Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gameweek 13 Preview

Week 13 Fixtures
Liverpool v Man City
Birmingham v Fulham
Burnley v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Wolves
Hull City v West Ham
Sunderland v Arsenal
Man Utd v Everton
Bolton v Blackburn
Tottenham v Wigan
Stoke City v Portsmouth
Hull City v Everton
Fulham v Blackburn

The run up to this week's fantasy fixtures has been dominated by who isn't playing rather than who is, with - for those who somehow missed it - Lampard and Van Persie both being ruled out for 3 - 6 weeks. The timing for Van Persie isn't disastrous as I had advocated selling him after this week anyway as Arsenal's fixtures get tough and other top strikers return to form/fitness (such as Adebayor, Torres and Agbonlahor). The Lampard injury is more of a blow as the England man was starting to find some form and Chelsea's upcoming fixtures look pretty favourable.

The other headline for the week is the double gameweeks for Blackburn, Everton, Fulham and Hull with Fulham looking particularly well placed to take advantage of their fixtures this week (@Bir, Bla). Although I normally advise against the 4 point transfer fees, I think that bringing in a Fulham defender this week might be worth the price as they are almost certain to get your 4 points back (with 2 appearances) and I would put the odds at over 75% that they get at least one clean sheet. The fixtures this week are okay for Blackburn attackers and remain good in the coming weeks so a 4 point hit for Dunn might also be worth a thought.

Captain Picks
  1. Cesc Fabregas
  2. Didier Drogba
  3. Jermaine Defoe
  4. Wayne Rooney
  5. Deco
Both Lampard and Van Persie would have featured in here this week, with Lampard's absence a real shame given Chelsea's home game against Wolves (2.00 GPG conceded). In his place I like Deco to shine and at the tip of the diamond I think he can deliver good value in the coming weeks. With Ballack also likely sidelined, Deco looks like a definite start and a buy target for the week. At the top I like Fabregas and Drogba again and there isn't much more I can say. Odds would suggest Fabregas is due a bad week but there's no way I'm ever dropping him to guess when that is, and his 10.10 points average suggest you shouldn't either. Defoe is in here based on matchup (Wigan) which is the second best of the week after Bolton (Blackburn). Defoe has gone quiet after a strong start but this looks like the perfect chance for him to get back on the scoresheet. Rooney is a streaky player who is not in great form, but that can change quickly and a home game against former team Everton should be a good time for Rooney to shine. The extra effort and 'feel good' factor of the day should all but guarantee the former Blue the 3 bonus points.

Defensive Rankings
Rather than simply picking my top picks, I have decided to rank all the teams this week and beyond to help with your tough weekly decisions. In hindsight, knowing to play Stoke at home to Portsmouth isn't all that useful as you will do it anyway, what's more important is knowing that West Ham at Hull is a better play than Villa at Burnley. Below are the rankings of every team in the league, with the predicted number of goals they'll concede in brackets.
  1. Chelsea (0.15)
  2. Fulham (0.56 and 0.51)
  3. Stoke (0.39)
  4. Birmingham (0.53)
  5. Liverpool (0.71)
  6. West Ham (0.71)
  7. Burnley (0.74)
  8. Man United (0.77)
  9. Tottenham (0.77)
  10. Everton (2.11 and 0.78)
  11. Hull (0.91 and 0.91)
  12. Bolton (0.86)
  13. Aston Villa (1.29)
  14. Portsmouth (1.47)
  15. Man City (2.26)
  16. Sunderland (2.65)
  17. Arsenal (2.76)
  18. Wigan (2.87)
  19. Blackburn (3.11 and 3.27)
  20. Wolves (3.98)
Chelsea are yet again the top pick of the week and the good news for fantasy owners is that Ashley Cole looks likely to be fit for this one. As mentioned previously, Fulham are a great pick this week and they have a real shot at a least one clean sheet. The whole back four look to be good value though I like Hangeland for his bonus point potential (7 this season). Stoke and Birmingham present great budget plays and everyone should have a decent keeper this week as most owners have either Sorensen or Hart. Liverpool, United and Spurs present decent high end plays though I wouldn't pay a premium for any of these boys this week. Despite the double gameweek, Everton, Hull and Blackburn aren't as good value as you might imagine this week.

