Gameweek 36 Review – Double Gameweek Delivery


Nikica Jelavic by Steindy at Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Jelavic continued his hot streak with a brace against Fulham.

All teams have played one game of the big double Gameweek and already some of the touted double players have delivered. The double Gameweek teams play again tonight and tomorrow, so lets take a look at how the Gameweek has unfolded.

Notable Fantasy Performances

The Title Race

Manchester City took the lead in the title race with a convincing 1 – 0 win over Manchester United at home. In a game where City’s defence starred it was fitting that the Fantasy bonus points were distributed between Kompany (plus the goal), Zabaleta, and Clichy.

City are favorites to win although they face a tough game away from home against Newcastle in their next game.

The Double Gameweek Teams

Jelavic continued his hot streak with a brace against travel weary Fulham. Everton won 4 – 0 where, in addition to Jelavic, Pienaar and Fellaini were instrumental. The Everton defence kept a clean sheet much to the joy of the almost 40.000 Fantasy managers who brought him in.

Liverpool’s defence also deliver a clean sheet, their first since the start of February. However, it was the talented Suarez who stole the headlines with a sublime hattrick amassing 17 Fantasy points with a game left in the Gameweek. Johnson and Enrique stole bonus points.

Chelsea demolished QPR with another game winning performance from a maligned striker. Torres grabbed his first hattrick for Chelsea, partly thanks to the impressive Mata who provided four assists in the 6 – 1 win for the home team. Terry, Ramires, and Sturridge also picked up valuable Fantasy points with assists or goals.

Tottenham’s Van der Vaart returned to his scoring ways and Walker struck as sweet a free kick as you’ll see this season in Tottenham’s 2 – 0 win over Blackburn to keep the London team’s dream of Champions League football alive. Providing the assists for the goals were their pair of pacy wingers, Bale and Lennon.

Bolton’s Petrov registered an assist for one of two K. Davies goals in their 2 – 2 draw with Sunderland. McClean and Bendtner scored for the home team from Sessegnon and Colback assists.

Crouch scored from an Etherington assist but it was Van Persie who stole three bonus points with his equalizer for Arsenal in their 1 – 1 draw against Stoke.

Other Results

Swansea and Wolves played out an amazing 4 – 4 draw that provided seven different goalscorers and seven assisters. Considering his prowess in front of goal, Sigurdsson single assist was a surprise. Orlandi and Dyer were the star performers for Swansea, both registering BAGs (Bonus, Assist, Goal) while Jarvis bagged a brace for the relegated Wolves.

Predictably, West Brom and Aston Villa played out a scoreless draw.

Less predictable was Wigan’s destruction of Champions League chasing Newcastle. Moses scored two and both Maloney and Di Santo delivered BAGs in the Latics’ emphatic 4 – 0 win.

Gameweek 36 Captain Picks

From Gameweek 25 onwards, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 36 I recommended Jelavic, Cisse, and Bale as the captain picks and all of them delivered double digit Gameweeks.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 20/33
  • Double digit captains: 11/33

Comments

Any comments on the round? How did your team do? Did you choose the right captain?

Friday Foreplay – Gameweek 35


Aguero Athletico by Jan S0L0 at Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Sergio Aguero, here depicted in his Atletico Madrid playing days, is the top captain pick for Gameweek 35.

In this Gameweek 35 edition of the Friday Foreplay I present the captain picks, investigate the heavy hitters, predict clean sheets, and speculate on possible punts.

Captain Picks

  1. Aguero: Manchester City are back on track, having scored 10 goals in their last two games. Aguero has four of those with consecutive braces. Despite playing away from home, the relegation form of the Wolves team pushes City’s attackers into consideration for this Gameweek’s captain picks.

  2. Rooney: Manchester United face Everton, who have nothing left to play for after their morale-sapping loss against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final. With that in mind, I think the game will be easier for United than if Everton were still in full flight. A win by a three goal margin wouldn’t surprise me, and hence the inclusion of Rooney in the picks. Rooney has been in goal-scoring mode since the start of February with 11 goals in 11 games, including a brace last Gameweek.

  3. Cisse: Newcastle sat out last Gameweek and have an upcoming double Gameweek 36. Cisse’s form is irresistible and has eight goals in his last five games. It’s unlikely that he will maintain this form into next season, but could well finish this season on a high. Newcastle play at home against a Stoke team who have nothing to play for in their last four games.

Big Hitters

Despite not having scored in open play in six games, Van Persie still has to be considered an elite attacker. For Chelsea, the away game at the Emirates is sandwiched between two Barcelona games. Di Matteo will rest players with that in mind and Arsenal could capitalize, having nothing else to focus on than securing the thirds spot in the League. We all know what RvP can do when on form, as witnessed by his hattrick in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

I backed Sigurdsson last week. His return of a goal, assist, and bonus points boosted my rankings and encouraged me to back him again. He has scored most of his goals away from home so an away game at Bolton is less of an issue than with many others players.

With the news that Baines is out of the clash against Manchester United, Valencia becomes an even more exciting pick at the right flank. He will not have to worry as much about helping Rafael out with the marauding left-back and can concentrate on the attacking side of his game. Despite having had a quiet few Gameweeks, Fantasy wise, he has been threatening and playing well.

With Manchester City facing Wolves, City’s front four of the aforementioned captain pick of Aguero, Tevez, Silva, and Nasri are all good plays this Gameweek. All are likely to be involved in City’s possible slew of goals.

Ben Arfa has finally blossomed into his attacking role at Newcastle. His upswing in form has coincided with Cisse’s and they have been assisting each other’s goals. Both players will be heavily picked in the double Gameweek 36, so you could bring them in early to avoid the price rise.

