Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Week 3 - How Did You Do?

An amazing weekend of Premier League football, I'm sure you'll agree, as Manchester's United & City made a real statement of intent to rest of the competition. Neal has written an excellent summary of the events over on Fantasy EPL, so I recommend you head over there and have a read when you get a chance.

Fantasy EPL - 10 Thing We Learnt: Week 3

It may have been a rotten weekend for Spurs but I had a better fantasy weekend, breaking 100 points for the first time this season despite 3 of my players scoring 2 points or less. My Week 3 total of 122 (mainly thanks to Rooney) moved me up 18,000 places to just outside the top 20,000, still absolutely miles behind the leaders, but moving in the right direction at least. Unfortunately I missed Sunday's barndoors including Dzeko @ 9 - so that could prove costly.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Week 3 - My Team

De Gea

Richards   Brown   Bosingwa

Cabaye   Watson   Silva   Sessegnon

Ageuro   Suarez   Rooney

I'm pretty pleased with what I've ended up with this week after making a few changes to my Friday team, aided by those random price fluctuations at 9am this morning.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Week 3 - Update

Apologies for not updating my Player Picks post this week; I have very little spare time at the moment and as I explained earlier this month it's one of the reasons collaborating efforts for the Never Manage Alone blog (to be launched later this season) makes so much sense. On the occasions I don't have time there will be other knowledgeable folk on hand to cover for me, and vice-versa.

Anyway, I am back on this Friday afternoon to update you on all the team and injury news you need to know as we move quickly towards the Week 3 deadline. As always it will flow in drips and drabs throughout the day so I'll get things up as I read/hear about them. Here we go...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Week 3 - Player Picks

Week 2 was another very tough fantasy week for me and I currently sit in an all time low position of 39,000th. I had been convincing myself this was happening purely down to the lack of home wins, and in Week 1 that was probably kinda true, but last week was different. I realised that I made changes to my team based on other influences, such as other people's teams in the chatroom/comments section, and that's something I never normally do.

My decision to go with N'Zogbia over Bent was one of the those changes and looking back (as I mentioned in the "My Team" post) I just don't know why I went with it when the two players cost the same amount. Also, my decision to spend big money on Baines; he was a good pick but I had to make too many changes to accommodate him and this made me feel uneasy throughout Friday and Saturday morning, but again for some reason I stuck with it. This week I'm sticking with my gut instinct and hopefully that will see a change of fortune!

So here we go, starting with a look at the Week 3 fixtures:

Monday, 22 August 2011

Week 2 So Far

Saturday must go down as the worst fantasy day I have had since I started playing this game 8 years ago. It started with Wes Brown's -4 as Newcastle grabbed a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light and went steeply downhill from there. For me and for many others it was the 2nd disappointing weekend in a row.

It's no coincidence that the generally low scoring continues as we've had just 3 home wins from 9 games so far in Week 2. Combine that with the 1 home win from 9 games in Week 1 and it's easy to believe there's a trend developing. I'm still convinced the correct long-term strategy is to bank on home players, it's just taking a while to get going this season

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Oh Dear

Worst. Week. Ever.

Week 2 - My Team

 De Gea

Richards   Brown   Baines

Moses   Silva  Cahill   N'Zogbia

Sinclair   Torres   Aguero

I'm not sure about things this week; I've got a bad feeling I'm going to regret not have Darren Bent, but he's almost always fantasy poison when I pick him, so I chose N'Zogbia as my Villa player and took a punt on Sinclair as my 3rd striker. I have a slight concern over Torres but hopefully Villas-Boas gives him another chance - if not I think a lot of us have gone with him, so the hit won't be too bad.
Picking Baines put a bit of a drain on my funds so he really better be worth it, Cahill is feast or famine and if De Gea does poorly I'll be OK with it because it would mean Spurs actually did something at Old Trafford! The rest is fairly self explanatory - I left 2.2 in the bank due to the overnight discounts and deciding to stick with what I had rather than making changes for the sake of it. Hopefully I'll see an improvement over my Week 1 performance.

On the barndoor I'll be looking to bring in more Chelsea players, as they face Norwich at home in Week 3, but other than that there's not a whole lot to get excited about. I guess Wigan at home to QPR could be worth a look, maybe Liverpool at home to Bolton, but that's it really.

Please let me know your Week 2 team and who you're thinking about on the barndoor - and good luck!


Friday, 19 August 2011

Week 2 - Update

I get the feeling it's going to be a busy day at work and a busy day of team and injury news, so please bear with me; I'll get things updated as quickly/often as possible. Straight in to it...

- A big blow for Manchester United - Nemanja Vidic has been ruled out for up to 5 weeks with a calf injury. Rafael is already out for a few months but better news is that Rio Ferdinand will probably only miss the Spurs game as his hamstring is not as bad as first feared. Evra is also back, so it looks like it'll be Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra this weekend, with Fabio on the bench.

