Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gameweek 2 Lineup Lessons

Arsenal
Szczesny, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Sagna, Frimpong, Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Miyaichi, Lansbury, Miquel, Bendtner.

Not too much to talk about here as Wenger basically picked all the first team players who were available to him. Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I like Wenger and respect Arsenal but it's becoming increasingly hard to get enthusiastic about anyone in this team from a fantasy perspective. For all the talk this week of Torres v Aguero v Rooney, Van Persie was conspicuous in his absence. I have no doubt he will have success at some point this year but I would bail for now and come back when this team can string some consistent performances together.

Aston Villa
Given, Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, N'Zogbia, Delph, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Bent, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Ireland, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Makoun, Clark, Bannan.

On this evidence it would seem that McLeigh might stick with the 3-man front line which hurts N'Zogbia's value a bit. He was more involved than last week but he was mainly deployed on the right and hence forced to cut inside which severely limits his ability to play dangerous balls into the box. Bent didn't play great again but he got his goal, and that tends to be what we expect from Bent. He's never going to be a player who stands out on chalkboards or dictates a game but his conversion rate of chances to goals is one of the best in the league. I still rank him a step below the elite forwards but well worth a one or two week rental when the fixture looks right (as it did this week). Albrighton came on at half time but until further notice he should not be owned.

Blackburn
Robinson, Salgado, Nelsen, Hanley, Olsson, Hoilett, Dunn, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Goodwillie, Roberts. Subs: Bunn, Formica, Petrovic, Rochina, Blackman, Ribeiro, Lowe.

A chunk of managers jumped on Formica after last week's goal but this benching should scare the majority of those off again. The arrival of Petrovic further clowds this midfield situation, making no one particularly attractive in the short term. There is potential there though, so if a settled lineup emerges, someone among this group could be worth looking at.

Bolton
Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Eagles, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Klasnic. Subs: Bogdan, Alonso, Mark Davies, Blake, Pratley, Wheater, Blakeman.

Shaping up to be one of the more settled lineups in the league with a clear distinction between the starters and the bench players. The other source of question is the central midfield but I don't really rate any of these as fantasy options anyway (tough Reo Coker has some use a 4.5m player). I liked Klasnic coming into the season and he's now got two in two. After week one I was a touch concerned by how he dropped off the front too often but at home he looked far more dangerous, taking his goal very well and generally looking quite lively. The fixtures would still need to fall right, but I can see a situation where at 6.0m he gets serious consideration this year.

Chelsea
Hilario, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Torres, Kalou. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Benayoun, Drogba, Malouda, Ferreira, McEachran.

Hilario proved he was the choice over Turnbull but it was all for nothing as West Brom took a surprise lead at the Bridge. Chelsea looked fairly poor all game and, like their London rivals, it is hard to see too many attractive options from this unit at the moment. For all the excitement this week, Torres regressed to the form of last year, looking utterly lost and failing to register a single shot all day. Anelka looks to be the brightest of this front three (with the benched Drogba) but none of them seem to be elite options.

One bright spot was the offensive play of Bosingwa who had over 100 touches and got into good positions throughout. His cross for the second game was awesome and at 5.5m he has the potential to be great value. I was worried that Ivanovic would take his place back this week, but at least for now it seems that Bosingwa is first choice. I wonder if this might be a platoon situation where Bosingwa plays against weaker teams while Bosingwa starts when facing elite opponents (the Young/Nani combo in GW5 will be a good test of this theory).

Everton
Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barkley, Heitinga, Rodwell, Osman, Cahill, Beckford. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Saha, Arteta, Fellaini, Vellios, Anichebe.

Beckford over Saha was a puzzler, as the former Leeds forward has been linked with a move away from Goodison in the past few weeks. The 7.0m - 9.0m price bracket for forwards is crying our for someone to excel and Saha appears to be another name out of the running. There was some suggestion of Hibbert being a cheap link in this side but Neville took the right back duties despite Hibbert being available, and so that strategy looks to be unhelpful. It was reported that ArtetaCahil resumed his duties playing off a lone striker and while yesterday proved fruitless, he should be a fantasy factor once again in that role.

Fulham
Schwarzer, Hughes, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Kasami, Dempsey, Johnson. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Sidwell, Gecov, Frei, Briggs, Dembele.

Another teams whose lineup looks fairly settled with the core players appearing to be locked in. Baird missed out altogether which solidifies Senderos as a great value piece going forward. I liked Dempsey's deployment much more this week, though he still only registered a single shot on goal. He's another player caught between the elite and the bargains, and it looks increasingly hard to own him.

