Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ramble On / Gameweek 9 preview

I hope my previous post wasn't too downbeat as that was not the intention. It was more an expression of frustration in being unable to quantify where the fantasy success is coming from, even with the benefit of hindsight. For now though, let's put the stats aside and have our familiar (if abbreviated) ramble around the league.

Clean Sheets
Okay so I won't totally depart from the stats. Only 5 clean sheets this week, four of which came in two 0-0 stalemates at Villa and Ewood Park. I loved Blackburn to get the clean sheet this week but Sunderland were somewhat of a surprise given their torrid away form over the past 18 months. I did think that Villa might get a draw against Chelsea but I backed the 1-1 as suggested by my prediction spreadsheet.

So far we've had 43 clean sheets, only topping 6 for a week once (in a cagey week 1). I have suggested in the past that budget defenders might be the way to go as there is little historic correlation between cost and points and this seems to hold true this season, perhaps more so than ever. If, for example I was to select a backline of budget options like Gilks, Mignolet, El Mohamady, Bramble, Alcaraz, Jones and Coleman I would have sufficient cash to pick the fairly insane front 8 of Fabregas, Malouda, Arteta, Nani, Adam, Drogba, Berbatov and Odenwingie. That gives you six every-week starters meaning you need to start 4 players from your back line, Adam and Odenwingie. If you can play the fixtures right then this could be a real recipe for success.

I am seriously considering playing my wildcard to take this strategy now and I will be posting which teams' back lines complement others' next week. I might make one slight tweak and keep Alex thus having to downgrade one of my midfielders (probably Arteta). In truth this isn't wildly different to what I have now except I am overpaying for Vidic's services (0.503 PPMS and 0.453 aPPMS) based on his current form. He faces the chop this week I think.

The Big Four
How the might have fallen. It's worrying for fantasy purposes when a traditionally great team struggles to wins games, tussles with ownership and faces the prospect of losing their best players. And things are even worse for Liverpool. Who can we trust in this United side? Nani and Berbatov are in the form of their life yet they don't have the defense nor support strikers to capitalize. Fantasy wise I feel fairly comfortable with this pair's prospects with or without Rooney but it does damage them somewhat knowing that teams may opt to stick extra men on them if the likes of Macheda, Hernandez or Owen (remember him?) are drafted in to pick up the slack.

Defensively I am terrfied for United as while they weren't outplayed by West Brom by a long shot, there were periods of that game where WBA held possession very well and looked dangerous. The manner of the conceded goals was fairly shambolic and Van der Sar looks like he needs to retire now rather than at the end of the season. I would expect O'Shea to be back in the side after Rafael failed to impress and he still represents solid value. As for his pricier teammates though, the jury is out.

Gameweek 9 Preview

Clean Sheet Rankings
(After last week's questionable rankings I have switched to using a new weighting of current and prior year data. I now base the rankings using 2/3 of this year's data and 1/3 prior year).
  1. Chelsea
  2. Tottenham
  3. West Brom
  4. Man City
  5. Sunderland
  6. Birmingham
  7. Liverpool
  8. Everton
  9. Bolton
  10. West Ham
  11. Blackpool
  12. Newcastle
  13. Fulham
  14. Stoke
  15. Man Utd
  16. Blackburn
  17. Arsenal
  18. Aston Villa
  19. Wigan
  20. Wolves
Captain Rankings: Team goals
  1. Chelsea (5.04)
  2. Bolton (2.30)
  3. Sunderland (1.92)
  4. Man City (1.76)
  5. Liverpool (1.68)
  6. Stoke (1.39)
  7. Man Utd (1.33)
  8. West Brom (1.32)
  9. West Ham (1.27)
  10. Birmingham (1.07)
  11. Newcastle (1.02)
  12. Wigan (0.93)
  13. Tottenham (0.92)
  14. Blackburn (0.78)
  15. Blackpool (0.77)
  16. Aston Villa (0.64)
  17. Arsenal (0.63)
  18. Fulham (0.57)
  19. Everton (0.37)
  20. Wolves (0.14)
Captain Picks
  1. Didier Drogba
  2. Florent Malouda
  3. Ashley Cole
  4. Carlos Tevez
  5. Darren Bent
  6. Dimitar Berbatov
  7. Nani
Not a great deal of point going beyond the top 3 this week as you simply must captain a Chelsea player and if you have him, Drogba. Drogba has netted in every home game this season in the league including an opening day hat trick against West Brom (who average less goals per game conceded than Wolves on the road if you discount that Chelsea result).

Apologies for the condensed write up this week, I hope to back on the weekend with a write up of the action as well as a couple of features next week. As always thanks for reading and I encourage you to check out my twitter feed or post comments below.


Andrew said...

My dilemma of the week is who to bring in. I'm looking at either Parker or Brunt coming in for Albrighton.

My other option is to bring in a defender for Stam or Faye.

Any advice?

Simon said...

No mention of Cesc? Surely he is a captin prospect this week isn't he? I bought him last week, on your recommendation, only to see him not play! But hoping he'll shine this weekend after his performance in the week.

Carroll=Shearer said...

Cesc is always captain potential, but Man City is usually pretty tight at home.

Chris: what do you make of the return of Bosingwa? He is scheduled to start this week against Wolves. How do you think his resurgence will affect Ivanovic and, more importantly, Alex? Thanks!

Chris Glover said...

Andrew - I don't disagree with the decision to move Albrighton as Villa's fixtures are only okay for the next 6 games. The budget teams who the stats predict to score quite a few goals in the next 6 weeks are Bolton and West Brom. I like Lee alot as a player though he hasnt really shone in fantasy terms so far so he is a risk. For West Brom you're right that Brunt is the safest pick but don't sleep on Jerome Thomas who has done well when he's played. If you this player to give you consistent minutes though, Thomas is probably a leap of faith right now.

West Ham's fixtures are boom and bust so if you're looking for a spot starter Parker looks like a nice consistent option with decent upside.

I think Stam is the man to ditch though. Wigan are ranked 19th in the current/prior year rankings and 16th based on solely this year so Stam looks to have little value. I love Seamus Coleman as his replacement and plan to buy him myself this week. Williamson is also an option but I am discouraged by Newcastle's defense and much prefer Everton for the medium term. Sunderland's fixtures are also very good making El Mohamady an interesting prospect.

I would ditch Stam for sure, and my pick would be Coleman.

Chris Glover said...

Simon - I almost put him in but Arsenal's fixture is just too tough compared with Chelsea and to an extent United. I still like him over the medium-long term but he isnt a lock this week.

Chris Glover said...

Caroll - Ancelotti (who must play fantasy himself) has confirmed his team ahead of time once again and Bosingwa is in. At 5.6m he will be a must own player if he holds his place in the weekly lineup and I'm willing to take that bet as Ancelotti has stated on several occasions how much he wants his full backs to attack. I have made the transfer and Bosingwa is in.

Colin said...

I wonder if Torres is beginning to come to life. Drogba has been a little disappointing in the last couple of matches. I think he remains a very good fantasy option, but I wonder if his absolute must have status is beginning to slip. If Torres starts to score again, maybe we should begin to consider switch? controversial I know, but is this worth considering?