Thursday, 21 January 2010

Week 20 - Player Picks

Hooray for single weeks!

It really is a relief to not have to worry about double gamers for Week 20, as we revert back to a sensible format. I always enjoy picking my team more in single weeks because I feel it affords you far more freedom, and I have to make the most of it as the past few weeks have seen me plummet down the rankings.

However, I have a cure for my slump...back to basics. Pick 11 players who will start for their teams, preferably playing at home, get as many set piece takers in as possible & get strikers who are in form. Hang on, don't I always aim to do this? Yes...but I'm trying harder this week!

Looking at the fixtures you have Man United at home to Hull as the stand-out fixture on paper, but other than Rooney, Valencia & VDS you can't really get too excited about any other outfield players. One big thing United have in their favour is they play on Saturday, meaning you'll get accurate team news tomorrow. All other teams play midweek, many of them after tough FA Cup ties, so there's an element of risk involved in all of them.

From these teams, rejuvenated Everton seem set for a win with a home fixture against a Sunderland side in freefall & Bolton will fancy their chances at home to Burnley as Coyle reveals all about his old club. Livepool will be bouncing after their victory vs Spurs, so their game at Wolves is worth a look & you can never ever ignore Chelsea at home, even if they're playing the form side in the league.

I'd like to say Spurs have a nice fixture, but I don't trust them at the moment, even at home to an injury hit Fulham. Blackburn v Wigan, Pompey v West Ham & Villa v Arsenal are all tough to call, while Man City & Stoke have a week off.

So with that in mind, here are my Week 20 player recommendations...

Van Der Sar

I initially picked up Van Der Sar on the barndoor for £8m, but I've since downgraded him. There's nothing wrong with picking him as United have a great chance of a clean sheet, but given my luck when spending money on keepers I decided to take the risk on Robinson at home to Wigan, again on the barndoor for under £3m. I found myself short on funds so really needed the extra £5m to upgrade elsewhere.

I'll be happy if Robbo avoids going into the negative & he should be okay as I see a 0-0 or 1-1. If you still hold Kirkland for under £2m from last weekend then he's another choice (but another risk) in the same fixture, and finally Jaaskalainen could be good value at £5m, home to Burnley.


I'll be holding on to Vermaelen & Bale this week as I have both at huge discount as I'm sure many of you do, but I'll still need 1 more to complete my defensive line-up.

There's a fair few choices too, with attacking fullbacks Degen & Steinsson both affordable with decent fixtures. I also like Givet as an option - with Samba suspended he'll be back in the centre (where he always scores point) with a clean sheet chance & the same goes for Distin if he's fit for Everton.

Man Utd defenders are now expensive but if you hold either Evans or Brown at discount then they're sure to score well. Rafael & G Neville are both affordable but I'm not sure which will start, so I'd avoid spending £7m on either of them.

The defensive bargain of the week (provided he gets his place straight back) is Stearman of Wolves, who serves his one match ban in the FA Cup this weekend so will be available at home to Liverpool for just £3.30m.

Dunn (Injured)
M Taylor
J Cole

The usual suspects on show, and you're going to want at least 1 of Fabregas, Lampard, Taylor or Valencia, 2 if you can swing it.

People will raise eyebrows at Lampard's inclusion given his cost & a tough game home to Birmingham, but fresh from 2 goals last weekend & with a double week on the horizon, I feel he's worth it if you have him at his barndoor price.

Fabregas is currently the best midfielder in the world, but he's also got a tough run of fixtures coming up. By no means should you sell him if you have him at £17m-ish, but also don't pay full whack. Taylor & Valencia both have great fixtures so should do very well

There are plenty of other exciting picks with great fixtures at the mid-level; Dunn, Boateng, Modric, Kranjcar & Lee to name but a few. I really want an Everton midfielder vs Sunderland this week, so Bily is on my radar (if only I could get afford Pienaar) and if you're having problems finding the cash then Aquilani playing the "Gerrard role" at Wolves could help you save some pennies at under £5m.


Rooney is the premium pick for the week but you'll pay the price at over £20m. It means you need at least a goal & an assist from him to justify his cost, but we all know he's capable at home to Hull. I'm still holding Anelka at £15m & he won't be going anywhere with the double week coming up, but he's someone who certainly isn't worth his current price.

Luckily if you don't have loads of money to splash then there are major bargains to be had. Landon Donovan has had a bright start to his Everton loan spell so represents fantastic value at home to Sunderland, while Kalinic is a quite ridiculous £2.5m & seems to have discovered his scoring touch in the past few Cup games. Home to Wigan is a great chance for him to break his Premiership duck & one shot on target returns his value!

Kuyt, Roadellega, Klasnic, Saha & Diamanti are all interesting options that not many people will pick up, though you'll probably need to be holding Kuyt & Rodallega at some sort of discount to take the punt. I won't be going near Defoe for a long while, which probably means he'll score a double hattrick vs Fulham

So, that wraps it up! I'll add that Week 20 is Round 4 of The Blog Cup (a separate competition from The AM Challenge), where 60 teams remain...good luck to all!

Also, please join the Facebook Group if you haven't already!

Let me know how your teams are shaping up...anyone you feel I've missed from the lists above?



Caleb said...

Hi AM,

Nice recommendation. How do you think of the chance of O'Hara? Home v West Ham seems quite a temptation....

Anonymous said...

good list, but i would add ivanovic and terry. both cost under 10. sure chelsea have a tough game against birmingham, but that is because birmingham play tough D not because they score a ton of goals. chelsea might concede on a set piece, but a shut out is also very probable. especially with the double game week coming up, i think having at least one chelsea defender locked in at a fair price makes sense.

mrljo said...

my team for week 20:


still have little over 0.5 mil. so maybe I'll change valencia for pienaar. Thoughts??

Hopefully my K-K croatian attacking force pays up! one goal from either of them pays their price of

Anonymous said...

