Thursday, 7 January 2010

Week 18 - Player Picks

Picking a team is always difficult, but with the added factor of possible postponements due to the UK weather it's pretty much hell for Week 18. Everywhere in the UK is cold, everywhere is snowy - we have 10 inches of snow at my place (just outside London) and it's taken us an hour to dig our cars out this morning...not good!

There's no way we can predict which games will go ahead at this moment in time, so all I can do is list up my recommended players and then we can start reacting to the weather as we get more news on Friday afternoon/Saturday morning.

We'll start with the fixtures that stand-out...Arsenal home to Everton, Fulham home to an unpaid Portsmouth side in disarray, Chelsea at Hull, Man City home to Blackburn, Sunderland home to Bolton & West Ham home to Wolves.

Now on to my lists - I'm afraid once again I don't have time to cover each player in detail, but you get the idea...


I'll be going for Given myself after Mancini led City to a string of clean sheets in a row, but the other 3 are all good choices given their fixtures. If you're looking for the best value then it's probably Fulop, home to Bolton at just under £3m.


I think you really have to pick Bale this weekend, he's an absolute bargain & the money he frees up is vital. He's also a defender who'll always score points without a clean sheet. Then you probably have a season keepers in there such as Vermaelen/Alexander, so it's a choice of one from the rest assuming you're going 3-4-3. Kelly is a good bargain, as are Jordon & Melchiot. If you have Zabaleta on the cheap then hang on to him.


Plenty of good value about this week - I really like Duff & Petrov & I also want an Arsenal middie in there, so that's probably gonna be Nasri. Ramsey is still a bit of a gamble but if you take the gamble it could pay off. I'm wary of spending big money on Gerrard or Lampard, although Gerrard tends to do well vs Spurs & Lamps loves to turn it on vs the smaller teams. Eagles is an interesting one & Dempsey could find himself upfront again in Zamora's absence, but I'm still unsure if I want Duff AND him. Arshavin is dead to me, but you might want to hang on for one more week.


Tevez is the Premier League's in-form striker at the moment so it's hard to look past him, but there are lots of other interesting picks at reasonable prices such as Bent, Diamanti & Eduardo. I really like the idea of Daniel Sturridge, so if it's confirmed he'll start then i'll probably go for him, but other cheap options include Andy Johnson (should start with Zamora out) & Franco. I'm slightly concerned Torres could explode vs Spurs so if you have the guts (and the cash to spend) then you might be rewarded.

That wraps up my Week 18 Player we play the waiting game as weather news filters thorough in the next 24 hours. By all means, settle on a side now, but always make sure you have a back-up plan in case of ready to make last minute changes if necessary.

How is your team shaping up? Anyone I've missed?



Anonymous said...

I think Bellamy could be the way forward, and he is still affordable - but this comes from the guy who picks Bent every time he has an off-week...

AM - thanks for keeping up with the blogging. This is my first post, but make sure I check out your views before finalising my team, and appreciate the work you put in.

P.S. North East London isn't looking pretty in terms of the snow either!

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Etherington here? You can never know how Burnley will look like without Coyle, and Etherington has already proved he's good against any team...


Hinrik said...

Are the points lost for Ars.-Bolton or will they be added after the game will be played? I think it was done that way some years ago.

Hinrik said...

That they were added after the game based on the fantasy squad when it ought to be played.

Anonymous said...

Wow AM...UK is getting nailed with more snow than we currently have over here in Halifax! (Nova Scotia - Canada)

Keep up the great work...appreciate your efforts...always a help to me from across the ocean.

Maybe I can get a snowblower over to you...we've got plenty here...cheers...Tim (aka Purple Helmets - the moment!)

Anonymous said...

@ Hinrik

No, the points won't be added back. When it is rescheduled the teams involved will have an extra game to get points.

Anonymous said...

Expect postponments for lots of matches in the North West. We've had about 8" and are due for more heavy snow on Friday. I think I'm going to leave it as late as possible before making my choices this week having been burned out on the Arsenal match last week.


Fidan said...

Final team for week 18:

Still working on a back-up plan ;)!!!
Thinking about switching AJohnson-->Sturridge (but..."when in doubt stay put", I say ;))...!!!

Good Luck everyone...esp with weather forecasting!!!

Hinrik said...

Ouch. I had Almunia, Vermaelen, Gallas, Sagna, Arshavin, Nasri, Diaby, Lee, Klasnic and Eduardo.

Anonymous said...

Worth noting that the ManCity game is on monday... Personally im going to focus on the saturday games, as we will know by 11.45 if theyll be cancelled I would have thought. That said 4 of my players at the moment play sunday/monday, and I dont plan on dropping any of them!

Anonymous said...


init said...

Rooney just has to be in there for me. Not on form, and playing against a frugal Birmingham side, but he shoots from anywhere and picks up lots of points...

