Figuring out how to spread your budget around is one of the key conundrums for any FPL manager.
A £4m player isn’t going to score as many points as one that costs £11m, unless their name is John Lundstram, but what kind of returns can you reasonably expect?
Who, besides Sheffield United’s Lord of Fantasy Football, is surpassing expectations and who is falling short?
In an attempt to answer these questions, we have looked at how many points the 180 players who have made 10 or more appearances this season score per match, and how that relates to their price tag.
From the data, we learn that the average player earns around 0.57 points per million pounds each week. So, par for the course for a £12.3m player like Mohamed Salah would be seven points, but a £5.2m player like Adama Traore is surpassing expectations if they score more than three.
Salah is in fact delivering 6.5 points per game, which might explain why he has been steadily losing owners over the last few weeks.
Of the five most expensive players in the game, only Sadio Mane has provided above average value, a shade above the 6.9 per match expected of his price tag.
None of them are drastically under performing, but it is very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
Lundstram at the double
Unless you’ve been hidden under a rock all season, you will be aware of Lundstram’s exploits – but you might not be aware of just how much value he is providing.
The 25-year-old is the only player in the sample who scores more points per match (5.8) than he costs in millions of pounds (£4.9). This is more than twice the amount of points than the average player at his price point would score.
After his 19-point haul against Southampton, Leicester’s Ben Chilwell is the best value player over £5.0m, with 5.4 points per match from his £5.7 fee.
Rounding out the five best value players in the game are Lundstram’s Blades team-mate George Baldock, and low-cost shot-stoppers Mat Ryan of Brighton and Aaron Ramsdale of Bournemouth.
Top of the range
It’s all well and good picking up bargains, but if you only have cheap players you’ll have money wasting away in the bank, earning you no points at all.
Jamie Vardy has scored more points per match (7.6) than any other player but, when you consider their relative price tags, Tammy Abraham is even better value, with a huge 6.8 points per match and a price tag £1.6m lower than Vardy’s.
And, if you’re looking for a pair of blue midfielders to support the two blue number nines, James Maddison and David Silva are the best value midfielders who cost more than £7m.
The pair have 15 goal involvements between them so far this term – will either have emerged as one of the best midfielders of the season by the time May rolls around?
Big money flops
Obviously there are a few modestly priced players who are doing their dwindling ownership no favours – worst of all, Norwich defender Ben Godfrey, who is the only player to have played 10 or more matches who has scored less than one point per appearance.
But even the 0.2% of managers who have taken the plunge on Godfrey probably weren’t expecting him to set the world on fire.
If you’re looking for somebody who has really disappointed, Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen is the worst value player priced £7m or more.
He has delivered just 2.6 points per match for a hefty £8.7m and is definitely a man to avoid if his current plight continues.
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