The huge transfer fees commanded by premier league footballers have become the stuff of legend. Many feel that big money signings have been the ruin of modern football. Others point out that this is just a sign of healthy competition between teams as they try to sign the best players. Of course, for most of us, the argument is largely academic. We do not have a say in which players our favourite team signs, or how much they should be willing to pay for them. However, we can get a taste of what it is like to put together and manage a hopefully successful premier league team when we play Fantasy Football.
Fantasy Football has its own system of transfers and transfer prices. In this game, players are transferred much more frequently than they are in the real world, and the rules governing how much they are worth are calculated somewhat differently. Nevertheless, just as in the actual Premier League, some managers are much more concerned with the financial value of their players than with their performance on the pitch. For some, making money – however theoretical – having a high-value team and getting on the fantasy rich list are the main objectives of any season.
If a player commands a high transfer fee in real life, then this is going to affect their fantasy price too. It makes them that much more desirable and harder to acquire. Many Premier League players though sign for ridiculous sums then do very little to justify them, as this hard-hitting article over on 888sport points out. In Fantasy Football, however, player values can change from week to week and depend very much on their performance. In Fantasy Football, you’re only as good as your last match; a healthy attitude to pricing that arguably the real Premier League could learn a lot from.
Player transfers can affect Fantasy Football in other ways. When you can only select a maximum of two players from any team, sought-after footballers being transferred on or off a team can open up or close down the options open to the canny Fantasy Football manager. Players who have just been sold to a Premier League side are also much harder to value for Fantasy Football purposes than those who have been playing in the league for some time and have clear past form to evaluate.
The official line is that the fantasy value of a player is based entirely on their performance on the pitch, rather than being dictated by market forces. In that sense, a high transfer fee should have no impact on their fantasy rating. However, the better a player performs, the greater the transfer fee they generally command. So high transfer fees and fantasy rating are both supposedly reflections of a player’s on-pitch performance, although actually there are many other factors that go into determining both.
In the end, Fantasy Football ratings may actually be a more honest and accurate guide to how good a player is than the amount they are paid in real life. A high transfer fee may make a player more visible and desirable in both worlds, but it should not have a direct impact on their fantasy rating.