Trying to find the best players at the start of the season is number one on everyone’s list right now. If you’ve been visiting the /r/FantasyMLS subreddit, you’ve seen several posts with example teams, strategy discussion, and maybe even Points Per 90 (PP90). What I’m like to discuss in this article is a slightly different way to look at PP90 to help free up money to splurge in other positions.
In my examples I focus on Midfield, this could also be applied to Defense, but I think Midfield is ideal.
To review, PP90 does not look at a player’s total score or points per game, but instead it looks a home many points a player earns every 90min that they play. For more, Crolla has a good explanation of PP90 at his MLS Fantasy Blog.
It’s easy to find which players had the highest PP90 last year, just stop by the 2013 stats section of MLSFantasyBoss.com. What you will quickly realize is that if you try to make a team with all of these players, you’ll be out of cash before you fill your roster. This usually means that you will have to get a $4.0m player to help balance out those high end $10-$11m players. So essentially you have a player like Donovan with 6.95 PP90 and a $4.0m with 0 PP90.
So one night I said to myself: I wonder if I could find 2 players that would give me a higher PP90, but at a lower combined cost than a premium Midfielder? Basically, could I use my money to increase my teams total PP90. The target price was at least $14m for two players ($10m player + $4m). This means that I would need to limit myself to only Midfielders in the $6-$6.5m range. The main challenge would be finding Midfielders in this range who would see reliable play time.
Here is my list of players
With Preseason games still being played, it’s a little difficult to determine which players will see a good amount of time. For my test, I decided to just look at players with over 2000 min played. These were my results.
My initial thought is that this could be a viable strategy, if you are someone who plans to keep an eye on the game and wants to have a more promising bench.
Here’s a sample team I threw together.
Players like Sam and Cronin have very respectable returns and could be potential sleeper picks. The $6.0m players are a lot more iffy when it comes to playing, but there are at least two potential options right now.
In the end, this is just a variation on how to consider PP90 when trying to pick your teams. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on team PP90, or other more non-conventional methods for spreading your funds or finding those sleeper players.