Friday, July 27, 2012

FPLZ League Is Up - Are You Ready?

Out of reach: the above squad requires £133.5m to complete the purchase.
Fantasy Premier League 2012/13 is just 3 weeks away from its opening! As usual, FPLZ private league is up and you may compete with other fellow readers of this blog to see who is the best.

The code to join our private league is 62959-98965. Do come and join the fun!

Meanwhile, do read the preview series that I have been publishing in these few days to prepare yourself for this upcoming season!

Can't wait to get more? Like FPLZ official Facebook page to get the latest updates regularly!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FPLZ 2012/13 Season Preview: Individual Data Summary

Papiss Cisse is the scorer of goal of the season for last season.
What can FPLZ indices possibly tell you about his performance last season?
After going through with the team data, it's now the time to look at the overall individual data. Before we start, you are welcomed to download the Microsoft Excel sheet (password: "", without the quotation marks) which I have compiled in these few days which contained both the team and individual data summary for your reference. You are advised to read my previous post titled "FPLZ 2012/13 Season Preview: Introduction" to learn about the glossaries that I will mention below to avoid confusion.

For your information, only players from unrelegated clubs with at least 15 points and players from relegated clubs with at least 70 points in Fantasy Premier League last season are classified in the list. Also, bear in mind that these indices take last season's price as the basis of calculations, so adjustments would need to be made to determine players' value this season.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FPLZ 2012/13 Season Preview: Team Data Summary

Are you the next champion (fantasy) manager?
After a long introduction on the glossaries I will be using in my FPLZ 2012/13 Season Preview, let us first begin to analyse the overall team data first before we go on team by team. Below is the table of top fantasy scorers of respective teams last season, with relegated teams (Bolton, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers) being excluded:

Table 1: List of Fantasy Top Scorers by Team.
Team Top Scorer Points Team %
Arsenal Van Persie 269 16.5%
Man Utd Rooney 230 12.7%
Man City Aguero 211 11.0%
Fulham Dempsey 209 15.5%
Tottenham Bale 195 11.4%
Newcastle Ba 165 11.0%
Chelsea Mata 162 10.8%
Sunderland Sessegnon 161 12.2%
Swansea Vorm 158 10.5%
Everton Howard 151 11.2%
Stoke City Walters 140 11.3%
Wigan Moses 140 11.0%
West Brom Foster 140 10.7%
Norwich Holt 138 11.9%
Liverpool Suarez 136 9.9%
Aston Villa Agbonlahor 112 10.0%
QPR Kenny 102 10.0%

For your information, Bobby Zamora, who scored 119 points last season, was not credited as the top fantasy scorer of Queens Park Rangers because he scored more points for Fulham than for QPR last season. The team percentages are calculated by dividing the top scorers' points (for example Van Persie) over their respective teams' top 15 highest fantasy scorers.

Unsurprisingly, Robin Van Persie topped the list with 269 points which was 16.5% of his team's best 15, much higher than the rest of the pack apart from Fulham's Clinton Dempsey (209 points, 15.5%). Liverpool, which have gone through a poor season last term, have their best fantasy scorer (Suarez, 136 points) only managed to get 9.9% of the team's aggregate share. Can Brendan Rodgers turn that around? God knows.

And now let's go through the more useful statistics, which are the aggregate scores of the top 3 scorers of each team and their aggregate team percentages:

Table 2: List of Top 3 Fantasy Scorers by Team
Team Top 1 Top 2 Top 3 Total Pts Team %
Arsenal Van Persie Walcott Szczesny 577 35.3%
Man City Aguero D. Silva Hart 561 29.3%
Tottenham Bale Adebayor Van der Vaart 556 32.6%
Man Utd Rooney Evra Nani 546 30.1%
Newcastle Ba Krul Cabaye 450 30.0%
Swansea Vorm Sinclair Graham 447 29.8%
Fulham Dempsey Zamora J. Riise 445 32.9%
Chelsea Mata Terry Lampard 438 29.1%
Sunderland Sessegnon Larsson Mignolet 410 31.1%
Everton Howard Baines Heitinga 400 29.7%
Stoke City Walters Crouch Etherington 391 31.6%
Wigan Moses Al-Habsi Caldwell 381 29.9%
Liverpool Suarez Reina J. Enrique 374 27.1%
West Brom Foster Odemwingie McAuley 364 27.9%
Norwich Holt Pilkington Morrison 359 31.0%
Aston Villa Agbonlahor Warnock Given 306 27.3%
QPR Kenny Mackie Barton 297 29.0%

The reason to measure the top 3 scorers of each team is due to the fact that you can only pick at most 3 players from the same team. This will approximately show you the maximum scoring potential of each teams.

Based on the results, you can clearly split the teams into 4 tiers. The first tier consists of the super productive fantasy teams, namely Arsenal, Manchester duo (City and United), and Tottenham Hotspur. Not really surprising though, as all of the tier 1 teams have been so prolific in offence last season.

