Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Week 31 - Player Picks

After my break from blogging I'd hoped to have time to write a proper intro on the state of the Premier League this week, but unfortunately work is mental at the moment ,so I've had to keep it short.

To sum things up, there are eight weeks of the season to go - the title is still up for grabs, 3 teams are fighting it out for the last Champions League spot and the bottom 10 clubs are all in a relegation battle. Great stuff, and I'm sure we're in for a gripping conclusion!

Now straight in to it, starting with the fixtures...

ARSENAL v Blackburn
MAN CITY v Sunderland

Arsenal & City may have been struggling lately, but Blackburn & Sunderland are 19th & 20th in the form table, so home advantage should see two comfortable home wins.

Should Win 1
MAN UTD @ West Ham
SPURS @ Wigan

When you look at these fixtures you think it should be 4 away wins, but West Ham, Wigan, Stoke & West Brom are all fighting a relegation battle, and a team fighting for their life can often find an extra 10% from somewhere to turn defeats in to draws or draws in to wins. Anything can happen at this stage of the season.

Should Win 2
FULHAM v Blackpool
EVERTON v Aston Villa

Fulham will probably win this one, but with Blackpool their opponents you know there'll be goals for both sides. Everton are in great form recently so they should have too much for Villa, but Ashley Young, Stewart Downing & Darren Bent will be full of confidence after their international performances, so it won't be a walkover.

Newcastle v Wolves
Birmingham v Bolton

Two tight games, probably draws.



Walker* (check injury status)

Van Der Vaart
Cahill* (check injury status)
Silva/Adam Johnson


Van Persie* (check injury status)
Tevez* (check injury status)

That's it I'm afraid - but there is time for me to reveal my current team:

Almunia, Kolarov, Smalling, Luiz, Hitzlsperger, A.Johnson, Dempsey, Nani, Defoe, Suarez, Van Persie

Obviously everything changes if Van Persie's injury proves serious, but more on that on Friday when I'm back with the team and injury news.

How's your team shaping up?



Linesman said...

Thanks for the update Nik!

Kol Smalling Luiz
Hitz VdV Adam Valencia Johnson
Suarez RvP

If RvP is injure I will either do a straight swap with Tevez.

The only last minute change I can think of is dropping Cech and improving my mid, but for now I am happy with what I have.


Anonymous said...

How come you don't have Bentley in youe players list? Is he injured?


Anonymous said...

alumnia... that's more i like it... hehe

Anonymous said...

It seems as if all fantasy managers have the same defensive line-up...

Anonymous said...

watching the england game(s) , the good form of bfay , downing & benty is definitely worrying Howard owners like me, so you're dead right to point that one out !


LC said...

My team currently is

Kolorov, Smalling, Luiz,
Nasri, Nani, VDV, Hitzelsperger,
Suarez, Dzeko, Zamora

Not 100% happy with it, but close to being perfect.
m considerin Torres instead of Zamora but think Zamora will get at least a brace. (Hopeful - Big risk maybe?)

Im 69pts clear at the top of my private league and really need to get scoring good points again.

In the background i hold RVP, Valencia & Henry.
Will see what happens with RVP before saving.

Any suggestions?


Assistant Manager said...

Bentley slipped by me this week, now added, thanks Afrikan.

Rawad - Yep, I expect 95% of teams to have the same defence. If you have Kolarov & Smalling at 4ish & Luiz @ 6ish it makes sense :)

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling this will be a high scoring week... If my predictions are right, I guess no defensive lineup would help...

Kellz said...

Kolarov, Luiz, Smalling
Nani, Lampard, (Bentley/Nolan) AJ
RvP, Suarez, Dzeko

Biggest questions are Bentley who should be restored to the starting lineup after injury and Nolan who has been quite but faces Wolves at home, hes just a pure hunch pick. Dzeko will surely continue to start upfront with Tevez to come in behind him if hes passed fit, if not Dzeko should lead the line regardless as Balotelli has officially lost it

Good luck, only 3 more days til games, FINALLY!

Anonymous said...

Balotelli will as a second striker Or alone as dzeko is waste oF space

Anonymous said...

What do people think about keeping Van der Vaart @ 15.29?? I'd like to drop him to free up funds, but I just have a horrible feeling that if I do he will rack up points.

Doctor Teeth said...

Kellz...not so sure that dzeko plays if tevez is fit. I could potentially see Silva and AJ starting ahead of him.

