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I've read a lot on Twitter lately about looking at various PB measurements when assessing a player – Max PB, PB Average 200 or 250+ etc. For me, any single measurement of a player, without looking at things like Media potential, IPD analysis, capital appreciation etc is going to be fairly limited. I always feel it's best to look at a wide-range of data, strategies, and also to continually question the perceived, common wisdom in favour of alternative and contrarian forms of analysis. If the crowd are making massive assumptions, that therein gives you a potential edge over the crowd, something that is essential is to beat the market and maximising returns. It's also good to review, to measure your own performance against your previous performance using tools such as IndexTrak.

ALWAYS BE LEARNING

For me traders should be regularly learning, adapting, refining, analysing and investigating existing, and new, strategies. This can provide a diversified approach, where you can win Divs/Cap app via multiple revenue streams and you receive confirmation on players from different viewpoints, which helps when considering trading size and the overall portfolio balance. That is why I don't fret over PB Matrix changes as I'm covered in other areas, and the impact is likely far less than a lot of trader's are worrying over. That can cause fear, uncertainty and halt trading – but that exists across all markets and it's better to be adaptable and not concerned until changes ACTUALLY happen, while at the same time ensuring you are diversified and as prepared as possible with likely exit or pivot strategies. 

I love this excellent quote from legendary trader George Soros -:

“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected. “– George Soros”

Over time you find a set of approaches that work for you, where daily processes and procedures can be put in place, to highlight new opportunities, deciding when to take some profits, or completely exiting a position. Of course a lot depends on the individual trader's psychology, being open to considering new approaches, while always being mindful to ask whether a newly considered strategy will suit their own trading style and personality. For example, if you find you are a longer-term investor, are patient by nature, or perhaps someone with not so much time on your hands to monitor price movements and games regularly, then short-term trading may not be ideal. Vice-versa where people who trade short-term, but are perhaps a bit trigger happy, perhaps require far more discipline to excel in this area, to avoid rash decisions, over-reacting to recent events or falling prey to FOMO. You need to know your own investment and psychological profile and play to your strengths, while considering other approaches that you feel YOU have the highest potential to improve in, to diversify strategies and grow your skillset. You can test these strategies out using the Watchlist on either FI or IndexGain to see if they start performing as you expected, and can slowly integrate players from these new approaches into your portfolio, once you have confirmation.

One other thing to value is your actual time. Life is precious and you don't want to be spending too much time on Twitter, on analysis, especially if there are other people doing excellent analytical work that fits in with your own kind of methodology. I used to do a lot of statistical analysis, using R, Python etc in the horse racing world. I don't really have the interest or the inclination to spend too much time doing that nowadays, as I prefer a better work/life balance, but I do love it when other people have already done it for me!

One piece of excellent analysis I saw on Twitter lately from @dryoffyourcheek was to perhaps dispel the Max/Avg PB argument, in favour of Average highest 3 PB scores, in terms of a sweet spot in predicting future returners while giving confidence in past returns. This makes logical sense to me, as it rules out one-off events and shows a method of consistent analysis, which could be repeated in the future.

The chart below perhaps illustrates this, although as @dryoffyourcheek sensibly disclaimed: “Treat all of the conclusions presented with scepticism. As with any data analysis, there are assumptions made and limitations involved that can make the conclusions imperfect – read the article where I talk about these in more detail.”

AVERAGE OF TOP-3 PLAYERS BY ADVANCED POSITION

Thanks to @FIDataStephen on Twitter over at Football Index Edge for permission to use the Top-3 PB data from his spreadsheet that he produces. I'll admit I only looked at this spreadsheet for the first time today, and was happily surprised to see the Top-3 PB scores for each player already on there, along with Div returns etc, so everything I need to do that kind of research into players. With FI Edge you can also breakdown players by their sub-categories on the pitch, and felt it could be a useful exercise, while also considering other forms of analysis.

