Wednesday, 28 August 2013

TRANSFER WATCH: GW2 Transfers



















To recap from last week, I transferred out Ivanovic and Lukaku (who both have blanks GW3) for Coleman and Dzeko.

Let's see how my hit worked out points-wise:

Ivanovic(6) + Lukaku(1) = 7
Coleman(6) + Dzeko(8) = 14

14-7(-4) = 3. Therefore I gained 3 points overall from my hit, while also gaining 0.3 in value from price rises.

This week, my transfer was simple. I had to shift Eden Hazard out, who was set to drop to 9.4, due to his blank GW3.

My two options that I looked at were David Silva and Miguel Perez Cuesta (Michu). Despite me really fancying Michu, Silva's fixtures were too good to overlook, with him having Hull City at home up next, and his price sky rocketing.

I ended up missing his first price rise, andwas forced to pay 9.2 for the creative midfielder. 

I decided against a hit to get the Dutch superstar Robin Van Persie, due to the fact that after Liverpool away, he has 2 international games, and I didn't want to risk an injury.

So my single free transfer this week was:

Hazard(9.5) ---> Silva(9.2)

The Journey Continues... GW2

GW2 Team:
Gameweek 2 was a successful week in my books, as my hit paid off, as well as I rose in overall ranking.

Once again, my midfield quartet of Hazard, Mirallas, Coutinho and Walcott failed to produce, getting a measly assist between the 4 of them.

Thankfully my defenders continued to prove their value, as 3/4 of them kept a clean sheet (despite making the incorrect decision on Turner vs. Collins- who's CS remains on my bench)

Captaincy is of course a crucial part of fantasy football. Get it wrong, and you're likely to have an average score. Thankfully Soldado continued his great form, notching another goal from the penalty spot. Despite not having any shots on goal in GW2, I fully trust Soldado. I believe that as he finds his feet in the Spurs attack and in the BPL, he will be huge throughout the season.

Benteke blanked against Liverpool, being denied two great opportunities by fellow countryman Simon Mignolet. Despite his blank, I will be keeping Benteke through his blank, due to his great fixtures GW4 onward.

GW2 CONCLUSIONS:

Don't be afraid to take a hit if you believe it will benefit your team long term, points-wise, financially, or even freeing up cash for more expensive players down the line. Many fantasy managers opt for the strict "no hit policy" throughout the season. From experience, I can say that hits do work if they are done properly, with high upside potential.

RANK PROGRESSION:

I rose approximately 60k places this week in overall rank, and now sit at about 76k. I am happy with this because had RVP done damage vs. Chelsea, he would have caused a serious plummet to my rank, due to him being the most captained in GW2.

Gameweek 3 Preview & Tips



















CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Robin Van Persie- RVP retains the number 1 captaincy spot for the week, despite blanking against Chelsea. With Liverpool having played a full 120 minutes Tuesday in the Captital One Cup vs. Notts County, RVP looks a good bet this weekend for the armband. What makes him even more appealing is that Kolo Toure, Joe Allen and new boy Aly Cissokho all obtained injuries. This means that RVP will be up against a second-string CB, and will likely be highly involved. 

Sergio Aguero- Despite only picking up an assist last week vs. Cardiff, Aguero always has the potential to explode. He is my number 2 pick this week, as City look to bounce back from their shocking 3-2 defeat to newly promoted Cardiff. With Aguero on PKs and always full of energy, he should cause Hull City Tigers lots of problems this weekend, looking to make runs in behind the defence.

Theo Walcott- Also coming off an assist-only performance away to Fulham, Walcott will feature on Arsenal's right wing in the North London Derby. For those who don't know, the NLD is between Arsenal Gunners and Tottenham Hotspurs. This fixture is always known for its high scoreline, with end to end action. Walcott will likely be a nuisance as always, looking to make his tedious darting runs in behind the Spurs backline, while also swinging in crosses to the target Frenchman, Olivier Giroud. With Walcott also on some corners and set pieces, he is a great shout for the armband this weekend.