- Rafa Van Der Vaart played an hour of Spurs' 5-0 hammering of Hearts last night, scored a goal and looked excellent, so you can add him to the premium midfield options for Week 2 alongside Lampard, Malouda, Young & Nani. Defoe, Bale, Lennon, Kranjcar & Walker all looked sharp and all of sudden I feel less miserable.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Week 2 - Player Picks

The dust has settled on Week 1, we've accepted that most of us did pretty poorly, but it's a new week and it's time for blog readers around the globe to put their disappointment behind them and start the march back towards the Top 50/Top 500/Top 1000 or whatever personal target they've set themselves for this season.

I'm sure we're also all hoping to see a better weekend of Premier League football, after 5 draws and just 18 goals from the opening weekend proved a bit of an anti-climax. In terms of excitement from a personal stand-point it helps that Spurs will finally be in action, although a trip to Old Trafford is hardly the ideal start; especially with Man City to follow in Week 3.

Anyway, from a fantasy perspective I definitely feel like there is a better selection of fixtures this weekend with no fewer than 6 games looking like they have a reasonably clear favourite. Let's get in to them right away...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Week 1 - How Did You Do?

I'm off work sick at the moment so haven't got the energy to post a long review of Week 1, but I've got out of bed to write a brief summary and at least provide a starting point for discussion in the comments section.

The first eight matches were a bit of an anti-climax, as a lack of goals and the absence of a home win on Saturday or Sunday meant low fantasy scores all-round. Manchester United were the only "big name" to take 3 points while QPR looked out of their depth, being hammered at home.

It was left to one man to light up the opening weekend and he did so despite only 30 minutes of pitch-time. Sergio Aguero is going to be a star on these shores and his 2 goals and assist helped Manchester City to a 4-0 win over Swansea. Goals from Silva, Dzeko and clean sheets for Hart and the City back four meant an explosion of fantasy points across the board.

You're probably pretty frustrated if you didn't have Aguero (especially if you went with Gervinho instead) but you shouldn't be because really you made the sensible choice. Mancini stated that he wasn't ready to start and would probably only get 30 minutes, so it's natural for a fantasy manager to go for a certain starter instead. I'm sure, you've barndoored him now, so there'll be plenty more points coming our way over the next 37 weeks!

I was sitting on a woeful 39 points on Monday and ended the week on 72 thanks to Dzeko and Silva. A fairly rubbish opening week and I'm still annoyed I went with Agger over Richards, but it could've been worse. I missed the barndoor on Saturday and Sunday due to other commitments but brought Richards and Aguero in last night.

I'm going back to bed now; let me know how you did and who you brought in for Week 2 and I'll read all about it when I wake up!


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Week 1 - My Team

 De Gea

Agger   Vermaelen   Riise

Silva   Taarabt   Young   Duff

Gervinho   Carroll   Dzeko

First team of the season - and I quite like it. The late fitness test for Van Persie put me off spending 22 on him in the end, so I now expect him to score a hattrick.

The only thing missing really is a City defender, I was 0.13 away from going Verm to Richards. Duff is a hunch pick, Gervinho is a bit of a shot in the dark, the rest feels solid. I concentrated on players I was pretty certain would start so I'll be annoyed if more than 1 doesn't. I also went for defenders who I thought could get me attacking points or come up with a goal rather than worrying too much about clean sheets.

Next week Chelsea are at home to West Brom, Man Utd at home to Spurs, Man City are away at Bolton & Villa are at home to Blackburn. I'll probably be looking at these four teams on the barndoor.

Let me know your team...and good luck all!


p.s. Sorry that Chatroll went down, it seems to do it at the worst times!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Week 1 - Update

This post is usually an update on injuries, general team news and my own latest team, but I have an additional update for you today - and it's a big announcement regarding the future of this blog. You may have already read this news over on Jeremy & Neal's site but in case you haven't, please head over to FantasyEPL to read their 'Never Manage Alone Edition' of 'The Week Ahead'.

Now I'd alluded to a partnership when we released our Season Previews and I'm delighted to confirm that within the next few weeks myself, Jeremy & Neal at Fantasy EPL and Ibracadabra at Never Captain Nicky Butt (who focuses on the Official Premier League game) will be joining forces. From this point Neal has explained things in perfect details, so I will quote him and then explain how this will affect readers of this blog.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Week 1 - Player Picks

Week 1 is almost upon us, but sadly the usual excitement about the start of a new Premier League season has been overshadowed by the riots here in England. The country is in turmoil and all Police efforts are understandably focused on things other than stewarding sporting events.

As yet there's been no confirmation regarding postponements but a statement released earlier today by the Premier League suggested some games in London are at risk. That would mean Tottenham v Everton, Fulham v Aston Villa and QPR v Bolton. However, with all games still on I have to write this post as if all games will go ahead.  

UPDATE: Spurs v Everton POSTPONED. Other 9 games are ON.

