Friday, 31 December 2010

Week 21 - Update

Load and loads of team & injury news which I will be adding to throughout the day, in what will be my last post of 2010...what a year it has been!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Week 21 - Player Picks

Week 20 ended as diabolically as it started, with Torres, Gerrard, Lampard & Walcott combining for 7 pathetic points last night. A special mention to the Liverpool pairing, who conjured up just 1 point between them in one of the worst home performances from a Premier League team this season. I ended up with just 41.5 in total, down to 427th place overall and at the moment I'm finding it really difficult to pick a team that can get me out of this slump!

There's no time to rest as Week 21 is upon us very shortly, the deadline being midday on New Years Day...Saturday 1st January 2011. I'm incredibly busy so won't be calculating the Blog Cup results until next week, but I've found an hour today to run through the fixtures & list out the 40 players that have my attention for the week ahead.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


The 11:40am switch of doom...

Balotelli to Dorrans = -23

Robinson to Carson = -12

It's funny to think that had I not woken up on time & had that five spare minutes before going out for lunch with Sarah's parents today, I'd be sitting here 35 points better off! Actually, that's not really funny at all.

Unfortunately I saw that morning headline about Balotelli wanting to leave & assumed he'd be benched again & I assumed Blackburn were in freefall after Allardyce's departure, leading to two poor results which would only get worse at West Brom.

Two simple, sensible changes made...oh man, did I get it badly wrong! I'm on 34.5 points with Lampard, Gerrard, Walcott & Torres to go tomorrow, but this was a huge swing & could be the week that destroys my hopes of a Top 100 finish this year. Bad luck? Maybe slightly with Balotelli, but it's too late now, dropping from 280th to 420th in a day 'aint pretty & I'm probably out of The Blog Cup too...ouch!

Good things about today? Well... Spurs won again, Bale scored & I'm really pleased about the way we're playing. And as I type this I've just watched England retain the Ashes in Australia for the first time since I was 6 years old. That's fun, isn't it? Oh, and I got engaged last 3 days ago... and... erm... clutching ...straws ...?

Anyway, hope you had a better day than I did... thanks lads!


p.s. If the comments section continues to get as bitchy as it has in the past three days then I will need to moderate everything & that would seriously suck. Please clean it up lads, we've got a very good thing here - don't spoil it :)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Week 20 - My Team

I had 5 minutes to pick a team this morning, and here it is...

...hopefully it'll do enough to get me through to the next round of The Blog Cup!

Good luck to all!


Monday, 27 December 2010

Week 19 & Week 20

Hi guys - just popped online quickly to let you know how Week 19 went. I scored 64.5 points & don't have any players left in the big one tonight so expect to fall down the rankings a bit, but currently sit in 280th.

The majority of my points came from the man above, with the decision by any fantasy manager who hung on to him @6 for a few weeks of zeros already vindicated. Simon Davies & Johan Elmander were the only other players from my team hitting double-figures & we had a Nani-no-show, but it was another low-scoring week so it didn't hurt too badly.

I'm afraid I don't have any time to do a full player picks post before tomorrow's 12:00 deadline, but looking at the fixtures, the pick of them are:

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Week 19 - My Team


Salcido   Kolarov   Bale

Silva   S.Davies   Van Der Vaart   Nani

Balotelli   Elmander   Rooney

A few risks but didn't have a lot of time this morning so I'm ok with it. What did you end up with?


Week 19 - Postponements

Here we go again...

Blackpool v Liverpool is OFF,,10432~2251527,00.html

Everton v Birmingham is OFF

I'll keep a look out for an more postponements in the next 2 hours upto's not particularly helpful that we still don't know if they've changed the rules regarding points for postponements, but to be safe I'll only be looking to pick players for games that are on.


Friday, 24 December 2010

Week 19 - Update

I'm hoping to get online briefly tomorrow, but in case I don't here's all the important news coming out of the clubs on Christmas Eve:

- All Premier League games are currently ON, but please keep checking here for updates on the weather.

Team & Injury news...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Week 19 - Player Picks

PLEASE NOTE: This post is written as if the postponement rule as we know it (i.e. you score zero for a player if his game called off & you do not get the points when the game is rescheduled) is still in place. If the Fantasist confirms the rule change as detailed in this post (i.e. you get the points when the games are rescheduled) then it will change things significantly as you wouldn't necessarily need to drop/ignore players at risk of postponements, but I can't work with "ifs and buts", so we go with what we know. Cheers!

What a nightmare Week 18 turned out to be! The information we had on Saturday morning before the deadline told us that Birmingham v Newcastle, Liverpool v Fulham & Wigan v Aston Villa were were all postponed, but at that point in time all other fixtures were on. In the dying minutes, we chopped, we changed, we dropped discounts & we got as many players in from the other 7 games as possible.

Then at 12:03pm Arsenal v Stoke was called off & throughout the afternoon we were provided with more bad news as all three of Sunday's fixtures were postponed (all justifiable with the exception of Chelsea v Manchester United, which would've been easily playable given the conditions in London on Sunday). This left three matches, Sunderland v Bolton, Blackburn v West Ham & Man City v Everton, and ensured a very very low scoring week.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


A very worrying quote taken from the latest post by the Fantasist on the Official Yahoo Blog:

As far as points for all the postponed matches go, word from Yahoo! HQ is that these will be automatically added to your scores for this gameweek once the matches are finally played. Confirmation of this should follow soon. 

