Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gameweek 14 Preview

Gameweek 14 Fixtures
Blackburn v Stoke City

Fulham v Bolton
Man City v Hull City
Portsmouth v Man Utd
West Ham v Burnley
Wigan v Sunderland
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Wolves v Birmingham (Sun)
Everton v Liverpool (Sun)
Arsenal v Chelsea (Sun)

I love the fixture list this week from both a fantasy and real life perspective, with Sunday's fixture list looking particularly tasty (not to mention ¡El SuperClásico! between Real Madrid and Barcelona later that evening). The stats suggest Villa, Everton, Fulham, City and West Ham should score goals, while common sense suggests that United should clearly be in this list (even though Portsmouth have actually been very solid at home 1.33 GPG conceded).

Unfortunately some managers won't be very well placed to make changes to capitalise on these fixtures as they try to put out fires in their team with Darren Bent the latest to go down with injury, although the latest reports suggest this isn't as bad as initially feared. Meanwhile, Drogba made a return midweek against Porto and should be fit to face Arsenal at the big clash of the weekend at the Emirates. Chelsea should also be able to call on Michael Ballack while some reports even suggest Lampard might be fit for the derby clash.

Clean Sheet Rankings (Rank, Predicted Goals)
1. Birmingham (0.31)
2. Chelsea (0.43)
3. Blackburn (0.45)
4. Man City (0.69)
5. Man Utd (0.76)
6. Fulham (0.76)
7. Sunderland (0.83)
8. Wigan (0.86)
9. Wolves (0.86)
10. Liverpool (0.97)
11. Aston Villa (0.99)
12. Burnley (1.00)
13. West Ham (1.08)
14. Arsenal (1.12)
15. Stoke (1.19)
16. Tottenham (1.30)
17. Everton (1.44)
18. Portsmouth (1.73)
19. Bolton (2.31)
20. Hull (2.89)

Chelsea's stellar road defensive form allow them to rank second despite facing an Arsenal side averaging 4.0 GPG at home. The best pickup of the week is the United defense who I am still not 100% convinced by, but have such good fixtures that they will pickup clean sheets in the coming weeks even if they don't hit top form. Vidic returned to action last week but in midweek he was very average and looked a bit sluggish, perhaps not yet at full fitness. With Ferdinand, Evans and O'Shea out, Wes Brown looks like a safe pick to play and I love his value at 5.6m. He can also be easily switched for O'Shea (5.5m) when players start to return to full fitness. Birmingham also look like a good source of players as their next 5 games look great and City's defense is currently 3rd in the league. Joe Hart is the obvious choice here but Carr (4m) and Dann (3.9m) also look like solid pickups.
Of the sides with bad games this week, Hull, Portsmouth, Everton and Stoke have a bad fixture list and should be considered sells, unless you hold them as bench players or viable rotation options (such as Sorensen).

Captain Picks
1. Emmanuel Adebayor
2. Cesc Fabregas
3. Craig Bellamy
4. Didier Drogba*
5. Wayne Rooney
6. Carlton Cole
7. Ashley Young
8. Shaun Wright Phillips
9. Steve Gerrard
10. Frank Lampard*
*Some injury risk with these players so check the latest news before signing.

Premium captain picks are always limited when two top teams square off and there's no doubt the likes of Fabregas and Drogba are damaged by this game. However, to play the odds I still like them in my top four as I'd prefer Fabregas in a tough game than, say, Ashley Young against any opponent. True, others will likely outscore Fabregas but as a safe pick he still remains one of the best. He is only topped this week by Adebayor who I'm really hoping repays me, having chosen him at the last minute last week ahead of Jermaine Defoe. City and West Ham look set to score a few this week and so I've gone with the top striker from each team to net this week. Rounding off the top 10 are the two former fantasy champions who have struggled a bit this year. Last season I would have bet money on a big game from Gerrard against local rivals Everton after the disappointment of midweek but I simply don't trust this team anymore and cannot recommend using your captaincy on any of Benitez's players until Torres is back.

I'll be back tomorrow with the last minute team news, but why not tweet @plfantasy or post your thoughts and lineup questions below.

10 comments:

dhs_media_ssharp said...

Whats your opinion on Clint Dempsey for captaincy? got me 18 points last week (16 in 1 game) and fulham are playing bolton who have been leaking goals recently.

The Gaffer said...

Tell me Chris, you're supporting Barca on Sunday?

Otis said...

Hey Chris, a couple of quick ones.

First, do you think it's the right time to move Boateng out in favor of Dunn?

And second, I've still got Faye Ab in my defense. Do you know the specifics about Stoke's back line? Wilkinson looks likely to score one soon, and his price is dirt cheap should I move him in? If not a straight swap, who would you recommend for the back? Are there any must-haves?

Thanks.

Andrew said...

I like the decision to go to 10 captain picks. It gives us a better idea of who to pick if we think some of your picks aren't going to perform that week.

