Sunday, November 23, 2008


As is the case every year, by November-December alot of players' teams are starting to look very similar and it is increasingly hard to differentiate your team on a weekly basis. This is proven by the fact that when certain players do well (Ronaldo, Anelka etc) like in week 13 we all get 70+ points but when these players draw blanks you find that everyone is kicking around with 30 and 40 point totals.
The following team is made up of players held by at least 20% of ALL fantasy players:

The key going forward therefore is to differentiate your team wherever possible, whilst still holding on to those must have players that underpin any championship team (such as Ronaldo 2007/08). As a side note, it is interesting to note that only 6 of the 15 players above feature in the season dream team.

Potential buys
Many of my potential buys from the early part of the season (Zaki, Traore etc) are now widely held so we need to look elsewhere for the next wave of players. Here are a few ideas, focused on midfielders and forwards and defenders/goalkeepers are harder to differentiate as they play as a unit.These players have been overlooked for a number of reasons so far this season. Players like Gary O'Neil and Fabrice Muamba play every week but do not post massive numbers to catch the eye. Nevertheless, a guaranteed 90 minutes is the busy Christmas season is very valuable and O'Neill in particular has shown a knack for getting on the score sheet every so often. He is a great buy for anyone looking to implement a rotation system between 2 or 3 moderate midfielders.

Others on the list have been ignored due to injury. This applies to Kranjcar and Benjani, who have both misses large chunks of the season to date. Benjani appears to be the concrete number two option for City which puts him alongside Robinho and co on a weekly basis for just 6.7m. I have never been a huge admirer of his talents but he does get goals and has already netted twice in the cup since his return. Whilst not an every week striker, Benjani is perfect as a rotation man, throwing him in for City's home games and easier road games. Kranjcar is yet to fully recover from his ankle injury and may be worth holding off on for now.

It is noticeable that three Spurs players are on the list, and Modric (4.8%) could also be added to the list. Spurs have turned a corner since the departure of Ramos and Huddlestone, Lennon and Pavlyuchenko all look to benefit from the move. Huddlestone has played the last 6, and whilst he has only notched one assist, Redknapp has described the youngster as his 'quarterback' who will pick out the killer pass to the considerable talent ahead of him. That sounds very interesting for just 5.4m. Lennon is a tough one to call as he hasn't been a fixture in the side under Redknapp or Ramos. However, against Blackburn today he was sensational and shredded Olsson to the point of submission as the Rovers left back got himself sent off. Finally, Pavlyuchenko has flourished the most under Redknapp, scoring 3 in 5 games and looking impressive against Blackburn today. With Everton, West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham and West Brom coming up in the next 6, Spurs are suddenly a potential gold mine for bargains that might give you the edge over your league opponents.

Let me know your thoughts on these tips and any other scarcely held bargains for the next few weeks.


matt said...

does anyone know when carvalho will be back? i had him this week in case he played but he didn't. thanks

Chris Glover said...

hi matt. good to hear from new readers. i heard he had a shot for this week and very nearly transferred him in myself. I'd keep an eye on the midweek euro game, but my gut would say they'll bring him back this week. However, Chelsea are playing Arsenal which is far from a guaranteed clean sheet and so you may be better off waiting for another week (though that does risk a price rise).

matt said...

thanks. I've been reading for a few weeks, and I've judged that your a pretty good blog, so I decided to become more involved. I already have him, and I think I'll leave him in despite playing Arsenal, due to Arsenal's current form, as well as Chelsea's home record

Marco said...

Chris, I've also followed you blog since about a month, it's excellent.
After Alex misery and Carvalho doubts I decided to get Bosingwa last week. My other defense includes Carragher, Paintsil, Figueroa, Dawson; hopefully Wigan is clean tonight

Silent Jay said...

I mentioned this somewhere before (was it here?), but keep an eye on Ryan Taylor (Wigan.) If he can stay healthy and a regular starter, he'll be a must-own kinda player. Goals, assists, and part of a reasonably good (though inconsistent) defense = gold. Especially at just 4.2!

matt said...

taylor doesn't seem to be in the wigan squad for today

Ashwin said...

I watched the second half of the game and I thought Taylor was just ok, offers some good threat going forward but didn't seem like a certain starter. I think he'll struggle once Melchiot comes back. Would be great if he played midfield and banged in some free kicks? We can dream

Silent Jay said...

matt - the Yahoo Matchcast was wrong, if that's what you were looking at. Had me confused as well. He did play, though.

I watched a live-stream of the game, and he was definitely better in the first half. Seemed to disappear a bit later on. (Hardly surprising, I suppose. Only his 2nd game back.) But... they kept a clean sheet, and he did a solid job.

Taylor has been a regular when fit in the past. I'd hold off another week or two before adding him, but definitely keep an eye on the situation.

matt said...

yeh i realized later that it had scharner in instead of taylor on the yahoo one. he came off my subs bench and got me 6 points, so I'm not gonna complain about him

Silent Jay said...

Scharner also played. They had De Ridder listed at right back instead of Taylor, for some reason. (Not the first time I've noticed something like that this season...)

matt said...

for next weeks changes, what do you think of dropping taylor for ashley cole, and arteta for luis valencia? just an idea

matt said...

never mind. i currently have

ronaldo,geovanni,arteta,and two cheapies

over the next few weeks, im going to change to

robinho,A johnson,camara.

what do you guys think?

Silent Jay said...

Camara looks like a good option... as long as Zaki is injured or leaves in January. If he isn't and doesn't, Camara will probably be back on the bench as soon as next week.

If you're looking for a short-term flyer with upside, go for it. If you're looking for a long-term deal, you're treading on thin ice.

As for Young - expect him to come close, but not quite match last season's output. Opposing defenses are keying in on him this year.

Chris Glover said...

apologies for the lack of action this week, i've been on holiday in iceland (not scouting Steinsson and co - just a normal vacation). Normal service will resume on Saturday morning for a pre deadline injury update and will be followed by a running diary at 3pm.

marco said...

I am getting Camara for Zaki. Camara is confirmed to start (sportinglife). This has a couple of advantages, while I have 2-3 other injury doubts in my team. It removes 1 doubt, he is cheap, they play WB so you need a Wigan striker, and frees lot of cash for next week. Camara may play again next week with Zaki injury very unclear. Zaki is also wanted by Real, between now and Jan he may not play much (Wigan is already scouting Moteab)

Chris Glover said...

My main issue with shipping Zaki is that I bought him at 6m so if I sell I lose 0.5m as I will only receive 6.5m so I won't be able to get him back anytime soon.

Silent Jay said...

Chris - I have the same issues. (Got him at 6.1.) But, in all honesty, I think he'll be gone in January. Apparently Wigan have no say in what his parent club does with him. If they get a half-decent offer from Madrid or anyone else, they'll sell him.

As Marco said, he may not play more than another game or two. If you're tempted by someone else, I'd say go for it. I will, possibly next week (unless there's positive news regarding his status.)

I have the "advantage" (*cough*) of being a Wigan fan, of course. If I sell Zaki, and he stays afterall and does well, I can live with it. Would be a bitch if you got nothing out of it in real life OR fantasy, though.