Thursday, October 23, 2008

The season so far . . .

So far its been a pretty successful season, having scored 466 points and lying 620th place after gameweek 8. However, having already used my wildcard to get into the Ronaldo sweepstakes, it is vital that I use my transfers wisely over the coming weeks. A quick look at my team in terms of Points per Million Spent makes interesting reading (I have assumed that I will captain Ronaldo every week):

E.Van der Sar

The big Dutchman has been a great acquisition for me, notching 3 clean sheets in the 3 games I've had him. Indeed he's been great value all season notching 4 clean sheets in the 6 full games he's played. I can't see why he is still 5.9m and I am sure he will rise in value in the next couple of weeks. With United facing only one hard game over the next 5 (@Ars) now is as good a time as any to buy Van der Sar.

I'm pleased with Schwarzer's value and only Myhill (4m) has scored more points for the same value. Sorenson and Turnbull are also decent buys but I don't see the need to switch at this point. A genuine strategy developing right now might be own two of these guys and play based on matchup on a week to week basis. This could free up as much as 2m to spend elsewhere (read: Ronaldo).

Laursen has somehow managed to score the 4th best points total amongst defenders, despite keeping just two clean sheets. This makes him great value as the bonus points and occasional goal will continue to keep his points ticking over. If Villa can get it together at the back, Laursen could easily be the best defender come the end of the season. Needless to say, I'm sticking with him for the foreseeable future.


I’ve only had Alex for one week and he notched a clean sheet so no complaints here. However, he is of course a temporary measure until the return of Carvalho, after which point I must look elsewhere. My initial plan was to get Kompany which has backfired as Kompany has increased in price to the point that I can no longer afford him (5.7). This leaves a serious issue which I will dedicate a separate post to in order to garner advice from everyone.


My love for Armand is well documented and I am in constant disbelief he isn’t held by more players (2.9%). Traore plays on one of the league’s better defenses that have conceded just 3 goals in 6 games since he arrived, excluding the six goal disaster against City. This has translated into 25 points, with only 3 coming from non-defensive points. With Armand getting decent minutes in midfield it is just a matter of time before he starts adding to this assist tally which will make him a dangerous player going forward. It goes without saying that I am holding on to Traore for the foreseeable future.


City’s defense has been a disaster of late, conceding 7 in the last three games. Nonetheless Garrido remains a good buy as you won’t get much better for 4.3m (Bolton and Wigan defenders being the best alternatives). For a player who gets forward well and takes the odd free kick Garrido is worth a look if the matchup is right (such as this week at home to Stoke). I’m not looking for replacements here but if a steal appears I would consider moving Garrido.


Olsson has been hit or miss this season, notching scores of 1, 1, 11, 6 and 0. His matchups coming up aren’t great but for the price (4.1) you’re not going to get any better, save for perhaps John Paintsil. Paintsil intrigues me and with matchups over the next 6 weeks looking decent I may bring him in if my transfer isn’t needed elsewhere.


What can I say? He’s scored 28 in 3 games, 14 in the two I’ve had him. Assuming you captain him every week (which I do and will continue to do so) that equates to a 0.993 PPMS which is extremely healthy. He has only scored 3 bonus points which is either (a) concerning or (b) a sign of even better value to come, depending on your perspective. It would take a serious slump or injury for me to abandon Ronaldo and I only hope the remaining 82.3% players don’t get on the bandwagon anytime soon.


Frank has been the model of consistency for me so far this season and is a close second to Zaki as my MVP to date. He has scored 9 or more points in five of eight games this season, including a mind boggling 16 bonus points. With Chelsea’s defense tightening up (and with players returing from injury) Lampard is almost guaranteed 5 points a week (2 appearance points, 1 clean sheet points and 2 bonus points). When you add in the fact he takes most corners, free kicks and penalties, Lampard is still undervalued at 11.3 and should be held by more than 19.9% of owners that already do.

I was really suprised to see Ashley Young near the bottom of the PPMS list as I considered him one of my best purchases. His 38 points is 7th in midfielders but at 8.5m this isn't an amazingly good return. However, a quick look ahead sees games against Wigan, Blackburn, Newcastle and Boro, all of which should see Villa return to a bit of goal scoring form. After this comes Arsenal and United, which may a decent time to look elsewhere for better value players. At the moment though, Young’s set piece taking have persuaded me to stand pat.


I rate Valencia extremely highly and, unfortunately, I can see him at a bigger club than Wigan, even one of the big four, in the future. It’s a shame he got sent off last week having well played well enough to earn 2 bonus points despite the red card. With 2 goals and 2 assists so far this season he is on course for a nice overall performance. The fixture list is up and down over the coming weeks and I am tempted to move Valencia on in order to replace Alex, hoping to get him back in a couple of weeks. The suspension lasts for just one game, after which Wigan travel to Fulham and Portsmouth. They then get Stoke at home, Newcastle away and then Everton and West Brom at home, a stretch I will certainly want Valencia for. What to do with Valencia is the biggest decision facing my team right now.


