Saturday, January 15, 2011

Double Gameweeks

I have touched on the double gameweeks earlier but I think we need more analysis if we are to fully enjoy the fruits of them when playing the transfer window wildcard. Let's look at every team who has one or more double gameweeks coming up, who looks set to benefit and how you can maximise the opportunity:

Who they play and when: GW27 - Wolves and Stoke
Who are the best plays: Arsenal look like a very good play both defensively and offensively. The Wolves fixture alone would likely rank Arsenal as the top defensive pick of the week and the addition of another sub-1 GPG team makes them a great play. They've only kept 3 clean sheets at home so I'm not crazy about paying the big bucks for a Thomas Vermaelen (if fit by then) but I would rate Fabianski as a very good pick and Djorou as sensational value if still in the first team.
As we know, Arsenal are always a good option to score goals and my prediction tools have them scoring 4.7 goals in the two fixtures. I am concerned by the dispersion of Arsenal's goals but there should be enough to make at least Fabregas, Nasri and perhaps van Persie good fantasy options.
What should you do: I have recently put down some thoughts on buying Fabregas over Nasri but with Arsenal's great fixtures and this upcoming double, I think of all teams, Arsenal attackers are the easiest to plan for. Simply buy them as soon as possible and leave them in the team from here on in.

Aston Villa
Who they play and when: GW24 - Man City and @Wigan
Who are the best plays: How the mighty have fallen. Villa's side was once a hot bed of fantasy talent with the likes of Dunne, Collins, Young and Agbonlahor being fantasy studs. This year? Not so much. They have kept four clean sheets at home which is solid but City have been blanked just 3 times away from home and just once since GW3.
Offensively, Villa have no one who can legally be described as a legitimate striker this year, while Young and Downing have been good in the middle. Both present decent differential opportunities though Villa are expected to score just 1.9 goals by my predictions so they don't have a great shot at a lot of points in GW24.
What should you do: Young's penalty duties make him intriguing but at 8.1m it's really tough to pick him ahead of Nasri unless you (a) can have both or (b) are desperate to differentiate. I wouldn't touch this defense given their poor production, the fact they face City at home and haven't kept a clean sheet on the road all year.

Who they play and when: GW27 - Stoke and Newcastle
Who are the best plays: Two of the three defensive fixtures predict out at less than a goal a game conceded for Birmingham and given their four home clean sheets, you have to like Foster and Dann in particular. On the downside, Newcastle have only failed to score twice on the road and Everton only have two home blanks, though Stoke have failed to score four times so the overall chance of a clean sheet looks good.
I don't see any midfielders or forwards having the upside to justify much consideration though if pressed I'd probably look at Jerome or Ferguson given their consistent playing time. A sneaky remaining option would be Robbie Keane if he has completed his transfer by then, making him an intriguing option for just 4.8m.
What should you do: Compared with players who have just one fixture Birmingham are a great option though be careful not to necessarily overreact when comparing them with other double week options like Arsenal, Spurs or Everton.

Who they play and when: GW24 - Sunderland and Man Utd and GW27 - Aston Villa and Tottenham
Who are the best plays: Normally if a team had two home-home gameweeks you would be buying their defensive stock like a 2001 dot-com company but given the fact that Blackpool are yet to record a home blank, I am a bit nervous about jumping on the Seasiders too much. The opposition looks more daunting than it is though (Villa have failed to score 5 times on the road while Sunderland have 4) so I am interested in Crainey and Kingson for this period.
Offensively, Blackpool have a surprising number of fantasy options with Adam being close to must own during this 4 week period. Even when he doesn't score or Blackpool don't win, Adam is liable to pickup bonus points which seems to almost guarantee him 7 or 8 points in a double gameweek. Varney and Campbell make interesting budget forward options if you're going that route, with Campbell clearly the form player at the moment.
What should you do: If you are picking up a budget defender when using your wildcard this week or next then the likes of Crainey or Evatt make interesting options. I am also a big fan of Kingson (or Gilks when fit) as part of a rotation strategy and I feel him is good enough to plug in now and leave in your squad for a long length of time. Offensively I think everyone should own Chaz Adam for this period and while I personally like a few strikers who cost a bit more than Varney and Campbell (Rodallega, Carroll, Elmander etc) I think they make good bench players for now who can start during the double gameweeks.

