Thursday, 12 May 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 38

And then there was one.

With one weekend separating this Premier League season from the next, we know who will begin their title defence in August, and who will have to watch from the Championship. Places from 2nd to 7th are still up for grabs, so there is plenty to play for on the final day, ensuring a selection of reliable picks at the right end of the table for GW38.

There will be plenty to play for in FPL as well, as you look to exploit one final chance to edge ahead of your rivals. Read on to decide the one good transfer that will end your season on a high.

Gameweek 38 fixtures

Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Chelsea vs Leicester
Everton vs Norwich
Man Utd vs Bournemouth
Newcastle vs Tottenham
Southampton vs Crystal Palace
Stoke vs West Ham
Swansea vs Man City
Watford vs Sunderland
West Brom vs Liverpool

Player Picks

Forwards

Martial (7.7) - With 3 goals in his last 2 starts, Martial is attacking the run-in schedule with gusto. Man United will look to him for inspiration as they bid to pip City to the 4th and final Champions League spot.

Kane (10.2) - The Premier League's top scorer will look to maintain his status and secure a finish over Arsenal for his club as Tottenham visit an already-relegated Newcastle side on the final day.

Midfielders

Sanchez (11.0) - Alexis Sanchez has been in explosive form since early March, and will be relishing the prospect of facing Aston Villa as he looks to contest the Centennial Copa America on a high note.

Tadic (6.6) - 2 goals and 6 assists spread over the last 4 gameweeks have helped the Serbian playmaker rack up 41 points over this time period. There's no better time to get him in than for a game against a Palace side with an eye and a half on Wembley.

Hazard (10.9) - Last season's Player of the Year has averaged 12 points per gameweek following his return from injury, despite some difficult fixtures. Don't put it past Belgium's captain proving a point against the newly crowned champions.

Payet (8.6) - A late pair of assists settled a to-and-fro match at Upton Park in West Ham's favour, and he will look to repeat his heroics against a Stoke side with nothing to play for as West Ham aim to secure an unlikely 5th place finish.

Defenders

Rojo (5.0) - The Argentine defender delivered a solid 8 point return over the double gameweek, and should be expected to deliver again for the league's stingiest home defence against Bournemouth.

Gabriel (4.3) - With Mertesacker out with a hamstring injury, Gabriel offers the cheapest route to an Arsenal defence unlikely to be troubled too much at the Emirates by an abject Aston Villa side.

Bertrand (5.2) - Southampton haven't managed a clean sheet since Chelsea ended their run late in February, but the chances of one are high at home to a Palace side unlikely to exert themselves too much ahead of the FA Cup Final.

Keepers

Cech (5.9) - Arsenal are at home to the league's weakest attack, with the chance of finishing above Tottenham as added motivation. Expect another shutout as Cech looks to make the Golden Glove his own.

de Gea (5.9) - United have let in just 8 goals at Old Trafford all season, and the Spaniard has had a big part to play. Tied with Cech on 15 clean sheets, he is at home to a team with nothing to play for as United look to make something of an average league campaign late on.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 38 in Fantasy Premier League

Friday, 6 May 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 37

We have a new champion.

Wes Morgan's heroics at Old Trafford earned Leicester a crucial point from a difficult match, but it kept the title within reach of a determined Tottenham team. The next day, however, Eden Hazard settled the destination of the Premier League for the second season in a row with a spectacular strike to rescue an improbable point for Chelsea and put the title beyond Tottenham. Elsewhere, Arsenal closed out a 1-0 victory over Norwich that took them to third place ahead of a makeshift City side that got stuffed 4-2 at St. Mary's.

Back to business. The penultimate gameweek of the season is a double for a number of teams owing to prior FA Cup weekends, offering up a final chance to rack up the points. Read on to find out how.