Has anyone heard whether Fabregas is back and likely to start this weekend? It's been a month since the injury and I had previously read reports that he should be back in time for the Blackburn match. If he's back - and RVP is a doubt - I may swap the two out for one another and go 3-5-2:

Kolarov Smalling Luiz
AJ VDV Lamps Dempsey Fabs
Defoe Suarez

That is a MF to swoon over...we shall see. I could exchange AJ for Valencia...I think AJ may have slightly more of an upside but I would surmise that Valencia is a more assured starter.

Anonymous said...

And Balotellis isn't a bigger waste of space? Hes more likely to get a YC or RC than a goal..

Anonymous said...

No love for Demba Ba??? Seems a decent pick @ 7.71.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 8.23pm - I'm a similar position, I really want to drop VDV and spend that cash on the likes of Dempsey etc, just have a feeling that if I drop VDV now (have him at 15m) won't get him back again this season, and spurs have a DG week coming up soon. I notice Assistant Manager seems to have dropped him - Nik, could you explain a bit why you have chosen to drop VDV this week?

Assistant Manager said...

I dropped VDV because I preferred RvP, Nani & Dempsey ahead of him this week & couldn't afford all four. He's been quieter recently, subbed early a few times & with Real Madrid just 4 days after the Wigan game it could happen again. If we had unlimited funds I'd have kept him, but we don't so I decided to sell to balance my team elsewhere. Saying that, if RvP is injured, I may bring him back in.

capiTeno said...

not sure about defoe, i think you've got your spurs-tinted specs on ;-)

Assistant Manager said...

We'll see capiTeno :)

Anonymous said...

If anyone's desperate, have a pop on Gudjohnsen for 1.00. If Zamora, Dembele, Johnson and Kakuta get injured he'd be a shoo-in.

Art Vandelay said...

No Andy Carroll? Think he'll open his account for Liverpool this weekend.

Also, Zabaleta may be a decent shout at home to Sunderland, with both Richards and Boateng injured.

FLScott said...

Setting Drogs up in front this week, as his price has dropped a little; and with the DGr on the way I think it should prove a good bet. Plus... it's friggin' Stoke, and he's about due for another massive point gainer.

Anonymous said...

I'm staying away at Drogba, can't believe he still costs over 17m when he hasn't scored over 10 points for 7 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Not final but here it is:

David Luiz / Smalling / Baines
Adam / Van der Vaart / Hitzelsperger / Muamba
Suarez / van Persie / Phillips or Gudjohnsen

Good to hear Dempsey's fit. He got a pretty good going over from the Paraguayans last night.

Thomas said...

AM what is the point of just listing players?
I know you're a busy guy but its not a blog if you're just listing players, we all know the players on the radar for a given week.

I know it's harsh but it's most weeks these days there isn't analysis on players. If there isnt a few words on key picks from your perspective, which is obviously a valid one given how well you do at the game, then the point of visiting this blog highly diminishes.

Girish said...

I completely agree with Thomas. Because of the lack of analysis and insight, I am visiting fantasy football scout more often. I visit the blog to read comments more than you blog now mate.

You were doing such a great job and I understand that you are in a league and need to keep some cards close to your chest but it's driving traffic elsewhere

Anonymous said...

Well if you don't like it, Thomas or Girish or whatever your name is, why are you here?

IMO the fact that Nik has created and maintained this great site while also having full time job and a fiancée is nothing short of miraculous. And the fact is that he has been very successful at this game for many years -- that carries considerable weight with me.

I read Fantasy Football Scout, too, but they're playing a much less complex game and frankly, for all their useful analysis their picks aren't that good (at least not for YFF).

This blog is a very valuable resource, it's run by one of the top players at YFF and gets contributions from many high-ranking YFF players as well. What's not to like?

Kellz said...

@Girish and Thomas: Just ask some of the blog regulars and you'll most likely get a response back. You gotta understand this is Nik labor of love and can't take over his life as well he has a job and a fiancee.

If you have questions about particular players I am happy to voice my opinion.


Kellz said...

@FLS: Just wondering why you would go Drogba @17mil over Torres @11mil considering Drogba has been dropped to the bench in favor of Torres, expecially with a double week coming up, Torres has to be the better option, all lake of goals aside. Plus Stoke aren't weak at home and have put in some really convincing performances of late, I doubt you will see another 7-0 mauling from Chelsea. Torres is the sure starter.

Anonymous said...

Thomas and Giresh - -
PLEASE keep in mind AM has a regular job and does this for free. The strength of this site is the advice and comments of its users; not just AM's incite. If you don't like his list; then add to it.

Players not on AM's list that I like:
Dembele, Wilshere, K. Davies, Ebanks-Blake, BFAY, Duff, Pennant, Brunt, Modric, Boyata, & Gallas.

