skidmark wrote:Sam Oomen (33, 471) - [...] I would say he's my favourite pick in this game, but that is reserved for a rider I haven't gotten to yet; [...]

You're obviously going to say that Valverde is your favourite pick. Since he's my favourite active rider, he's also my favourite pick, even though I didn't pick him myself. But I'm very curious about the merits of that strategy. I stated earlier that I believe my own more balanced strategy will be better. I'm mainly basing myself on historical CQ game data, but also my belief that good mid-range picks will give a better return on average than unreliable cheap picks (especially as the best cheap picks are in my team anyway). But I decided to do some number crunching on this, to see who the maths agree with.

Let's assume that 15000 points will win you the game, which has often been the case. This means that the winning team doubles their points.

Let's remove Valverde (costing 1828 points) from your team, and say you're working with a budget of 5672 points. Double that, and you'll have 11344 points. To get you to 15000, you'll need Valverde to score 3656 points. That's highly unlikely, so by that train of thought, picking him is not a good idea.

But picks in different price ranges will normally contribute with different percentage returns. Cheaper picks will more than double their points, while the more expensive picks will increase less, percentage wise. So a 5672 budget should see a bigger percentage return than a 7500 budget.

To get some data on this, I'm looking at the optimal team for 2017, which comes in at 24851 points. That's 331% of the cost of 7500 points. By running the script with the budget changed to 5672 points I get a team that scores 21962 points, or 387% of the cost. Scaling those numbers back to correspond with a doubling of the 7500 team, we get a score that is 234% of the cost for the 5672 team.

So if your Valverde-less team is game-winning material, it will score 13272 points. Then, to get to 15000, Valverde will need to net you 1728 points.

That means he doesn't even need to break even!!

Now, of course, there are more factors in play here, and I suspect that the real answer lies somewhere in between my two different 'conclusions'. You'll rely on there not being mid-range picks you omitted (to accomodate Valverde) who'll have storming seasons, and who are picked by many others (Alaphilippe or Moscon being a possibility). And there will need to be enough value in the lowest price categories that there are still good picks left who didn't fit into the more 'balanced' teams you are competing against. And you need to find those picks, which often is a lot more difficult than finding good picks among the slightly more expensive riders.

But all in all, it seems like your Valverde strategy has more legs to stand on than I initially believed.