Clean Sheets

  • Manchester United have nine clean sheets at home and will dominate the possession against Everton. If you have the cash, Evra is playing well, bombing forward on the left flank to take part in United’s attacks.
  • Newcastle have an excellent defensive record at home and face Stoke who have only scored 0.65 goals per game on average on their travels. Play your Newcastle back line this week, whether it be Krul in goal or Williamson in defence.
  • Aston Villa have two games this Gameweek and are therefore more likely to keep a clean sheet. Even if they don’t, Collins will at least pick up points in both games for just showing up.

Taking a Punt

  • Being wary of Wigan’s excellent form, I’ve demoted Dempsey to a punt this week. This will be a tough game for Fulham, if Wigan play anything like their games against Manchester United and Arsenal.
  • If you are bringing in Suarez for Gameweek 36 you could get him in now and play him against West Brom. Liverpool will be riding high after getting to the FA Cup final. He has been a frustrating Fantasy players this season but is capable of doing serious damage to any defence.

Reviewed Friday Foreplay – Gameweek 29 and 30


Antonio Valencia by Julia Novikova at Soccer.ru. Licence: CC BY-SA 1.0.

Valencia sneaks into the captain picks on the back of his commanding performance against Wolves last Gameweek.

Because of the distribution of games in Gameweek 29, with fixtures crawling well into the week, this piece combines the Gameweek 29 Review and the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 30.

The most notable Fantasy performances of Gameweek 29:

  • Sigurdsson was the undisputed Fantasy star of Gameweek 29, delivering a brace and 15 points in Swansea’s convincing away win at Craven Cottage.
  • Valencia and Hernandez combined for three goals, and assist, and five bonus points in Manchester United’s five goal demolition over the sorry Wolves. Evans capped an impressive performance with a well taken goal.
  • Vermaelen got a goal and a clean sheet in Arsenal’s important away victory at Goodison Park.
  • Hoilett scored again as well as Yakubu, who also stole three bonus points.
  • Aguero and Nasri scored in Manchester City’s hard fought win.

Gameweek 29 Points Summary

From Gameweek 25 onwards, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 29 I recommended Rooney, Dempsey, Ba as the captain picks. Promising Gameweek captain picks produced dissapointing results with only Rooney getting over three points.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 9/15
  • Double digit captains: 4/15
NamePositionGoalsAssistsClean SheetBonusOtherScore
SigurdssonMidfielder201316
ValenciaMidfielder121216
VermaelenDefender101315
EvansDefender101113
HernandezForward200313
DowningMidfielder020210
DerryMidfielder100310
McArthurMidfielder100310
AllenMidfielder10119
SinclairMidfielder01109
NasriMidfielder1003-1 for YC9
YakubuForward10139
P. CisseForward10039
Van der VaartMidfielder1003-1 for YC9
RafaelDefender01109
RoutledgeMidfielder01128
Gamst PedersonMidfielder01128
GutierrezMidfielder01128
ScharnerMidfielder1002-1 for YC8
GibbsDefender00117
de GeaGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
DannDefender00117
KrulGoalkeeper0010+1 for 4 saves7
CahillDefender1000-1 for 2 GC7
ShawcrossDefender01127
KuytMidfielder10007
AgueroForward10017
HoilettForward10117
VormGoalkeeper0010+1 for 5 saves7
KoscielnyDefender00106
FerdinandDefender00106
JeromeForward10006
TaylorDefender00106
MonkDefender00106
SimpsonDefender00106
YoungDefender0102-1 for 2 GC6
D. CisseForward10006
WilliamsonDefender00106
PerchDefender00106
HanleyDefender00106
EvraDefender00106
RangelDefender00106
SzczesnyGoalkeeper00106
WelbeckForward1001-1 for YC6
CaulkerDefender00106
ColocciniDefender00106
RobinsonGoalkeeper00106
CoatesDefender1000-1 for 3 GC & -1 for <60 min6
RooneyForward01005
CabayeMidfielder00125
SagnaDefender0010-1 for YC5
TaarabtMidfielder01005
BaleMidfielder01095
WalcottMidfielder00125
MosesMidfielder01005
Van PersieForward01005
MackieForward1000-1 for <60 min5
ZabaletaDefender01005
RuddyGoalkeeper0000+2 for 7saves4
CarrickMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
ArtetaMidfielder00114
MataMidfielder0100-1 for YC4
BruntMidfielder0100-1 for YC4
TevezForward0100-1 for <60 min4
FosterGoalkeeper0000+2 for 7saves4
K. ToureDefender00024
OrrDefender0190-1 for <60 min4

For a summary of players scoring over three points in Gameweek 29, please refer to the table above.

Captain Picks

The captain picks are rather straightforward this Gameweek with both Manchester United and Arsenal playing easy home games (on paper). Rooney and Van Persie are the obvious picks with Valencia sneaking into third due to his amazing performance against Wolves last Gameweek.

  1. Rooney
  2. Van Persie
  3. Valencia

Big Hitters

It’s all about the home teams this Gameweek, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Norwich all having at least a decent chance of high-scoring Gameweeks.

Manchester United face Fulham at Old Trafford where they have won their last four games. They have scored 12 goals in their last four games and enjoy an impressive 2.78 goals scored per game at home. The less said about Fulham’s away record, the better. Play all your United players and don’t be afraid of reaching for Hernandez and Young in addition to the captain picks from United.

Arsenal do battle against an Aston Villa team that hasn’t conceded more than one goal in their last four games. Nevertheless, Van Persie is so hot it hurts, and will be dangerous. Walcott could benefit from the attention on the Dutchman, and contribute with either assists or goals.

Despite facing resolute Everton, Sigurdsson is in such good form that he has to be considered a big hitter. What a loan signing by Brendan Rodgers, who must be the front runner for manager of the year.

Guessing Paul Lambert’s starting lineup is wading in murky waters. He threw us a curve ball last Gameweek, by leaving Holt on the bench. Still, I would start him against Wolves and expect a goal.

