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.

Some people got lucky; the Blog Team being a prime example. We didn't have time to change it due to an internet disaster for myself & Hans, but our existing Week 17 team picked up 77.5 points to finished 15th in the Overall Weekly Standings. Some people got smart & filled their team with Sunderland & Bolton players as it was the one game100% certain to go ahead. Some people had nightmares & scored zero - a very difficult outcome to accept. It's a shame this happened but we all know postponements are part & parcel of the game & just need to deal with them as best we can!

The news on this weekend is that things are set to ease up a bit but it's still very cold & icy here in the UK. Blackpool v Liverpool is still a big risk due to the lack of under-soil heating so for that reason I will be completely ignoring the game from my picks this week. It's simply not worth considering players from a fixture when the club say they will leave it as "late as possible"to make a decision. 

As for the remaining nine fixtures, they all have a very good chance of taking place, so I have taken them all in to consideration. I will do my best to produce an team/injury/weather update post on Christmas Eve (Friday) & will try to get online very briefly on Xmas Day (Saturday) & Boxing Day (Sunday) morning to provide as much of the available information as possible. 

Please remember, the Week 19 Deadline this week is on SUNDAY 26th DECEMBER at 12:00 noon UK Time.


Tips To Win
MAN UNITED v Sunderland
BOLTON v West Brom
EVERTON v Birmingham
MAN CITY @ Newcastle
FULHAM v West Ham
SPURS @ Aston Villa

No real stand-out fixtures, but I look at the six matches above and think "they should win that one".

We start at Old Trafford. Sunderland are doing well in 6th, but their only away win was the one-off shock that started the rot for Chelsea, so with Nani flying & Rooney threatening to be good again it has to be 3 points for Fergie's boys. I also think Bolton will be too strong for West Brom at the Reebok, as Holden & Co look to improve their recent form of just 4 points from a possible 12.

Everton have been difficult to predict this season but they will be lifted by their win at Man City on Monday & Birmingham are a team really struggling - especially away from home - so I think the Toffees will edge it. I also think Man City will bounce back & beat Newcastle at St James Park. If you actually watched the game the other night City battered Everton and it could easily have been 5-2 rather than 1-2.

Fulham v West Ham is a huge game; 17th vs 20th, 3 points between them. It sounds like Dembele will be back & a striker who can actually score goals will make a big difference to Mark Hughes' team, so I think it'll be the game that sees Fulham back to winning ways. Spurs travel to Villa Park in the late Sunday game & I think (hope?) VDV's return combined with Spurs' pace & Villa's ongoing injury problems will lead to an away win.

Close Games/Draws
Arsenal v Chelsea
Blackburn v Stoke
Wolves v Wigan
Blackpool v Liverpool

Arsenal v Chelsea is a day later than all other games, Monday evening, and by then both teams could be 5 or 6 points behind Manchester United. I think the pressure will see quite a nervy game, and although it could go either way I think it'll end in a score draw.

Blackburn v Stoke & Wolves v Wigan are both likely to end in low scoring draws, with a slight advantage to the home side if anything, and although I won't be considering Blackpool v Liverpool players, I would expect a draw if the game goes ahead.


Hart (below £10m for first time in ages, could be a solid long-term pick)
Jaaskalainen (makes saves & winnable home game)
Robinson (same as Jussi)
Howard (played well at City & appears to have his confidence back)
Hennessey (slightly riskier than the above keepers but a cheap option)

P Robinson
Wolves Defenders (awaiting team/injury news to specify)

Van Der Vaart
S Davies

Van Persie

That's it for another week! I'll try to get some player analysis done throughout the day. but I will not get the chance to do a poll this week so I'll head in to the chatroom tomorrow, get some ideas from people & pick the blog team using that info.

My team currently looks like this...

Robinson, Jara, Bale, Kolarov, Van Der Vaart, Brunt, Pedersen, Cahill, Balotelli, Elmander, Rooney

This team leaves me £2.7m left in the bank and lots of work to do. I need to find a way to get Nani in; I currently can't see a way to do it unless I drop Rooney but I have a huge hunch Rooney will score big against an injury ravaged Sunderland defence, so don't want to make that switch. I could switch Balotelli to Benjani to free up a bit extra, I'd also like to upgrade Jara if I can & I'm still not certain on Elmander or Brunt, but I'll keep Robbo, Bale, Kolarov, VDV, Pedersen & Cahill.

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be back on Christmas Eve/Day to update you with all the important weather, team & injury news.

Merry Christmas to all blog readers, thanks for all your support! How's your Christmas Weekend team shaping up? :)


p.s. We've passed 1100 Facebook members, amazing! Please join us as we move onwards & upwards!


Anonymous said...

kindly post some dirt cheap filler options on all postions.


Assistant Manager said...

GK - Hennessey
DF - Jara
MF - Rodwell
FW - Benjani

I'm sure Pauly will be back with his fab fillers post later today!

Anonymous said...

cruzaa na cumma va

popthycollar said...

Thanks once again AM - top work!

