Following the FPL Template: October and November 2022
Following the FPL Template: October and November 2022
This is the second part of my FPL template series looking at everything that happened during October and November. Read on to find out how the template fared before club football was halted for the Qatar world cup.
Game Week Nine
|Game Week 9||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 68
FPL100 Average Points: 88.38
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 92%
This week was all about Haaland. He finally reached 100% ownership in the FPL100 which coincidentally happened as Martinelli lost his record of 100% ownership. Then during a 6-3 demolition of Manchester United he scored a hat-trick and bagged a couple of assists as well for a monster 23 point haul. This was the highest scoring game-week of the season so far and Haaland was the biggest reason for that. Most of the FPL100 had him as their captain which pushed the average score for the FPL100 to over 88 points. The other player with a big score this weekend was Maddison with two goals and an assist in a 4-0 win against Nottingham Forest. He had the biggest rise in ownership this week with an extra 29 managers getting to enjoy his 18 point haul.
This week’s transfer market wasn’t as frantic as last week but it was still busy. 18 managers played their wildcard and 9 managers took a hit. Apart from Maddison, most players that were brought in blanked and many that were sold got returns. Mitrović, Solanke, Zaha and Toney all saw their ownership rise this week but they scored a total of five points between the four of them. Meanwhile Jesus for the second week in a row got a big drop in ownership and a goal to reward those who stuck with him. He was not alone with Kane, De Bruyne, Ward and Trippier all getting returns despite dropping in ownership.
Game Week Ten
|Game Week 10||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 58
FPL100 Average Points: 69.76
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 91%
After last week’s 23 point bonanza perhaps it’s no surprise that every single member of the FPL100 captained Haaland this week, beating the record of 94% set by Salah in game-week four. He scored in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Southampton but Cancelo was the biggest winner from both this match and the whole weekend with a goal, an assist and a clean-sheet. Sadly more than one manager in the FPL100 decided to transfer him out this weekend and his ownership in the FPL100 dropped. Ouch! This theme of players getting sold and then getting returns was very strong at Arsenal. Martinelli and Saka got 12 and 15 points respectively but their ownership dropped by 8% and 9% respectively. Jesus also got a return with an assist and his ownership fell by 5%. Despite missing out on these points it was still a great week for the template with 91% of the FPL100 beating the overall average score.
In general, this was a pretty straight-forward week. You can get a sense from my graphic that this was a good week for attackers and a poor week for defences. Only Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs kept a clean-sheet this weekend but the goals were pretty spread around. Lots of popular players scored but only Saka and Bruno Guimarães got more than one goal. Looking at chip strategy, five more managers used wildcards this week, meaning 87% of the FPL100 have now cashed in their wildcard. I’m interested to see when the rest of the FPL100 use theirs since there are only six weeks left to use the first wildcard.
Game Week Eleven
|Game Week 11||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 46
FPL100 Average Points: 50.93
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 78%
Game-week eleven was a very subdued week in part due to the Liverpool vs Manchester City game ending 1-0 to Liverpool. Almost everyone captained Haaland and so when he blanked that naturally led to lower scores for everyone. No team scored more than twice this weekend and only a handful of low ownership players got multiple returns. The highest scoring players of the game-week were Mount and Sá who weren’t owned by any of the FPL100 managers. The transfer window was completely dominated by a terrible injury for Reece James who was at 91% ownership last game-week. 59 teams transferred him out immediately with Dunk and Doherty being the most popular replacements. Otherwise this was probably the least interesting week of the season for FPL. The gap between the FPL average and the FPL100 was smaller than normal but it wasn’t a disastrous week for the template. As you can see from the graphic most teams will have had a goalkeeper who kept a clean-sheet, Trippier and a striker who got one or two returns.
Game Week Twelve
|Game Week 12||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 39
FPL100 Average Points: 51.99
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 98%
This set of midweek fixtures saw the Arsenal-Manchester City fixture cancelled to let Arsenal play a catch-up game in the Europa League. With two of the best teams in the League missing we saw the lowest average score of the season so far. The fact that 98% of the FPL100 managed to beat the average shows how engaged and experienced these managers are. It was still a difficult week though. Three managers had to just nine players in action this week and only 75% of the FPL100 managed to field a full eleven. It was also a difficult week for captaincy with just one manager getting a return from their captain.
Salah was by far the most popular captain this week and 70% of the FPL100 brought him in this week. We saw an even more impressive transfer swing with James Maddison who had picked up a fifth yellow and was unavailable for this game-week. This is why we saw 80% of the FPL100 sell him this week with only five managers keeping him. Along with Salah, Trossard was the other player who was a popular pick-up this week with 43% of the FPL100 buying him. Despite the faith shown in Trossard and Salah by the FPL100 both of them blanked this week. We also saw five managers sell Haaland which means for the first time this season there is no player in every single team. The template does seem less defined than normal with Haaland, Salah, Trippier and Andreas as the only players in 90% of teams.