Also, Stanislas of West Ham at just over 7...looked like a good player in the cup v Arsenal

I hope Zola plays Diamanti. He is scoring all their goals and playing well, but I think he might see him as a 'luxury' player in a scrap with Wolves. I hope not...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

dont pick tim howard this week but you could pick lucas neill and still score a lil sumthin

Anonymous said...

mancienne for yellow card

Fidan said...

1. I have "only" two player in danger for this week, I think. Given and MPet. But considering the HUGE discounts I have on them, I'm not even thinking of messing with them, even with a possible news of p.p.
2. Low safety players include: Verm,Eagles and EdS...but then again...DISCOUNTS...arrrgh!!!
3. My safest players (regarding to the news):
Bale,Kelly,Duff,Lamps(esp with his game being at 12.45),Rooney and AJohnson...!!!

Being so happy with the current line-up usually means...NOT GOOD!!! :(

gman26 said...

Important question for the YFF players on the other side of the pond. What time in the UK will postponements be made? I usually like to set my lineup late Friday night on the East Coast and not have to wake up before 7AM EST on Saturday to change my lineup. But if you think that postponements will be announced by then, I'll set my alarm.

Pompey players have been paid reportedly. Not sure that motivates them anymore or less.

Jeremy Spitzberg said...

What about Smalling as a relatively cheap Fulham defender? Assuming Hangeland's knee keeps him out of this match.

Fantasy Premier League

Fidan said...

Guys, most of the comments I read throughout fantasy blogs, say that Fulham-Ports and Burn-Stoke are two most endangered games from snow...!!!

- So loading up on Fulham, or not? I have Kelly,Duff and AJohnson
- Dropping Eagles (3.5m dc), or not?

"Cheers" :(

Bojan said...

AM - dont like your Fulop choice... Sunderland has one healty defender... Only God knows who will play in that defence

Anonymous said...

what's the news on anelka?


Anonymous said...

hopefull the people in england will keep us update in here on which games are likely to be postponed.
i had a very bad week the match arsenal vs bolton cost me alot.i hope this week i will bounce back and i dont need any mess from the weather.
my squad for this week and am done unless any games are postponed.

hart,varmelen,dunne,nelsen,modric,eagles,gera,rosicky/deco,defoe,agbo,tevez. any advice am open to it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Heard the Man United-Hull match supposed to be played on the 26th was moved to the 23rd due to the Carling Cup reschedule, which makes it the only match played that weekend. So will that be part of gameweek 19?

Anonymous said...

AM this games that u mention Arsenal,chelsea,fulham,man city,sunderland and westham are guranteed to be played or u just think those will be the best teams to pickplayers from? am just confused lit bit.

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: Those ar AM choices for best matchups not specifically because he thinks those will be the ones guarentted to play. From what I have read many places are going to feel cold/snow through the weekend. Check 1 hour before the deadline on team webistes to find out about weather conditions.

bean said...

@Fidan - Lamps playing at Hull a safe pick? (weather wise?)

@Bojan - agree on Fulop. he looked to be a great bargain, but without a defense, doesn't look good. even at home to Bolton. also sunderland seems a high cancellation risk.

i kind of feel like this would be the week arshavin has a huge match, right after everyone dumps him.

I had picked up Rafael and Valencia on the barndoor. If Rafael is set to play, I think he could be good value @7.11. I thought Valencia looked really good in his last match, lots of crosses and such...

i'm in with bale for 2.65 but don't have much hope that he'll put up great points. I feel like last year he was over hyped. had a couple great matches (mostly when played in midfield) but didn't produce much at all the other times. but as an enabler with good chance of some points, really can't go wrong.

also have tevez still, but wonder if great form can continue after the holidays and some days off and the cold, etc... seems form for everyone could kind of be reset.

Kellz said...

Premier League Officials will wait until tomorrow to decide whether or not to postpone the Sunderland v Bolton match:

If this affects anyone keep an eye out, tomorrow we should have some more insight.

Kellz said...

Clint Dempsey will slot back into a striker role with Zamora injury layoff:

Something most of us already figured would happen, but nice to be assured Dempsey will regain his spot in the line-up. I for one am running a 3-5-2 with the uncertainty of Sunderland v Bolton, so Dempsey for Bent essentially is a striker for striker swap.

Fidan said...

@ Bean - As a matter of fact I do...Lampard and whole Chelsea contigent is, imo, safest bet in sense of postponement.
First, Hull have given some VERY promising news:,,10268~1924968,00.html
And second, Hull-Chelsea game is @12.45 which gives us PLENTY of time to shuffle the team IF there is to be a postponement!

Here is to Lamps scoring a hattrick ;)!!!

Fidan said...

@ Kellz - What does your team look like, Kellz?

bean said...

Dempsey looks to be a great pick this week. Duff too, and even Murph, still have a suspicion AJ may sit since he played the full 90 in the midweek match and is just returning from injury.. could be Demps/Nevland up front.

