Let’s get something cleared up straight away – there is no shame in needing Fantasy Premier League price changes explained for you. I know people who have been playing FPL for over a decade, and they have no clue how the prices are calculated, when they change, or why they change.
(You know who you are)
You can still enjoy Fantasy Premier League without fully understanding it, of course. But I can guarantee you one thing. Those people who always seem to finish above you every year, or the people on Twitter who brag about Top 10k finishes, know exactly how Fantasy Premier League price changes work. Not only that, but they exploit them – that’s one of the reasons why they keep winning.
If you want to take your FPL performance to the next level, this is a great place to start. I’ll explain how Fantasy Premier League player prices are decided, why they change, and how you can use the changes to your advantage.
How Are FPL Prices Decided?
Believe it or not, Fantasy Premier League prices are not worked out by trained monkeys (or Stephen Colbert) randomly bashing numbers on a keyboard.
Before the season each year, usually in late June or early July, the FPL price reveal will take place. This is a big moment for managers. It’s also usually a painful one, because last season’s top performers – who offered such excellent value – will usually have been made much more expensive.
Proper calculations have gone into these FPL price changes. The problem is, we don’t know exactly what those calculations are. Each year, the overlords at FPL headquarters simply tell us what the player prices will be… and we just have to accept them!
With that said, we can work out some of the factors for ourselves. Here are the main three.
1. The main factor is a player’s performance in the previous season.
Coming into 2018/19, for example, Liverpool’s Andy Robertson was priced at £6.0m. He went on to register 12 assists, 21 clean sheets, and become the top-scoring defender in the game. It was no surprise, therefore, when the 2019/20 Fantasy Premier League price reveal had him at £7.0m.
This can work the other way too, of course. Alexis Sanchez was one of the priciest players in the game in 18/19, starting at £10.5m. Following a terrible season, this price plummeted to just £7.0m in 19/20.
2. Another factor is the player’s value from the previous season.
I don’t mean their starting value – I mean where they finished up. As we’ll soon see, players’ prices can change dramatically within a season. While there might be a big difference between their starting prices – as with Alexis Sanchez – their price in the new season will usually be close to their finishing price the previous year.
Let’s take Wolves forward Raul Jimenez as an example. The opening Fantasy Premier League prices in 18/19 had him at a mere £5.5m. He went on to register an excellent 13 goals and 10 assists, rising to £7.0m in value. It was no surprise, therefore, to see him starting at £7.5m in 19/20.
3. Finally, there is simple hype.
This is most relevant to new transfers, who are playing in the Premier League for the first time. Nobody has any idea how they’ll respond to the rigours of the Prem. The only things the FPL overlords can use are the player’s statistics in other leagues, and how excited they believe FPL users will be to own that player. After all, they don’t want to make a newcomer so expensive that nobody will own him.
The arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a fascinating proposition, for example. He’d scored a ton of goals everywhere he’d been, and was a global superstar, so FPL had no problem pricing him at an initial £11.5m. They got this valuation spot-on. Even with this massive price tag, he still had a hefty 22.8% ownership, and finished the season only £0.1m lower at £11.4m.
Compare that to Arsenal’s record transfer, Pépé. He registered 22 goals and 11 assists in his final season in Ligue 1, which is a dream return in fantasy football. His lesser profile, though, meant that he was only valued at £9.5m to start the 19/20 season. He still only had a 3.8% ownership… and his value was already starting to drop after two weeks.
Fantasy Premier League Price Change Rules
So, those are the three main ways in which the Fantasy Premier League price list is decided to begin with. Now, let’s find out how and why those prices change during the season.
I’ll get into the various rules that go into price changes soon. The main thing you need to know, however, is that price changes are primarily driven by popularity. They are not directly driven by things like goals, assists, clean sheets, or so on. These will affect a player’s price eventually, but only because they will change his popularity.
What do I mean by ‘popularity’? Basically, how many users are transferring a certain player in or out.
Crucially though, FPL price changes are relative to ownership, and are driven by net transfers. They are not just driven by total transfers.
For example, let’s say Mo Salah is owned by over 1 million people, and is transferred in 50,000 times. Objectively that’s a lot of transfers, but it’s not many net transfers compared to his overall ownership.
But, let’s say Xherdan Shaqiri is only owned by 100,000 people, and he is transferred in 50,000 times. That’s a big relative net gain in ownership, and his price would almost certainly rise.
Nobody knows exactly how many net transfers are needed for a price to change. You can get a rough idea during the season, but there are easier ways to predict FPL price changes. I’ll cover that in more detail in the next section.
So, if you’re looking to get FPL price changes explained, that’s the number one fundamental. Now, let’s get into a few more details of Fantasy Premier League price change rules.
