Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 19

Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Ramsey, Arshavin, van Persie
Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Chamakh, Benayoun, Coquelin.

Arshavin in for Gervinho was the only change of note here and with Gervinho heading to the African Cup of Nations soon, he should be sold by anyone who had taken a risk with him. With the big name forwards elsewhere getting rotated, Van Persie is looking increasingly safe as the best fantasy player around.

Aston Villa
Guzan, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Albrighton, Petrov, Clark, N'Zogbia, Ireland, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Marshall, Hutton, Bent, Delfouneso, Bannan, Weimann, Gardner.

Bent started on the bench due to precaution because of his injury or perhaps as lingering punishment for Christmas shopping-gate. Either way he remains overpriced, as do the majority of players in this uninspiring side.

Bunn, Lowe, Samba, Hanley, Pedersen, Henley, Nzonzi, Petrovic, Rochina, Formica, Yakubu
Subs: Kean, Slew, Blackman, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Morris, Linganzi.

Great win for Rovers and a surprising return for anyone who played Yakubu this week, though he remains the only bright light in this side. Penalty duties and his ability to convert few chances into goals make Yakubu one of the better budget forwards around, now he is fully established in the first team and all but undroppable.

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

It was surprising to see Robinson and K Davies on the bench here but Ricketts came up big with the goal while N'Gog and Klasnic have been more lively than Davies. Still little to get excited about here though.

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

Ferreira adds even more confusion to this back line which seems more trouble than it's worth of late, with insufficient value to justify their lofty price tags. The front line is looking more settled though with Malouda apparently on his way to France and Torres mired in misery on the bench. Four straight games with a single goal is a concern but at least we can safely suggest that Sturridge and Mata will start in most weeks, and thus are decent fantasy options.

Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Rodwell, Neville, Heitinga, Osman, Cahill, Saha
Subs: Mucha, Gueye, McFadden, Bilyaletdinov, Stracqualursi, Barkley, Anichebe.

Moyes doesn't enjoy great strength and depth, making this one of the more settled lineups in the league.  They've managed three clean sheets in the last seven and haven't conceded more than a lone goal since GW11. With the bigger teams not showing signs of toughening up defensively, this side deserves to slide back into contention having been frozen out (at least by me) for the past month or so. At 4.8m, Hibbert would appear to be very useful value, and makes a very nice pickup for this week's double gameweek. Going forward I would not get carried away with this side as while they do get two games, one is a tricky trip to Spurs and Everton haven't really shown they have the quality to consistently deliver in such games. If you own them, you play them, but I wouldn't go paying for the likes of Saha or Cahill based on this week's fixtures. The arrival of Landon Donovan is intriguing to say the least, and while I normally shy away from new arrivals, the double gameweek does make the US-hero a viable (but risky) option.

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

As always we talk about this defense and with Baird sitting here, it seems there is no safe and reliable option on this back line. If you like their defense you need to either pony up for Riise or grab Stockdale until Schwarzer returns. The usual suspects up front and in midfield remain good options and with less depth than the bigger clubs, holding players like Dempsey or Murphy is a nice hedge to cover yourself when Mancini and Ferguson play their rotation games.

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

Silva and Aguero were due a rest so this wasn't a total surprise, though to drop them both along with Milner and Richards was a strange move. City looked extremely flat in the first half and Dzeko will likely receive criticism for the number of chances he wasted. In truth it wasn't the worst display in the world and with a few different bounces it could have wound up being an 'industrious' win. In the long run it may help fantasy managers as Mancini realizes his squad isn't perhaps good enough to allow wholesale changes, and thus Aguero and Silva may be safer in the first team lineup.

Man Utd
De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Carrick, Evra, Nani, Valencia, Park, Welbeck, Hernandez, Berbatov.
Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Diouf, Pogba, Keane, Fryers, Cole.

The centre back situation has gone from one which created opportunities for cheap points (Evans) to one which has significantly cut the value of the other defensive players. United simply cannot expect to play Jones and Carrick at centre back with the light weight Rafael at right back, and go on and win games in the Premier League, even against crappy opponents. It'll be tough to sell Jones if you brought him in at 5.5m but he (and other United defenders) no longer represent great value for those looking to bring players in over the next couple of weeks. Rooney was dropped for what appears to be a minor incident and should return next gameweek.

