Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 13

Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin.
Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Koscielny, Frimpong, Gervinho, Chamakh, Benayoun.

Djorou over Koscielny made sense at right back given his impressive physical capability, though I'm still not personally convinced this unit can be relied upon given their lofty price tags. Gervinho impressed off the bench and I was surprised to see him there in the first place. I had hoped he might push on to become a useful asset but without guaranteed minutes he joins a long list of overpriced forwards. Diaby returned from injury but didn't look particularly sharp and I wouldn't expect him to get back in the first team next week. That situation is worth monitoring for Ramsey owners.

Aston Villa
Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, N'Zogbia, Delph, Herd, Bent, Agbonlahor, Heskey
Subs: Guzan, Jenas, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Clark, Cuellar, Bannan.

Not too much note in terms of the starting lineup, which is one of the more reliable in the league. Back-to-back zeros must be a concern for Agbonlahor and Bent owners, and I'd maintain that while this pair have played well, their underlying stats are not great and I'm not sure if it isn't time to move on, particularly from the pricey Bent. On the plus side, the Villains were able to log they 4th clean sheet of the year and have done a good job at keeping out the weaker sides. Warnock and Hutton remain borderline squad men.

Robinson, Lowe, Hanley, Dann, Givet, Rochina, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu
Subs: Bunn, Petrovic, Blackman, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Roberts, Henley.

Granted, they have some injuries, but this is a pretty miserable team. Hoilett remains a borderline asset but elsewhere there is very little else to like. Perhaps Samba will finally move to a better team and develop some value at 5.4m.

Jaaskelainen, Wheater, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, M Davies, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Eagles, Klasnic, K Davies
Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Sanli, Petrov, Pratley, Kakuta, O'Halloran.

It pains me to say it, but this Bolton side may be in the same boat as their Lancashire rivals. Eagles and Klasnic have had their good days but their production is so unpredictable that it makes it hard to play them sporadically. It's hard to judge the team too harshly based on a game in which they played for long periods with 10-men but it's hard to see much value here. Like Samba, G Cahill's value may only be rescued by a move away from the Reebok.

Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Meireles, Romeu, Mata, Sturridge, Drogba
Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Torres, Mikel, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou.

Now even Lampard isn't safe! Villas-Boas may well be the least fantasy-friendly manager in the league (Mancini runs him close though) and despite the big win it's hard to find anyone to love in this expensive Chelsea side. Mata is one of the few players to be locked into this lineup and his big performance (and set piece duties) underline his potential. I'd love to recommend Sturridge but you have to accept you're going to get a 1 pointers from him, while the back line either looks too pricey (Terry, Cole) or too inconsistent (everyone else). My advice remains to monitor Sturridge, own Mata is you're tired of the Nani / Young / Van der Vaart group and keep away from the defense until someone emerges as a reliable starter (for a reasonable price).

Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Osman, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Saha.
Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios, Mustafi, McAleny.

The side looks settled but the goals seem to come from different sources every week. Everton have 5 players who've netted more than once this year yet Drenthe and Rodwell didn't play while Vellios started on the bench as usual. Only Baines and Jagielka were in the starting lineup, though my feelings on that pair do not need repeating. This team don't score many but yet don't keep clean sheets (this was just the 2nd all year) making it tough to find much value.

Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Ruiz, Dembele, Zamora.
Subs: Etheridge, Johnson, Kasami, Gecov, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.

In the weekly Fulham defense rotation, it was Hughes who missed out this week. I'd still suggest that Baird is the pick here with Senderos only suitable for those desperate for sub-4.5m pickup. There are options here who are guaranteed minutes and a defensive display at Arsenal isn't the best game to judge them in. Dempsey and co will have better days ahead.

Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing, Suarez, Kuyt
Subs: Doni, Carroll, Maxi, Coates, Spearing, Carragher, Kelly.

