Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Drogba Dilemma

There have been some excellent posts in the comments & chat in the chat room regarding the game's top scorer; specifically by those who still own him at 10.66. The dilemma people are facing is whether to hang on to Didier Drogba during the African Cup of Nations, where he is likely to miss 4 Chelsea games.

Now, I had already assumed that I would sell him as I didn't think I could afford to take 4 weeks of zeros, but J Dunn & The Tigers have looked at the stats in detail & come up with some very interesting analysis.

Below is J.Dunn's, but Tigers was just as good. Thanks to both of you (+ Dave for giving the idea for this post):
...will Drogba score enough points the rest of the way (after his return) to cover off 4 weeks of zero, compared to the scores you could get during those 4 weeks PLUS the rest of the way?

Well, quite possibly. He's scored 83 more points than the next-best player in the game so far. And, for those of us who have him for 10.66, he's scored far, far more than the next-best player available under 12.00 at this point. Bent, Yayga, and Saha are the reasonable possible replacements, assuming you can dredge up an extra 2-3 units, which would be difficult for me right now and probably require a downgrade to a filler elsewhere.

When he leaves, there will be 18 games left. Assuming he misses 4, he has 14 games left to score when he comes back. If he averages the 18 points he is now the rest of the way, that's 252. If you get Yayga's production of 11 per game (Bent and Saha are only 9.5 per) out of the full 18 games, that's only 198, and you're likely paying more for it too. So, yeah, it's totally defensible, because Drogs is just that good this year.

But, it's by no means a lock. Maybe you pick really well in that slot and luck into some Keane or Defoe-like huge weeks, and are able to average significantly more than 11 a week. Or maybe a great new player comes in at transfer prices and scores on a level close to what Drogs did(but nothing's keeping Drogs owners from adding them too, of course.) Or maybe Drogs drops off form, or gets injured. But if he does keep anywhere near that pace and people you are up against hold him @ 10.66, you'll be very, very hard pressed to keep up with them those last 14 weeks. It'd be like having to compete against people who own C.Ron for 10 units in years past, which was never even a remote possibility. He is by far the must-own player in the league this year, which has been disguised a bit because everyone has owned him relatively cheaply. Once you have to pay full price to own him and be able to keep pace, things get quite a bit more difficult.
This is very good information & it certainly gives me something new to think about. I'm still 60/40 in favour of dropping him, but before it was 90/10.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on the subject...

UPDATE: Chelsea's official website states Drogba is doubtful for the Portsmouth game tomorrow with a back injury sustained in training this morning. Bad times.



Anonymous said...

unless something catastrophic happens to Drogs, i am keeping him. i currently have Rooney and Defoe in my team and thats enough to reassure me for the weeks of Drogs absence.

I love said...

Need to factor in the YC he'll inevitably receive, so chalk-off a game for that. Also, this info presumes a totally fit Drogba for the entire season – unlikely. And I'm not sure suggesting a generic replacement (like Saha, etc) paints the whole picture, the big advantage is flexibility. For me he goes, no question.

L'Orange Noir said...

I have him at 13 rather than 10 but am still unsure whether to drop him - probably still will because it will be more fun if I do rather than having a 'dead' slot for 4 weeks and I'm hardly in a position to win anything so fun is good :-)

Anonymous said...

i'll probably sell him, esp if can get anelka to replace him. i beleive the games he'll miss are very winnable ,so that also suggests that there's tougher run of games due when he does come back. S.P.

Ban said...

D.Drogba will miss next 4 games in EPL?
I'ss sell him cause I does not have him at 10 or 12++..

Anonymous said...

I'm still in favour of selling - with a 4 game absence you are looking at his price coming down to about 16 which should make him affordable when he does return, while in the meantime having someone like Rodellega or Saha clocking up some much needed points thru January. As I Love pointed out, 10.6 gets you a half decent midfielder should you want to go down that route too. And finally I've got to agree with the Dark Orange - it's no fun having a dead slot for 4 consecutive weeks, when you can have hours of entertainment picking around the points instead.

