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Gameweek 10: The Watchlist

In 2010/11 on October 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

What do Dimitar Berbatov, Nani and Cesc all have in common?  You guessed it.  The gameweek 10 watchlist.

Dimitar Berbatov
What has happened to the brooding Bulgarian?  Following a blistering start to the season (45 points in 5 gameweeks), Dimitar Berbatov’s fantasy premier league form has really dropped in recent weeks, having not scored for the past five games.  Berbatov is an odd fantasy football player.  Languid and placid, we all know how he can look disinterested, but get him in the right mood and the points will flow.  As will the bonus points, having already got 12 so far this season.   At home to his old club Spurs this weekend, gameweek 10 will surely bring bonus points.
Bonus point prediction:  2

Everything you want in a fantasy football player.  Corners, free kicks, goals and most of all he is greedy.  As Gordon Gekko says, “greed is good”, possibly the greatest trait in fantasy premier league; wanting to shoot even though you’ve got better options or playing the hollywood through ball when an easy pass is on.  Greed = points.  Although I am disappointed to see Fergie forcing him to track back (you don’t get points for teamwork), Nani still shoots at every opportunity, which is a plus.
Bonus point prediction:  1

Scrap what I said about Nani, Cesc is everything you want in a fantasy football player.  He is pretty much guaranteed bonus points in every Arsenal home match.  Watch this space for 3 bonus points on Saturday at home to West Ham.
Bonus point predicition:  3


Gameweek 9: The Bonus Point Round Up

In 2010/11 on October 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm

What’s the difference between Andy Carroll and Barry Ferguson?  Bonus points.

Bad week for Carroll
A strange thing happened this gameweek.  Halfway through the first half of West Ham vs Newcastle, Joey Barton crossed deep to the back post.  Andy Carroll headed the ball down and Kevin Nolan banged a goal into the bottom corner.  Nothing strange there; five points for Nolan and 3 points for an assist and likely bonus points for Carroll.

Or not.  Although pretty much every media outlet reported it as an assist, and gave Carroll man of the match, fantasy premier league did not agree. Only six points for his goal. No assist and no bonus points.   Then to rub it in, big Shola Ameobi who must have touched the ball about three times in the whole game got a bonus point.  Another example of the enigma that is bonus points.  Gutted Andy.

Bonus Point Barry
Barry Ferguson has got to be sleeping with someone at fantasy premier league.   This week saw another 2 bonus points for Barry – 10 in total this season, making him the fifth highest bonus point scorer this season.  How does he do it?  In a word, passes.   Last season, Barry Ferguson attempted, 2,169, the most passes in the whole of the league, and he’s at it again this year, as one of only four players who has made over 500 passes this season.  You know what makes it even more impressive?   Of all those passes not one goal or assist.

Gameweek 9: The Wildcard

In 2010/11 on October 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

It is the chance to wipe the slate clean.  A fresh start.  A new beginning.  The Wildcard.

When to play it?

The trick to playing your Wildcard is the timing.  A week too early you’ll be giving the game away, (who are your bonus point boys) and a week too late you’ll have missed the boat and the impact of the wildcard will be limited. 

There are a couple schools of thought with this one;

1.  The early birds – those who play their wildcard within the first few weeks.  To some they are desperate but in doing so you can buy all the form players early before their prices rocket e.g. Berbatov, Nani, Drogba, Bale, adding value to your team.

2.  The play it safes – those who save their wildcard up for a rainy day.  Like picking a midfielder for captain, the wildcard is an insurance policy.  They would be happy not to use it all season if need be.

Traditionally I’ve been a “play it safe”.  Save it up, put it in your drawer and only get it out when your team is in drastic need of restructuring, like when a Galactico gets injured or for your title push. 

The rules have changed?

This year fantasy premier league have changed everything by adding a second wildcard:

“You can play 2 transfer wildcards a season. One wildcard can be played at anytime; the other can only be used between Gameweeks 23 and 27. This extra wildcard will be available after the start of Gameweek 22 (4 Jan 19:30) up to the Gameweek 27 deadline (12 Feb 11:30). All transfers made in the Gameweek your wildcard is played will be without points deduction. You play your wild card when confirming transfers.”

So who is the winner? 

So who does this give advantage to, the “early birds” or the “play it safes”? 

Having the extra wildcard window during Gameweek 23 and Gameweek 27, means that the “play it safes” will have a period of 11 gameweeks* following the extra wildcard to play their original.  This not only minimises the value of the wildcard but it means they would be playing two wildcards in the final third of the season!  To even the most risk adverse of us this is pretty extreme.   

By playing the wildcard within the first few weeks, the “early birds” can reap the benefits of an extra wildcard in the second half of the season.  They will have a window of roughly 20 gameweeks** until the insurance of a second wildcard and then after that only 11 gameweeks, to manage.   Surely a better option. 

The tide has changed – it’s all about the “early birds”. 

Whenever you play your wildcard make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and most importantly make sure you time it right. 

Gameweek 9 Watchlist

Charlie Adam

5 points bonus in last 2 games – need I say more.  Free kicks, corners, goal kicks, throws – the man does everything.  £5.3 million – a steal.

