Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 14

Arsenal
Szczesny, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos, Ramsey, Song, Arteta, Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho
Subs: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Arshavin, Chamakh, Benayoun, Coquelin.

No real surprises in this side, who have really blossomed into a good attacking unit after a rocky start to the year. Aside from the defensive Song, the front six all deserve at least some fantasy consideration though I'd probably suggest that Arteta and Gervinho remain a bit overpriced at the moment. As always I don't know what to make of Walcott, who has turned in 5 straight quality fantasy performances but yet still frustrates anyone watching him regularly. If you can't stretch to the ~10m range though he looks like a decent option. Oh, and Van Persie is awesome, that is all.

Aston Villa
Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Herd, Jenas, Bannan, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Bent
Subs: Ireland, Delph, Heskey, Petrov, Clark, Guzan, Cuellar.

We're seeing some rotation in this side, but not really of anyone who deserves much fantasy attention. This midfield is a quagmire of mediocrity and should be avoided. The top two started hot but neither have particularly good underlying stats and their early form always suggested someone due for regression. Villa's upcoming fixtures aren't bad so there remains some value there but it's becoming increasingly hard to justify Bent's high price tag.

Blackburn
Robinson, Lowe, Samba, Dann, Givet, Rochina, Dunn, Pedersen, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu
Subs: Bunn, Henley, Hanley, Petrovic, Vukcevic, Roberts, Goodwillie.

I guess we can pencil Yakubu into the first team for a while. He's always enjoyed a pretty good scoring record and if he locks down guaranteed minutes he should definitely be on our radar. This team does have attacking potential but it's tough to see consistency in anyone here. I remain underwhelmed.

Bolton
Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, M Davies, Eagles, Muamba, Reo-Coker, K Davies, Klasnic
Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Sanli, Petrov, Pratley, Ngog, Kakuta.

Where is this team heading? Cahill was unlucky to be sent off, but still, the Wanderers are leaky at the back and flat up top. The lineup has been settled to date but we must surely expect changes in the future  as Coyle can't keep running out this team and getting no results. Either way, we need to see significant improvement before anyone in this team becomes ownable.

Chelsea
Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Lampard, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata
Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Malouda, Meireles, Bosingwa, Kalou, Bertrand.

Luiz's upcoming suspension aside, this back line finally looks like it might have settled down with Bosingwa on the outside looking in. The bad news is that all four options looks overpriced for a team who still have just 4 clean sheets on the season (though 3 of these have come in the last 4 games). Likewise, it looks like the front three of Sturridge, Drogba and Mata are the first choice line here, though you'd be surprised if Malouda and Torres don't yet have a role to play in this drama. In terms of value, it's hard to look beyond the well priced Sturridge and the somewhat consistent Mata (Lampard is too pricey for my budget).

Everton
Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Osman, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Vellios.
Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, Distin, Neville, Gueye, Barkley, Rodwell.

It was a surprise to see Distin on the bench but not in the first team and that leaves Jagielka as the safest access to this defense. They've improved of late and the upcoming fixtures are sound, though they remain a risky investment. Up front this side looks as dull as ever.

Man City
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Toure, Clichy, Silva, Yaya Toure, Barry, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Johnson, Savic, De Jong, Balotelli.

Milner and Balotelli were the odd men out this week and with Mancini's recent comments about Mario's composure, you can probably pencil this lineup in as City's strongest (offensively that is, Lescott will presumably replace Toure going forward). A lot of questions this week are going to come about City's defense, who once again threw away what looked like a sure fire clean sheet. You have to believe Mancini will look to tighten things up at some point, but when the goals are flowing as they are, it doesn't appear to be a pressing priority (as illustrated by the lack of use of true defensive midfielder). I still have Richards as my number one defender for the year but the likes of P Jones and I suppose Terry are at least making us think. Hopefully Aguero appeased some of his owners who were worried about his lack of goals of late, and I thought he looked dangerous throughout. He remains an elite option and should be widely held.

