Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 16

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

No surprises in this lineup, and we shouldn't overreact to the lack of goals when playing a very good City side, no doubt refocused by their sloppy defensive work of late. Walcott owners will be nervous about how quiet he was but Arshavin looked pretty terrible off the bench and Chamakh got the nod over Benayoun. Competition therefore appears to be somewhat thin and with Gervinho set to depart for the African Nations in the the not too distant future, Walcott remains a (frustrating) option.

Aston Villa
Guzan, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Delph, Petrov, N'Zogbia, Heskey, Delfouneso. 
Subs: Marshall, Clark, Cuellar, Bannan, Weimann, Johnson, Burke.

Guzan continued to deputise in goal with Given still out until the early new year. Villa have tough defensive fixtures between now and then anyway so it isn't worth making an investment there. In fact, this defense is probably one to avoid for the next few weeks. Agbonlahor missed out with suspension and Bent was injured leaving the team fairly blunt up top. Both should be back next week though with the next three being Ars, @Sto and @Che, I don't rate them too highly anyway.

Robinson; Nzonzi, Samba, Dann, Rochina; Vukcevic, Lowe, Dunn, Pedersen; Formica, Yakubu. 
Subs: Bunn, Petrovic, Blackman, Goodwille, Roberts, Hanley, Henley.

A disastrous result for Rovers, and one which could see Steve Kean's reign of misery come to an end. Yakubu is an interesting rotation play but this team is going to really struggle to consistently create chances, with their goal this week coming from a long ball from Paul Robinson to a centre back in the box. Nothing is predictable here other than relegation unless drastic changes occur. Next.

Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Alonso, M Davies, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Pratley, K Davies, Klasnic
Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Robinson, Eagles, Sanli, Petrov, Ngog.

Do I have to comment here? The loser of Tuesday's derby with Blackburn may well be fired, at which point perhaps someone will turn the corner. Otherwise this is another team without attacking of defensive prospects and none of their players really warrant consideration, unless you're willing to roll the dice with Klasnic every now and then.

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

With the possible exception of the suspended Luiz, this appears to be Chelsea's first choice team, though the big names continue to underwhelm somewhat. Sturridge has held his place for much longer, and with more consistency, than I expected and he really deserves more credit than we've given him. At 7.0m he is excellent value and you should be able to slot him in alongside 2 elite forwards, much like the similarly successful Ba. With so few 6-7.0m midfielders, this would seem to be the best use of money at the moment. After the trip to Spurs next week, the fixtures look great for 6 gameweeks and Sturridge looks well placed to capitalise.

Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Neville, Fellaini, Osman, Cahill, Saha
Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Drenthe, Stracqualursi, Distin, Rodwell, McAleny.

It's not that Everton are necessarily bad, they just don't have anyone who really racks up fantasy points at a rate to justify their mid-price (or higher) rankings. Perhaps the arrival of Landon Donovan will spark some life into the side but until then there's very little to get excited about here.

Stockdale, Baird, Senderos, Hangeland, JA Riise, Ruiz, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Johnson, Dembele
Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Orlando Sa, Gecov, Duff, Hughes, Frei.

As expected Stockdale came in for Schwarzer and, as expected, Fulham were able to keep Bolton at bay. Baird returned from his personal issues and represents the cheapest (and safest) access to this useful defense other than Stockdale. Going forward this team has some useful assets in Dempsey, Murphy and Dembele while Ruiz's class goal suggests he should be monitored for signs of life after the expensive signing has been slow to settle in.

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

The majority of this team is pretty settled with Shelvey being the surprise inclusion here. This was a good result for Liverpool but from a fantasy perspective their points are still fragmented and with a fairly low offensive ceiling it's tough to see many of these options becoming elite fantasy players. Suarez's ability and underlying stats promise much but he continues to produce at a rate below his price tag. He still justifies consideration but Liverpool's fixtures aren't the best and the cheaper options like Ba and Sturridge are starting to nip at his heels.

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

Finally a clean sheet from this unit, and a goal created and scored by the two of the best fantasy assets this year (hence the reason I tend to unimaginatively focus on the 'big teams' for captain picks rather than up and down players like Ba). I didn't think Nasri did too much to impress and Milner is probably going to recover that starting spot at some point in the future. Balotelli continued to look dangerous and it was his shot which led to the goal, all of which is going to conspire to limit Dzeko's minutes.

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

Several publications had Smalling starting at CB here with Jones at RB and thus no place for Evans. Evans did however get the start and with Jones looking excellent in midfield you have to think that should be a consistent trend for the foreseeable future. Evans is an excellent option and his ownership will surely explode in the coming weeks. Jones looked good going forward this week and could develop a goal scoring threat to his game if he continues to play like this (and Carrick continues to support him well). Offensively things are a little less clear with Valencia once again looking good value for his place over Young and Welbeck being preferred to Hernandez once again. I couldn't tell if Rooney's header was brilliant or lucky but either way he has looked much better of late and is well and truly back in contention alongside Van Persie and Aguero as the new look holy trinity.

