Watchlist – Goal Keepers

If you haven’t already, check out new blogger Niall’s excellent article on the Sky Fantasy rule change for defenders. This article is far less sophisticated, I’ll be running you through my top choice keepers that will form part of a watchlist series on each position. Each post will also poll your views and this will be compiled to form a new Watchlist Tab prior the season launch on the 11th August (I’ll also endeavour to keep this updated throughout the season!) Continue reading

Fifty Eight

Prior to the midweek games last week I wrote on this blog that I was holding onto Sergio Aguero “for now as he offers a great captaincy option next week at home to Swansea and crucially on MNF v Bournemouth the week after.” This of course was before he was dropped for the West Ham game, City smashed in 4 goals with new kid on the block Gabriel Jesus stealing the show. Having seen the lineups prior to these games I snap transferred Aguero out for Lukaku, as mentioned last week Lukaku was on my radar and was likely to come in for Alexis Sanchez at some stage. The Aguero situation gave me the perfect option to get the big Belgian in early. On the subject of Sergio Aguero, he’s, for now at least, completely redundant as a fantasy option – Jesus has 3 goals in his last 2, and City have clearly clicked into gear – without Aguero. Having seen Aguero again benched against Swansea, it seems the chances of him starting against Bournemouth are slim at best, but then Pep Guardiola does like surprises…
The other midweek games were fairly uneventful, and I ended them in 57th position – exactly where I started, having brought in Dele Alli for Bobby Firmino but getting no immediate rewards.

Onto the weekend, and Saturday offered up a variety of captaincy options, with Zlatan playing Sunday and Alexis Sanchez away at Chelsea there wasn’t a ‘safe’ option to hand the armband to. Personally I considered Dele Alli at home to Boro and Eden Hazard at home to Arsenal, but ultimately I decided my new signing Romelu Lukaku against a Bournemouth defence that was in complete meltdown was the best option. In a gameday where there is no standout captaincy option it’s always nice to hit a big one, and the 58 points that Lukaku managed to haul in certainly felt good. Elsewhere on Saturday I had Alonso 9, Dawson 7, Hazard 13, Arter 13 plus some 2’s. Saturday night predictably gave me a huge surge up the rankings, from 57th to 8th, nosebleed territory.

On Sunday I resisted the lure of bringing in Gabriel Jesus with the pending blanks looming I simply couldn’t afford the transfer surgery. Those that jumped on were duly rewarded though – he looks an exceptional option for after the blanks, and priced at just 10.8m I’m sure he’ll be in thousands of teams. Ibra, my only player on Sunday, delivered a captaincy goal for an uneventful 12 points. So 124 points in the end, and my rank settled at 12th overall, a huge gain for me, relatively speaking. Weeks like this where there is such variance in people’s scores are always the most exciting, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be on the right end of the points spectrum, lets hope there are many more to come.

Gameweek Points: 124
Overall Points: 1794
Overall Position: 12
Transfers Remaining: 12

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My Team

From hating my midfield one week, to being pretty happy with it the next – amazing what a few points can do. Harry Arter has hopefully got his spot back in the Bournemouth midfield, and his 13 point return including a goal Tackle, Pass, and SoT bonuses certainly made up for his recent benchings. Dele Alli will score goals, & Robert Snodgrass is now in a solid team who seem to be firing fairly consistently at the moment, he has WBA, wat, CHE, bou, LEI in the next 5 so seems destined to deliver, crucially he won’t face a blank at any stage, I think he’ll prove to be a genuine bargain at 7.7m.

Up front things are looking a little trickier. Lukaku is here to stay for now, and with home games against SUN, WBA & HULL in the next 5 looks a viable captaincy option, he also will not face any blank fixtures. Zlatan and Sanchez on the other hand look set to cause chaos in our teams in the coming weeks. Owned by 33% and 20% respectively, they are 2 of the 3 most owned strikers, both are likely to face 2 blanks in the next 4 gameweeks. Management of these two is going to be crucial, and those who have been cautious with their transfers are likely to reap the benefits.

Captaincy Plan

Saturday offers up a tricky decision for those holding Sanchez & Ibra, Sanchez has a tasty looking home fixture against Hull – on paper he looks the obvious candidate but Hull have 2 clean sheets in the last 2, you’d expect them to sit deep and try to frustrate Arsenal – a tactic which can often prove fruitful at The Emirates. Zlatan is less inclined to deliver big scores than Sanchez, he only has 4 10+ scores in 24 gameweeks, Sanchez has 6. Zlatan probably has the easier fixture in terms of goal potential but I think I’ll still opt for Sanchez, with a much higher ceiling on his potential.

