Friday, 31 January 2014

Gameweek 24 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Suarez showed his great power and strength once again, making a powerful run from the halfway line in order to notch his 22nd goal of the season. He is of course the clear front runner for the golden boot, and I don't see West Brom being able to hold him this weekend. The Baggies are coming off a 4-3 thriller which saw Aston Villa overcome a 2-0 deficit to defeat West Brom. New coach Pepe Mel will be thinking of every tactic possible to stop the strikeforce of SAS this weekend, but with the surging form Liverpool showed against Everton, I really doubt they will be contained. Suarez is the safe pick once again, as most highly ranked managers will stick the armband on him.

Robin Van Persie- Of course Britannia Stadium isn't the easiest place to play, but for some reason RVP just loves playing there. In his past 6 appearances against Stoke, RVP has 7 goals; 3 of them coming at the Brittania. Stoke still have some problems at the back, with first choice CB Robert Huth still out due to injury. With Mata and Rooney pulling the strings for United, RVP could be in for a treat, so he is a great captain differential at only 16.5% ownership (compared to Suarez's 53.2%). 

Emmanuel Adebayor- The big target man has scored all 5 of his goals this season away from home, and his fixtures aren't looking bad at all. Adebayor travels to Hull City, who will be without first choice GK Allan McGregor due to receiving a red card last match. With Eriksen's lethal dead ball delivery, he will likely look for the Togolese's big frame as a target. If you're playing catch up, Adebayor could be a great captain punt, as Spurs will look to avenge their 5-1 home loss to Manchester City. 

Mesut Ozil- The German international came close to scoring mid-week, but could not add to his tally of 4 goals. However, he did notch his 9th assist of the season, which puts him 3rd in the league behind Suarez and Rooney. At home to Crystal Palace will be tough I must admit, due to Tony Pulis' anti-footballing tactics. Pulis will likely throw 11 men behind the ball and try to hit Arsenal on the counter. I do see Arsenal still winning this game by 2 or 3 goals, and Ozil will likely play a part. This is a maverick captain pick, so it's contingent on your rank, and if you're willing to take the risk. I still advise one of the 3 picks above over Ozil, but he could well pull off another double digit performance at home.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week clean sheets look slim, so I only fancy two:

Cardiff at home to Norwich

Arsenal at home to Crystal Palace

PUNTY McPUNTERSON- As some are Wildcarding this week, two players I fancy as 3-4 week punts are Mirallas and Dzeko.

Kevin Mirallas(7.3)- With main striker Lukaku out injured and new signing Lacina Traore not yet ready to go, Mirallas may feature up top in a OOP striker role for Everton. The Belgian looked dangerous against Liverpool, and his selfish playing style may benefit fantasy owners that are willing to take the risk. His next 3 fixtures read: AVL, tot, CRY, so he may be worth a 3 week punt if on WC or in need of downgrading a heavy hitting midfielder.

Edin Dzeko(6.9)- Similar to Mirallas' situation, Dzeko may become a beneficiary of yet another Aguero spell on the sidelines. Just when the Argentine was getting back his form, he will sit out another 4 weeks. Dzeko has recently registered 39 points in his last 5 games and has frankly gone unnoticed. With an ownership of only 8.7%, Dzeko has CHE, nor, SUN, STO as his next 4 games, and may just be worth investing in.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Gameweek 23 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Suarez once again remains top prospect for the armband this week. He will partake in the Merseyside Derby mid-week, which will have Liverpool and Everton players fired up. Earlier this season this match ended in a 3-3 draw, which included end-to-end action for most of the match. Suarez will assuredly be excited for this match in front of his home crowd, and is always a good bet for a goal or two. He is once again the "safe" choice this week for captaincy.

Sergio Aguero- Aguero got a run-out again in a meaningless cup tie against West Ham, where the aggregate ended in a 9-0 routing of the Hammers over two legs. Aguero once again found the score sheet, proving to fantasy managers that he has regained his early season form. He will be away to a Spurs side who has looked quite good under Tim Sherwood. They will be put to the ultimate test when the come up against Man. City Wednesday, the team who easily put 6 past them earlier this season. I don't see Tottenham keeping City scoreless, and Aguero will certainly be one to keep a close eye on. He is a great differential for those willing to take the risk this week.

