Friday, 18 September 2009

Week 6 Preview

Firstly, lets summarise Week 5. As you know I wrote an Early Player Picks post on Tuesday detailing over 50 players. I have since had some time to think about it, catch up with injury news & have come up with my top picks for each position.

GK: Myhill, Gordon, Mannone – I feel the value for money offered by Myhill this week is very difficult to ignore. £1.5m at home to a Birmingham side who are struggling to score goals means he’s been in my team since last Saturday & he’s staying. If you don’t trust him then Craig Gordon should do well against a Burnley side who’s bubble has really burst following a promising start. If you’re feeling risky, Mannone of Arsenal looks set to keep his place due to the continued absence of Almunia & Fabianski at a cost of just over £6m. I feel other keepers are too expensive this week, especially when there are so many outfield options to splash the cash on.

DFs: Vermaelen, Warnock, Dunne, Cueller, Distin, Heitinga, Sonko - I'm finding it difficult to look beyond Arsenal, Villa & Everton defenders this week, with Vermaelen & Warnock the stand-out options. I’m really hoping Heitinga gets a game although it’s not certain after Everton performed very well without him on Thursday. Sonko is in there as a real option due to his near certain starting status & bargain price which, like Myhill, will free up the money to spend on the wonderful choice of midfield & striking options we have this week.

MFs: Young, Gerrard, Fabregas, Lampard, Taylor, Hunt, Milner, Pienaar – You’ll notice that Rosicky isn’t on my list, even though it’s very possible that I'll have him in my team. I can’t recommend him to others when it’s not certain he’ll start, even if it’s a risk I’m willing to take myself. The 8 players I have recommended are the ones I wish I could fit in if I had unlimited cash and unlimited spaces in my midfield, with Ashley Young my real hunch pick despite performing disappointingly so far. Billy would be on there if it wasn’t for the doubt about his injury.

FWs: Van Persie, Drogba, Agbonlahor, Torres, Rooney, Eduardo, Carew, Yakubu/Jo/Saha – No shocks here, I expect the big names to fire this weekend. As you all know Van Persie is my major hunch pick despite the midweek concern over his knee injury & he’ll be in my team for Week 5. After that I wish I could fit Agbonlahor in alongside Drogba in my front 3 but because of my spending on my midfield (and my decision to continue with Tuncay) it isn’t an option. Eduardo, Carew & the Everton forwards could all do very well IF you can decide which will get game time. Finally, you can rarely go wrong with Rooney & Torres although given their match-ups I wouldn’t be brining them in at their current price.

My starting 11 will be coming from these 25 players

So, on to Week 6…firstly, the fixtures:

Saturday, 26 September 2009
Birmingham v Bolton, 15:00
Blackburn v Aston Villa, 15:00
Fulham v Arsenal, 17:30
Liverpool v Hull, 15:00
Portsmouth v Everton, 12:45
Stoke v Man Utd, 15:00
Tottenham v Burnley, 15:00
Wigan v Chelsea, 15:00

Sunday, 27 September 2009
Sunderland v Wolverhampton, 16:00

Monday, 28 September 2009
Man City v West Ham, 20:00

As always, lets look at the stand-out fixtures, & there are plenty to choose from!

Liverpool at home to Hull, Tottenham at home to Burnley, Everton away at Portsmouth & Man City at home to West Ham…closely followed by Sunderland at home to Wolves & Chelsea at Wigan ….then some trickier fixtures with Man Utd at Stoke & Arsenal at Fulham. With such a bunch of great fixtures I’ll probably be leaving out Birmingham v Bolton & Blackburn v Villa.

So, who to look at on the barn door?…plenty of options again:

Liverpool – Torres, Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt, Glen Johnson, Skrtel, Insua

Spurs – Defoe, Crouch, Lennon, Kranjcar, Bassong

Everton – Yak, Jo, Saha, Pienaar, Billy, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Howard

Man City – Tevez (against his old club), Bellamy, Ireland, Wright Phillips, Richards, Bridge, Given (remember no Adebayor or Robinho due to suspension & injury)

Sunderland – Bent, Jones, Reid, Richardson, Ferdinand, Turner, Gordon

Chelsea – Drogba, Anelka, Lampard, Deco, Malouda, Joe Cole, Bosingwa

Man Utd – Rooney, Berbatov, Nani, Scholes, Giggs, Valencia

Arsenal – Van Persie, Walcott, Rosicky, Fabregas, Arshavin, Vermaelen

Others – Benitez, M Taylor, Givet, Young, Milner, Agbonlahor, O’Hara, Gomez, Duff

I’ll probably be loading up on Liverpool, Spurs, Everton, Man City & Sunderland this week.

