Thursday, 3 March 2011

Week 29 - Player Picks

Finally - after 28 weeks - Manchester United are starting to wobble. Wednesday's defeat at Stamford Bridge (a cracking match by the way) was their second in four league games and with trips to Anfield (without Vidic or Rio), the Emirates and the reverse fixture with Chelsea still to come, as well as some tricky matches against teams fighting for survival, it's perfectly conceivable that they will lose more matches. But does the result in midweek throw Chelsea back in to the title race?

No, not in my opinion. If Chelsea were 2nd then I'd offer them a slim chance of overturning the 12 point gap (with a game in hand), but because Arsenal sit between them & United, they're relying on not one, but two teams blowing it; I just don't see that happening (I'm ignoring Man City because they've played a game more and have a weaker goal difference). For what it's worth, I still believe Fergie will seal a record breaking 19th league title to overhaul Liverpool, but Arsenal will be right with them until the end and the race for the Champions League spots between Chelsea, City & Spurs adds an extra bit of spice to the run-in... not forgetting the unbelievable scrap at the bottom with 6th place and the relegation zone separated by just 10 points!

Anyway, Chelsea's win meant the loading up on Manchester United players didn't work out as well as it could've, but there were still plenty of decent scores about and I ended Week 28 on 137 points and 60th overall. It was of course a Blog Cup week, but as has become the norm I won't be calculating the semi-final results until next week to be sure Yahoo don't ruin things by making adjustments - make sure you check back here on Monday!

Week 29 sees another double, but thankfully it's for two teams on this occasion. Picking an XI last week wasn't much fun when you can only target one team, so it's enhanced slightly by both Everton & Birmingham offering options. Everton travel to Newcastle & Birmingham host West Brom before the sides meet at Goodison Park in midweek.

McLeish's men will be buoyed by their magnificent Carling Cup triumph, so you'd expect them to beat West Brom and perhaps that gives their players the edge over the Toffees, but we know Everton are a match for anyone on their day, so it's sure to be an interesting clash. I don't really have a preference - I think there are good options from both teams (particularly in defence) - but you should be looking to get at least 7 double gamers in to your side, ideally more if possible. People will continue to doubt this philosophy, but it works 99% of the time & is a tactic employed by the majority of the top-ranked YFF players.

As always, injuries need to be looked at, and they will be in more detail tomorrow, but we already know the following.

Everton will be without Fellaini for the rest of the season & Tim Cahill is out until the end of March, so both can be discounted from Week 29. Jermaine Beckford is a slight worry, but reports are suggesting both he & Saha should be fit, so expect them to lead the line. 4-4-2 is Moyes only real option considering he's missing the two players that can usually link his 4-5-1 formation. Birmingham are without long-term absentees Scott Dann & James McFadden, while Hleb is 50-50 and Gardner & Roger Johnson are slight doubts due to injuries picked up at Wembley last Sunday. I'll have a more extensive look at this in my Friday Update post.

I'm not completely forgetting the other fixtures in Week 29. Manchester City have a cracking home game against bottom club Wigan & Chelsea travel to a Blackpool side missing the suspended Charlie Adam & DJ Campbell - undoubtedly the two stand out single fixtures. You may want to look at Arsenal hosting Sunderland & Spurs at Wolves but injuries to key players devalues both North London clubs slightly, so don't get too excited. Also worth nothing, Jamie O'Hara is illegible due to standard loan terms.

I'll be avoiding Liverpool v United, West Ham v Stoke, Fulham v Blackburn & Bolton v Villa as they are likely to be close, possibly scrappy encounters, and I'd advise you do the same unless you have a really big discount you're desperate not to lose.

Talking of discounts, a quick word on Robin Van Persie. The knee injury was initially reported as at least 3 weeks, but a number of "in the know" journalists are suggesting (via Twitter and other media) that it's more likely to be 4-6 weeks, with the Dutchman known to be a slow healer. Wenger himself was quoted last night, stating "we have to hope it is only 4 weeks", so I cannot stress this enough - you should be selling him, even @9. That's the last I'll say on the matter.

