Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reader Questions

@McShambles Is Elliott Bennett worth a punt as my 5th midfielder now that Brunt is injured? Two assists in last two games for Norwich and 4.8

No one in that Norwich side has been able to lock into the first team and with just two starts since GW12 I don't think Bennett is the answer here. I still like B Johnson the most from the Canaries but would still rank him behind Moses and Faurlin who remain atop my budget mid list. Gower has fallen away having struggled to log consistent minutes over the Christmas period.

@CSJDKK will u be making a list of prem players going to the African Cup?
I will try and do a post on this, but in the mean time, Fantasy Football Scout has a nice summary here.

nsj91 - Chris (or anyone else for that matter).. do you have any suggestions on the ideal week to play the january wildcard?
It's going to be subjective based on your team's performance and injuries but given that we only have 3 gameweeks to use the extra wildcard, if you need to make changes, do so now. We have 18 gameweeks yet to go and assuming you still have both wildcards left, you want to maximise both of them. It therefore makes sense to break the fixtures into two groups (say, GW21-30 and GW30-38) and plan to use your wildcards to capitalise on both. If you only have the freebie left then you need to plan for the entire season and can make less short term decisions (such as looking at someone like Torres who will greatly benefit from the African Cup of Nations).

DtotheT - what would your opinion be on losing Aguero for Yakubu? Obviously frees up a serious amount of funds i.e. allows Sessegnon for Tiote, Kompany for Gabbiddon. I already have Silva Bale Nani Van Persie and Adebayor.
I don't consider Aguero to be a must own player but I'd be wary of downgrading to Yakubu to then only grab solid performers with the freed up funds. The elite players have been just that this year and I would suggest having several stars and a group of scrubs is a better way to go than stacking your team with mid range options. It's far from guaranteed that a Sessegnon will significantly outscore the mids available in that ~5m group, and while I still like City's defence, they don't necessarily represent amazing value over some of the less-fancied teams (Swansea) or some of the budget options available at the big teams (Evans). Given the quality of your other players, it might be that your bench is really stretched thin and thus the move makes sense, but as a general rule I'd lean towards more, not less, stars.

Chris - Is it really advisable to keep the likes of Phil Jones and Richards/Kompany at the same time? Looking at the top teams, it seems that most put more emphasis on midfield and forward and stack the back with budget defenders. 
This is one of the decisions that will define the second half. Historically you need to have coverage of at least a couple of the elite sides. Ideally you would get this via cheaper routes (like Enrique at the start of the season and Evans at the moment) but leaning too heavily on the Swansea's on the world tended to be a bad idea. However, the inconsistency of the big sides is a concern and the likes of Kompany or Jones are no longer guaranteed consistently high returns.

United and City are still 1st and 3rd in clean sheets though so in terms of absolute points I still they deserve ownership. The issue of value is a different question and one that turns on where else you will use that cash. I would absolutely take a ~6m defender and a ~4.5m midfielder than a ~4.5m defender and a ~6m midfielder as I really don't see much improvement in the midfield options until you get to the 6.5m range. Sessegnon and Walters are the pick of the mid-range midfielders but they both cost as much as Kompany and have just a couple more points. Kompany's future production is much more predictable and thus I'd still prefer to own him from that group.

I will try and find a way to quantify these thoughts and put them into a more coherent post, but in short, I think the City/United defenders remain good value, but not the must own players they once were.

Vanilla - it seems to me that although the quantity of clean sheets to go around may be similar to previous years, they are difficult to predict this season. Is there any easy way to take this analysis, Chris, and scrub against your "gameweek preview" data?
This is a great idea, and something I thought about doing last year but never got around to doing. I will compare the expected goals per game with the actual result which will give us an idea of which teams are the most 'predictable'. A team who gets a predictable 6 clean sheets will have just as much value as a great team who get 9 clean sheets but do so in games in which you'd never start them (vs United, at Arsenal etc) but will likely come at a lower price.

Vanilla - What's everyone's take on Thierry Henry ? Seems like he might get a few games: the coach loves him, and a 2month loan deal is a welcome extra-man for rotating players that need a day off
It's going to take all my self restraint not to chase Henry but given that Chamakh was priced at 8.0m it's likely that the legend's price tag will be simply too high to consider. I don't watch MLS enough to know what kind of pace Henry has maintained but it's doubtful he can explode back on the scene in just 2 months to justify a price tag higher than Ba or Dzeko.
Remember the above paragraph when Henry scores against Leeds on Monday and I add a new post saying he is a must own player. I CANNOT be trusted when it comes to the great one!

Wildcard proposals

Current team
Vorm, Given : Assou-Ekkoto, Jones, Enrique, Evans, N Taylor : Silva, Valencia, Bale, Dyer, Tiote : Van Persie, Aderbayor, Morrison

Proposed team
Vorm, Hennessey : Assou-Ekkoto, Jones, Enrique, Simpson, N Taylor : Silva, Valencia, Bale, Sessegnon, Dyer : Van Persie, Aderbayor, Sturridge

On paper, Vorm and Hennessey make a good but not great combo, though Stooshermadness makes a solid point in that Hennessey can be bailed out by his save totals. With Vorm being so good this year it makes sense to pair him with a cheaper option as he will probably play 60%+ of your games (basically every home game and some road games against the weaker sides). I like the potential of Sunderland under O'Neil and might therefore go with Mignolet but I like the proposed move too.