Paphos Toffee

Afif said...

I know Anelka will be a very good alternative..and I wont mind buying back Drogba at a premium price because in Spanish La Liga FF the players cost double then Drogs does but then agian its La Liga and its not the same as EPL.

Ian Sanderson said...

Looking at averages doesn't tell the whole story. Without Drogba we can look at match ups and select different players.
Other factors are the YC plus possible injuries, also the January window could bring in some fresh meat.
I have him at 10.66 and am trying to convince myself.

Seal said...

Paphos Toffee,

The price of players in YFF doesn't drop if they miss their games.. it only drops when they play but dont do well... Example: Van Persie.. his price is still 19+ and will be that throughout the season..

Im not saying keep Drogba, just wanted to rectify that his price wouldn't drop due to him missing the games during ACN :)

greginho said...

i will keep him unless he struggles or gets injuried before then. if he gets injured at the ANC, then i will do the same. there is always a chance it will only be 3 games, too, if his team doesn't win it all. i have struggled lately picking trendy players or chasing the points too often. any player for me that is that consistent has more value in my team. i don't like the forwards at that price and everytime i have went 3/5/2, i have struggled.

Kernal_Panic said...

What about this scenario...

You keep Drogs, and start to tumble a bit, taking the hit and thinkng that he'll come back the same. He returns, and does not score the 15 or so he's averaging for a couple of games.
The question is are you cool enough not to sell him after that, and start trying to chase the pack again?
When things start to go wrong we all point chase and make desparate decisions. An example is a guy in my private league. He held onto Torres through his recent injury, but now I'm nearly 150 points ahead of him, and the rest of the league are closing onto his position. How long can he go before he has to act?
Ok if Torres gets back to his old ways, he'll have an advantage on the rest of us... but what if he doesn't?
It's a real gamble. The maths might say different, but there are so many factors, and variables that you can not take into account.
I've already dropped him, and I say good luck to the one's who have held on. Hope you can catch me...

DownSouth said...

Lots of variables to consider, but Drogs just completely outperforms by earning 1.68 pts/dollar or pound value, while the other top 22 forwards only earn 0.73 pts/pound or dollar.

So if you sell drogba and choose 1 of the other top 22 forwards, based on averages, we can assume those 42 pts over 4 weeks that you have to play with by selling Drogba (10.66 * 4 = 42.64) will only yield 31 pts (42.64 * 0.73 = 31.12 pts) on average by picking another player. So mathematically, yes, keep Drogs...no question.

Now, even if you are convinced by the math, the other hurdle is the idea of quiting Drogba cold turkey. We are so used to the easy pts from Drogba that it may be tough for some not getting those 72 pts (18.00 * 4 = 72 pts). So it may not feel like you are just losing 31 pts to the competition, but that you are losing 72 becuase you aren't getting Drogba's easy pts anymore. Of course, you would have to convince yourself that Drogba is the meal ticket that will benefit you tremendously every week for 4 months when he returns (assuming no injuries, etc).

So there it is...it's not really worth while giving up such a huge Drogba discount. I'll take that zero for 4 weeks to get the advantage for the following 14 weeks. The question is, can you take the month long set back for the expected big payoff later on?????

The fact that many others seem to be leaning toward dropping him could make it that much sweeter....

Anonymous said...

