In News of the Day, Strategy on October 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm
A bit of EPL fantasy analysis following the Wednesday Champions League action. The capitulation of Arsenal and Manchester City have left the two English clubs with difficult roads to qualify from the group stage.
Arsenal 0-2 Schalke 04
Arsenal sXI: Mannone; Santos Mertesacker Vermaelen Jenkinson (Gnabry 82′); Arteta Coquelin; Ramsey Cazorla Podolski (Arshavin 82′); Gervinho (75′)
The Gunners were under the management of Steve Bould as Arsene Wenger served the final match of his three-match touchline ban. Based on their play, it is unlikely The Prof’s presence would have made much difference. As Bould noted after the match:
He also rather astutely noted that the Gunners could do with the odd first-goal:
In Up The Tweets on September 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm
All new Up The Tweets! touches on Fantasy EPL implications of owning Arsenal’s defense, rating the Manchester City forwards and find inexpensive midfielder who create chances and see the pitch.
The man who would win “Best Mustache” amongst all our followers asks about Vermaelen and Arsenal’s slated fixtures:
We’re not opposed to owning Arsenal’s defense, but we’re uncomfortable investing the £7.1m necessary to select Thomas Vermaelen. Arsenal still face Chelsea September 29, but their schedule is considerably easier for the following three gameweeks in which they face: West Ham (a), West Brom (h) and QPR (a). Gibbs (£5.7m), Mertesacker (£5.1m) and Jenkinson (£4.9m) have each played the full 450′ this term in the Barclays Premier League and any of the three present substantial value over their Captain. Read the rest of this entry »
In News of the Day, Player Projection on September 19, 2012 at 1:13 am
Champions League Group Stage matches started on Tuesday and EPL fantasy managers had their first chance to see squad rotations for Manchester City and Arsenal for the first time this season. Both English sides were playing their opening match away from home and each had a number of long-term injuries that ruled players out of contention well in advance of Tuesday’s kick-off.
Roberto Mancini and Manchester City have drawn Real Madrid in the Group Stage and clearly took this match-up into consideration in gameweek 4 of the Barclays Premier League. Carlos Tevez with withdrawn after 62′ in that match, and City went on to draw 1-1 away at Stoke City. Tevez had a profound impact on the BPL match, creating City’s only goal, and his withdrawal could have cost them two points. Tevez was in Mancini’s starting XI against Real and played the full 90′ for the visitors as they lost 3-2 following a frenetic final 15′. EPL fantasy managers did earn a modest return from Tevez, but perhaps future BPL fixtures preceding the Champions League midweek will necessitate handing the captains armband to another member of your EPL fantasy side.
Mancini’s starting XI to face Madrid was yet another incarnation of the 4-2-3-1 with Gareth Barry partnering Javi Garvia in the defensive midfield positions. The tactics shifted twice, first with the introduction of Aleksandar Kolarov for the injured Samir Nasri after 36′ and again with the introduction of Eden Dzeko for David Silva after 63′. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on October 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm
This Play The Wildcard is courtesy of @SeanySeanC’s team and has a couple of rules to go along with is. His current squad is Reina, Al-Habsi; Jones, Cole, Jose Enrique, Aa. Hughes, Richards; Sinclair, Moses, Nani, Jarvis, Taarabt; Suarez, Dzeko, Graham. He would prefer to keep Jones, Jose Enrique and Suarez because of the value the present to his side. Keeping those three players in mind we’ve laid out a plan in three simple steps below. Keep in mind this is being done on Tuesday 5 October and as such internationals haven’t played and we’re still awaiting updates on injuries to Kun Aguero and Gabby Agbonlahor among others.
1) How much cash have we got laying about?
With a number of player fluctuating in price significantly since the start of the season it may be that the lineup submitted here is not possible given your current roster constraints. We’ve also done this in advance of several injury concerns being resolved. The most notable are the injuries to Manchester City forwards Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli. While there injuries have not official ruled them out of this weekends EPL fixture it is safest to assume their absence for the time being. Manchester City face one of their most difficult portions of the schedule with added Champions League fixtures and trips to Old Trafford, Anfield and Stamford Bridge all coming in the next seven weeks. While some players like David Silva are nearly certain to perform regardless of the opposition, this is not a good set of fixtures for the City back four or keeper Joe Hart. We’ve actually used a pair of discounted ‘keepers here – Shay Given and Michele Vorm. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on September 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm
Well. That was interesting. City were played off of the pitch by a rampant Bayern side following a couple of early calls for penalties that never materialized.
United were constantly under pressure to a Basel side that could, 3 goals notwithstanding, use a few extra moments on the training ground practicing their finishing.
And then the games began.
Mancini - Tevez refused to play
Tevez - I’ve been professional
Mancini - ”If I have my way he will be out of the club.”
Oh, and did you hear?
This would have been bad enough had it been the only problem Mancini had to deal with.
However, there was also the problem of striker Edin Dzeko shaking his head at Mancini as he was replaced by Nigel de Jong 10 minutes into the second half. It was that change that angered Tevez, who was left on the bench throughout his side’s Premier League win over Everton on Saturday, and it appeared Dzeko was equally annoyed.