Robin Van Persie- Don't hold your breath, but RVP may be back in action this gameweek. Moyes has indicated that RVP and Rooney have returned to full training, but did not specify if either of them will start vs. Cardiff. On a positive note, fantasy managers will have the privilege to see starting lineups before the deadline. If RVP starts, he could be the ultimate differential of them all. With 15% ownership (and realistically nobody from the top 10k owning him), if you're on Wildcard and can squeeze in Van the Man, he could potentially rip Cardiff apart. Take into consideration Van Persie has been injured for quite some time, so it may be taken off early if he does start. This is an all in captain punt, so if you're leading your mini-league, steer clear.

Daniel Sturridge- Sturridge has obtained 18pts from just 2 games coming back from injury. Similar to Aguero, he looks to have picked up where he left off before injury, and is also a decent captain option this weekend. Sturridge is not #1 on my list of options this week, but I do expect him to get something from this game. Although most will be captaining his strike partner Luis, if Sturridge can outscore him for the second week running, it could reap massive rewards. 

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy three clean sheets:

Crystal Palace at home to Hull City

Chelsea at home to West Ham

Sunderland at home to Stoke

THE DIFFERENTIAL WATCHLIST- For those on WC, here are some nice differentials to consider.

Juan Mata(9.5)- With 7.1% ownership and rising quickly, Mata is becoming a hot commodity in FPL. Without even playing a minute for Manchester United, many are selecting him based on his performance last year for Chelsea. Mata produced 212 points last season, and was among the top midfielders in FPL. Hopefully he can continue that form, setting up teammates Rooney and RVP in the coming weeks.

Adam Johnson(6.6)- The speedy winger is making a claim to be a serious FPL prospect. Having scored 22 and 13 over his last 2 fixtures, Johnson has some tasty fixtures coming up. He may be a nice cheeky 3-week punt for anyone on wildcard, as he has home games against Stoke and Hull, with an away game to Newcastle sandwiched in between. At only 5.2% ownership, he could possibly propel you up the ranks if he continues his surging form. 

Branislav Ivanovic(6.0)- The beastly Serbian has recently returned from injury, and Mourinho took no time at all to re-instill him into his back 4, with Cole dropping to the bench. Having scored an average of 4 goals per season in his last 3 seasons with Chelsea, Ivanovic is a good bet going forward for the rest of the season. He is 0.6 cheaper than captain John Terry, and is also nailed on for the foreseeable future.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Gameweek 22 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Mr. Default Captain for the 2013-14 season retains the top spot for my captaincy selection, and for obvious reason. Suarez just can't stop scoring at the moment, completely annihilating his golden boot competition. This weekend he is at home to a Villa side low on confidence, only having won once in their past seven league games. It's quite obvious that Liverpool is the favorite here, and this weekend we will see Suarez be reunited with his strike partner Daniel Sturridge, also known as SAS. It's likely Liverpool bang in 2 or 3 goals, which Suarez will play part in most; if not all! For those at the top of their mini-leagues or looking to maintain their rank, Suarez is the obvious captain choice this week.

Sergio Aguero- After being subbed on in the 73rd minute for Alvaro Negredo in the Cup vs Blackburn, Aguero took no time at all to remind fantasy managers why he was such a popular choice before his injury. Aguero scored less than 1 minute into his substitute appearance, making him a very popular choice for this weekend. He has a tasty matchup vs Cardiff at the Etihad, where Man. City have been banging them in all year. Let me briefly remind you all of Aguero's home record this season. In 8 league games at the Etihad, Aguero has managed to score 8 goals and assist 6 times, and has an average of 9 ppg. Although Aguero is not a certain starter for the weekend, those who dare take a risk may be in for a goal fest if Aguero hits the ground running.

Alvaro Negredo- The Spaniard took no time at all to fill Aguero's boots, having passed his fellow strike partner for most goals for Man. City this season. Some may argue that Negredo appeal diminishes with Aguero on the pitch, which may be true to some extent. Negredo has 5 goals in his last 10 league matches. Despite lighting it up in other competitions, Negredo has failed to match his returns in Cup play, something that fantasy managers might want to consider. With Negredo expected to start this weekend against Cardiff, he is obviously a great shout for the armband because as I stated before, Man. City are banging in goals for fun at home.