Gameweek 37 fixtures

Norwich vs Man Utd
Aston Villa vs Newcastle
Bournemouth vs Newcastle
Crystal Palace vs Stoke
Sunderland vs Chelsea
West Ham vs Swansea
Leicester vs Everton
Spurs vs Southampton
Liverpool vs Watford
Man City vs Arsenal
West Ham vs Man Utd
Norwich vs Watford
Sunderland vs Everton
Liverpool vs Chelsea

Player Picks

Forwards

Deeney (5.3) - The Watford skipper stepped up to the plate with a brace against Villa, and faces what will be a weakened Liverpool side and a struggling Norwich team. He's quite fairly priced, too.

Rashford (4.7) - The Man Utd youngster has started 9 games in a row and has notched up 4 goals and an assist in this period. He will be at the centre of the action as the Red Devils look to mount a late surge for 4th place.

Defoe (5.3) - The Premier League veteran made it 10 goals for 2016 by converting a late penalty at Stoke, and could face stingier defences at home than those of Chelsea and Everton.

Midfielders

Hazard (10.8) - Last year's Player of the Year had a season to forget, but has made an explosive return from injury scoring 3 goals in a game and a half. It is wise to back him to keep impressing Antonio Conte in the little that remains of this season.

Payet (8.5) - The fixture-proof Dimitri Payet is a strong pick on any given day, and a double gameweek makes him a must-have for a strong end to the FPL season.

Townsend (5.8) - Andros Townsend has led Newcastle's charge out of the drop zone, and will be relishing the prospect of facing a Villa side who have already thrown in the towel.

Defenders

Cresswell (5.7) - The Hammers left back has been one of the most solid performers through the season, providing 2 goals, 4 assists and 11 clean sheets. You could do worse than have him marauding down your left flank to provide vital points.

Rojo (5.0) - The Argentine is a good option to have from a solid Manchester United backline that has emerged unscathed from more difficult fixtures than the ones they have this gameweek.

van Aanholt (4.7) - There are superior premium options, but the DGW only requires budget players to show up to score their price. Besides, 5 goals and 3 assists through the season make PvA good value for money going forward should the Sunderland backline be breached.

Keepers

de Gea (5.9) - He has got glove to ball on 78 occasions this season, culminating in 14 shutouts. United will rely on him extending his exceptional form between the sticks to put pressure on City and Arsenal.

Robles (4.3) - Given Roberto Martinez's announcement that Howard will play Everton's final home games (and duly started him against Bournemouth), Robles is the best budget pick for this particular gameweek as Everton play twice away from home.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 37 in the 2015-16 Fantasy Premier League

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 36

Closer, ever closer.

Leicester City recorded their most resounding win of the season as Mahrez, Ulloa and Albrighton netted in a thumping 4-0 win that saw the Foxes take an 8 point lead. That gap was only cut down to 7 as Kane and co disappointed at home against West Brom.

Elsewhere, Eden Hazard made his return from injury and inspired Chelsea to a 4-1 win at Dean Court with a well-taken brace, while Iheanacho's exploits helped City comfortably past a Stoke side left with nothing to play for. Arsenal and Sunderland played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light, a result that left the visitors 4th and dragged the hosts out of the drop zone.

The season draws to a close with regular gameweeks sandwiching a double GW37 for Chelsea, Liverpool, Sunderland and Everton - something that you should prepare for if you are to end on a high. Read on and find out exactly how.

Gameweek 36 fixtures

Everton vs Bournemouth
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace
Stoke vs Sunderland
Watford vs Aston Villa
West Brom vs West Ham
Arsenal vs Norwich
Swansea vs Liverpool
Man Utd vs Leicester
Southampton vs Man City
Chelsea vs Spurs

Player Picks

Forwards

Costa (10.5) - Diego Costa was on song before suspension took him out of action for nearly a month. With Chelsea's midfield restored to full health, the fixture-proof Spaniard is primed to embark on a strong end-of-season run.

Sturridge (10.1) - Europe-induced rotation makes it tricky to pick the right Liverpool players, but Sturridge has been a consistent starter and scorer since his comeback from injury, and is well-worth considering for the matches that remain.

Defoe (5.2) - Only Kane and Aguero have more goals than Defoe in 2016, and he will be facing defences of far lower quality than Arsenal's in the coming weeks. A bargain waiting to be snared.