- Players can only change by £0.1m per day
- Players can change by a maximum of £0.3m per gameweek
- The FPL price change time is between 12am-2am GMT
- If you sell a player for a profit, you get half of his increased value to spend
- E.g. Player A increases from £10m to £10.4m. If you sell him, you get £10.2m to spend
- If you sell a player for a loss, you get his actual price at that time
- E.g. Player B decreases from £10m to £9.8m. If you sell him, you get £9.8m to spend
And they’re the FPL price change rules! Not so complicated after all, right?
Fantasy Premier League Price Predictions
It’s impossible to know exactly which players will have an FPL price increase or decrease, or when that change might happen.
With that said, there are ways to make price change predictions. These aren’t an exact science, because we don’t know the details of the FPL overlords’ algorithm, but we can get a pretty good idea.
There are two main ways to do this.
The first is to do it yourself. As you can probably guess, that’s the harder way! It involves maintaining spreadsheets, and pouring over both historical and current data.
The second is much easier – you can simply use a pre-existing Fantasy Premier League price change predictor.
There are plenty of websites out there which do all the hard work for you. With that said, one is by far and away the most popular with experienced fantasy players – it’s called FPL Statistics.
This site doesn’t look particularly attractive. In fact, it looks downright confusing at first. But trust me, it provides a huge amount of value.
Here’s what you’ll typically be looking at on FPL Statistics:
Most of these columns – name, club, position, etc. – are self-explanatory. The most important are Delta and Target.
‘Delta’ is the estimated number of ‘effective’ transfers (basically meaning not made using wildcards) needed to cross the threshold. The number given is in thousands, so – in the table above – Mané needs roughly 2,546,000 more transfers to go up. That sounds like a lot, but remember this number has been calculated relative to his ownership, which is already up at 17.7% (that’s pretty high). Mina, by contrast, is only at 4.4% ownership, and requires a mere 266,100 more transfers to qualify.
‘Target’ is the main column you’ll be using. It ranges from -100 to +100, and players with the lowest or highest values are the most likely to fall or rise respectively. Basically, if you can’t be bothered looking at any other stats… just go straight to this FPL price change predictor and look at ‘Target’!
Again, FPL price change predictions are not a science – not even using this website! FPL Statistics often gets picks wrong, but it’s generally a very good guide.
How to Exploit Premier League Price Changes
By now, you should have a good idea of why and how FPL prices change. But… what can you actually do with this knowledge?
For less experienced Fantasy Premier League players, concentrating on simply scoring points is enough to deal with. The veterans, however, will put a big emphasis on team value.
Like every FPL player, you’ll start the season with a £100m budget. That is also everyone’s starting team value. But because of constant price changes, it’s very unlikely you’ll end up with a team that’s worth £100m. For reference, the 2018/19 FPL winner – Adam Levy – finished with a team value of £106.2m.
There are few more frustrating feelings in life than being £0.1m short of a perfect transfer in FPL. It’s even more frustrating when this has happened because you held onto a player – or multiple players – for too long, while their value dropped.
How do you avoid feeling like an FPL dummy? As with most speculation, you need to buy low and sell high.
The position you’re targeting will depend on the relative strengths and weaknesses of your team. Once you’ve identified that position, and you’ve got a shortlist of players who might improve it, hop onto FPL Statistics and take a look at their Delta and Target. If they’re likely to rise imminently – perhaps that very night – then pull the trigger. By doing this with all of your transfers, you can save yourself a significant amount of money over the course of the season.
That covers the ‘buying low’ part. When it comes to selling, just flip that around. If one of your player has put in a couple of underwhelming performances, check the bottom of the Delta and Target rankings and make sure they’re not there. If they are, it might be time to get rid!
There are a couple of caveats here.
Firstly, many managers like to wait as late as possible before making transfers. They’ll often hold off until at least the Friday press conferences, when they get fitness updates and injury news. This is a safer way to play things, but won’t do your team value any favours.
Secondly, you risk overreacting to small sample sizes. Someone like Aubameyang might be expensive, but he’s also proven. If he doesn’t score for a few games, his value will drop… but history suggests he’ll rediscover his scoring boots, his value will come straight back up again, and you’ve wasted a transfer.
In short, team value shouldn’t be your sole focus. To have the most possible flexibility, though – particularly when it comes time to wildcard – it should certainly be a major consideration.
Using Fantasy Premier League Tips
There are a whole lot of resources out there which can offer you Fantasy Premier League help. Some of them are even written by people who know what they’re talking about (like me… hopefully!). The easiest thing in the world is to just follow everything they say, and you’ll probably end up with a decent score.
But where’s the fun in that?
Use the resources available to you (FPL Reddit is a great one), by all means, including those which advise you on transfers. The great thing about FPL, though – as with football in general – is that everyone has their own opinion. If you think Player A’s value is going to skyrocket over the coming months, or Player B’s is going to drop like a stone, then back yourself!
After reading this ‘Fantasy Premier League price changes explained’ piece, you should have a good idea of how player values change. The specifics of what you actually do with this information are completely up to you.