Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gameweek 19 Preview

The last two weeks have illustrated the randomness of fantasy football, where even when you predict the outcome right, your team can wind up with no points. For example, as forecast, the two Manchester teams have kept two clean sheets over the past two gameweeks but despite owning P Jones, Richards and Evans, I've come out of it with zero clean sheets after Jones limped off and Richards was subbed after 59 minutes in GW17, then Jones and Richards missed out altogether and Evans was withdrawn at half time in GW18. The same can be said for Rooney owners who picked up just 8 points despite United scoring 10 goals over that same two week period. You calculated the odds right but the house still won.

This shouldn't have large repercussions on how you pick your team though. Rooney was an outstanding pick these past couple of weeks and deserved captain attention in both. Trying to predict when players kept rested for the odd game is a fools errand and unless we have strong evidence of a players' lack of fitness or an indication from the manager they will be dropped, it's better to start them and just roll with the punches when they are inevitably rested every now and then. Focusing too much on playing time will lead you off track and cause you to shy away from players like Dzeko or Sturridge, who have each been extremely valuable at different points of this season.

Expect more turnover this week, but take solace that if your players were rested last week, they should at least be back for this one (injuries aside):

Captain Picks
Once again the focus is on Manchester, though a couple of London teams are doing their best to make some noise of their own.

For United, it's all about the rested Rooney who has rediscovered his scoring touch of late and has hit the target more times than any other forward over the past four gameweeks (despite playing just half an hour last GW). Having gotten a short rest last week, Rooney looks locked in to play in this one and Blackburn look like just the kind of prey ripe for the picking. It doesn't get much better than this on paper so if you own Rooney, you're probably captaining him.

Rooney's teammate Nani is another solid pick though he's started the last eight gameweeks and may find himself in Ferguson's rotation cross hairs in the near future. Nani's value is hurt somewhat by his inconsistency, with 10 GWs of 3 points or less already this year. If he's your only United played and you're turned off the other options then he deserves consideration but that downside scares me off somewhat.

Though they face a trickier trip to Sunderland, City still provide a number of good options this week. You've got to be concerned by the fact that neither Aguero nor Silva have been rotated for a while, but as noted above, trying to second guess managers (particularly Mancini, is a risky business). It's worth noting that just four of Aguero's 13 goals have come on the road and he's managed just 11 points in his last four trips away from Manchester. FFS's ICT rankings backup this worrying trend and this damning fact would steer me away from Aguero until he can prove he can do it on the road.

Silva's road splits aren't quite as pronounced but he too has hit somewhat of a slump of late with three dud games over the last four. Until that run though, Silva had scored or assisted a goal in every game he had started bar one so let's not write him off just yet. Captaining him however does look like a stretch unless your United options reside on the defensive side of the ball.

A couple of down weeks have taken the gloss off Van Persie but his 8.4 P90 at home can only be beaten by Aguero (among regular starters), who of course finds himself on the road this week. QPR have really regressed after a solid start to the year defensively, conceding 15 in their last six road games.  His GW18 line may have disappointed but his underlying stats tell a different story with no less than eight shots, five of which were on target. Anything like that again here should ensure he returns better results for his owners and he remains a great captain pick this week.

Mata and Sturridge have a great fixture for the week but they still haven't really demonstrated an ability to consistently deliver big point hauls and Sturridge has actually been better on the road this year.  I like this pair to own over the next six weeks or so but the armband is a step too far unless you lack anyone in the above group or you think they will all be rested/rotated.

Ba and Bale are in great form and I wouldn't bench them against anyone but the stats say that Newcastle and Spurs will struggle for goals this week and thus they aren't captain material.


Davefevs said...

With Sure suspended and 2 free transfers, my loyalty to LFC players has had to end. Out goes Adam too to accommodate Bale and Sturridge, whilst leaving some money in the kitty. Hoping Jones and Evans return to fitness too. Going to stick with Sturridge as captain.....and have also manoeuvred 3 Spurs players in for GW20 (Gallas, Bale and Adebayor)....with money spare for an Everton player if I choose so.

HNY to you all!

Davefevs said...

Sure = Suarez.......predictive text!

stooshermadness said...

