Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ramble On: Gameweek 4

Not a great week for my predictions and my early season success is slipping away quicker than Rooney's shot at the United captaincy or husband of the year. The consolation on the defensive front is that only one team on Saturday managed to keep a clean sheet so the fact that teams like City (ranked 3rd) and Arsenal (4th) conceded to weaker opposition isn't too big a deal. It was however somewhat of a slap in the face that the best side of the day was Blackpool, who I had ranked 19th. Ouch. Sunday gave me much more joy with Birmingham-Liverpool drawing 0-0 giving my 2nd and 7th ranked teams their clean sheets. Of particular joy was Konchesky's clean sheet and 2 bonus points, having hyped him up and reccommended him a number of times over the past couple of weeks.

The captain rankings were ruined almost single-handedly by Carlo Ancelotti, who:
  • decided to bench Lampard despite quotes all week that he would play;
  • started Malouda on the bench, and worse, brought him on for a worthless 1 pointer
  • started Alex on the bench and gave him 9 minutes for another worthless 1 pointer.
Drogba did okay with an assist and a bonus point, while Cesc (ranked 3rd) managed a very useful 11 points to remind us all that he is back. Rooney was of course another shock drop and although some will be tempted by the 'he'll show everyone who's boss' theory I think his head will be too messed up to play consistently well over the next few weeks. I think Berbatov is both helped and hindered by Rooney's plight as he seems to stepping up into the lead role quite well, but, he is losing a quality teammate with who he has been linking up with nicely. While on the subject of United, here are some random thoughts from Gameweek 4.

Man United
Nani and Berbatov were the key fantasy men for me in this one, while I was delighted to see Vidic get on the scoresheet, not just from the view of my team, but also because I tipped his future goal success back in GW2. Nani played two great assists for the first two goals and he is a better option than Valencia right now. At 8.0m I am not convinced he will deliver great value but he is certainly playing much better than last season, even earning the 3 BP last week. He is very near the top of my watchlist.

Berbatov also played well (though was offside too many times) and has developed into a legitimate top level forward so far this year. United's fixtures are very favorable over the coming weeks and between now and GW17 the only game you could see them not scoring in is GW12 at Man City. In short, no matter what happens to Rooney, Berbatov should remain good value and he is staying in my team for the foreseeable future.

Man City
City once again limited their opposition offensively and really should have kept a clean sheet in this one. Kalinic's goal was a fluke and I fully expect City to resume normal duty this week at Wigan. One slight problem is the imminent debut of Boateng who will steal minutes from someone so perhaps Toure is the best option for now though over the season I think Kolarov and Boateng's offensive force could make them better value.

Up front this team is lacking firepower and they really need to either get Balotelli back or play Adebayor. The former option is obviously the more likely and until then I think this side might not hit the goal heights we know they are capable of. Tevez remains a good option but I think he is overpriced and will fall more in line with Bent, Berbatov and Anelka (who are all significantly cheaper) rather than the top line forwards.

Fabregas was great in this one and might be the best midfielder around both in and out of fantasy circles. He is averaging 2.4 BP and one assist per 90 minutes and he could have added 3 or 4 more this week alone if Arsenal's finishing had been better. At 11.9m he is pricey but no other player has the potential to deliver in all 3 scoring categories as much as Fabregas right now so I would not hesitate to bring him in if you have room for a pricey mid. I would switch Lampard to Fabregas in a heart beat for the next 7 weeks.

Arsenal have now conceded one goal in three of their games, all against so-so opposition (sorry Liverpool, you are in that category right now) and I do no rot rate their their defense as startable on an every weekly basis. They dominated huge stretches of the Bolton game but both centre backs made mistakes for the goal and Wenger's attacking style will always make this side susceptible to conceding cheap goals and not locking down the clean sheet.

Drogba is now taking corners (which gave him an assist for Essien's goal) and most free kicks. He is the clear number one pick right now and should be held by everyone. He is also the closest thing to a must-captain player we have had since Ronaldo fled for Madrid.

It was disappointing to see Chelsea concede a worthless goal but it looked offside to me and I don't think any less of their unit over the course of the season because of it.

Alot of people will be jumping on Dembele this week but take note that one of his goals took a wicked deflection and the other squeezed under the wall and past an unsighted 'keeper. With Zamora out, Dembele is obviously going to start each week but I would not rate him up with Carroll, Kalinic or even Ebanks-Blake just yet.

I was pleased to see Konchesky get both the start and the 2 bonus points and he remains a great pickup, though if you don't own him yet I'd stay away this week as Liverpool travel to Man United.

Chaz Adam is a legitimate fantasy option and his set piece taking make him borderline starter worthy. By plugging in a 5.0m player, you should be free to splurge elsewhere all the while getting 35 starts, 6 goals and assists and a large proportion of Blackpool's bonus points (he already has 6). Blackpool's attacking ideology is highly admirable and I think Holloway will stick with it as there are many teams in this league who are terrified of losing and can be beaten if you go for the jugular. This should lead to goals over the course of the season and you would back Adam to be involved in a large proportion of them.