Man Utd
Lindegaard, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Jones, Young, Rooney, Hernandez.
Subs: De Gea, Evans, Giggs, Park, Welbeck, Fletcher, Valencia.

De Gea was a surprise drop here though by all accounts there isn't much to read into it other than a rest for the young Spaniard. Smalling presence is a concern for Jones owners, though we will all be happy if that consistently pushes Jones into midfield. It's somewhat surprising to see Jones take that midfield role over Fletcher and it's a nice bonus to think Jones is favoured at several positions by the boss. With Hernandez out, you would think that Welbeck becomes a nice little one month rental for anyone in need of a new front man.

Newcastle
Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor, Lovenkrands, Guthrie, Cabaye, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Ba. Subs: Harper, Santon, Perch, Gosling, Best, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi.

I'm pleased to see Ben Arfa hold his place in this side, and he is talented to justify monitoring for the future (though he didn't enjoy a great game here). Elsewhere it was pretty much as you were and despite the poor showing this side remains a decent source of cheap fantasy value. With no clean sheet in 5 straight games though, it is time to start formulating a transfer plan for your Newcastle defenders and even Simpson, in case this blip in form is more temporary.

[Edit: I totally forgot to mention Taylor's injury here - thanks to ALM for pointing that out. He is of course a sell but I'm not sure I'd pile into R Taylor or Simpson here. Newcastle defenders are very widely held and if this form continues their price is going to collapse over the next few weeks].

Norwich
Ruddy, Naughton, Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Bennett, Crofts, Johnson, Pilkington, Surman, Morison.
Subs: Rudd, Whitbread, Holt, Jackson, Hoolahan, Fox, Wilbraham.

I'm not going to judge Norwich too harshly for getting crushed by an irrepressible City side and the goal for Morison underlined his credentials as one of the better cheap forwards around. With rotation in midfield and a lack of quality at the back though, this team remains somewhat devoid of fantasy talent.

QPR
Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Faurlin, Mackie, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Helguson, Bothroyd.
Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Buzsaky, Smith.

A better performance from QPR this week, surely helped by the return of Barton who has an assist in his last 3 games. The defense remains unreliable though and only the uber-cheap Gabiddon looks like a good investment from that unit (along with perhaps Cerny if Kenny's injury keeps him out for a while). Going forward I think Barton deserves some attention as a reliable 4-6 point man (though a lack of bonus points is a concern) and Helguson continues to justify consideration as a third striker. As promised, I will get to this list of options this week.

Stoke
Sorensen, Woodgate, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Crouch, Walters.
Subs: Begovic, Jones, Fuller, Upson, Wilkinson, Jerome, Palacios.

Sorensen kept the #1 jersey and is a decent option in rotation strategy for the foreseeable future. Woodgate finally got a start and limped off which is as disappointing as it is predictable. If you want to chase goals then I guess Huth is your man but I'd still take Sorensen and then Shawcross as the best access to this useful (but wildly inconsistent) defensive unit. Walters remains the only midfielder/forward I would consider here.

[Edit: I really need some sort of Stoke 'keeper blog as I once again somehow missed the fact that Sorensen was injured in this one. Pulis says it was a mild concussion so who will play next week is a mystery. Once again, this situation looks like a stay away. Thanks to reader Vanilla for the tip].

Sunderland
Westwood, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Richardson, Cattermole, Larsson, Colback, Sessegnon, Dong-Won, Bendtner
Subs: Carson, Bramble, Gardner, Vaughan, McClean, Elmohamady, Noble

It looked like Martin O'Neil (who didn't actually pick the team) was going to inspire a good win and clean sheet for Sunderland but old fragilities shone through and Fletcher (seriously, all he does is score) punished them. We'll see how O'Neil changes this side, and presumably buys in January but until then I don't see a whole lot of value. Sessegnon's deeper role and Larsson penalty miss (and potential loss of duties) mean that their value took a hit this week. Not too much to like here at the moment, though O'Neil's success in the past (particularly defensively at Villa) make this a squad worth following over the next month.