I still like Assou Ekotto for the medium term, though I'd agree that Spurs hit a tricky spot from GW26 onwards and thus you'll need a backup plan for him if you keep him here. I might be tempted to hang on to Evans given United's next fixture (Bolton H) though I understand this a a risk and so I wouldn't argue with making this move either. Again I like Stoosher's idea to flip Jones to Evans, though this will depend on (a) how much money you lose on Jones as if you bought him at 5.5m you won't be able to get him back without wasting money and (b) how you can use the money saved.

I like the midfield with Silva and Bale looking like sure-fire bets right now. Dyer has been up and down but I like him considering you probably have him at 4.5m. I like Sessegnon but I think Valencia is overpriced given his deployment as an emergency right back and the imminent return of Young who will steal some minutes back. His underlying stats aren't particularly impressive and I would much rather have Dempsey if your budget will stretch.

It's tough to argue with that front three which looks great and gives you three players who you feel comfortable starting every week (Sturridge is even more valuable with Drogba departing for the ACN).

It's a great looking team but the overall caveat I would add which applies to everyone is to consider differentiation too. You of course want to pick players who have performed well, but also those who you like to have a big second half. There aren't any particular red flags here but it is worth bearing in mind.

Current team
Vorm, Ruddy : Enrique, Jones, BAE, Evans, Senderos : Bale, Nani, Silva, Osman, Drenthe : Ade, Ba RVP

Proposed team
Vorm, Sorensen : Enrique, Jones, BAE, Shotton, Kelly : Bale, Nani, Silva, Dempsy, Sessegnon : Adebayor, Yak, RVP

Vorm and Sorensen make a really nice pair though you have some risk in that Begovic might regain his place at some point. That wouldn't necessarily put me off though and I like the upgrade over Ruddy for the money. I agree with ditching Senderos but I'm not sure Kelly is a long term solution either. Baird and Hughes are big threats to play RB too and I'd say at this point you really need to either pay for Riise or switch Sorensen to Stockdale. Shotton is tempting given his price but I'm not sure you want two Stoke defenders given their two clean sheets in the last 13 gameweeks. I would prefer to double up on Swansea (N Taylor or Caulker) or go with Newcastle (Simpson).

I love the midfield and my only word of caution would be that you don't have any differentiation. It's hard to balance between not chasing historical points but yet also not being too cute with your selections and the safest move is definitely the path you have taken. Be mindful though that your unlikely to catch the leaders with these selections.

The front line is good again, especially considering the fact that Yakubu is essentially relegated to the bench in most weeks as your midfield is so strong. In terms of value and pure production Ade and RvP might be the best two forwards to select at the moment.

Mitchell Sterling
Proposed team
Vorm, Stockdale : Kompany, Enrique, Evans, McAuley, Caulker, Bale, Silva, Walters, Sessegnon, Moses, Van Persie, Aguero, Adebayor

There's no arguing with any of your selection as while I'm not keen on West Brom's defense, McAuley is clearly your third sub and thus will rarely play.

My gut says that there will be better players than Walters and Sessegnon in the second half, as those mid-range options rarely deliver a full great season. Both are deployed further up the field than their classification though so they could well be exceptions to that trend. I might be tempted to go with Dempsey and a budget midfielder which as you will often have the opportunity to play a 4-3-3 when Caulker has a good fixture. You need a strong bench but it's tough to bench ~6.5m players on a regular basis.

Thanks for all the questions this week. Keep them coming and I'll try and answer another round with next week's GW21 preview. I have a few other pieces due this week including some wildcard thoughts and the aforementioned words on the African Cup of Nations.


El Noel said...

What are your views on letting go of Demba Ba during the AFCON?

I got rid in anticipation of his value dropping but despite Fiso figures putting him in the red, his value did not drop last night. Is he protected? And if so, will the inevitable mass buyback when he returns cause his value to rocket even further?

I am beginning to regret selling him now as I only received a cut price of 7.1m for him and I feel that my squad is strong enough to have benched him for the duration of the AFCON. Now I can see a potential loss of 0.6m if indeed he is protected, and yet my potential loss of points would have been negligible.

Wish I'd considered protected status before I went ahead and sold him.

Jin said...

Had to use my wc early due to sm work stacked up for the next 3 weeks with barely any net access. Would aappreciate your thoughts on this wc team.
Vorm ruddy
Cahill simpson evans enrique walker
Silva bale gerrard sess moses
Auguero rvp sturridge

CDI said...