It has always been the case in Yahoo Fantasy Football (as it still is in the Official Fantasy Premier League game & other fantasy games) that if a match is postponed your players in that match score zero & you do not get the points when the match is replayed. Instead, the fixture is moved to a new gameweek later in the season. It's harsh if you end up with a bunch of zeros, but everyone knows the rules & we accept them as part of the game.

This known rule meant many managers got rid of players at discounts to bring in other players who were certain to start Week 18 matches. Different people use different strategies, but they are all based around the rules. If Yahoo HQ choose to change this rule now, without warning anyone beforehand, then I'm sorry but that is absolutely crazy. In fact it would be a total mess for so many reasons I can't even be bothered to write them all down!

I'm praying the Fantasist has been given incorrect information, but we'll need to wait for an update later in the week. If they want to bring this change in for next season then fine, but if Yahoo really think about it, surely they'll realise that to change the rules now would destroy the integrity of this season's game?



p.s Week 19 Player Picks will be up tomorrow. Remember the deadline is Sunday this week, rather than Saturday.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Man City v Everton Gets Go Ahead

Manchester City v Everton will go ahead tonight, only the third game from the ten scheduled Week 18 fixtures able to do so.

Early rumours suggest that Carlos Tevez will start, although he'll be stripped of the captaincy. No news on how this affects Balotelli - Fantasy Football Scout predicts a 4-5-1 with Tevez alone upfront, but I'm hoping the Italian will start as I'm in desperate need of some points from him & Kolarov, with only Robbo & MGP playing for my team so far.

For those worried about the points from Blackburn v West Ham, I can reassure you they will be updated eventually, more than likely along with the points from tonight's game within the next 24 hours.

How many players have got on the pitch for your team so far? Any City/Everton players left?


Sunday, 19 December 2010

My Saturday In The UK

1. Weekly 5-a-side football at 9:30am on Saturday morning, wake up 30 minutes later than planned due to hangover knowing internet didn't work on Friday night.

2. Quickly check Internet; still doesn't work. Can't do blog/weather updates. Lucky for me my beloved iPhone gets me by...just. Minor blog update complete & team saved for safety.

3. Drive to football in the most stupid snow ever, the usual 10 minute journey takes 45.

4. Play like shite at football due to hangover & my team lose 15-10 over an hour.

5. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes to get home due to worsening snow.

6. Delay means I can't get home in time to check my internet is working, but luckily I get decent 3G reception so I can see comments regarding postponements & make last minute changes. Thank God for my iPhone.

7. More Saturday games cancelled after deadline, fantasy football essentially ruined for Week 18 despite hours of effort for player picks/update posts etc. Lose Nasri/RvP. Paint-drying games involving Sunderland, Bolton, Blackburn & West Ham are the only ones left.

8. Robinson, MGP, VDV, Bale, Jara, Brunt, Lampard, Balotelli & Kolorov - still hope!

9. Nope - news comes thought that all Sunday fixtures are wiped out too. Oh well, still got Robbo & MGP today!

10. Robbo loses clean sheet late on, MGP does nothing. Only Balotelli (literally insane) & Kolorov left. Maybe 15 points this week?

11. Me & mates agree to trek through snow to our local pub to drown sorrows/cry about lack of decent football (fantasy & real life) over the next 2 days.

12. Walk to agreed pub, slip over in snow, drop iPhone, completely smashed screen. Luckily still works...just (I can receive calls but touch-screen doesn't work properly).

13. Girlfriend rings barely working iPhone to moan that I haven't done the agreed Xmas shopping tasks. Don't remember agreeing to said tasks but insist it was impossible due to weather so settled on pub.

14. Insult to injury - she uses her fully working iPhone to look at Google Maps & discovers the pub I'm in is actually further away than the shopping centre I claimed I couldn't get to. Quickly say connection is breaking up, turn off phone.

15. Get home after 8 hours of drinking. She's not speaking to me. Blackburn points not updated. Stupid Yahoo.

16. Spend 15 minutes writing this post - annoys her even more yet actually adds nothing to the blog in terms of relevant content.

17. Add equally irrelevant photo to post.

We've all been there...right?
Merry Xmas guys :)


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Week 18 - My Team

Wow, it's chaos in the UK...but my internet connection is back!

Thank you so much to everyone for keeping blog readers up to date on the weather , in the "Help!" post, epecially Birty - excellent stuff & much appreciated!

Currently the following games are off:

Birmingham v Newcastle
Liverpool v Fulham
Wigan v Aston Villa

But I wouldn't be surprised if we lose I write this I'm looking at pictures of Arsenal's pitch and it is COVERED in snow, so don't be surprised if that goes to. There's simply nothing that can be done in weeks like this - any points you get are a bonus; it's just insane!