One thing I am considering is not picking guys who just played 2 internationals and had long travels: i.e. Dempsey

Good Luck all!


Anonymous said...

how about andy johnson?

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Thomas and Girish...this blog was better when there was some analysis included with the player picks. However, having said that, the player picks are not really the strength of this blog or the reason to visit it in the first place (I mean, how many times have you seen the player picks and said to yourself "WOW - I hadn't even thought of him!")...the value of this blog are the comments from readers and the chat room.

Anonymous said...

Nik, you seem to have a lot of advocates in here... :) we need to start financing these blogs

Anonymous said...

I agree with Thomas and Giresh. There's a reason Nik listed those players and the incite will help. Although i can't even find time to come on as often as before so i i know how difficult it must be finding time to write this but still.


madness said...

what about Birmingham defenders? home vs Bolton, who don't really score much..

Thomas said...

@ bill, well I come based on the fact there used to be some insight..
I'm not having a go, simply voicing my opinion.
I'm sure Nik wants to improve his blog aswell and people are allowed give their opinions.

Every week I make a list of pics, like Am has been listing recently, all be it a shorter list for myself and it will contain names on the list on the blog when I check Ams player picks on the Wednesday night. If you know how to play this game you're going to know who's in contention.

What really makes a blog in my opinion is when analysis makes you sway one way or another between 2 or 3 pics you were having trouble deciding on, that type of thing.

Anonymous said...

how about schwarzer? huh...

Assistant Manager said...

Sorry I haven't had time to write any analysis for the past few weeks, as I said in my opening paragraph I'm having a hard time at work at the moment so I'm squeezing in what I can, when I can with the blog. When I don't have time, people in the comments or chatroom are there to offer the advice/insight you're looking for. The community is the blog's strongest attribute, so please take advantage of it.

Ken said...

No need for sorry here Nik...

Your hard work is appreciated. I am not trying to judge those who would question the amount of content and HARD WORK required to achieve total satisfaction needed in a "one stop shop" blog, but I believe there are two active reasons why someone would (participate) in whatever blog they choose to frequent.

Request... assistance/advice on(their)opinions.

Offer/share... assistance/advice

I saw neither in several of the above post. I am sure all would agree it is fine to challenge the content of what is being offered, it's another thing to challenge the "lack" of whats being offered, even more so when it's being done for free.

Offer a hungry man a sandwich his response should be thank you, Not....(WHAT..NO MUSTARD!)

Thanks for the sandwich Nik!

Anonymous said...

I've got an idea Nick, why don't you pack your job in and spend all your time writing the blog? I know the salary from your job pays for your house, food and bills, but it's unfair on us that you don't provide full analysis for a fantasy football game each and every week. You should go full time on something that pays you absolutely no money so that we get what we want.

Kind regards,
Gary Sarcasm

Anonymous said...

why should you offer a man sandwich without mustard just cos he's hungry. there should be mustard always, i repeat always.
We need the insigth, whenever you have time to add that, we'll welcome and appreciate i.

Anonymous said...

Whilst Almunia looks tempting, might Wenger still give Lehmann a game?


P.S. I don't like mustard so I'm just as happy with the sandwich on its own thanks!

Ken said...

I stand corrected....I think?

Anonymous said...

what team does mustard play for? Is he worth picking this week?

Anonymous said...

At 1.67 Mustard is a steal

Biblotelli said...

@Gary Sarcasm comment of the day!

I guess now AM have to offer some analysis & insight on picking the mustard, no?

Anonymous said...

i personally like coleman(s) this week, am quite a fan of maille too, i think he plays for west brom...

Anonymous said...

Can't see Lehmann playing, he had a shocker in the reserves the other night. I actually have a feeling Almunia will play well on saturday, of course I could just be talking bollocks.

Anonymous said...

According to an article in today's Guardian, Van Persie, Fabregas and Walcott could all return against Blackburn on saturday:

Of course, it's one of those annoying articles where nothing is conclusive ("the club are hopeful, optimistic, etc."), but worth noting.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Best comment is from anon
"Players not on AM's list that I like:
Dembele, Wilshere, K. Davies, Ebanks-Blake, BFAY, Duff, Pennant, Brunt, Modric, Boyata, & Gallas".

I want to see the non obvious players and you get that in comments section along with the "Fab Fillers".
You can always rely on Kellz for insight and well thought out suggestions.

Thomas and Giresh - Feel free to offer your thoughts/suggestions. The blog is only as good as the collective thoughts of the participants. That being said Nolan is on my radar this week along with Ramires.


yff_gamer said...

my team should be
Luiz smalling koscieny
Lampard Adam Hitz Fab
RVP, suarez Ba

Any comments about my team ?