Now this will be one of the most difficult post I write this season. We have no real idea of starting XI's, we have no true indication of the form or fitness of individual players, we have no way of knowing if new signings will adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, so it's very difficult to produce a list I feel 100% confident with. However, having analysed the Week 1 Fixtures in a previous post, I've identified the sides with favourable matches (Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal & Fulham in particular) and put together my recommendations based on that.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Season Previews - Part 4

The final part of our Season Previews written by myself, Jeremy, Neal & Ibracadabra and hosted on Fantasy EPL. Covering each Premier League club in alphabetical order these previews give an overview of last season's performance from a real-life and fantasy perspective, predictions for the coming season and players to look out for/avoid in both the Yahoo and Official fantasy formats.

Links to the last 5 Swansea > Wolves are below - hope you enjoy!

Season Preview - Swansea

Season Preview - Tottenham

Season Preview - West Brom

Season Preview - Wigan

Season Preview - Wolves


Monday, 8 August 2011

Season Previews - Part 3

Less than a week to go until kick off as we move on to Part 3 of our Season Previews written by myself, Jeremy, Neal & Ibracadabra and hosted on Fantasy EPL. Covering each Premier League club in alphabetical order these previews give an overview of last season's performance from a real-life and fantasy perspective, predictions for the coming season and players to look out for/avoid in both the Yahoo and Official fantasy formats.

Links to the next five covering Newcastle > Sunderland are below - hope you enjoy!

Season Preview - Newcastle United

Season Preview - Norwich City

Season Preview - Queen's Park Rangers

Season Preview - Stoke

Season Preview - Sunderland


Arsenal Suffer Triple Injury Scare

Arsenal.com - Triple Injury Scare
Arsenal have been rocked by three fresh injuries to Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs with the season less than a week away.

Van Persie scored in the Gunners latest preseason defeat to Benfica and unfortunately for Wenger the 27-year old picked up a knock.

"It is an ankle problem, I don’t know how bad it is," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "Gibbs has a muscular [thigh] problem and Vermaelen has a slight back problem."

Three players I was set to pick in my team for the opening weekend now appear to be doubtful and may need to be replaced, although I'll wait for a more thorough assessment later in the week before dismissing them completely. I do find it amazing how many Arsenal players suffer injuries and the frequency of them - many reoccurring. What is going on in regards to fitness, conditioning, recovery etc? Questions have been asked before and they need to be asked again as the problem isn't going away.


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Week 1 - Fixtures

Those of you who have been readers of the blog for the past two seasons will know I begin my analysis of the forthcoming fantasy week by going through the Premier League fixtures (usually within my Player Picks post). Unfortunately a 2010 ruling meant that if I wanted to list the fixtures on this blog I would have to pay a licence fee to the Premier League (I'm sure they really need the money) which would add up to hundreds of pounds per season.

I can't afford to do this as I spend all my spare money on beer - but I can link to the information, so click here to view Week 1's fixtures. Of course they also appear in the bottom right of Yahoo's 'Team Manager' page, which is handy as you can refer to them as you select your players. As you will see, Week 1 is a single week for all teams.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Season Previews - Part 2

We move on to Part 2 of our Season Previews written by myself, Jeremy, Neal & Ibracadabra and hosted on Fantasy EPL. Covering each Premier League club in alphabetical order these previews give an overview of last season's performance from a real-life and fantasy perspective, predictions for the coming season and players to look out for/avoid in both the Yahoo and Official fantasy formats.

Links to the next four covering Everton > Manchester City are below - hope you enjoy!

Season Preview - Everton

Season Preview - Fulham

Season Preview - Liverpool

Season Preview - Manchester City

Season Preview - Manchester United


Final Blog Leagues

Due to overwhelming demand the very final Blog Leagues, numbers 13 & 14, are open. These are for people who didn't get a space in the first 12, any duplicate teams will be removed. Taking a place will enter you for the massive 1,400 team Cup Competition later in the season. Details below:

YFF Blog League 13
Group ID#: 7658
Password: rooney

YFF Blog League 14
Group ID#: 7659
Password: drogba

These will definitely be the last as all my Yahoo IDs are now full up!


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Season Previews - Part 1

Firstly, thank you to everyone who signed up to join one of the Blog Leagues - it was incredible that we were able to fill 12 leagues in just 5 days and it's left me feeling really excited about the new season, especially with a monster 1,200 team Cup Competition to look forward to!

I'd hinted at a partnership in the Blog League post and I can now reveal a bit more. The coming season will see a collaboration of efforts working alongside two men you know well, fellow Yahoo Fantasy bloggers Jeremy & Neal at Fantasy EPL and Ibracadabra at Never Captain Nicky Butt whose focus is the Official Premier League game.

We start with Part 1 of our Season Previews which were written as a team and are being hosted on Fantasy EPL. Covering each Premier League club in alphabetical order these previews will give an overview of last season's performance from a real-life and fantasy perspective, predictions for the coming season and players to look out for/avoid in both the Yahoo and Official fantasy formats.

Links to the first five covering Arsenal > Chelsea are below - hope you enjoy!

Season Preview - Arsenal

Season Preview - Aston Villa

Season Preview - Blackburn Rovers

Season Preview - Bolton Wanderers

Season Preview - Chelsea


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Aguero Added...

@ 6.55. Nice!