Early Possible Picks
GK: Gordon, Given, Howard
DF: G Johnson, Bassong, Richards, Turner, Heitinga
MF: Gerrard, Lennon, Reid, Billy, Lampard, Wright Phillips
FW: Defoe, Torres, Tevez, Bent, Drogba, Yak

TOP PICK: Defoe – You can’t ignore the Premier League’s joint top scorer when he has a home fixture vs Burnley. Gerrard & Torres also come very close.

Last minute injury news & Predicted Line-ups for Week 5 will be up much later (probably tonight) as I'm not around this afternoon.

How’s your team looking? Who will you be looking to get in on the barndoor for Week 6?



Ian Sanderson said...

information overload information overload information overload....

only kidding, nice work AM.

Assistant Manager said...


Cheers Ian - believe me, writing it has left my head spinning, but hopefully it'll help some people!

How's your team looking this week?


Stephen said...

In next weeks BD im looking to pick up Defoe, Gerrard and Torres as my main 3. Billy, Richards/Bridge are on my mind too!

Got a real dilemma this week.. Do i got with

a) Gomez, Gerrard, Young, Rosicky, O Hara

b) Gomez, Taylor, Young, Rosicky, Hunt + upgrade defence?

Any advice would be a great help


Max said...


is it advisable to put o'hara n benitez this week.. do they look worth their price?.. in your guys opinion?..


Ruki said...

I have Given at 6 something discount ( starting price), should I drop him and go for Myhill?

Great blog btw AM!


Anonymous said...



BTW ...
I have advertised in ALL the groups i am in!!
I even advertised with my alternate ID !! =D

~ Keith

Assistant Manager said...

Stephen - Both look good equally good, I have no preference, so go with your gut feeling! :)

Max - O'hara is great value, not so sure about Benitez. If he starts he could do well but McCleish has seemed reluctant to give him the chance.

Ruki - Many thanks! If I had Given at £6m I'd keep him.

Keith - Thanks as always. Tough choice, I dislike Moko but I like Drogba & Young a lot this week. I'd go with option 1 just, but option 2 is still good (& probably more balanced)

Anonymous said...

@ AM -

That confused me a bit.. =P
Even i know that Opt.2 is Equally balanced and even I like Drogs...
THATS the reason i asked you... =D
So please temme whether option 1 or 2..
The rest of my team is confirmed...
So please help..

~ Keith

Max said...

thanks AM for the input.. but i got neither of them.. instead i go for agbonlahor in fw.. but have to downgrade my mf to mokoena (from o'hara) and switch heitinga to wilko in df..

my last team.. (if no changes tomorrow)..

verma, sonko, wilko
gerrard, lamp, fab, mokoena
drog, tuncay, agbonlahor

before team..

verma, sonko, heitinga
gerrard, lamp, fab, o'hara-rosicky
drog, tuncay, eduardo-kitson

anymore advice is always welcomed..



Assistant Manager said...

Keith - I'd personally go with Option 1

Anonymous said...

fantastic work !!!
the downside.....everyone knows what i learn here

Anonymous said...

Folks, I can't believe I am getting all this information for free. At the same time I hope I am the only one from my league reading this to get that extra advantage. Does anyone else feel this way? Thanks AM for a great blog.

Anonymous said...

Great post AM, Thx a lot.

I have a question regarding week 6.

My strikers are (since week 5)

Drogs, Torres, Bent.

Drogba is at huge discount and both torres and bent have good matchups in week 6. The thing is i'd love to get Defoe in there. The questions is. Should I drop anyone to get Defoe in? And in that case who ? :S


Rob said...

I am opting for Gerrard and Lampard in the middle as I am stuck with Drogba and Tunchay for price reasons.

