It’s time to update the Guide Prices again. I’ve let the market settle a little before doing it since the bonus.

Guide Prices are probably the thing that members ask about how to use them the most so maybe I could do better at explaining them. There is a guide as part 1 of the Members Area help here.

But to sum up, Guide Prices are a good ball park indicator of what people will pay for a player once it becomes common knowledge they are good quality. 

So, let’s say the current on trend Guide Price for a Forward is £2 to £2.10 We can expect a player who is generally thought of as a good performance player with a decent trend fit to hit £2 or thereabouts.

So, if I am buying a forward at £1 who is relatively unknown, and he starts winning and rising in price, we can reasonably guess that his “ceiling” may be around £2. And it may be the point we think about selling. But, the stronger the player, and the stronger the trend fit, the more comfortable we can be holding out for an even higher price.

So, this season, a strong forward who can consistently win, with domestic dominance, Champions League involvement playing for a big Euro 2020 team would be exactly the sort I would be happy to hold beyond a Guide Price and hope for a bigger price. Depay, for example. We don’t have to stress the Guide Price with him because of his extreme quality and season trend fit.

If my forward is approaching £2 but isn’t particularly strong or his trend fit isn’t brilliant, I may be much more likely to sell.

I would be quite unlikely to be buying a player who is already at or above Guide Prices, unless the performance strength and trend fit was extremely strong.

Then, there is the seperate “off trend” Guide Price. This is a strong performance player without a great trend fit. So, the classic example of this would be Parejo. Or a performance player towards the end of the season without Euro 2020 involvement.

They are high quality, but unlikely to be attracting a particularly high price. It is often possible to find excellent value in this area, especially if that player will become more on trend in the months ahead.

Key Takeaways from this Analysis

  • Perhaps surprisingly, average prices being paid for players that are widely considered to be good quality have not moved much during this period of market growth.

  • It is more that traders have cast their net wider in the last 6 weeks, trying to hunt for value lower down the price brackets rather than chasing into the players that were already at high prices.

  • Rather than buy well known strong performers heavily, traders lowered their standards and went for cheaper, less well known players in the hope of finding bargains.

  • This has brought many more players up to Guide Price levels and is the reason profit growth has been so strong in the last 6 weeks or so.

  • As per Key Strategy, I expect the market to now go through a period of “quality testing”. With so much money invested in speculative players who people hope will do well, often based on very little information in the absence of match data, prices and real quality will be very different right now.

  • My expectation for the coming 6-8 weeks is that the players who demonstrate real quality in performance scoring will keep getting momentum and rise much further whilst the weak will get found out and drop.

  • That is why, at this time of year especially, we have to be very diligent in our match analysis.

Pricing Changes

On Trend Known Strong Player Average:

  • Defender: 90p – £1.20 > £1.30 – £1.50
  • Midfielder: £1.80 – £2 > £1.90 – £2.10
  • Forward: £2 – £2.30 (no real change)

Off Trend Known Strong Player

  • Defender: 50p – 75p > 70p – 90p
  • Midfielder: 70p – £1.10 > 90p – £1.20
  • Forward  £1.20 – 1.40 > £1.20 > £1.50

New: Media Modifier: x2 to x3 (explained below)

Media Modifier

Media players are a law unto themselves so I discount them when thinking of the above averages. However, it’s still helpful to think about.

Where you have a slam dunk, top tier media returner like Neymar or Pogba, you can safely treble or even quadruple the on trend price for their position. 

As a broad generalisation, it’s fair to say that for a player who is expected to one day match the returns of a Neymar or Pogba (the next…”) you can often x2 or even x3 the on trend price for that position. Maybe in rare cases 4x but I’ll say 2-3x as an average.

Defenders

 

Last review (August) defenders were in the middle of a bounce back after hitting a real low over the Summer. That has continued.

For a strong performance defender with a good trend fit you can be expecting to pay around 30p more per share than 2 months ago.

Clearly, the new performance system has revived interest in this position that was previously very much declining.

Is this sensible?