David Silva- With already a goal and an assist to his name in the first 2 gameweeks, David Silva seems to be showing signs of his 2011-12 season, which saw him notch 6 goals and 17 assists. Likewise to Aguero, Silva will have a burning fire in his belly after their loss to Cardiff. With Silva's set piece delivery and silky smooth dribbling, he should be a great threat to Hull, looking for target men Dzeko or Negredo, as well as slipping balls through to the pacey Aguero. If you feel that City will take the game to Hull, Silva could well be the maestro pulling the strings.


Here are Anytime Goalscorer Odds this week from PaddyPower:

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy 2 teams for a clean sheet; Manchester City and West Ham.

Manchester City vs. Hull- After being shellshocked GW2 by Cardiff City, Manchester City will look to keep it tight at the back. Hull will look to absorb the pressure as they did at Stamford Bridge, and I just don't see them getting many opportunities to attack. I expect this game to be heavily dominated by Man.City, with little of the possession going to Hull, therefore I believe City will keep the cleanie.

West Ham vs. Stoke- The Hammers are now 2 for 2 without a goal conceded, and look to continue that into this weekend's clash with Stoke. With the home fans behind them, I expect Sam Allardyce's men to play a defense-first minded match, as they always look to do. If Collins and Reid can deal with Peter Crouch's presence in the box, I think there's a likely chance that the Hammers can keep the 0 in the Goals Against department.

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR- Two players I fancy this week that have not yet flourished this season are Hatem Ben Arfa and Robert Snodgrass.

Hatem Ben Arfa- It seems that every time this young man's name is mentioned, an injury report is looming over him. Despite his injury-ridden career, Ben Arfa has proved that he is one of Newcastle's most vital players on the pitch. As their set piece and PK taker, I expect HBA to take control in attack for the Toon. With 3 home matches in the next 4, Ben Arfa is surely one to watch, and may yet prove to be a wonderful differential for those who dare.

Robert Snodgrass- Returning from a pre-season knock in the Capital One Cup Tuesday, Snodgrass proved to be a vital component in Norwich's 6-3 victory over Bury. Snodgrass notched 2 assists, and has a home match vs. Southampton at the weekend. Things look good for Snodgrass owners, as he looks to pick out target strikers Elmander and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel off his deadly set pieces, as well as his corners. He's definitely one to keep an eye on in the near future.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Manchester United Strikers: "Coverage" vs. Consistency


There is much debate when it comes to the Fantasy Football front, on the hot topic of coverage. Firstly, let's define coverage, from a fantasy perspective.

"Coverage"- Trying to maximize the number of high scoring players from top teams in your fantasy squad.

In my opinion, "coverage" is a mere misconception in fantasy football. 
People believe, "If I have Danny Welbeck, I will have Man.Utd "cover", therefore not needing anyone else." -WRONG! 

Last year, talisman striker Robin Van Persie accumulated 26 goals and 9 assists to his name, also winning the Golden Boot.

Wayne Rooney had a season full of injuries, only netting 12 times, while also providing 10 assists.

Welbeck had a woeful season in terms of fantasy output, as he only found the net once, and assisted a mere 4 times.

Looking back at Fantasy Totals of 2012-13, this is how these 3 strikers produced:
RVP- 3123 minutes, 262 pts (6.89 PPG)
Rooney- 2014 minutes, 143 pts (5.29 PPG)
Welbeck- 1301 minutes, 57pts  (2.11 PPG)


**Special thanks to for calculating the Points Per Game (PPG) averages**



As most of you know, Welbeck outscored RVP in GW1 by 1 bonus point, both of them notching a brace vs. Swansea. Since then, Welbeck's price has risen to 7.6, and is near another rise. I have a strong feeling that the 47,146 fantasy managers that have drafted Welbeck into their team will face sheer disappointment. Welbeck blanked GW2 vs. Chelsea this week, also missing a sitter set up by fellow countryman Wayne Rooney. 