Chris, great post. The charts have me thinking about a move for Valencia. I have 2 "frees" this GW. I have Nani, but, as you alluded to, I am worried he (and RvP for that matter, especially with Ful 2 days later) will be rested. And I want some Man Utd attacking coverage for sure v. BLA and I don't think SAF would rest Nani AND Valencia in the same game. The move would entail dropping Kompany for a budget defender playing at home (McAuley, or I could go as expensive as Shawcross) and dropping Drenthe for Valencia. I'm not too vexed about dropping Kompany since I have targeted Clichy, who is 0.8 cheaper, in GW21. I hate losing Drenthe right before a DGW, but this is the only way it fits. My alternative is to bring Clichy in for Evans now (Evans is my only orange "i"), to insure I have all 13 field players available as I suspect 1 or 2 of my big hitters to be rotated. Thoughts?

Another question. I took a short term flyer on Friedel when Schwarzer went down and that has worked out (10, 4, 8 points). I have Bale and Adebayor, but I wonder if 1 or the other might be rested on the front end game of the DGW (I think they'll play at SWN but WBA comes 3 days later). I've never captained a GK before, but what do you think about Friedel for the armband in the DGW ? WBA and EVE @ WHL - serious clean sheet potential, imo. 1 clean sheet and it's a success, really. Crazy or no ?

Mitchell Stirling said...

Hi Chris, just before the transfer window I'm taking a look at my team after a similar disaster of a week with Evans, Jones, Richards, Nani and Silva not doing very much.

With that in mind I've been thinking about that the best strategy is for the rest of the season in terms of where to put the money. At the moment I've got Vorm and Stockdale, happy with that right now. In defence I have Evans, Richards, P. Jones, Caulker and L. Enrique. In Midfield, Brunt, Larsson, Nani, Mata and Silva and RVP, Morison and Sturridge up front. I have no free transfers and 0.3 million in the bank. My issue in the short term is getting Spurs players, primarily Bale and Adebayor, in for wk 20. Medium term should I be looking to get four 10m players in midfield or should I look to upgrade a forward?

With this in mind I looked at some current points and values and worked out that for 31.7m I could have Kompany, Skrtel, Evra, P. Jones and L. Enrique and their 375 points or for 24.0m I could have Brown, Evans, Williams, Warnock and Shawcross and 280 points. So that's an extra 7.7m for 95 points.

In midfield, Nani, Bale, Silva van Der Vaart and Dempsey for 47.4m and have 493 points. Brunt, Sessegeson, Sinclair, Larsson and Etherington for 31.8m and 364 points. So and extra 16.4m for 129 points.

Up front, Van Persie, Rooney and Aguero would cost 35.7m for 358 and Ba, Morison and Sturridge would cost 19.7m for 267 points. An extra 16 million for 91 points.

This seems to suggest that spending an extra £5m on defenders would be a better bet, do you have any other figures that would bare this out or contradict this?

Thanks and best wishes for 2012!

Snorre said...

Mitchell: I know you wanted a reply from Chris I just wanted to give you my .02$.

From the numbers you've used you could draw the conclusion that you might aswell only go with the cheaper options, but I think part of the reason that the greats are so pricey is that you're pretty much guaranteed a good return.

Aguero, Silva, VDV, Van Persie, Rooney - it would be obvious from GW2 that these players would eventually dominate. It's not that easy getting lucky with Etherington, Evans and Morison. Either way I agree with your conclusion that paying for defenders is a good deal.

vicky said...

krul or vorm to start this week?suggestions by anyone appreciated..thanks in advance..

Mitchell Stirling said...

Snorre, I agree while those big 10m+ players have delivered there are plenty of others who through injury or other (Tevez, Gerrard, Berbatov etc) who wouldn't have been worth busting the bank for. While the likes of Etherington are clearly good value, you don't win anything for ending the season on 1500 points with a squad worth 75m.

The next question is if the Cahill transfer is done, worth getting him in before he becomes a Chelsea player on the game.

Zouboulzeng said...

I have the same keeper combo and I am playing Vorm with no hesitation for two reasons:
1. the home fixture is always a major advantage especially for Swansea
2. I like the Newcastle defence but they lost some reliability of late

I think that playing Krul would be a big gamble on a possible clean sheet whereas Vorm is the safe/reasonable option (I expect his to get points from 3 or 6 saves at least)

Redhot said...

I have RVP, Mata and Nani and confuse who is the best pick for captain this week. Any suggestion?

