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.
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.