Liverpool
Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Kuyt, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Meireles, Suarez, Maxi, Spearing, Skrtel, Flanagan.

Not sure what to do with Suarez's benching here. I felt Kuyt would miss out on midfield in the pre-season and with Gerrard back in training, that situation will only get worse for him. The concern for fantasy owners is if he becomes a third striker and we get a situation where he plays once every 3 or four games up front. Given Suarez's price tag, he is still very ownable even if he does get rotated but it is a small blemish on his increasingly attractive resume.

Man City
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Barry, Toure Yaya, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Clichy, Savic, Johnson, Tevez, Balotelli

Richards confirmed that he has slightly more value that Clichy, as Kolarov is more of a threat than Zabaleta. Expect Richards to receive his bench stint in the next few weeks, but over the course of a season he still looks favorite to record more starts. The front line looks more crowded with the return of Tevez, though Aguero would now seem to be locked in to at least receive 60 minutes (with the occasional rest). Your choice this week if you don't own him is to either bring him in and play him in an unfavorable fixture (at Spurs) or, wait a week but pay an extra 0.1m or 0.2m to get him. Silva confirmed my pre-season suggestion that he is the number one midfielder around (regardless of price) and should be owned by everyone, regardless of fixture, at least until we see what happens with Nasri.

Newcastle
Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Barton, Obertan, Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi. Subs: Harper, Williamson, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Ba, Best, Marveaux.

Ryan Taylor is doing his best to hold onto that left back slot, and if he does, he represents outstanding value for 4.0m. We won't be sure on that until August 31 so for now I would hold on Simpson or S Taylor. Ba was totally anonymous is GW1 and found a place on the bench in response. That front line looks fairly patchy and it's hard to see too much value there right now. Harper was available for this one and still found himself behind Krul, so I think we're safe to now assume the #1 jersey is Krul's.

Norwich
Ruddy, Naughton, Barnett, De Laet, Tierney, Bennett, Crofts, Bradley Johnson, Pilkington, Holt, Chris Martin. Subs: Rudd, Russell Martin, Jackson, Surman, Hoolahan, Fox, Ayala.

Big changes here for Paul Lambert, bringing the value of most of the team into question. Goalscorer Hoolahan and Fox (who impressed me) were both benched giving the team just four outfielders who have played 180 minutes (Tierney, De Laet, Crofts and Holt). Pilkington, Bennett and Naughton, along with Ayala are all new arrivals for the Canaries so it would seem likely that some, or all, of these stick in the first team. It's safe to say so far that there's no Chaz Adam 2.0 so I might bail on this team for the immediate future until we can sure which budget players might deliver decent value.

QPR
Kenny, Orr, Hall, Gabbidon, Connolly, Buzsaky, Derry, Faurlin, Smith, Taarabt, Agyemang. Subs: Murphy, Bothroyd, Gorkss, Perone, Moen, Ephraim, Andrade.

Campbell and Borthroyd were dropped/benched here because of a virus so there isn't too much to read into that. Still not really convinced by Taarabt as a big-time fantasy producer, registering just one shot and taking up a fairly deep position on the left for large portions of the game. I would think he will have a nice run at some point, but at 6.5m you are paying a potential premium over players like Jarvis and Etherington who have enjoyed success in the Premier League before.

Stoke
Begovic, Shawcross, Huth, Woodgate, Wilson, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Jones, Walters. Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Pugh, Upson, Wilkinson, Shotton, Arismendi.

Another team that looks fairly settled, suggesting that Woodgate will start most weeks (at least when healthy). Not much else to note here, so moving on.

Sunderland
Mignolet, Bardsley, Brown, Ferdinand, Richardson, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Elmohamady, Sessegnon, Gyan. Subs: Westwood, Gardner, Wickham, Vaughan, Ji, Bramble, Laing.

Sessegnon's positioning is encouraging but still not end product as yet. I'm a touch worried about this team scoring goals, having not created two many chances in 180 minutes. Gyan will surely get his goals at some point but how many Larsson and Sessegnon chip in with still looks uncertain. The fixtures don't look to be much help thus making this whole unit less attractive.

Swansea
Vorm, Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor, Agustien, Britton, Routledge, Dyer, Sinclair, Graham. Subs: Moreira, Tate, Dobbie, Lita, Moore, Allen, Gower.

