In my previous article, Expansion Team Success Part 1, I briefly covered how expansion teams performed in their inaugural seasons. For this article, I’ve created a few charts that help to better illustrate the previous information.
First is a chart that shows exactly what the previous article covered. You can see that the Inaugural season has rarely been very successful for a team and that it’s more common to finish near the bottom than even the middle of the pack.
After posting part one, I was sent a question that asked why I was focusing on “if a team made it to the Cup playoff or not for expansion team success” when any team could have good fantasy players? My initial thought was that a team that finished higher in the overall rankings (thus making the Cup) would have higher fantasy point totals.
So I put this to the test by looking at the last two fantasy seasons and adding up the total points that each team’s players generated. Here are two charts that took the total fantasy points each team earned and compared them to the place the team finished overall. If a team made the playoffs, their point total was highlighted in green.
You can see that, the teams with higher fantasy point totals did indeed have a better chance at making the playoffs. Looking back to the previous chart, you’ll remember that expansion teams tend to finish near the bottom in their inaugural year.
It’s also worth pointing out that this relationship of points to playoff appearance gets a little fuzzy as you get to the bottom of the list of playoff teams. This is due to how the teams are chosen from each Conference.
So does this mean that you should stay away from NYCFC and Orlando? I believe the answer is Yes, at least at the start of the season. On average it’s taken expansion teams 2.1 seasons to make it to the playoffs (Toronto Excluded) and while the weakening of the Eastern Conference does provide a better chance for NYCFC and Orlando to make one of those bottom playoff spots, the players from the teams with a better chance of finishing near the top of the table are who I would look at first.
Of course, I’m not saying avoid a good value. Each of these teams has some very well established fantasy go-to players and some of the unknown former USL Pro players at Orlando could have some attractive price points. Just limit it to one per team until we have more information.
Finally, just for fun, here’s a chart of how long it took teams to reach the playoffs after they joined the league. Enjoy and feel free to contact me or leave a comment with any questions. Or reply to the post on /r/FantasyMLS.