Other strong plays include:

  • Liverpool have only scored 35 goals all season, and have a much lower Fantasy points ceiling than the top five. However, they face Wigan at home. Wigan concede over two goals per game on their travels so I would bet on Gerrard scoring.
  • Sessegnon is back from suspension and plays at home against QPR. Sunderland have missed his creativity and he will be the key to unlocking the QPR defence.

Clean Sheets

The aforementioned home teams fill up this Gameweeks clean sheet list, with the change of swapping out Norwich for Swansea. All the teams face low average scoring teams and are likely to keep a clean sheet. The teams and the recommended players are:

  • Liverpool and Skrtel for the set-piece goal threat.
  • Manchester United and Evans for the price.
  • Arsenal and Vermaelen for the goal threat. Consider Gibbs if you have a limited budget.
  • Swansea and Caulker for the price and the bonus point magnet.

Taking a Punt

  • Suarez is down to being a punt at home against Wigan. He has just frustrated too much this season and I wouldn’t hold on to him any longer.
  • Hoilett will likely move clubs in the summer, thanks to his impressive displays in the Blackburn shirt this season.

Gameweek 28 Review – Gerrard the Derby Hero


Gerrard by destinyuk* at Flickr. Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Steven Gerrard got a hattrick against Everton.

Gerrard was Liverpool’s hero, yet again, in the Merseyside derby with a hattrick in their three goal win. The win will rejuvenate Liverpool fans who had suffered through a drab 1 – 0 loss at Sunderland three days earlier.

There was a shift in the battle for the title with Swansea denting Manchester City’s hopes with convincing 1 – 0 home victory while Manchester United rode Rooney’s brace to a comfortable win at Old Trafford.

In the battle for fourth, Arsenal and Chelsea gained ground on Tottenham. Arsenal won in injury time thanks to a Vermaelen strike after goals from Ben Arfa and Van Persie while Chelsea secured three points via a single goal from Drogba. Tottenham lost away at Everton.

Down at the bottom Bolton got an important three points with a 2 – 1 win over QPR while Blackburn won Wolves at the Molinaux.

Finally, Aston Villa saw Fulham off with a single goal while Norwich and Wigan saw out a 1 – 1 draw.

Other notable performances:

  • Suarez clinched two assists in the win over Everton and was a menace throughout.
  • Vorm (8), Caulker(9), and Williams (9) registered clean sheets against City. Vorm got extra points for saves while Caulker and Williams got three bonus points each.
  • Moses grabbed Wigan’s goal and three bonus points for a 10 point Gameweek.
  • Young continued his good run with an assist and two bonus points against West Brom.
  • Hoilett’s brace finished off Wolves for 13 points in the Gameweek.
  • New Bolton defender Ream assisted and got three bonus points for an eight point Gameweek.

Gameweek 28 Points Summary

From Gameweek 25 onwards, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 28 I recommended Suarez, Rooney, and Van Persie as the captain picks. An excellent round with all three delivering and both Suarez and Rooney providing returns of a double digit Gameweek.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 8/12
  • Double digit captains: 4/12

In addition, all the clean sheet prediction came off, with Liverpool, Chelsea, and Aston Villa all delivering.

NamePositionGoalsAssistsClean SheetBonusOtherScore
GerrardMidfielder3013-1 for <60 min & +2 for DG22
HoilettForward200313
RooneyForward201313
SuarezForward0212+2 for DG12
KellyDefender011112
JelavicForward1013+2 for DG & -1 for <60 min10
WilliamsDefender00139
VormGoalkeeper0011+2 for 8 saves9
HowardGoalkeeper0010+2 for DG & +3 for 10 saves & -1 for YC & -1 for 3 GC9
OsmanMidfielder0112+2 for DG & -1 for <60 min9
CaulkerDefender00139
MosesMidfielder1003-1 for YC9
DrogbaForward10139
BendtnerForward10139
PratleyMidfielder1002-1 for YC8
CahillDefender001028
TurnerDefender00128
YoungMidfielder01128
DistinDefender0011+2 for DG & -1 for 3 GC8
CuellarDefender00128
DannDefender00128
ReinaGoalkeeper00108
VermaelenDefender10008
ReamDefender01038
HoolahanMidfielder1002-1 for YC8
Ben ArfaMidfielder10007
EnriqueDefender0010-1 for YC & +2 for DG7
De GeaGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
JonesDefender00117
SkrtelDefender0010-1 for YC & +2 for DG7
MignoletGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
HartGoalkeeper0000+5 for PS7
EvraDefender00106
RobinsonGoalkeeper00106
CechGoalkeeper00106
RoutledgeMidfielder01106
RangelDefender00106
BridgeDefender00106
MiyaichiMidfielder010016
O'SheaDefender00106
ColeDefender00106
TaylorDefender00106
BardsleyDefender00106
TerryDefender00106
WeimannForward1001-1 for <60 min6
WarnockDefender00106
CarragherDefender00106
D. CisseForward10006
BainesDefender0010+2 for DG & -1 for YC & -1 for 3 GC6
CollinsDefender00106
FerdinandDefender00106
HuttonDefender00106
GivenGoalkeeper00106
EvansDefender00106
Gamst PedersenMidfielder0110-1 for YC5
MooreForward1000-1 for <60 min5
ColemanMidfielder0000+2 for DG5
SpearingMidfielder0010+2 for DG5
FellainiMidfielder0010+2 for DG5
HanleyDefender0010-1 for YC5
HendersonMidfielder0010+2 for DG5
CampellForward01005
WalcottMidfielder01005
HeitingaDefender0010-1 for YC5
Wright-PhillipsMidfielder01005
Van PersieForward1000-1 for YC5
AgbonlahorForward00135
YakubuForward01005
KlasnicForward1000-1 for <60 min5
JacksonForward01005
HernandezForward01005
ObertanMidfielder01005
DowningMidfielder0010+2 for DG4
MaloneyMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
Martin OlssonMidfielder00114
LarssonMidfielder00114
LampardMidfielder00114
AlbrightonMidfielder00114
RamseyMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
RuddyGoalkeeper0012+2 for 6 saves4
MataMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
BegovicGoalkeeper0002+2 for 7 saves4

For a summary of players scoring over three points in Gameweek 28, please refer to the table above.

