Can You Manage a Fantasy Football Team Like a PPC Account?
So it’s that time of year again.
A brand new Premier League season is upon us at last, which means only one thing:
It’s time to pick a Fantasy Football team.
We set up our very own highly competitive fantasy league every season at Latitude, and if last year’s campaign is anything to go by then 2017/18 should be a cracker.
The reason I mention this is because although we’re a like-minded bunch, you can’t help but be baffled by people’s different approaches to team selections…
1. The Last-minute Selection
Take our Head of Programmatic Tom Ives, for example.
He took the ‘pick the team in August and leave it’ approach.
The thing is, poor Tom went and shot himself in the foot with his last-minute selection of Mario Balotelli, who left Liverpool to join Nice in August and subsequently failed to register a single point.
2. The Beer ‘O’ Clock Selection
Then there’s our Head of Product Strategy, Helen Price.
She thought she was pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes with her sneaky approach.
This consisted of quietly bringing her laptop along to our weekly Friday afternoon Beer ‘O’ Clock, and start canvassing opinion from the football fans in the room as to who she should pick that weekend.
Nice try Helen.
3. The Bookmaker’s Selection
A much more detailed and calculated approach was taken by Chris Morris – one of our senior Paid Media Executives.
When the time came for him to pick his team, he would check bookmaker’s odds for anytime scorers, making the player with the shortest odds his captain.
Three very different schools of thought, I’m sure you’ll agree?
So which method was most successful?
It’ll be no surprise for you the hear that Tom didn’t win.
But neither did Helen or Chris for that matter.
In fact, another senior member of the Paid Media team won last year – and no, unfortunately I’m not referring to myself.
It was actually John Seddon, who didn’t even have an approach, as such.
He was steadily mid-table until an inspired triple captain of Alexis Sanchez fired him right into contention late in the day.
He then preceded to snatch the title in the final game of the season.
Anyway, all of these different approaches, coupled with the fact that I always forget about making changes midway through the season, got me thinking if there was a way I could manage my team (‘Men Behaving Chadli’ if you’re asking) like I would a PPC account.
What do PPC and Fantasy Football have in common?
The answer is budgets.
In fantasy football, you get a measly £100m - which in real-life terms equates to just half of what PSG recently paid Barcelona to sign Neymar, the Brazilian.
Luckily, the prices in the game don’t reflect the current market conditions and the most expensive player on the fantasy league site is Tottenham’s Harry Kane at £12.5m.
The next thing the two have in common is that they both represent attempts to generate a return.
In the case of fantasy football, this is points - and hopefully lots of them if you want to challenge at the top of the Latitude fantasy table.
So looking at last year, the best squad you could build in terms of return is £29m over-budget.
Another issue with this squad is that it goes against the rule regarding the number of players per any one team – which is a maximum of 3.
Last year’s best squad has five from Chelsea and four from Spurs, who both finished the campaign as champions and runners-up respectively.
As a result, I figured that building your team is very much like building the Keyword list for your account.
You want the right mix of expensive head terms like Harry Kane for £12.5m, whilst balancing the books with some star long tail terms like Roberto Firmino, for example.
He scored 80% of Kane’s points last year but is only 68% of the price going into this season.
Could you pick a team based on ROI?
Bearing all of the above in mind when selecting a team, I would assign an ROI to a player based on last season’s points and this season’s costs.
This meant essentially multiplying the points by £1m to give a monetary value.
As you can see below, we still end up £7m over-budget when selecting the best ‘ROI team’.
ROI solely doesn’t work though as the idea here is to maximise the return.
So again it boils down to selecting the right mix.
Therefore, it would seem there are actually a variety of factors to consider when selecting a player.
Robert Snodgrass, for example, has a really strong ROI but his performances dipped after he left Hull in the January transfer window - so most of his points were scored before then.
This is the same as context within search.
It’s key to know as much about the outside factors affecting performance as you possibly can.
So it would appear I’ve got my work cut out trying to pick the best players to represent my team this year!
Join us next week, to see who I selected following the analysis, and more importantly, how we got on in the opening weekend of the season…