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!?