Comments

Any comments on the round? How did your team do? Did you choose the right captain?

Friday Foreplay – Gameweek 28


Suarez, Rooney, and Persie from http://fantasy.premierleague.com/

Gameweek 28 captain picks

Yet again, we warm up for a weekend of intense defensive tightness, midfield stroking, and attacking thrust in this edition of the Friday Foreplay.

In this Gameweek 28 edition of the Friday Foreplay I present the captain picks, investigate the heavy hitters, predict clean sheets, and speculate on possible punts.

Captain Picks

  1. Suarez: A controversial pick and one more for the Fantasy managers seeking the differential. I’m sitting at an overall rank of about 47.000, and Suarez is my punt for a big rise. I included an analysis of the hot-headed forward in my Gameweek 27 Review and concluded that he was likely for a late season upswing. The double Gameweek is the main reason for the captain pick, providing Suarez with two chances to create Fantasy points.
  2. Van Persie: The safe pick of the week and perhaps the smart move. The Dutchman is having a tremendous season and his pick doesn’t need explanation.
  3. Rooney: Has scored in his last three games and is on a total of five in three. He’s back to scoring after a barren run an I’m banking on a brace tomorrow.

Big Hitters

Trying to learn from last week’s fiasco of captaining Aguero and appointing Silva as my vice-captain I wouldn’t recommend doing the same with Rooney and Ashley Young. However, play Young if you have him and consider buying him if you don’t. United have excellent fixtures coming up so this should be the time you invest their attacking threats.

Mata, playing in behind Torres in a new look Chelsea side, is my pick for Chelsea Fantasy points. He will be influential in the hole, and likely the fulcrum of Chelsea’s attacks. Lampard is also a strong play, sitting on ten goals already.

Holt seems to be safe from Norwich’s rotation policy and leads the attack against a Wigan team that hasn’t defended all year. Play him if you have him.

Other strong plays include:

  • I’m a little hesitant on Aguero and Silva playing away at Swansea. I have the feeling that the game will be a drawn out battle of possession with little penetration. Still, the talent on display from the Argentinian and Spaniard can’t be denied and they should play after being rested the last time out.
  • Ba should be able to do some damage to the Arsenal defence and has been unlucky not to score in his last two games. The crossbar has been his worst enemy. Well, that and missing a penalty.

Clean Sheets

  • Liverpool with double fixtures and strong defensive record have the highest ceiling for the Gameweek. Both Sunderland and Everton are struggling for creativity and offer the chance of two clean sheets. Skrtel offers threat from set pieces and Enrique a cheaper entry at £0.5 less.
  • Chelsea’s spirit seemed much improved against Birmingham and they should be able to handle Stoke’s aerial threat. Luiz offers an added attacking threat, with two goals in his last four games.
  • Aston Villa are facing Fulham who are dreadful on the road. This one is a risk so please don’t go buying any Villa players.

Taking a Punt

  • Pogrebnyak is hardly a punt taking only in account last Gameweek’s heroics. However, looking at their home and away record the issue becomes a bit more cloudy. They have only scored eight goals away from home (versus 28 at home) and hence the big Russion becomes a punt.
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain showed his talent against Milan and should get the starting place against Newcastle, especially if Arteta is still unfit.
  • Nani is United’s forgotten threat and despite uneventful games has two assists and 13 points in his last two games. The focus is on Young, following his brace against Tottenham, which could give Nani room to manoeuvre.

Gameweek 27 Review – Pog, Pog, Pogbrebnyak


Luis Suarez by Paul Blank at www.postproduktie.nl. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Suarez has an upcoming double Gameweek and is a risky punt with a chance for a high payoff.

Despite not having good games away from hom both Arsenal and Manchester United showed their clinical side, finishing off Liverpool and Tottenham, respectively.

Arsenal won through the yet another brilliant game by Van Persie, who bagged a brace.

Rooney kept up his scoring run in United’s victory but it was Ashley Young who stole the show with two well taken shots. The first was the result of Nani sneaking in behind Modric and crossing for an acrobatic finish by Young. The second was the result of Young coming in from the left onto his right foot, curling a beauty in the right corner.

Swansea won away from home, with fellow Icelander Sigurdsson delivering in two brilliant curlers.

Playing at home, Fulham destroyed Wolves, with a Pogrebnyak hattrick and a Dempsey brace; Manchester City dispatched Bolton, Stoke City narrowly edged Norwich, and West Brom kept up their excellent run with a 1 – 0 victory that ended Villas-Boas reign as Chelsea boss.

QPR and Everton and Blackburn and Aston Villa played out rather boring score draws, while Newcastle’s and Sunderland’s 1 – 1 draw had plenty of action, a sending off, and a dramatic late goal.

Other notable performances:

  • Yet again Suarez had an excellent game with no Fantasy returns. He got the penalty that Kuyt missed.
  • N’Zogbia scored and has now scored two goals and delivered one assist in the last three games he has started (out of the last five games played).
  • Zamora scored and stole three bonus points against Everton.
  • Drenthe scored a cracker to open Fantasy managers’ eyes before the double Gameweek. I wouldn’t bet on him playing both games so I would stay away.
  • Etherington is playing better of late. He scored and stole three bonus points but watch out for Stoke’s schedule; it reads Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester City in their next three games.
  • Caulker assisted, got a clean sheet, and was rewarded with three bonus points for a respectable 13 Gameweek points.