MB = Media Divs

PB – PB Divs

IPD = In-Play Divs

Also listed are the above Yields.

Have also included all their PEG figures in each category, see Step-4 on this blog post for the calculation, the closer to 0 the better value, 1 indicates at the right price, 1+ indicates possible poor value

EGR% = Earnings growth rate. 

%Match = % of Media Divs won on a Matchday

Pos = Position in overall category

AdvPos = Position in advanced category

Top3 Avg = Total of highest 3 PB scores

Avg = Average of highest 3 PB scores

FORWARDS – CENTRE FORWARDS

No surprise to me to see TIMO WERNER at the top of centre forwards, and 2nd across all forward positions, with an average Top3 PB of 309.3, ahead of Ronaldo at 302 and the others somewhat behind. Also makes appeal across MB, although a lot was/has been tied to his, now-completed, transfer. But it's clear he has the PB figures to prove a hit in the EPL for a Top flight club, especially as he is approaching Peak Age for a forward. I expect a drop in his cap app but also suspect this will pick up again when people see he can hit high scores and return PB and IPD's with media along the way. It's also a contrarian play as most people sell out to cash in profits or shift focus away from Bundesliga.

CRISTIANO RONALDO has one of the best from an overall Yield perspective, 28% from media, 17% from PB and 12% from IPD. He doesn't have the greatest cap app in the world, simply due to age but will always get media, but only 19% of his media returns come on matchdays.

LEWANDOWSKI is interesting with possibly the best PB and IPD Yields across the board, but a dud for media. Again, suspect a drop in cap app as Bundesliga nears conclusion.

Similar comments apply to CIRO IMMOBILE. Both these guys, along with Werner, stand out from a PB PEG perspective.

MBAPPE is the youngest, so there is scope for improvement here, but it was surprising for me to see such low Yields across the board for him. Interesting to note that nearly 67% of his media has come on Matchdays, so if he posts a big score, expect him to contend for media that day. I expect him to get more cap app as Ligue 1 looks to return, making him potential interesting if he can post some consistently higher scores but I'm primarily buy for IPD's and hope he hits media and PB along the way with some cap app growth.

One thing to note is the lack of Premier League centre forwards, but Aguero, Kane, Jesus and Aubameyang not too far off. 

FORWARDS – ATTACKING MIDS/WINGERS

First thing to note here, from this sub-category of forwards, is how low their scores are in comparison to Centre Forwards. From a Yield perspective, this is one thing I noticed, that centre forwards return better IPD Per Game Yields than any other position.

RIYAD MAHREZ is the exception from the Attacking Midfielder/Winger category of Forwards, with an excellent PB and IPD Yield and decent EGR and the lowest overall PEG's. For me he looks a fairly decent bet to compete for Top Forward despite worries over Man City future in Europe over the next few seasons, he could be one player who could attract media off the back of transfer rumours.

SERGE GNABRY has been out of favour lately and I'd expect a drop in his cap app, due to the high EGR and Bundesliga nearing a close, before picking up again once he hits form, plays in Champions League, Euro's etc.

DIOGO JOTA, for me is a good play for a favourable set of fixtures for Wolves in the short term. Bernard has not earned any Divs and Coman perhaps also could fall out of favour for a while.

FORWARDS – SECOND STRIKER/WINGER

MESSI won the first Gold Day back but actually has high PEG figures, due to the lack of capital appreciation since the season started but he has the highest Top3 PB averages across all forwards (surprise!) at 323.7. The lack of cap app while someon earns a lot of Divs is always a slight worry, especially as a player gets closer to retirement. For me, a very clear strategy for topping-up with favourable fixtures works very well in this situation, his yields are through the roof across media, PB and IPD, but you need to have an exit strategy and remember that he may drop in price again once La Liga ends. 54% of his media comes on matchdays, and when there are later games (as there were at the weekend), expect him to pick up media the day after, as he also just did when winning media yesterday off the back of his PB/Star win.

