It’s decision time. Not only is it March Madness time, it’s also time for a crazy few weeks of fantasy Premier League action. As we’ve already told you, this week’s only matches are
West Brom v Manchester United
Cardiff v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Norwich v Stoke
Chelsea v Tottenham
With such a limited schedule, many of you will ask yourselves whether to sell or bench your top players. Sergio Aguero, Daniel Sturridge, and Steven Gerrard are all out for the weekend, and chances are, you have at least one of them at a discount. Is it worth keeping two or more of them on your bench to keep the discount? Is it worth just buying better players for this week and worrying about the future later? Lets find out.
I looked at players who are owned by at least 5% of managers and found out that the average points per game is a little over 7. When you factor in the price, 1 million pounds will buy you, on average, about 0.56 points. We have two options here, and I’ll use Steven Gerrard as an example.
Option A: Keep Gerrard on your bench and have 15M (most people have him in the 15-16M range) less to spend this week.
Option B: Sell Stevie. You have 15M extra to spend this week.
Considering you get about 0.56 points per million pounds, option A will get you approximately 8.4 points this week. That sounds about right. You can afford someone like Adam Lallana (about 17M, averages a little over 9 points per game). Not bad.
Now let’s look at the results of option B. Gerrard costs almost 24M right now. You’re saving between 8 and 9M. Having an extra 8-9M to use over the last seven weeks is huge. 8M will buy you approximately 4.5 points a week, or a little over 31 points over 7 weeks. To put it in perspective, 8M a week is usually the difference between having John Ruddy or a premium goalkeeper like Petr Cech or Wojciech Szczęsny. It can also be the difference between having someone like Rickie Lambert and having Sergio Aguero. That difference is EVERY week.
You can see where I’m headed with this. I’m keeping Gerrard on my bench this week and taking the 30+ points over the next 7 weeks instead of the 8 points I can buy now with Gerrard’s 15M.
The question now is, how big of a discount is worth keeping a player for. The answer is fairly simple. We can set up a simple equation to find the result.
If X represents the player’s current price, and Y is the discount you have him at, the number of points you will get this week from selling the player is 0.56*X. The number of points you will get form the discount is 0.56*Y*7(over the remaining seven weeks of the season). In order to keep a player, we need the points from the discount to be greater than the points from selling this week, so we need:
0.56*Y*7 > 0.56*X
Solving this, we get 7*Y > X.
We can also express this as X/Y < 7.
If the ratio of a player’s price to the discount you have him at is less than 7, he’s worth keeping this week.
In the case of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, both are worth keeping.
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If you do choose to bench two or three of your star players this week, you’ll have very limited funds this time around. The question is whether to try to field 11 mediocre players with the insufficient funds or to go after 8 or 9 better players. That question is much trickier to answer. Personally, I have 11 players who are expected to start on my team right now, and I’m inclined to keep them all. There is a lack of good players for this week, especially with Liverpool not playing, and I don’t want to overpay for a mediocre option. I rather spread out my eggs in a few different baskets and hope to scrape by this week without losing too much ground on everyone else.
My current XI: Hazard, Mata, Lallana, Holtby, Matic, J. Cork, Lovren, D. Burn, K. Naughton, J. Yobo, J. Ruddy.
I have to do some research and see if Burn and Naughton are expected to start, and if they are, I will probably keep this squad. Matic and Cork are mediocre options at best, but they seem capable of producing 4-5 points week in and week out and I would be content if I got 10 points out of the two combined. In a week where everyone will be struggling to put out a competitive squad, I’ll be happy with 80+ points and I think this squad can get me to that goal. I’d like to buy RvP or Rooney, but if I was to afford either of them over Juan Mata, I would have to sell two of my current players, and I’m not sure that’s worth it.
Hope this helps you decide whether to keep or sell your Liverpool stars this week. Feedback is appreciated in the comments below.