Gameweek 27 Points Summary

From Gameweek 25 onwards, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 27 I recommended Aguero, Silva, and Dempsey as the captain picks. In typical Mancini fashion, he decided to rest both Aguero and Silva, thus rendering my picks moot for the Gameweek. To my relief, Dempsey delivered in style, collecting 15 points.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 5/9
  • Double digit captains: 2/9

It’s looking grim at the moment. But hey, at least I picked Pogrebnyak as a strong play this Gameweek.

NamePositionGoalsAssistsClean SheetBonusOtherScore
YoungMidfielder210318
PogrebnyakForward301317
DempseyMidfielder201215
SigurdssonMidfielder201315
McAuleyDefender101315
Van PersieForward290313
CaulkerDefender011312
EtheringtonMidfielder101311
N'ZogbiaMidfielder101210
RidgewellDefender0112-1 for YC10
JohnsonMidfielder01139
BendtnerForward10039
ClichyDefender01109
ZamoraForward10039
A. JohnsonForward02119
BalotelliForward10139
HartGoalkeeper0011+1 for 5 saves8
ShottonDefender01128
CuellarDefender01038
MignoletGoalkeeper0000+5 for penalty save, +1 for 3 saves8
SzczesnyGoalkeeper0000+5 for penalty save, +1 for 4 saves8
RooneyForward10038
DrentheMidfielder1001-1 for YC7
NaniMidfielder01117
TurnerDefender01027
FosterGoalkeeper00117
BegovicGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
HughesDefender00106
TaylorDefender00106
SagnaDefender01016
ShawcrossDefender00106
OlssonDefender00106
HuthDefender00106
SchwarzerGoalkeeper00106
SenderosDefender00106
MurphyMidfielder01106
ToureDefender00106
RiiseDefender00106
VormGoalkeeper00106
LescottDefender00106
DuffMidfielder01106
KompanyDefender00106
OrrDefender01016
DunnMidfielder1000-1 for <60 min6
HendersonMidfielder01005
RangelDefender0010-1 for YC5
WhiteheadMidfielder00125
BuzsakyMidfielder01005
AmeobiForward1000-1 for <60 min5
WilliamsDefender0010-1 for YC5
DefoeForward1000-1 for <60 min5
HangelandDefender0010-1 for YC5
SongMidfielder01005
EvraDefender01005
HeitingaDefender00035
AllenMidfielder00114
PienaarMidfielder0100-1 for YC4
DiarraMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
RobinsonGoalkeeper0000+2 for 6 saves4
WalcottMidfielder00024
WilliamsonDefender0100-1 for YC4
JeromeForward0100-1 for <60 min4
CechGoalkeeper0000+2 for 6 saves4

For a summary of players scoring over three points in Gameweek 27, please refer to the table above.

Suarez

After Pogrebnyak’s hattrick, a section on the Russian striker would have made sense. However, with Liverpool playing two games next Gameweek I decided to look a little at Suarez’s stats.

Looking at only goals, Suarez has had a disappointing season. Six goals in 21 appearances are numbers that would indicate Suarez is a bench player. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Suarez has, at times, been the only bright spark in Liverpool’s attacking game. He is hard working, a quick dribbler, and sometimes looks like he can create chances for himself whenever he wants.

According to an excellent Guardian piece on Suarez, he was a brilliant poacher in his Ajax days, which begs the question of what is missing in his current game. The Guardian piece has it down to him having less than a stellar support crew and as a consequence him trying to do too much all on his own.

Now, lets look at interesting graphs from an interesting article from EPL Index:

Strikers: Shots taken

Comparison of shots taken for various strikers

The main thing from the shooting graph is that Suarez is shooting, having the third most shots after only Van Persie and Rooney. In fact, of the top six strikers Suarez sticks out like a sore thumb, being the only one under 100 Fantasy points for the season.

Striker conversion

Comparison of conversion rate for various strikers.

Here we see the reason for the few goals. Suarez has a miserable 6.7% conversion rate. For any other player I would recommend staying away, and he would never get into any Fantasy team. But with his proven goal-scoring history, both in his Ajax days and in the start of his Liverpool career, I believe he could well be an important differentiator for the season run-in.

Surprisingly, he is selected by almost 19% of Fantasy managers, and has risen by 2% in on Gameweek. Most likely, this is due to the upcoming double Gameweek. Still, compared the the elite strikers (Aguero at 37%, Van Persie at 36%, Rooney at 28%, and Ba at 26%), this is still significantly lower and he is a ballsy play in Gameweek 28.

Comments

Any comments on the round? How did your team do? Did you choose the right captain?

Gameweek 26 Review – On Fire Odemwingie

Odemwingie by Jl4kj123 at Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Odemwingie scored a brace against Sunderland

The game of the weekend was an astonishing North-London derby, resulting in an important 5 – 2 win for Arsenal. Despite Tottenham going 0 – 2 within half an hour, Arsenal pushed on and scored five goals to end Tottenham’s title dreams. From a Fantasy perspective all the big guns delivered; Van Persie and Adebayor both registered goals and assists while Bale got an assist for a dubious penalty.

Both Manchester kept up their winning ways, although in contrasting ways. City faced little resistance from Blackburn while United needed an injury time winner from Giggs to grab three points at Carrow Road.

This was the week for new and forgotten strikers:

  • Pogrebnyak scored Fulham’s winning goal in their 0 – 1 win against QPR.
  • P. Cisse and Doyle scored in the two all draw between Newcastle and Wolves.
  • Drogba scored in Chelsea’s 3 – 0 home win against Bolton.

