10 months ago
To be a successful fantasy manager, understanding how FPL price changes work is extremely important. It is common knowledge that big teams are equally as good on the transfer market as they are on the training grounds. Understanding how FPL’s economy works is crucial to your overall success as a fantasy manager. Today we are taking a closer look at Fantasy Premier League economy. We will talk about what makes the players’ price change, why it is important, and how to take advantage of the transfer market fluctuations.
At the beginning of the season, or whenever you want to jump into Fantasy Premier League, you are given a £100 million budget to draft 15 players for your fantasy team. They will earn you fantasy points based on their real-life counterparts' actual performances in the English Premier League. With over 7 million users competing in the Fantasy Premier League last 2019/202 season, it goes without saying, that every move you pull off as a manager, every point, every transfer makes a huge difference. Just like in real life, how successful you are at handling the financial side of things can make or break your team. First things first, let us talk about the Team Value concept.
Player prices will fluctuate as the season unfurls, so will your team value. To put it in the nutshell — the more players whose price increase over the course of the season you have in your team — the better. Bigger team value allows for greater flexibility when tinkering with your squad and allows you to spend more if you are looking to strengthen your squad. £105 million worth of players looks better on paper than a team composed of players with a total worth of £101 million.
Fantasy Premier League prices increase for a reason, usually a good one — meaning these players perform well and generate a lot of fantasy points. If your team value is growing slowly over the course of the season, you are making the right calls with your transfers, bringing in in-form players and getting rid of those who are underperforming and losing their value. The 2018/19 FPL champion had his team value sitting at £106.2m. at the end of the season. Which brings us to another important matter — understanding how and why the prices change.
A player’s price changes depending on how many users transfer this player in or out. Typically, Fantasy Premier League price changes are correlated with a player’s performance or his injury/suspension status. Expect many pulling the trigger on a striker after bagging a hat trick, and many letting go of a defender following a serious injury, to give you an example.
A player’s price can change by no more than 0.1m per day and no player can increase in value by more than 0.3m over the course of a game week. Usually, the price changes occur around 2 am GMT, but the exact time is unknown leave for the Premier League price bots locked safely away somewhere deeper than Burnley’s defensive block.
We don't know exactly what number of transfers is needed to trigger the price change. What is known is that the price change is always relative to player ownership.
Let’s say Sergio Aguero is owned by 1,000,000 managers. His price is unlikely to change after 10,000 transfers in (1% change in ownership), while it most certainly will for a player who is owned by 20,000 managers. 10,000 transfers (50% change in ownership) is a big swing that will lead to a price increase.
When a player is back from a suspension or a lengthy injury (given a 100% chance of playing in the next match by the FPL), his price will not change until he plays in a game.
Players that are transferred in\out by managers on a Wildcard are not taken into account when it comes to price changing algorithms
Bear in mind, whatever number triggers the price change may change depending on the number of active users throughout the season. I understand if this gets your head spinning a bit. Fortunately, we don’t have to do the math on our pocket calculators, there are price change predictors websites that show which players are most likely to drop or increase in price on a daily basis. Fplstatistics.co.uk is one of these and is free to use. It is important to note that since the exact math and formulas for a price change is unknown to the public, such predictions are not always 100% accurate. They are still accurate enough in most cases, so feel free to use these tools when contemplating a transfer.
Let us consider the worst-case scenario first — your players dropping in price. If you sell a player for less than you bought him for, you receive his current market price. Let’s say you bought Harry Kane for £12m. at the start of the season. He goes on a couple of game weeks without scoring (the infamous August curse would surely be to blame for that) and ends up injured. He drops to £11.9m and is already £11.8m by the time you decide to part with him. Well, you will get £11.8m as his current price is exactly that. That will equal to £0.2m. loss overall.
If you were to sell him while he was still £12m. (the same price you had bought him for), you would get your £12m. back.
Losing money is not fun, but it is fairly simple as far as math is concerned. It gets a bit trickier when we are selling players who have increased in price. Let me explain.