... adding to my comment above. as a point of comparison, ivanovic and terry make more sense to me than distin and heitinga. granted, everton are now playing well and sunderland are not. but sunderland's biggest problem on the road is conceding too many goals. up front, they still have bent and k. jones and could do some damage.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Blog AM!!!!

Ive got J Cole at a discount but am a little concerned with chelseas rotation, would you rather have Boateng and his apparent love for shooting from any spot on the field.


Anonymous said...

What do you guys think about Diouf? Do you think he has a chance to start for ManU on Saturday?

imad said...

hi AM,
i'm from morocco, and that's the best fantasy football blog on the web u have here, thank you for your efforts!
i suggest u show the best 11 picks (dream team) of each week, regardless of their pric, that would be a nice idea i think :-)

Bojan said...

i have 5 fillers this week for now:

/P Robinson(2,58)/




10 sure starters + Salgado + all on discount...

Other option is to go with Kalinic and boost my goalkeeper(Robo to Jussi) and defence(Salgado to someone else) a little...

What do you say about this team???

mrljo said...

i'v got a interesting theory:)) when you think about it, kalinic is so cheap he is a must-have!! if you keep him for 3 weeks with no points scored, no problem because if he scores 1 goal in the fourth week you get 10 points and he pays up his 2.5x4 invested in him, you can't get much better than that!

Bojan said...

that other option is Jussi,Steinsson,Givet and Kalinic for Saha,Salgado and 2 Paul Robinsons...

With gambling heavily on Bolton first CS of the season!!! I must admit that i like second team more then first one...

Bojan said...

mrljo prijatelji svi jeftini su "must have" ali svejedno potrošiš 100M... Znači da moraš pogodit skupe jer jeftine ne možeš ni falit kad su jeftini...

mrljo said...

oooo ;))) od kud si bojan, evo ja iz zagreba! znam ali 2.5 za napadaca.. mora frajer nes zabit il bar puknut po golu :))
sta se tice tvoj ekipe,mocno, nema sta, popusti glava boli! steta kaj ces ih se dosta morat rijesit za slj. dupli tjedan

mislim da ce nam srat AM zbog jezika ;)


init said...

Hi Guys

I think worth noting is that Aqua seemed to take the free kicks around the area for Liverpool.

AM I am with you on Defoe!!

Also I know he has tough fixtures, but Clichy at 9.37 won't be on offer for much longer, normally he is one of the most expensive defenders around...

I do like the idea of Kuyt and picking him up at 10ish seemed like a good idea on the BD...but Liverpool are not very good and I don't like the look of him in my team...


Rosicky probably goes and I would like Kalanic and Terry in there...

There is too much Arsenal for my liking but I remember what they did to Villa a few months back...3-0 win for Arsenal and lots of points all round!!

Anonymous said...

Last night I was at the opera, so I missed the BD, but I was happy to hear that Arsenal had gone top of the table! Vermaelen, Modric and even Bale were solid, and Eduardo just couldn't deliver. Again. Aquilani did surprisingly well, getting 7 points, but 4 of them were from an assist that didn't look at all intentional, so I'm not regretting dropping him for Belletti. He's almost a sure starter with Essien and Mikel out, and has a double-game week on his prospect.
I've decided to change my ways for next week, as I go for high-scoring players along some fillers, instead of a well balanced team. I don't expect Salgado or Belletti to really do something, but I'm counting on Rooney, Anelka, Fabregas, Valencia, Modric and Vermaelen to deliver. Robinson, Bale and Donovan should get me solid points, but I'm not expecting a lot from them. Hopefully the fact that most of my players play another FA match before their game won't ruin my plans.
An interesting report - an Arsenal fan reported that last night he noticed that Edin Dzeko was sitting 4 rows under him watch the Arsenal-Bolton match. Just think how well it can turn out - he'll come as a premium striker for Arsenal at 5.70mil on YFF, and will porbably play all of the leagues matches for them as hewon't be permitted to play on the CL. Very interesting, I hopes it comes true.

Salgado Vermaelen Bale
Valencia Modric Fabregas Belletti
Rooney Anelka Donovan

BD plan: Drop Rooney, Valencia, Modric and Robinson for Tevez, Duff, a Chelsea midfielder and Fulop/Given.


Kellz said...

Almunia (5mil)
Degen, Verm, Bale
MTAY, Valencia, Modric, Aqui
Rooney, Kuyt, Donovan

Pretty balanced feel good about it but still have 4 mil in the bank. I do say I will dare to waste it (or not)!

Good luck guys!

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on my two options: MTaylor-Pienaar-Kalinic or Billy-Lee ChungYong-Defoe? Defoe has been disappointing in recent weeks.

Phil, South Africa

Anonymous said...

Slapped this together in about 10 minutes. Too easy:

Evans / Heitinga / Bale
Modric / J. Cole / Lee / Aquilani
Anelka / Rooney / Donovan

Bryce said...

What about Tevez and Given? I have them at discount 14.5 and 5.73.

Anonymous said...

Bryce - ManCity does not have a game this week, so I would definitely sell Tevez. As for Given, it's up to you whether to sell him.

I was wondering though, if Ivory Coast loses Algeria this Sunday (although it's unlikely), I'm assuming that Drogba will be ready to play both Chelsea matches the following week? If that occurs, then it would be great for all those people who didn't BD Anelka

- SK

Afrikan said...

hili ndo chama langu la wikiendi hii:

Verm- Bale- Olsson, Clichy
Fabs- Bily- Aquaman- Modric
Anelka- Kalinic

Salamu toka Rombo, Kilimanjaro

Afrikan said...

This is my team for this week:

Verm- Bale- Olsson, Clichy
Fabs- Bily- Aquaman- Modric
Anelka- Kalinic

Since Osman is back am kinda worried that Bily might start from the bench, so i might drop him for Donovan who for sure will start. i'm open for suggestions.

