Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gameweek 15 Preview

One of my main regrets with this blog is my inability to keep up with all the injury news. I've tried sharing links from the local papers and the main sites but I just don't have time to keep up. Hopefully everyone knows where to look for the important news but I do want to point out that, for me, the best sources are Fantasy Football Scout's excellent team news section and the Guardian Squad Sheets which don't get everything right, but at least stop you making silly mistakes (signing a suspended player etc). Anyway, I guess that is my way or shirking some responsibility for the clangers I dropped last week (I forgot to mention the S Taylor injury and totally missed the injury to Sorensen). I hope though that you get enough alternative info to make the blog worthwhile. I'm pleased with where the blog sits in the world but I'm always looking for ideas to freshen things up so I open things up to the readers for any suggestions. What decisions do you struggle with every week that could be made easier? What do you want to see ranked? What stats to do want to see?

Anyway, let's move on to this week. For the first time in a while it's the red side of Manchester that looks to be the better pick for the week, both offensively and defensively. In years past, this week would be a total lock to captain Rooney but is he worthy of that status, regardless of the matchup? United have only hit the back of the net once in the last 7 gameweeks despite playing the likes of Sunderland, Swansea and Everton. Looking at FFS's ICT rankings, Rooney hasn't had a good game since GW7 and thus he's a risk this week. He is of course an option but this is one week I would push the stats aside slightly and stick with the hot hands elsewhere in the league.

And there's no hand hotter than Van Persie. I wish I had a database of all time fantasy scores to try and put Van Persie's current run into context. 7 of the last 9 weeks have gone for double digit scores including 13 goals, 4 assists and 19 bonus points, though it's hard to forgive those two 2-pointers (ha). Everton aren't a terrible defensive team but they gave up 3 at Chelsea and 2 at City at you be surprised if Arsenal didn't hit a similar mark this week. Van Persie has scored or assisted 17 of Arsenal's last 24 goals so any success they do have will surely be reflected in the Dutchman's fantasy line and thus I can't recommend captaining anyone else this week.

If you're not one of the 33% of managers who own Van Persie then you still have a couple of decent options. As we noted above, United's struggles make it tough to look at either Nani or A Young for anything more than a cursory glance. City have been simply outstanding on the road this year, brushing off United (6) and Spurs (5) while giving Bolton (3), Blackburn (4) and QPR (3) a few lessons of their own. AgueroDzeko and Silva all played the majority of the game midweek so while Balotelli could come in, it will likely only be at the expense of one of these players. Even then, he may be on the sidelines as Mancini has suggested he will be dropped in 'important' games which Chelsea away probably still counts as. Both Aguero and Silva have both missed a couple of games in the year so both represent some rotation risk but I'd be fairly comfortable giving either a go if you need a captain pick for the week.

Despite their struggles for clean sheets, City have only conceded more than the odd goal once in the last 9 gameweeks, thus making Chelsea players a huge risk this week. With a vintage Lampard or red hot Drogba you might roll the dice but while Mata has been good, I don't think he's good enough yet to justify playing him in such a tough fixture.

Equally, Spurs face a tricky trip to Stoke, though they've been extremely consistent all year, netting twice or more in the last 11 games. That of course brings BaleAdebayor and Van der Vaart into play especially as Stoke have suffered a couple of uncharacteristic blemishes at home of late. Of that Trio I still like a fully fit Van der Vaart the most, though with that not a guarantee I'd stick with Bale or Adebayor. 

Check back tomorrow evening (ET) or Saturday morning (GMT) for reader questions and be sure to post anything below or @plfantasy if you want anything answering (or attempted to be answered at least).


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
Brilliant blog as always. Don't fret about what you miss, as nobody can be all-knowing. Suffice to say the value I get from this is very high, and it's always an exciting moment when I see there's been a new post.

One thing you don't deal with so much which would be interesting is an analysis of whether it's worth building up team value for team value's sake at all, especially prior to the January wildcard. That would interest me as it's easy to get hooked on price drops and rises, given the ease of checking fiso, etc.