As expected, Downing came back in for Maxi, and we might in the situation where Maxi will become the 'away' specialist. Liverpool played their part in an entertaining game, though I still struggle to see where consistent fantasy points are coming from in this side. Though his assist was clearly lucky, Adam remains my pick of the Liverpool side along with the slightly frustrating Suarez. I say frustrating because the underling stats suggest he should be scoring more, but watching him I don't really get the impression he is suddenly going to explode for a great scoring run. I'm sure more goals will come but he isn't in the top class right now and I struggle to rank him ahead of Adebayor.

Man City
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Barry, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Aguero
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Johnson, Toure, De Jong, Balotelli.

This is probably Mancini's first choice starting lineup, with perhaps Nasri the most likely to miss out regularly. The problem this week was not guessing Mancini's lineup but their lack of production. Lescott's own goal made it 6 straight games without a clean sheet, and you wonder if Mancini will react to that and move to a more defensive approach, perhaps recalling De Jong in the middle. I am not worried about Richards and Kompany just yet but we are getting to a position where owning a City defender is no longer a no brainer (I still think it is, but we're getting closer). I thought Aguero was extremely quiet and he is not in must-own territory. I still hold him in a separate elite category with Rooney and Van Persie though.

Man Utd
De Gea, Fabio Da Silva, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Young, Rooney, Hernandez
Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Smalling, Park, Valencia, Macheda, Gibson.

P Jones was an unexpected drop here, though for his owners it might be a sign that he is the first choice right back for the foreseeable future and this was merely a one week rest. The fact that Fabio, rather than Smalling, got the start might be a another plus for Jones. Rooney and Hernandez started the game really well but then Rooney started dropping deeper and United lost their edge until Newcastle equalised and then somehow held on. I maintain that Rooney will be a top fantasy asset at some point but this team looks disjointed at the moment and seems unable to sustain high level play for an extended period of time. Hernandez got the lucky goal but I'm not ready to put him in that elite category just yet and I see him more alongside Adebayor than Van Persie. Nani was almost non-existent in this game and while Young started well, he too faded as the game went on. I'm not out on either player just yet but a fully fit Van der Vaart and Silva look better than this pair for now, with Mata emerging as a threat too.

Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Ba
Subs: Elliot, Santon, Lovenkrands, Perch, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi.

This is a very settled lineup and it continues to provide good value for fantasy owners. Ba is a legit option up top and with the top midfielders starting to struggle a bit, there's a good argument to making him you're third striker and sacrificing some expense in midfield to make it happen. After Chelsea next week, Newcastle have four good fixtures so plan to hold onto Simpson, Taylor and co for the foreseeable future.

Ruddy, Martin, Barnett, De Laet, Tierney, Pilkington, Johnson, Crofts, Surman, Morison, Jackson.
Subs: Rudd, Holt, Hoolahan, Fox, Bennett, Wilbraham, Naughton.

Some unlikely scorers for Norwich this week, which failed to shed any light on which of these midfielders we should be targeting. Johnson has been the biggest goal threat to date though it's Pilkington who has the goals. I will talk more about Morison in this week's focus on budget forwards, but while Norwich are equipping themselves in the league well, it's tough to see too much consistent production here, making most of their players 2nd or 3rd sub types.

Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Faurlin, Traore, Mackie, Helguson.
Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hall, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Smith, Puncheon.

QPR conceded 2 goals in the first 6 GWs and then 17 in the last 7. They're clearly missing Barton (and yes even Taarabt) who gave them a couple of players who could put their foot on the ball and get a better grip of the game. Aside from the uber-cheap Gabbidon, their defense is probably overpriced. Young's goal was nice and Traore's advanced deployment is generally an asset but both are priced based on their former employers and don't deliver value here. Helguson seems to have a decent grip on that lone striker role though you wouldn't be too surprised to see Bothroyd get minutes too.

Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Subs: Begovic, Higginbotham, Jones, Fuller, Whitehead, Upson, Jerome.