Who they play and when: GW24 - Stoke and @Liverpool
Who are the best plays: Fulham's defense is a reliable option and they're facing two sides struggling for goals this year (though Liverpool are decent at home). Hangeland is a good premium option who is a threat from set pieces (a little pricey for me though), but I really like Hughes here as the best pickup. He doesn't add much other than clean sheets but for 4.8m he has a great shot at a good score in GW27 and their upcoming fixtures are really good making him a good pickup for now and for the medium term.
Fulham have an increasingly fit strike force but none of them can really be relied on for fantasy success. In midfield, Dempsey is obviously the best pick though with just 3 predicted goals for the double gameweek I don't love him here. Simon Davies is a nice budget option who can provide value in a double gameweek and is a differentiator (1.6%).
What should you do: I would be happy playing a Fulham defender here and given their good fixture this week (@Wigan) they make a really solid pickup for anyone using their wildcard in the next two weeks. Dempsey is worth a thought if you're priced out of the Nasri/Nani market but want someone other than the wildly popular Adam and Nolan.

Who they play and when: GW24 - @Wolves and Fulham
Who are the best plays: What to make of this team? They have four home clean sheets at home and Wolves are an average scoring team so perhaps Konchesky has some value here. That said, despite the double gameweek I think other better options remain, and probably for less money.
Offensively, Torres is of course the star and with a 10% holding he is more of a differentiator than the likes of Tevez and Drogba but I am still hesitant to call him up given the fact that last week was his first away goal of the year and he's only topped double digits once.
What should you do: Until this Dalglish situation plays out I advise staying away.

Man United
Who they play and when: GW24 - Birmingham and @Blackpool
Who are the best plays: The home fixture looks good for United's defense but the road trip to Blackpool is tricky on paper. I'm not sure that the double gameweek is good enough to justify picking up an expensive defender this week as they will surely concede away to Spurs. If you're squad is fairly settled though I rate Ferdinand and Rafael as good pickups for next week.
Everyone likely has Nani by now and you could really do with trying to get Berbatov given that he is the only one of the premium three strikers on a double (unless you want to now throw Torres into this group). Rooney is a temptation but I would prefer to have Nani, a defender and Berbatov than Rooney at this point.
What should you do:You really need to have Nani and either Berbatov or Rooney and I would really try and pursue a defender if the cash stretches. United have brilliant fixtures from here on in, with only a couple of games looking really frightening. Anyone using their wildcard this week or next should probably target three United players for their team.

Who they play and when: GW27 - @Blackburn and @Birmingham
Who are the best plays: I'm not totally confident in Newcastle's defense but they've added 3 road clean sheets to date and Blackburn and Birmingham hardly set the world alight in goals scored (Birmingham have the worst home record of all). I like Harper and Simpson as bench options anyway so they make excellent medium term squad players who can be started with confidence this week.
The Magpies offer plenty of attacking options with Carroll and Nolan the obvious and popular picks. I'd love to offer a contrarian view and give some other tips but Gutierrez isn't really contributing much and while he is consistent, Joey Barton generally lacks the attacking positioning to score more than 5 or so points in a game.
What should you do: Carroll is of course a great option when he returns from injury while I am less high on Nolan who has really only had three big games which are hard to predict making him hard to rotate. I would be happy stashing a Simpson or Harper in my squad and would start them in the double. The fixtures until GW27 aren't the best though so you may wish to hold off on this pair and sign them up specifically for these games rather than sitting them until then.

Who they play and when: GW27 - @Birmingham and @Arsenal
Who are the best plays: While you like the Birmingham fixture, a trip to the Emirates spells bad news for both the offense and defense, hence negating the double gameweek somewhat. The defense isn't great at the best of times and so I'm not really tempted by the Potters back line right now.
Matt Etherington is always a good option and so as a squad man this double gameweek obviously adds somewhat to his value. Stoke's fixtures aren't bad in the medium term and so he should in your thoughts if playing your wildcard this week.
What should you do: Etherington is worth a look and Kenwyne Jones is a decent hired gun but outside of that I'm not really in on Tony Pulis' men.

Who they play and when: GW27 - @Sunderland and @Blackpool
Who are the best plays: Spurs are pretty average on the road so these fixtures aren't as good as they look. Sunderland are a dominant home team so goals should be hard to come by though Blackpool have been pretty shaky at home to date. Van der Vaart and Bale are obviously great options as always and you would likely be playing them anyway. I find it hard to get behind this forward line right now given the chance for rotation and a general lack of form.
Defensively, Spurs don't look like a great option as they haven't kept a road clean sheet all year.
What should you do: Keep playing (and possibly captaining) Van der Vaart and probably keep Bale around too. Outside of that it's hard to find too much fantasy value in this talented Spurs team.