UPDATE: Arsenal v Stoke is OFF

UPDATE: Chelsea v Man Utd is OFF

UPDATE: West Brom v Wolves is OFF

UPDATE:  Blackpool v Tottenham is OFF

Below is my saved team. I probably have loads of risks; possible non-starters or players in games that'll could still be postponed, but I guess there's nothing that can be done.

Robinson, Jara, Kolarov, Bale, Brunt, Van Der Vaart, Nasri, Pedersen, Lampard, Balotelli, Van Persie

Blackpool v Spurs will probably be off too, but I wasn't prepared to dump big discounts for other players that could still have their games postponed, it would be a total waste.

Sorry again that I couldn't keep you up to date, but good luck to all of you - hope you can get some points on the board! :)



Hi guys...bit of a problem here - I had no internet connection when I got home from work last night & it has still not returned. I've managed to use my iphone to save my team this morning & write this quickly, but the connection is so so slow I've not been able to check any team news / injury new online & can't get in to the chatroom...I just had to save what I had on the screen to ensure I didn't get a big fat zero.

The weather in the UK is unbelievable, snow is falling heavily, I imagine we're going to lose a lot of games but again I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't check to let you know - if anyone is able to do updates via the comments section upto the deadline to help others that would be hugely appreciated.


Friday, 17 December 2010

Week 18 - Update

Work Xmas Party last night. Hungover. Straight to it.

- A few places (football365, RTE etc) are suggesting Steven Gerrard is set to return vs Fulham this weekend, although it's not clear whether it'll be a start or a place on the bench. Hodgson says he'll make a "late decision", which is not remotely helpful. My gut feeling is he'll play, so I'll probably dump Meireles.

- Frank Lampard came through a practice match unscathed and will start for Chelsea against Man Utd. Ancelotti confirmed this in his press conference. Alex & Bosingwa are still out so Ferreira will continue at right-back.

- Odemwingie is very very doubtful for the Black Country derby so Tchoyi could be deployed upfront & he's listed as a midfielder.

- Lukasz Fabianski is still struggling with his hip injury so Szczesny may continue in goal for Arsenal.

- Van Der Vaart is back for Spurs. To quote Harry Redknapp: "Rafa has trained all week and looks sharp"

- Ashley Young is out for Aston Villa & could be missing for a few weeks due to a knee injury.

As for the weather, currently all games are going ahead, although you can check here for an updates list of all UK sporting postponements:

Champions League Draw 
AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur
Valencia v Schalke
Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
Lyon v Real Madrid
Arsenal v Barcelona
Marseille v Manchester United
FC Copenhagen v Chelsea

More throughout the day so please keep checking's your team looking?


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Week 18 - Player Picks

Never in my time playing Yahoo Fantasy Football, have I ever seen so many big name/big points producing players at such low values. Just look at six of the biggest names in the Premier League:

Lampard @ 12.23
Van Persie @ 11.82
Fabregas @ 14.93
Rooney @ 14.81
Gerrard @ 15.23
Torres @ 15.07

There was a time when each and every one of these players would average upward of 15 points per game & would cost you up to £20m+, but a combination of absence through injuries, poor form & token cameos have changed all that.

I saw a post on the Starting11 Forum earlier this week by a YFF manager who had managed to fit all six of the players above in his team by adding in budget players in the remaining five slots. It was done as a joke, but it was amazing to see that it could be done. In seasons gone by you could not have got close.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Week 17 - Review

Just a quick post to update you on my Week 17 as I won't be available to post again until player picks on Wednesday afternoon. I know we still have the big match - Manchester United v Arsenal - tonight, but I don't have any players in that match so I can already let you know exactly how badly things went.

Kolarov (expected 0), Van Der Vaart (expected 0), Robinson (expected -1), Balotelli (petulant -2), Bale (disappointing 5.5) & Elmander (disappointing 3.5). Six players that take up around £45m of my total funds combined to bring me a whopping 6 points between them. Obviously I knew that I'd be getting two zeros, but when you write it down like that it really is poor!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Week 17 - My Team


Kolarov   Baines   Bale

VanDerVaart   Meireles   Silva   Etherington   Brunt

Balotelli   Elmander

Definitely a team that focuses on the long term rather than the short term this week! A guaranteed zero for Kolarov, a guaranteed zero for VDV & a very tricky game at Bolton for my keeper Paul Robinson means I will seriously struggle if my 8 outfield players don't perform extremely well.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Week 17 - Update

As always I'll be adding to this post as the day goes on, but there is already some big news regarding injuries for this weekend's games including quite few that impact on my Week 17 Player Picks from Wednesday.

- As I mentioned earlier this week, Jose Bosingwa is out with a hamstring injury picked up in the Champions League so his place is likely to go to Paulo Ferreria. I'm sure you remember Bale tormenting Ferreria at White Hart Lane in Spurs 2-1 win last season and I'm obviously hoping it happens again!

- Asamoah Gyan is a big doubt for the game at Fulham, with the Sunderland official site stating "The Ghana international is expected to miss the game with a toe injury". This will be a big blow if it turns out to be the case as I know many managers have hung on to Gyan @ around £6m. The site also suggests Craig Gordon is a slight doubt with a hamstring injury.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Blog Cup - 4th Round Results

After a nail-biting wait, I can now reveal that the cut off to qualify for Round 5 of the 2010/11 Blog Cup was...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Week 17 - Player Picks

First things first...we had a couple of points adjustments yesterday afternoon but I'm confident they'll be the last we see this week, so I'll be preparing the Blog Cup Results tomorrow morning - make sure you check back!