Conclusion:
To conclude, I believe that RVP is the only Manchester United player that I would trust to return points on a consistent basis.

Many will argue that Rooney is a valid value option at only 10.5, but as we witnessed last season, not owning RVP may well be detrimental to your FPL team. Yes, Wayne Rooney may have his little spurts of fantasy production, but he is a very hot and cold player. With RVP, you are almost guaranteed points if United produce in the offensive end, as he had a 45% goal involvement in all of United's goals last season, which is huge.

Robin Reliant as we know, is of course always in contention for the captain's armband of your FPL team each week, and rarely lets you down. All of last season, RVP blanked a total of 5 Gameweeks, which is very impressive considering some of the massive hauls he raked in.

So my advice in terms of United attack: RVP or nobody. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Gameweek 2 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 6 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them having an opportunity to shine. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week, leaving out Walcott and Sturridge as numbers 5 and 6th on my list.

Let's start from the top:

Robin Van Persie- Notching 26 goals and 15 assists last season, RVP lead Manchester United back to their winning ways, and to their 20th Barclay's Premier League trophy. There is no doubt in my mind that if Manchester United score, RVP is going to be heavily involved. On set free kicks, corners and PKs, RVP gives you that "invaluable" captain choice that we so desire, which is why he was handed a hefty price tag of 14.0 this season in FPL. Last season against the likes of City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool, RVP notched 7 goals and 2 assists in 10 matches. So with United up against Chelsea, RVP may be your go-to-guy for the armband.

Roberto Soldado- This guy is pure class. Having scored 24 goals in 35 games for Valencia last season, Soldado was one of Spain's most prolific goal scorers, only falling short to big name players Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao, and fellow countryman Negredo. Soldado is in red hot form, notching 4 goals in his first 3 matches for Tottenham, which includes his first brace for the English side yesterday in their 5-0 victory in Europa. Soldado is likely to be involved in many, if not all Tottenham's attacking play, and he is a good shout for the armband this week as he makes his home debut vs. Swansea.

Sergio Aguero- Just coming back from injury, Aguero gave City the spark they needed to get off to a perfect start to the season, running riot against Newcastle in a 4-0 battering. With a goal, assist and maximum bonus points, Aguero looks to be returning to his old self. If he can stay injury free, I can see him notching 20+ goals this season, and away to a newly promoted Cardiff isn't the worst place to try to increase his tally.

Christian Benteke- Currently the league's leading goalscorer, Benteke got off to a red-hot start scoring 3 goals in 2 games in the opening gameweek of the season. Already having Premier League experience last season, and being familiar with scoring, Benteke should easily replicate his 19 goal tally of last season. He is a great shout this week making his home debut at Villa Park, against Liverpool, who conceded a penalty late on to Stoke and were lucky to get the 3 points. I think Benteke will cause them problems, and he's always got the nose for goal.


Here are Anytime Goalscorer Odds this week from PaddyPower:

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy 3 teams for a clean sheet; Everton, Southampton and Stoke.

Everton vs WBA- Having a shocking home opener and losing to Pochettino's side at the death, West Brom looked toothless in attack. They created very few scoring opportunities, and I just don't see them scoring on a disciplined and experienced Everton side.

Southampton vs. Sunderland- Pochettino has implemented a great defensive mindset in the Southampton squad, and they looked really comfortable on the ball in their opening day fixture vs. WBA. I think Sunderland will find it tough to break down the Southampton midfield, with Wanyama and Schneiderlin making it difficult to penetrate the centre of the pitch.

Stoke vs. Crystal Palace- Although Stoke don't play the most appealing form of football, they are hard-nose tacklers and very disciplined in defence. Although many were writing off Stoke defensively under Mark Hughes, they showed their resilience last week only losing to Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield, and perhaps should of got a draw, with  Walters missing yet another PK. I just don't see any creativity in this Crystal Palace side, and with Super-Shotstopper Begovic in net, and Shawcross and Huth in CB, it will be very difficult for Palace to score.