Sunday is an easy one, I’ll back Eden Hazard to outscore Tom Heaton when Burnley host Chelsea. Monday night will be an interesting one, those who have held onto Aguero will be desperate to see him start at Bournemouth, and if he does can surely expect healthy returns against a Bournemouth defence who’ve conceded 16 goals in their last 5. Likewise those who made the Jesus move will be rubbing their hands. I’ll have neither and so will offer Harry Arter the chance to shine again for my team, realistically a few bonus points and I’ll be content.

Good luck with your decisions this week, lets hope there are more century scores on the horizon!

Moving on up

Apologies for the lack of posts in recent weeks, a hectic Christmas period followed by a busy early Jan mixed with a couple of FA cup weekends have meant I’ve not been able to get a post up. The fixtures came thick and fast over that period, and I’m happy to say they went pretty well for me, barring a couple of (in hindsight) terrible transfer moves.

I left the blog a few weeks ago with my team sat in 480th position and carrying 18 transfers (a little short at the time). I’ve managed to move up to 57th spot, using 4 transfers along the way.

Overall Points: 1638
Overall Position: 57
Transfers Remaining: 14

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My Team

I haven’t made a lot of changes in the past few weeks, and I’m hoping to keep it that way until at least the end of Feb. My defence remains as is, Jose Holebas is now serving a 2 match ban for 10 yellows, in theory I could replace him with either a cheap Bou defender or even Holgate from Everton – I wouldn’t discourage people from making that move but I’m just going to ride out, often an ultra cheap defender can be a risk of minus points anyway, so maybe playing with 10 men won’t be all that bad.

I’d quite like a new midfield. Eden Hazard has been extremely disappointing in the past few weeks, a return of 2 assists, 0 goals, 0 bonus in the last 4, if it weren’t for the fact Chelsea have a fixture in gameweek 26 I’d be getting rid, but he stays for now almost by default.
Roberto Firmino is also on borrowed time in my side, in fact he may go today for Dele Alli. Captaining Firmino for his two goal show against Swansea was certainly one of my better moves but aside from that game he’s had trouble finding the net. That could all change now that Sadio Mane is back and presumably Firmino will go back to being the false 9.

On the subject of Dele Alli, I’m happy to admit that I made a big mistake selling him before the Watford game, he has 5 goals, 1 assist & 1 MoM since then. To compound my error I took him out for Diego Costa, who got me 1 goal before deciding he quite fancied a move to China…
But part of being a good fantasy manager is admitting your mistakes and correcting them, you can’t be stubborn in this game! Dele Alli is the most in-form player in the league right now, he’s playing as a nominal number 10 but often finding himself ahead of Harry Kane. A brace against a decimated Sunderland defence is a very real possibility. Time to get him back.

Up front I’ve got more issues than Crystal Palace. All 3 of my current strikeforce will have a blank in (Sky) Gameweek 29 (25th Feb), thanks to Man Utd and Southampton reaching the League Cup final. Quite obviously I’m going to need to jiggle things around for that weekend. Sergio Aguero has been an anti-differential, delivering just 1 goal since I got him in 3 gameweeks ago. I’m holding onto him for now as he offers a great captaincy option next week at home to Swansea and crucially on MNF v Bournemouth the week after. Beyond that I’ll be bringing Diego Costa back in, since he seems to have settled down, and Chelsea don’t have the threat of European football hanging over their fantasy players. I’m also looking at Romelu Lukaku for a short period, since Everton are assured to have 0 blank fixtures when Man Utd, City & Arsenal are likely to have 2 in the same period.

In terms of transfer numbers I’m sat with 14 and likely to use 1 today. I’d like to have 8 transfers leading me into the last 9 Premier league fixtures (1st April onwards), since we will encounter some huge double gameweeks where flexibility will be key. That leaves me with 6 (5 after today), to get through the looming blank fixtures.

Captain Plan

Simple one this week, Sanchez at home to Watford, though those with Harry Kane are surely tempted to throw him the armband against that Sunderland defence.

Sunday it has to be Zlatan against Hull, who’ve just lost Curtis Davies to a serious injury. In days gone by I’d probably have gone with Aguero but his form doesn’t allow it.

How’ve the last few weeks been for your teams, let me know below!