Finding Value at Forward

Finding Value at ForwardFantasy MLS is all about finding the right combination of players to maximize your points while navigating the budget constraints. This post will look at finding value forwards. Points per 90 minutes (PP90) is the starting point and is simply a player’s total points divided by the total minutes they played last season. The big asterisk around this standardized measure of production is that players don’t always play 90 minutes, so their actual output will not live up to this measure unless they play all game they appear in. I only included players who played at least 17 games and at averaged at least 60% of the minutes within those games.

I ran a regression that looked to see what PP90 a player with a given price is expected to get (e.g a player priced at 10.0 should get about 6.31 PP90). The column labeled “PP90 above predicted” is the important one for these purposes. The larger the number, the more undervalued the player is and anything less than zero indicates the player is priced too high.

If a cell is highlighted in green, it is within the top 25% for all players across all three positions for that category. Players that are highlighted for each of the three categories are the ones that should draw our attention the most as they not only produce well, but they outperform what should be expected at their pricing too.

For everyone that is shocked about how cheaply we can get Giovinco and Drogba: you’re absolutely right. They’re expected to outproduce their 11.5 price point by over 2 PP90 and they’d still outproduce even if priced at $14m. Villa just barely slips outside the top 25% in pp90/$ but he’s still under-priced and definitely worth owning with his favorable schedule to start. Amerikwa seems to be the best budget option as both Grella and Manneh look like they’ll find themselves on the bench.

Conclusion: If we’re looking for value at the forwards, it is actually at the most expensive price point with Drogba, Giovinco, and Keane.


About Andrew Crollard

Andrew has worked as both an economist/data analyst and as a university and youth soccer coach. Naturally, marrying soccer and data together is a perfect fit.

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  1. Not to forget that price changes are for outperformance at the position. High valued players are high valued because they outperform – therefore their price will go higher still. This was true last season, and will be true again this season. At least until international duty beckons (or injury strikes), one Giovanci today will buy you three Riveros in a month.

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