NEYMAR is behind the likes of Werner and Ronaldo when it comes to Top-3 averages but it's clear that his Div returns are amazing. His cap app will likely pick up as Ligue 1 is set to resume, will then probably start returning Divs and become better value. Only 29% of his media comes on matchdays, so he could be a good hybrid play.

MEMPHIS DEPAY has the best overall PEG figures. No media as such but he is definitely one to be interested in when Ligue 1 looks set to return.

INSIGNE is not a player I have looked at much, his spread is wide enough but clearly he can produce big scores and possibly is another for a fixture/ipd approach.

DYBALA is one of the youngest here, so it's encouraging to see such good scores already.

Again there is a lack of Premier League players here but Richarlison, Pepe and Rashford are not too far off.

MIDFIELDERS – ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS/WINGERS

JOSIP ILICIC is a PB/IPD machine. His yields are superior to Messi, although he is the closest to him, in terms of Average Top-3 PB scores. I'd be looking for a favourable set of fixtures for him, it's notable that he has far better cap app than Messi, so he has very positive PEG's and looks lowly priced.

JADON SANCHO is clearly amazing, considering he is jut 20, and already up there with the big boys. He has appeal across the board, particularly so with media. Only 18% of his media comes on matchdays, indicating he is an excellent Hybrid play. 

I honest can't wait to see COUTINHO get a transfer and start to get regular gametime, preferably to a big EPL team. For me, his figures hold up very well and he also has media appeal with transfer spec. He is probably in his prime age right now, so hope we get a chance to see him regularly play again soon.

GOMEZ has very little cap app but does have a decent IPD Yield but like PAYET is not the youngest around, but these guys provide good threshold/benchmark scores, that most attacking mids/wingers should be hitting.

No Premier League players again in the Top-5 but Maddison, Grealish and Pulisic are the guys not too far behind with scope for improvement.

MIDFIELDERS – CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Man City have two of the Top-5 central midfielders. KEVIN DE BRUYNE I think is one of those players who could move on if Man City European ban is upheld, so he may get some more media. His raw figures are impressive and on balance he is about the best PB central midfielder with IPD's rewarding a regular top-up/dividend re-investment plan.

DANIEL PAREJO is another solid returner, although he lacks the IPD appeal of De Bruyne, so I'd focus more on fixtures with him.

RODRI is the youngest of this group so it's impressive he is hitting such high numbers. His spread is also reasonable and he could have continued cap app growth potential.

PJANIC and BROZOVIC are next best, although perhaps face tougher competition from more attack-minded midfielders.

MIDFIELDERS – DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS/WINGBACKS

Lots of people have been commenting about JOSHUA KIMMICH and his failure to close the deal on some days, but he is the highest rated of the defensive midfielders, but as we can see, only 29th across all midfielders. Now, that will improve as he will naturally, I believe become more attacking, and he is also only 25, so other older midfielders will start to age and present him with more opportunities as he hits his prime age. The Yield and IPD are about the best of the bunch from this lot. 

OTAVIO SANTOS is really interesting from a PB perspective with a huge 21.4% yield and he is closest to Kimmich with a big gap to the others. 

PULGAR is the only other who has earned any Divs/IPD's – so we can see these defensive mids are ‘generally' perhaps not the best IPD plays.

Closest Premier League players are Fabinho at Liverpool and Kante at Chelsea.

MIDFIELDERS – FULL BACKS

I still don't understand why some full backs are classed as midfielders on FI.

GUERREIRO is standout here, with excellent PB and IPD yields. 

HAKIMI is also excellent and 5 years younger, perhaps has more toom for growth, Both have excellent PEG figures too but may struggle to challenge against the big boys.

The others make limited appeal from a small dataset.

MIDFIELDERS – SECOND STRIKER/WINGER

So, again this is an interesting category that I'm not 100% convinced about, as we can see only 1 in the Top-5 has a PB win to his name.

