Fantasy Premier League 11/12 – What’s going on?

We are just over the halfway mark of another season. No doubt everyone has tales of glory or despair. Did you capitalise on Van Persie when he got hot in November? Did you blow your wildcard in the first 5 weeks and wish you hadn’t?

There are many things for us to reflect on but I would like to look at the core game and two specific areas that need attention from the administrators.

Please use the normal channels to challenge / debate and let us know what you think. If you have alternative arguments or solutions to me then I would love to hear them!

1. Bonus points system

I must not be hypocritical about this one because I used to hate the randomness of the old bonus points system. Some bloke in a room used to decide who the three best players were and award bonus points accordingly. This led to some bizarre choices (Essien lived off bonus points for a season) and was very hard to predict.

So when the changes for 11/12 were announced with bonuses based on stats I was delighted. Finally we had a system where players’ actual contribution to a game would be rewarded.

Unfortunately, as we have found out, the balance of the points is skewed too much towards attacking activities.

For example, even if a game is 0-0 the attacking players are more likely to receive bonuses than defenders, and goalkeepers seem to be unable to get bonuses at all!

Anyone with Vorm will confirm that it doesn’t matter how many penalties you save you get no bonus to show for it. He has conceded 9 goals in 1800 minutes, saved two penalties and has earned………..2 bonus points all season!

The solution: Keep the stats based system but adjust the balance of the performance index. A penalty save should be worth at least as much as scoring a goal. Just getting a shot on target is not that remarkable, in fact having lots of shots and no goals is almost a negative.

2. Player values

This is the big failure in the 11/12 season.

To be fair on the organisers the starting values were based on historical performance and were probably right. The problem is the usual suspects have underperformed and been outshone by some new faces.

This has exposed a weakness in the game; when players under / over perform against expectation the values don’t change quickly enough.

Because the values have been slow to change the best players in the game are available to everyone because we can all afford them. Experienced players will recall the dilemmas of seasons past; Lampard or Gerrard, Rooney, Torres or Van Persie. This year there is no choice because you can afford all of the highest scorers.

If ever you needed an illustration of why the values don’t change enough then check the current player list.

As of 5 Jan, Torres was 5th highest ranking striker in the game and Lampard and Gerrard top the midfielders list. When you rank them by points scored they drop right down the order, players half their value are miles ahead.

The solution: I know the system is based on some formula that we don’t see, but I would like to see them amend it to take into account the % of teams with a player and his score per game week.

So the more teams that choose a player and the higher his average score, the more his value goes up. The reverse should happen if people transfer out a player, his value should drop.

When values change we should not talk in 0.1’s, it should be 0.5m +/- as a minimum. The increases in value in a given gameweek should be balanced by equal decreases in other players to ensure parity in the game.

So that’s my view, we can’t change the game mid season but we ought to consider these points and make sure we are heard (if you agree) because whether you are doing well or not, this season has been flawed and less enjoyable for it. Roll on 12/13!