Tier 2 meanwhile consists of Newcastle, Swansea, Fulham, and Chelsea. Newcastle and Swansea have some great crop of value to money fantasy players anyway, so that was not surprising. Chelsea's performance weren't up to par given their players' fantasy price, while Fulham's position in tier 2 was largely driven by Dempsey's astounding season.

The third tier has Sunderland, Everton, Stoke City, Wigan, Liverpool, West Brom and Norwich within. All lacked of productive and consistent fantasy scorers, though Liverpool have again disappointed fantasy managers the most with numerous big names but poor scores.

Tier 4, the super unproductive teams, has Aston Villa and QPR accompanying each other. Not even any considerable fantasy assets here last season. Your season must have been pretty miserable if you have these players for quite some gameweeks last term.

The more important question: will the trend continues to be the same this term? In general, it should be more or less the same, except for those teams which have undergone some big operations this summer. At Arsenal, Van Persie's desire to leave the Emirates will be pivotal to the Gunners fantasy potential this season; at White Hart Lane, the managerial change from Harry Redknapp to Andre Villas-Boas will certainly give rise to a lot of uncertainties; at Liverpool, the same can be said under the coaching of Brendan Rodgers; at Loftus Road, QPR's continuous effort in transfers can mean a very different season for them.

Nonetheless, I believe the fluctuations will not be very dramatic from one season to another. We can expect some of the teams to move one tier above and others one tier below, but I am certainly not so fancy about the possibility of a major ranking reshuffling next season.

Hope this little piece of information has provided you something and do stay tuned for the upcoming team by team previews!

Can't wait to get more? Like FPLZ official Facebook page to get the latest updates regularly!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FPLZ 2012/13 Season Preview: Introduction

Fantasy Premier League: A game of statistics.
My utmost gratitude to all my fellow readers for continuing to stay with Fantasy Premier League Zone over the last three years. To repay your loyalty, FPLZ will go a little bit further this season by giving you a more in-depth season preview, which will deal a little bit with statistics. But before we start, let me just introduce some of the terms and glossaries that I will be using throughout the upcoming season previews.

Key Glossaries
  1. Total Points - Self-explanatory. Simply the total fantasy points a player scored for last season.
  2. Total Bonus - Self-explanatory as well. The sum of bonus points of a player over the course of last season.
  3. Total Minutes - The total playing time of a player in minutes for last season. Has a limit of 3420 minutes or less, depending on how many gameweeks the player was listed in FPL.
  4. Average Price - The average value of the player over the course of last season. It is calculated by averaging the price of each gameweek.
  5. Points per 90 Minutes (P90) - Projection of player score per 90 minutes. It is computed by dividing total points by total minutes, and then multiplied by 90.
  6. Productivity Index (PI) - A measure of player's fantasy efficiency based on his price. It is calculated by dividing P90 by average price.
  7. Captaincy Index (CI) - A measure of player's captaincy potential relative to his price. The formula for this is quite complicated, and I will explain this in a subsection below.
  8. Playtime Index (TI) - A measure of player's scoring limitations based on his playing minutes. The formula for this is again quite complicated, and I will explain this in another subsection below.
  9. FPLZ Index (FI) - An overall measure which will take all PI, CI and TI into account. It is equal to the average of PI and CI multiplied by square root of TI.

Captaincy Index
This is a measure of explosiveness of a player, in which a high score indicates that he is a good captain candidate. The calculations are as follows:
  • For each gameweek's score in excess of 5 but no more than 10, each point is awarded with captaincy score of 1; for each gameweek's score in excess of 10, each point is awarded with captaincy score of 2. For example, a gameweek score of 7 will be awarded with a captaincy score of 2 (7-5=2); a gameweek score of 14 will be awarded with a captaincy score of 13 (5+2*(14-10)=13).
  • The captaincy scores of each gameweek where the player has played (non-zero playing minutes) is summed up, and divided by the product of the square root of the player's average price and the number of gameweeks where the player has featured (non-zero playing minutes) last season.
  • As you can see, this index is affected by the player's price. The justification is that you don't expect a £5.0m player to have as much captaincy potential as a £10.0m player.

Playtime Index
This index is position based, due to the fact that goalkeepers and defenders incur much heavier penalties for not playing for sufficient minutes (clean sheets are only awarded if they occur when keepers/ defenders have played for more than 60 minutes in the game). Midfielders do lose clean sheet points too if they have not played for enough minutes, though the effects on them are much lesser. The formulas are as follows:
  • For forwards, TI is equal to the sum of gameweeks' playing minutes divided by the product of classified gameweeks (the number of gameweeks the player is in the Premier League) and 90. In simple terms, it is actual playing minutes over maximum possible playing minutes.
  • For midfielders, TI is almost identical to TI for forwards, except that for gameweeks where playing minutes were less than 60, penalties of 0.875 were applied before summing them up. The reason for this is explained in the heading of this subsection.
  • For defenders and goalkeepers, TI is almost identical to TI for midfielders, except that the penalty factor is changed to 0.5 for gameweek playing minutes of below 60 as defenders and goalkeepers rely a lot on clean sheet points, and such points will not be awarded when playing minutes are below 60.