West Brom
Who they play and when: GW27 - West Ham and Wolves
Who are the best plays: West Brom have one clean sheet all year and that came in GW2 so I'm throwing the defense out right now. Despite cooling down of late I still like Brunt and Odenwingie, especially given their fixtures which suggest the Baggies will score no less than 3.9 goals in the double gameweek.
What should you do: Brunt (5%) and Odenwingie (3%) are good differentiators who are out of favor right now after dips in form. I wouldn't necessarily say jump on them right now as West Brom's fixtures aren't the best before the double gameweek but they should definately warrant some attention if you are playing your wildcard or looking to make a move in GW26 or 27.

Who they play and when: GW24 - @Arsenal and Aston Villa
Who are the best plays: Much like Stoke the away trip to Arsenal pretty much makes this a single gameweek for Wigan's defense and therefore I'm not interested except if I already hold someone on the bench (Al Habsi is the most likely candidate). Going forward I like Rodallega quite a lot this week and next and he makes an ideal replacement for anyone still looking for a Carroll replacement. Villa's away defense is a car crash and so he, and N'Zogbia make very interesting - and differentiating - plays next week.
What should you do: I like Rodallega a lot for the next few weeks and might even venture him as my favourite sub-8m striker, until Carroll is fully fit at least. The defense is too unreliable in my eyes, even for bench fodder.

Who they play and when: GW27 - @Arsenal and @West Brom
Who are the best plays: To be honest I don't really like a single player from Wolves team that much. Jarvis has had value at points in the year but at 5.1m I can go in a number of different directions and still find players who have better fixtures in the double gameweek. The defense has improbably kept clean sheets against Liverpool and Chelsea which along with his pair of goals give Foley a hint of life but I still feel better options can be found elsewhere.
What should you do: Read why Wolves should stay up over at Back Page Football and pick your fantasy players elsewhere.

All the other teams don't enjoy a double gameweek any time soon but this should not preclude top players like Carlos Tevez from appearing in your short, medium or long term plans. I would think a lot of people will use their extra wildcard next week before the double gameweek, giving them as many doubles a possible, but you need to be careful to load up on people who will give you value beyond the gameweek or you'll be chasing your tail for the remainder of the year.


Ben said...

Thanks Chris, great work and gives us lots to think about.

One mention, I think there was a postponed Man U V Chelsea game aiming for GW28? If so, that may factor in some people's pre-GW27 WC plans (although not me, my current expected WC team has a shocking zero Chelsea players in it....)

Chris Glover said...

Thanks Ben, I hadn't noticed that on the official site but you're absolutely right. As you say, not sure if I'd pile on Chelsea players but it gives United even more value

Morgan said...

Hi Chris, was thinking of using my wildcard to change my team to-

GK Foster Gordon
Def Rafael Coleman Elmohamady Djorou Simpson
Mid Nani V.Vaart Nasri Etherington Adam
FWD Tevez Berbatov V.Persie

what do you think

Chris Glover said...

Morgan - Long term it looks solid but you could have short/medium term issues in defense. Rafael will now be suspended and Djorou and Elmo face possible rotation when other players are fit. You will need to make sure you have other options you like for the same money or you'll be stuck with players riding the bench.

stuart said...

Have used my WC with the DGW fixtures in mind to give me this team for GW 24.

Hughes2 - Huth1 - Rio2
VDV1 - Nasri1 - Adam2 - Nani2
Berb2 - Tevez1 - Bent2

Foster, Coleman, Elmo, Etherington

After this week I'll revert back to Foster and will look to bring Van Persie and Caroll in for GW27 which "should" give me 9 DGW players for that week. Obviously I'll be keeping Tevez.

0.2 in the bank.

Sean said...

Any ideas? thinking of swapping out Adam or Davies for Nasri off my bench one of these two DGWers are going to flop:


Evra, Coleman, Djourou

Kuyt, VDV, Adam, s. Davies

Rooney, Berbatov(c), Tevez

Krul, Nasri, Onuoha, Evatt

James said...

Good stuff Chris. I like the new background and style. Makes it easier to read your insights.