As we can see there are very few PB winners here, with SUSO being the exception. These guys look good for IPD's though, with excellent Yields across the board. They lack the EGR% and scores to win midfielder PB but it's worth seeing what Reus and Hazard have achieved in IPD%, noting young talent like Orsolini and McNeil in the Premier League for possible future IPD Divs.

DEFENDERS – CENTRE BACKS

VAN DIJK stands out in this category, with excellent MB, PB and IPD returns but Centre Back's in general will likely always struggle against their Full Back counterparts, as can be seen with the others ranked 7th, 8th, 14th and 16th overall. They may have those big days, but they need some kind of cap app appeal or Div thread. 

DAN-AXEL ZAGADOU is only 20, so the fact he is hitting such high scores, despite missing a chunk of the season, is really promising.

PAVARD is the standout here from a Yield perspective, just 24, in one of the best teams in Europe and the only one with a decent PEG figure for both PB and IPD. 

MARQUINHOS is another in France. Were he to start getting some cap app, I'm sure we would see more positive PEG's as his Yields are excellent.

The other Premier League centre backs are Soyuncu at Leicester and Maguire at Man Utd.

DEFENDERS – FULL BACKS

First thing you notice here is that the best full-backs are in the EPL. The second is the difference in spreads between Premier League and the Bundesliga, indicating where sentiment is right now.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD is top of the pile, also a good hybrid play as less than 50% of his media has come on Matchdays. He has great figures across the board and is still excellent value at £9.54.

The price and spread and yields of PHILLIP MAX, says to me – “Bid at the bottom of the spread” – these guys are out of favour and I think averaging down at the lower price points is a good strategy for pound-cost averageing, as you can pick up more shares at a discount and reap the rewards when Bundesliga returns and prices start to rise again.

BEN CHILWELL is the next youngest here and has good figures across the board, same for his teammate RICARDO PEREIRA. 

The Yields on HALSTENBERG indicate a simimar strategy with Max could payoff here, although his scores are a little lower.

Other Premier League full backs of note include Robertson and Alonso.

DEFENDERS – GOALKEEPERS

I have to take a look at Goalkeepers, if not for the reason that they ‘may' have some future value if any of the rules or Matrix changes, so it's best to be prepared. 

As you can see, the highest scoring goalkeeper GOMIS doesn't even make it into the Top-50 of defenders. He does have good PB and IPD Yields with positive cap app and PEG's.

The only guy that comes close or RAJKOVIC, who has excellent figures across the board. 

I feel something has to be done with keepers, to make them more appealing, as you can see the EGR is poor.

I really like the IPD of SOMMER, and a strategy could be possible with a favourable run of fixtures but that may be offset somewhat by a drop in cap app and commission. 

TOP YOUTH

There is a lot of focus and capital appreciation on young players lately, especially so with those 23yo and younger. So, I thought it would be fun to rank top-players across the board, apart from Goalkeepers to give us a decent list of 40 young players, already hitting decent average Top-3 PB scores. 

So, we can see that these are very much reflected in the player's prices at the top of the index. My approach is basically to buy into PB performers, that have returned Divs and also I'm looking at fixture strategy and IPD's to buy into the others, and top-up once they start returning PB Divs. 

I'd also focus on those in the highest scoring positions, like Full Backs for defender category, Attack Mids and Central Midfielders for the midfield position and Centre Forwards and Second Striker/Wingers for the Forward category.

I've highlighted all these players I believe are worth buys in yellow, to provide full diversification across all positions and leagues. 

SUMMARY

It could be worth having a tracking mechanism, such as a League table and updating each month, to see who is producing the goods. It may not be the right time to do this at the moment, but is certainly one approach that could be used, as well as having minimum benchmark scores in each Category, say the lowest average for the 5th ranked player in each category, to help identify those that come close. It could even be combined with Peak Age per position, to measure future potential growth%'s and using Fixture Analysis for timing and when to invest/top-up ahead of favourable fixtures for players with rock-solid IPD Yields. Any media appeal is a nice bonus.