Risk profiling: what kind of FPL manager are you?

On our latest pod  we talked in depth about risk and how it can impact your behaviour as an FPL manager.  During that section, I spoke about how investor typologies used in the financial services industry through risk profiling can be applied to FPL.

During the pod I posed a question to count the number of hits you’ve taken this season so you can assess what kind of FPL manager – in terms of taking risks – you are.

Risky business

This season, Tom has stayed true to form in being more of a gambler than me in FPL, whereas I have generally taken a more cautious approach.

This is borne out by the fact Tom’s taken 12 hits (48 points lost) this season so far, compared to a more modest 4 hits (-16 points) for me.

You can see right away a difference in playing styles just looking at that one metric, which got me thinking about risk and how it is understood – particularly in my professional environment – can be also applied to FPL.

Risk profiling is used in the financial services industry particularly when investors are choosing a portfolio of assets.

A couple of examples include:

  • A cautious investor wants to play it safe and not be exposed to anything beyond low risk, so something like a tracker fund or investing in a big established corporation like Apple would be attractive to them
  • An aggressive investor on the other hand prefers to live dangerously, investing in more volatile assets such as cryptocurrencies or unproven startup companies

This modelling of risk profiling can be applied to FPL, using the volume of hits taken to identify what kind of category you fit in to.

Before moving on to the next bit, count up the hits you’ve made so far and I’ll categorise you – based on the number of hits you have made – into a certain “FPL risk profile”.

Our FPL risk profiles

We have defined 4 different types of risk profile in FPL.

(I have added an extra one in given some of the feedback from the pod as there seem to be many more extreme risk takers than I first thought!)


0-4 hits (0-16 points burned)

The more conservative (small c) FPL risk profile, this type of manager is:

  • Less likely to gamble with transfers, instead preferring sensible swaps if a player is ruled out
  • More likely to sit tight and keep faith in players they’ve invested in – even if they’re going through a bad patch
  • Very seldom making moves before the press conferences have concluded
  • Always looking to mitigate risk by captaining highly owned played like Salah and Kane
  • Likely to be avoiding mercurial and inconsistent players like Hazard in favour of steadier performers


5-8 hits (20-32 points burned)

Possibly the majority of players would be in this risk profile, who are FPL managers that:

  • Take the odd gamble, but not too frequently
  • Own heavy-hitters and widely owned smaller assets in their squad
  • Are less likely to make a transfer early in the week, preferring to wait until the deadline
  • Will often default to Salah or Kane captain, but could be tempted into a small gamble like a City player instead
  • Might own an Aguero, an extra City mid or be doubled up defence as a calculated gamble which is only moderately risky


9-14 hits (36-56 points burned)

Tom fits into this category of risk profile, joining managers who tend to be:

  • Likely to gamble on emerging differentials not yet in the template
  • Planning routes to high value but low owned differentials like Sanchez as they become viable
  • More likely to make early transfers to gain/avoid losing value – even if it is breaking the Charlie Austin rule (i.e. don’t transfer in a player who has an interim fixture before the next Gameweek… Tom is guilty of breaking this at least once this season!)
  • Aware of the risk that incoming assets won’t outscore who they’re replacing, but willing to hedge bets on a punt costing -4 or more
  • Rarely in possession of 2FTs
  • Owners of one or two low owned players


15+ hits (60 points+ burned)

I didn’t realise before saying it but it seems like there are a few people out there who fit into this hyper hitting category, who tend to be:

  • Gambling frequently when purchasing new players, trying to be the “first mover” in purchasing emerging assets ahead of the curve
  • Never in possession of 2FT – a minor miracle if so
  • Frequently be doing transfers early knowing there’s a risk of injury so they catch rises and/or don’t lose value
  • Always chasing the next big thing, meaning that faith in their players in a rare commodity
  • Having three or more <5% effective owned players in their squad


So there you have it: the 4 types of FPL risk profiles.

Interested to see what kind of profiles you guys fall in to so please let us know!

A caveat worth mentioning is that I’m not saying any risk profile I mention above is better than the other: it’s very much about how you play the game as an individual and manage your side which is down to you. Success in FPL never necessarily depends on the risk profile you sit in, much as the success of investments can rise or fall depending on portfolio progress.

Credits for images:

Board image: Jasohill on Flickr

Dice: pixabay

All icons obtained under creative commons via the noun project

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