I totally missed the Begovic benching last week so apologies for that, and thanks to the readers who steered me in the right direction. Pulis announced that he still have faith in Begovic but that Sorensen is the man between the sticks for now. Begovic is obviously a sell but I would personally abandon this pairing for now as you wouldn't be shocked to see him win back that jersey at some point. Elsewhere this is a settled side though it's hard to be excited by too much outside of Walters.

Westwood, O'Shea, Bardsley, Turner, Brown, Cattermole, Larsson, Colback, Sessegnon, Richardson, Bendtner
Subs: Carson, Gardner, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, McClean, Elmohamady

Another settled side but another whose suspect form is really hurting their players' fantasy production. Sessegnon and Bendtner have their fans (and some stats to backup the love) but both have fallen off the map in November. Larsson's 7 shots on target suggest his goalscoring exploits may be limited in the future. I still favor the cheap Sessegnon to lead his team in points come season end.

Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Taylor, Sinclair, Britton, Allen, Gower, Dyer, Graham
Subs: Tremmel, Dobbie, Routledge, Lita, Moore, Richards, Moras.

This is a really good defensive unit and given their pricing there's a strong argument to owning Vorm and another defender (I like Taylor). This lineup is extremely reliable and while the outfielders no not really warrant starting every week, they make nice 2nd subs and can be relied upon for appearance points and the off 5-6 pointer. This is one of the more valuable teams around to monitor.

Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Sandro, Bale, Adebayor, Defoe
Subs: Cudicini, Gallas, Bassong, Livermore, Kane, Pienaar, Fredericks.

A couple of enforced changes here with Defoe and Sandro slotting in for Van der Vaart and Modric, though neither are likely to hold down a place going forward. Adebayor is starting to make noise and is one of a couple of players challenging the 'two elite forwards plus one scrub' strategy. I don't put him in the same category as Van Persie, Aguero or Rooney (at least in the long term) just yet but at 2.0-3.0m less, you have to at least consider how you can use that cash elsewhere. Alternatively, with the top flight midfielders struggling of late, some will no doubt consider three elite forwards. The problem there is finding the cheap midfielders to supplement your front three, and thus Adebayor becomes tough to fit into your side. Spurs have good fixtures on the horizon and have quickly become a hot fantasy team, but they'll need to be more ruthless if they are to provide defensive value to accompany their significant firepower going forward.

West Brom
Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Mulumbu, Morrison, Thomas, Gera, Long
Subs: Fulop, Tchoyi, Dorrans, Odemwingie, Jones, Cox, Scharner.

There are a lot of uninspiring team this year! Brunt seems to be a shadow of his former self and this team really seems to miss Odemwingie's speed. The Nigerian did make the bench this week though and with Gera getting injured he might be thrown straight into action next week. The back line is settled and well priced but they just don't seem to be very good at the moment which negates all other factors.

Al Habsi, Gohouri, Caldwell, Stam, Figueroa, McCarthy, Moses, Gomez, Jones, Diame, Sammon
Subs: Pollitt, Crusat, Watson, Di Santo, McArthur, Rodallega, Lopez.

He scored some points! Moses finally rewarded his loyal owner (ie me) with an assist this week: watch out David Silva. The team selection continues to baffle me as Watson, Di Santo and Rodallega are all (at least on paper) some of Wigan's best players. To be honest I don't see enough of their games to suggest Martinez is wrong, and a good win this week suggests his team selection may be right but from a fantasy perspective, the likes of Sammon, Jones and Gomez just don't have the talent or opportunities to be relevant. Pass

Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Johnson, Elokobi, Jarvis, Henry, Milijas, Ward, Edwards, Fletcher
Subs: De Vries, Craddock, Ebanks-Blake, Hammill, Doherty, Guedioura, Forde.

O'Hara and Hunt were suspended for this one and they will presumably slip back into the side next week. I'm not sure what happened to Doyle, but he had suggested in the week that he was fearful of being dropped. If Fletcher is given guaranteed minutes, his goalscoring record is very good and he would become a useful mid-range forward. This team has talent but like so many other sides this year, they don't seem to be doing much with it.


doka93 said...

