Monday, February 15, 2010

Gameweek 27 Preview

The dust hasn't yet settled on gameweek 26 - indeed it isn't over yet - but it's never too early to look ahead to next week particularly with a couple of key factors for next week's games. Firstly, United have a double gameweek and Rooney is a must own/must captain player. Given that he is already so widely held you risk losing ground on pretty much all your opponents if you don't sign the in-form Englishman. His value has risen sharply over the past 6 weeks but its likely it could move another blip or two this week as more and more owners jump on the Ronaldo-like bandwagon. I have made my transfer uncharacteristically early to avoid losing cash in delaying this inevitable move (the risk is that he gets injured midweek against Milan).

A second key factor driving this week's transfer rush is the injury to Ashley Cole, that could rule him out for the season though perhaps not the World Cup. Cole was widely held in the fantasy game (14%) and these owners will now all jump ship, likely using one of two options. Many will simply turn to another Chelsea defender with bargain Ivanovic looking likely to benefit given the risk associated with Terry (on holiday in Dubai) and Carvalho (rotation risk). The other option, given his double gameweek, will be to jump on Evra - United's most reliable and dynamic defender. I expect his price therefore to rise this week, which is again why I acted quickly to make this change. A final choice that perhaps might not be as popular would be to bring in the rather expensive Yuri Zhirkov. The Russian hasn't made much of an impact this season but he has plenty of attacking flare and should start most games in Cole's absence. Owned by just (0.3%) of managers makes him a great differentiator and I don't think Chelsea as a unit will suffer greatly by the addition of Zhirkov along the backline. If you are operating on tight margins then I would advice taking this risk or chance losing out on the players you desire.

Only two teams have a double gameweek this week (Man United and West Ham) which is about as settled as you're going to get with more fixture carnage caused by the draws in yesterday's FA Cup. This of course makes United players unevenly valuable and the natural instinct will be to ensure you can field 3 United men this week. However, the caveat is that United do not play in week 28 (along with Hull, Aston Villa and West Ham) and so your bench must be strong or you must factor in a 4 point hit before you bring anybody in this week. I think it is worth it given that both Everton at home and West Ham away rank in the bottom half in goals conceded and considering the frankly outrageously good form of Wayne Rooney. If you don't own a United defender I would probably not buy two, but I think you can safely bring one for the week and rest/sell him next week for an overall gain to your team.

Clean Sheet Rankings
  1. Man United
  2. Aston Villa
  3. Fulham
  4. Chelsea
  5. West Ham
  6. Portsmouth
  7. Blackburn
  8. Arsenal
  9. Man City
  10. Tottenham
  11. Stoke
  12. Wigan
  13. Birmingham
  14. Wolves
  15. Everton
  16. Bolton
  17. Liverpool
  18. Hull
  19. Burnley
  20. Sunderland
Captain Rankings
  1. Wayne Rooney
  2. Didier Drogba
  3. Cesc Fabregas
  4. Antonio Valencia
  5. James Milner
  6. Patrice Evra
  7. Gabby Agbonlahor
  8. Eduardo
  9. Carlton Cole
  10. Frank Lampard
There can be only one captain for me this week, whether you are trying to differentiate or are riding high in your own league. Rooney against two decent but far from concrete defenses is too tempting and given that 40%+ of the league will be captaining him, if you get this decision wrong you could lose 15-20 points on everyone else. If you don't have and cannot afford Rooney then I think Drogba's form justifies the armband despite Wolves away being a trickier game than you might think (1.32 GPG conceded). After that its the usual suspects, though I like Valencia (the best of the other United options) more than usual this week given his double fixture.

As always, please post your transfer and lineup questions below or @plfantasy


David said...

hi Chris

Which MU defender would you recommend if i only have 5.4 to spend. Rafael or Evans? my gut says evans cos ferdinand is out,

Next week i get rid of 2/3 MU players, Valnecia > Arteta, Evans > Alex Song, and then gw29 will be MADNESS.

Chris Glover said...

David - I would agree and go with evans. With rio suspended and vidic struggling for fitness he has a good chance to play. The danger is that rio will be back for the second game of the week so Evans might not get a double.

Steven said...

Sadly, I can not afford a MU defender so Rooney all alone up front as the captain. Too risky without enough reward to pick up Rafael or Evans in my book.

Chris Glover said...

I think Evans is worth a free transfer but I probably would only consider paying 4 points for evra. Even then it's a risk given his off week in 28.

Real JT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real JT said...

Hey Chris: who do you like better this week? Modric away to Wigan or Saha home to United? Thanks.

goke313 said...
what should i do with Etherington

Ryan said...

Just dropped another 4 points for Evans. Had a selection dilemma and budget constraint similar to David's. What worries me is Vidic's announcement that he's now match-fit. With Ferdinand returning for the 2nd game against West Ham and Vidic's possible return, the big question is who will be the 4th defender for the West Ham match - Brown, Evans or Rafael?

Mish said...

I have team selection help.
Modric or N'Zogbia?

Chris Glover said...

Ryan - I am scared of the rotation of united's RB to the point where I decided to play safe with evra. Long term I like brown to play but rafael will steal minutes

mish - I'd go n'zogbia. He's in great form, is at home and has been a bonus magnet of late. Modric hasn't performed as well as I thought since his return and started the last game on the bench. I therefore like n'zogbia as the safer pick.

Ryan said...

Lampard's out and I've already made 3 transfers of which 2 were rather unnecessary. Great!

Mish - Definitely N'Zogbia! He's value for money, consistently rakes in bonus points and occasionally chips in with a goal or assist. I like Modric but he could be a gamble as Spurs have been inconsistent of late.

goke313 said...

seems like my post is getting ignored....any injury update on Etherington?

Chris Glover said...

apologies Goke. Physio Room have him out until March 9th so he's probably a sell option.

Ryan said...

OK so Tevez is still with his new kid in Argentina while Etherington is crocked. Would it be worth losing another 4 points to sell Tevez or should I defer it to next gameweek? I've already lost 8 points.

I'm also thinking of new candidates to replace Tevez and Etherington. Which of the following would be the best IMMEDIATE choice in preparation for gameweek 28 onwards:

a)MIDFIELDERS: Lee, Arteta, T. Cahill, D. Duff, D. Murphy

b)FORWARDS: Bent, Saha, C. Cole

Chris Glover said...

Ryan - I don't love any of the mid priced options available and I would be hesitant to pay 4 points if any of your subs will play at all. Even if you have other options you really need a goal/assist just to make 2 points. Too risky for me unless you can get United/West Ham that will play twice.