Chief Scout said...

My bet is on O'Hara turning up a 25+ pts this week

Chief Scout

Anonymous said...

my team
walker kolorav luiz
lampsy o'hara VDV Hitz
Van persie Suarez and 10.14???


maybe zamora or dzeko possibly gyan

Anonymous said...

good news. fabregas, song, diaby and walcott all fit for saturday. wenger hopeful that van persie, ramsay and bendtner will be fit too!

rwlwhite said...

Currently holding:

Luiz, Smalling, kolarov, Distin
VDV, Adam, Valencia
Suarez, RVP, Torres

MPFC/KPM said...

Anybody have a yellow card count on this Mustard fellow? Is he suspended for this week's matches?

I currently have Mustard barndoored, but will switch to BBQ sauce if he is suspended.

Anonymous said...

My 442 this week

Colmans HP Marmite Bisto
Hellman Plochman Branston Baxters
Up front it's either Lea and Perrins or Crosse and Blackwell

Tayo said...

Pick of the week:


He takes all the kicks and has a DG week. He's due 30+ points this week. Whatever you do, do NOT fail to include him in your team...

Good luck y'all!

Nick said...

Hey Nik, I was wondering why no one is really talking about kuyt? He has been hot of late in international play and club? is he not worth keeping in the starting line up?

capiTeno said...

lamp+RvP or nani+fabs/dempsey... gimme some lovin

Anonymous said...

help me please.. sturridge/valencia or Hitz/Dgeeko? thanks

Kellz said...

@Nick: Kuyt is still a good option, but only if you have him at 9mil or lower. Hes on PK duty and facing a beatable team abliet away and in a relegation battle. Although he has been in a great form, its also good to note players are usually a bit fatigued after international duty.

Also, just because a player isn't listed in the player picks doesn't mean hes not a good choice. Ultimately you have the power to decide who is good enough for your team and if the matchup is right and the player is at a good price taking PK's, as is Kuyt, I'd say go for it.

Kellz said...

@CapiTeno: Lampard/RvP for sure, both on set pieces and both take PK's. All reports indicate RvP should be fully fit. Fab4 is no longer a fantasy option since he's off all kicks and really has struggled for pts all season. Dempsey just came off 2 international games with one being against a full strength Argentina side, I'd be weary of fatigue. Nani is always a good option, every game hes played 90min for the past 7 weeks hes scored 18-25pts. But I wouldn't buy at retail price. Hope it helps.

@Anon: I dont really fancy either set up, but if you had to choose Sturrage/Valencia should be the better bet as both are more assured to start than Dzeko, and Hitz is playing at home to Utd.

Guy said...

I hear that Mustard is hot at the moment.

Anonymous said...


This week's barrel-scrapings (to reveal those rare pieces of gold ore, or mustard seeds ;)

Almunia Ars 4.5 h **
Harper Newc 4.83 h **
Kingson Bpool 4.49 a *
Al Habsi Wig 5.99 h *

Jiranek Bham 5.97 h **
Meité WBrom 5.79 h *
Heitinga Evert 3.41 h **
Wilson Stoke 3.97 h *

Muamba Bolt 4.05 a **
Sandro Tott 4.20 a * ?
Ramsey Ars 5.96 h ** ?
Carrick ManU 4.98 a *
Barry ManC 5.71 h **
Whitehead Stoke 5.73 h *

Sturridge Bolt 4.98 a **
Kakuta Ful 2.93 h ** ?
Taylor-Fletcher Bpool 5.06 a *
Ameobi Ncastl 6.24 ** (my top pick!)

h - home / a - away match
? check team sheets

Good luck this week-end to you all!

Anonymous said...

* Filler choice
** Top pick

Anonymous said...

i still have coleman @ 8.50ish, I wouldnt pay 12 for him now, and hes been scoring well. Already have luiz and kolorov in defense. I think hes worth keeping instead of switching up to smalling and upgrading a midfielder or fwd. Not many people have talked about him in a few weeeks.


Nick said...


Well I came into fantasy later than usual and did not care enough until recently so its hard for me to get prime players all over the place as their prices have soared like Coleman and Adam. Heres my line up, thoughts?

G - Gomes
D - Luiz/Heitinga/Smaling
M - Downing/Arshavin/Scholes/Kuyt
F - Suarez/Hernandez/Bent

Anonymous said...

@ nick

Scholes is suspended


Nick said...


I need a very cheap replacement, then. I forgot Scholes was under a 2 game ban, instead of one. Any Suggestions? Thoughts on Reo-Coker?

Girish said...


