In part 1 yesterday we discussed what factors matter in a Leagues portfolio, and what such a portfolio might look like.
Of course, all with the background context that the main discussion right now is whether we will ever get to see Leagues at all. And that is very much touch and go.
But we are worrying about that elsewhere. Here, we are thinking of practical things we can do what we can to prepare as we do not know what twists and turns lay ahead.
Today I will be focusing on highlighting some players that would not have had positive reviews in my scouting before, but are now brought in to contention due to the winning bar being lower in the Leagues format.
Tomorrow, I will be taking a rest day. Since Friday, life has been utter madness for all of us and I want to take a day to make sure I stay fresh. I will however be monitoring things and if we get any significant news worth discussing I will jump back in.
Let’s kick off with a great member question on “coverage” across the leagues. I touched on it yesterday, but this question brings out more interesting stuff.
Question on Leagues Coverage
This is really interesting to think about.
I mentioned yesterday that we definitely want wide coverage of the leagues in general. In a “Squads” system we need to be in the mixer for every 1-3p dividend going if we are to bring home a worthwhile combined haul of 10p-30p that will feel rewarding and worth all of our efforts.
So this chap has quite sensibly drawn himself up a target number of players in each league.
And then asks whether he should further divide it, into covering all of the positions within each league.
So would you for example make sure you always have at least two or three Bundesliga defenders in the fight?
This is a much more fixed structure than we are used to.
We didn’t used to care much about this sort of thing. Whilst we may have wanted a decent split between defender/midfield/forward, I don’t ever particularly recall feeling a need to worry about this much. It tended to happen quite naturally.
Maybe it will in Leagues too.
But yes, covering the positions in each league is something that is at least worth thinking about.
So later, I will be doing this in my own portfolio. Carving up a list like this and seeing what I have already by way of coverage across the leagues and in each position. I think anyone would benefit from this if preparing a portfolio for leagues.
But I would not go slashing and burning a portfolio just to make all the numbers line up neatly. Same goes for the % value in each player staking strategy I mentioned yesterday.
When we aren’t happy with our portfolios we generally want to make gradual transitions rather than slashing and burning (and after a year of limited liquidity and moving goalposts I can tell you I am far from 100% happy with mine as options can be limited).
However. As I have been saying, the sort of portfolio I thought was good before is still going to be good. We don’t want to take wild swings of the axe at it:
– I would probably see transitioning to my “ideal” target portfolio to be the work of a month, or 1-3 months.
– I would not advocate rash slash and burn transitions right now – I would suggest just making adjustments that you think are sensible, with your “ideal” target portfolio in mind.
– If you are really convinced that your portfolio is a dud for Leagues – maybe you would consider more drastic action. But, I would hope for most this is not the case. If you are worried about this, you can ask me.
If for example, I set some kind of rough target of 10 players in each League, 3 in each outfield position and maybe 1 keeper (I might actually sacrifice the keeper for another outfield, I have not decided).
But on review of my own portfolio I find I have 15 Bundesliga players and only 5 EPL players – I am not going to be taking an axe to my German friends just to rush to the EPL.
It really depends on the quality of those individuals.
I think I would prefer to have the 50 best players with reasonable coverage of all positions in the leagues, give or take, than have absolutely perfect coverage of all 5 leagues and all positions with slightly inferior players.
Especially because, we will now have to pay close attention to the fixture calendar here. Having coverage in your portfolio may look quite irrelevant if La Liga looks to have just 4 Bronze Days scheduled ahead for example. So I can see scenarios where this “fixed” structure ends up being flexible.
i.e one month, we might want 5 Bundesliga midfielders and just 2 La Liga midfielders. Next month, I may want the opposite. Lots to think about, here. I already have ideas whirring as to how my new fixture ticker could simplify this enormously. But that project is very much on the backburner for now!
This is new to me too. Exciting, even, should we ever get to see it. We might be able to develop this further as we go. But for now, I would definitely suggest at least starting to think about getting a dog in the fight in all positions in all leagues is a good idea.
But I would not pick a bad player just to make up the numbers. If there is no Serie A defender you want, no worries.
This is getting quite complicated isn’t it? If you want to ensure a split between premium/core/youth and transfers as discussed yesterday. And THEN you want to make sure you have coverage across positions in the leagues too…
This is a lot of brain power. But this skill in assembling a squad is going to be important, and something we will have to become experts at to get really optimal results.
I will find this fun, personally. But then, I am a nerd. You are either nerds too, or are at least smart enough to give one £3 a week to do all the grunt work I guess.
Of course you don’t have to do this “coverage” thing. Here is an alternative approach. (I am spending longer on this than I thought, but it seems useful to me).
Putting aside for a moment all I just said about the importance of coverage, I could imagine an alternative approach that could also be viable.
Why do we need coverage anyway? This is predicated on the idea that in order to maximise potential dividend returns and wins (and the positive sentiment and price rises that come with those wins) we need as many dogs in the fight as possible.
Which is true, if you believe that collecting dividends is good and you believe that wins will lead to price rises. I do.
However I could also imagine a world where you could play down coverage of all the leagues/positions. Instead, you might prioritise a narrower, really elite bunch of players you think will benefit strongly from capital appreciation.
So, you are banking on winning fewer dividends, but you think your players are so attractive that if they win, they will likely rise very strongly when they do, or at least when they string a couple of wins together.
And here, you might do something a bit more like this:
– 40% premiums, at least to catch that first wave of them rising first in any recovery then probably dialling down later
– 40% Core – from the absolute Elites
– 20% High Potential Youth – attempting to catch more of those strong trend fit players like Diallo at United who would rise significantly on a good performance.
And, when I reduced my premiums if and when they rise to £2.50 or so, I would probably bump up the High Potential Youth more, ending up with maybe 10% premium, 40% High Potential Youth and 50% Core.
So, if using this strategy, I would expect to definitely win fewer dividends. And I would instead be gambling that my wins count for more because I have chosen a very, attractive, highly on trend group of elites. The absolute best 30 picks I can think of.
If running this strategy, we surely need our picks to be close to perfection and therefore must choose fewer players.
Ticking all, if not most, of those Core player boxes. Amazing performance strength ideally of and above (not that my rating system currently means much since Leagues smashed it to pieces but you get the idea!). And crucially, that sexy trend fit that is just easy to sell, being youthful, ideally with a big club, and playing for a big international side most likely.
My current thinking is that I will start with the 50 player Squad based coverage approach, at least getting 1 player competing for every dividend (maybe not keepers), but not worrying too much about getting it all to line up perfectly.
If I find this feels a bit safe… I can always dial up the aggression to suit. But I would say in a new system, we don’t want to go guns blazing from the off.
But this alternative “30 Elites” strategy is also something I think could be made to work, and could suit an aggressive trader. It is higher risk, for sure. Possibly higher reward.
It is probably a little bit simpler too, as you aren’t quite sweating on all of the “coverage” numbers. I might even prefer this, in the end.
I’ll consider it a positive that more than one viable strategy is emerging. That’s healthy and people will have the freedom to run with whatever they want. This site will support both of those strategies and probably other strategies we have yet to consider too.
And even… for someone who has spent so long covering FI it is actually refreshing to be able to learn and improve at something new and adapt in this way.
Which makes me doubly sad that depending on what happens we may never get to actually see it. Someone took the trouble to make quite a good game here. It’s such a shame it has come so, so late.
I’m not crying you are.
That question generated so many thoughts that if I cover players too it will now be too long. I’ll split the article, and do that one next. I’ll still publish today.
Thanks a bunch, helpful inspiring question asker! You know who you are.