Thanks again,

Gummi at said...

Do you have any statistical way of measuring how double gameweeks pay off?

Of course you want to captain a Spurs player during the double gameweek, but I'm thinking more of whether I should get both Spurs and Everton players in early on.

This time around both have decent fixtures, so for me it's a no-brainer. But, I also don't have RvP so you could also say that I'm a no-brainer...

Ben said...

Don't worry about missing the occasional injury, the other value you provide more than makes up for it.

Something I'd like to see is some analysis on is the wisdom of taking the 4 point hit to make an extra transfer. I've avoided it so far this season based on the reasoning that there are only 3 players averaging more than 6 points per game, so unless you're looking at only playing with 10 you're most likely going to be better off taking 2 points rather than paying for a transfer and hoping to beat that 6 point break even point. Obviously the 2 points is never guaranteed, but even an unfavourable selection sometimes picks up some extras too.

John Fantasy said...

Hi Chris,

great blog. What do you think about this situation.

I have this 4 elite players in the squad: van persie, silva, nani, van der vaart.

Apart from them, I also have adebayor and graham.

With two free transfers for this week, I'm thinking about selling one elite mid and graham, to buy suarez (from who i expect points next gameweeks), and to buy some of budget mids (faurlin/gower). What would you suggest? Any other idea?

And the main question who would you seel among this 3: silva / nani / vnv? I expect offensive role for nani now, so i would prefer selling silva in this moment. That would be my thoughts / questions.


Raddz said...

Hey Chris I love the blog and your analysis is amazing as always. Right now I am debating on what to do with my mifield. Currently I hold two elite mids in VdV and Silva as well as Bale, Pilkington and Dyer. I am trying to free up some room to bring in Richards and don't want to sell Aguero, and RvP so I was wondering if you thought that selling VdV made sense and who should I replace him with? (Walcott?) And which budget mids are good right now to replace Pilkinton as I am not sold on him right now and I already have Dyer. Would Farlin be good or gambling with Moses?
Thanks and keep up the great work!

Prongs said...

Great article once again!

Sounds like a ridiculous question. But can you throw some light on which clubs are more susceptible to snow/bad weather? Also any way to prepare us for this? (Strong/Playing bench a must?)

Grounderz said...

Hi Chris, my starting lineup for the gameweek is - Vorm, Richards, Jones, Vermaelen, Jose Enrique, Mata, Silva, Bale, Adebayor, Van Persie and Morison. Which of these players do you think will most likely perform and which won't, given the fixtures?

Bench - Given, Williams, Dyer and Reo Coker.

Moe Vawda said...

whose a good keeper to rotate with vorm?i have al habsi but he's got a 2% chancee of clean sheets.have simpson so trying to stay away from krul and dont want to spend more then 5m

Moe Vawda said...

btw ur blog is brilliant but maybe every week u could have a short 3 line review of each game and players to choose from them?

Davefevs said...

With two free transfers this week, I've jumped rather belatedly on the Phil Jones bandwagon...he'll be my only Man Utd player. I've also sold Given and brought in Ruddy as my rotation with Krul. This is a 5 week rotation based on their fixtures complimenting home and away fixtures, taking advantage of Newcastle's two tough aways on the trot when Norwich have two easier home games. With NUFC struggling for central defenders, I've plumped for Ruddy over Krul this weekend, when they play each other. With Ba upfront, I'm hedging my bets that NCFC keep a clean-sheat, or Ba finds the net.

My 15 is:

Ruddy (Krul)
P.Jones, Kompany, W.Brown, Enrique (R.Johnson)
Silva, Adam, Walcott (Joe Allen, Song)
Ba, Suarez, Adebayor

Suarez as captain, 'bout time he found the goal trail....Kenny ~ please play Kuyt off of him, not Carroll!!!!!

Raddz said...

Hey chris I was wondering if you know anything about Bales potential injury? If he will start or not and if it is worth the gamble to play him if he won't play the full 90?