Now on to players, and you won't be surprised with the majority of names on the list...


R Johnson (* injury news to be checked)
David Luiz

Gardner (* injury news to be checked)


That's it!

I probably picked the worst week ever to miss the barndoor, as Everton values rocketed after their 2-0 win last weekend. It means paying full price for everyone, so I'm limited in what I can do.

Howard, Kolarov, Coleman, Ridgewell, Baines, Osman, Bentley, Arteta, Carew, Zigic, Saha

I'd prefer Foster over Howard but can't get close to affording him. Kolarov is a season keeper & unfortunately Carew is a necessary evil to free up funds, but the rest are all double-gamers with a very good chance of playing both. Arteta has been disappointing recently but he gets some set piece & is the penalty taker, so I'm willing to take the risk. I'd like to bring Roger Johnson & Craig Gardner in if team news suggest they'll be fit, which would probably mean Ridgwell & Osman moving out.

Other than that I can't see a lot changing - I'm concerned about not having a City or Chelsea attacker, but what happened with Tevez last week is in the back of my mind. I don't want to spend a large amount on a single gamer as he only gets one chance & spending £20m on him for a return of 10 points would be a disaster in a double week.

UPDATE: I may go Ridgewell/Carew to Jiranek/Dzeko to get a Man City attacker in - thoughts?

I'll leave it there, but I'll be back tomorrow with all the team and injury news. Please let me know how your team is shaping up!



Anonymous said...

First! =P

Anonymous said...

aye :)

Data Head said...

Good to see the player picks up nice and early today, and your analysis is helpful, as always.

JengKing's said...

thanks AM, 134.00 for gw28. my team for gw29 :

howard, kolarov, coleman,ridgwell,hitz, osman, arteta, bentley, tevez, beckford, martins..:-).

Anonymous said...

Adventurous picks: Howard, Osman, Bentley, Arteta, Carew, Zigic, Saha

Total point can be: 40 max! unlucky!
but -sure- It can be more than 60 -maybe more-! but it seems adventurous! I am not sure about them!

I just liked mentioned player selections: Kolarov, Coleman, Ridgewell, Baines


Ken said...

I for one will most likely crash & burn this week as I will have very few double gamers. I just could not put together a team I was happy with using mostly Everton/Birmingam players.

I think, down the stretch it's time to take a chance, so.....

Nani/Silva/Nasri/Yaya Toure
Torres/Chamakh (if starting)/Dzeko

I like most of it with Toure,Dzeko,Chamakh still a work in progress. Would prefer Carr over Jiranek but fall just short on funds.
Only real discount is I have not managed well this past few weeks chasing most players but hopefully I will be out in front of the points this week.

Good luck to all

capiTeno said...

louis saha... aka anelka of the north. erratic scoring lazy frenchman (that covers most french forwards i know!)
you'll get 3pts or 30pts never anything inbetween

Anonymous said...

146 wk28
kolarov coleman ridgewell
nani vdv c.gardner nasri arteta
saha dzeko 1.22 left

4dg's with zeros fro vdv and v.persie gave me that score and i think 6 dg's is the most for me this week. dropped balotelli whom i prefer to dzeko and can't get him back. hope gardner is fit because i can't upgrade to to bentley. my only worry is not having zigic.

Anonymous said...

imo i think if chelsea have the chance they relying on both united and arsenal to lose it. citeh played a game more and still need to travel to bridge. citeh for the fourth spot :)

donut said...

Thanks for the analysis and I was wondering about JOH so thanks for clearing that up!

129 for W28 taking me up to 406 overall
As always could have made some better decisions but we all feel like that every week!!

Majoring on Everton and Birmingham - I know what you are saying Ken but actually there are some potentially good single game value picks in both teams so when you add the double in to the equation it looks good to me...

Kolarov Baines Coleman
Arteta Osman Larsson AYoung
Saha Beckford Zigic

I like the front 3, they will stay. I like the back 3, they will stay (prefer Coleman to Johnson for some reason this week)
MF 4 I'm not sure about - Arteta has disappointed recently and I'm not sure about Larsson. Osman is good value and Young@pre barn door 13 could serve me well for rest of season as he seemed to be really involved in last game...