You hate to take 'positives' from an injury but from a purely selfish fantasy point of view, it would have been preferable for Modric to be out for a sustained period of time, allowing Van der Vaat to be guaranteed minutes and Bale to stay in midfield. As warned, Bale was shifted to left back this week, though Assou Ekotto was back against Werder Bremen and the pair linked up well once more, so one would think Bale will retake his left mid spot on the weekend.

In short, Bale is still close to a must own player, but while others will jump on board now, I am biding my time before I commit to using 7.5m on Van der Vaat.

As always thanks for reading and I encourage you to post your comments and thoughts below or @plfantasy.


auburn.tigers2011 said...

Chris or Anyone, I had a couple questions...

When do you expect Boateng to be back? I havent seen any news on his return.

Dont you think with Valencia possibly out for the remainder of the season that there is no rotation risk for Nani? You dont think with 30+ starts that he will live up to his 8.0m price tag?

I really want to bring Fabregas in this week but Im having problems being able to fit him in. I have 1.2 in the bank and my current side is:

Foster Hahnemann
Foley Evans Warnock Enrique Alex
Malouda Nani Milner Bale Ferguson
Carrol Berbatov Drogba

In your opinion, who should I drop and pickup to fit Fabregas in? Nani is currently at 8.1m and if he went up to 8.2m without Scholes rising in price I could do Milner -> Fab and Nani -> Scholes

Great write up by the way Chris, I like these new ramblings

auburn.tigers2011 said...

Wow that was longer than I thought it was going to be

David said...

@auburn, I would downgrade alex and then go malouda > fab, I see blackpool eating chelsea this week. kidding. but I still wouldn't get rid of nani (or milner for that matter), they're moving into an easy period of matches soon

NotoriousDre said...

Long time no chat Chris...the site is going well i see!

i have one for you to chew on - im watching Cleverly (as my cheap mid) - wjat do you think about him?


we have close to the same team - only 2 def and 2 mids different. I took the hit (8pts...yeah i know) and brought in Fabs. I see him as a must have - he is getting hottt!

Boateng should be back this weekend... and i see Nani holding down his position (less a few games off)

auburn.tigers2011 said...

Dre if you dont mind me asking, who did you drop and add for Fabregas?

Ryan said...

auburn - Although I do agree with David that Man City's fixtures are getting better, Milner's the man to sacrifice for the must-have Fabregas. I don't have the stats and figures to justify this move, but between these two, I just find it more risky to not have Fab.

You have a well-diversified mix of defenders with exception to Evans who looks likely to lose his place to Ferdinand real soon. For this reason, assuming your money remaining is below 0.7, you'll have to make these 3 transfers:

Milner > Fabregas (9.1-11.9 = -2.8)
Alex > 4.0 defender (6.1-4 = 2.1)
---------------->>> DEFICIT = -0.7
Evans > 4.8 or cheaper

Alternatively, just go with your initial plan: Milner > Fab & Nani > Scholes

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Chris Glover said...

Auburn - The Telegraph suggest that Boateng is going to face a fitness test for this week's game, though that is the same website who had Scott Parker playing for United this season so I wouldn't back them to be correct.

Physio Room suggest he is due back on 19 Sep, again suggesting he is borderline for this week.

The Guardian (more reliable) also suggest that the Wigan game is a realistic shot for Boateng.

It seems therefore that while not viable for this week, Boateng may be fantasy worthy by GW6 though as this against Chelsea there is no rush here. The home game against Newcastle in GW7 might be the best bet. For the record, I like Boateng alot and would make him the best value City defender when fit.

Chris Glover said...

Auburn - I think Nani is good value with Valencia out and I have made that switch myself. With the nature of Nani's game (lacks some chasing back sometimes) he will always be subject to some rotation risk but that should come against the better teams and hence hurt his value less. He is my top 8m range midfielder right now.

I love your midfield and I'm not sure you need Fabregas. Although I think he is the best midfielder right now, I'm not he is must own, which right now Malouda is. Therefore Milner is your only option and while Fab is a decent upgrade, Im not sure where youd get 3m from without really hurting your team elsewhere. I think money can be saved with Warnock (to Young) but you will also need to move Evans soon so you might need to use that cash there (or go for OShea).

In short I like your team alot and would hold on Fab until he shows he can outscore Milner by some way every week.

Chris Glover said...

Guys - I agree that Milner is the best bet to move but I think Alex is VERY good value for now and losing him to a scrub could cost you alot of points. Fab's fixtures are very good and he is a massive temptation - indeed this is the biggest decision facing my team right now. If he continues to stay hot, it could be worth bringing in some wildcard talk such is the shifting that needs doing to fit him in.