Krul, Simpson, Perch, Coloccini, Santon, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best, Ba
Subs: Harper, Williamson, Ben Arfa, Abeid, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Vuckic.

It was good to see this unit bounce back with a clean sheet and they remain a good rotation option. Without S Taylor I don't see them as startable every week but there is certainly still value here, especially with the ever present and extremely cheap Simpson. Ba looked dangerous throughout and remains one of the better value forwards around.

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

With 7 goals Grant Holt is making it very hard for Paul Lambert to drop him. With just 3 starts in the last 12 gameweeks though, it's hard to recommend him over Morison who has also been a useful fantasy asset (and grabbed the assist yesterday). Outside of that pair, the midfield continues to be rotated  with top fantasy scorers Pilkington and Johnson once again finding themselves on the bench. That and a leaky defense really limits what this team has to offer outside of Morison.

Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Connolly, Young, Faurlin, Mackie, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Helguson, Bothroyd
Subs: Kenny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Campbell, Smith.

Like Norwich, this isn't a bad team, but a fragmentation of fantasy points makes it tough to back any of their players given the overall lack of goals which are going to come their way (only scored more than once twice in the last 11 games). Barton is reliable with limited upside while Helguson is a touch one dimensional so his production is always going to fluctuate greatly. That said, when fit this is one of the more predictable lineups around so at leats you can rely on your subs making the starting XI if you opt to grab anyone from Warnock's side.

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

We may have seen the end of the Woodgate-at-right-back experiment. He was shredded by Jarvis from the first minute, getting booked and giving up a penalty (in separate incidents) before being hauled off after just 20 minutes. Huth could slide across there if needed but until we see improvements it's unlikely that this side will be good enough to consistently keep clean sheets and therefore lack too much fantasy value anyway. No changes of note up top with Etherington, Walters and I suppose Crouch continuing to provide some value.

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

They are a tight unit under O'Neil but we haven't seen much change by way of clean sheets. They remain a spot start defense given the settled lineup at the back. There is little to get excited about going forward here and we should expect O'Neil to receive some funds for strengthening in January.

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

A second clean sheet in three away games strengthens Vorm's claim as an every week starter (though the four goals conceded to Blackburn in between those games suggests otherwise). Either way this defense remains great value. The offensive lineup is generally quite settled though Dyer did miss out this week. The usual suspects in midfield and up front remain good rotation options for the foreseeable future.

Friedel, Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Sandro, Modric, Adebayor, Van der Vaart
Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Kranjcar, Rose, Livermore, Pienaar.

Bale missing out here was the headliner though his injury isn't thought to be something will linger for to long; he may be a doubt for midweek though. This was a good fixture and only a 1-0 victory is disappointing but Spurs remain one of the better fantasy sides around and with their double gameweek on the horizon, everyone should be starting to plan how to maximise their value in GW20.

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

Huge win for the Baggies this week but I'm afraid the fantasy options remain limited. Odemwingie is clearly the potential ace here and with 15 points in 3 games since his return from injury, there are bright signs for the future. At 7.2m he has to compete with Ba and Sturridge which looks like a stretch at the minute but Odemwingie has the talent and past success to justify monitoring his progress in the coming weeks.

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

Jordi Gomez is in very nice form with 4 goals in the last 5 gameweeks but given that he has just 8 shots on target for the year, this kind of production is simply not sustainable. Like West Brom this was a good result but an inability to keep teams out coupled with a lack of firepower makes for a fantasy non-entity.

Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Hunt, Henry, Milijas, Jarvis, Fletcher, Doyle
Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Hammill, Ebanks-Blake, Guedioura, Forde. 

Jarvis tormented Woodgate early on and Hunt reminded us of his value, enhanced by his penalty duties.  This wasn't a great display for McCarthy's men but there are some fantasy options here, though it is getting increasingly hard to try and predict which one to back.


mike said...

I want to bring in Sturridge, I need to transfer out Ba or Agbonlahor (Van Persie being my third), which would suggest I keep

Ratchet said...

The upcoming DGW gives me the opportunity to cash in on R Taylor.
I imagine my back 3 will be Enqrique, Jones and Kompany so do you think its advisable that i downgrade him to Shotton or Gabiddon or someother 4m defender assured of his place? Any ideas of where they're hiding? Other defender is N Taylor.
Or perhaps I should keep R Taylor and downgrade Kompany instead?

Tim said...

Hoping for a little help. I still have my wildcard and im 2nd in my league, trailing by 46pts.
Team is
Enrique/Walker/M Richards/De Laet/Simpson

Also have 2 FT's this week and .6 in the bank. Im thinking Given>Krul, De Laet > P Jones, Bale > ?? I need to free the cash for Jones if im doing that but then i spend 4pts. Hate losing Bale with the DGW on the horizon (sold VDV for him last week :( )

Any advice gratefully received!

stooshermadness said...

