What is The Algorithm?

The Algorithm is a statistical spreadsheet tool developed by our resident statistician Carl Weeks. It uses various spread betting odds and expected bonus points to determine the expected FPL points for each player. It can be applied to help select captains, plan transfers and predicting who will be the highest scoring defender, midfielder or striker over a set amount of weeks (and more!). 

In this new mini-series, Carl will be using the tool to see who it selects to be the best 11 players for  Double Gameweek 32 – ideal for those using the Free Hit Chip.


The first major double Gameweek has arrived, which is like Christmas for many FPL managers who are now playing their Free Hit chip. This is second article on how to use the algorithm to select a team for using the free hit chip in GW 32.

As the free hit chip is only used for a single week, it would make most sense to maximise the quality of your starting 11 and minimising the value on the bench. For this article, I assume that you fill your bench with a total value of £16.5m and so can spend £85m (assume have some value in your current squad) on the starting 11.

The prediction tool generates fantasy points on expected goals a team will score in a match. For the current week spread-firms estimates are used, but future ones are based on my own rating system. For the double Gameweek, the spread-firms only have prices available for the first set of matches.

Setting up the prediction tool

The first stage is to open the prediction tool and go to the page “User dashboard”. Here ensure cell C2 is set to “FPL” and cells C5:C6 are set to 33 and 34 (the tool is a week ahead of the FPL Gameweek, hence 33 instead of 32).

The players with the highest expected scores for the Gameweek, appear for each position. The second list of players is ordered based on points per £m instead of just points. I suggest opening a blank spreadsheet (

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) and copy and paste the value of these tables (followed by copy paste-special formats – or format the cells yourself), you should have something like:

Initial team selection

To aid the creation of a team I have built a spreadsheet (

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), where the values above have been copied across. For each player there is a select option where a zero represents not selected and a one represents being selected. The first step would be to select the expected highest scoring keeper and the ten expected highest scoring outfield players. This gives:

There is a message in the spreadsheet (just below C17) that lists Chelsea and Man City as having more than 3 players. We are also currently over budget.

Iteration to meet the player constraint

Our aim is to maximum the expected score of our starting 11. The above achieves this objective but breaks the constraint of only three players from a single team, but also considerable over budget.

The next stage is to remove a Chelsea player that minimises the impact of the expected score. For this we look at the lowest pts/£ Chelsea player for each position and look at the options available:

This is Kepa in goal at 1.6 pts/£, though can only be replaced by a keeper with a worse pts/£, so will ignore for the time being.

Hazard is the lowest pts/£ for outfield players. Due to the current 3-5-2 formation he can be exchanged with any position. The highest pts/£ for non-selected out field players is Schlupp.

Next Chelsea player to go is Rudiger, ignoring Man City and Chelsea players, then next player on the list is Deulofeu. Giving:

This still breaks the budget constraint and has four Man City players.

Currently, we have a 3-5-2, so Aguero could swap with a forward or defender, or Sane could swap with a midfielder. If Aguero swapped with Deeney the pts/£ would increase from 1.1 to 1.3, however if he swapped with Lindelof (not Bailey, Saiss, or Jones as doubt will play) the metric increases from 1.1 to 1.5, so a better option. The only other option would be Sane to Milivojevic so the pts/£ increases from 1.3 to 1.4. So the best of the three options is to replace Aguero with Lindelof. This would give us a team of:

All constraints have now been met. However, we are under our £85m budget so can search to see if there is any way we can spend the spare £1.4m to increase the total points. A quick glance sees we can swap Deulofeu to Milivojevic for:

There is still some money left within my budget, but can’t find a better place to allocate funds, so can be used to strengthen the bench.

Tweaking team given expected minutes

The above is a starting point to creating your team or a method to reach the starting point. Each player will have different budgets and may feel that some of the above may not play. Below are three different scenarios. However, I’m happy to provide more if you leave comments below.

1. Removing Alonso

Alonso has missed a few games recently, so would rather not risk him in my team. I would, therefore, have him to be the first player removed from the iteration process which would be as follows:

And team of

2. Final Algorithm XI

Not only do I have concerns with Alonso, I have doubts on both Sane and Silva given all the City matches. These three will be the first out in the iteration process as follows:

By using my own knowledge to take expected minutes into account, this would give a final Algorithm XI of:

3. All out attack version

Not only do I have the concerns above, but I have doubts over Luiz and want all the big hitters Kane, Aguero, Rashford, Sterling Pogba and Hazard. These players will be ignored when going through the iteration process and the first feasible iteration will bring in Rashford, so the iteration will be:

With such constraints on having a powerful attacking force, it has been difficult to be within budget and needed to weaken the defence considerably.

The forecast expected points for the fist two scenarios are very close to the initial version all scoring around 117 points. The power attack scenario is considerably worse at 106 points, though obviously could make the game a bit more fun and you never know with a bit of luck it could still outscore the other scenarios.


My own selection?

My team is currently similar to the Algorithm XI, though I also have doubts regarding Luiz, so my iteration process went:


Even though my team may not be optimal, I’m content to forgo players that I think are non-selection risks. Looking at the team I’m very happy in the quality. Being a Palace fan I’m proud to see two of my boys make the line-up and will give them an extra cheers at Selhurst.

I hope you have found this useful and good luck in the coming game week.


The Algorithm

If you’d like to play around with the Carl’s algorithm yourself, please use the link below.

The Algorithm – FPL & Sky Prediction & Planning Toolkit


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