Previously, I explored the concept of opportunity cost by looking at the decisions that players of the Premier League’s Fantasy Premier League face on a weekly basis. For those unfamiliar with the concept, opportunity cost is what one must give up to get something else. The Fantasy Premier League provides us with an excellent example of this on a weekly basis.
First conceptualised for the Premier League in the mid-1990s, the game has grown in popularity and now consists of an on-line competition where football fans get to pick players from a given league, with fictitious money, to form their own team. One of the most popular versions of the game is run by the official Premier League website.
At the start of the season a budget of £100 million is allocated to each player in order to form a squad. In total fifteen players must be purchased from this money. One free player swap can be made each week. Further player changes result in a points reduction.
What might seem like an easy task (picking fifteen players) becomes very difficult. Finite resources and decision making, both central tenants of economics, come to the fore. For example, in order to have an expensive goalkeeper or striker, something else must be sacrificed e.g. relatively expensive defenders.
My previous post illustrates this point. The cost of the most expensive 15 players from last season was £135.1 million pounds. This point lies far beyond the budget constraint and is unattainable. The Dream Team from last season (highest scoring players) is also beyond our means at £116.5 million.
This season is quite different. Most would admit it was been a rather unusual season to date, highlighted by the fact that Leicester City, 5000-1 to win the league in August 2015, sit top of the table with just fifteen games to play. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Odion Ighalo, Scott Dann, Georginio Wijnaldum, Andre Ayew and Jack Butland are all among the top scorers. Collectively, these seven players cost just £45 million, an average of just £6.4 million. The total cost of the highest scoring team to date comes in at just £101.3 million. (See picture).
The most expensive team on paper costs a whooping £129.3 million but cannot be assembled.
The market is adjusting. The players listed above are all increasing in value as demand for their services goes up amongst fantasy football players. However, it seems this season the cost of operating effectively within ones budget is far easier than in seasons gone by. We can thank Vardy, Ighalo, et al. for this.