Other options are Bentley/Gardner instead of Young, but not decided yet!!


Dave2 said...

FYI - this may devalue Arteta a little and reinforce the need to get Baines: Seems Arteta is seeing fewer set-pieces...

Doctor Teeth said...

129 for the week for me with two zeroes (I loved to see David Silva scoring for Citeh yesterday after he was a no show over the weekend), solidifying my place in the top 500. Really would like to push up into the top 250 by season's end. My biggest misstep was swapping out BFAY for Vidic at 2am Saturday morning but I can't complain...glad that I hung on to David Luiz for the United match.

Currently sitting on 7 DGers:

Kolarov Coleman Baines Luiz
Lampard Arteta Bentley Nasri
Zigic Beckford

Other than my strikers, I actually really like my team, although I may swap out Luiz to bring in Jiranek...obviously not a great move longterm (would love to hold on to Luiz for 5.7 for the rest of the season) but it will probably result in higher points for the double week. Despite Dzeko's anemic performance last week (thanks for the big 3.5 haul, Edin), I am again tempted to have him in my frontline for the Wigan match although at this point I'm not even sure if he starts for Mancini.

Eldwin said...

Hi AM,

I finished 3 points shy of you with a team almost as risky as yours. Would've hit the 140 mark if not for Smalling and Vidic! Oh well.

On that note, I have a huge discount on Nani having him at 13.88. I'm leaning towards keeping him but will be it worth it for this double week (& other upcoming future games)? MU still have some big games coming up, and I've noticed that Nani hardly performs in big games but I guess at 13.88 he'd be able to return at least 60-70% of the value. Unless he flops another 0.5 like in Week 23...

As for the rest of the team, I've BDed some Everton players. Not sure what my lineup will be yet until you post your next update on injuries and lineup suggestion.

Keep up the good work! Love your site!

petra said...


I quite like it. Have a feeling hitz will do well v stoke. he was looking to shoot a lot in the pool game, but it never quite came off. i'm feeling points.

need to watch beckford, but i think everyone's in that boat.

all about tevez though, reckon a brace is coming his way.

just annoyed i can't get bentley in, but i think arteta gets the nod ahead of him....

Anonymous said...




help plz!!

Anonymous said...

For those of us still holding VDV at 5.5, do we have a hope of him playing this week?

Tottenham have a big game ahead (Milan), which means VDV and Bale could sit out the game against the Wolves..

Anonymous said...

Arteta is really expensive at 13.05. Even for a DG. He only averages 7. He doesnt score and shoot a lot. I dont think i will pick him.

kwyjibo said...

Finished the week with 143, but already out of the blog cup. Moved up 500+ places to 1455. I'm hoping for a good push to get me back into the top 1000.

Nani has to go since he didn't even make his value back over 2 games. Besides, his 21+ points are much needed elsewhere.

And even though he's a single gamer, I think it's a good time to bring Nasri back in. Arsenal have a relatively easy string of games coming up, and with all the injuries, he will have many chances, I think.


I couldn't fit in Arteta, and I BD'd Luiz, but might still change him to Carr. Then again, Luiz may score well against Blackpool, so, not sure.

I'm still waiting for Dzeko to do something! Losing my patience. He only scores in Cups and Europa league, it seems.

gman26 said...

140 this past week with two Zeros - RVP and Silva. Up to 1,152 over. Hoping to crack top 1,000.


I hate losing Jamie O'Hara but he must go. I can't find enough money for Baines unless I drop Lampard at 13. That might happen. this has been a lost year for Lampard. One good game doesn't mean he'll turn it on for the rest of the year. I'm not crazy about Bentley but he keeps busy enough to earn his value back.

The lazy French forward comment by CapiTeno is not appreciated. It smacks of racism. Is Thierry Henry lazy? How about Just Fontaine who still holds the record for most goals in a World Cup? Saha isn't lazy or a sulker. He's just been incredibly brittle. Like many English players.