I don’t think so. If you look at who has won so far, there are very few consistently returning defenders. Only Alexander Arnold can really make that claim and he is so expensive that the return there is not fantastic anyway.

Because it is very hard to predict when a defender might score and a single assist is often not quite enough to guarantee a win, defenders are trading wins amongst a wide pool, with very few of them able to win consistently.

Therefore, my performance change matrix analysis on defenders still feels right: defenders can be worth buying, but only at reasonable prices and only where they have exceptional goal threat or assist potential that means they can punch through on the scoring system.

I think those who are currently over paying for defenders may realise this in the coming months and we may see defenders stagnate or even fall. The dividend review may save them in the short term, depending on what is announced. 

But long term I expect traders will realise that people are currently paying too much for premium defenders. The cheaper defenders who can nick a win have better prospects.

Midfielders

Midfielders have definitely had a price boost in the last 2 months, particularly the strongly performing players with the weaker trend fits (like Kroos, Parejo, for example). 

It’s apparent that midfielders are dominating performance scoring. Their tendency to have higher baselines and the ability to both score and assist is seeing to that.

This is a double edged sword. They are bringing home bigger scores and will take more Star Players dividends home, but there is a lot of midfielders and you need a big total to win.

This places a big premium on the players like Kroos and Parejo who can not just put up a big score but put up a monster 300+ total and blow the competition away.

Spotting the performance strength in this area is more important than ever in order to find value. 

As I’ve been saying for months, traders will will learn to stop being impressed by these 200-230 scores in midfield. It’s not enough in this category anymore. Particularly if your player is high baseline but is rarely going to get up towards 300. 

Midfield will likely push ahead in price in the coming months but I can see more and more money concentrating in the elites who can win consistently, particularly with a dividend increase likely.

It will just take a while for most people to know who they are because average players will nick wins and fool people. Fortunately for us, by and large, we already know who the strong and consistent players are and this is why massive profits have been possible by staying tuned to pre and early season Scouting.

Forwards

Forwards, for the first time in a while, have largely stood still in price overall, with £2 to £2.30 still the going rate for a well regarded forward. 

That doesn’t mean profits have not been possible! The general perception of exactly which forwards deserve those price tags has changed a lot, largely due to early season performances sorting the genuinely strong players from the hyped garbage peddled in pre-season. Again, all that pre-season scouting to get a head start and the early season analysis really paid off here.

It is possible to find consistent players here and therefore I think we will see, as we will for midfielders, a continued concentration of money into an elite group of consistent winners as the season goes on.

It’s a less competitive category than midfield, and I’m comfortable with 220-250 scores in the forward category.

One part of Key Strategy has been not to ignore the enormous value in elite veteran strikers in early season, particularly with the increased IPD’s in mind which are now more generous than ever. That’s something that has really paid off for me, and I hope for members too.

We can keep juicing that for another month or two, although as I’ve said a few times by now, I wouldn’t want to be going too hard on elite veterans as we get into 2020, not unless they had strong CL/Europa and Euro 2020 involvement and were expected to play a full season at a good club next year. 

Forwards are still the most favoured category by traders and they should be. Although it’s definitely true that both defenders and midfielders have been catching them up.

Final Thoughts

Overall, prices have risen in the last 2 months as you would expect particularly after the bonus.

But, just because the average prices of those players are the same or higher, doesn’t mean there hasn’t been huge shifts in exactly who is occupying those high price points.

As I have been banging on about for months, it is the real quality that rises to the top and that is exactly what we are seeing.

There are still anomalies. Some mediocre players have won and some good players haven’t won yet and it confuses people. But because on this site we rely on real stats not just narrow historic performance scores the vast majority of the time we know who the real deals are. 

We are still in early season, and the more matches get played, the more the cream will rise to the top and the over hyped garbage gets found out. 

So my plan is just to keep stacking the odds in our favour and that gives us the best chance of continued profits.

There will be a new Key Strategy come the end of October but for this one it will be an evolution of what we are doing, not a massive trend shift. It’s in late season that I tend to get more dramatic with my moves. 

For now, I rely on having better player knowledge than most to turn profits and that will be the case for the coming months.

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