Jin I know you wanted chris to answer but I'll take a stab at helping also.
If you can try to get a better keeper than Ruddy as Vorm's fixtures are not too great in the near term. Cahil is a good pick if he does lock down a place at Chelsea but early reports are that he's wanted for rotation purposes so be on the look out for that. I'm considering going the cheap route for defence also but going without Man City cover now seems risky as their fixtures are looking good for a while. Walker is prob slightly overpriced and would swap him to Richards/Kompany.

For front line looks Great and so does your MF as long as Gerrard can stay fit.

CDI said...

Thanks for your answers again Chris. I'm really struggling with the decision to play my WC now or wait till GW 24 to see how the landscape of the game is.With potential injuries I'm forced to field a team of

Senderos, Jones, BAE, Enrique
Bale, Nani,Sessegnon, Silva
Ade, RVP

Osman, Ba, Evans are out/likely to be out. Do you think the upside of having a fully fit team now outweighs the added benifit of waiting 3 weeks to have more info? I do still have my initial WC so I can afford to take a punt now and make corrections around GW 30 like you suggested

Jin said...

Hi cdi
Thanks for your time.
Well initially i had planned on rotating vorm with sorensen however im nt too sure if stoke's no1 jersey will be his for long with another quality keeper like begovic on the bench.
I bought walker and enrique cheap and cn only sell them for 5.6 each. Have been eyeing kompany for a while since he is the only one whos nailed on with the odd goal and assist. He's really consistent but given his price at 6.6 thats a little high to pay for a defender imo. Richards might be a good pick. But he is smwat of a rotation risk given mancinis unpredictable lineups. May be able to squeeze him in for cahill iif i downgrade gerrard to dempsey or mata. So wats ur take on this? Should i downgrade gerrard to upgrade ruddy to sorensen n cahill to richards?

CDI said...

Gerrard seems like he could be a great differential if he could stay fit but for now I would hold off on getting him in( one of th reasons I'm resisting the urge to wc now). Better to be a week late than 5 too early. You could do Gerrard to Dempsy then have 2 mil to upgrade your defender/Keeper. Richards hasn't missed that many games due to rotation in the prem. Most of the game time missed was due to illness/injury so I don't really seem him as a rotaion risk. Mata seems overpriced for his output + the fact that Chelsea seem to be sucking alot this season. Walters, Larsson and sess are much cheaper and will provide a similar output. Maybe more from Larsson and Walters as they are on Pens.

With Players off to the ACON there seems to be chances for differentials to be had. Milner at city in place of yaya, Ben Arfa at Newcastle might get in amonst the goals more etc.You could replace sess with these to offset the loss of you main differential so your team isn't too generic.

Raddz said...

Thanks for your input Chris it is much appreciated.
I was just wondering about playing my wildcard this week and i am just wondering what other peoples opinions are about forwards so far? Is van Persie a must own right now as he has some tricky fixtures coming up? Probably. Can Aguero replace him right now as he has been very good so far and has a very favorable schedule coming up? Should Aguero and Van Persie be held together or should you take Adebayor beside either of them? Also should you go for sturridge at 7.4 or the cheaper morrison at 5.1 but only has 6 less points and has been quite consistent?

CDI said...

Oh about your keeper options, Keepers that rotate well with vorm are Sorenson, Stockdale/Schwarzer, Krul and to a lesser extent Mignolet. Hennessey might not keep many clean sheets but his save numbers are so much higher than everyone elses I have to mention him also. 1 option I'm considering is to play Lindegaard every game and just have Vorm as back up for games that he misses though this option looked alot better before the BB and Newcastle games.

Raddz said...

De Gea was in net for the Blackburn game so Lindegaard does look like the better option at Man Utd in net for now.

CDI said...

Raddz I mentioned the BB game more as a reflection of Man U's overall defensive display going Belly up lately. The cracks are defo getting worse and Fergi's cut and paste job on our team might not look as good going foward. I still expect us to somehow mount a challange as Man U always finds a way but when I find myself wishing Johnny 'Donkey' Evans was fit there is a HUGE problem at the back

CDI said...

Raddz if you have the money i think RVP and Aguero is the way to go. Ade doesn't have great fixtures going foward while Aguero has great ones. RVP is still a must own imo unless he gets injured.

Jin said...

Another option would be to downgrade sturridge to yakubu or morrison. Wt do u guys think? Cant really bring myself to remove gerrard. His cameo appearences have been so convincing my gut tells me to stick with him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
Interesting that you agree with getting rid of Senderos. I was about to bring him in! Fulham have amazing fixtures, look good for home clean sheets, and he seems to be playing every game at the moment. Is there something I've missed?
Thanks for the great post once more.

Jin said...

I think i got it. Cashed in on walker cause of the fixtures. Now team looks like this.
Vorm sorensen
Enrique kompany evans simpson kelly
Silva bale gerrard sess moses
Auguero rvp sturridge
Hope u could just give a quick look at this wc team chris. And thanks cdi for your opinions

vicky said... for now is
rvp,aguero, for gw21 i hv benched vorm,moses,ntaylor,shotton......
any changes needed for wc team and for starting 11 for gw21???
i hv got 0.1 in the bank
suggestions from anyone would be highly appreciated....
thanks in advance...

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