Some players play well season after season, and some are one season wonders. In this first article I am going to set the stage by looking at players who earned lots of points for us managers in the 2011/12 premier league season, but did not deliver in 2012/13 and try to find if there is something in common with these players. My second article will look into sports research and highlight the main theory explaining why this happens. My third article will try to spot players who are likely to be the dodgy players next season.
How do we spot the one-season wonders for 12/13?
From a Fantasy Football point of view, what does it mean to have a good 11/12 and a poor 12/13?
We could say a player did not do well if the number of points-earned dropped significantly. However, the top players who’s points dropped significantly were Van der Vaart, Modric, Friedel, Song, Nani, Adebayor, Taylor R, Bendtner, Kaboul and Hibbert. It is obvious these players were injured, dropped or sold to clubs outside of the premiership, and a Fantasy Football Manager who is on the ball will know to sell these players fairly quickly. So I don’t think points difference is the right way to spot a one season wonder.
One could argue that a player who gets a lot less game time this season compared to last season is a good way to find a one season wonder. But this list of players is fairly similar; Modric, Warnock, Song, Barton, Kaboul, Taylor, Given, Hutton and Dunne.
The game week 1 player price for the 2012/13 season reflects the performance from 2011/12 and the expectation for 2012/12. A change in price is due to a player not meeting expectation, injury or alternative player doing better. As a player’s price can only drop once per day, a consistent and sustained drop in price reflects injury or a failure to deliver the points from the previous season. So is a drop in price a good way to find the players who were one season wonders?
Who suffered from large price drops this season?
The below table shows the players who suffered the largest drop in price over the season.
- Prices, points and minutes played are taken from Game Week 38. The difference in points and mins played is this season compared to last season. Price is the difference between the price at the start of the season and the end of the season.
- For example, Hernandez at the start of the season cost £8M and now cost £6.5M, he earned 92 points which is 14 points less than last year, and featured in 953 minutes of football this season which was 524 minutes less than last season.
Players who’s price dropped but did better than last year.
There seems to be a group of players on the list who’s price dropped but they did better than last year. Henderson in less game time earned the same number of points as last year. Anichebe earned 51 more points than last year and his price still fell £1.2M. Ruiz earned 31 more points then the previous season on only 869 more minutes, a return of 0.816 points per million per game compared to 0.694 minutes the year before.
This gives us our first clue. Perhaps players who do not play regularly are more exposed to price fluctuations than regularly playing players and should be avoided when choosing your team in August.
Indeed, Smalling earned 13 less points than the season before but his points per game per million rose from 0.757 to 0.922, all the while his price fell by £1M. This is a reflection of his low number of starts and backs up the “regular playing” category.
Players who’s price dropped because not a “first teamer”
Some of the players with price drops and a drop in game time compared to last season are very regular players. An alert Premier Fantasy League Manager will be aware when a first teamer is not being played and will sell the players rather quickly, and at least before £0.4M has been lost. These players are Nani, Rosicky and Downing [although Downing later did become a regular].
This backs up our intuition above that players who do not play regularly are more exposed to price fluctuations than regularly playing players. Yet Nani in particular played 2104 minutes in 2011/12.
Gervinho also falls into this category. He played 665 minutes less than the season before, but earned only 12 points less than in 11/12. His points per million per game in 11/12 was 0.615 but in 12/13 it averaged 1.078 suggesting he was significantly under priced at the close of the season.
What is interesting is Suarez last season did not have a good season earning only 136 points, and this season his starting price was £9.5M, yet by the end of the season his price was £10.5M because he earned 212 points.
So this gives us our second Fantasy Football clue. These ‘first team’ players could be cheap picks next season if they are in teams where you feel they will play regularly.
Who are we left with?
|Name||Team||Price Change||Points Diff||Mins Diff||PPMPG 11/12||PPMPG 12/13|
With the exception of Cisse and Valencia, what is common is that all of these players maintain a reasonable consistant PPMPG. What does this teach us? Read part 2 of this article, the “Sports Illustrated Effect“, to find out more.