I still stand by my Schwarzer pick last week. Fortunately for me, he wasn't in my squad so I captained Hunt instead. Had a monster week and topped 100 for the first time in 2 years. Somehow I managed to DROP 3 spots in my mini-league. Two guys captained Defoe and the third captained Dempsey and had Defoe and Hunt in his side. I suppose the important thing is that I gained on the 7 other guys ahead of me in the league.

Week 14 captains:
1. Adebayor
2. C. Cole
3. Rooney
4. A. Young
5. Drogba


On Fabregas:
I think his huge fantasy hauls are done. I said it last week and I'll say it again, Van Persie was too important to the Arsenal attack. Arsenal looked awful in attack last week and I expect their goals to dry up significantly. They did look better midweek in the Champions League, but keep in mind they were playing Standard Liege. I intend to switch Lampard in for Fabregas in week 16. Chelsea's fixtures are much better than Arsenal's for a stretch.

Mish said...

replacement for Distin and Baines?

NotoriousDre said...

feel im going to get Wes Brown.

for captain...i have to choose between Didier, Cesc, Bent & Rooney.

Chris Glover said...

dhs - Dempsey is a good fantasy player and the fixture certainly have a good looking fixture. I would therefore bot advise against giving him the armband, but as I said last week to Andrew, i like to play the odds a little bit and lean towards player who are bailed out by cheap bonus points, assists or penalties (eg. Cesc, Lampard, Gerrard etc). Dempsey has a good a chance (if not more) as any of those boys of getting a goal this week but he also has a much bigger chance of getting just 2 points. This has happened to Dempsey 6 times while Cesc, Lampard and Gerrard have each suffered this fate just twice each.

Gaffer - in most countries I follow - even just a bit - I have a firm team who I root for. However, in Spain I have kind of moved with the players I like as alot of my all time favourite players have played for these two clubs. I am a huge Raul fan and always therefore sided with Real but with the arrival of Messi I have sided somewhat with Barce. I saw both these players at very young ages and feel a strange loyalty to them. I'd prefer a great game rather than a definate winner. Who are you rooting for?

Otis - I'm a bit dissapointed in Boateng as after tipping him after the Spurs game he has added just two assists. Note though that he is still on penalty duties provided he didn't lose them after his miss last week. I like Dunn more and have done for a while but I am not totally off the Boateng bandwagon and both could be owned. Pompey's fixtures are decent after this week though note they have a week off in 17.

The Stoke website suggests Faye is pushing for a return this week and he is a safe pick when fit due to the fact he is captain. I'm scared that Wilkinson won't play as both Faye and Huth could be deployed at right back. I still like Faye's value following his suspension.

Andrew - totally agree about the top 10, I decided with 5 I was really just picking the same players each week. Your Schwarzer pick last week was totally justified and he ended up with a much better score than my top tip Cesc. As I said above I still like my captain to be a bit more reliable but I cannot argue with a top keeper on a double week. In hindsight, i think I undervalued the players on a double week as you are locking in 8 points which is a good start.

I still like Cesc but I am slightly backtracking on his must own status. I am considering moving to a Cesc/Lamp combo but you can certainly make the case for Lampard over cesc based on fixtures. 4 of Arsenal's next 6 are red light games while Chelsea have just 2 in the next 10. i agree that RvP was a big part of the offense but I am still banking on Arshavin and Eduardo picking up some of the slack. Not to make excuses for my favourite coach but Arsenal's team was weakened last week by injury (and a few dodgy rotations) and better times should lay ahead for the Gunners.

Mish - I think the clear pick for me right now is Wes Brown. Ferdinand, Evans and O'Shea are still absent and while Rafael is cheaper, I am not totally convinced he will play (Neville is also available). Ferguson on Brown:

“Wes and Nemanja have been absolutely fantastic in recent games and it just reminds you that Wes, when he is fit, is the best natural defender in the country".

Not sure about that Alex but still, he will play for at least a couple of games and with 2 of the next 3 against Portsmouth and Bolton he could be excellent value.

Wayne Bridge is also worth a look as after week 17 City get 10 good looking games with no red games and 5 greens.

Dre - totally agree, think I might go with Brown myself. For captain Bent is too risky and I still like cesc for now. Rooney has the highest upside.

NotoriousDre said...

Chris,

right u were about Rooney...thanks for the 34pts!

Otis said...

Well everyone, I need some help. I literally only scored 24 point this past gameweek. My current squad is:

Sorensen, Hart
Shawcross, Faye Ab, Vermaelen, Assou-Ekotto, Collins
Benayoun, Hunt, Reid, Boateng, Fabregas
Eduardo, Torres, Bent

The good news is, I've got 2 free transfers and 3 in the bank. What should I do? Any help is appreciated.

Mmmarek83 said...

manu defenders are cheaper than vermaelen ( brown, o'shea, evra)

There are good fixtures for ManU, ManCity (after GW 15), Liverpool (after GW16)and Chelsea (after GW15).