The number of points isn't the only factor that changes the prices of players, so technically, Drogba's price might drop even if it's supposed not to if he doesn't play. Other things that effect prices are the performances of the oppositions ahead, the average scoring and price, and the number of people holding the players. If you go to RvP's page, you'll see that for the last 4 weeks only a few have dropped him, and because of that his price remains the same.
If during Drogba's ANC spell many players will drop him, and I mean a drop to about 10-20% or even 30%, his price will drop heavily. It probably won't go as far as 10.66mil, but I guess to about 15-16mil.
I believe that Ivory Coast will go at least to the semi-finals, and maybe more, and that should keep Drogba from those 4 games anyway. Chelsea are already underperforming since the @Arsenal match, and without Drogba, Essien and Obi it will be much harder for them. I can see how Chelsea stumble a bit in January, and when Drogba returns he's expected to meet Arsenal, Everton and ManC within four league matches, and also meet the improving Wolves away. He might be injured, lose form, or sink into poor morale if Chelsea do stumble without him. Right now he looks like one of not many bright spots at the bridge.
If I keep him for 4 weeks, and then when he returns for another 3 weeks just to see if he's really out of form, it can be fatal for my YFF season. Many players, including Drogba, Toure and Essien, have lost their great form during the ANC for a while. Another argument - similar to the choice AM made not picking Fabregas for the match against Spurs, I don't like to see him putting another show against Arsenal.
Risks should be taken in this game, but not that big. I'm dropping Drogba, and may he break his glorious leg in Africa.

Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmess to all!

Jimbo said...

Agree with Ian - look at the games. During those 4 weeks, you could have Anelka @HUL, SUN, BIR and @BUR; or Rooney @BIR, BUR, HUL and @ARS (ok, 3 out of 4); or Defoe @LIV, HUL, FUL, and @BIR (3 out of 4 depending on LIV's mental state and BIR's resiliency at home).

I haven't done the math on re-acquiring Drogba in time to host ARS or later on, but the schedule will have an impact on my thinking.

And AM - great job on the blog.

Anonymous said...

1) The ANC is very physical and it'd be difficult for Drogba to come back unscathed.

2) Also, schedule-wise he will miss 4 games, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ancelotti rest him for one or two more games when he comes back.

3) He is now eligible to play in the CL. So he won't spend all his energy in the league like in the first half of the season. Expect some rotations, especially since Ancelotti has hinted that he will be looking for a striker in the winter market.

For me it's 100% drop.

markygoods said...

So the general consensus is that keeping Drogs is a gamble, which I agree with completley, however, knowing this I still feel I will keep him. Even if he returns at 75% of his current output on return he'll still be a must have for managers. If so, then there will be an advantage to those who kept him. Obiously this is a big IF and a risky move but....we'll just have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...


Firstly thanks for the feedback :)

I'm not exactly sure what the criteria are for price changes but SF's comments tend to mirror what I was thinking. Having said that for me it's just a gut feeling based on playing the game for a few years that he might return from the ANC at a more affordable price, while only having 10 players for four weeks could cost a lot of points. But ultimately it's another part of the gamble you have to take, I guess.

Love this game!

Paphos Toffee

Doctor Teeth said...

I begrudgingly plan to drop Drogs. Good analysis by everyone re: justification for holding on to the dynamo for the duration of the ANC but some decisions in YFF can be overanalyzed...for my money, I just have a hard time supporting the decision to spend 10.66/week for a month with a guarantee of no return. To draw an analogy, if Drogs got a straight red card, how many of us would drop him? And the ANC lay-off is likley to be even longer.

He could get injured in Africa, Ancelotti could rest him for additional games upon his return, he could get injured upon his return to Prem action (not including last year when he was not favored by Scolari, he has missed around 10 games/season on average during his time with the Blues...he has only missed one thus far this year), he could tail off and lose his Ballon d'Or-worthy form, etc. Too many variables in the "don't hold him" column.

Having said that (sorry Larry David), I think the one factor that really needs to be considered by each manager - and may be the one overarching variable that carries the day on this debate - is where each of our teams are in the standings of our private leagues at the end of this month. If any of us have built up a bit of a cushion, dropping Drogs is probably a little more platable. If not, doing so could cause sleepless nights and indigestion.

AM - will one of the weeks of the Blog Cup or the Challenge fall during the ANC?