-Greetings from Rombo, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Anonymous said...

good stuff this narrows it down for me...No faith in Arsenal at Villa Park, but hey you're a Spurs fan so...yeah.

AdmiraLord Nelson of Arsenal said...

ahhh good read!

Anonymous said...

Reasonably happy with my squad with the exception of Joe Cole. Just not sure if he is certain to start.

Ferdinand said...

Bale, Givet, Stearman
Valencia, Modric, Rosicky, Pienaar
Rooney, Anelka, Kalinic

This is what i'm sitting on so far. Thinking about dropping rosicky for Belleti. but on the other hand i feel i shouldn't be without arsenal players. They are top of the table now and although i kicked out eduardo now i still believe they can hammer villa...

What do you think?

Assistant Manager said...

Hi guys, good responses & some great looking teams about, thanks for all the comments.

Quick message to Caleb - O'Hara's loan is over, he's back at Spurs (as far as I know) after Pompey's transfer ban.

Terry, Ivanovic & Clichy are all good picks if you want to spend that much on a defender.

coastalkid11: Why don't I have faith in Arsenal? Villa will give them a tough game but Vermaelen & Fabregas are top of my defence/midfield list!


J. Dunn said...

I'm on

Verm, Alexander, Bale
Aquaman, Modric, Lamps, Fabs
Rooney, Elk, Kalinic

One the one hand, that feels a bit too unbalanced towards expensive players. On the other, I have no true fillers who I realistically expect nothing from. I'd dump one of Lamps or Elk, but I have them at big discounts and want them for the double week. I'm keeping Fabs and Rooney at discount through thick and thin barring injury. I guess I've just got to hope Chelsea does the business against Brum, despite the middling matchup. At least it's at home. I wish it was affordable to drop Elk and get him back though. Oh well.

Catlio said...


Great Post. Anyway, I am curious why you do not consider Skertel as a good option? Away at wolves, it's not that bad.

My current team:

It's exactly 100, i can sub Evra/Skertel to Valencia/Stearman, or I can just swap Evra to 11-ish Spurs Mid (Kranjc and Modric, but home to Fulham, they do reprsent a great match-up).

What do you think?

bean said...

@Kellz - with 4 mil in the bank, why wouldn't you upgrade Degen or Aquilani? I know your a Pool fan, but seems there's a lot of better options at their prices +4mil...

Anonymous said...

AM - Please help me...

Van Der Sar

What do you think, go for option...

1) Nelsen/Rosicky/Anelka
2) Stearman/Giggs/Rooney

I like option 2 but I haven't noticed anyone with Giggs, is he injured...what's the deal?

I have Nelsen @7.xx, Rosicky @6.xx, and Anelka @15.xx. I don't want to loose the Anelka discount but I just can't leave Rooney out this time...his fixture looks too delicious. On the other hand, Anelka has a DG and I'd be loosing out of discount. Advice?


Anonymous said...

if not mistaken d.dunn was injured in c.cup last night.

Anonymous said...

I really hate double weeks. I had 127.5 after the first week and 150 with 7 players playing twice altogether (Thank you spurs). So I share your sentiments AM :). PLeased with my team all of my players except park I have on decent discounts.

A.Cole Evans Degen Bale
Pienaar M. Taylor Lampard Park
Anelka Donovan.

Any suggestions? Comments?


Maxer said...

finished with my team.. but haven't press the save button yet.. feared some last minute injuries might come up (remember rsc and nasri)..

anyway, some decision that hopefully wont bite me..
- captain kirk.
- dropped bale and kranjcar to fit in valencia (and stearman in df).
- switch klasnic to defoe.
- tempted to switch kuyt to eds/klasnic but got him on discount (10.68).


shadowgex said...

my team is almost identical to last week's, but i've changed arsh, cuellar and kranj for lamps, donovan and skrtel:

g.alex / bale / skrtel
lamps / valencia / modric / aqua
rooney / anelka / donovan

donovan's been playing like a champ so hopefully he can get a goal!

i'm hoping aquilani can step it up with torres and gerrard out, but other than that i'm pretty confident in my team.

Mohd said...

AM, what about Fellaini?is he good for this week pick?

Anonymous said...

Cashley Cole?injured?i BD him last week..

A.Cole RJ Bale
DDunn Modric Aquaman JCollison
Diamanti HRod Kalinic


Anonymous said...

I prefer degen over skrtel he is playing in the mf looked decent and is cheap. Will skrtel be getting the start?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:16AM yes, DDun was subtitued because of injury.. Anyone know the extend of his injury?

Hope he will make it to the Wigan games.


Anonymous said...

My team for week 20:
Verm (7.4) Bale (2.65) Dunne (7.91) Ivan
Modric (9.24) Lee (8.17) Fabs (17.51)
klasnic Donovan Diamanti

An amazing 8.68 million left in the bank.
Thought of selling Dunne to get either MTay or Valencia, but he has an index of 0.98. And I intend to have him as my season keeper as he's done well for me so far.

In the end, I decided to drop kranc instead of modric and got ivanovic in anticipation of the upcoming double week for chelsea.

Moreover I think chelsea have a great chance of keeping a clean sheet against birmingham.

Hope it works out for me!


Merv said...

Degen @Wolves or Collison @Portsmouth? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What do you do with Tevez at 13.35? Will his price come down from its 15.54 this weekend? Or will it go up since many have added him since his brace? I would hate to have to pick him up again next at 19 or something.

Please predict Tevez price this weekend.


Anonymous said...

My team 4 this weekend.

almunia (5M discount)

I hate picking Rooney for 20M, because everytime I pick him, he scores around 1 point. Hope he does better or he's dead for me. I'm hoping Anelka has a bad game, so I can switch him with rooney for Chel double week 2 come. Otherwise I'm pretty confident with my lineup. If Ars win vs Villa all should be ok :)


Anonymous said...