Gameweek 26 Scores

From Gameweek 25 onwards, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 26 I recommended Aguero, Ba, and Silva as the captain picks. Aguero and Silva delivered but Ba was a disappointment with only two points.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 4/6
  • Double digit captains: 1/6

Considering that twelve players registered double digit Gameweeks it’s unfortunate I didn’t manage to hit on one of them. Most of them came from unlikely sources (e.g. Scholes, Upson, Sagna, Andrews) or players that although are playable I would never captain (e.g. Luiz, Walcott, Lampard, Odemwingie, Drogba).

NamePositionGoalsAssistsClean SheetBonusOtherScore
KolarovDefender021315
WalcottMidfielder200315
LampardMidfielder111314
UpsonDefender101214
LuizDefender101113
OdemwingieForward201313
DoyleForward110312
SagnaDefender1102-1 for 2 GC12
DrogbaForward111211
ScholesMidfielder100310
ShottonDefender011110
AndrewsMidfielder101210
MorrisonMidfielder10119
GutierrezMidfielder10029
CrouchForward10139
AdebayorForward11009
GiggsMidfielder10029
SongMidfielder02019
SimpsonDefender0100-1 for 2 GC9
PogrebnyakForward1013-1 for YC8
CuellarDefender0013-1 for YC8
SchwarzerGoalkeeper0010+2 for 7 saves8
Van PersieForward1100-1 for YC8
JarvisMidfielder10018
HughesDefender00128
BalotelliForward10128
AgueroForward10117
FosterGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
CollinsDefender0012-1 for YC7
BegovicGoalkeeper0010+1 for 4 saves7
Al-HabsiGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
RosickyMidfielder10007
McAuleyDefender00106
ThomasMidfielder01106
MataMidfielder01106
WilkinsonDefender00106
MulumbuMidfielder01116
SilvaMidfielder01106
P. CisseForward10006
OlssonDefender00106
WarnockDefender00106
RidgewellDefender00106
NaniMidfielder01016
KellyDefender00106
GivenGoalkeeper00106
FigueroaDefender00106
CaldwellDefender00106
EtheringtonMidfielder01106
BoyceDefender00106
CechGoalkeeper00106
CahillDefender00106
LescottDefender00106
AlcarazDefender00106
HangelandDefender00106
IvanovicDefender00106
ZabaletaDefender00106
KompanyDefender00106
HuttonDefender00106
A. ColeDefender00106
HartGoalkeeper00106
HoltForward10006
BaleMidfielder01005
TioteMidfielder01005
DembeleForward0111-1 for YC5
FortuneForward01005
RiiseDefender0010-1 for YC5
ShawcrossDefender0010-1 for YC5
O'HaraMidfielder01005
SahaForward1000-1 for <60 min5
DzekoForward1000-1 for <60 min5
YoungMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
ArtetaMidfielder0100-1 for YC4
WhitbreadDefender0100-1 for 2 GC4
BogdanGoalkeeper0000+3 for 10 saves & -1 for 3 GC4
BentForward00124

For a summary of players scoring over three points in Gameweek 26, please refer to the table above.

Odemwingie

West Brom crushed Sunderland 4 – 0, in big part due to Odemwingie’s brace. He has now scored five goals in two games and seems more like the goalscoring revelation he was last season. Looking at his total shots, in the table below, the sudden goal scoring glut shouldn’t have been a surprise. In the latter part of the season Odemwingie has doubled his shots per game. Total number of shots correlates well with total goal scored.

Note that Odemwingie’s numbers are captured only for the games he played.

Total GoalsGoals Per GameShotsShots Per Game
August - November20.22151.67
Desember - February70.58393.25
Last Four Games
Fulham (A)0-5-
Swansea City (H)0-2-
Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)3-9-
Sunderland (H) 2-5-

In the last four games Odemwingie totaled 21 shots (5.25 per game). Should he continue improving he is a possible purchase for those seeking to differentiate. He is currently selected by only 3.4% of Fantasy managers, compared with compared to Aguero (37%), RvP (37%), Rooney (28%), Ba (27%), Suarez (17%), Dzeko (8%), and Adebayor (11%).

Comments

Any comments on the round? How did your team do? Did you choose the right captain?

Gameweek 25 Review – The Adebayor and Saha Combo

Saha by Mokkaijie at Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Louis Saha scoring his 2nd goal for Tottenham Hotspur on his debut against Newcastle United.

Tottenham had the result of the Gameweek, with their five goal thumping of Newcastle. West Brom weren’t far behind with a 1 – 5 away victory that resulted in Mick McCarthy’s sacking on Monday morning.

Both Manchester clubs kept up their good form with one goal wins while Arsenal leapt to fourth place with an emotional 90th minute winner from club legend, Thierry Henry. Chelsea dropped to fifth due to their defeat to a much improved Everton.

Norwich became the second team this season to beat Swansea in Wales and Fulham won 2 – 1 at home against Stoke.

In the battle at the bottom, Blackburn and Wigan secured important wins over QPR and Bolton, respectively.

Gameweek 25 Scores

Starting with this week, I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double digit Gameweek scores.

In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 25 I recommended Rooney, Bale, and Dempsey as the captain picks. Rooney grabbed a brace and Dempsey got an assist. Against all odds, Bale didn’t pick up a single assist or goal in Tottenham’s 5 – 0 demolition of Newcastle.

Quality of captain picks from Gameweek 25 onwards:

  • Good captain picks: 2/3
  • Double digit captains: 1/3

That’s decent but not spectacular. Here’s hoping that this level will be my minimum for the rest of the season.