Tim - good team, if you can sort your Given/DeLaet issue. A couple of thoughts; (1) Krul doesn't rotate home/away well with al-Haibsi. Why not Vorm who does rotate well over the next 6 GWs? (2) Who knows what's in Sir Alex's head and whether he will continue on with the same back 4 as the last 2 GWs, but I might think about Evans (4.4) for DeLaet instead of P.Jones. If SAF keeps on with Evans you get the benefit of Man Utd clean sheets w/o paying high for P.Jones. I think you might just be able to squeeze Vorm/Evans >> Given/DeLaet with your 0.6 in the bank. (3) I don't think I'd dump out Bale just yet; I would wait for news today or tomorrow morning - even then I might hang on to him. Bale has been a ton more consistent this year and looks like he's worth hanging on to long term, especially with a DGW coming up.

vicky said...

hoping to get some valuable suggestions from anyone.
my team: vorm,taylor(swansea),p.jones,vermaelen,
0 in the bank......
any good trnasfers that i can make....or shall i stay with the same team??
thanks in advance..

stooshermadness said...

Vicky - A good team, a few thoughts though - Man City are currently averaging 3+ goals a game and you don't have any Man City attacking players, in particular, you don't have Silva. He's one of the top 3 FF point scorers, so even at his price now, he might be worth thinking about bringing in. You have Sturridge, who looks nailed on now for Chelsea so perhaps you might think about a Silva for Mata switch. I don't know what your appetite for risk is but you might think about Evans for Jones to raise the cash. Evans has started the 2 games since Vidic's injury which is at least a sign SAF rates him and will keep him as the starter. Another thought to bring in some cash for Silva >> Mata is Walters, who has been a steady FF performer but you could drop down to the ~5.5 range and not lose too much in terms of FF performance for a guy you probably already rotate on occasion (find someone who rotates with your budget mid Moses). Stoke have trips to MNC, LIV, and MUN in the next 7 GWs too. Finally, I don't know how well your budget defenders rotate for your 3rd defender slot (I presume you are playing 3-4-3 almost every week)- N.Taylor, McAuley and Barnett. A quick look suggests that group doesn't rotate particularly well for home/away. So you may want to swap one of those boys out for another budget guy that rotates well with N.Taylor in partcular, as SWN are very good at home. Anyway, just some thoughts on the lunch hour . . .

vicky said...

@stooshermadness-thanks a lot for the tips.....defenitely thinking of mata-silva wat abt evans???is he a guaranteed starter for all the matches???plus the goal threat from jones..thinking of getting shelvey in for that good??i mean he is 4.8 and will mostly start..that will probably free up some cash as well...and pls do tell me who to get in for mcualey/barnett???above all i dont hav any free transfers this week....used it to get sturridge..i think taking a hit will not be good for the coming few gameweeks..
again looking forward to ur suggestions...thanks in advance..

stooshermadness said...

Vicky - An Evans for P.Jones swap has an element of risk (which is why I asked what your appetite for risk is). SAF seems to have confidence in Evans; he also probably wants to arrive at a settled back 4 in Vidic's absence - so the fact that Evans has started 2 games in Vidic's absence is a good sign. I just think the 2.0+ you are paying for Jones attacking upside might be a bit steep. But, again, some risk here.

I wouldn't go with Shelvey until I know he is nailed on. Liverpool have options in central midfield and I'm not convinced Shelvey starts every week. If you want to drop Walters, I might look at Joe Allen for SWN or Faurlin for QPR; the simple way to look for players at a certain price level is to go to the FPL site, click 'transfers' and then use the 'midfielders' filter along with the 'price' filter. Quick and dirty way to see who's getting points at a particular price level.

If you have/keep N.Taylor, then you might look at NWC (Simpson, Santon)or QPR (Gabbidon) defenders who rotate well with N.Taylor. But never take a hit for a defender; the transfer can wait.

Davefevs said...

Shelvey v AVFC ~ that's the first time I've seen him look like a footballer, but don't see him featuring regularly. Acording to BBC Bellamy will miss out at WAFC, so expecting Kuyt back in and even Maxi.

Personally I'm trying to get away from making a change this GW, havibg 2 free transfers in a hectic period makes more sense to me. Plus Song is suspended v AVFC and he's my only asset of any value, so worth keeping him until he offers more flexibility.

Gonna have Silva as captain, with Adebayor as vice. Tempted by Ba (H v WBA) or Suarez (A v WAFC), but too big a gamble with goalposts and cross-bars in the way. I do think Suarez is going to have one of those weeks where everything he hits goes in??

Other decision is to recall either Johnson (Wolves home v NCFC) in a 433 or Allen (Swansea away v EFC) in a 343.

Part of me says 1 point or 6 points for Johnson vs 2 points, maybe 3 for Allen? Any thoughts before 19:30? Think I'll play Allen, unless anyone can convince me otherwise???

Davefevs said...

Right choice re Roger Johnson...unless he scores!

vicky said...

@stooshermadness-thanks a lot..
will take that into consideration..