“He was disappointed but he played a bad game,” said Mancini. ”I wanted to keep the score down and not concede a third goal…It is the last time any player at this club does that…”He will sit the next game next to me.”
From a fantasy premier league perspective lets deal with these issues in order. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on September 12, 2011 at 2:15 am
Wayne Rooney has clearly put last season behind him. He has played the full 90′ in each of the first 4 matches, and he has scored 8 goals, providing an additional two assists, as Manchester United has breached the opposing goal 18 times. The Red Devils are clearly enjoying their football at the moment and leading the line Rooney is taking his chances very well.
This is quickly becoming a question of ‘must I own Rooney to compete?’ He is on 56 points (before fantasy premier league bonus points were awarded) and is 15 clear of Kun Aguero and 17 clear of Edin Dzeko among forwards and the three of them are three of the top 4 with only Rooney’s teammate Ashley Young (36 fantasy premier league points) breaking up the leagues top three goal scorers. Rooney does not look like he’ll be subject to any rotation currently, with Chicharito also returning and scoring twice. Berbatov and Welbeck are simply not going to threaten Rooney’s place when he is in a vein of form this rich and he has already scored more than 1/2 of last years return of
15 11. In fact, the statistics are somewhat silly at this point. Rooney has scored more goals than all three promoted sides. He has as many goals as the bottom four teams in the table. He has outscored every single team in the English Premier League except Manchester City. Must you own him? We’ll if you’d owned him and captained him every week there is a very good chance that you’re winning your mini-league at the very least. While he is on pace for an absurd 76 goals, the real question should be if he can challenge onetime teammate Christiano Ronaldo’s mark. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on September 8, 2011 at 2:19 am
With game week 4 coming on the heels of an international break that has seen a number of injuries we thought this would be a good time to start the “Play The Wildcard”. Each week we’ll take a look at the best players moving forward. We’ll take into consideration not just long term prospects but also incorporate some short term plays with the idea that your team will be benefit from some players immediately and be able to use routine transfers. One example would be the inclusion of Some Tchoyi this week. As we’ve written earlier this week, Tchoyi may play out of position as a striker with injuries limited Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie. While Tchoyi likely wouldn’t remain on a roster for the entire season, he is a good high risk, high reward play for the next week or two.
Goalkeepers: As you’ll see a bit later on, we’ve invest heavily in forwards. While we typically believe in a rotation system for goalkeepers, the play of Tim Krul coupled with the upcoming fixture list for Newcastle have us investing not only in Krul but also in both Taylors – Ryan and Steven. Krul is a good bet over the next 7 fixtures with his squad facing Villa (a), Rovers (h), Wolves (a), Spurs (h), Wigan (h), Stoke (a), Everton (h). That run of fixtures take us through to game week 12. While we infrequently count on player availability that far ahead, we’re loathe to waste too many transfers on ‘keeper changes. Therefore we’ve picked our backup, Mignolet, because as Krul faces Man City (a), Man Utd (a), and Chelsea (h) in game weeks 12-14, Sunderland’s schedule is Fulham (h), Wigan (h), and Wolves (a).
Defenders: Our two least expensive defenders also belong to Krul’s Newcastle and they will enjoy the same schedule. While there are some questions surrounding Newcastle following the departure of Joey Barton and the arrival of defender Davide Santon from Internazionale but we expect that at least one of these players will be a viable starter going forward. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet on August 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm
We were just cuing up to say “it’s about time for the levees to open” when the Manchester City match turned Edin Dzeko (4 goals, 3 bonus) and Samir Nasri (3 assists, 2 bonus) into the fantasy must have players du jour. And then Ash Young (2 goals, 3 assists, 3 bonus) and Rooney (3 goals, 1 assist, 2 bonus) had to go an turn that on it’s ear.
Leaving aside the two highest scoring matches for the moment, we’ve heard and seen enough of it to last a few paragraphs here, it wasn’t an particularly high scoring weekend. Liverpool took their 3 goals well against Bolton, and Chelsea did similarly against Norwich but while those two sides scored six, the other 10 teams managed just 5 between them. The story was the same on Sunday. While Manchester United and City combined for 13 goals, the other 6 teams managed 7 and 8 teams on the weekend failed to score at all. This season, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, is turning into the haves and have nots with respect to goals. In the bottom 10 only one team (Norwich, 3) has scored more than 2 goals. 5 teams have just a single goal to their credit and Swansea has managed to do the incredible, namly earn two points in their first three fixtures without scoring an EPL goal (or having an og scored for them). While it is still early, three fixtures are never enough of a sample to make accurate ‘on pace’ type predictions, unless of course you’re taking a punt on Dreko as Top Scorer with 76 goals, this is the way the league typically plays out, though not with sure dramatic skewing.
A quick note: last season Wigan scored just 40 goals. Champions Manchester United had the top goals for at 78. The season prior it was the most comperable to what we’re witnessing this season. In 2009-10 Chelsea scored 103 EPL goals while allowing just 32. Read the rest of this entry »