Now, it's still very cold here in the UK, but the good news is the snow has passed so we should have a full programme of fixtures in Week 17. And what an interesting programme it should be, with 4 of the Top 5 locking horns - Manchester United v Arsenal & Tottenham v Chelsea.

None of the top teams have been able to take control of this title race as yet - Chelsea threatened to run away with it early on but have faltered badly in the past month, Man Utd are undefeated without playing that well, Arsenal are playing well but look defensively fragile, and Spurs are only outsiders. The team that could profit most this weekend are Manchester City, who travel to rock bottom West Ham.

Let's take a full look at the fixtures...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Week 16 - Final Score

Week 16 concluded with a routine 3-0 win for Liverpool over an atrociously bad Aston Villa side at Anfield last night. When I saw the 'Pool line-up missing Carragher, Gerrard & Torres (understandably absent due to the imminent birth of his child) I thought Villa had a real chance, but they barely showed up as Gerard Houllier endured a horrible return to his former club.

Goals from N'gog, Babel & Maxi sealed the 3 points, but it was the impressive Raul Meireles' rather useful 10.5 points that helped push my Week 16 total up to 121.5 and this was enough to move me in to the Top 300 for the first time this season. I'm still 70 points off 50th so there's plenty of work to do if I want to secure a best ever finish (previously 79th overall), but things are going in the right direction at the moment.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Week 16 - So Far

Firstly, a big thank you to all the good wishes submitted via the comments section. It's been a tough weekend for myself & my family, but support from others helps a great deal and all the messages really are hugely appreciated, it means a lot to me, so thank you.

Now there's no better way to take my mind off things than with a bit of blogging on this Monday afternoon, so I thought I'd return with a very quick post about my own team's performance in Week 16 so far, with just Liverpool v Aston Villa to go tonight.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Week 16 - My Team


Kolarov   Koscielny   Bale

VDV   Meireles   Nasri   Brunt

Balotelli   Drogba   Chamakh

Hi guys - I had planned to work on my team and write my usual post this morning but have had some very sad news that my uncle passed away overnight. I am quickly posting this so you can see what I ended up saving, please feel free to post your team in the comments section below and please help others with any barndoor ideas you may have. Sorry I can't add any more - I'll be back online next week.

Thanks, Nik

Friday, 3 December 2010

Week 16 - Update

Let's start with the weather - it is bloody freezing in England! The snow has stopped but it was minus 6 overnight and my walk to work was beyond treacherous, the paths & roads are like ice-rinks and there are very few cars about.

The good news is that things are meant to warm up a bit later and push the temperature above freezing overnight and I'd expect all Premier League grounds with under-soil heating to be able to get the games on. I believe pitch inspections for Saturday matches will be done today (to save supporters travelling to postponed games) so we'll have more news later.

Blackpool v Manchester United is OFF, officially postponed because of a frozen pitch:

I can tell you the main worry at the moment is Blackpool v Manchester United. Blackpool don't have under-soil heating so they've brought in a generator that blows heat on to the pitch, and they are hopeful it will be enough to get the game on. I'll update you throughout the day.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Week 16 - Player Picks

Please note this edition ignores the current UK weather conditions. We will deal with any potential postponements closer to the deadline, but for now we have no accurate information on the risk to any particular fixture so I have written my player picks for a perceived full schedule.

First off this week, I was really pleased with the fantastic response to last night's post regarding "Goalkeepers - My Story So Far", with over 70 comments in just 12 hours helping us build an extremely interesting picture of methods for success. Thanks to everyone who was bored enough last night to get involved!

It (unsurprisingly) shows that I have one of the very worst records out of all blog readers, with only a couple of lower totals appearing in the replies. I was surprised however, to see Arsenal_Bergkamp (overall leader) has scored only marginally better than I have with his keepers...imagine how far ahead he'd be now with a bit more luck!?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Goalkeepers: My Story So Far

We all know it's been a tough season to pick keepers thus far, so as I was bored this evening I had a quick look through my own record after the first 15 weeks.

As expected, it does not make pretty reading...

Monday, 29 November 2010

Week 15 - Quick Review

What an unbelievable weekend of action! 41 goals, all 20 teams scoring = zero clean sheets, thrashings, comebacks, upsets, could only be the English Premier League, surely the most exciting and competitive league in the world as this moment in time?

The star of the weekend has to be Dimitar Berbatov, becoming only the 4th players to score 5 goals in a Premier League game (the others being Alan Shearer, Andy Cole & Jermain Defoe). An amazing haul of 53 points made 10.45% of fantasy managers very happy indeed.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Week 15 - My Team


Kolarov   Bale   Coleman

Nasri   Nani   Adam   VDV   Cahill

Elmander   Obinna

I made a last minute change after I saw the Arsenal line-up 5 minutes before the Van Persie & no Fabregas meant Nasri came in for Malouda. Nasri should be on all corners, free-kicks and penalties and it also put my mind at rest about the Newcastle v Chelsea weather - I certainly didn't want to spend 15 on Malouda and then get a zero if the game is postponed tomorrow, even though I do think the game will go ahead. 

