Points Per Million
Points Per Million
In my previous article, I looked at the correlation between goals scored in the English Premier League and the respective placings of the twenty clubs that make up the competition, while using that information we could then go onto make data driven betting decision.
But what about if we looked at another very popular facet of the beautiful game and one that looked at the more fantasy realm instead. Yes, for the first time ever I am going to carry out some data analysis on the Fantasy Premier League.
Everyone who has played the game knows that is a race for points and one of the ways to accumulate that is by scoring goals, which somewhat unsurprisingly is the primary task for either two or three of your attackers each week.
But which strikers are providing the best value and which also are worth the most points per million, these are some questions I will now look to answer, as I crunch the numbers and analyse some data.
First let’s take a look at the 10 highest scoring forwards in the FPL game and compare them to their transfer values, something that we can do via this very handy chart:
Here the top 10 strikers are plotted in an axis of points scored vs value and if it was to run in a coherent order, Sergio Aguero would be at the top right of your chart and Teemu Pukki would be at the bottom left.
However, as you can see that is not the case, with Aguero nowhere near the top right corner of our chart, while Jamie Vardy actually is the man who has scored the most FPL points – which means that value is not a definitive indicator of points return.
In terms of points vs value performance, you would have to say Harry Kane has underachieved and will unlikely add to his tally this season, while Roberto Firimino is another player who is arguably priced too high for his overall return.
However everyone left of Marcus Rashford seems to be performing in line with their values, but what if there was a better way to look at this, a measure that looks a forward efficiency in a different light. Something we can do with ‘Points Per Million’
A NEW METRIC?
First let’s take a look a the data in pure table form. Something which lists the top 10 points scoring forwards, their value and the points they have scored per million.
Now let’s take a look at this in another scatter chart – measuring value vs PPM (points per million)
Here we can see that set Teemu Pukki and Danny Ings are incredibly efficient when comes to FPL value, for every million that they are wortth, they return 18 points. But even though that is interesting, there is something even more.
Further up the page I said that the perfect correlation would be Aguero to the top right and Pukki to the left, well here we almost have the perfect inverse of that and it shows that the lesser valued of these 10 forwards are actually the most efficient in terms of points earned.
As you can see the line is not a perfect left to right diagnogal here either as Jamie Vardy once again proves his worth and is arguably the perfect balance between overexpenditure and points scored in a season.
However does Sergio Aguero provide good value? Fans of his will point to six goals in the past three matches but there is always the dreaded Pep Guardiola rotation risk and that is something that you need to be mindful off.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Raul Jimenez has a goal spread across matches, which is helpful in the sense that he doesn’t just stat pad and therefore does not necessairily have a game burst with lots of points.
With consistent points scoring it means you don’t necessarily run the risk of missing out on a huge points haul, which can often be the case when you don’t select someone such as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Hopefully this will give you a better idea of the value in forwards, while this might be a topic I revisit with other positions, or come back to this towards the final few weeks of the season. Let us know in the comments below.
Happy punting and thanks for reading. Dan
If this has grabbed your interest and you would like to discuss/feedback then please feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. While I am always looking for new football/data projects to work on and if you feel that my skills would be of use, I can be contacted at the same address.