Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 15

Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Ramsey, Gervinho, van Persie
Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Arshavin, Frimpong, Chamakh, Benayoun, Miquel.

Djorou was the emergency right back and did okay after picking up a knock early on. This Arsenal side is very settled now and you feel that the likes of Arshavin, Benayoun and Chamakh are recalled only when a player absolutely needs a rest, rather than to simply rotate the squad. There is an argument for owning 5 of the 6 offensive players (probably not Song despite this week's assist). Van Persie's goal was unreal and while Rooney announced himself back on the stage, the Dutchman is still very much the default captain pick each week, all else being equal.

Aston Villa
Guzan, Hutton, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, N'Zogbia, Petrov, Herd, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Bent
Subs: Marshall, Ireland, Delfounso, Heskey, Clark, Bannan, Weimann.

Aside from the odd change in midfield this is a very settled side and a goal for Agbonlahor will have many turning his way once again. For me though he isn't consistent enough to match the pricier options and I'm not sure he's a big enough upgrade over the cheap group to warrant investment. The defense is useful at best and I don't see enough of a distinction between them and the 4.5m defenders to justify owning them.

Robinson, Lowe, Samba, Dann, Givet, Salgado, Dunn, Pedersen, Vukcevic, Formica, Yakubu
Subs: Bunn, Olsson, Blackman, Goodwillie, Roberts, Hanley, Henley.

The lineup is more settled but the results are essentially the same. Yakubu can score while feasting on scraps and thus deserves consideration but the rest of this side look to be embroiled in a scrappy relegation struggle and seem to lack anywhere close to the kind of quality you look for in a fantasy starter.

Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Eagles, Pratley, M Davies, Tuncay, K Davies, Klasnic
Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Muamba, Petrov, Ngog, Kakuta, O'Halloran.

The lone bright spot in this Bolton side (Klasnic) was stretchered off and we're at the point where Owen Coyle's job might be in danger soon. With Klasnic out there is zero fantasy value here. Next.

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

They defended well for long periods against Arsenal but don't look quite cohesive enough to become a top defensive unit, thus making the majority of their players overpriced. They managed just a single shot on target all day and none of the attacking players deserve consideration here.

Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, JA Riise, Dembele, Davies, Etuhu, Dempsey, Ruiz, Johnson
Subs: Etheridge, Orlando Sa, Gecov, BH Riise, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.

There are options in this side but they ran into a Swansea side who are very good at home. Dempsey and Dembele intrigue me and the defense is okay as a rotation option, though it remains somewhat unclear who the first choice back line is here, now that the once reliable Baird is off with personal issues. We need to see what happens with Hughes and Senderos (as well as how soon Baird will return) before investing here.

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

It wasn't necessarily pretty but it was effective and Liverpool pick up another win and clean sheet. Jose Enrique remains an extremely good option though at 5.8m he isn't quite the no-brainer he was at 5.0m. The important attacking players remain pretty settled in this side and Suarez's goal was long overdue. My concern remains that this side seems to have limited attacking upside and so if you select a Suarez or an Adam, you really need them to score/assist a very high proportion of Liverpool's goals if they are deliver the same value as the (admittedly pricier) options at City, or even United.

Man Utd
De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani, Welbeck, Rooney
Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Park, Young, Macheda, Gibson, Fryers.

Evans is the key man here as he slipped into the side to replace Vidic. Smalling of course played too but it remains to be seen whether Jones will slide to right back in the future leaving Smalling out in the cold once again. At 4.4m Evans becomes close to a must own player if he is going to be playing the majority of games for the rest of the year. Anyone holding Newcastle assets might want to target Evans as without S Taylor and with other players in and out of the team, that unit suddenly looks a lot less valuable. Rooney obviously played much better (his 2nd best of the season by Fantasy Football Scout's measure) and should once again be in consideration up top alongside Van Persie and Aguero for your elite forwards. I'm still nervous about this United side's lack of creativity sometimes but at least against the weaker sides Rooney and Nani (and Young) will be good enough to generate good produciton. Young being dropped here is somewhat of a concern as you normally think Valencia would be drafted in against better teams for his defensive abilities. Nevertheless you have to think Young will play, though I don't believe he is in the same class as Silva and Van der Vaart, and I'd still prefer to have Nani at this point.

Krul, Santon, Simpson, Perch, R Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Gosling, Gutierrez, Ba, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Elliot, Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Smith, Best, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.

Big changes at the back here with S Taylor done for the year and Coloccini also missing out. I don't want to overreact but given their recent defensive decline and the now permanent absence of S Taylor, this unit may have had its best days and it might be time to start looking elsewhere. They remain good rotation options but not the weekly starters they have been to this point. Ameobi came in here for Ben Arfa which was somewhat surprising though I'm not sure either of this pair were ownable anyway.