Team is currently:

Koscielny - Bale - Kolarov
Adam - VDV - Lamps - Silva
Rooney - RVP - Balotelli

Should've dropped Adam yonks ago but stuck with him coz I have him at 4m discount, would've been fine but for suspension and postponement.

Koscielny might go coz he's facing a decent side. Want get Nani in but can't afford him at present and Balotelli - well if anyone saw him the other night he was chuffin' awful so I might bin him for someone I can rely on...

...and he had the cheek to say only Messi was better than him... and he said he'd remind Wilshere who had won the Golden Boy when he played him next... surely you need to be a) good and b) consistent to make those sort of comments.

Very much looking forward to the Fantasist's comments about the postponement debacle though.

Pete said...

Hi Nik. Have basically spent the past 2 and a half hours at work sorting my team... A lot of selection dillemas have concluded with;

GK Hennessay
DEF Bale, Kolarov, S Coleman
MID Lampard, Cahill, Silva, S Davies
ATT Balotelli, Dembélé, Elmander

Whats the verdict? Comments appreciated...

Anonymous said...

Brunt may be in doubt...,,10366~2249098,00.html


Anonymous said...


Here's your stocking fillers for Xmas, under 6 points...

Hahnemann Wolv 5.84 ** h
Krul Ncstl 4.80 or/ Harper 3.48 * h ?

Koscielny Ars 5.71 ** h
Robinson Bolt 5.53 ** h
Stam Wig 5.51 * a
Jara WBrom 4.43 ** a
Richards MCity 5.72 ** a ?

Emerton Bbn 5.95 * h
Whitehead Stoke 5.59 * a
Gutierrez Ncstl 5.73 ** h
N'Zonzi Bbn 4.59 ** h ?
Boa Morte WHam 4.54 * a
Scholes Man U 4.19 ** h ?
Muamba Bolt 3.67 * h
Ward Wolv 4.43 ** h
Rodwell Everton 4.69 NB Arteta is back after suspension so may not start ** h ?

Benjani Bburn 2.61 ** h ?
Ameobi Ncstl 5.55 ** h ?
Walters Stoke 5.42 ** a
Zigic Bham 4.43 * a
Cole WHam 5.87 * a

Wishing you all a wonderful end of year, may all your fillers be right on target.
Good luck

Bojan said...

paulie, why Hahnemann? hennessey is on goal for Wolves now...

Anonymous said...

Boa Morte won't play, suspended 1 game for YC accumulation.

Anonymous said...

is van der vaart fit?

Anonymous said...

No love for the Blog team? Top 15 last week :)

Team at the moment is

Kolorov Bale Ferreira
VDV Nasri Silva Cahill
Elmander Rooney Balotelli

I HATE THIS TEAM but can't come up with anything better right now!


Anonymous said...

gardner everyone?

Joshtottenham said...

Latest from the fantasist in live chat (Thursday 23rd 15.00):

"This is what I was led to believe by someone at Yahoo! yesterday, which did seem odd. Still waiting for said confirmation. Can only apologise. It's as frustrating here as it is for you guys."
"Appreciate that may not be a totally satisfactory reply, but just repeating what I'm told."

Anonymous said...

I don't reckon van der vaart is fit, his wife is fit though.

Anonymous said...

Hi AM,

No Drogba? He is Arsenal's worst nightmare.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips AM.

My team as it currently stands:

Bale Kolarov Robinson
VDV Nasri Silva Lampard Nani
Balotelli Rooney

I still have Glen Johnson, Torres, and Brunt held behind the scenes for Robinson (Def), Nani, and Rooney.

I'm not sure what to do with my Liverpool players because of the questions surrounding the rules. I'm leaning towards dropping them just to be sure, but I just don't know. Brunt's questionable status is making my decision somewhat easier though.

Good luck everyone and have a fantastic holiday season.


LC said...

My team ATM assuming no games are called off is

Kolorov, Salagado, Salcido
Jarvis, Nani, Lampard, Pennant
Balotelli, Benjani, Rooney

To confirm. If games are called off i will be replacing them if possible for players who are playing, just so then i can see what actual points i have :-)

Im saving VDV, D.Bent and RVP/Chamack for next week :-)

Im pretty happy with this team, but if there are postponements i will gut it and get playing players in.

Any thoughts appreciated.


Kellz said...

My team atm:

PRobbo, Bale, Coleman, Kolarov,
Nasri, VDV, MGP, Nani, Jarvis,
Balotelli, Benjani

I actually love the midfield with slight exception with Nasri who may go for Brunt or striker around 13mil (if I downgrade Coleman I could squeeze in Rooney). On that note, Rooney should finally have that break out game with Utd winning a majority of their Boxing Day games.

However Rooney is still not on form and you can bet Nani is capable of no assists/goals and still get 20+ pts, Rooney cannot. Sunderland may have defensive problems, but its hardly a crisis, this could be another 2-2 like last season, Sunderland are much improved I wouldn't count them out. I think its always safest to go with the FK taker in this instance. But man I do feel like having Rooney is almost a must at 14mil.

Good luck and wait for postponment news, I have a feeling this Yahoo Pts scare is just that, a scare.