Redhot said...


I think Krul is the best option for this week. Liverpool struggle to get back their gameplay and i dont think they can make it this week.

doka93 said...

My team for this week is as follows:

Shotton, Kompany, Enrique
Nani, Van der Vaart, Sessegnon, Silva
Adebayor, Van Persie (C), Sturridge

Subs: Stockdale, Evans, Simpson, Moses

Heading into the DGW I have two free transfers, and I was thinking of getting rid of Simpson and Nani for Walker and Osman.

I like having a strong side with a decent upside, but at the same time, to win my leagues I feel it is important to have some differentials in my squad. I currently own Van der Vaart and when fully fit and played down the middle I much prefer him to Bale to rack in the points, but for the DGW is it worth getting rid for Bale? His fitness and injuries are a real worry for me and I cannot see him playing both games, and even if he does, I can't see him playing in his most dangerous position. He seems to be ineffective out wide and Bale's on a very hot streak at the moment.

Also, when it comes to captaincy next week Adebayor seems the obvious choice but I know full well everybody else in my league will make him their captain too. With me being ahead in both of my leagues I feel I should just keep Adebayor for my captain, to keep my lead at the top rather than to extend it. I'd love to take a chance on VDV though and for it to pay off.

I'm aware it's a GW early but any advice would be appreciated, I intend to get my team sorted as soon as this gameweek starts as I will have limited (if any) internet access in the next few days.


vanilla said...

Thanks for the detail and the attention you give this blog in every post. It's a lively community as well!

I wonder, will you make a post about the African Cup Of Nations? It's difficult to find an online resource about what players will be missing from the EPL, when they depart, et cetera.

Michael Essien and Amr Zaki aren't hauling in points the way they used to, but owners of BAE, Demba Ba, etc. would want to know more, I'm sure.

Also, do we know for sure that Adebayor will be gone? I thought Togo was banned from the next tournament after (understandably) leaving last year after their bus was attacked.

ALM said...

The only players of any fantasy note that will be playing at the African Cup of Nations are Ba, Gervinho, Tiote and the Toures. I'm not sure whether Drogba and Kalou are going, but they won't be much of a miss from a fantasy perspective anyhow. Therefore you've no worries over BAE or Adebayor as neither Cameroon nor Togo qualified. As for when they'll leave for the tournament, I heard that Ba will leave after GW21, but not sure whether this is the same for all players.

stooshermadness said...

Vanilla - what ALM said. FFS did a post on this topic as well but ALM has nailed the short version. Yaya Toure is rumored to have asked to stay through GW21 too.

Gummi at said...

@Mitchell Stirling: Excellent thoughts on the value of defenders, midfielders, and attackers. I would put some extra weight on the expensive heavy hitters that will deliver. Your analysis is based on points so far only, and many of the cheaper ones could be enjoying unusually good form that will not continue for the second half of the season.

@stooshermadness: I would say it's sensible enough to captain Friedel. However, I don't think Adebayor will be rested and his returns could be fantastic.

vanilla said...

I'm budget-defender shopping. Fulham's schedule is catching my eye, and they are capable of clean sheets. Are Senderos and Kelly worth a look?

vicky said...

who to captain among vdv,bale and adebayor for gw 20 ? Anyone pls give suggestions..thanks in advance..

nsj91 said...


I would definitely say adebayor. of those 3 tottenham players, he is definitely the safest pick in my mind - i would expect a minimum 2 goals from him over the two matches.

vdv has proven this season to be injury prone, so if you give him the C you risk that blowing up in your face.

bale is a worthy contender, but he is more 'hit or miss' than ade, so youre rolling the dice a bit.

its been a while since i got 40 points from my skipper.. hopefully ade turns that around this week

vicky said...


thanks a lot mate.....
been thinking the same way....ade captain then......hope he scores 4 goals atleast in those 2 matches...

Raddz said...

Hey i was wondering what everton players people are bringing in this week if any as i already have my 3 tottenham players and have 1 free transfer left. I have up to 7 mill and was planning on bringing in drenthe but him not playing today and heitinga playing in the midfield has made me doubt bringing him in as donavan has just arrived in the transfer window as well and is 7 mill as a midfielder, he may not play both games though due to fitness but could be worth a gamble as he should play in attack. thanks.