Marney is a really decent player and is well worth the points he’s scored so far this year (29). He has yet to score, but has 3 assists on the seasonas well as 3 bonus points. I wouldn’t recommend starting Marney but as a bench option he is excellent value, and has a 0.923 PPMS if you bought him at the start of the season. As with Garrido, I am not seeking a replacement but if a cheaper alternative arose I would consider moving Marney on for a healthy profit.


I have been heard suggesting that Berbatov is one of the top three strikers in the league (with Torres and Drogba) and I would stand by the comments today. He appears to be settling in at United, scoring his first premiership goal last weeks to add to the three he now has in Europe. His partnership with the in-form Rooney looks impressive and should yield plenty of goals and points over the coming weeks. His 2 bonus points are equally important as they show that the writers are also noticing Berbatov’s improved form. The net transfer movement on the year for Dimitar is +133 which suggests he should be valued back to 9.5 at any time, with perhaps a further rise up to around 9.8 over the coming weeks (Everton, West Ham, Hull and Stoke all to come in the next 5 weeks). If my defense needed strengthening in the future the Berbatov may need to be sacrificed for say Defoe or Agbonlahor to free up some cash, but until then, the mercurial Bulgarian is staying put.


The undoubted MVP of the season so far, Zaki has been sensational and is now owned by a league leading 34% of all players. I was really fortunate here in that I saw him impress against Chelsea in week 2 and bought him before his mammoth 16 point outing in the demolition of Hull. Zaki has 7 goals and 1 assist in 8 games and has gained 9 bonus points (which should be even higher – he was the best player against Liverpool until the sending off). I think Amr is for real and I can see him scoring 20 goals this year barring injury. He value could increase to somewhere around 7.2 so is still worth a look if you don’t have him yet. It goes without saying that I won’t be selling Zaki anytime soon.


I am not a huge fan of Cole which normally means I would not use him in my fantasy team. However, at 5.7 he is incredibly cheap and has more points than Torres, Anelka, Berbatov, Santa Cruz, Drogba and many more. Cole has 3 goals and an impressive 9 bonus points which is almost unrivalled production for a player in his price bracket (the continually underrated Kevin Davies being a close second). The Hammers face Arsenal and United in the next two weeks which means I will probably have to sit Cole until they go to Boro in week 11. The only real options to replace him with are Zamora (5.4) and Kitson (5.1) unless I do a double transfer, both of which have fairly ticky fixtures themselves in the next two weeks. I will probably keep with Cole for now, monitoring the situation of the lower tier players around him. One real sleeper could be Diego Tristan who I used to rate as one of the best in Europe. If he has just 80% of that talent he could force his way into the West Ham team to play alongside Cole or Bellamy and would be great value at 5.5.

Let me know what you think of my team and what you would do in my situation. Does your team have any dilemmas coming up that you want to talk through?


Ashwin said...

I think your team is excellent. I just joined your mini league and you are beating me badly. The only area where I think you are weak is defense. You are going to have to make a few enforced changes, Alex (Carvalho) and Traore (injury). I was lucky enough to get Bosingwa before injury and I have Evra and Kompany as well. A team with Lamps and Ronnie is unbeatable at the moment and I have neither! I have Ade soaking up money.

Ollycee said...

Yes nice team, mine is pretty similar...





My long term plan (I think!) is to sell one of my premium defenders(probably Laursen) and swop Carson for Myhill, I may even downgrade Berbatov if he doensnt find his scoring boots in the next few games. I will then spend the extra cash in the midfield. What do you think of this strategy?
The obvious 2 players I need to transfer over the next couple of gameweeks are Cole and Hamann. I currently have 0.6 million in the bank. Does anyone have any suggestions on who I could possibly bring in for these two players??

Silent Jay said...

Gotta love Traore being fit and playing afterall, and coming off just before they conceded the goal, preserving his clean sheet. And he even added a couple of bonus points for good measure. Sweet.

Silent Jay said...

Btw., do yourselves a favour, take one look at Liverpool's upcoming schedule, and add Arbeloa and Agger!

Chris Glover said...

yeh i think I might add Agger for Laursen. I need to replace Cole too now, and like you ollycee I am a bit stuck for ideas. suggestions?

Silent Jay said...

Kitson and Zamora both have potential, and have scored 10+ in the past. But neither of them are on fire, exactly. Aliadiere seemed to get things going last season (goals and assists.) But he's been disappointing so far as well - probably due in part to Alves' lack of goals. Bednar scored 12 for West Brom last season, in limited duty. Don't know much about him, or what to expect at a higher level, though.

Quite frankly, unless you have some money to spare, you won't be able to replace Cole effectively. Grab the cheapest guy you can find, sit him on the bench, and invest the money elsewhere.

ollycee - Get Marney (Hull) for Hamann. Can't do much wrong with that.

Ollycee said...

Cheers for the tips, I ended up sliding Shola Ameobi in for Cole he has scored 2 in the last 2 games for Newcastle, who look like they are turning things around. I think he has just got an assist for the first goal as well!

I will defo put Marney in for Hamann next week.

What about Spurs players? I like the look of Modric and Bentley as cheap options after the next two gameweeks are up.