Jose Boswinga

Back from injury and at £5.6 million surely worth a gamble.  Having scored 156 points back in 2008/9 if Jose gets his fitness and form, he could be signing of the season.

Titus Bramble

Big. Brave. Bonus points.  Titus is solid if not spectacular but at £4.6 million – there aren’t many better in that price range.  With two home games in next three games – get him in now.



* Wildcard played in Gameweek 27
** Wildcard played in Gameweek 7

Gameweek 8: The Captain

In 2010/11 on October 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

The Captain, El Capitan, da Mannschaftskapitän.  Call him what you will but selecting the right captain can turn an awful Gameweek average, an average Gameweek good and a good Gameweek special.

Your captain brings you double points.  They are the lynchpin of your fantasy football team.  The player you most trust and the player that says the most about your team.  I honestly think that the most important tool for winning your fantasy football league is selecting the right captain.

There are a number of attributes to look for in a good captain.  The ability to “lead by example” – I give you Cesc Fabregas.  The Bravehearts – those who play with passion and inspire – may I introduce John Terry.  But there is only one attribute you need in order to deliver as a fantasy premier league captain and that is points.

How do I pick my captain?

Midfield General – This is your insurance policy.  It is always best to have your captain as a midfielder as they are a less risky option than a goalkeeper, midfielder or a striker.  Midfielders are historically the highest point scorers in fantasy premier league as they have more outlets for points; clean sheets, bonus points, assists and goals.

Set Pieces – Like the midfield general for me it is critical for your captain to be a set piece taker.  Even if they are having an off days the odds are they will get an assist from a corner / free kick.

Galactico – Lampard, Cesc, Gerrard, Drogba, Rooney – the man, the one who week in week out delivers.  The man who you pay top dollar for.  The man whose teammates look to for inspiration.  Even when they don’t play well the galacticos get points and more often then not bonus points.  If you are paying top money for them, make them your captain.

Home Form – I will very, very rarely pick a captain who is playing away from home, so to speak.  You need you captain on home soil, where they deliver and most importantly, where they can get bonus points.

Who have you gone for captain this week?


Gameweek 7: The Watch List

In 2010/11 on October 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Lakers - Timberwolves at the o2

Monday night gave me an unexpected opportunity to do a bit of fantasy premier league scouting for Team Alpha.  I was at the o2 to see the Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves. with my man Duncan Master and would you believe it, half the Premiership were there.

As I watched the Lakers get a beating I couldn’t help but think who out of these Premiership boys in the court side seats would get in Team Alpha?

The Watch list

Vermaelen AR 7.4 STICK – goal scoring defenders are hard to come by but at £7.4 million it is hard to see value on this one especially when Arsenal are so leaky at the back.

Fabregas AR 11.8 BUY – the most valuable player on the game in my eyes; penalties, free kicks and guaranteed bonus points – get this boy in!

Van Persie AR 9.6 STICK – injured at the moment but huge points / game ratio when plays.

Vela AR 4.8 SELL – less chance of scoring than a Mexican transvestite.  First rule of fantasy premier league – only get them in if they start games.

Zamora FU 6.2 SELL – feel bad for Bobby.  He was looking good pre-Karl Henry treatment.

Johnson A FU 6.0 SELL – too busy watching basketball – should be in the gym.

Sidwell AV 4.8 SELL – see Vela.  If plays week in week out, worth a punt at £4.8m

Lescott MC 6.4 STICK – interesting one. Seems to be starting games.  City are keeping clean sheets and he used to get goals.  He could be a shout.

Cole A CH 7.9 STICK – tricky.  Will be big point scorer but feel more value in that cash in midfield.

Essien CH 7.2 BUY – the bison has got to have potential.  Free kicks and corners – no, but the bonus men love him!

Ferdinand A SU 4.5 SELL – too much banter, not enough minutes.

Bent D SU 8.6 – BUY – his price is rising.  Has scored 83% of Sunderland goals this year.  Dependable, especially at home.

Cole C WH 6.0 – STICK – nice glasses but for me anything over £5.5 is too much.  Does he even start for them?


Gameweek 7: Why is Fantasy Premier League so addictive?

In 2010/11 on October 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm

For the past five years I have been playing fantasy premier league, with my performance steadily improving year on year*.  In 2009/10; I finished 202nd, won my money league for the third consecutive season and lost a mate for two months in the process.

But what makes Fantasy Premier League so addictive?

I was always one of those kids who liked the analytical side of things; more championship manager than pro evo you could say.  I think it was something to do with the combination of football, making money and being competitive with my mates and it is these reasons that makes fantasy football so addictive for me.

Fantasy football can make or break moods whilst giving you a reason to watch crap like Wigan – Wolves on a wet Sunday afternoon.

On this blog I’ll try and uncover any of the fantasy football myths, pick a few players to look out for each gameweek and answer any questions you have.

All except for, “how do they award bonus points?!?”

* Team Alpha points

2006/07 1917 27,811
2007/08 2192 11,403
2008/09 2059 6,670
2009/10 2501 202