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

This team continues to underwhelm with no clean sheets and goals from different sources every week. Outside of Morison, and I suppose Holt if your desperate, I'm not sure if anyone in this side is ownable.

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

Helguson seems to have fallen out of favour here though has generally delivered consistent minutes so I wouldn't be overly concerned just yet. The rest of the team looks pretty settled when healthy and provides a few decent sub options, when the fixture is better than this week's.

Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Delap, Palacios, Etherington, Walters, Crouch
Subs: Begovic, Jones, Diao, Whitehead, Upson, Shotton, Jerome.

This is not the same defensive team as we saw last year as they blew a golden opportunity (on paper) for a clean sheet this week. The players are fairly reliable however and going forward they provide some nice mid range options so this remains a team to consider when picking your third forward or fourth midfielder.

Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Brown, Colback, McClean, Cattermole, Vaughan, Larsson, Bendtner, Sessegnon
Subs: Carson, Kilgallon, Elmohamady, Ji, Meyler, Noble, Laing.

A great win in reality, not so much from a fantasy perspective. O'Neil's arrival hasn't transformed this defensive unit into one of the league's best, but they have been better and looked very solid (if somewhat fortuitous) against City this week. With Brown limping off, O'Shea looks like the only safe option in this back line and at 5.0m makes a solid, if unspectacular 4th defender.

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

Graham starting on the bench was a surprise here, as is the continued absence of Rangel. I wouldn't bail on Graham just yet but there are better options that Rangel in this side, with Taylor making the most sense. The midfield unit looks settled, and while it's tough to predict production each week, they are all capable of contributing in a number of catgeories and play consistently - valuable assets for ~4.5m players.

Friedel, Walker, Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul, Gallas, Modric, Parker, Sandro, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor
Subs: Cudicini, Defoe, Dawson, Kranjcar, Rose, Livermore, Pienaar.

Aside from arguably bringing in Ledley King, this is probably Spurs' strongest side. The form of Bale and Van der Vaart continues to be up and down, with each one seeming to succeed in alternate weeks. In the long run they would appear to represent roughly equal value though Bale has the slight edge of having a stronger fitness record over the Dutchman. That pair, along with Adebayor and Assou Ekotto look like some of the best options around for this double gameweek, and you will obviously want to try and maximise your value there. As with Everton above, be careful about going overboard and paying for transfers, but if you are carrying injuries or players who not play, this might be one instance where the four point hit is worth it.

West Brom
Foster, Jones, Shorey, McAuley, Dawson, Brunt, Scharner, Morrison, Thomas, Odemwingie, Long. Subs: Fulop, Tchoyi, Cox, Dorrans, Thorne, Fortune, Jara Reyes.

The lineup is easy to predict, but so are the results. Aside from Odemwingie, who is good but will always struggle to matchup against the likes of Ba and Sturridge, this side seems almost completelt devoid of fantasy options.

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

It's been frustrating but Moses is now the leading scorer available for under 5.0m and with regular playing time in the bag, there's no reason to think that won't continue. Wigan shredly decided to play there best player from last season (Rodallega) this week, who simply responded with a pair of assists and three shots for the week. He isn't worth owning, but I do believe he makes this side better.

Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Elokobi, Hunt, Henry, Ward, Jarvis, Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake.
Subs: De Vries, Edwards, Hammill, Doyle, Doherty, Foley, Guedioura.

Fletcher simply scores goals and enjoys one of the better goals per minute rates in the league. At 5.9m he is one of the best sub-6.0m options around and makes a good 3rd forward pickup. Whether or not he's worth the premium over a Graham type player depends of how often you plan to play him and where else you could use the money. This midfield continues to underwhelm and while there is some value here, the upcoming fixtures are tough and there might be better option available elsewhere.


Raddz said...

Do you think that Valencia is a better option than nani right now as with young being out long term he is playing consistently? Also nani has been inconsistent is more expensive than Valencia.

vanilla said...

Ledley King? You're joking, right? He's been injured since 2003. He was Owen Hargreaves before Owen Hargreaves earned his first knee/ankle/back/hamstring bandage. Ledley King's birthdate has "BCE" at the end. The guy wears Old Spice and went to discos with David Beckham's dad.

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