This leaves me with about 19 for a striker, which means I can get RVP or Torres.

I am tempted by RVP but I have a feeling that away from home and against a team like WH who don't park the team bus infront of goal he may have a good day.

Any other advice would be welcome

A.Wilkinson - Sonko - Vermaelen
Milijas - Gomez - Gerrrard - Lampard
Drogba - Tuncay - ????

Assistant Manager said...

Thanks for all the comments guys.

For those worrying...The blog gets around 1000 hits per day (and it is rising slowly) but alot of these hits will be the same people logging in from home & work.

At a guess I'd say we have around 600 regular readers, which is a very small percentage of people who play the game...I believe there are around 150,000 teams registered this year so that's only around 0.4% of all players.

You're in the minority ;)


Fidan said...

@ Andy - I personally have almost the same dilemma. But, in the end, I think I'll drop Torres(completely based on next 3 matches,@Chelsea,@Sund,home to ManUre)...but then again, you'll never know with Torres...he'll go on and score like 5 goals in those 3 matches...Keep him for Hull match(if you have him in discount), for sure...

I'll be more focused this week, as I think I lost some ground on bd last weekend...First ones that come to my mind are: Defore,Lennon,Bassong,Reid,Jones,MRichards and Billy...

Good luck...!!!

J. Dunn said...

Right now I'm on:

Verm | Givet | Distin
Gomez | O'Hara | Gerrard | Young
Drogs | Rooney | Tuncay

I was tempted to gut Given and Distin to get to Lamps(as I didn't particularly favor anyone in the choice between Young/Taylor/Cesc), but I resisted. Given is going to put up huge points when City's matchups improve, and I'd hate to miss that and be relegated to hoping Myhill or Robbo don't kill my team every week.

If Lamps would only drop about a buck I could go to Sonko and him for Young and Distin. Hope that happens on the BD, but if not, I guess Young can turn into Lennon easily enough for next week. I really wish I hadn't dropped Jordi @ 5.54 and then had to re-buy him, or I'd probably have enough now.

greginho said...

AM and everyone else, remember Heitinga is cup tied for the midweek game for Everton. so he will definitely play this weekend.

Assistant Manager said...

Very good point Greg

Doctor Teeth said...

Happy Friday to the congregation!

Some food for thought...over the course of the season, I don't think there is a truly significant correlation between elite players' performances and the competition that they are playing against in a given game. We all have the tendency (speaking for myself as well - guilty as charged) to juggle players due to match-ups and, on balance, I think you see top players coming up big in games where their teams are underdogs (or, facing a stern opponent in any event) just as often as you see them being silenced in games where their teams are overwhelming favorites and a 20+ point game seems certain. Several examples come to mind right away. In a strange way, I almost think it is the more unsung, "second tier" player that shines brightest in the "easy" games rather than the stud (think Yossi vs. Torres last week as a recent example).

This all goes to say that, as other posters have previously mentioned, this fantasy league is a marathon, not a sprint and in a very real way how your team performs in any given week will not make or break your season...savvy managers need to avoid adopting such a myopic view of success and take a broader view towards building a long-term quality side. Buy quality players at value and ride them as the core of your team...eschew the tendency to drop a player just b/c he has a tough match-up or he's had a bad week b/c he is bound to produce ultimately (case in point: despite match-ups against Arsenal and Man U back-to-back, I never even considered dropping Given as GK). Players who average 15 points/game for an entire season do so with a fair share of 3 point games and 25 point games mixed one (save maybe a few MFs we all know from Chelsea and Liverpool) consistently returns points in the teens and above every week.

On to this week: I just don't like the wishy washy reports coming out on RVP's injury status and that, coupled with Arsenal's sub-par form of late, is really pushing me to the brink of dropping him for this weekend's game. I now think that I will field Agbonlahor (who, by the way, I have never fielded on a fantasy team before!) up front instead...he has a great fixture at home against woeful Pompey and costs 6 million less than RVP, a savings that will allow me to field a backline of Vermaelen, GJohnson and Warnock.

Doctor Teeth said...

Wow...just looked at the table and saw that Burnley has scored 2 - TWO - goals all season. Makes me want to keep Michael Turner in my backline this weekend.