Anonymous said...

AM and all,

Is it foolish to go all DG? HELP! See lineup, ready to click:


Roll the dice????


Birty said...

foster, coleman, ridgeway, bardsley, carr, nani, gardener, neville p, gyan, rooney, beckford

finished on a disappointing 106 last week. This week I'd like 200+ points please

Linesman said...

If you have no significant discounts, I see nothing wrong with going all DG!

168.5 for the week thanks to Young. Now I'm struggling to decide whether or not to keep him.

Kol Coleman Ridgewell Jiranek
Hitz Young Arteta Bentley
Torres Saha

Not very happy with Jiranek...last double week he got 5.5? I guess that's just about 1pt/₤ so it's not horrible...

If I drop Young for Gardner/Osman/Larsson I could do a lot more. What do you guys think?

Sean said...

Is VDV coming back this week?

Raconteur said...

Hi All,

As the pundits say, 'getting towards the business end of the season'. It's a shame it isn't a little tighter at the top, but the Man City/Spurs fight for 4th should go down to the wire, and the relegation battle is hotting up.

From a fantasy perspective, I am of the mindset of picking players just based on that week, especially as discounts are less valuable with less weeks to go, which would lead me to look at Brum & Eve for week 29, but i'm contemplating holding the following discounts:

Lampard @ 13.14
Luiz @ 6.33

Chelsea's next games are @Blackpool, ManCity, @Stoke, Wigan, @West Brom, Brum, West Ham.

As long as Ashley Cole doesn't starting shooting his teammates (got to love English football humour with Chelsea fans shouting "SHOOT" every time he had the play vs Man U), I see them all as winnable games. Lampards 26.5 pts last week may have been sheer luck, but i'm willing to test the theory that Chelsea are back to form vs Blackpool, and Luiz looks like a natural points getter. Luiz is all the more attractive to me because I didn't get Kolarov, so he's a cheap long term option.

Lamps & Luiz aside, I shall be dropping RVP, so probably all of my remaining 9 will be EVE & BRUM.

Anonymous said...

Difficult to pick a team this week. I have Nani @ 17, but will probably drop him, unfortunately. Currently have:

Kolarov, Luiz, Carr, Baines
Hitzlsperger, Bentley, Rodwell
Tevez, Saha, Carew

Anonymous said...

With about 10m left, can't decide on who to bring in between Osman, Larsson or Gardner.

SL most overall points
CG more shots/goals
LO better team and matches maybe???

Any help is appreciated!

Anonymous said...

French forwards are lazy, russian forwards are communist, italian forwards cheat and practice diving, australian forwards are dingos, new zealand forwards are sheep shaggers, english forwards are Rooney with elbows to the face.

Blah blah blah

Anonymous said...

The question is : Beckford or Saha ?

chrism said...

the hell with the velvet underground all stars, never mind the bollocks here come the sex pistols.

Over the last few weeks my entire team, as yours, has just been gutted by injuries and DG considerations. This week, its letting go of RVP who I had at 9ish. Previous weeks saw Bale and VDV leave all at the deepest discounts. Last week I missed Charlie Adam who had a 2 game suspension, not 1, so I took a O and will take another this week.

This week also, out goes Nani, who I had at a modest discount and in comes Bentley and Arteta, two DG'ers.

What drives me absolutely mad, insane, foaming at the mouth, ranting, is that for the rest of the year, when they come back, I won't be able to afford any of these guys-Bale, VDV, RVP, they are gone.

Changing topics, I didn't see Citehs FA cup game, but last time out against Fulham they looked horrible. They had no, none, 0, width and speed, their midfield was Yaya, Berry, and Zabelata a fullback, of all people. And this was against a toothless Fulham side. Balotelli and Dzecko play the same positon, CF target man, they were both useless, standing around waiting for someone to get them the ball but no one could. Balotelli, who sulked and pouted the whole game, only scored because the ball accidentally caromed off someone and landed at his feet. I hope City falls to 6th and out of Europe. I hope Manicini gets fired for blatant stupdity. Rant over.

cheers guys

Anonymous said...