Van Der Saar
Vermaelen Bale Distin
Bilyaletdinov Kranjcar Fabregas Fletcher Valencia
Anelka Donovan

Not too keen on keeping Fletcher, but I dont have much funds left

Anonymous said...

Is Kalinic a sure-starter? TBH, I've not heard about this guy until I saw the blog, but now I'm tempted to pick him

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Belletti starts on mid-week? I'm not sure, but I would really like to know if anyone had any information about it.

Vermaelen Bale Salgado
Valencia Fabregas Belletti Modric
Rooney Anelka Donovan


bean said...

hooray for single gameweeks! booo for FA Cup weekends...

after tinkering:


but that's dropping rooney,modric,bale.. was thinking with an eye towards chelsea and hammers' double gameweek. also like Beletti for the price over two matches.

not sure if Kalinic is a sure starter, don't know much about him either. just know he just scored two goals and is only 2.xx

I think Tevez's price will go up, not sure when. gotta be quick on the barndoor with him

rwlwhite said...

My team as of 11am, Friday. Likely to stay this way as I have limited time on computers since mine died last saturday morning (hence the lack of posts, sorry!)

Kirkland (@1.34)
Bale (@2.65), Givet, Rio Ferdinand
Lampard (@18.69), Eagles, Fabregas (@17.51), Barmby (@2.19 - filler)
Donovan, Rooney, M.B.Diouf

I've capitalised on some outrageous BD price changes to get Lamps AND Fab in, as well as Rooney at full price, but am also taking risks. Rio for one, Fergie has said he is likely to start, but will he play long enough to get CS points? (If they keep a CS). Barmby is a filler, although he is likely to play, and likely to get minus points. I'd be happy with a 0 from him tbh.
Diouf. He is my hunch for the week. He scored a trick for the reserves on Thursday and Fergie has said he will be "in his thinking for Saturday" - especially as Berbatov isn't 100% and Owen is, well, sh1te! I reckon the youngster is an absolute terrier and will chase everything, shoot on sight and rack up some good phantom points (fouls against etc)

mrljo said...

pienaar or valencia!?
what do you guys think? I think valencia will probably be subbed if manu score early.
Is pienaar really worth his 14.xx mil???

Anonymous said...

I've seen Pienaar vs Ars and City and he's in really good form. But who know will it last?


Anonymous said...

Will Giggsy play for United...who's bold enough to bet on him?

STM said...

A few thoughts...

Kalinic... aside from the previous Carling Cup match, not very impressed with what I have seen. I also don't think he is a certain starter, with Di Santo, McCarthy and J. Roberts all above him in pecking order (from what I can tell). BUT... he is very cheap, so he will very likely return his value or more if he subs in.

Giggs... can he play 2 matches in 4 days? Remember... he played the full 90 mins in the Carling Cup match. IMHO, Giggs is unlikely to start vs Hull.

Belletti... in the last EPL match where Anelka played as sole striker, he started. Anelka + Sturridge are being confirmed for the FA Cup match on Sat. and Belletti is in the lineup as well. Looks like no matter Chelsea plays with a single striker or two, Belletti starts.

mudwalkerz said...

"United boss Fergie confirmed MirrorFootball's Tuesday exclusive that Rio would return against Hull.

"Rio will play tomorrow, which is great news," said Fergie. "He's been training very well these past few weeks and this is the time to bring him back."

Don't know who will be dropped, but beware...

init said...

Great to see everyone's teams and comments - always gives me ideas!!







Anonymous said...
World Class players will appear here.

castrol ranking(which uses Opta stats) will tell you that diaby is a bit above Fab.

Fab4 isn't a world class player as he hadn't really been the "leading" player, be it scoring or assists[07/08 he top the assist table, guess who top the more important scoring board]. CR7 did it and become world class. And looking for a defining moment, it drew a blank. Zizou had it, Fat Ron had it, Gerrard had it(media think he is one, i think not), Torres had it, Messi had it. Where's Cesc's moment?,19528,15964_2705370,00.html
Out pass by Mascherano and even lucas(amount and accuracy), not the 'Most Dribbles & Runs' player, not 'Most Crosses' player either. not the top tackler. he can only find the assist table/scoring board his way to the top. but he's got to be wary of world-class Lamppost.the last world class player from arsenal was TH14.Stats don't lie. till then, he is worldclass - not. Not even the best midfielder in europe, let alone the world.


fadh said...

help me..

bale verma givet
modric aquilani velencia krancar
rooney kalinic defoe

i dont me..???

fadh said...

pienaar or velencia??????

Assistant Manager said...

Hi Newbie - Interesting, but I'm not going to pay too much attention to stats that claim Diaby is better than Fabregas & regarding Lucas & Mascherano, they play lots of sideways passes that achieve very little, at no risk.

Have you watched him over the past 6 months? He changes games, wins games on his own (see 25 minute cameo vs Villa). Only a handful of players in the world can do this.

In the Premiership this season he has 13 assists (4 more than any other player) & 11 goals (highest scoring midfielder) despite missing a fair number of games through injury.

As much as it pains to say it as a Spurs fan, he's the player I enjoy watching more than any other at this moment in time, even more than Iniesta who has been my favourite player for the past 2 years.

Now that's he's added goals to his game I believe Fabregas is currently the best midfielder in the world. That's based on watching him play football the way I love to see it played.

I'd like to hear other people's opinions on this matter...I love a good football discussion :)


Junk Man said...

No mention of Morten Gamst P on here - am I the only one that might pick him ?

Anonymous said...

Newbie - you may want to check up the Actim Index that's listed on the premier league website. It ranks each player's contribution to the performance of the team. According to this though, Fabregas is easily the best player in the EPL this season, followed by Drogba and Anelka.,,12306,00.html

The site also states that Ferdinand is expected to pair with John Evans tomorrow at center back for United.

