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Fantasy Premier League tips: Why you should consider profit and loss when making transfers


Expanding the bank balance can give a managers an edge so watching price rises and drops of players in your squad is important

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 6:20 pm

Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 6:22 pm
Teemu Pukki of Norwich City looks on during the Premier League match against Watford FC on 8 November 2019 (Getty Images)

Starting the season on £6.5m, Pukki’s price rose to £7.2m at his peak but has since fallen to £6.7m, meaning that some managers may have made a £0.5m loss on the Canary for the return of seven points over four gameweeks.

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What is more, unless Pukki rises in value back up to £7.2m before they offload him, that money is not coming back.

When we consider that players realistically only have £36m of budget to play with above what can be spent on the lowest cost squad, Pukki’s drop in form could be said to cost a manager 1.4 per cent of their budget.

This is why watching price rises and drops can be important, and why expanding your bank can give a manager room to play with at the end of the season.

Profit and loss explained

Mason Mount’s price has risen over the season from £6.0m to £6.9m at the time of writing (Getty Images)

When you sell a player, you don’t simply get back what you paid, in most cases. Let us use Pukki now, currently valued at £6.7m.

If Pukki is bought at £6.7m and then sold the next week at £6.7m, the player will receive £6.7m back.

However, If Pukki is bought at £6.7m and then sold the next week at £6.6m, the player will only receive £6.6m back – a loss of £0.1m in their overall budget.

If a player rises in value, players make half the profit, rounded down to the nearest million when they sell. So if Pukki is bought at £6.7m and then sold the next week at £6.9m, the player will receive £6.8m back (as the £0.2m increase is halved to £0.1m profit). If he went up to £7m, the player would still only receive £6.8m, as the £0.3m increase would halve to £0.15m profit before being rounded down to £0.1m. Selling at £6.8m would make no profit due to rounding down.

Therefore, if you buy a player and their price increases dramatically, you should carefully think through whether you want to sell them as you only gain half the profit back from their sale. You could end up essentially making a loss if you want to buy them back at a later date.

How do players’ price change?

Players’ prices change based on transfer market activity – ie. how many managers transfer a player in or out. If everyone dumps a player, his price will likely drop, and the opposite if everyone starts buying him.

This isn’t an open formula, but the FPL website specifies that prices “may change by £0.1m a day”. There are some websites which track the likelihood of price rises and falls – although it is not an exact science.

So should players try to make profit with transfers?

Yes and no. While expanding your bank can be very useful, the objective of the game is to win points – and very often these objectives work in tandem.

If a player is on a hot streak, he will attract managers and his price will rise. Buying in high performing players before other managers is likely to indicate that you’re recognising good form before others – and you’ll likely do well in the game.

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However, if you only buy players with the herd, you may not make points on differential players which could help you shoot up your mini-leagues.

The player who has expanded their bank the most this season currently has £107.6m to play with, compared to the starting pot of £100m – the sort of money that can turn a Todd Cantwell into a Sadio Mane.

However, that particular manager is also only on 558 points, a middle of the road score.

So while the finances are worth considering, they are not the be-all and end-all.

How to get involved with

Join i’s league on the official Fantasy Premier League game to pit your wits against fellow readers – and our hapless sports desk team. Code: 1mx9nm

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