Olivier Giroud- Many fantasy managers have written off Giroud, but the Frenchman continues to impress as Arsenal's main striker. Although the fantasy points dried up for quite some time, Giroud looks to be finding his feet once again, having scored in his last two appearances for the Gunners. He also has a tasty fixture this weekend, at home to Fulham. Although people are writing off Fulham, keep in mind that they are coming off a 3-0 routing of Norwich, and may be full of confidence for this one. The Cottagers have also recently reacquired captain Brede Hangeland from injury, which definitely boosts their morale. Despite all this, Arsenal must pick up three points to retain their 1st place status in the league, and will look to come out guns blazing. If you don't have Suarez or a Man. City striker, Giroud could be an outstanding differential this week if Arsenal slot 2 or 3 past Fulham.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy three clean sheets:

Arsenal at home to Fulham

Man. City at home to Cardiff

Chelsea at home to Man. Utd

PUNTY McPUNTERSON- As some are Wildcarding next week, two players I fancy as one week punts this week are Kolarov and Puncheon.

Aleksandar Kolarov(5.4)- Kolarov has proved to make all our fantasy dreams come true. Under Pellegrini, the attack-minded fullback has seen a lot more pitch time, and has already scored and assisted 5 times. Seeing how Clichy played 90mins vs Blackburn in the Cup, he should start this weekend at home to Cardiff, and may be in for a clean sheet, as well as some attacking returns. Definitely worth a look if you have a transfer to spare and are wildcarding in the near future.

Jason Puncheon(4.9)- Having taken perhaps one of the worst penalties in the history of the sport, Puncheon will definitely be looking to redeem himself in front of his home fans. Tony Pulis has shown he is backing his midfielder, stating he is still the first choice penalty-taker. Puncheon has a home match against a leaky Stoke, who just conceded 5 goals to Liverpool. With 3rd string GK Jack Butland being given the nod once again, Puncheon may be a good shout for a goal or an assist.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Gameweek 21 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- The Uruguayan has not dazzled us with his outstanding fantasy output in 2 of the last 3 weeks, due to tough matches against Chelsea and Man. City. This weekend will be different, as he is up against Stoke. Although Stoke is considered a fortress at the Britannia, they will be without starting goalkeeper and center half Asmir Begovic and Robert Huth, who are both out injured. This will open the door for Luis to add to his already outstanding goal tally, and continue 2014 en route to his golden boot award at the end of the season. He is always the "safe" choice when it comes to captaincy this year, so if you don't want to take any risks, hand him the armband.

Wayne Rooney- Although he is a doubt for this weekend's clash vs. Swansea, Rooney is a great option for the armband if he does indeed feature. In my opinion, he will either play 90 or 0 mins (due to injury). As United look to bounce back from their mid-week loss to Swansea in the cup, I think Rooney will be itching to play. He has been United's most prolific attacker this season, as everything flows through him. Being on set plays also increases his appeal, as he will be on indirect/direct FKs, corners and even PKs if RVP is still out. The one worry with Rooney is that he has been dropping deep into midfield to collect the ball, as he makes United tick. If you're willing to take a risk this week, punting on Rooney may pay off handsomely. 

Emmanuel Adebayor- Tim Sherwood has seemed to have brought the best out of the old Adebayor, with the Togo international having scored 3 goals and assisted 2 times in his past 4 league appearances. I fancy him to continue his great form this weekend at home to Crystal Palace. With his strike partner Soldado doubtful, Adebayor may be next in line for PK duty. Palace showed some resilience against Man. City 2 weeks ago, but if Spurs can score one early, I think this could end up being a 2 or 3-0 game.

Romelu Lukaku- Lukaku has been very hot and cold, only having scored once in his past 7 league games. With the Belgian international pushing for a starting role in the 2014 world cup, a home match against Norwich is just what the doctor ordered. I fancy Everton to score some goals in this one, despite their poor history vs. Norwich. In their past 4 encounters vs the Canaries, they have yet to register a win. I fancy that to change with Lukaku up top, giving them some extra firepower that they have lacked in previous seasons. Once again Lukaku is a risky option, but may pay off this week as a nice differential.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy three clean sheets:

Everton at home to Norwich

Tottenham at home to Palace

Man. City away to Newcastle

WILDCARD DIFFERENTIALSFor those who wildcarded this week, here are some tasty differentials who may give you a head start to the 2nd half of your season. 

All these players have a current ownership of 5.5% or lower:

Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc, Ben Foster

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Matija Nastasic, Jonny Evans, Wes Brown, Ron Vlaar

Midfielders: David Silva, 
Steven Gerrard, Christian Eriksen

Forwards: Emmanuel Adebayor, Wilfried Bony, Gary Hooper