- SK

azri gadafi said...

ivanovic bale evans
collison s.reid aquilani cohen
rooney anelka kalinic

i kinda love this one..what do u guys think?

Merv said...

Azri, I think you should make some changes. IMO, you should change Cech, Ivanovic, Reid, Cohen and use that balance to upgrade Kalinic? Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

^@AM , well, i understand your point of view. but he is only a good midfielder [to me]. not a world class standard yet. too often , 'world class' had been used and it become meaningless. 6 months of good work can be derailed by 6 months of non existent. by your way of saying, D Bent could be world class(14 goals without scoring more than 2 goals in a game- yet). i acknowledge his ability-make no mistake on that. but he isn't there yet. Just like Gerrard, which i never think is world-class-yet. that coming from a Liverpool fan. IMO, he(Cesc) is the current best midfielder in EPL. but once out of it, it will be CR7. (7goals in 11; cesc's 11goals in 18; and la liga played lesser than epl thus the disparity) and also note that CR7 was also injury prone(out for 2 months odd) this season. and it also pains to say it(since he's an ex-Devil). Everyone have their own opinion. Since you do think Cesc is the best, i'll respect that. i'll take CR7. Cheers.


p.s. @sk, best in epl do not equal to best in the europe fyi.

Anonymous said...

Fabregas is something we don't see in any other team right now. Arsenal have been strong enough to face bottom-half teams without him and win them, but the fact that he's on the pitch just make the players believe more. You can't quite explain it, but when you watch the match with Everton and then the one with Bolton, which didn't fiture Nasri or Ramsey, you see the difference. With him, Arsenal are completely in another level.
He comes back from injuries right into good form without even playing - you could've seen it against Villa and Bolton. He dominates the midfield - not only Arsenal's, but the entire middle area of the pitch throught the game - and after a little slump in November I just can't recall him not scoring in a game. You see the goal tallies of Defoe and Rooney that are bigger than Fabregas', but you must remember that they gain them with hattricks and a 5-goals-haul. I'm not saying that you don't need talent for that, but the fact that Fabregas scores almost every game and plays well almost every game, while strikers and midfielders such as Rooney, Lampard, Messi or Ronaldinho might dissappear for several matches, makes him a lot better than them.
It's not only the dependence of Arsenal at him - ManU depend on Rooney, ManC on Tevez, Chelsea on Drogba and Lampard, Madrid on Kaka, Barcelona on Messi and Xavi, and Liverpool... well, they don't really have a lot to depend on. The actual fact that Fabregas manages to perform consistently while all the expectations and hopes are hanging on his shoulders, is amazing and makes him worthy to be called the best player at the moment.

I wanted to thank STM for helping me with the Belletti choice. I'm pretty confident with my team now, but if AM or anyone else has an advice for me, don't be afraid to tell:

Vermaelen Bale Salgado
Valencia Fabregas Belletti Modric
Rooney Anelka Donovan


Anonymous said...

AM i agree Fab4 has really stepped it up this year, i really dont think there is a midfielder in the world playing at his current level. Im a Manchester Utd fan but i really enjoy watching Arsenal play when Cesc is running the show. Hopefully injuries wont continue to be a major issue for him.

Do think a discounted J Cole is a better option than KP Boateng. Im worried about Cole being rotated and ive noticed Boateng seems to shoot from just about anywhere on the pitch.


Afrikan said...

fabregas is the best midfielder in the PL (maybe in the world too) at the moment! no argument bout that.

my weeknd team is as follows:


my dilemma is Steinsson/Olsson or Aquaman/Belleti. on Steinsson/Olsson- i like Olsson as Big Sam plays him on left wing position and goes up front. Aquaman/Belleti- Aquaman impressed me this midweek and i think he could return his value bt Belleti too in on fire and also lookin at him for the upcoming double week.

what do yu all think?

~ Afrikan in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

greginho said...

wow this blog is decidedly more pro cesc than jeremy and neals' blog. NEWBIE started this discussion here with something he cut and pasted from the other blog. other people there starting bashing cesc as a world class player, not one person says that he is. i will cut and paste my response since NEWBIE can do it, i will take that liberty. on the other blog they were saying he is not great because he hasn't done what zidane, ronaldinho, ronaldo, christiano ronaldo, henry, messi, and some others have done.

Anonymous said...

Oh crap I just noticed that Boateng is a doubt with an ankle injury, i guess that solves my problem


greginho said...

why some people so down on cesc. is it because he is the only midfielder, in the premier league, playing great, right now? the other guys that finished in the top 5 for different player of the year awards, are not performing to their normal standards. this is his first year of dominating football. he is just starting his career so he can't have won all of the things people say he needs to be "world class". he is 22 years old. frank lampard has had 9 more years, stevie g has 7 more years, ronaldinho gaucho has 7 more years, torres has 3 more years, rooney 2 has more years, christiano has 2 more years than cesc fabregas, so give him a chance to get a few years older and you can then judge. messi is the same age, but he didn't personally win anything for barcelona, until last year and he doesn't add much to the national team. in the last year, cesc took iniesta's starting spot. he and david villa were responsible for the last 5 wins for the spanish team, they had most of the goals. torres isn't dangerous for the national team, right now. zidane didn't win anything important until he was 28. ronaldinho gaucho was 25 when he won the champions league. henry didn't win a chamions league title until he was in his 30's. lampard has only league titles, gerrard no league titles, rooney wasn't the reason that manure won titles that was cristiano ronaldo. christiano is definitely world class for club, but not country, he also wasn't a team player. he held manure back for 3 years before he learned how to pass. there is not much else to say. it seems so odd that people are using some bizarre rankings to claim he is not world class. who, in the premier league, right now, would people want to watch play. there is no one dominating like cesc, with the exception of drogba, but there is no one passing and scoring so beautifully, so he is on a roll now and can really shut up the critics in the next 5 games.