Accuracy of Indices
As you can see, these indices only take few factors into the account and have omitted quite a few other parameters which may be crucial in determining players' fantasy value. Due to that there may exist players who are overrated or underrated by these indices. Therefore, it is not advisable to rely blindly on these indices. But don't worry, I will give you some of my interpretations as I go through with the indices of players in my upcoming season previews. Hopefully this introduction will help you to understand more on my upcoming  preview series! Stay tuned!

Can't wait to get more? Like FPLZ official Facebook page to get the latest updates regularly!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Play Fantasy Premier League 2012/13 Edition

Are you ready for the battle?
As the new Fantasy Premier League season is getting closer and closer, let us have a recap on the important rules and strategies that one should adopt when playing FPL.

Game Objective
To deploy the right players and score as many points as possible over the course of the fantasy season.

Game Rules
  • Pick 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards (a total of 15 players) with a budget of £100m.
  • Pick 11 players to play every gameweek. The 11 players must consist of 1 goalkeeper and 10 outfield players consisting of at least 3 defenders and 1 forward.
  • Pick 1 captain and 1 vice-captain out of the 11 starters every gameweek. The captain's score is doubled in that gameweek. Vice captain will take over the captain's armband and have his score doubled if the captain does not play.
  • Pick the order of substitutes every gameweek. They will feature according to order if any starters do not play during the gameweek, subject to formation constraints.
  • Every gameweek you are allowed to make 1 free transfer. A maximum of 1 free transfer can be carried forward to the next gameweek if there are no transfers made during current gameweek.
  • For each season there are two wildcards, for which you can make unlimited transfers once activated for the gameweek. One wildcard is free to be used at any point of the season, while the other can only be used during gameweek 21-24.
  • Click here for official rules page.

Scoring System
  • For playing: 1 point if less than 60 minutes, 2 points otherwise.
  • For scoring a goal: 4 points for forwards, 5 points for midfielders, 6 points for defenders and goalkeepers.
  • For delivering an assist: 3 points.
  • For keeping a clean sheet: 1 point for midfielders, 4 points for defenders and goalkeepers. Players must play for at least 60 minutes to be eligible for clean sheet points.
  • For each 3 saves (goalkeepers only): 1 point.
  • For each 2 goals conceded (defenders and goalkeepers only): -1 point.
  • For scoring an own goal: -2 points.
  • For saving a penalty: 5 points.
  • For missing a penalty: -2 points.
  • For each yellow card: -1 point.
  • For each red card: -3 points.
  • For becoming the top 3 performers based on EA Sports Player Performance Index (PPI): 3, 2 and 1 points for the best, second best and third best players of the game respectively in terms of PPI.
  • Click here for official rules page.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Park Ji-Sung to QPR: Great Prospect Awaits?

Park with his new boss Tony Fernandes.
Queens Park Rangers continue their revolution under the ownership of Tony Fernandes as the ambitious boss has made yet another big move by taking in Manchester United's Asian superstar, Park Ji-Sung.

In fact the 31-year-old South Korean is expected to take over the captain armband of the team soon with Joey Barton, the ex-captain, being stripped off his captaincy earlier due to his disciplinary problems.

So what can we expect from Park in the fantasy world? Based on Park's previous statistics, he has scored 27 goals and 22 assists for Manchester United in 205 appearances - an average of 1 goal in every 7.6 games and 1 assist in every 9.3 games. Not very productive to be honest.

However, if we take into account the fact that Park featured quite frequently as a sub and further consider that he has to make way stars like C. Ronaldo, Rooney and Nani during his career at Old Trafford, we can believe that he will better the figure at Loftus road.

But can he improve his production to a level that it is profitable to get him in Fantasy Premier League? Time will tell.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Robin Van Persie Rejects Contract Extension

Van Persie is following the footsteps of Henry and Fabregas to become the next captain to leave Arsenal.
Not a very good news for fantasy managers: Robin Van Persie, who scored a whopping 269 points in Fantasy Premier League last season, announced yesterday on his website that he will not sign a new deal with Arsenal.

Depending on where he will go this might be a huge loss for FPL managers. A loss of an automatic captain pick. A loss of a player who is capable of replicating a C. Ronaldo-esque fantasy performance. A loss of a fantasy jewel who will only appear once or twice each decade.

Clubs like Juventus, Manchester City as well as Manchester United are all on the race to bid for the Dutch forward who only has another year left in his contract. FPL managers will hope that he will remain in the Premier League if he does leave this summer.

If he does depart from the Emirates, this will mean strikers Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski will play prominent roles upfront for the Gunners next season, though it remains a myth whether they can reproduce the height that Van Persie has set up previously.

Meanwhile, FPLZ season preview will be up pretty soon so stay tuned!