Midfielders

Mahrez (7.3) - The PFA Player of the Year has delivered the points away from home all season, and the Foxes will look to him to make the difference yet again in the absence of Jamie Vardy as they look to seal the title at Old Trafford.

Firmino (8.2) - Roberto Firmino is another who has remained a Premier League regular for Liverpool in the face of constant rotation, and has delivered a goal and two assists in the last 3 games.

Fabregas (8.4) - Cesc Fabregas who took centre stage last week, carving the Cherries open at will and contributing 3 assists. The returns of Hazard and Costa will provide the playmaker with plenty of chances to pick out dangerous runs as Chelsea look to end the season on a high.

Defenders

van Aanholt (4.7) - The Black Cats' rise out of the drop zone has been helped by their newfound defensive resilience that has seen them keep 3 clean sheets in the last 4 matches. With 5 goals and 3 assists through the season, PvA is also capable of providing value beyond shutouts. Get in.

Lovren (4.8) - Sakho's suspension means Lovren's spot at the heart of Liverpool's defence is locked down, and his run-in - which includes DGW37 - begins with a match against a Swansea side that has been struggling to score.

Monreal (5.8) - The Arsenal left back is not as prohibitively expensive as his right-sided teammate, and the chances of clean sheets against Norwich and Villa are high.

Keepers

Mannone (4.3) - If you feel PvA is a little pricey for a player from a relegation-threatened defence, you could do worse than consider the Black Cats keeper, who has picked up a mammoth 21 points in the last two matches.

Robles (4.3) - He's one of the few keepers with 4 matches to play, comes quite cheap, and could yet come away with clean sheets from the Bournemouth and Norwich games.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 36 in the 2015-16 Fantasy Premier League

Friday, 22 April 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 35

It was a typical double gameweek that took fantasy managers on a roller-coaster ride with hits and misses aplenty. Liverpool's team selection at Dean Court frustrated many, although they did leave FPL players beaming after their resounding victory in the Merseyside Derby. Explosive performances from Aguero and Sanchez propelled their owners to great heights despite the best efforts of Lukaku to drag them down.

After feasting on points from 15 matches last round, we move to a diet version of the FPL gameweek that has been trimmed due to the FA Cup semifinals.

Gameweek 35 fixtures

Man City vs Stoke
Aston Villa vs Southampton
Bournemouth vs Chelsea
Liverpool vs Newcastle
Sunderland vs Arsenal
Leicester City vs Swansea
Tottenham vs West Brom

Player Picks

Forwards


Kane (10.3) - There is no stopping him. Tottenham's spearhead is top of the scoring charts and Jamie Vardy's suspension makes him the perfect combination of price and devastation at the moment.

Defoe (5.2) - Defoe comes cheap, has netted thrice in the last 5 gameweeks, and could prove to be a shrewd bargain as Sunderland look to end the season on a high and escape the drop.

Aguero (13.5) - An ever-present name in this column for reasons that really don't need explaining. His continued exclusion from the PFA Team of the Year is a mystery.

Midfielders

Alli (6.2) - Alli's season just gets better and better, with his latest exploits at the Britannia resulting in a 15 point haul - More than most double-gamers got. He will be crucial to Tottenham and everyone's FPL team during the run-in.
 
Sanchez (10.9) - Three goals in the double gameweek underline the Chilean's explosive potential and make him worth sticking with for the remainder of Arsenal's fixtures this season.

Townsend (5.7) -  2 goals and 2 assists over the last 4 matches make Townsend worth considering as a differential, given that he will have a go at a Liverpool side likely to field a second-string side ahead of their Europa League semifinal.

Defenders

Fuchs (5.1) - Fuchs is decently priced, part of a stingy defence, and puts in wicked deliveries from open play and set pieces. This is the last of Leicester City's winnable games on paper, but paper has hardly been what has dictated the Foxes' season, and certainly should not deter us from considering their players.

Alderweireld (6.4) - Spurs have seen out their toughest games, and are primed to mount an assault on the Premiership title in the matches that remain. The Belgian centre-half is top of the defenders' scoring charts, and would make a powerful addition to your backline for the rest of the season.

