Desperately Seeking Form

In the second of the series, we look at how many players bounce back to find some form in FPL

This is the second in our series of articles looking at player points scored and form in Fantasy Premier League. In our first article we asked how reliable was form, and how often did different the positions/prices in FPL maintain ‘good’ form. Today we will look at the opposite; how often do players bounce back to hit form? Later in this series we’ll investigate if their really is a difference between home and away form, how important consistency is compared to absolute form, and at how useful a player’s underlying stats can be to inform a decision.

Let’s quickly recap the first article. Looking at all players as an overall, we saw that 39% of players had managed to maintain good form from one set of 5 games to their next, where good form was averaging 5 points per game (PPG). To add some context we also break the players down by position and by price range. Simply put, the conclusion was that the more expensive player is the more likely he is to maintain form. Common sense indeed, but perhaps not so common when you look at the vast number of FPL transfers of “in-form” cheaper midfielders this season who, barring Ramsey, Wilshere, Lallana and Cabaye, did not go on to repeat that form.

In this article we examine how many players achieve a 5 PPG average over 5 games when they did not in their previous 5. The logic for this is really for when a FPL manager wants to take a punt on a player who hasn’t done so well of late and will therefore typically offers some value as a differential. Here’s the table.

Position Price Total Count Found Form %
Goalkeeper Any 247 12%
Defender £3.8-£5.9m 719 12%
Defender £6m+ 90 30%
Midfielder £4-4.9m 350 5%
Midfielder £5-6.4m 324 10%
Midfielder £6.5-8.4m 112 31%
Midfielder £8.5m+ 33 48%
Forward £5-6.9m 76 11%
Forward £7-8.9m 50 50%
Forward £9-10.9m 11 64%
Forward £11m+ 2 100%

Looking at all positions and prices, if a player did not achieve 5 PPG or greater in his last five games, he would only do so in his next five games 14% of the time. Comparing this to the 39% we saw from the first article, we can make a general conclusion that you more likely to succeed by picking a player “in-form” than picking a player who is not.

The general trend holds true for the more expensive players, and in particular this season’s troublesome elite midfielder backet. In our last article we found a £8.5m midfielder was likely to maintain >5PPG form 70% of the time. From this article it looks like elite mids below the 5PPG threshold will increase to this level of form over their next 5 games less than 50% of the time. This is pretty much the story of the FPL season for many, either you got the form players early and stuck with them (for the win), or tried to differentiate (and lost).

Our conclusion form this does not differ from that in that last article and can be summed up like this: Don’t chase cheap points, chase expensive ones. Next up we’ll look at players form home and away and see how much of a difference this makes,.

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