Anonymous said...

Newbie - I have never said that Fabregas is the best in the world or europe, but merely said that there is no doubt that Fabregas is the best player in the EPL. I personally have not seen too much other European teams play to make an assessment about other players.

What I like most about Fabregas right now is that he has excellent attitude. He gets fouled over and over again but doesn't complain to the ref when the ref does not call it, but sticks up to his teammates when they get fouled. For example, Bolton fouled Fabregas in the box 3 times during the back-to-back games but each time he shrugs it off when he hears the ref's decision and keeps playing. He is being a fantastic captain and team player.

CR7, is a forward, and has been for the past couple of years. And he has only created 14 goals+assists in 15 games (La Liga + Champions) compared to 27 goals+assists in 23 games for Fabregas (EPL + Champions). Statistically, it seems that Fabregas has been better this season

- SK

Anonymous said...

@ greginho, had you noticed that what you had just said was what i said. there isn't a defining Cesc moment that all modern greats should have. more importantly, he didn't have a major club achievement yet. And i am quite puzzled why i can't cut and pasted something from the other blog, since i had the same idea???*scratch head* And is Opta a bizarre ranking? isn't YFF powered by opta's stats?
@sk, i understand that you merely wanted to highlight me another ranking(actim). thanks. what i meant before was a reply to that ranking. well, goals and assists weightage are different. goals more important, that's where CR7 shines when you take Champions into account. i certainly enjoy the brilliant numbers-crunching with sk. debates should never be hot air. let me say this again, Cesc is the current best midfielder in EPL. And let me add - second best in Europe. IMO,YMMV.

Assistant Manager said...

I don't think you can compare Ronaldo & Fabregas Newbie - Ronaldo is pretty much a forward & has been for the past 3 seasons. I would also class Messi as a forward. I think both are better players than Fabregas, but Fabs would be 3rd, so is the best midfielder in my opinion.

But hey, football is all about different opinions, otherwise it would be boring!

Anonymous said...

^@AM, well , with that you've pointed out, then , its no wonder you had Cesc in first place. Now i do know why.

Anonymous said...

What do you all think of Rio vs Hull? At 7 and change he seems like he isnt a bad option as long as he actually plays long enough to get the clean sheet.


greginho said...

why don't we just take away the world class term that is bothering people and just agree that cesc is the best midfielder in the world. he is so creative and has added a killer instinct for shooting.

with cesc i would put ronaldinho gaucho 9 goals and 8 assists, nene 12 goals and 3 assists and marek hamsik with 8 goals and 3 assists. if ronaldinho is a forward, i would put xavi or gourcuff in there. this based on form and influence on the teams.

J. Dunn said...

If you're the best player in the best or second-best league in the world, I think it's safe to say that you're World Class. By some of your definitions, there are only 2-3 World Class players in the world at any given time, if that. To me, if you're one of the top 10-15 players in the world, you're World Class.

And maybe it's the American Baseball fan in me, but I don't get how you can measure individual players by team accomplishments. Is it Ryan Giggs' fault that he's Welsh and never got a chance to shine on a World Cup stage? Is it Gerrard's fault that Hicks/Gillette have mismanaged Liverpool and probably cost him any chance of winning an EPL title before he's done? All a player can control is how he plays and carries himself, and I think that's all you can fairly judge a player on. Team performance might be a bonus, but you shouldn't be disqualified as a great player just because you happen to be born in a marginal country or come up through an obscure club's youth system.

Bojan said...

Regarding Cesc... Compare Arsenal against Everton and Villa without Cesc, and Arsenal against Bolton and Villa with Cesc... He is heart that every great team... All players on field look better when he is with them on the field... He is only 22, and he is great guy...

my team for this week:

Cech - price low as it gets... i hopr he won't fail like last time... Hoping for win,CS and few saves

Bale - @2,65 - 16 points last week, 7 times his value in 2 games, nice fixture, must win game for Tottenham

P Robinson - I am sure that Bolton will win, and hope that they will get thier first CS of the EPL season...

Givet - constant player, with Samba out he will get more action with Nelsen i the middle of Blackburn defence... Wigan is wierd team so... Maybe CS, you never know...

Stearman - he has great stats, even with -8,5 points lst week his avg is over his price (3,80-3,30)... Liverpool is weak in offence so, few BS and 1-2fantom points will do

Matt Taylor - hoping for his exploision... Playing much better under Coyle... If he do better in finishing chances he will go over 20

Aquaboy - Playing in Gerrard position... He will return his value, even if he starts from the bench... Expect one SOT at least

Lampard - no reason... hope he will get at least 10 points... PK would be great

Anelka - as lone striker... He will get over 10 points without goal... Just because of his workrate and shooting on sight

Saha - he has great midfield behind him... Likes to shoot and takes penalties...

Klasnić - Bolton will score 2 goals at least... He just stands in attack and waites that Taylor,Lee and Davies do everything... But he knows how to hit the ball

other potential players was:
GK - PRobo and Jussi
D - Steinsson
M - Valencia,KPB,Cahill
F - Donovan,Kuyt

Guy said...

This is a fantasy football forum so it makes sense that people here are into the stats. But surely the stats shouldn't be used as the only way to justify how good someone is?
I'm with AM and others when they say they admire Fabregas because of the way he plays, the way he improves the team performance around him and his attitude, etc. Stats are great for picking a fantasy team but we shouldn't get them confused with real football.
P.S. Fabregas isn't in my team for next week. I hope I don't live to regret it, but I'm comfortable with it at the moment.

Staffer84 said...

Hi all,

I am pretty satisfied with my team. Looks nice and I really hope to break the 150 barrier this week! Pretty optimistic huh?

Bale, Evans, Stearman
Cole, Aqua, Valencia, Pienaar
Kalinic, Anelka, Rooney

Many fillers but I hope all of them will exceed or probably double their price! Kalinic represents one of the best values for this year! he is a good striker, capable of doing 8-12 points every week if he is a regular.