Relatively few of the template players managed to get returns this week with Trippier, Zaha and Mitrović being the standouts. Only three players in the FPL100 teams got double-digit returns this week. These players were Henderson, Raya and Almirón who were all very low ownership. Most managers who owned Henderson and Raya benched them so those double-digit returns had an even smaller impact. It was a good week for goalkeepers in general with 83% of the FPL100 getting returns in goal. I must shout out Ward who had been the most popular goalkeeper at the start of the season but was a complete flop with a total of eight points in August and September. He kept a clean-sheet this week which was his third in four game-weeks so he has really turned things around. He is still 60% owned because of his price but he is now far less popular as a starting option.
Game Week Thirteen
|Game Week 13||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 51
FPL100 Average Points: 53.67
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 60%
This was another week where the FPL100 struggled to beat the overall average score for all FPL managers. I was struggling to explain it when I noticed that some of the highest scoring players in my graphic were getting benched by FPL100 managers. Take Nico Williams for example, who was facing Liverpool this week. He was owned by 64% of the FPL100 this week but because of the fixture he was only played by two managers in the FPL100 after automatic substitutions. Very few managers in the FPL100 saw their defenders get any returns this week but 62% of them had Nico Williams on their bench.
It was a similar story in midfield where any player that the FPL100 owned who got returns was likely to get benched. Bailey was owned by five managers and every single one benched him and his 13 points. A goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over Brentford made him the highest scoring midfielder in the game but he was benched by all five managers who owned him. Andreas was owned by far more managers at 89% making him one of the most popular players in the FPL100 but only 20% of the FPL100 got to enjoy his ten point haul this week. In goal it was a similar story with Ward keeping a clean-sheet and being benched by almost half of his owners in the FPL100.
Things were much better for the FPL100 upfront where Haaland and Mitrović both got returns. Notably Haaland returned to his 100% ownership status this week and the last 10 wildcards were activated this week. Whilst the points from Haaland and Mitrović were nice, I suspect a lot of the FPL100 managers didn’t get any returns from other players this week whilst having players like Nico Williams, Ward or Andreas on the bench. In fact the average bench score for an FPL100 manager this week was 16.79 with massive scores for some managers. One unlucky manager had an incredible 36 points on their bench. After seeing such a big number I had to see what other game-weeks looked like. This was the record for the season so far and two other weeks pushed the average bench score into double digits. These were game-weeks three and eleven and both of them were also weeks where the FPL100 didn’t manage to outperform the overall average. This suggests that bench decisions play a big part in deciding whether or not the FPL100 manage to beat the average. It doesn’t explain every bad week for the FPL100 however as game-week six was the worst week for the FPL100 so far this season and the average bench that week was 6.17 points. This is definitely something I will be paying attention to in the future.
Transfers this week were dominated by Trossard and Foden. With Brighton playing away at Manchester City it was quite natural to take out Trossard with his ownership dropping from 57% to 3%. Since two of those remaining three managers benched him, only one manager in the FPL100 benefited from Trossard scoring against Manchester City. Who did managers bring in for Trossard? Thanks to five goals in his last four league games, Foden was extremely popular his week with 73% of the FPL100 bringing him in. Unfortunately he only played 28 minutes and was unable to get any returns. These are some wild swings in ownership and the template has clearly shifted but a lot of managers missed out on more points.
Game Week Fourteen
|Game Week 14||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 59
FPL100 Average Points: 61.26
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 61%
This was a high scoring game-week for the average FPL manager with the third highest average score of the season. The only two game-weeks with higher average scores so far this season featured Haaland hat-tricks. This time Haaland was benched after a slight ankle injury and the FPL100 average only beat the overall average by a couple of points. Unlike last week however, this wasn’t a situation where the FPL100 was missing out on points left on the bench. The average bench scored a tiny 4.91 points in part because of that injury to Haaland.
There were plenty of high-scoring players this week but many of them weren’t a big part of the FPL100. The only players in the FPL100 to get double digit returns this week were Trippier, Pickford, Amirón and Wilson. Whilst Trippier is in almost every team the other three are very fringe. One player who I was shocked to see wasn’t in any FPL100 teams was De Bruyne. He scored the only goal of the game against Leicester to get 11 points and I suspect he was a big reason for the overall average being just behind the FPL100 average. Another player who has dropped in popularity is Jesus. Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 5-0 with returns being really spread around the team. Jesus didn’t score but I suspect his two assists also helped the overall average. Nelson was the star of this match with two goals and an assist for a total of 19 points.
The Newcastle game was also very interesting for FPL. They beat Aston Villa 4-0 with Wilson getting two goals and two assists. Trippier got his first double digit return of the season with an assist and a clean-sheet. The Newcastle defence is very popular in the FPL100 with Pope and Trippier in 57% and 98% of teams respectively. This might cause problems if Newcastle’s attackers keep getting returns. Wilson and Almirón got 31 points between them and if this continues it would have big implications for the template if managers consider trading Newcastle’s defensive assets for their attacking players.
