Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gameweek 21 Preview

The Christmas period was tough for many managers (me included) who suffered through unexpected injuries and then the disruption to the fixture list. This will also be the first gameweek without the departed African players thus testing many managers' squads further. The defensive fixtures aren't too bad this week and with the frigid weather not going anywhere one may expect a few defensive struggles this week and playing 5 at the back might be worth considering.

Clean Sheet Rankings
  1. Fulham - BUY
  2. Burnley - HOLD
  3. Man Utd - BUY
  4. Arsenal - HOLD
  5. Man City - BUY
  6. Aston Villa - HOLD
  7. Chelsea - HOLD
  8. Birmingham - HOLD/SELL
  9. Sunderland - SELL
  10. Wigan - HOLD
  11. West Ham - HOLD
  12. Liverpool - HOLD
  13. Stoke - HOLD
  14. Portsmouth - SELL
  15. Hull - SELL
  16. Bolton - SELL
  17. Wolves - SELL
  18. Tottenham - BUY
  19. Blackburn - SELL
  20. Everton - SELL
Defensive fixtures don't get much better than Fulham at home to Portsmouth to the point where if you're squad is thin, Fulham defenders might even warrant some captaincy consideration. Of the more established sides, Arsenal, City and United all look good value for the week with both Manchester sides being buy prospects for the foreseeable future.

Captain Picks
  1. Carlos Tevez
  2. Darren Bent
  3. Andrei Arshavin
  4. Shaun Wright Phillips
  5. Fernando Torres
  6. Nicolas Anelka
  7. Frank Lampard
  8. Steve Gerrard
  9. Wayne Rooney
  10. Eduardo
Of the big 6 sides, only City and Arsenal have really good fixtures on paper (1.6 GPG+) and Arsenal are somewhat lacking the players to take advantage of the fixture. That leaves City as the team of the week and I like Tevez, Wright Phillips and Bellamy to all provide a great chance of solid returns. Chelsea's trip to Hull isn't a walk in the park and without Essien and Drogba and I am reluctant to back Ancelotti's men until I see how they cope. Despite his excellent form I have downgraded Rooney due to the tough trip to St Andrews but if you are looking for a replacement for Drogba he remains an excellent choice (though remember he has no game in week 23). Rounding out the top 10 is a player (Eduardo) who has a chance to give good value over the coming weeks, though be careful of Arsenal's fixtures in weeks 23-25 (@Ast, MNU, @Che).

Transfer Targets
  • Nicolas Anelka - though I am not totally convinced that Chelsea can be as effective without Drogba and Essien, Anelka is a proven scorer who will be the top man in a high powered offense. None of Chelsea's fixtures over the next month or two frighten me and you could happily plug the Frenchman in safely for the foreseeable future. I don't see him having huge games but he should be good for a goal every other game.
  • David Dunn - Dunn's untimely injury halted the momentum he was gaining but on a positive note his ownership is down to 3% and he'll cost you just 5.4m. Blackburn's fixtures look very good and I like Dunn ahead of most, if not all, sub-6m midfielders.
  • Chris Eagles - still owned by just 2% of players, Eagles has amassed 13 bonus points in the last 7 games, more than other midfielder - including Fabregas. He is still priced at 5m and while Burnley's fixtures aren't great, Eagles has contributed against City, Arsenal and Villa showing he can perform in this league.
Hopefully the league will see some new arrivals shortly that will generate some Arshavin like returns for the second half of the season. Until then, why not post your transfer or lineup questions below or tweet them @plfantasy.


Steven said...

I agree. I had dropped Defoe for Tevez and Captained him today before this article. Glad to know someone agrees with me. His form is top notch and he's got a great matchup; just lacks a week 23 fixture :(

Chris Glover said...

Yeh week 23 is a concern but as long as you're not too City/United heavy you can afford to sit him for one week.

Yagiz said...


I'm dropping Vermalaen and thinking of bringing Micah Richards or a Fulham defender.