@ chrism - that is the difference when David Silva isn't playing, he is so crucial to that Man City team, I dont think non-City fans have appreciated how good that guy really is. With Silva back I would expect Mancini to revert to Silva, Tevez and one of either Balotelli or Dzeko, with the other on the bench. I think Tevez is due some points this weekend.

Anonymous said...

City are a completely different team when Silva is there. Without him and Tevez city would be completely crap.

pop thy collar said...

137 points for gw28 with Adam taking a zero for the long haul (@5.43).

Moved up to 1,231 place overall, looking to break that top 1,000 people...

Gonna gut team for Everton and Brum players as DGs seem to be the way forward.

Keeping Adam though, my only ever present all season from gw1, can't drop him now...

Still lovin' the site AM, keep it rolling chief.

FLScott said...

Am I missing something with choosing Jagielka over Coleman? Nobody else seems to be...???

Thomas said...

I know its a double week but I just don't know how many dgers to be sure of Am, I mean its birmingham and everton.

I think the double week is blinding you on the osman front!

Anonymous said...


capiTeno said...

chill gman26, no racism intended, just an attempt at humour you obviously didn't appreciate...
anyway berbatov's not french is he ;-)

(joke !)

Anonymous said...

@ GMAN 26, "French" is not a "race" it is a nationality, but race baiters like you are boorish

kwyjibo said...

Not that this really affects anyone, since I don't think anyone really had him, but ...

Kolo (That's Kolo, NOT Yaya) Toure failed a drugs test and is suspended until further notice ...

Anonymous said...

RVP .... gone @9... what a disaster......

Anonymous said...


I have refused to drop him until deadline!

Anonymous said...

A knowledgeable fan posted on FFScout, that Larsson is on more set pieces than BENTLEY now-- Maybe AM or someone can confirm, but I am going with Larsson for money reasons and this helps make it easier, I guess.

Believe me I defer to AM's list though.

Also, note that Ferguson is a major doubt with a broken rib, such an amazing sturdy player.


Anonymous said...

Arizona, here
nice moves PopMYCollar-- good for you. I am stuck in the mud with VDV and at 3500. No Kolarov is the main reason I think.

Anonymous said...

Manchester City have suspended defender Kolo Toure after he failed a drug test. The failed test left City with no option but to suspend Toure, 29, and he will take no part in first-team and reserve matches until the investigation is complete.


Anonymous said...

Reconteur.... I am in the same boat as you. In a sleep deprived state I quickly grabbed:
Lampard @ 13.14
Luiz @ 6.33

I am keeping them. No doubt about it. A toothless Blackpool that leaks goals to a resurgent Chelsea who want Champions League = no brainer.... and with upcoming fixtures for Chelsea.

my team now:
Ridgewell, Carr, Luiz, Coleman
Hamburglar, Arteta, Lampard,
Tevez, Carew, Saha

I am not keen on the Everton (nothing to play for) and B-ham offensive attack options. I know many are keen on Bentley, but at his price I don't think so (see previous comment about Larsson taking kicks... it is true).

The only players I may regret not having are Zigic and Baines (which I could do if I traded in Luiz and Lampard)


Anonymous said...


is it larrson or bentley taking kicks?
can you confirm it?

Assistant Manager said...

Bentley & Larsson share free kicks & corners

Anonymous said...

is Roger Johnson fit ????????
and is Saha good for the team ???
plz reply ...........

Anonymous said...

is arteta a good choice ?
and wat abt saha ?

Anonymous said...

Billy/Roger Johnson or Rodwell/Ridgewell?

With Fellaini out I think Rodwell is likely to get his 2 games. Billy looks like he will get about one game and Moyes' first choico to sub out. However Billy has better YFF point scoring ability than Rodwell. I slightly prefer Johnson over ridgewell...What do you think?


Anonymous said...

tevez + jiranek or bentley/artera + r.johnson
which better?