NamePositionGoalsAssistsClean SheetBonusOtherScore
AdebayorForward141321
OdemwingieForward300317
SahaForward211215
LescottDefender101315
Assou-EkottoDefender101113
OlssonDefender110213
GrahamForward200010
RooneyForward200313
N'ZonziMidfielder110313
HoltForward2003-1 for YC12
AndrewsMidfielder1101-1 for <60min10
PienaarMidfielder101311
KranjcarMidfielder10108
CaldwellDefender100311
MackieForward2002-2 for YC and <60 min10
BennettMidfielder02008
MorrisonMidfielder02008
HoilettForward0200-1 for <60 min7
McArthurMidfielder100310
M. DaviesMidfielder10007
HartGoalkeeper0010+1 for 4 saves7
HowardGoalkeeper0010+1 for 3 saves7
PilkingtonMidfielder10018
McCleanMidfielder10007
ShawcrossDefender1003-1 for 2 GC10
DonovanMidfielder01106
HeitingaDefender00106
BainesDefender00106
FletcherForward10006
YakubuForward10017
BarryMidfielder01117
StracqualursiForward10039
KompanyDefender00106
PogrebnyakForward10028
KolarovDefender00106
ZabaletaDefender00106
DawsonDefender00106
DistinDefender00106
FriedelGoalkeeper00106
RamseyMidfielder1003-1 for <60 min9
KingDefender00106
SuarezForward10006
WalkerDefender0010Yellow card5
RiiseDefender01005
N'GogForward01005
DempseyMidfielder011005
BeausejourMidfielder0105
HenryForward1002-1 for <60 min7
DyerMidfielder01005
MulumbuMidfielder01005
GiggsMidfielder01027
TaarabtMidfielder01005
ValenciaMidfielder01005
Ebanks-BlakeForward01005
MosesMidfielder01016
WardDefender0102-1 for 2 GC6
ArtetaMidfielder01005
WilliamsDefender0100-1 for 3 GC4
AdamMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
TaiwoDefender0100-1 for 3 GC4
PennantMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
ArshavinMidfielder0100-1 for <60 min4
ScholesMidfielder00024
NevillaMidfielder00114
SilvaMidfielder00125

For a summary of players scoring over three points in Gameweek 25, please refer to the table above.

Adebayor and Saha

Redknapp’s capture of Louis Saha from Everton peid off instantly with Tottenham’s emphatic 5 – 0 win this Gameweek. Adebayor seems to relish playing alongside Saha and together they carved the Newcastle defence open time after time.

AdebayorSaha
Goals12
Assists41
Shots63
Chances Created6 (1 per 15 min)2 (1 per 34 min)
Passing59/62 (95%)26/27 (96%)

As the numbers show, both players’ passing was exemplary, with Adebayor much more involved. His influence to Tottenham’s attacking is much more than goals, as he’s heavily involved in the passing in the final third, pulling players into the game and providing key passes, leading to assists. He has 11 already, alongside his 10 goals.

The downside to his Fantasy prospects is the schedule. He has Arsenal away, followed by Manchester United at home and Everton away; a daunting set of fixtures. However, Arsenal aren’t the most defensive sound team and United haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last three away games.

Adebayor is certainly one to think about and is more of a differential play with only around 11% ownership, compared to RvP (38%), Aguero (36%), Rooney (27%), Ba (24%), and Suarez (18%).

Comments

Any comments on the round? How did your team do? Did you choose the right captain?

Friday Foreplay (Tuesday Edition) – Gameweek 23

Clint Dempsey by 2O at Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Vincent Kompany returns from suspension for Manchester City

We prepare for Gameweek 23 in this edition of the Friday Foreplay (Tuesday Edition) by producing captain picks, investigating the heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.

Captain Picks

Basing the captain picks on the thoughts below we arrive at:

  1. Van Persie: Even with the away game he sits at the top of the list, mainly because of Arsenal’s dependence on his goals.
  2. Rooney: Has been playing well, even if he hasn’t been involved in United’s goals. Watch out for reports whether he recovers from ankle injury.
  3. Bale: Explosive in his new central role for Tottenham and I’m gambling he’ll outscore Van der Vaart yet again this Gameweek.
  4. Differential: Despite his hattrick last Gameweek, few will captain Dempsey this Gameweek. He has two recent hattricks and the shooting statistics to back the selection.

Big Hitters

Robin van Persie’s is the current king of the Fantasy Premier League, having outscored the second highest player (Silva) by 28 points. He leads the league in shots, with the total of 80, and will add to the tally away at Bolton. Bolton have a horrible home game record and RvP is likely to capitalize. Anyone betting against RvP should better have a good reason and be chasing in the mini-league.

A stuttering Stoke team is ideal for Rooney to start a new scoring streak. He has taken the responsibility for much of United’s creative play against the tougher teams which has meant that he has dropped back to midfield. Missing the Liverpool FA Cup loss, he will be fresh to inflict pain at home. Valencia is always the best bet for a United assist and is their in-form player.

Bale has been consistent from Gameweek 10 onwards, scoring seven goals and delivering eight assists. He has outscored both Van der Vaart and Adebayor, who haven’t scored since Gameweeks 19 and 17, respectively.

Everton are always a tough nut to crack so I would stay away from captaining Manchester City players this Gameweek. That being said, if you have any of Silva, Aguero, or Dzeko, you play them. Silva is Mr. Consistent and Aguero is City’s best bet for an explosive Gameweek.

Other strong plays include:

  • Dempsey, following his double hattricks in recent weeks. Fulham, historically much stronger at home, welcome an inconsistent West Brom to Craven Cottage.
  • Sessegnon has blossomed into his new attacking role under O’Neill and is currently the FPL’s in-form player (apart from N. Dyer). Sunderland should score at home against Norwich and Sessegnon is the most likely player to be involved.

Clean Sheets

With both Manchester teams, Swansea, and Tottenham all playing at home the clean sheet picks are rather obvious this Gameweek.