Anonymous said...

Seasons Greetings to All,

My team:


After looking at FF Scout and the potential team for Sunderland, it looks like Rooney and Nani may wreak havoc at home on Sunderland.

Question though, would you switch Balotelli for Yaya Toure? Balotelli is listed as a doubt on FFS and Yaya has been playing well and on average has putting up some decent points over the last 4 weeks. Any thoughts? Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Balotelli is always a doubt on fantasyfootballscout, they don't like him, if Tevez is suspended they'll put Adebayo as lone striker

Anonymous said...

Sunderland are missing Cattermole (suspended), Wellbeck (can't play vs parent club), Turner, Bramble & Mensah. I'd be worried if I was them!

MPFC/KPM said...

Why would Tevez be suspended?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Benjani @2.6 should be the pick of the pack.

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

I will take a shot at Rooney this week. Nani is a season-keeper for me.

My team is ready and will not change, unless I can get confirmation of Balotelli starting.

The team is,

Bale Kolarov Robinson
VdV Nani Silva Holden Dempsey
Benjani Rooney

I'll post my B and C teams later.

MPFC/KPM said...

Saw the man city link above but the article says nothing about Tevez being suspended

Anonymous said...

And who said Tevez is suspended? I said even if he was suspended they wouldn't put Balotelli in their starting 11.

Anonymous said...

Mancini never reveals is starting 11 and you wont get any confirmation either, Balotelli has started when he's fit and Mancini has said he's fit and available.

Anonymous said...

Filler update;

Hennessey Wolves GK 4.55 ** h
Not Hahnemann
Sorry, the H got me!

Anonymous said...

guys... any news on alex baptiste? has he recovered from injury?

Anonymous said...

Go get some sleep Mr. Pauly. Ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

Dempsey or VDV ?

Anonymous said...

Anyone, Baptiste vs Liverpool this week? Any news & comment?

Gavin said...

Currently on:

Kolarov Foley Pantsil
Nani Silva VDV Lampard
Rooney Elmander Dembele

Any thoughts? Do we know for sure that Dembele is back? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Probably better to spread the funds this week. Bigger clubs will rotate and the flu virus is doing the rounds. ( Man U camp affected)

Anonymous said...

the sun has a post regarding mancini benching balotelli from the start of this week's fixture:

Anonymous said...

The last time they said that he started, Balotelli will probably be on the bench Mancini said but he started and he even subbed Tevez instead in that match. Until a new striker comes in January, Balotelli will be starting and stop posting predicted line-ups from other sites, Mancini doesn't reveal but 1 or 2 players out of the possible 11.

Anonymous said...

I guess its good to see any news from any sites. its always good to see different sites posting different articles.


Tayo said...

Sincerely, Mancini never said Balotelli will start on the bench...
He ONLY said Balo should work harder and be more positive in order to become the top player he sees in him.
I'm often amazed at people's interpretations of quotes...
Note that Mancini is not just a coach to Balotelli, he's also a fan.

Staffer said...

Good day mates!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and many positive things to happen in 2011. This community is fantastic and we should wish Nik to continue to impress us with his articles and opinion. Enjoy the holidays Nik!

In fantasy terms... I currently stand on:


I haven't done any BD since I got Nelson last saturday and I'll definitely stick to Kolarov,Coleman,Lampard,Silva,Berba and Rooney.Any ideas for the rest?
Team name DIMITAR BERBATOV FC [AM.Blog]and I currently stand on 1194th place. I guess Man United will trash Sunderland and I really believe that Berbs will score big this week. He loves scoring against this team, he plays in front of Rooney and currently shoots more (remember his last outing in the EPL - 5 goals) and he will definitely start. I bet on >3 goal margin on Sunday and 20+ pts for both Berbatov and Rooney. Chelsea will win and all Malouda,Lampard,Drogba are great picks IMO. I really want to squeeze Nani instead of Brunt and I will probably change Nelson and Carson.

Anyway, I wish you Merry Christmas, nice presents and spending quality time with your families.



MPFC/KPM said...

Looks like we won't know if the game will go on until after the deadline.

Kendo said...

I don't know staffer I have a feelin arsenal will beat Chelsea


Anonymous said...

1-3 Chelsea win, with goals from Drogba Malouda and Lampard. Oh! You don't have them in your teams already, Why?

sabz said...

my squad so far

I wish you Merry Christmas,Guyz

Rawad said...

Merry Christmas everyone,

My Team as of now is:

Kolarov, Salcido, Foley,
Brunt, Nani, Dempsey, Lampard,
Benjani, Dembele, Rooney

I love my Defence, and my midfield (just wish i could keep Pederson instead of Lampard).
The only problem with the team is Carson but all i have on the side is EXACTLY 0.00 so i guess i'm sticking to the entire team as it is...

Ruben said...

Hi guys,
this is my squad so far.
bale kolarov salcido
vdv silva cahill (9,3 mil. maybe modric/lee)
rooney balotelli ebanks
I'm not sure about this, maybe someone is can give me advice?

Anonymous said...

berbatov or rooney?

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