I'm sorry mate. I recently turned to your site for insight. The sight was loaded with analysis and the comments were superb. Allowed me to climb from 4th to 2nd just behind the leader in my private league. Failed to do that well last 2 or 3 weeks and I guess that laid blame on the analysis bit. It's absolutely true that the entirety of the site should be looked and it's still great in that regards

What do you guys think of Ramires, Silva and Modric in midfield?

Anonymous said...

I'd personally only pick 1 out of those 3 since they are all a bit hit and miss in terms of fantasy points. They're all worth a shout just not all together.

My team, subject to Friday news, is:

Kolarov Coleman Luiz
Valencia Nasri Ramires O'Hara
Suarez Defoe RVP

Not at all settled on it - feels like this week is gonna be tricky to nail it. Lots of options.


Anonymous said...

Any body think Harry will keep VDV out of Wigan game to rest for RM match?

Ken said...


Well done..

On the game issue..
I am considering Silva this week. For what it's worth.

Good luck to you this week.

Anonymous said...

This week is difficult to pick players as some like Adam and RVP are injury doubts and there are so many options to choose from.

My team features just one change from last BD team and looks like this:

Kolarov Smalling Luiz
VDV Lampard Adam Dempsey Adam Johnson
Suarez RVP

With news that Ferdinand may be back for the West Ham match, I am concerned over Smalling's status. But with the many injuries in defence, I guess Smalling could still play fullback even with Ferdinand in the side. Any thoughts on this?


Mell 10-11 said...

The injury list is stressful

RVP last minute fitness test
No news on Tevez
Adam looks ok

But performing players for the relegation teams can be the bargain basement to be honest. Any love for Hoilett, Odemwingie, O'Hara, Nzog, Hitzs, Zigic???

Staffer said...

Morning AM-ers!
I'm still unsure of my team and I'll probably make 3-4 changes. I'm currently on:

Berbatov,Van Persie,Suarez

I'll probably change Walker,VDV,Wilshere and Van Persie cause I don't want to take any risks and I really want to join top 200 (currently 397th) by the end of the season. If anyone is a doubt after the update post I'll definitely drop him. Except for Berbatov though, cause he is a season keeper since week 1 and I won't drop him unless he is injured. I'm thinking of Martin Petrov cause he regained his starting spot in the last couple of games, he scored for the Bulgarian national team on Tuesday and he seems to have regained some of his pace and we all know how dangerous he might be.

@Mell 10-11 - all of them seem nice picks with O'Hara possibly being #1 from the ones you mentioned.
@bengoh 91 - I don't think Smalling can play as a fullback cause he doesn't have the necesarry attributes but I still think he will start ahead of Ferdinand even if fit. Man United have Chelsea on Tuesday so prepare for some changes in the United starting 11 - I think Fabio and Park might start so that leaves one of Nani and Valencia on the bench.

Have a fantastic week lads!


Staffer said...

I just changed my team to:


... and I like it better so I already hit save changes!


Anonymous said... or gyan ?!

Nick said...

Okay final Decision and it really comes down to who you think will win between Everton and Villa. Please I need some insight. I can either go with Downing and Bent or VDV/Lampard (Pick one) and Beckford (since Saha is out he becomes Evertons main striker. If you think Villa will win I'll go with the first, and vice versa. Plus VDV and Lampard both have champions league so if their is another suggestion that will put big points up for the money I have then let me know.

Nick Curtin said...

Also if what would you think about Adam/Dzeko MiX? Dzeko has to blow up sometime, right?

Majilan said...

Plzzzzzzz Any news on tevez . I have à feeling he Will do hat trik

Anonymous said...


which one better?

Anonymous said...

do you believe in Gunners' defense? :)


Ken said...

Finally had time to "Ketchup" on my reading..

Love the mustard follow up. Some funny, funny stuff.

Also would like to take the time to say to Kellz..
Really like your post. Always good stuff. Please keep them coming.

My risky team..not saved


If all are starting I (believe) I will save.
Love the midfield,just not sure of how bad the gutting of the rest of the team will balance out.

Good luck all

Anonymous said...

downing or Ashley Young? Young takes penalties (out of his 6 goals, 4 are penalties). Both are playing at a top form, especially downing in the intl. matches. I am not worried about their fatigue, this is for anyone to answer, but AM if you please, who is more likely to perform better between the two?

Anonymous said...

i still have no idea who mustard is??? also is anyone else a little sick of the defensive combo of...

smalling, luiz, kolarov

i know it's a good combo, but who else do people like this week for defense?

Anonymous said...

@ nick, you could take gudjohnsen for 1 and risk a zero. It's not ideal, but not the worst option in the world.

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