The spare money let me upgrade Green to Howard & the rest is pretty standard, Coleman is maybe a slight risk but I'll give him this chance...if he's benched or subbed early I'll drop him next week. VDV might not play but at £6m he was always staying, Cahill, Nani, Bale, Kolarov, Adam, Elmander & Obinna will hopefully all do well. I quite like it as it covers Spurs, Man Utd, Everton, Man City, West Ham, Bolton, Blackpool & Arsenal, a decent spread of players and teams.

Next week Arsenal have the stand-out fixture at home to Fulham, Sunderland are home to West Ham, Man Utd are at Blackpool, Chelsea are at home to Everton & Man City at home to Bolton, so all those teams are worth looking at on the barndoor.

That's it! Please let me know what you ended up with. Who's coming in on the banrdoor?


Friday, 26 November 2010

Week 15 - Update

First things first - the UK is to be hit by the coldest of cold snaps over the weekend (and beyond) which will include heavy snow fall in the north in particular. When it snows in England there is always risk of postponements, if not for the pitch condition then for the roads/pathways around the ground being unsafe for supporters. Look at Week 18 from last year as an example!

Now those of you who have played YFF before know that if a fixture is postponed, the players you have in that game score ZERO and they also DO NOT get the points when the game is replayed in a later week. At this point I have to stress that there have been NO suggestions from any source that any fixtures are in danger of postponement, but I thought it would be worth adding a weather update to this post just so you're all aware that it's something that you may need to take in to consideration if things deteriorate overnight.

Looking at the fixtures from a geographical point of view, the game most likely to be affected by the weather would be Newcastle v Chelsea and a horse-racing meeting in the area has already been cancelled due to snow fall. I'll be keeping an eye out for any weather/fixture news tonight/tomorrow, so please ensure you check back tomorrow morning just in case there are any last minute announcements!

On to the injury news, and this is what we have at the moment....

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Week 15 - Player Picks

I don't have much time at all at the moment so I'm going to jump straight in to the Week 15 fixtures!

There isn't really a proper stand-out match this weekend: if I had to pick one it would probably be Manchester United at home to Blackburn, but United aren't really playing that well. Fergie's men will almost certainly win, but Blackburn can be tough to break down so it won't be a walkover...and they should watch out for Morten Gamst Pederson in particular!

Everton should beat a West Brom side who are starting to struggle after a bright start and I tip Chelsea to bounce back against Newcastle with the hosts missing Barton, Coloccini & Williamson through suspension (Sol Campbell vs Drogba?). Liverpool's away form has been rotten so you have to favour Spurs, if Man City play anything like they did at Fulham then they should win at Stoke & in-form Bolton will have too much for Blackpool at the Reebok.

For the remaining four games I can see Fulham v Birmingham, West Ham v Wigan & Wolves v Sunderland being low scoring draws or tight win's either way and predict Aston Villa v Arsenal to be an open, high scoring draw.

Now on to the players...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Week 14 - Review

90's not great but it's usually far from a disaster. Unfortunately for me Week 14 saw some pretty huge scores, helped by 34 goals in the 10 Premier League games, 32 of these by players I didn't have. I also decided that Scott Carson would be a good keeper pick.

I was of course on a high for most of the weekend after the Saturday lunchtime kick-off saw Spurs fightback from two down to beat Arsenal away for the first time since I was 11 years old, and my joy was amplified as Van Der Vaart & Bale contributed 37 points between them. However, in fantasy terms that was as good as it got, as my remaining 9 players scored precisely zero goals.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Week 14 - My Team


Coleman   Kolarov   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   Milijas   Nani

Odemwingie   Torres   Gyan 

I had Fabregas in my team all week, but as I started getting excited about the game this morning I realised there was no way I could pick an Arsenal player against Tottenham. I expect Spurs to lose today & I also expect Cesc to score big points, but I feel happy with my decision to drop him - real football comes ahead of fantasy!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Week 14 - Update

We've had a whole bunch of new injuries since Wednesday's player picks and plenty of news regarding some unlikely recoveries. I'm expecting the news to come thick and fast and I'm going to be constantly updating this post as the day goes on so you'll need to keep checking back to to ensure you're working with the latest information!

What we know at the moment...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Week 14 - Player Picks

You only need to look at the Premier League table to see what a crazy season we have on our hands. The leaders Chelsea have lost almost a quarter of their matches, 3 in 13, Arsenal have also lost 3, yet they're ahead of an undefeated Man Utd side & Mancini is under pressure despite City finding themselves in the top 4.

After 13 games just 9 points separate the 15 teams between the Champions League places & the relegation zone. At the same stage last season the gap was 14 and nine teams had passed the 20 point mark already. The times they are a' seems everyone is beating everyone else at the moment,  the so-called "smaller" teams appear less scared of losing this season and it's producing more upsets.

