FIFA 18 Ones To Watch Investments update, 10 November

Ed. Note: WyseFIFA, who's collaborated previously with FUT Economist and built a growing following of his own, will add some market experise and analysis to what we do at Futhead. Give him a warm FH welcome.

Market Overview

What a week for Ones to Watch investing. Four players all had quality Team of the Week shouts, and many investors are sitting pretty if they sold into the hype. But besides those players, and across the FIFA Ultimate Team market, it’s a bit of a much bleaker picture.

Players are seeing an overall decline, and this decline can be attributed to a variety of factors: mainly Black Friday fears and increased pack rewards (Squad Battles, Squad Building Challenges, and Weekend League). The preceding factors have led to an increased supply of items being sold off in panic, leading to undercutting and price drops. Yet, a silver lining of price decline is that at least items are becoming more affordable. And with an increase in affordability, it might be time to invest in some OTWs. Spending fewer coins can mean lower risk, but you can always use research on the market’s trends.

Important Note: The data/prices will be taken from Xbox One. However, this year, player prices across both consoles seem more similar than ever. If PS4 enthusiasts have feedback, please let us know.

Weekly Returns & Stats

The graph above is a concise overview of all the keypoints from the data I collected over the week (data below). Do not fret if some of the terms are unfamiliar as I will do my best to explain what they are, and how they are significant to the OTW market.

Highs/Lows These figures represent the highest and lowest prices of the items over the week. Note that these can come from any price over the week, so always check the price before listing.

-- Quick take: Looking at the graph above, the highs and lows really reflect how the OTW market has been feeling the effects of the Ultimate Scream crash. With a lot of player hitting extreme lows (i.e. Franck Yannick Kessié, Theo Hernandez), it may be time to buy. Being close to the discard floor limits the coins you can lose. And if they get a TOTW shout, the hype will yield a nice profit, like Bertrand Traoré.

Volatility Volatility (or Standard Deviation) is measured in terms of coins. This statistic is a great way to evaluate the risk, and accordingly reward, of trading/investing in a player item. Generally, higher value players will have higher volatility, but in the case of OTWs, a player who warrants an upgrade can also exhibit large volatility.

-- Quick take: Players in the elite categories like Alvaro Morata, Alexandre Lacazette, and Kylian Mbappe Lottin all have high volatility that could lead to some great quick flips. But those are few and far between. So if you’d rather trade a lot of items, maybe consider a low volatility player, such as Keita Balde Diao or longtime Futhead favorite, Bruma, as you’ll have a better idea of when you've picked up a steal.

Beta Just like volatility, a beta is a measure of risk. However, it examines the item’s relationship to the overall market. To clarify, a negative beta does not mean the item has negative returns. Rather, beta represents the tendency of a item to respond to swings in the market, and the higher the value the greater the expected price shift.

-- Quick take: The crash is affecting pretty much all items, but if you are looking to be safe, players like Leonardo Bonucci, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Serge Aurier seem to be a good places to park your coins (they have betas close to zero). If you think the market will rebound massively, look to the likes of Kyle Walker and Andriy Yarmolenko to be your saviour (high positive betas).

TOTW shout Four players had decent shots at making the TOTW this: Mbappe, James Rodriguez, Mohamed Salah, and Traore. Only three made it. If you played the OTW futures game, hopefully you chose wisely.

In-depth daily analysis

For your sake and mine, every week I will focus some in-depth analysis on a few OTW items highlighting a big winner(s) & big loser. I have provided a snapshot of their daily returns, but will also be referring to some of the statistics in the Weekly Rundown graph. So, let's begin.

Big Winner(s) -- Kylian Mbappe (PSG) & Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

We finally have it. Not one, but three Ones to Watch getting informs means the trends of their prices will now have a precedence. If you have paid attention to recent trends, you’ll notice that the OTW players that received informs have plummeted from their hype price before the TOTW release. So, selling into the hype is perhaps the way to go. That being said though, the players that picked up informs are still trading at prices above their pre-match value.

Let’s start with a man that was a big loser last week: Kylian Mbappe. If you picked up his item at that time, you are looking at around 70-100k profits. Yes, picking up OTW items is always a gamble, but players like the ex-Monaco man are examples of safer bets.

For one, Keita starts most games and this means he has more chances to get that inform, which is also reflected in his modest beta (0.73). Couple that with the fact that there is a ton of hype behind this wonderkid, and you have a player whose price can shoot up drastically if he shows the slightest sign of a positive performance. The preceding point can be reflected in his matchday return 22.7% and his high volatility (~84,765). Yet, keep in mind that volatility means you are playing a high risk/high reward game that could turn into big losses.

One big thing to note: Mbappe has consistently lineup as a RW this season, so it is logical to assume that’s where his informs will be position, but his OTW will remain at ST, making that item even more potentially valuable.

On that topic, Mohamed Salah is a player whose inform is a ST, but his OTW will remain a right winger. Salah has been in scorching form, and if Liverpool ever shore up their defense this man is in for a plethora of special items. Looking at Salah’s weekly round-up stats, he shares that high volatility and modest beta combo seen in Mbappe. So, I will spare you the repetition. However, I want to highlight the possibility that the Egyptian will earn himself a Team of the Group Stage item (TOTGS). Another inform will solidify Salah as an elite option driving his price up even further. Keep this in mind if his price drops.

A quick comment on both players seeing price declines on November 6 and 7th: This trend offers an interesting insight into what time of days are best to sell. The reason for the negative returns is because in the middle of the day more of their items were listed, and this competition drove down price. But, as people stop posting the items to the mark the prices crept back up overnight (less supply).

Big Loser -- Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

Before this week, the “elite” tier of OTW items had been underperforming, and the decline in their prices demonstrate investors distrust. A prime example is the Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku, and in a wide spread market crash his underwhelming performances have led his price off a cliff. As a high coin value player his volatility is high, but over this week it has work against him as his price dropped considerably (roughly 163K).

Another indicator of his large shift is his high positive beta of 1.18, which signifies how his item got caught up in the down turn of the market.

Taking a step back to look at his daily returns, it is important to notice that although his price has gone up from morning to night, his price seems to take a large hit at night. By reviewing this phenomenon an investor can conclude that the demand to buy his item is rather low. Keep in mind, last week Mbappe was a big loser and look where he is now, alas could we see Lukaku in a similar position? He plays for a club in a league that could generate unprecedented hype.

Recap & outlook

To wrap it up, there were some major winners and losers this week in the OTW market. I have been beating a dead horse by saying prices are taking a hit, but I want to stress that lower prices are not always bad. Now that these items are more accessible, traders and investors should consider when their prices will go back up. It’s only the second week of November, and EA definitely have tricks up their sleeves to regulate market prices. Some final quick takes:

-- OTW traders: For smart/quick flips, look to target players in the 30-50k range whose price stays relatively stable. That’ll allow you to know when you got a good deal, while being able to flip with consistency

-- OTW investors: If you have the coins, the elite priced players are continuing to drop. Knowing when the market reaches the bottom is a golden questions, but is it time to take a high risk/high reward gamble?

The main lesson learned from this week was sell into the hype for the best profit. As always, buy low and sell high, but look to the horizon with the uncertainty of Path to Glory & Black Friday looming.

Data

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