Swansea
Vorm, Richards, Williams, Monk, Taylor, Gower, Dyer, Britton, Allen, Sinclair, Lita.
Subs: Tremmel, Dobbie, Routledge, Moore, Bessone, Agustien, Moras.

A lot of people on Twitter seemed to imply that Vorm and co conceding 4 this week was a huge shock, but this side simply do not travel well, as represented by their 17th placed clean sheet ranking. Swansea defenders are the definition of rotation players and it will be a rare circumstance where you deploy them away from home. I was pleased to see Gower grab an assist after pumping him up of late and I think he remains a useful bench player who has a pretty high assist ceiling with the way he plays.

Tottenham
Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale, Adebayor, Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Van der Vaart, Bassong, Corluka, Livermore, Pienaar.

Gallas got a game here but only a fill in for the rested King so the bigger news is Van der Vaart starting on the bench, then robbing many of us of good sub performances by playing a paltry 18 minutes. Defoe's good form is starting to become an issue for Van der Vaart owners as it either allows Redknapp to drop him more often without concern of losing too much firepower, or forces Redknapp to play them both, thus pushing Van der Vaart into a deeper, more disciplined (and restricted) midfield role. With another big week for Bale, I think we're at the point where he represents better value, though it's still unclear who will ultimately score more points (I'd still side with VdV but it's close). Despite the quiet week I am still very much in on Adebayor who, with Hernandez injured, is now the best sub-11.0m option around.

West Brom
Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Mulumbu, Morrison, Thomas, Dorrans, Long.
Subs: Fulop, Scharner, Tchoyi, Odemwingie, Jones, Cox, Dawson.

Long is another decent budget option though at 5.7m, he may be too much for many to grab as a 3rd forward. Outside of him this team is devoid of much fantasy potential, at least until Odemwingie returns and regains his form from last season.

Wigan
Al Habsi, Stam, Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa, Diame, Jones, Gomez, McCarthy, Moses, Sammon.
Subs: Pollitt, Crusat, Watson, Di Santo, McArthur, Rodallega, Lopez.

Do Wigan even still play games? We all know I love Moses but one important point I often neglect to mention when looking at key pass data is that we assume there is someone else on the team to put chances away.  Conor Sammon is not that man. Time of death: Dec 3, 2011 (at least until they get a new manager, sign some Premier League players or start playing the ones they have).

Wolves
Hennessey, Craddock, Ward, Berra, Zubar, Edwards, Hunt, Jarvis, O'Hara, Fletcher, Doyle
Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Johnson, Hammill, Milijas, Ebanks-Blake

There's a new advanced stat I wish someone would share with Mick McCarthy; it's called goals. The way it works is that when you play Fletcher, you score more of them. I have never particularly regarded Fletcher as an elite player but his scoring record is pretty incredible and he could certainly be a poor man's Darren Bent if only Wolves would play him every week. The fact that they went 4-4-2 is encouraging as it might leave room for Fletcher and Doyle but until we know for sure Fletcher remains a risky (and thus overpriced) 3rd forward. 

16 comments:

vanilla said...

Stoke's keeper strikes again! Sorenson was stretchered off. Begovic came on for him. I don't know much more about the injury.

ALM said...

Hey great blog as usual Chris. Speaking of injuries, rotten luck for Newcastle this week with S Taylor out for the season, and Coloccini and Williamson possibly missing for a few weeks. Would you consider the likes of Perch and Santon as cheap defensive options to keep an eye on, or do you now see this Newcastle team as a fragile defensive unit to avoid?

Nibbsy said...

Thanks for this as usual, really helpful and insightful.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on Vermaelen. I know how you feel about attacking defenders, but is this guy an exception? What do his stats say?

Chris Glover said...

Thanks for the updates guys - I forgot to mention Taylor and I somehow missed the Sorensen news. I've updated the post accordingly.