In any event, I think this dilemma is great for YFF...it's going to shake things up a bit and cause some drama in the second half of the season. Kind of like Tuncay x 1,000,000. :)

Psyched for the games today and tomorrow - what's better than midweek Prem action!?!? COME ON MTAY AND ROONEY!!!!

Fidan said...

I loooove midweek action

Fidan said...

I expect BIG performances from Rooney and esp MTAY, too...!!!

Tonight, waiting on: Jussi,RoJo,MTay,Reid,Rooney and Chucho and...(all BIG guns imo)
Tomorrow: Verm,Bass,Eagles,Ballack and Drogs (apart from Ball/Drogs, very tricky 5, tomorow)


Anonymous said...

Drog doubtful for Portsmouth game!!!!!!!!????



Doctor Teeth said...

Oh - that would really suck if Drogs doesn't play. Wow, that's a timely piece of news given this blog thread!! Drop him!!!!! :)

MH said...

'..We had a problem this morning in training with Drogba, he took a knock on his back and I don't know if he can play tomorrow, but Alex and Kalou return. I don't want to change a lot of players for tomorrow,' Ancelotti said, adding on Drogba: 'We have to control his condition and will take a decision. I think that he can play.'

Need further confirmation before droping him!!

Anonymous said...

If Ancelotti still thinks he can play tomorrow, the worst thing that can happen is that he'll be back only for the weekend. No panic needed, wait until tomorrow or to Friday at least.


Bojan said...

Best scenario: on stands tomorow, 5th YC before ANC, and Ivory Coast winning the ANC...

I sold Drogba when he misses first game... Not happy about it now but if my best scenario becomes reality then my decison was right...

Anonymous said...

@ J.Dunn & Tiger

Excellent work...
Thanks alot...

@ Post

I agree, keeping Drogba in your team during ANC is a big gamble, but its just matter of 4 games, lets consider hez out for 6 games(due to injury/rest), he will still be availabe for 12 games according to the calculation done by my friends above.

Another option Or kind of wierd suggestion is to buy Anelka, u keep Drogba in your team as well as buy Anelka for those easy games(@HUL, SUN, BIR and @BUR) when Drogba will be out at ANC, Anelka will definatly score some good points.

If u already have any one from likes of Rooney/Defoe/HRod/Tevez/Torres(if fit and playing) in your team,you dont have to worry much, u can take this risk...

I will take final decision next week,most probably i will hold him...

Waiting for your opinion friends n AM !!!


bean said...

@Paphos/SF - there is no way Drogba's price will come down to 15-16, his avg. per game is 18. If he doesn't play, his avg. will not change. I know there's always little fluctuations based on other players performance, but that is wishful thinking that his price will come down to that level, much less come down at all..

Richy 'liverpool' said...

i have to drop Drogba, because in the end a large proportion of this game is luck. I can predict favourable matchups, player values, and a variety of things, but in the end you have to pick the right players at the right time to be the very best at this game. I am always in the top 1% but the guys who beat me are the ones who pick the right longshots. Having drogba not playing for 4 weeks gets me nothing, the really good players will get a great replacement in who scores really well. To make the decision on the assumption that drogba will continue his red hot form through the rest of the season is i think a weak basis. Maybe torres will get fit and start scoring for fun again. Maybe man city click and start getting the results their players warrant. In the end, you need to have luck, and having a guy not play for weeks is taking you out of the top tier and putting you into the safe, well performing bracket - good but not the best. The best players wont miss drogba.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the arguments on Drogba. A couple of thoughts on this type of star player stuff from my experiences this year.

I had him at 10.66 for the first 11 weeks of the season, then dropped him in week 12 when he was out and it was a double week for a few teams. It was a big gamble and I've regretted the decision ever since. He's too expensive now and I'd have to drop too many other people at big discounts to get him back.