Anonymous said...

flscott - attacking points; jagielka plays centre back, coleman plays right wing, coleman has a higher average, more goal, more shots on target, more crosses etc etc. that's why!

re: roger johnson - nick writes a update post on fridays, wait for that for info

also i notice everyone just asks questions nowadays and nobody helps offer advice. this blog used to be different, every1 always helping out, now people just ask ask ask, nick cant answer them all!!!!


Anonymous said...

Bentley/Arteta + Rjohnson is definitely better. 3 double gamers. Tevez has only 1 chance to prove somemore there are so many strikers vying for a place to play in Man City.

Anonymous said...

R. Johnson fit according to press conference yesterday where coach said Ferguson is doubtful with broken rib.

The Tevez vs Bir or EVE players is a tossup IMO. But you are counting on Tevez to do twice as good as Saha or Zigic-- the one game versus two game thing. I am likely to leave Tevez alone although I have him at a slight discount.

Staffer said...

Greetings AMers!

This week I'm going with the following team:


@ryan - go with the Rodwell/Ridgewell combo cause they both should do well according to their surnames :) and the other couple seem to be doubtful for playing 2 games each


david peter said...

foster/balotelli OR howard/tevez

david peter said...

foster/balotelli OR howard/tevez????

Tayo said...

Howard/Tevez is probably better...

Tayo said...

Dear AM and AMers,

I'm torn between: Ridgewell + Carr vs. Coleman/Osman + Hitzlsperger...

Any advice much appreciated.

By the way, please rate the proposed team below:

Howard / Baines, RoJo, Ridgewell, Carr / Arteta, Neville, Bentley / Beckford, Saha, Zigic

Many thanks as always!

Anonymous said...

Tayo - my rating of that team : shit

your'e welcome.

Ken said...

Double trouble???
Well, don't laugh, but I have strayed out on my own and picked my entire team based on this:
Currently in my league I sit in 4th place with 2350.50 points. It would appear that first (2554.50) is out of reach but the number 2 spot sits at 2412.50 points.I will not get there if my team reflects 70%-90% of all others, so.....

Silva/Nasri/YaYa Toure

Dropped Nani, (yes there was crying involved) but with him I have been averaging 30-40 points behind the current leaders and I had to make some moves.

Hoping for boring, uneventful games this week for Everton/Birmingham, with the exception of my 4 players. oh yeah..City also winning 7-0

Good luck all

Anonymous said...

my team til now

howard 3.79

baines 14.47
coleman 8.54
ridgewell 10.65
johnson 11.57

hitz 5.49
nasri 12.30
arteta 12.88

carew 1.97
saha 11.16
zigic 6.40

plz rate my team

and ne changes acc. to u ?


Tayo said...

@ Anonymous 2:02 PM,

Are you serious? What are your reasons?
I'll like you to post your team and state your name...

Anonymous said...

Just pulling your plonker Tayo, don't cry please.

LC said...

My team for this week atm but will probably change is

Kolorov, Ridgewell, Coleman, Baines,
Arteta, Bentley, Rodwell
Tevez, Carew, Zigic

@ Tayo - I think you have a decent team. Maybe a big name striker like a Tevez or a Torres. I can see Torres getting 4 or 5 against Blackpool (who are without DJ Campbell and Charlie Adam)


Anonymous said...

I am going for 11 DG's :

Coleman Baines Carr
Bentley Arteta Larsson Osman
Beckford Zigic Saha

Just need some opinion from you guys.. Should i stick with Beckford or bring in Dzeko? still have 1million left in bank.

Thanks and good luck to all managers..cheers

-No Name FC-

Benjitrain said...

I've heard reports that bentley will not make the first games of the double week. Why hasn't he played in so long? Anyone have any input on this?

Anonymous said...

Bentley will start.

Anonymous said...

arteta + zigic or rodwell + torres? Anyone pls 20mins left!

Anonymous said...

Absolute rubbish stocking up on 2nd and 3rd rate players just because they're DGers for one week then you've not enough money to restock with any quality as the prices are too high.

Anonymous said...

why isnt tim cahill playing? :(

Post a Comment