The congestion this is causing means two wins and you're chasing Europe, two defeats and you're in a relegation's exciting, unpredictable & I'm loving it!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Week 13 - Weekend Review

Week 13 turned out to be a great one, as Spurs won, my team scored 110 points sending me up to 373rd overall and we passed 1000 Facebook members. To top it all off, the top 2 teams on the leaderboard are [AM.Blog]'ers - congratulation to Arsenal_Bergkamp, South City and Boss FC in 6th...keep it up lads!

We saw more twists & turns - Chelsea suffered a shock home defeat to an excellent Sunderland side, Arsenal closed the gap with a vital win at Everton, Man United left it late to draw (again) at Aston Villa, Liverpool sucked (again) at Stoke, Bolton kept their great start up at Wolves and Wigan scraped past West Brom.

There were a few 0-0 draws, so plenty of keepers & defenders picked up decent points, Man City were held scoreless by Birmingham, Newcastle by Fulham & West Ham by Blackpool. The league is taking an extraordinary shape - just 9 points separate the Champions League spots & the relegation zone, which is unheard with over a third of the season gone already.

The Blog Cup - 3rd Round Results UPDATED

After some re-calculations of Week 12 totals, I can now reveal the cut off to qualify for Round 4 was...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Week 13 - My Team


Coleman   Kolarov   Zhirkov   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   A.Johnson

Gyan   Tevez   Drogba

I'm under no illusions - this is the riskiest team I've picked so far this season.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Week 13 - Update

First things first, I just listened to Ancelotti's press conference live on the Chelsea website & he has stated that Lampard is again 2-3 weeks away with a new injury, Alex is out again, Anelka should be back and as we know, Essien is suspended.

This is the team he suggested, with two decisions still to be made tomorrow: Cech, Bosingwa OR Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Ramieres, Zhirkov, Kalou OR Anelka, Malouda, Drogba

I'm thinking Bosingwa is the more likely to continue ahead of Ferreira, but I'm probably going with Zhirkov to be safe. I've noticed Ancelotti has been less forthcoming with his line-up in recent weeks, and was prompted by a journalist to reveal the above info, so don't take it as gospel. It's just the best info we're going to get before the deadline.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Week 13 - Player Picks

Week 12 started so well but I faltered badly last night as three players were benched & my keeper provided negative points AGAIN to add to the list of goalkeeping disasters for the 2010/11 season.

I walked away with 83.5 points but know it could've been so, so much better had I not switched Fabianski & Chamakh to Krul & Obinna. Oh well, at least I made it through to the next round of the The Blog Cup! Results are HERE but are now VOID after an adjustment, they'll need to be recalculated tomorrow or next week. Utter waste of my time!

Moving on, there's no time to rest - Week 13 is just 2 days away so we need to start picking another team right-away. 

The Blog Cup - 3rd Round Results VOID

UPDATE - Yahoo have once again adjusted the points. Current Blog Cup results are now VOID until I get the chance to recalculate them tomorrow or next week. What a waste of time.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Week 12 - My Team


Coleman   Bosingwa   Bale

Barton   Adam   Van Der Vaart   Albrighton

Gyan   Obinna   Drogba

Reasonably pleased with my team this week so hoping for an improvement over Week 11!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Week 12 - Player Picks

Week 12 is the first of the new "midweeks" run by Yahoo for this season, and gives us all a chance to quickly forget about the nightmare of Week 11. It's also the 3rd Round of The Blog Cup for the remaining 450 teams.

I'm afraid I don't have the time to write an extensive set of player picks for these midweeks, so I'll quickly evaluate the fixtures, list the players, detail some injury news to keep an eye on, and leave you to fill in the gaps yourselves...I know you're all perfectly capable :)


Week 11 - Saturday & Sunday

I'm not going in to detail on Week 11 - all I will say is it was pretty much a disaster for everyone concerned. I don't want to moan too much at my paltry 60.5 points as it actually moved me up into the Top 750, with some people scoring in the 40s, 30s, even 20s. I will, however, forever regret my decision not to go with Park & Gyan (both in my team at various points over the week) as this could've been the opportunity to really make up some ground in the overall standings.

The weekend started badly with Spurs' pathetic capitulation at Bolton, but we weren't alone as the Champions League teams all struggled - Manchester United were very lucky to beat Wolves, Arsenal were awful at home to Newcastle & Chelsea lost to a resurgent Liverpool (and a resurgent Fernando Torres). These unexpected results were the main cause of the very low scoring week, with many people loading up on the big teams and getting poor returns. There were also some "MIAs" as Berbatov, Bent & Drogba all failed to start, or appear at all - ouch.

The good news is we don't have to wait long to put Week 11 out of our thoughts. Week 12 is just around the corner so we'll all have the chance to bounce back - the deadline is tomorrow: Tuesday, 7pm UK Time, so I'll put together a quick player picks post later today (no poll this time). Please keep checking back and remember, it is the 3rd Round of The Blog Cup!

How did you do, who came in on the barndoor and what are you looking at for Week 12?


Saturday, 6 November 2010

Week 11 - My Team


Bale   Coleman   Evra

Larsson   Adam   Fabregas   Van Der Vaart   Silva

Hernandez   Chamakh

I'm sure you'll agree this was the most difficult week of the season so far to pick a team, with a huge number of high profiles names (held at discount) out injured or listed as major doubts.

