***Update: The first Fantasy Premier League player price changes of the 2016-17 season took place at about 2.15am BST on August 17. The two most popular price prediction sites correctly predicted the three risers, but only one or two of the 10 fallers. It’s early days, but this is the first evidence suggesting the formula the FPL uses for determining price rises hasn’t change significantly this season.***
***Update 2: FPL has now restored price paid and current price data to the transfer page and this can be found under the list tab.***
This is an updated for 2016-17 version of a basic guide I wrote at the start of the 2015-16 season to answer questions about player price changes in Fantasy Premier League (FPL). For many visitors to this site the information will be familiar, but hopefully the guide will be useful for newcomers and, maybe, a reminder for others. Some seasoned readers will undoubtedly be aware that some situations are more complicated than explained here, but I have intentionally tried to keep things simple for newcomers.
What we know for sure
All we know for sure are two details (because they are written in the rules):
- Player prices change during the season dependent on the popularity of the player in the transfer market. Player prices do not change until the season starts.
- The price shown on your transfers page is a player’s selling price. This selling price may be less than the player’s current purchase price as a sell-on fee of 50 per cent (rounded up to the nearest 0.1m) will be applied on any profits made on that player.
To be clear, it is the sell on fee which is rounded up, not the profit. The difference between 7.0m and 7.3m is 0.3m. The 50 per cent sell on fee is 0.15m but as this has to be to the closest 0.1m, it is rounded up to 0.2m. Take the rounded up sell on fee from your sale price of 7.3m and you are left with 7.1m.
The following table demonstrates how this works:
The price paid for a player when you bought them; the current market price for player; and the sale price of player for each player in a team used to be available by clicking on a Data View tab above the team in the transfer page in FPL, but with the new website for 2016-17 it appears they have removed these distinctions and just show the sale price instead. That means those desperate to know whether a price drop or price rise will affect the sell on price should take a screenshot or note of the price at the moment a player is purchased and keep it filed away for reference.
What we might know
Beyond this information, we will not know more for sure about the transfer market until the first price changes occur. However, we suspect the following might occur as they have been consistent features of recent seasons:
Price changes are based on net transfers in (NTI). Put simply, if Player X had 6,000 transfers in and 5,000 transfers out, his NTI is 1,000. If he had 5,000 transfers in and 6,000 transfers out his NTI is -1,000. This figure keeps going up or down as a player receives more transfers in or out. One a day the FPL checks if the player had hit his NTI threshold for a price rise or a price fall. If they have, they rise or fall 0.1m, the NTI counter is then reset to zero and the count begins again as the player is transferred in and out by more Fantasy managers. If a player hasn’t hit the threshold, nothing happens; the NTI counter carries on from whatever NTI level it had reached.
The price change has usually occurs in the middle of the night UK time. Some of the more popular price change prediction sites (more on them later) will carry a summary of the changes by the time the UK wakes up.
Generally, it is widely thought the threshold for a price rise is based on the number of active people playing FPL, while the threshold for a price fall is based on the number of people who own a player. The distinction is important as it affects the number of transfers required for a player to move in price. Every player has the same rise threshold, but each player would have an individual price drop threshold. Let’s use an example where Player A had 10,000 owners and Player B had 1,000,000 owners. If the price rise threshold was, say, two per cent of all active players and there were 2,000,000 active players, both players would require 40,000 net transfers in before their price could rise. But if the drop threshold was ten per cent of each player’s ownership, Player A would require an NTI of -1,000 to drop in price, while Player B would require an NTI of -100,000 to drop in price. After a price change, the threshold counters would reset.
An exception to this is the price fall threshold for players above their start-of-season price appears to be based on a negative version of their NTI threshold for a rise. If this theory is correct, Player Y, who started the season at 9.5m and now costs 9.7m with 500,000 owners and an price rise threshold of 40,000 NTI, would have a price fall threshold of -40,000 rather than the -50,000 it would be if his current price was 9.4m with 500,000 owners. This means high ownership players currently above their start-of season price may drop more rapidly.
Price changes have historically been limited to a maximum rise or fall of 0.3m in a gameweek. In 2013-14, price rises of 0.3m in one gameweek were quite possible for players who everyone was rushing to bring in as the same threshold applied to each price change, but in 2014-15 it is widely believed the FPL changed the rules around the price change thresholds for the second rise in a gameweek so that it was higher than that of the first rise (once a new gameweek began the higher threshold limit returned to normal). The rate for a third rise within one gameweek was even higher still, so a triple price change in one gameweek became much rarer. Until we have some dramatic gameweek transfer activity we can only guess what will happen this season.
There were several other factors that altered NTI and price thresholds last year and these included a player being flagged (having a yellow, orange or red “i” (for injury/suspensions) triangle beside their name on the transfer screen). The price drop threshold for a player with a yellow flag was higher than for an unflagged player. It was higher still for a red flagged player.
Players have been locked, or protected from price movement in past seasons. The NTI counter for locked players also reset to zero. This usually happened in one of two scenarios:
- When a new player was added to the game, their price was locked for eight days or until the start of a new gameweek (where the gap between gameweeks was longer than eight days). Much like pre-season, this allowed the player to build up an ownership without their price changing. Last season at least one player appeared to be locked for more than eight days and this should be monitored this year.
- After the status of a flagged player changed to a different status, say from yellow to red, or red to available (blue).
Transfers made by players on a wildcard were also believed to affect NTI figures, with one theory suggesting they didn’t count at all towards NTI. If this is correct, a player who had 10,000 transfers in, including 5,000 on a wildcard, plus 1,000 non-wildcard transfers out, would only have had an NTI of 4,000. Wildcard transfers had the potential to skew how quickly a player rose or fell in price in a gameweek.
Predicting the price changes
FPL participants can get a rough idea of which players might be heading for a rise or fall in a particular gameweek by selecting transfers in (round) and transfers out (round) from the “Sorted by” drop-down menu on the Transfers page of FPL. However, remember that a player’s NTI counter only resets to zero if they change in price or are locked. If Player B in our earlier example had an NTI of -80,000 between Gameweeks 1 and 2, then an NTI of 60,000 the following week, he would neither rise nor fall because his NTI thresholds were -100,000 for a fall and 40,000 for a rise and his counter at the start of Gameweek 3 is at -20,000 (-80,000 + 60,000).
Several price change prediction websites operate by monitoring the number of player transfers in and out, adjusting for the various factors that can affect NTI, and matching those figures against estimated price rise and fall thresholds to predict when a player is likely to increase or decrease in price. These sites display this as a percentage, with a player being predicted to rise when they reach or exceed 100 per cent, or fall when they reach or exceed -100 per cent.
At the start of the season these calculations are very rough and based on experience of how the price changes worked in previous years. Therefore they can be imprecise, particularly if, as last year, FPL changes the price rise and fall formula.
Once the first price changes happen, the price change prediction websites will start to refine their threshold estimates and NTI calculations. As the season progresses they usually become more accurate.
Until we have some price changes this season none of the price change sites will be very accurate. All we know for sure is that there will be price changes and the FPL Transfers page will tell you how much you will receive for selling a player.