Goals are going to be a problem but Vorm looks like a very good keeper and they might generate enough clean sheets to justify his ownership in a rotation system. I like his prospects given that his high save totals should bail out some of the games where goals are conceded. The lineup looks fairly settled but with no goals and not too many chances through 180 minutes it's tough to be overly high on the anticipated pair of Graham and Sinclair. Graham and Dyer's price make them ownable but I might move on from Sinclair until we see he can do it in the big leagues.

West Brom
Foster, Reid, Tamas, Olsson, Shorey, Scharner, Mulumbu, Brunt, Morrison, Long, Tchoyi. Subs: Fulop, Cech, Dorrans, Reyes, McAuley, Odemwingie, Cox.

A very settled team which should see Odemwingie slot in for probably Tchoyi next week. The Nigerian looked fairly sharp when coming on and should have equalised for the Baggies. Long's going to get a lot of attention with goals against United and Chelsea, and with Klasnic and Doyle, he forms a nice trio of potential fantasy targets in the 6.0m bracket.

Wigan
Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Diame, Watson, Gomez, McCarthy, Moses, Di Santo. Subs: Pollitt, Thomas, McArthur, Sammon, Jones, Rodallega, Stam.

Rodallega not starting is a big problem as his consistency and guaranteed minutes are a couple of his main selling points. Whether or nor this was linked to a poor performance last week or talk of a potential move away from the DW is unclear. Until this situation is resolved, opt for for of the aforementioned 6.0m guys or look to the ever reliable (and undroppable) Kevin Davies instead.

Wolverhampton
Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Jarvis, Henry, O'Hara, Hunt, Doyle, Fletcher. Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Kightly, Ebanks-Blake, Hammill, Milijas, Foley.

A good settled side here, and I like this midfield a lot. Kightly and Milijas figure to take some minutes at some point but until then it's more a case of who you like more out of Jarvis, O'Hara and Hunt. Jarvis is obviously going to get the attention with a goal and a couple of assists already but I like the other two to contribute at some point too. If I needed a guy now I would probably just ride the hot hand with Jarvis.

12 comments:

Alex said...

Hey, Chris. Great blog. Very useful analysis.

Wanted your opinion on who's a better buy at this point: Klasnic, Fletcher, or Long.

Bobby Reds said...

Great blog this is!

I still cant decide between Brunt & Jarvis for the long term though...

Chris & Gillian said...

Who has a good player in mind to go in for this gameweek 3? I fancy a delve into the market...6-7m to spend.Great article and blog!x

JS_shadow said...

Hey Chris!
Thank you for your wonderful postings and updates!

By the way, are you going to post when would be the appropriate time to use the "wild-card"? and how I should use it. I know it's still in the early season, but I already feel like using it. =(

chemikills said...

"Rodallega not starting is a big problem as his consistency and guaranteed minutes are a couple of his main selling points. Whether or nor this was linked to a poor performance last week or talk of a potential move away from the DW is unclear"

I'd say that similar to Suarez its still Copa America related fatigue. I'm sure you know about that but perhaps slipped your mind? Or you think it's been long enough. I thought it was long enough last season but RVP and Fabs didn't play for me for weeks >.>

angryratman said...

@Bobby - I've got Brunt and Jarvis :D

Tom Dennerly said...

I'm interested in Bosingwa, Jarvis, Sessegnon and Klasnic purely based on Match of the Day rather than any kind of statistical analysis.

I'm 2 points behind Chris at the moment though, so I'd defer to his advice given the choice!

Thommas said...

Suarez was left on the bench because his not still 100% after Copa America. No doubt he will start against Bolton next week.

Shedboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shedboy said...

Hi, Chris!
which is better? Torres/Aguero and Odemwingie - Rooney and Klasnic

EddieO said...

Hey Chris,

Good summary but a few things to consider:
Bent might not figure on the chalkboard but got the 3 BP's this week.
Tricky with Suarez as he looked fit and should have started. Even in his bright burst he made the 2 BP's. Surely he will be a regular starter soon.
You have a typo in the Bosingwa vs Ivanovic write up you said Bosingwa twice.
Aguero should have price protection for the next week at least.
I agree that Taarabt has more to prove but promisingly he made the 3 BP's this week.
How about a swoop by ManU for Vorm? He is very classy and unlucky not to be the Dutch regular. :)

Davefevs said...

Delighted with my 8 BPs courtesy of Suarez, Bosingwa and R.Johnson. Just need Nani and Young to turn a poor scoring weekend into an average one.