Having looked at the 100's of comments on the blog over the past few days, fantasy managers have dealt with the uncertainty in different ways, and therefore we have real variety in team selections. Get it right and you'll be shooting up the overall standings, but get it wrong and it could be a disaster.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Week 11 - Update

New is starting to flow in as we move within 24 hours of the Week 11 deadline. The big questions are obviously surrounding Nani, Fabregas & Van Der Vaart, and we have the answers below...

We all thought Nani was out with a groin injury after Ferguson told us so on Tuesday night, then Nani himself revealed yesterday that he might have chance for the Wolves game. However, news today from the Manchester United Press Conference has confirmed Nani is definitely out and could even be a doubt for the Manchester derby. I'm leaning towards dropping him because...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Week 11 - Player Picks

As I start this post I'm still on a high after last night's incredible result over Inter Milan. It is without doubt one of the proudest nights of my life as a Spurs fan as we played with flair, pace, power and without fear, Modric outshone Sneijder, Bale ripped Maicon & Lucio to shreds and the whole team worked their socks off for 93 minute to seal a famous win. My only regret is not getting a ticket!

If Tottenham could play like that on a regular basis then the club would be challenging for the Premier League title, but of course the consistency just isn't there and it's extremely possible that after beating the reigning European Champions we will go and lose to Bolton Wanderers this Saturday lunchtime...the life and times of a Spurs fan!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

No More Double Weeks!

From the Yahoo Fantasy Football Homepage:

Fantasy Football will no longer be including midweek games in the same game week as weekend games. Midweek games on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th November will now be counted separately. Therefore you have the option to make separate transfer choices for these midweek games. The transfer window for midweek games is open from midday Saturday 6th November until Tuesday 9th November at 7pm. After 7pm on Tuesday 9th November you will then be able to make changes for the following weekend's games on the 13th/14th November.


So single weeks from here on in - I think it's probably a good decision as it stops you needing to rip your team apart for the double, although I did enjoy the odd double week!



Tuesday November 2 Injury Gossip - The Tuesday November 2 Injury Gossip

According to the Daily Mirror, the news is worsening for the beleaguered Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

'Carlos Tevez is almost certainly out of next week's Manchester derby after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh injury,' the newspaper reports. 'Tevez was due back in Manchester yesterday after City boss Roberto Mancini had given him permission to return home to Argentina to undergo treatment and see his family.

'But the doctor treating Tevez back in Buenos Aires for the blood clot on the striker's thigh said it was too dangerous for Tevez to board the 12-hour flight back to Manchester. The situation is a huge embarrassment to Mancini, who let Tevez return home on the proviso he returned by Monday to be treated by City's medical staff at the club's Carrington training complex.'

And just to compound the impression that the Manchester tide has turned in United's favour, nor would it be a great surprise if Wayne Rooney is passed fit for the game.

Yes, yes, Ferguson said on Friday that his well-paid forward would be out for longer than first feared, but, as The Guardian notes, 'is a confusing picture, not least because of the frequency with which Ferguson changes the prognosis. After initially saying last Friday that Rooney would be out for three weeks, Ferguson then changed that to five weeks when speaking to Sunday newspaper journalists, and the latest update has altered again.'

And that latest update? Here:

"He did a bit of running for the first time yesterday and I was quite surprised by that. He is keen to get back. I still think it will be three weeks and a bit."

Ferguson also had a positive update on Ryan Giggs' recovery from his hamstring problem:

"Ryan started training last Thursday, general stuff with the physios, so he should be ready in 10-15 days. The derby is possible."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he expects Frank Lampard to return against Liverpool on Sunday and that the midfielder will go straight back into the team:

"Lampard started training with the team last week. I don't think he will be ready for Wednesday but for the next game in the Premier League against Liverpool.

"Now the team without Lampard is doing very well. But when he comes back I think we will have him straight into the team. We have a lot of games, we have a game every three days and all the players will be involved."

Lampard last played for Chelsea at the end of August, but it's unlikely he will face a reunion with Joe Cole at Anfield because there seems little or no chance that the Liverpool player will be passed fit for Sunday's game after limping off at Bolton with a hamstring injury.

The Times suggests that 'Cole had a scan at Liverpool's Melwood training ground and although the results have not been made known, the initial prognosis was that Cole would be out of action for up to two weeks. Should Liverpool's worst fears be realised Cole would miss Sunday's match at home to Chelsea as well as Thursday's Europa League game against Napoli at Anfield and the trip to Wigan Athletic in the Barclays Premier League on November 10.'

Arsenal's team news for the trip to Shakhtar Donetsk will be released later but the general expectation is that the Gunners will field a team similar to the one which faced Newcastle in the Carling Cup last week.

Cesc Fabregas is very unlikely to travel after aggravating his longstanding hamstring injury on Saturday and Alex Song is also doubtful. 'Arsenal's match winner against West Ham suffered a kick to his calf towards the end of that victory and departed the stadium with heavy strapping on his leg. The Cameroonian will be assessed again before the squad depart for Donetsk, with greater emphasis inevitably to be placed on Jack Wilshere in their anticipated absence,' says The Guardian. There's a possibility that Abou Diaby will return but, frankly, we doubt it.