The ankle injury to Haaland saw him once again lose his status of having 100% ownership in the FPL100 but most managers were clearly going to be patient and kept hold of him. For only the second time this season we no longer have any player with 100% ownership in the FPL100. It was a pretty subdued transfer window this week with Saka as the only player to see any significant increase in ownership as a popular replacement for Foden and Bowen who were the only players to see a large drop in ownership.
Game Week Fifteen
|Game Week 15||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 53
FPL100 Average Points: 63.13
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 83%
There were a lot of goals this weekend with 33 goals scored and only Leicester and Arsenal managed to keep clean-sheets. Despite this goal-fest Salah was the only player to score twice. Unlike every previous week there was no overwhelming favourite for captaincy this week in the FPL. Haaland had double the captaincy of any other player but five players were captained by more than 10% of the FPL100. The results varied wildly. 17% got to enjoy Salah’s 15 points against Spurs whilst another 67% got some sort of return from their captain. However 11% captained Cancelo who got negative points after getting sent off against Fulham. No-one had captained Cancelo before this season, and all of a sudden eleven managers all captained him so of course he gets a red card. FPL is a funny old game.
Game-week Fifteen saw the FPL100 diverge more than normal. For the first time there was no player being captained by 50% or more of the FPL100 and there were only three players in 90% of teams. There were still thirteen players in 50% or more of all FPL100 teams so there is still very much a template but none of the most popular players were growing in popularity. There were three big things influencing the transfer market this week. Ivan Toney was suspended after getting five yellow cards. Frustratingly for his owners, he missed the game against Forest after blanking for three weeks in a row and with much tougher fixtures coming up. About 70% of Toney owners decided to part ways. Mitrović’s ownership in the FPL100 has been in the 80-90% range for quite some time but at the end of the week it was confirmed that he was injured. He has had other injuries concerns recently but had kept scoring goals when he played. I expect more managers would have transferred him out if the news had not come out so close to the deadline. The main replacements for these strikers were Wilson and Álvarez. Wilson only managed one point but Álvarez’s nine point made him the joint-highest scoring forward in the game this week.
Another big shift was managers scrambling to bring in De Bruyne after scoring a total of twenty points in the last two games. It looks like Salah, Haaland and Foden were the main players making way to help get De Bruyne in. This transfer will have had mixed results depending on whether or not managers had to take out Salah or not to buy De Bruyne. De Bruyne did get seven points from an assist, but Salah had his best score of the season so far with fifteen points.
Defences also struggled this week with so few clean-sheets going around. Trippier got double digit returns for the second week in a row in part by being substituted before Southampton scored to keep a clean-sheet. However because he is so highly owned, his points aren’t that impactful. Gabriel had a fantastic week, matching Salah’s fifteen points with a goal and a clean-sheet in a one-nil win against Chelsea. Leicester are interesting because Ward is so highly owned but mostly as a bench option. He now has five clean-sheets in the last seven games which is incredible for a goal-keeper that only cost four million at the start of the season. He was such an awful pick at the start of the season and FPL managers have lost faith in him which means they are missing out on lots of points but still have him in their teams. As I said with Cancelo, FPL is a funny old game.
Game Week Sixteen
|Game Week 16||Teams Captained||Points|
FPL Average Points: 43
FPL100 Average Points: 44.65
% of FPL100 managers who beat the FPL Average Points: 50%
This was the last game-week before the world cup and it was pretty underwhelming. There was no real difference between the FPL100 and the overall player base, no-one got any returns from their captain and none of the midfielders or defenders in the FPL100 got a double digit return. It was a familiar story to previous weeks with Ward as the highest scoring goal-keeper of the week and being benched by two thirds of his owners. I keep expecting some managers to adapt and to see more managers take a chance on Ward but he seems to be destined to stay on the bench for most managers. The most interesting position this week was up front where Mitrović’s injury was the biggest driver in the transfer market this week. Darwin, Jesus, Haaland and Martial all rose in FPL100 ownership but only Darwin was able to get any returns. He has replaced Mitrović as the second most popular striker in the FPL100 after Haaland but at 38% ownership is still far less popular than the really template picks. It’s interesting to see the diversity of forwards in the FPL100 once you exclude Haaland, with nine forwards in the 10-40% ownership range. For comparison only four midfielders currently fall into this range. I also had a look at forwards in this range from earlier in the season. In game-week two only Greenwood, a bench fodder option, was in this price range after everyone switched from Kane to Haaland. This might be an interesting statistic for me to look at in the future. This diversity of scores means that when forwards do get big returns the effect on the FPL100 average is diluted. For example Kane and Toney both got double digit returns this week but are owned by 15% and 4% of the FPL100 respectively.
That’s it for October and November. Join me at the end of January where I look back at the hectic festive schedule and see how the FPL100 coped. There is a free wildcard over the world cup so it will be interesting to see if leads to more diverse teams or if the template becomes stronger.