I seem to remember Portsmouth actually playing well when everything with the club was going to shit (the first 4-5 times)... Fulham at home is never easy, just saying, keep an eye out for Pompey to put up more of a fight than people expect.

bean said...

@Fidan - yeah, just read this,,10338~1925733,00.html?after posting that comment...
also Wigan saying game on,,10429~1926273,00.html?

but what they say will happen and what actually happens can be different..

Zhirkov could be a nice cheap pick if he'll play..

Fidan said...

Here is a good article about this winterish about-to-be-frozen EPL weekend:

Kellz said...


Zabs, Verm, Bale
Dempsey, Eagles, MPET, Nasri, Collison
Rooney, Tevez

Will keep my eye on Burnley v Stoke news regarding cancellation. In the case of that I can opt for a striker around 9mil, but my guess is if Sturrage plays I would go for him and upgrade Bale with remaining cash.

bean said...

nice article. so it looks like Burnley is the only concern, and maybe Sunderland. But again, like they said with Arsenal, they've said that before.. also, they forgot the Citeh match...

i'm just waiting until late tomorrow or early saturday to really think through my squad.

bean said...

Rafael, Verm, Bale (also Baird, Kelly, Smalling, )
Valencia, Modric, Dempsey, Duff (also liking Diaby, Arsh, JuniorStan ,Rosicky, Murph, MPet, Kranj)
Rooney,Tevez,Sturridge (also Anelka, AJ, F.Camp, Franco, Agbon)

i fell into the trap of Robinho for the double/triple week because of Mancini talking of him being the future of the club and it burned me. But you have to think if he talks him up like that that he would push him and get something out of him, but who knows

bean said...

@Kellz - your squad looks pretty tight, seems nice and balanced. You guys have left me in the dust in the Twilight Zone

Fidan said...

You got Eagles on full price?
I have him at 6.22 and I don't know what to do with him IF that match is called off. I'll probably keep him though.

I REALLY like your MF, btw...But I do fancy Duff more than Dempsey, esp in terms of consistency!
And spending so much on City might come to bite you (me too, but less) big time, weather-wise, considering the game is unpredictable, being on Monday!

Anyway, good luck!

bean said...

don't mean to keep taking up so much comment space, but Garrido seems like a great pick defender playing in midfield. good price, good matchup.

bean said...

@Fidan - Duff has definitely been more consistent, but Demps now has the opportunity to play up front, which makes him more interesting for me. Although I still have both at a discount because Duff is really tough to let go.

Kellz said...

@Bean and Fidan: Thanks. Yes I picked up Eagles for full price, at 6mil hes a steal, but even at 9mil he can produce vs Stoke. I am not so sure about MPET, he was more of an impulse BD pick, but if he is set to play, I don't mind fielding Zabs, MPET and Tevez. I really haven't taken too many risks this season and gone for balanced teams, its worked out but if I want to escape the 1800-2500 position I have floated in recently maybe I need to be more adventurous!

Anonymous said...

Hi AM and all of u, here is my line up:-

Almunia (5.39)
Zaba (4.82)/Bale/Smalling
Gerrard (17.53)/Lampard/Malouda/MPet

still thinking swap FMal to Eagles, and with 2.6 cash left. Any advice or opinion will help me up.


Anonymous said...

Gabby against wigan shouldn't be overlooked. Aston Villa will realy play hard after losing two in a row and wigan's defence is poor.

Anonymous said...

My team,
Alexander Bale Baird Heitinga
Eagles M.Petrov Gerrard
Tevez Bent Sturridge

Might switch Heitinga/Gerrard to Duff/Dempsey or Milner, Baird to Zabaleta?


Anonymous said...

AJ & Bellamy
Sturridge & Bent / HRod

Anonymous said...


this weather thingy sure took a hell of us in the brain..

After read all the post above, i still not content to change any of my 11. Guess i'll stick to it.

Seems JStanilas is favourable than JCollison.why?


mehicoradio said...

I think the Burnley-Stoke game (if it doesn't get postponed) is a good chance to possibly pick-up a CS. So far Stoke has 4 goals in 10 away games

Anonymous said...

Are A.Reid & D.Dunn fit to play this weekend?
Which match(es) most likely to postpone due to snow?


Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me the website where we can check the official starting lineups 30 minutes before game time?

Do we have time to check the lineups and make changes before the Yahoo deadline?

Anonymous said...

Sunderland-Bolton in trouble

Likely to be called off

Anonymous said...

Anelka is back - any chelsea fans got any insight as to what this means for the likes of Sturridge and Malouda?

Anonymous said...

AM, where is sylvinho in your list?

Assistant Manager said...

I dont think Sylvinho will play, so he's not in my list

kit said...

haha just realised you have two Arshavins in your recommendations :) Is he really that good of a pick? ;)

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