Monday, August 22, 2011

Change we can't believe in

As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We speculated in the pre-season about what differences the new bonus system might produce, given that it was now to be based on a scientific and objective formula. The EA Sports index is based on six categories of contribution, which combine to give a player's overall contribution to a game. The approximate weighting appears to be as below:

  • Scoring a goal: 90%
  • Winning the game: 10%
  • Other: 1%*
*Rounding difference of +/- 1% is possible

Only two of the top 12 scorers in GW1 failed to find the net (Kompany and Yaya Toure) while all found themselves on the winning team. In GW2 an incredible 13 of the top 20 scorers all benefited from having a goal to their name while the top 17 scorers all won their respective games. 

The top 20 scorers to date gives us 6 players who are yet to find the net - Richards, S Taylor, Adam, Yaya Toure, Bosingwa and Kompany. Four of these names are already highly prized fantasy assets anyway but Taylor and Adam at least bear mentioning:

S Taylor - these strong displays, along with his goal threat from set pieces go a long way to suggesting he may be worth the extra 0.5m over Danny Simpson. This theory is further cemented by the chance that Simpson could face a rotation threat from R Taylor if a full time left back is brought in over the next couple of weeks.

Adam - Adam was obviously great last year but a large portion of his value derived from his ability to attract bonus points in a weak Blackpool side. If he can continue to be rewarded under the new system (despite not scoring or adding an assist in GW2) then he may have value again this year.

In short, there is very little more to say on bonus points and it appears they will simply follow the goals and clean sheets you are already chasing. Perhaps we give a slight nod to the teams who are more likely to win, but given the extra cost you will have to pay to acquire such players, even that looks like a dead end.

Until something changes with the data we are seeing, I won't be touching on this area again for a long time.

[I'm not sure it's obvious reading this but the percentages were a joke, sort of]


Darragh said...

So, in essence, the bonus system seems particularly stuffed?

What annoys me is that the price of players in the EPL game is partially derived from their historical points data, which presumably includes the points the scored under the old bonus system.

So there is a discontinuity, because these high priced players will not be scoring similiar amounts of bonus points. Thus, we should all be investing in midfielders who score regularly and who play for strong teams rather than great midfielders in crap teams.

Mell 10-11 said...

You can say that...attacking players are the way forward. The better way is investing in players in a very attacking team which does know how to score. Currently Wolves, Bolton are good but no t Fulham. I reckon the defense will come good based on the new bonus system but for keepers, it is a long way to go. My takes on the bonus points

Pablitto said...

I realized now that S Taylor is a real bonus magnet and I left him benched both rounds ... I am still learning
Great blog btw!

Gummi said...

In essence, wait and see. Lets gather a little bit more data and then start to analyse what is going on.

@Darragh: You can look at the "discontinuity" from positive side. Since you know of this issue you can choose your team based on this "wrong" pricing based on the new bonus system.

As Chris has pointed out in several excellent blogs, I believe we should focus most of our gold doubloons on pricier forwards and attacking midfielders.

Newcastle's start and S. Taylors bonus points are quite the surprise. I traded him out for Simpson in last week. Hadn't thought of Simpson's rotation risk with a new left back coming in, as you point out.

What's your thought on budget forwards? I currently have Wolves' Fletcher but am thinking about Long, Klasnic (in spite of fixtures), Jones, and Dzeko (even at 8.5).

Gummi at Fantasy Formation

Simon G said...

Some surprises certainly, but we are beginning to see the emergence of this year's must-owns. Silva is the obvious contender but there are a few others that are looking good too.

I think what is puzzling me the most is that all the while I have been trying to decide between Young and Nani (I went with Young in the end btw) when it was Anderson, Cleverly and Welbeck that we should have had our eyes on! There's a rather tasty £10m sat with Young at the moment, so if I don't get some return soon I will be heading elswhere, perhaps Yaya alongside Silva?

EddieO said...

Hey Chris,

I take a more positive view on the new BP system. BP's are now much more predictable for some key players in your team. Rooney, Silva, Adam, Suarez, VDV, Nani are all players who will play on winning sides, often score and make important passes in the final 3rd (a kind of tie breaker), so they are likely to score good BPs. Here's a top 10 player index for this week that suggests Rooney will score 2 or 3 bonus points.