Thanks for the amasing blog AM. Keep up the fantastic work!

Kellz said...

@bean: Isn't Stearman suspended for the red card? RE: your comment: Yea I could upgrade Degen or Aqui, but vs Wolves Degen in midield (hopefully) seems a good bet, so possibly upgrade Aqui to a 7mil middie but I don't see any I really like since I missed J.Cole at 6.5mil BD

Bojan said...

Kellz@ Stearman will do ban tomorow in FA Cup...

Kellz said...

@Bojan: Ty :D

@Bean: Okay with the 4mil I will sell Degen, Aqui, and Donovan for Klasnic (BOL), Bily, and Stearman.

Hmm feels better, no way Coyle leaves Klasnic on the bench at home to his old club.

Alex said...

I am all for discussion but anyone who says Cesc is not world class should not be allowed to enter a debate and should channel their interests into Tennis or Bowls.

Anonymous said...

@J. Dunn, R Giggs choose to represent Wales. Otherwise he could have waited and waited to become eligible for British citzenship under residency laws(5 years). Giggs however stated "I'd rather go through my career without qualifying for a major championship than play for a country where I wasn't born or which my parents didn't have anything to do with." His fault at choosing Wales, his BURDEN, not anyone else.

'Is it Gerrard's fault that Hicks/Gillette have mismanaged Liverpool and probably cost him any chance of winning an EPL title before he's done?'
it is his fault since he decided not to go to Chelsea when he had the chance(wait 2 years since THAT bid and walk on a bosman, he wouldn't be the First to do it at Anfield). He decided to stay. It is his burden at not winning EPL title yet. last season we are 4 points off the top at second. he could score more, less injuries. Debts are off the pitch issue. to add , gerrard stated "That's why their[chelsea] interest maybe turned my head slightly."

my definition of a normal continental class player must fulfill the following ' 1)have top qualities pertaining to the position that he play.2)done it over at least 2 seasons [not those one-season wonder].3)ability to influence games at the biggest stages[Big match mentality]4)won major trophies while playing a major part.'

a world class player will therefore possess all the above and ' a leading class player in the position where others are used as reference/attainment of role-model'

therefore there will be precious little number of world-class players, plenty of continental class players in my opinion.


reference reading :

Sulldaddy said...

Another great post AM, always helpful stuff!

I am actually happy with my roster this week....after holding onto the Fulop debacle for one week two long I made some radical changes and invested in a GK.

VDS (@8.14)

Givet(@6.52), Alexander (@5.76), Bale (@2.65)

Mtay (@14.34), Rosicky (@6.63), Krancjar(@10.81), Aquilani(@3.64)

Rooney (@16.05), Anelka(@15.20), Diamanti(@10.24)

I think Ive got some great value plays and probably some high scoring players too. Only Aquilani is really a place holder and he will probably return his cost.

Rosicky is the guy Im most likely to shift if I overthink the roster tonite after a few pints!

Anonymous said...

Agreed Alex on Cesc.

Team is looking good with:


Only question mark is Aquaman - thinking of switching him to Kalinic from Blackburn. The kid scored something like 17 goals a season or two ago in Croatia. Opinions anyone?


J. Dunn said...


Plenty of players don't have Giggs' choice. What about, say, George Weah being from Liberia? I don't think anyone would argue he wasn't World Class at his peak, but he never got the chance to play on the biggest stage at the World Cup. If he hadn't ended up at the right clubs (something which isn't entirely or even mostly within a player's control) he might not have had the chance to excel in the Champions' League either. I'd say most truly World Class players will eventually get that chance, but footballers tend to have a short prime and it's not hard for them to miss out on the big stage entirely within that window. That doesn't make those who do any less great. It just makes it hard to make easy comparisons, especially in a sport like this where there are so many leagues of varying quality and statistics don't capture nearly the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Which is better
Defoe/J.Cole/Alexander or Diamanti/Eagles/Rio


Anonymous said...

@J. Dunn , look at my definition. if giggs fulfilled those then he should be world class according to my definition. of course, you can set up your own definition as everyone had an opinion. if you read carefully, you will notice i din't mention international success as a defining parameter. there's G Best ,Alfredo Di Stefano etc. the term 'world class' is overly used. unless one can come up with the definition(be it same or different), or that individual couldn't know what is a world class player from another real good player. i'll repeat myself : there will be precious little number of world-class players, plenty of continental class players.

bean said...

@Newbie - i'm sorry, but Cesc Fabregas is world class, no question. Everyone can argue who's the best player in the world (which is kind of ridiculous) but if you ask anyone to name the top players in the world at the moment, Cesc will be included. Best midfielder in the EPL doesn't mean best in the world? maybe not directly translating, but what leagues are better than the EPL? La Liga maybe on the same level and that's it..

one of the best players in one of the best leagues in the world, how is that not world class?

anyway, as you've said, everyone has their opinion, so I'm just adding my two cents. it just seems by your definition, no player is world class.

what has CRon done for Portugal? shouldn't he be 'continental class'?

anyway, we need to be concentrating on fantasy gameweek, this is distracting! : )

Anonymous said...

Please help me. I got Given at 6mil but he's not playing this week. Should i drop him or not?

J. Dunn said...

@Newbie, I'm arguing against your definition, with examples. I'm saying that player greatness can't be dependent on stuff a player can't control, like where he was born or what clubs he ended up at. I'm also saying that any definition that narrows "World Class" to like less than five players at any given time, in a sport with 11 positions and hundreds of teams and tens of thousands of players, is kind of pointless. If you want to say that only Messi, C.Ron, and Xavi are World Class right now, that's fine, but what does that even mean in distinguishing them from Drogba, Essien, Cesc, Ibra, Maicon, Torres, Casillas, Kaka and the rest of the 10 or 20 best players in the world right now?