Under the Radar

Although I reccommend using the majority of your cash from Van Persie or Lampard on a premium player, there are several players this week who are cheaper and present good value for money. These are of course good pickups for those lucky enough to have avoided the injury bug:
  1. Louis Saha - although Saha gets two games this week, neither of them looks great for Everton forwards (1.17 GPG and 1.40 GPG conceded). However, Saha has 7 goals in 10 games along with 10 bonus points. The odds suggest he should contribute something in these two games, giving him at least 6 points or so for the week with the upside to hit double figures. This is a great return for 7.1m and with two good fixtures on the horizon, Saha is a good buy this week.
  2. David Dunn - another player with two games this week who has been in good form under the radar this year. 11 bonus points and 4 goals in just 8 games is a return more in line with a 8m player yet Dunn is still owned by just 9% of players. For 5.8m he is incredible value and Rovers' fixtures are good for the foreseeable future making Dunn and solid contributor at a bargain price.
  3. Deco - okay he isn't cheap but he is certainly under the radar (0.9% owned). I am not a huge fan of Deco and I am not convinced he is well suited to the English game, however, in Lampard's absence he should get a fair share of set pieces and this week's game against Wolves looks very promising. He's always risky as sometimes games can simply pass him by, but if you're looking for a differentiator with upside then the Portuguese maestro is worth a thought.
  4. Bobby Zamora - it was hard to type that name in a fantasy column as the long ridiculed front man has had well publicised struggles in hitting the net in the past. However, 3 goals, 3 assists and 5 bonus points represent a decent return for a 5.5m man and if you need to save cash Zamora on a double gameweek is worth a look.
As always, why not post your thoughts below or tweet your lineup/transfer issues @plfantasy.


NotoriousDre said...


i see you have Zamora on your list...i too was thinking about him as a rental for this week. Im torn between him and Saha.

I hope Didier plays this week...and Cesc is my choice for captain.

Andrew said...

I heavily disagree with your captain rankings this week. Generally they're pretty darn close to mine, but not this time around.

1. Schwarzer - Fulham are ranked 2nd in your clean sheet rankings for good reason. Birmingham have scored only 4 at home, and Blackburn have only scored 3 away. I would be absolutely shocked if Fulham didn't get atleast one cleansheet. I can even see them getting both this week. I would be astonished if Schwarzer got fewer than 6 points this week, and I could see him easily getting 10 with the possibility of 14 or more. I rate him as the safest captain this week.

2. Drogba - I think Lampard was less important to Drogba than RVP was to Cesc. Plus Chelsea plays at home while Arsenal is away.

3. Cesc - See above

4. Rooney - Chris covered it pretty well.

5. Hunt - Hull have a double, both at home, both against inconsistent teams. I'm only picking him because of the double, I'd guess he scores about 7-9 this week.

Mish said...

i need to change my defence and GK
here's my back line:
Collins, Bridge, Zayatte, Distin, Baines and with Sorensen, Foster

i've already used this week's free transfer, but i,m thinking bringing Hangeland or Schwarzer, replacing Bridge, Distin or Foster.

what's your thought on this?

TD Ocho said...

Captain a keeper? Nothing safe about that.

Chris Glover said...

Andrew - I agree that Schwarzer is a nice play but with the likes of Fabregas and Drogba in such good form I think their upside is much higher. If schwarzer gets a clean sheet he'll get somewhere between 12 - 16 points. For cesc to get that he needs just one goal or an assist and bonus points. I like him (and drogba) to do that with their upside much higher.

In general I would only captain defenders from top defensive sides who have a legit chance of goals or assists.

Chris Glover said...

Mish - I think distin is worth holding for the double gameweek so bridge or foster are your best sells. From week 14 through 27 city play just 2 opponents who average more than 1.5 goals a game and 7 of these average less than one goal.

Foster is obviously a lame duck and Schwarzer is a nice upgrade. He is a better play than sorensen this week but I do like Stoke so a point hit is tough to take. The fact that Stoke have tough games on the horizon though and so you'll need a new keeper next week for sure. For that reason I think Schwarzer might well be worth the hit due to his long term value. Note though that both keepers don't play in week 17 so you'll have to use another transfer before then.

Thanks for posting

Craig B said...

Hi Chris - I too found myself looking for a replacement for Van Persie. I already have Drogba and don't really like any of the other strikers in a similar price range (although Torres' return is a little intriguing). I settled in on Carlton Cole. He is fairly cheap @ 6.8m and a good differentiator with only 6.3% ownership. West Ham look to have a pretty sweet run of games upcoming particularly the next two (against Hull and then hosting Burnley). The only downside I see is that he is coming back off an injury, but at least the player seems pretty optimistic setting a target of scoring 4 goals in his next 6 matches to reach 10 by Christmas. I have been a little surprised not to see his name in the conversation. Thoughts?

Chris Glover said...

Craig - good call with Cole, I like him a mid range player. I only focused my discussion on the premium players as I assume most people will want to use the majority of their cash rather than have it stuck in the bank.
If you can get a cheaper striker you like, then great, you must then decide if you will re-invest your cash or hold it to use when RvP returns.