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

The rotation in midfield is a bit on issue for this side, with fantasy top scorers Pilkington and Johnson the men to miss out this week. We might soon be in a situation where Morison is the only offensive player to own here, if the rotation issues continue for that pair.

Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Barton, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Smith, Bothroyd
Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Campbell, Buzsaky, Connolly.

I was excited for this side's prospects but of the promoted sides they are easily the most disappointing. There are still some options here to monitor (Barton, Helguson, maybe Faurlin) but they have just one clean sheet since GW5 and have continued to struggle for offensive consistency.

Sorensen, Huth, Woodgate, Shawcross, Wilson, Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Subs: Begovic, Jones, Fuller, Upson, Delap, Jerome, Palacios.

When everyone fit this team is easy to predict and can generally be relied up for decent returns. Etherington reminded us this week that Walters isn't the only midfield option in this side. When fit, this is a useful defensive unit but given his struggles to stay on the field I'm reluctant to bring Woodgate back into play and so Shawcross becomes the cheapest option, though he isn't particularly cheap. Sorensen is an option but he too comes with some risk that Begovic might take that spot back at some point.

Westwood, O'Shea, Bramble, Brown, Bardsley, Larsson, Colback, Vaughan, Richardson, Sessegnon, Wickham
Subs: Kilgallon, Ji, Meyler, McClean, Carson, Elmohamady, Noble.

Not too much to report here by way of changes under Martin O'Neil with Bramble and Wickham's return to the side enforced due to Turner and Bendtner missing out with injuries. It's worth watching to see what O'Neil can do with this side (particularly at the back) but in truth those changes will probably come in January with some new arrivals.

Vorm, Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Routledge, Britton, Gower, Sinclair, Lita, Moore
Subs: Tremmel, Graham, Dyer, Dobbie, Monk, Bessone, Agustien.

This team has been by far the most pleasant surprise in fantasy terms with the entire defense (led by the best fantasy keeper to date in Vorm), Dyer, Gower, Sinclair, Allen and Graham all providing good fantasy value to date. For the immediate future I've said for a few weeks I like Vorm, Taylor, Gower and Graham and given the way this team is playing I'd be surprised if most teams didn't own at least 2 players from this side for the foreseeable future. Monk was somewhat of a surprise benching this week, though Caulker did open the year as the starter and only lost his job when he got injured. I maintain that Taylor is the man to own here.

Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor
Subs: Gomes, Giovani, Defoe, Bassong, Corluka, Sandro, Pienaar.

A disappointing display from Spurs though it's unlikely that significant changes will come in the future. You have to wonder if their midfield is a bit 'light' with Modric and Van der Vaart in the middle of the park and so I wouldn't be blown away to see Sandro get some games when they visit places like Stoke again in the future, that would likely be at Lennon's expense who isn't really a fantasy asset anyway. Van der Vaart not taking penalties is a disappointment and it hurts his value somewhat but he and Bale remain two of a handful of legitimate midfield stars and deserve significant ownership despite this week's poor display (particularly from Van der Vaart). Adebayor's penalty duties push him into a category on his own (above every but the 3 elite options or Roonet, Van Persie and Aguero). I just don't see Suarez scoring as often given Liverpool's offensive woes while Hernandez is injured and Bent has fallen off the face of the earth.

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

Hey at least Odemwingie started, and got an assist. If he proves his fitness and begins to play every week he has the talent to be a useful 3rd forward but aside from his this team looks fairly devoid of talent.

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

Speaking of team's without much talent. Wait, Moses scored and got an assist this week! He's arrived! I'm not ready to call him anything more than he is, but he remains one of the better sub-5.0m options and his guaranteed minutes and talents give him a useful combination of security and upside. The rest of the continues to underwhelm and only a return to the side for the more talented, but unfavoured Rodallega or Di Santo will peak my attention here.

Hennessey, Zubar, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Edwards, Henry, O'Hara, Jarvis, Doyle, Fletcher
Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Hunt, Hammill, Milijas.

It was somewhat strange to see Wolves go with two up top at Old Trafford given McCarthy's unwillingness to do so against weaker sides. Still, if this is a trend for the future it makes Fletcher very valuable given his impressive goal scoring record over this season and last. I want to like O'Hara and Jarvis but I'm not sure there is all that much difference between them and cheaper options from Swansea, QPR etc and so it's tough to be too excited about spending 6.0m+ on them. 


Raddz said...

I was wondering if it would be a good idea to hold both Jones and Evans or just one of them as they look to be in the side for the future?

