £24.5m.
|Attackers cost||Amount of managers||Percentage owned %|
Premium Vs Bench Fodder
Some of the data for Premium assets and bench fodder choices have been mentioned in each position above but the table below highlights all the managers analysed. As you can see 68% of managers selected different variations but each consisting of 5 premium assets.
|Premium Assets||Bench Fodder||No. of managers –frequency (%)|
So what can we take from this? Well your Goalkeeping budget should ideally be £9m, however with the majority of decent goalkeepers getting a £0.5m price hike this year the pool to choose from is smaller than usual. I think for the upcoming season we should be looking at £9.5m as a more realistic option.
As far as defenses budget allocation goes then last years average budget of £25.5m may also need to be revised as a trio of Robertson, TAA and Laporte will cost £20.5m. Therefore if we are going for this option then funds need to be sacrificed elsewhere and this would need to come from the midfielders or attackers as the goalkeepers offer very little ‘wiggle’ room.
Last seasons average spend in Midfield was £41.5m. This may need to be reduced if we want a more premium defense?
Or do we make cuts with the strikers and opt to go without a premium to free up funds? Last season the average spend on the 3 forward positions was £24.5m with 77% choosing a premium.
As we all know, no football season is ever the same and the same can be said for FPL. The data I analysed and the article I have written is to try and give managers an overview of how some of ‘the best minds’ in FPL work. If we use last season as a guide then maybe this is a starter for 10. Now I have crunched the data and given my opinion but ultimately the decision is yours as to where to allocate your funds and who to choose to give you a good foundation to start the season and achieve your individual goals.
Thanks for reading.