In week 13, I picked up Rooney just before the big jump in price after his 33 point day. When he was rumored to be injured in the middle of last week, I dropped him to get Anelka, probably a knee-jerk reaction when I could have waited an extra day or two to make that decision. It isn't hurting this week so far, but I'm expecting Rooney to go crazy for the next month and I won't be able to afford him without losing multiple discounted players now.

In a bit of rambling, I think the point I was trying to make is to take as much time as you possibly have in dealing with the elite superstars. Rash or early decisions have always backfired on me. There is still almost a month until the African Nations, be patient.

Cech's Mates

Andy Squires said...

Drogba will play tomorrow as Acelotti will want ot win this game with plently of goals to redress the balance.
Also you can't drop him for tomorrow (as some suggest). If the unthinkable happens and he doesn't play then all well and good he will be rested for the weekend.
I can't see the problem.
I am sticking with him through thick and thin. he has helped me to my place in my private league (not quite top yet - but getting there).
A keeper - stop meesing about you all know it.

Andy Squires said...

Sory for the typos - blame the wine.

Anonymous said...

milner or valencia for barndoor?

Anonymous said...

For non-drogba owners, the best scenario is he plays tomorrow and got his fifth yellow.

Kellz said...

Good start to the 2nd round of games. Rooney goal plus lots of SOT, Valencia goal, Gibson played the entire match albeit a YC, and Larsson added some good points today again. Bent disappointed but will probably reach his value and Samuel didn't play at all.

Kranj, Verm, Bassong, Almunia, Drogba left

azri gadafi said...

how can we predict a players form?i disagree.. we choose a player who will play for certain,have a good game,good chance to score,thats it..the point that matters..by holding to drog,means that we will definitely lose some points too..i'll have it at 10 and will sell it..anelka is the man..

Anonymous said...

pretty decent beginning of the second week. COuld have been much better. R johnson had a a decent amoount of shots blocked etc hart had a few saves and a win chucho and larsson should have both scored but oh well(an assist for chucho at least). And , finally, a hunch payed off lee scored and seemd to get a fair few phantom points. :)

gman26 said...

As someone who doesn't own Drogba, I am imploring you to keep him. This is a lesser example but I remember having Elano two years ago for like 6 or 7. He went nutty in November and December and then got hurt. I held onto him and held onto him because I had him at a +8 discount. He eventually came back 4-5 weeks later. I can't remember if he got hurt or just didn't play well again, but he never recaptured that form. Obviously Drogba is a superior player playing on a superior team, but there is a lesson to be learned. You can't predict the future as well as you can the present.

I'll intone Col. Nathan Jessup from A Few Good Men, "I'm an educated man but I can't speak to the post-ANC scoring potential of Didier Drogba. Maybe he'll come back and put up CRon numbers. Maybe he'll get scythed down by an angry Angolan who slices his achilles tendon open. Maybe he'll get a red card in his first game back after punching a referee. What I do know is he is set to leave his club for the ANC soon. Certainly you have more than Saha's or Yagya's points per game. These fantasy teams lives are on the line. Are we clear?"

Caleb said...

I am still holding Drogba for $10.66, but I am definatelty dropping him in Jan, reason:

1. 4 games (or may be more, depends on his situation after the ACN) without a point for $10.66, which I can get a relatively OK striker (Bent, Benitez, etc.) for average 5 points per game, at least. As a matter of fact, I will probably buy Anelka for about $5 more when Drogba is out.

2. The average point of YFF only banks you the points IF he is playing EVERY game AND you have him EVERY week. Fabio of Man U have an average point of 15, but he played for only 1 game. Will you keep him in your whole season? I know this is an extreme case but I hope you all get my meaning.

3. You can still pick Drogba back when he is back! He will become an normal expensive striker (like Defoe, Rooney, Torres, etc.) but not a one that you will hold him forever. Will you hold Defoe in your whole season? I doubt not. You will only buy him when he is at home vs lower ranking teams; but you try to avoid him when he against the big 4, right? So it will be the same case for Drogba for me in the last 14 weeks.