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR- Two players I fancy this week that did not produce last week are Phillippe Coutinho and Kevin Mirallas. Let's find out why:

Phiilippe Coutinho- The dazzling Brazilian was a spark in midfield for Liverpool in their opening match vs. Stoke, and was unlucky not to notch a few assists. Despite stringing through some magical pinpoint passes, Coutinho's teammates were unable to find the net, leaving him on a total of 3 points. This week vs. Aston Villa has the potential of being a very open game, and I think that will benefit Coutinho, so he's one to watch out for.

Kevin Mirallas- Despite having a fantastic scoring record in pre-season, fantasy managers were disappointed when Mirallas was taken off in just the 70th minute, returning a measly 2 points. This week Mirallas is home to WBA, and I fancy him to open his account with a goal. Keep and eye out for this pacey customer!

TRANSFER WATCH: GW1 Transfers






















With many player prices rising and falling, you must keep a keen eye on FISO and TFPL, or else you will jeopardize losing that dreaded 0.1 value. 


My plan heading into GW2 was always to dump 1 or maybe even 2 Chelsea players. So that is what I did.

I first transferred out Ivanovic for Coleman, catching that valuable 0.1 rise. Many will say this move was a "knee-jerk", but I am a believer in long term benefit. With Coleman looking lively in Everton's attack, he will be a key member to my squad for at least the next 5-10 GWs, bar injury.

My second transfer was much more difficult. I was one of many who owned Lukaku; great expectations, but minimal returns. With his two cameos and lack of production off the bench, his price plummeted, and I had to take action before price changes and I was stuck with a 7.9 value striker.

My options were simple: Dzeko or Lambert. 

Dzeko, a risky or "flair" player, is not assured starts with so many attacking options for City. This is what Pellegrini had to say regarding Dzeko's performance vs. Newcastle in GW1:


"I trust Edin Dzeko" Manuel declared, "it was a pity he didn't score because he has a lot of chances and he played very well.

"We knew with the ball that he's a very good player but I think he played very well without the ball tonight. He had some important chances and he deserved to score today.

"I spoke to him when I first arrived and I told him that he will do very well for us.

"I am sure we are now going to see the Edin Dzeko that City bought from Wolfsburg two yars ago."


Lambert is the safer option, on FKs and PKs, but the signing of Osvaldo has muddied the waters, and made him less of a favorable pick. This is due to the fact of the uncertainty that Pochettino will play Osvaldo with Lambert, or if Lambert may lose his spot, with Pochettino opting for the more Nimble Jay Rodriguez in behind or in front of Osvaldo.

In the end, I decided to go with Dzeko, as I had no other City cover, and decided the risk was "high risk-high reward" and that Dzeko would soon be replaced in my team with RVP come GW3/4 regardless.

To wrap it up, my two transfers this week were:

Ivanovic (6.5) ---> Coleman (5.0)
Lukaku (8.0) ---> Dzeko (7.5)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

ALL ABOARD!! Which Bandwagons to get on, and which to avoid.
























When it comes to early season, bandwagons are very important. But you must be very careful not to board the wrong ones, as they could be on a one way track for disaster. A prime example is Mauro Boselli of last season. For readers who don't know about Boselli, he was a striker for Wigan Athletic, and scored in almost every pre-season match. But when it came down to GW1 kickoff, the guy was snake-bitten. Couldn't buy a goal. So let's get back on track and see this season's bandwagons.

Bandwagons often start off when a player does well early on in the season. So let's start off with naming who came out of DGW1 with some great point hauls:


Bandwagons to get on:

Mignolet- With a PK save at the death and a CS and maximum bonus points, Mignolet looks a good bet if you are looking for a solid keeper over the first half of the season.

Coleman- With an assist and a goal to his name already, the irishman looks as lively as ever. With some favorable fixtures coming up, Coleman looks a good bet for some CS and attacking points.