Picked up on some good points as ever, I want to ask; what do you reckon about Wilkinson at Stoke? He seems to be stringing consistent minutes together now and at 4.0 I am contemplating bringing him in as a more than suitable 5th choice defender who I wouldn't hesitate to play for a favourable Stoke fixture. Granted, Stoke's defensive record has been lax of late but nonetheless I rate him as one of the better options in the sub 5m bracket.

stooshermadness said...

Interesting stuff as always Chris.

I'm not sure I understand your antipathy to Sturridge. 6G, 1A, 6BPs in 10 GWs - he was suspended the first 3 GWs. The only forward scoring goals for the 3rd highest scorers in the Prem. Every forward has 1 or 2 point GWs.

Thoughts on Hibbert ? You don't recommend Everton players but the schedule ahead is as good as any, and includes a DGW in GW20. Got forward for crosses a fair amount today as well, albeit against a 10 man Bolton. Looking for a cheap rotateable defender for Warnock.

Haven't seen much of Norwich but Hoolahan, by all reports, was critical to Norwich's promotion. He's been dropped a few times this fall, as he was yesterday, but came on to grab an assist. His numbers on Members/FFS look good and he's dropped in price. Worth a place as a squad mid or is Lambert's inscrutable rotation too difficult to predict ?

My take is that a motivated, manager-backed Adebayor is really in the elite category, massive bargain at 8.0 early on, still a bargain at 8.7, I think. 200 FF points (24G) a couple of seasons ago, and terrific FF totals for an injury plagued and manager-fallout half-seasons thereafter.

Great stuff Chris, thanks.

Fantasy Premier League Hints Blog said...

It seems like an average sub-50 GW. Not the best with many top performers like RVP, VDV, Rooney and Lamps either not starting or failing to perform.

PS -

My sympathies to Wales and the family of Gary Speed (1969-2011).

amtosh said...

Hey Chris.

I am another Moses loyalist and am stoked for the little fella to have finally got more than 3 points this week!

However, his upcoming schedule looks very tough and I'm not confident of him grabbing any more points with Arsenal, Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool and Stoke (A) on the horizon.

Therefore, I'm looking at transferring Woodgate and Moses out. I've got 2 transfers and it leaves me with 10.7 in the bank.

Who do you recommend as a pairing?

Assou-Ekkoto (DGW) and Eagles?

Kompany and Gower? Hibbert (DGW) and Cabaye? Gabbidon and Parker (DGW)?

Tough choices this week. Just took 1st on my minileague and need to consolidate my position.

Cheers mate.

Gummi at said...

It's kind of depressing how few options there are at the moment. We are missing the Charlie Adams (of Blackpool) of yesteryear.

My patience is stretching thin with both Rooney and Nani. How long before you would get rid?

@stooshermadness: I was just looking at Everton's schedule and pondering about getting in Hibbert. I was even wondering about (gasp) Baines for the upcoming schedule. They've got STOKE, Arsenal, NORWICH, SWANSEA, Sunderland, West Brom, BOLTON in their next 7 games which looks inviting to me, both in terms of clean sheet potential and goals.

@amtosh: Out of that group I would go for Kompany and Gower. Kompany will pick up clean sheets and Gower's passing ability should grap him assists now and then.

Kevin Tan said...

Hi Chris,

Have been following on ur write up. Very informative & factful. Articles that I never miss before I can make up my mind.

Who would u choose between Ramsey & Drenthe?

Both have good fixture.
Ramsey may get a share from Ars attacking football, but he always not the one who make the last assist (mostly Genvinho & Walcott)

Drenthe is more Key to Everton, how about the 'Rumour' lately?

Many thanks.


frinbag said...

i have to choose between van persie, aguero and adebayor for captain this week! please help