Thursday, January 26, 2012

Transfer Clinic

With the new rankings tables doing a lot of the legwork, and with no games this weekend, I've got some extra time for a post, and with no ideas immediately springing to mind, I thought I should use the time to catch up on some reader questions.

As it's wildcard season I am just looking at team reviews here (whether wildcard or not) which will hopefully allow me to cover off all the players I like/don't like for the remainder of the year.


Reader: Ramzy
Proposed team: Mignolet, Vorm : BAE, Richards, Simpson, Evans, Kelly : Silva, Valencia, Dempsey, Sessegnon, Bale : Aguero, RVP, Helguson

I love the entire defence and I'm not sure I'd do anything different. If I did I'd say that I'm not crazy about the Newcastle defence for the short term, so I might look at Brown or N Taylor for the next few weeks. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it's important to consider what your next couple of transfers will be and given the rest of your team looks like every week starters, you can afford to grab a couple of short term plays if you need to.

The midfield and front line is about as good as you can get on paper which is good, but also the source of my concern. I won't go over the numbers here, but in the next post at Fantasy Football Scout I look at the best team from last year and see how they did in the second half of the season (clue: not good). That isn't to say some of these guys won't have success but you do worry about that midfield all having great second halves.

One way to free up cash would be to switch Aguero to Dzeko, who looks set to play every week in Balotelli's absence, allowing you to upgrade the defence or turn Helguson into someone from the Sturridge/Ba/Cisse/Bellamy group. It's hard to say specifically which of the midfielders I doubt as they all look great, but I'd be remiss if I didn't caution against simply picking the top scorers to date. That FFS scout includes a list of sleepers who you might want to consider, but I love your team so I wouldn't change much.

Reader: Snorre
Proposed team: Lindegaard, Hennessey : Walker, N Taylor, Kelly, Enrique, R Taylor : McClean, Mata, Silva, Dempsey, Dyer : Morison, Aguero, Torres

This is the other direction you can go with your wildcard. Mata and Torres are obviously two of the more talented players in the league but neither have really lived up to the hype this year (particularly not Torres). I'd say it's a risk going with two Chelsea players though they do have some great fixtures starting in GW26 with Bolton.

I have always liked Assou Ekotto over Walker, but now his ownership is way up and the pair's prices have converged, I like the move to grab Walker here. I feel he's the better attacking option and the 0.3m might be worth it to differentiate your team. Though I think he'll probably play in the long run, R Taylor is a risk at 5.4m and given he is so widely owned, I'd prefer to have the 1.0m and go with Simpson. That said, I'm not sure where you'd use the 1.0m saved as I like your budget options of McClean and Kelly.

One option would be to look at grabbing Zamora over Morison with any saved money. Zamora isn't getting much hype but his performances this year have been superb and it's only a lack of playing time that has slowed him down. He was excellent against Newcastle and you like the way he contributes assists as well as goals to keep his fantasy points ticking along. The other option of course would be S Fletcher who I've been all over for a while now.

Overall I like the team and the risks you've taken though I'd be nervous about going with two big Chelsea players given their immediate fixtures (@Swa, MnU, @Eve). Maybe you want them long term but it might be prudent to go with a Spurs or United player for the week to take advantage of their fixture, before grabbing your Chelsea boys later on.

Reader: NSJ91
Proposed team: Lindegaard, Sorensen : Clichy, Evans, King, Brown, Kelly : Silva, Nani, Bale, Sessegnon, Moses : RVP, Aguero, Helguson

You've taken a couple of risks here in defence, but I like the idea behind both. For me, Kolarov has been really poor this year so Clichy should be locked into to play as much as most in this side and thus he's nice value at 0.9m less than Kompany and 0.7m less than Richards. Head to head I still take Richards but in terms of value I like the former Arsenal man a lot. King is more risky but again you're saving close to a million and given that you don't really have any gaps I like the risk. King started ahead of Dawson this week so you have to think he's still the first choice centre back, though my worry would be that he plays in the big (read: hard) games and thus his points may be lower than his teammates.

The issue with the midfield and front line is the same as Ramzy above. Also, it looks like Nani's injury may be serious and he could miss 6-8 weeks (h/t Jay Horrey for that one). For starters then I would switch him out for Valencia if you want to keep with a United theme. After that, it's the same advice as above. I love the team on paper but you have to mindful that the chance of the top five midfielders today ending the year in the same spots in slim.

General transfer questions (no wildcard remaining)

Reader: Vicky
Current team: Stockdale, Vorm : Skrtel, Richards, Kelly, N Taylor, Shotton : Sessegnon, Bale, Valencia, Dempsey, Moses : RvP, Aguero, Sturridge..

You're in great shape here as you have two free transfers and no real holes to fill. As with the teams above, I think your issue is going to be the fact that your team is probably very similar to many others and thus you're going to struggle to make ground on your competitors. If you're out in front of course then you're in a strong defensive position.

Check out the upcoming FFS article for some sleeper ideas but a couple of names I'd throw out there are Dzeko (in place of Aguero), Mata, Van der Vaart (over Bale) or maybe even a total wildcard like a Cisse or Sigurdsson.

Reader: JayDavies
Current team: Vorm, Bogdan, Kelly, Cahill, Evans, Hanley, De Laet, Valencia, Silva, Bale, Sessegnon, Ferguson, Rooney, Torres, Van Persie

The issue you have here is squad depth. Hanley, De Laet and Ferguson may be cheap but they give you no wiggle room when your starters miss out (such as Cahill this past gameweek). I would personally take a downgrade at forward, say Torres to Dzeko, and use that money to grab defenders like N Taylor or W Brown. I like the idea of taking a shot with Torres, but as I said above, I would go with Rooney now and then take another look at the Chelsea boys when the fixtures ease up a bit.