Player Index
Rooney 26.50
VDV 23.88
Milner 22.07
Silva 21.05
Welbeck 20.07
Nani 19.20
Anelka 18.97
Dzeko 17.15
Bosingwa 17.15
Hunt 17.15

Defenders who get forward or are dominant at the back and pass well, will also score well. Players like Bosingwa, Cole, Vermaelen, both NewC Taylor's, Johnson (Wol), Baines, Richards, will all score well if they play and their team wins with a cleanie.

Part of my strategy this year is definitely to focus on BP "collectors". I scored 14 BP's this week and think that's as well as I've ever scored.

Steven said...

Also appears they are not doing price changes as quickly. Nor do we learn bonuses as quickly. Nor do we get a nice lineup with points per each player on the fixtures page anymore.

Yea, I'm not a huge fan of the changes other then the fact that they "look" pretty.

As for the bonus, I agree. Win and score goals and you get a bonus. Which makes no sense considering you are rewarded for scoring already.. why get 3 more points if someone else is the man of the match? Ah well.

Darragh said...

@Gummi - I was just thinking, if one could figure out the EA method for assigning bonus points, you could apply the method to last season's players, and predict who might maximise bonus points this season based on these calculations. You might be able to see who will actually be the bargains under the new system.

Chris Glover said...

Darragh - I think the key conclusion of this very brief analysis is that we shouldn't really be chasing anyone based on their bonus potential. We like players like Silva anyway, and it seems the gulf between him and someone like a Cahill or Dempsey will only widen under this system.

Mell - good point. I think Wolves in particular might be a hidden mine of talent this year.

Pablitto - thanks. I wouldn't start Taylor against tough opponents purely to chase BP but I do think this makes him my favorite Newcastle defender over Simpson and R Taylor.

Gummi - I too favored Simpson but R Taylor's play has me spooked and the BP for S Taylor locks in the decision for me. I wouldn't bust a gut to make the change if I were you but if you have a free transfer any week I'd consider using it there.

I liked Fletcher and Klasnic in the pre season and hold firm on those opinions. I am looking to free up 6.5m for my third forward and then rotate between those two, K Davies, Rodallega etc based on fixtures.

Simon - I totally messed up my Man Utd analysis and was caught sleeping on the emergence of Wellbeck and Cleverly. While Wellbeck faces near certain benching from the return of Hernandez, I am wondering if Cleverly will log 25+ starts this year. Fletcher will likely play against the best sides but this would be a good time to bench Cleverly anyway. I need to do a feature on this team soon, who suddenly have an abundance of cheap talent.

Eddie - I agree the system is more predictable but unfortunately is predicts that the players we are already chasing will earn the points. There don't seem to be many options who will we chase simply because of their BP ability (arguably Yaya). You are right though, that they might help settle your decision between, say, Rooney and Van Persie.

Darragh - I started trying to do this yesterday but I don't have a full download of week 1 scores. I am having to go through each player one-by-one but I will hopefully backward engineer the points system soon.

Thanks for all the comments guys

EddieO said...

Chris, This article is right up your alley.


Steven said...

FYI to Chris and everyone. If you go to transfers, and sort by Transfers In (Round), realize that for every 50,000 transfers in per round, a player gains (or transfers out loses) .1 points. So the price changes are taking affect. It benefits you to change earlier in the week if you are looking to mak ea move. Of course there is the risk the player could get hurt in training or a Euro league game.

Anywho, just some helpful information.

CDI said...

Is this confirmed anywhere or is it just a guess? Balotelli lost value this week and his transfers out are very low so far.

Exquisite said...

10% (approximately) of a players owners have to transfer him out to fall in price by 0.1..... and around 10% of a players current ownership have to be transferred in for a price rise of 0.1

Steven said...

@Exquisite Thanks for the clarification

@CDI No, I was just making an observation that seemed to hold true for all the guys who gained value. Didnt analyze the ones who lost it.

Also, the site doesnt have a sortable field on Price gained or Price lost.

CDI said...

I have no idea why they took away those stats this year. I gotta imagine theres more of a human element in the flucuation of player prices. Either thats or its too early to determine what formula they using to downgrade/upgrade player prices.

Is 2 weeks enough time to can nani for young? seems alot of man u's attacks been flowing through young rather that nani so far.