Assistant Manager said...

Fantastic Post DT.

I agree with everything you've written, but i'd add that it's also too early to have 100% decided on your "season keepers"...I expect by around Week 12 (a third of the way through) I'll have a core of 6 or 7 player that stay in my team for the rest of the season (barring injury) whilst I rotate the other 4 or 5 spaces.

At the moment Tuncay & Gerrard will probably stay, as will Drogba until the African Cup of Nations & possibly O'hara...other than that I'm still switching things round until I'm happy with a core of performers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks AM. Chances of someone from our league of less than 10 reading here are small. We all know each other but never share our sources.

One thing I really like about this blog is that when you check back, there is something new. Other similar sites are good but contributors get busy and skip weeks. No previews on Fridays sometimes even on Saturdays. It's a long season and so don't burn yourself out!

Fantasy wise, it's been reported that Villa midfielder Reo-Coker had a fallout with the manager, making it most likely to see 4-4-2 at home with Carew playing up front with Agbon the Whore.


Douchebag United said...

Justin this is the news that I about to comment on as well.

I currently have this triad in my line up...

Sonko - Trying to take advantage of Birmingham, pluse cheap...

M.Taylor - A consistent performer who I believe could take advantage of a Stoke team that doesn't play well on the road.

K.Davies - Similar pick to M.Taylor

I really like Taylor and I'm not looking to swap him out but I feel like I could spread my points so to speak and pick up Carew for Davies?

So what do people think -

Sonko/K. Davies



greginho said...

doctor teeth,
those goals for burnley were 1-0 at home against man united and 1-0 at home to everton. maybe pick tottenham up the next week after when they get burnley to their house.

i feel sorry for burnley, no one has had to play their only two home games against the champions, man u and a top 5 team everton, then 2 of their 3 away games to top 4 teams, chelsea and liverpool and it doesn't help that there first game was away to stoke.
they have played teams from 1, 2, 3, 5 and 12 position from last year. that is craxy.

so i don't think you can judge, them, i don't know there coach, at all, but if he is a good coach, burnley have a chance of really showing what they are worth. now we get to see if elliot, carlisle, mccann, alexander and blake can show that they are fantasy producers.

arsenal fan note:
i am kinda glad that arsenal sold adebayor. he is the head case that they wanted to avoid. he may do great things, he may score more goals for man city, but he would not have done that with arsenal and arsenal would have suffered for it. he sat in the middle too much and the creative players had to go around him to score or pass to him.

ToffeeDave said...

Changed my formation quite a lot this week. This is my final formation.

Verm, Baines, Sonko, Turner
MTay, BFAY, Hunt
Drogs, Tuncay, Torres

Turner has a great chance of a clean sheat along with Sonko but Turner I feel can score during a set piece vs Burnley so that's my hunch this week. Also Im betting on Torres pulling a hat trick out his butt and RVP pulling an RVP and getting red carded.

Anonymous said...

Douchebage United, in the derby last week Villa looked like it would settle for a draw until Carew came on and there was more firing power. Young and Abon the Whore have the quickness but Milner the creativity and Carew the target. Counterattack goals come from Young and Gabby.

I have a hunch that your hunch is K. Davies and so go with him. If anyone breaks 20 pts from Villa, it'll be A.Young or Gabby. I see Carew with 8-12 points.


Anonymous said...

Not sure I follow the herd in thinking Hull could ever pull off a clean sheet. Birmingham has quite a few players out with knocks and injuries, but they don't give up much either. Sonko's only value lies in his price, and the fact he gets the odd goal. But if he pulls off the CS, I tip my cap to him. (Donegal08)

Anonymous said...

How about Lennon for Week 6??

i have Nando@16 and Rooney@18 and Tuncay@1

Whom should i drop for Defoe???

I already have StevieG and I'm planning on keeping Nando as he's shit cheap..

And Rooney's kinda my fav player and i rest my hopes in him..

The problem with dropping Tuncay is that i'll have to sacrifice another player who's 6/7$$ and rope in Moko (UGHH) ...

Please help me out..

~ Sam

Anonymous said...

McCartney OR Huddlestone OR Rodwell OR Distin OR Verma ??

Anonymous said...

Check out these two teams...

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