You also have a potential problem between the sticks as Jaaskelainen could return this week or next thus leaving you with just one 'keeper. The good news is that Vorm is a good play for the next few weeks so that isn't a priority move.

Given that you have two transfers, I would move Torres to Dzeko to free up cash (2.0m) and use that to upgrade your defence, targeting De Laet first who is an afterthought in Norwich. There are plenty of good long term options who also have a good fixture this week including Brown, N Taylor or a more expensive play like Assou Ekotto. Of that group I would take Brown which will only cost you 0.7m and give you sufficient cash to upgrade elsewhere later on.

Long term the same caveats about holding all the popular successful assets like Silva, Bale and Sessegnon apply but I wouldn't be rushed to dump any of that group for now.

Reader: WS
Current team: Mignolet, Sorensen : Simpson, Kelly, Enrique, Caulker, Shawcross : Bale, Sessegnon, Silva, McClean, Dyer : Van Persie, Rooney, Aguero

As you want a team for GW23 only, I might try and pickup a different defender as you don't have the best fixtures with your current crop. Shawcross would be the obvious candidate and at 5.1m he gives you flexibility to grab someone else who can help you this week. If you can stretch to Assou Ekotto he is a safe pick with upside, or you could take a risk that King is fit again to play. If not then I would go with Evans who gets a very nice fixture and is almost assured to play with all United's injuries.

Reader: Mulligan
Current team: Lindegard, Vorm : Brown, BAE, Enrique, Richards, Simpson : Bale, Silva, Dempsey, Sessegnon, Dyer : RVP, Ageuro, Helguson

Similar comments here to the above teams. It looks great on paper and you will certainly be competitive but you have to worried about a lack of differentiation.

Overall comments
The astute reader will probably point to my team and realise I too lack differentiators apart from Murphy and Flecther. And that's why none of the above points are criticisms. It's really hard to pick sleepers at this point in the year when you a list of players you are factually good (or at least have been so far). Picking the players who are widely owned might ensure you don't lose too much ground, but you'll also struggle to gain much.

Check out the (free) article at Fantasy Football Scout (due this week) which outlines a few sleeper ideas. Once that's up I'll also address some of those thoughts here, along with some research I'm currently looking at as to which players managed to deliver solid second half production last season after a successful good half to see if there are any trends we can exploit.

Thanks for the comments on the new graphs, please keep the feedback coming and let me know if there's any stats that would be useful for people. I understand they don't work on the mobile version which is a shame, so in the meantime I will disable that version and anyone using a smartphone should then be able to view the full site (and hopefully the graphs, though I'm not sure which plug ins are required). Long term I hope to migrate the blog to a full domain which will hopefully sort some of these issues out.


WS said...

Thanks for commenting on my team.

Quick question on Jose Enrique

With: a) LIV vs EVE game at end-Feb being re-scheduled due to Carling Cup Final; and b) LIV tough fixtures in Feb (presumably as a sub)

Would you keep or sell him?

PS: bought Enrique @ 5.0

Ramzy said...

Thank you Chris for the response and your take on my team. I am sitting around the top 2000 in the rankings and leading most of my mini-leagues so that's why I took a defensive and reactive approach by picking widely held players.
I am eagerly awaiting your post on Fantasy Football Scout on the aforementioned 'sleepers' in your article.

Justin said...

Chris, I am down 50 points to my league leader with only my January WC to play. I have done well to beat him consistently in most gameweeks, but a few poor showings from me and some good ones for him increase the gap.

He has some of the top players scoring out there. So I am looking for a differential and looking to set my squad for the remainder, with a few tinkers out there per GW.

Thoughts on the following?

Lindegaard Ruddy
Evans Kompany BAE Brown Cahill
Demps McClean VDV(for GW23 then to Mata) Bale Valencia
RVP Dzeko Zamora

Chris R said...

Chris, great advice so far. Wondering what you think about this..

My current team is:
KRUL/VORM....N Taylor/Simpson/Walker/Kompany/Bosingwa....Dyer/Petrov/Nani/Bale/Silva....Rooney/Morrison/Adebayor (worth 104.5m)

Team I am debating using my Wild Card to get:
GK: Krul/Lindegaard
DEF: J Evans, N Taylor, Bosingwa, Oshea, Kompany
MID: Silva, Valencia, Dempsey, Bale, Oxlade Chamberlain
STR: Aguero, Adebayor, Morrison
(101.2M nothing in bank)

Losing like 4m from this though even though the team looks like it would probably get more pts..

Steven said...

Two words, Demba Ba.

Food for thought for all since he's coming back much sooner than anticipated.

vanilla said...

Whoever has Ritchie DeLaet: I believe his contract w/norwich was terminated, and he is back at ManUtd, where he is sure to gather dust.

Craig B said...

Hi Chris - Good stuff as always. One thing that I like to look at with my GK pairings is being able to play someone playing at home as much as possible. This may fly in the face of your statistical analysis but I think it can be a useful added dimension to consider or when choosing between a pairing that yields 1.09 and one that yields 1.12. If you could provide a table that shows the number of gameweeks where the choice of the keepers would be a home match, it would be interesting.

Another thought I had after reading this post and the warnings about choosing the current high scorers is this: the amount of rotation on teams is higher this year than I remember it having ever been before which is leaving us with an even smaller pool of players to select from - ones with guaranteed playing time. It might be interesting to use your player data and highlight which players are most productive in games that they do play in (and hopefully typically play a significant number of minutes in those games, ie no six minute Dzecko appearances). You could fit those players into a squad where you expect everyone else to play every gameweek and thus harness some upside and differentiation simultaneously.



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Sheep said...
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