Monday, 1 November 2010

Week 10 - Weekend Review

Not a great football weekend in all honesty. From the 9 Premier League games played over Saturday & Sunday only three contained more than 2 goals, which is probably the reason there weren't too many big fantasy scores around. I moved up 150 places to 913th with just 82 points - which seems to back up my theory - and I'm really hoping Charlie Adam makes tonight's game to add a few extra points to that total.

The big talking point of the weekend was obviously Nani's goal. Firstly, Spurs deserved nothing from the game. We went to Old Trafford and once again looked scared of our surroundings against a United side who were there for the taking. This mentality is typical of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club over the pas two decades and is the reason we've failed to win away at Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool in 60+ attempts.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Week 10 - My Team


Bosingwa   Coleman   Bale

Van Der Vaart   Adam   Fabregas   Nani

Dembele   Chamakh   Hernandez

Hmm, not sure on my team this week. I'm aware that I have a couple of players who my not play...Bosingwa could be dropped to accomodate Alex & Ivanovic, Adam may not make it due to his ankle injury, but I decided to hang on to them both at discount in the hope they play. I will add that I'd appreciate if people didn't post things in the comments section such as "Adam confirmed out for 2-3 weeks" because it simply isn't true and confuses everyone. He's 50-50, as stated on he Blackpool official site.

Anyway, having dropped Drogba I had money spare so I brought in a full price Fabianski in goal, kept Bale (I had a dream last night he scored at Old Trafford in a 2-2 draw so had too!) and added Coleman as my third defender seeing as he's playing right midfield for Everton. My midfield pretty much picked itself - I decide having two doubts already meant I couldn't risk Malouda getting a rest too at a cost of £14m, so he had to go.

Upfront I have the two most popular picks in Chamakh & Hernandez and with my remaining £7.2m I had a choice between adding an extra defender in Salcido/Boateng or risk Dembele and I decided having the attacking option was more exciting after some advice from facebook people. We shall see how that one works out!

So that's my team. On the barndoor I'll be looking at Man United players as they face Wolves, Arsenal at home Newcastle & Man City at West Brom. At the moment it appears it WILL NOT be a double-week because if you look at the Week 11 deadline it states...

Week 11 (deadline: Sat 6 Nov 12:00 GMT, for games Nov 6 to Nov 8)

I'll leave it there - please let me know what you settled on for Week 10. Who's coming in on the barndoor?


Friday, 29 October 2010

Week 10 - Update

Another week and another 100 comments in the Player Picks post - fantastic stuff guys, thanks for your continued support!

There's lots to get through today so lets get straight in to the team and injury news that we have confirmed at this early stage. A reminder this post will be updated throughout the day as we get information from manager's press conference.

The big news is on Carlos Tevez - he is 100% out of the Wolves game and has flown back to Argentina for further treatment on the thigh injury picked up vs Arsenal. We don't know how long he'll be missing for, but there are suggestions he'll be struggling to make the Manchester derby in 2 weeks time. Adebayor is being tipped to lead the line at Wolves, but Balotelli may have a chance.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Week 10 - Player Picks

As I mentioned in my Sunday post I'm a year older today (thanks for the birthday wishes!) so I'm going to run through things very quickly this week as I have much to do/people to see!

Week 9 was a bad one for me so I'm looking to bounce back in Week 10, spreading my money about a bit more and perhaps going for some less recognised picks. I'll be honest, I've been forced in to this approach after missing the majority of barndoor bargains on Saturday/ Sunday, but maybe it'll work in my favour.

The fixtures throw us a few stand-outs, but the main one is a confident Arsenal facing rock-bottom West Ham. Chelsea will fancy their chances vs a limited Blackburn side, Man City travel to Wolves and an improving Everton host Stoke. Unfortunately I have to throw Man Utd in too as Spurs have not won at Old Trafford since 1989!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Week 9 - Sunday

Sunday completed a truly rotten week for me, as points rained in for players I didn't have and I missed my second barndoor of the weekend, stuck in traffic on the M25 on a Sunday afternoon.

The first game of the day was at Stoke where Manchester United grabbed a vital 3 points with a hard fought 2-1 victory. They have a new star in the making in Javier Hernandez, and his brace was enough to see off Pulis' men despite Tuncay's outstanding equaliser.

I was hoping for more than 10 points from Nani, but Chicharito delighted those who invested in him with a cracking 24 points. Pennant scored a decent 7.5 for Stoke, but that was about it. Oh yeah, Gary Neville should've been sent off.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Week 9 - Saturday

Unfortunately Week 9 is turning in to one of my poorest of the season, mainly due to the usually excellent Bale & Drogba. They returned a measly 9.5 points for a cost of £37m, which I don't need to tell you is really really bad.

Luckily the other £49m playing for me yesterday picked up a further 63.5 points to push me to a total of 73 so far, leaving me with £14m Nani to go today. If he can pick up his value of 14 points I'll get close to 90 for the week which I'd take after yesterday, but it still won't be great in comparison to other managers who had the man in the photo above (more on him later).