Shaw- After assisting the GWG in GW1, Shaw looks a decent bet as SOU cover in the back. Under Pochettino Southampton look very comfortable in possession and at the back.

Aguero- Two very tasty fixtures coming up and let's face   it, the Argentine is always in the mix for City.

Benteke- Despite his two "hard" fixtures GW1, the Belgian 
showed his resilience against the top sides and will be a hot
pickup after his GW3 blank.

Bandwagons to AVOID

Chelsea players- With United up next and a blank in GW3, it would be highly intelligent to avoid any Chelsea players that did well GW1 until GW4, which includes Ivanovic, Oscar, Lampard and even Hazard.

Whittaker- Scoring a goal and notching an assist, Whittaker is a hot selection currently, due to his very cheap price tag of 4.0. Despite many casuals bringing him in, you should avoid as Bassong is set to return for Norwich, and it looks like Whittaker will be the one to make way.

Welbeck- Despite outscoring the Flying Dutchman in GW1 by 1 point, I just don't see the English striker keeping it up. Let's face it, Welbeck scored 1 goal all of last season for United... I don't see him scoring more than 10 in all competitions. I would avoid.



The Journey Begins... DGW1

Once again the 2013-14 season began with a DGW, meaning many managers were forced into choosing players they would not have initially started off with in their squads. Some managers opted for a more "long-term" team, but would soon feel the repercussions of not going into the DGW with guns blazing. This week we will look back on what was, once again a profitable DGW for many managers, including myself. 

GW1 Team:

As I'm a strong believer in maximizing DGW potential, I went all in GW1; opting for 3 Chelsea and 1 Aston Villa players, bringing me to a grand total of 4 DGW players.

My tactic when picking my 3 Chelsea DGWers was simple, I decided to cover all my bases and pick 1 defender, 1 midfielder and 1 forward.

My first pick was someone I missed out in last season's DGW, and a player who is always dangerous on set pieces; Chelsea's RB Branislav Ivanovic. My selection came down to club captain Terry(6.0) or Ivanovic(6.5) but opted for the latter due to his major goal threat.

My second pick was simple, the Belgian Eden Hazard. This pick would have been much more difficult if Juan Mata was not priced 1.0 more expensive than Hazard, but the FPL pricing worked out in my favor.

My third pick was largely due to the "flock mentality" of the FFS Community. Being a member on Fantasy Football Scout, I could not help myself. Lukaku was scoring nearly every game pre-season, and every man and his dog on FFS owned him.

The rest of my picks were quite simple. I decided from the start that RVP was overpriced, and that I'd try to fit him in by GW4, when he plays Crystal Palace at home.

Christian Benteke was avoided to some extent due to his two tough fixtures, both against top 4 opponents Chelsea and Arsenal. But Benteke proved doubters wrong, notching 3 goals in the 2 games, and was the Gameweek's highest point scorer.

Soldado was really a flair pick, but I had faith in him due to his great scoring record, and the fact that Bale was on his way out of Tottenham.

My midfield was also part of the FFS template, but ended up being a huge letdown. Midfielders Walcott, Coutinho and Mirallas all shot blanks week 1, while Williams only came on for a cameo.

Besides Ivanovic, I opted to go uber in defence, opting for three 4.5s (Collins, Turner, Yanga-Mbiwa) and a 4.0 bench fodder (Ward).

Mignolet was a no-brainer for me, as he was great value to start the season at 5.5 and nailed on in the Liverpool defence, and I decided to pair him with a 4.0 bench fodder. Mignolet also turned out to be a gameweek 1 hero, saving a PK at the death, stealing 3 bonus points as well as 3 points for Liverpool.

DGW1 CONCLUSIONS:

As I stated before, those who underestimated the power of the DGW were harshly burned, ending on 60-odd points. I myself had a great start to the season, notching 88points and starting with an overall rank of 139k, much better than last season's start of 637k.