Bitzoboard said...

Reading your blog makes me think that my players should be very similar to yours, except for my Demba Ba, which you have not mentioned much. (if I had to guess, you may own one of the Graham/Morrison).
The thing that I want you to write more is SOT inside the box and key passes (which I can't find them free for internet :p) Thank you again for a great blog!

chemikills said...

@Bitzoboard. Try :)

Matt said...

Hi Chris, great blog...
Currently got RVP, Dzeko and Adebeyor up front but thinking of transferring Dzeko for Sturridge or similar, this would open up some funds to get Bale into my midfield (currently Van der Vaart, Silva, Murphy, B Johnson and Gower). Just wondered what your thoughts on this would be?

JayDavies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayDavies said...

Hi Chris great blog! I was wondering if you could help me decide my Captain for GW 16. My Starting 11 - Vorm , Santon, Jagielka, Richards(if fit), Walker, Nani, Silva, Mata, RVP, Yakubu, Ba. I am thinking to make Yakubu or Ba as Captain. Do you think I should risk it? Nani, Silva or Mata is an option too and of course RVP but at the Etihad Stadium im not 100% sure he can be a good Captain pick specially a wounded City.
Thanks in advance!

Phil said...

Hi, been reading since the very start of the season and I must say its been a good read every week.
At the moment my team is
Vorm Given
Enrique Baines Simpson Bramble Barnett
Silva Nani Bale Gower Ramsey
RVP Sturridge Morison
With 1 free trade and 2.9 in the bank is it worthwhile trading out Given? I'm thinking also Simpson, Barnett need to go at some point even Ramsey. Who would rotate well with Vorm? Thanks.

Gummi at said...

Again, it seems from your analysis that there are few exciting Fantasy options this year.

Is your player pool up to date or should some be removed from it?

Ba is proving to be tremendous value. If he keeps up his scoring, surely he'll be a must-own?

RohitChockattu said...

My current team :
Krul; Richards, Jose Enrique, Smalling, Taylor R; Bale, VDV, Silva, Sessegnon; RVP, Adebayor.
Subs : Al Habsi, Best, Bannan, De Laet.

My private league standings:
1.832 points
2.805 points(Me)
3.780 points
4.749 points
Last 2 weeks my team performed very poorly. Should i go for a wildcard now? (As i think my team is a mess now). If so please suggest me a team. Please help.

vanilla said...

In the previous blog entry, Chris mentions that Given, Westwood and Krul rotate well with Vorm, along with his opinion of each, IIRC.

IMO, clean sheets are unpredictable if you're not M.Vorm, so I've given up spending much though on 2nd goalkeeper. To buy old-reliables like Pepe Reina and Petr Cech is to waste 2m or so in budget. I am considering two routes: going conservative with Schwarzer (but his schedule is a challenge right now) or something dirt cheap like Moreira (Vorm's backup) at 3.9 or maybe Ruddy at 4.1.

Raddz said...

Hey Chris I am wondering that after yesterdays game is it safe to assume that Sturridge is here to stay? He looks like a regular starter as AVB has no confidence in Torres ( he didint come on when Chelsea needed a goal and Man City had 10 men!) Do you think that he would be a good option to bring in along side RVP and Morrison instead of Aguero? Also chelsea have some relatively easy games comuing up!

RohitChockattu said...

I'm playing wildcard this week. A rough team :

Vorm; Enrique, Evans, Taylor(Swansea);
Gower, Bale, Nani, Mata(VC);
RVP, Sturridge(C), Adebayor.
Subs : Krul, Pilkington, Richards, Brown.

Wat all changes should i make? I think the sublist needs major changes.

Gummi at said...

@Raddz: This is probably the best time to get Sturridge in. After several impressive displays Villas-Boas should have him as the first name on the team sheet.

Another option to consider is of course Ba, who is proving to be consistent, even when Newcastle lose.

Raddz said...

@ Gummi thanks for the advice I am just a little bit reluctant to take Ba as Newcastle are not looking that good right now and he is going to leave soon for the African Cup of Nations...
Sturridge is looking good though but I am debating if it is worth losing Aguero to get him? Also I was planning on swapping VdV for Nani is this a good move?

Gummi at said...

@Raddz: You are correct with Ba. I had forgot about the African Cup of Nations. You could still get him in, knowing that it would only be a temporary purchase and planning for getting him out again.

I would personally have Nani over VdV for the festive period (I have Nani, Silva, Bale, Walters, and Rodwell) but this can backfire as all risks.

Chris & Gillian said...

Yasss!Moses is on it, I have stuck by your words and it has paid off,good call!100 point week at last.