On The Beach – Update

After posting my analysis of on the beach teams last week, some people on twitter (@theFPLkiwi and @CoalportGlen) pointed out that by only looking at teams with less than 55 points, I was introducing bias into the analysis by removing teams who may have been ‘on the beach’, won lots of games and ended up finishing with more than 55 points. I’d recommend reading my previous analysis of on the beach teams if you haven’t, so that you can understand the rest of the article.

To remove this bias, I’ve updated my definition of on the beach teams. The new definition defines ‘on the beach teams’ as any team who’s gap to the following positions are more than 8 points after 32 gameweeks:

  • 1st Place
  • 2nd Place
  • 4th Place
  • 7th Place
  • 18th Place

The point-gap and number of gameweeks to analyse from is arbitrary and could be experimented with.

With the new definition, the average points per game of ‘on the beach’ teams was 1.45 compared vs 1.58 before they went on the beach. Figure 1 shows the points distribution:

Figure 1: Points per game distribution of teams before and after they were ‘on the beach’

As requested by others, teams scored slightly fewer goals per game when going on the beach (1.45 to 1.39) but conceded a lot more (1.17 to 1.29 goals against per game).

Figure 2: Distribution of goals per game when on the beach
Figure 3: Distribution of goals against per game whilst on the beach

One new feature of the ‘on the beach definition’ is that it includes a lot of teams in the top 4 who have essentially secured 1st or 4th place. This could skew the results a bit as even if a team is likely to finish 1st or 4th due to their large points gap, they’re probably still motivated to secure 1st or 4th mathematically.

With the new definition, I still believe that teams may play worse once they have less to play for due to lack of motivation, but this effect may be less than I originally thought. There’s a lot of old data in this analysis which may not be as relevant now e.g. teams may now compete for more prize money at the end of the season.

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