  • Manchester United welcome Stoke to Old Trafford. Despite Evans and Smalling sometimes being troubled by route one strikers United is a good bet for a clean sheet. Evans is a steal at £4.5.
  • Manchester City play at home against an Everton team that can’t score this season. City welcome Kompany back after his suspension.
  • Tottenham is defending better this season than I expected, having already registered six clean sheets at home. Despite his mistake against Manchester City, I still rate King, priced at £4.5, as their best defender.
  • Swansea is the defensive surprise package of the season, with goalkeeper Vorm hogging the headlines with some outstanding performances. Statistically, they are likely to keep a clean sheet against Chelsea.

Taking a Punt

  • Welbeck has scored in consecutive Premier League games and seems to be Ferguson’s preferred strike partner for Rooney. He provides cheap access to United’s attack. For the defence, Lindegaard is a budget option for goal.
  • Everyone and their grandma has been touting McClean as a budget pick from the Sunderland midfield. Count me in.
  • With Dempsey hogging the headlines, many missed Zamora’s excellent performance against Newcastle. He scored and provided three assists in addition to collecting two bonus points. He has been in and out of the first team, reportedly because of a rift (denied by Jol), and is therefore a punt.
  • West Brom’s Morrison takes his fair share of shots and should, statistically, be rewarded more often with Fantasy points.

Current Form

With the second part of the season upon us we should remember to evaluate teams and players based on current form and numbers. Remember that early season success isn’t a perfect indicator for success later in the season.

Remember Hull and Blackpool?

Some players have overdelivered and will regress to their true potential while others will finally deliver in the latter stages of the season. Walter’s of Stoke has worse stats than his points indicate, while players like Suarez could explode in the latter part of the season.

Who do you predict will decline and improve in the latter part of the season?

Gameweek 16 Review and Gameweek 17 Preview

kun by Héctor Fabio at 20minutos.es. Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0.

Aguero playing at home against Stoke is the most attractive captain option for Gameweek 17.

Games are starting to come thick and fast with four games being played in two weeks; from 17th of December to the 1st of January.

To address this, I’m combining a review of Gameweek 16 and a preview of Gameweek 17 in this post.

Thus we both prepare for Gameweek 17 and analyze the Fantasy impact of Gameweek 16 by producing captain picks, looking at notable performances, investigating heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.

Captain Picks

Basing the captain picks on the thoughts below we arrive at:

  1. Aguero: Was impressive against Arsenal even though he didn’t score. I have a feeling he will not be as wasteful at home against Stoke.
  2. Van Persie: A blank last Gameweek shouldn’t dissuade you from betting on Van Persie against a luckless Aston Villa side.
  3. Rooney: Scoring in two consecutive Gameweeks provides evidence that the old devastating Rooney is back.
  4. Differential: Ba should thrive against a West Brom defence that had conceded in their last eight matches.

Notable Performances and Heavy Hitters

Silva scored Manchester City’s winner against Arsenal. He is scoring 6.2 points per game, the highest of all midfielders, and is as effective in the Fantasy game as he is silky on the pitch. Aguero is the main beneficiary of Silva’s penetrating passing and both of them threaten attain double digit Fantasy scores against Stoke at home.

Van Persie couldn’t find the net against City, a rarity these days. Away at Aston Villa, he’ll be facing a much friendlier defence that was lucky to only concede two against Liverpool. If you have him, it’s hard not captain him given his form.

Valencia assisted Rooney for the second consecutive week with Carrick also getting on the scoresheet. Rooney, Valencia, Nani, and Jones are all attractive prospects for Fantasy points away at Fulham. Jones more because of his attacking prowess, because Fulham could cause the United defence problems. Dempsey the most likely to punch through the Uniteds defensive line, now starting Evans. The young Northern Irish defender is a uncommonly cheap access to an elite defence. He seems to be Ferguson’s favorite to fill in for Vidic and should be good value at £4.4.

Ba has proved this season that his goal scoring at West Ham wasn’t a fluke. Newcastle are at home against West Brom who have conceded eight games on the trot.

Suarez was unlucky not to score against Aston Villa but has delivered with a goal and an assist in the last two games. Watching him play, he looks like he’s just baby steps away from a hattrick.

Tottenham welcoming Chelsea to White Hart Lane provides the most interesting battle of the Gameweek. Sturridge is on quite a run, with four goals, two assists, and seven bonus points in the last five games. Away at Tottenham will be a tougher fixture than most in the league where an attacking trio of Adebayor, Bale, and Van der Vaart are all likely to cause Chelsea problems. I find it hard to predict the results of the big clashes so I would advise against captaining a player from either team.

Clean Sheets

This season’s clean sheet surprise favorites, Swansea and Newcastle, both kept clean sheets in Gameweek 16. The Gameweek saw six clean sheets, with Fulham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City also registering a cleany.

Gameweek 17 looks to be less friendly towards Premiership defenses, with only the following a likely clean sheet.

  • Manchester City are well equipped to deal with Stoke’s aerial threat with imposing defenders Kompany and Richards.
  • Everton face a Swansea team that pose less attacking threat on the road with 0.75 goals per game. If you can afford him, Baines also provides an impressive attacking threat.
  • Liverpool are looking solid at the moment and are likely against Wigan, even away from home. The man of too few vowels, Skrtel, is a threat from set pieces, scoring an impressive header against Aston Villa.
  • Other possible clean sheets are Arsenal and Swansea against rather blunt opponents.

Tube Strike and Rotation

The tube driver’s strike could cause the cancellation of both Arsenal’s and Chelsea’s home games on Boxing Day. The news add to the importance of having playing substitutes during the hectic holiday period as they are more likely to come into play.

Also important is to pay close attention to you vice captain, should your top pick not play. It can often be better to play a certain starter, such as Larsson against QPR, rather than risking another rotation threat should your main pick be rested.

So be aware of the risks, don’t get caught out, and enjoy the football.