It leaves me cash enough to

1) upgrade Arshavin to Fabregas(or Lampard or Gerrard).
2) upgrade Etherington to Aquilani(or similar)

which one do you think is better?

Colin said...

I have Andy Reid and Lee Bowyer in my midfield at the moment. Both have done very well for me as back-up/rotation type players, indeed both have contributed so much that they have been starters more often than not for me. However Reid is now injured and I'm sensing that Bowyer is beginning to flag a bit, so I'm wondering about replacing both of them. It will need to be with players in the £5M region. I'm thinking Damian Duff may be one possibility but I'm also intrigued about Ramsey as a possibility for differentiation. Obviously he won't start all the time but I'm wondering if he might represent good value for £4.8M. What are your thoughts? Do you have any other suggestions for midfielders whoi could fill this back-up role?

nashkia said...

I am seriously in dilemma this week.
Who is the best candidates to be captained between Tevez,Bent,Dempsey and Lampard.

Is it I am making a good move by let FPL deduct 8 points from my teams as to get Tevez,Bent & Lampard in place of Drogba,Fabregas & Klasnic?

p/s:why dont I found this blog much earlier before!

Chris Glover said...

Yagiz - I think Fulham and City defenders are both good pickups with Fulham having the slightly better unit and City having the slightly better fixtures (along with looking better under Mancini).

Despite his recent injuries I still rate Fabregas as the best player in the league and would not hesitate to bring him in after this week.
Etherington has slowed down a bit of late but I think the value in midfield lies in the 5m-6m range and spending extra on Aquilani or, say, Barry does not warrant the extra 2m cash.
I would therefore bring in Fabregas for Arshavin.

Chris Glover said...

Colin - I'm a big fan of alot of the 5m-6m range midfielders and the below are my favourites for the next 6-8 weeks:

1. Dunn - pivotal player in a decent side (particularly at home). Takes most set pieces (including pens) and is now only held by 3% of owners due to his injury.

2. Duff - returning to the form he showed back at Blackburn and in his early Chelsea years. Important role in a very good side, though Zamora's injury worries me a bit. Won't have too many huge weeks but should be good for 5-6 points every other week or so. Fulham's fixtures aren't great though.

3. N'Zogbia - his ownership (6%) is starting to rise after so many owners had been sleeping on N'Zogbia. He plays a very advanced role for Wigan and takes alot of set pieces. Wigan's fixtures open up from week 24 onwards.

4. Chris Eagles - he's come from nowhere in the past few weeks and importantly is attracting major bonus points (13 in the last 7 games). Only owned by 2% and has the class to contribute even in the tough fixtures.

5. Hunt - he's no secret but he continues to do well and is the best player in his team. Takes corners and plays plenty of free kicks into the danger zone. Remains great value though is not a differentiator.

6. Larsson - I liked him at the start of the season but after a quiet start I gave up on him. He is now coming back though and is in very good form. Birmingham dont score too many goals but Larsson has scored or assisted 40% of them so if you think Birmingham to keep playing well then Larsson should also flourish.

Chris Glover said...

Naskia - I like Tevez/Bent over Drogba/Klasnic but I would hold Fabregas for now as he should only miss one more week. Unless a team plays twice in one gameweek I normally advise against paying 4 points to bring a player in. I do really like Tevez this week so a straight swap of Drogba to Tevez is a nice move. Bent has a good fixture too but I'm not sure I would pay 4 points to get him over Klasnic who is also in good form.

Steven said...

Nightmare, three games called off, probably a fourth. There isn't much you can do at this point with so many fixtures being called off. Get the guys in who are actually playing and pick an active captain; that's about it!

Yagiz said...


I have decided to keep Arshavin, and got Duff instead of Etherington. Will use the money next week to make the Fabregas - Arshavin change..

Thanks a lot. Good luck to all..

Yagiz said...

FULHAM game postponed!! no way...!!