Sorensen/Begovic looks like a rotation mess for the near future so both are best avoided.

Newcastle's defense is starting to concern me given their recent form and Taylor's injury. Simpson remains an option given his price but I would be thinking of moving Colo and R Taylor on for good, or at least until (a) they recover form or (b) so many other managers sell them that their prices become cheap again. If O'Neil can work quickly, their might be some nice replacement options across the river in Sunderland.

Nibbsy - I need to do another piece on attacking defenders as two things have happened this year to challenge my view: (1) some defenders are scoring with what appears to be consistency (Terry, Huth, Vermaelen, Baines to an extent etc) and (2) as pointed out by a couple of readers in the GW14 preview, if the ~6m midfield pool is empty, maybe you should go 4.5m there and then go big on premium defenders, who may not deliver the best value for money but will at least deliver points. I will try to get to this this week and Vermaelen will be one of those players reviewed.

stooshermadness said...

Another terrific post Chris. Good call on Gower. I am probably going to move for him and swap out Ramsey to free up 2M for Vidic, Vermaelen, or another 'triple threat' (attacking threat, CS, BP) defender (Terry?). With no real good options in in the 6.5-9 range in midfield, why not change formation to add a high priced triple threat in defense and go 2 budget guys in mid and play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 ?

Chungwook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gummi at fantasyformation.com said...

It's amazing to see how few options there really are this season.

Last season I felt like there was sometimes not enough time in the week to analyze all the possible options.

Speaking of defenders, has anyone researched clean sheets over the holiday season? Could there be an increased chance of clean sheets with tiredness and resting of key attacking players?

bigbang said...

Hi Chris,
Many thanks from Turkey. I love this blog and your analysises. But sometimes it's so difficult to understand your writings for me so google translate is my second favorite website :)
Dear Chris and other readers, i need some help from you. My team must make a difference because I am back nearly 90 points from leader. (i used my wildcard) Below the link you can see my team.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/84/promastikteam.jpg/

I am happy from my defensive line but with the injury of Chicharito and next weeks fixture disadvantage especially my forvet and midfield line is getting worse. I think ManU is coming back after ManCity disaster and Rooney can start to get points. As you say, Welbeck option is come too risky for me but i am near to take him now. His statictics are not clear. In summary i am not sure what must i do? Who will be my captain?
Thanks for this blog again and waiting your help...

Ratchet said...

Big Bang,

Trade Hernandez for Sturridge. That extra 3.3m you can do a lot.

You have good ManU coverage with Jones and Nani so thats enough. Maybe you need Van Persie or Bale. Also look to have some Everton players for the double game week coming up.

Chris,

What do you think of Smalling? yay or nay?

Love your blog.

Shane Griffin said...

Awesome post! Really helpful and informative as always. Started reading your blog recently and I have been doing much better as a result!

amtosh said...

Would you rest any City or Spurs players this week considering the matchups or just leave them in?

For example, would you sit Kompany considering you'd expect Chelsea to score on them?

Also, would you rest Adebayor or Bale considering they've got Stoke away who are notoriously difficult to score against?

DJones said...

it was a nice gameweek. i got 84 points in fantasy premier league

English Language & Culture said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shugobot said...

What do you think is happening with Michael Turner? Do you think that his benching is a one game thing? I had picked him up recently as a slightly cheaper Sunderland defensive option to Wes Brown. With a new manager, maybe the Black Cats will be facing some rotation until they get something to work. Should I cut him loose the next chance I get?

Raddz said...

Hey Chris thanks again for a great post! I was wondering what your opinion of Monk was as he is the Swansea captain and since he came back from injury he has played 90 mins in each game for a pretty good defense and he only costs 4 mill.
Thanks

Jwch88 said...

Hey Chris,

Should i replace vdv for a.young? Man Utd fixtures seem favorable in the next few rounds, however they aren't scoring many goals lately. Any suggestions?