As far as International success goes, you said you think big game mentality is very important, and I'm saying there are only two sure places to really show that, World Cup, and the Champions League. And possibly cup finals or the very occasional league game that clearly decides a league title. But all of those depend on either being born in one of the ~15 countries that has a realistic chance of making a deep World Cup run, or ending up with one of the ~20 European club teams that have a chance to advance far in the Champions League or win a significant domestic title. And even if you are lucky enough to end up in that position, all kinds of other things that your play has nothing to do with could prevent you from getting that opportunity. Do you really think it would have been better for Gerrard to leave the club of his youth, of which he is the heart and soul and ambassador, just so he could check off that box on his resume to be deemed "World Class"? I really don't think he has anything to prove at this point, and really, his prime is probably over and if he did go to Chelsea and win the league, it's not like the credit would be primarily his anyway or that he'd be any more or less "World Class" as a result. Quality is quality, and the rest is circumstances.

I love said...

The problem with Fabregas, is that he's a fanny. He's a great player no doubt, but when push comes to shove, in the really big games, he bottles it. Unlike, say, the Gerrards of this world.

greginho said...

Alex said...

"I am all for discussion but anyone who says Cesc is not world class should not be allowed to enter a debate and should channel their interests into Tennis or Bowls."

this is one of my favorite comments made during cesc-gate 2010, but what the heck is Bowls?

init said...

greginho - you just gave yourself away as a yank!!

bowls is a major game in the uk!!

This is all interesting stuff, but shouldn't we concentrate on the fantasy stuff...

Rememeber folks its not real life...great players aren't great fantasy players, hence the name fantasy. Just enjoy it for a game and lets leave real life out of it!!

Anonymous said...

Team A:
Bale Ferdinand Distin
Aquilani Fabregas Valencia Belletti
Kalinic Rooney Defoe


Team B:
Bale Evans (@7.70) Givet
Aquilani Fabregas Valencia Lee
Kalinic Rooney Kuyt (@ 10.68)

Which is better in your opinion?

- SK

bean said...

@SK - i'm leaning away from any ManU center backs. Rio is set to play, but as some others have noted, there's a good chance he doesn't stay in long enough for clean sheet points (if any) and Evans is a toss up with Brown as to who will start next to Rio..

I like Defoe just because he seems like he is due, but Kuyt is a good pick at that price against Wolves.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your input bean. Evans/Ferdinand choice is really a flexible choice, but my main problem is the Kuyt/Defoe choice. Both are great picks IMO. Should I sacrifice Valencia/Kalinic to fit them both?

Afif said...

Why do I have that feeling that Rio will not play. I got him though

P.s : hopefully he play and keep a clean sheet and his price shoot up, then I will be damn happy ;)

greginho said...

am i still a yank if i escaped to brasil?

Bradley said...

@Newbie: FYI, Giggs being Welsh automatically makes him British. British != English. British = English + Scottish + Welsh. Throw in N. Ireland and you have the UK (a.k.a., the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Anonymous said...

i'm having a hard time choosing right now... at the moment my team is
Kirkland (@1.36)
Bale (@2.8) / Stearman / Salgado (filler)
Modric (@9) / Taylor / Lampard / Bily
Rooney / Kalinic / Donovan

please tear apart my team choice :D

-Anorexic Pig

Anonymous said...

fab is world class bcoz he has a world class passing ability and world class creativity... plus fab is the most fun to watch player in the world... forget about what he had won, bcoz he definitely will win alot in the future

from man utd fan, fung

Anonymous said...

After much chopping and changing,
Here is my final team for week 20:
Verm Bale Dunne
Modric Lee Fabs Valencia
Klasnic Donovan Diamanti


Anonymous said...

no one pick J. Milner?

fadh newbie....... said...

erhm..srry guys..

can you all gives some opinion to my team this week...

rooney/kalinic/defoe is good or bad?????


AdmiraLordNelsonofArsenal said...

check her out;


Anonymous said...

Van Der Saar
Vermaelen Bale Jordan
Bilyaletdinov Fabregas Valencia Taylor
Anelka Donovan Kalinic

My final team for the week

Alex said...

I got Evra @ 9.96 and don't see anyone mention him, that's kinda made me want to drop him but he's just a major hunch against Hull so I daren't, can someone comfort me please?

Bale Stearman Evra
Mtay Modric Aqua Valencia
Rooney Anelka That crap cheap bloke whos managed three shots on target in the EPL from blackburn whos name escapes me.

bean said...


that's dropping modric and lando, but had to do it to have a complete team..

good luck everyone.
thanks AM.

chuck said...

Should I go with Rooney/Kalinic or Defoe/Donovan?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bale / Givet / Rio
Modric / Lampard / Aquilani / Pienaar
Rooney / Kalinic / Donovan

Surprising, i have no real fillers this week. however, i would have liked to play 4 strikers as Diamanti's gonna rack up quite a few points this week (Portsmouth have a tough FA cup game while West Ham dont even have one) but on the other hand i'd like to get Donovan while he's still cheap.

- Anorexic Pig

I love said...

Ferguson is talking here about resting Rooney, specifically today:

Any other info, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Ferguson also said the Hull match is a 'must-win', so I'm not sure he can take the risk of resting Rooney. If he does rest him, I hope they lose. bastard.

init said...

I think this link is enough to avoid the risk of spending 20m on a player, even though its not a definite decision, to me this is enough of a risk as I wasn't sure about spending the 20m anyway when I could now get Valencia and do some upgrading elsewhere...

Staffer84 said...

I switched Rooney/Aquilani for Berba/Bily

init said...

I just did Rooney/Fletcher for Valencia/Pienaar

This is the sort of bullshit that I will probably regret come 5pm today!!!!!!!!!!!!

Staffer84 said...

...and I am so so so sorry and pissed right now!!!

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