When you sell a player for a profit (that is what you should be aiming at most of the time), you only receive 50% of that profit.
Let’s say Kane’s price increases (the Augustogoal potion taken weekly during pre-season is to blame) to £12.6m. by the beginning of September. If you were to sell him (having acquired him for £12m. at season start) at that point, you would receive £12.3m.
The 50% rule is in place to make sure team values do not sky-rocket to eventually being able to draft a team of all-stars in every position. The rule also makes the gap between teams with high and low overall team values smaller. This makes it possible for anyone to compete even with a relatively low team-value, although the higher it is, the more options you have when it comes to improving your squad in the long run.
It is important to note that your profit is always rounded down. £0.5m profit is a £0.2m gain, £0.7m is £0.3m and so on.
Going back to our Kane example above, if you sold him for £12.7m (having acquired him for £12m.), you would still only get £0.3m. in profit.
People tend to approach their transfer and price changes policies differently. Some managers prefer waiting for the Friday press conferences to make their transfers. They prefer losing out on price changes instead of falling into the trap of buying a player who gets injured in training during the week. As a result, they might have to settle for buying a player they wanted for a higher price or losing quid on a player that had gone down in price during the week.
You have to take some risks playing the market, so some managers look to make transfers early hoping to build a higher team value. Some managers even start transferring players in and out while the action of the current game week is still being played out on the pitch across the country. Good fantasy managers are good at recognizing players hitting form, so if your team value is growing, you are probably buying players on the rise and getting rid of them at the right moment.
Find which strategy works best for you. Remember, squad value will not win you the game on its own but is worth keeping in mind as it gives you better transfer options at the end of the day. A good timely transfer can be crucial (oh, that feeling of being 0.1m short of your transfer target), so I do recommend using any useful information on price changes.
There are many opportunities to improve your squad value while your Wildcard is active. Many players forget or neglect this opportunity which is a shame, as you can increase your squad value by half-a-million, sometimes even more. Typically, you would want to activate your Wildcard as soon as the previous gameweek is over to capitalize on any price changes to occur the following week.
Look to buy players who are to rise twice or more while you are on a Wildcard. Buy players who are projected to increase in price even if do not plan on using them! You can sell these players before finalizing your Wildcard for a profit and swap them for players you want in your team.
Another trick is selling players that will fall in price as soon as possible. You may buy them again later but for a cheaper price when finalizing your Wildcard squad provided you still want them. Usually, a player dropping in price is rarely a good indicator.
There is a trap many mangers have fallen into when playing around with their Wildcard squads. DO NOT SELL any players you have profited on unless you want to part with them for good. If you do, you will have to buy them for their market price and that means money lost.
Let’s say you’ve got Mane (who you bought for £10m.) in your Wildcard team. His market price is 10.8m. You accidentally sell him, acquire someone else with 10.4m (0.4m being 50% of your profit) you got, and save your team. If you decide to bring him back into the squad later while still on a Wildcard, you will have to pay the full cost of 10.8m netting you a -0.4m. loss.
Try to play the market and improve your squad value while on a Wildcard. Think carefully which players you plan on rolling with and do not transfer them out as this will lose you money.
You'll find answers on the most frequently asked questions about Fantasy Premier League prices below.
Price changes depend on how many managers transfer a footballer in\out.
Price changes happen once per day.
A player’s price can only change by 0.1m per day
Price changes happen around 2AM GMT
A player can not increase\decrease in price by more than 0.3m. in a game week
You receive a player’s current market price if you sell him for less than the price you bought him for.
You receive 50% of the profit when you sell a player
Your profit is always rounded down (0.5m price increase is a 0.2m. profit
Understanding how FPL prices change is important to your overall fantasy success. Managers with a higher team value have more transfer options available to them, which usually means better players, which means more fantasy points. Keep an eye on price predictor websites, plan your transfer strategy according to your budget, and look to improve your squad value without being fixated on it.
Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch mostly on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2000 tournaments played and a 40% ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.