Anonymous said...

what if he goes to ACN and ivory coast does not qualify for the knockout round? will he still miss 4 games for chelsea?

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: If the Ivory Coast is knocked out early then no he will not miss 4 games. He will return to start for Chelsea

@Caleb: This debate is a tough one. However I think your logic is a bit off to me. First off, Drogba will not return to a lower price give or take ~1mil and thats a high estimate. Therefore your looking to pick up Drogba back for ~18-19+ mil. As for your argument on players versus the top 4, Drogba has proven he can compete against any side (Chelsea are top for a reason)

Drogba's breakdown against top competition:
Spurs: 26pts
Liverpool: 20.5pts (no goal)
Villa: 10.5pts
Arsenal: 26.5pts
Utd: 0.5pts

Therefore hes a player you DONT aviod against tougher competion. Not to mention his destruction of teams below 8th place. He is the ultimate conundrum, unmatched in point scoring, giving everyone a real headache. Personally I am 90/10 on keeping him.

bean said...

just for fun, i wanted to experiment with life without Drogba and it got me starting from scratch:


but that would be dropping Drog,Rooney,Giggs,Arshavin,Verm,O'H,Eagles,G.Alex at discounts..
i kind of like the new squad though..

this Drogba analysis is making my head spin.

Anonymous said...

Just because everyone is asking:
Ivory Coast are playing in a group that contains Ghana (rather difficult), Burkina Faso (pretty easy), and Togo (without Adebayor they would've been a joke). Ivory Coast are supposed to qualify, and from the first place - even Ghana is weak compared t them.
Ivory Coast's first game in the group stage is on 11/1, 2 days after Chelsea's match against Hull, so he'll miss that match. If Ivory Coast somehow finishes third or fourth, Drogba will return to England missing only two matches, with Hull and Sunderland.
If Ivory Coast do qualify to the quarter-finals, they'll meet either Angola, Mali, Malawi or Algeria, non of them in the level of Ivory Coast. The quarter-final match will be played on 24/1 - 3 days before Chelsea's match with Brum. I believe that even if Drogba do return to England after that stage, he'll not start at the Brum match due to tireness and a very long flight.
However, if Ivory Coast do pass the quarter-finals, Drogba will miss every game in January - the semi-finals are played on 28/1, only 2 days before Chelsea's match with Burnley.
I personally think that Ivory Coast will get at least to the final due to a very easy draw, but surprises might happen.


Ian Sanderson said...

@anon (above)

"I personally think that Ivory Coast will get at least to the final due to a very easy draw, but surprises might happen."

Wow, at least to the final, eh.

Assistant Manager said...

Hi guys - some excellent points raised & lots for us all to think about. Thanks very much for getting involved.

I'm unable to write my Tuesday Summary until the points are in for last night, & I'm also not comfortable writing my Weekly Player Picks until after tonight's games, so at the moment I'm in limbo! Keep checking back though...


Anonymous said...

Easiest thing to happen in football...in international games esp. After 4 weeks of waiting, he gets injured. Lol...

Caleb said...

@Kellz, this is the same Caleb above replying your post

I somehow agree with you regarding to Drogba's point against the big teams. However, I really think that Drogba's point is not really stable against the big teams (from 26.5 v Arsenal to 0.5 v Man U), which is quite hard to make decision (OK those five matches give you a 16.8 points in average which still worth his price for 10.66, of course). However, I would imagine there will be about 10% of player dropping him (at most, as there are lots of player select 11 players in their team and don't play them until next season), which will make him goes down to about $18, which is marginally affordable. Also, without his $10.66 spare in that 4 weeks, I might not be able to afford Anelka.

Conclusively, I will drop hime for sure. Of course, to drop him or to keep him is both a gamble. Gamble goes to luck. Good luck all players. Have fun!

Benny said...

hey all, what if ivory coast does not qualify to knock out round in ACN? how many games will drogba miss then? still 4?

Post a Comment