Bellerin (6.5) - The diet gameweek won't stop FPL's best defenders from going on show. Arsenal have the best schedule of the top 4 clubs, putting owners of Bellerin in a good position to capitalize on his abilities at both ends of the pitch.

Keepers

Cech (5.8) - If Bellerin is a tad expensive for your taste, Cech is the best premium-bracket goalkeeper who can help you capitalize on Arsenal's fixtures

Hart (5.6) - It is tough to find a quality non-premium option for the schedule starting this gameweek, but you would be well-served picking England's number one, who managed added another shutout to his collection last week

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 34

The last gameweek was a bit of let-down for those of us who placed faith in Everton attackers as they failed to put two defensively suspect sides to the sword, although tho. Chelsea's unbeaten streak was finally snapped as Sigurdsson extended his fantastic scoring run in 2016, while Leicester and Tottenham continued to pull away from the pack with hard-fought-but-a-comfortable-scoreline wins.


Iwobi notched two assists at Upton Park in a highly entertaining 3-3 draw. City and Arsenal are now almost assured top 4 places, the only uncertainty being who qualifies automatically.

And after all that, we're finally here - The Mega Double Gameweek (TM). We have a mammoth 15 fixtures to negotiate. You're going to have to scroll a bit.

Gameweek 34 fixtures

Norwich vs Sunderland
Everton vs Southampton
Man Utd vs Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Swansea
West Brom vs Watford
Chelsea vs Man City
Bournemouth vs Liverpool
Leicester vs West Ham
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Stoke vs Tottenham
Newcastle vs Man City
West Ham vs Watford
Liverpool vs Everton
Man Utd vs Crystal Palace
Arsenal vs West Brom

Player Picks

Forwards

Aguero (13.5) - There are plenty of cheaper options playing twice, but the Argentine netted again last week and his consistency combined with City's fixtures makes him impossible to ignore.

Kane (10.3) - I know, I know. Just a single game and all that. But with no other double gameweek strikers showing any sort of consistency, the red hot Kane is an excellent choice as Spurs' fixtures start to ease up.

Sturridge (9.9) - Remember him? He's hit a good little patch of form, with 3 goals and an assist in his last 4 appearances.

Midfielders

Sanchez (10.9) - The explosive Chilean is on a great run of form, having netted thrice and set up two more in his last 4 appearances. As Ozil fades and the fixture list smiles kindly on Arsenal in the run-in, Sanchez is a must-have at this point.

de Bruyne (10.3) - His owners were left frustrated as he was preserved for the European week, but his late striker against PSG made it 3 goals in 3 games since his return, underlining his importance to City's attack and our FPL teams.

Coutinho (8.2) - Another FPL star who fell victim to European rotation, he should start both games and be heavily involved going forward as Liverpool make a late bid to qualify for Europe.

Defenders

Mangala (5.3) - Mangala is the cheapest route to a City defence that has managed 5 shutouts in the last 7 games in all competitions, and faces teams that are not in the best of form.

Gabriel (4.3) - Bellerin is far more popular and expensive than the temperamental Brazilian. And while that is not without reason, you could get bang for your buck from Gabriel while splurging lavishly elsewhere.

Lovren (4.8) - Liverpool do not manage too many clean sheets nowadays, but with games against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Everton in the coming weeks, you could do worse than consider Lovren.

Keepers

Cech (5.8) - Arsenal's schedule during the run-in is riddled with clean sheet potential, making the fit-again Czech a strong selection between the sticks for the rest of the season.

Robles (4.3) - Having delivered a mammoth 14 points last round, he's worth sticking with for this one as well. The fixtures could be easier, but the argument remains the same - Even if all he does is show up, he will return his price.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 34 in Fantasy Premier League

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 33

It was a goal-laden Gameweek 32 which saw Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City sail to 4-0 victories, with Pedro, Sanchez, de Bruyne and Pato proving a point. A harsh red card saw Payet's incredible free kick go largely in vain as Man United took advantage with a win over Everton to move above the Hammers and within a point of top four.

Elsewhere, Liverpool and Spurs battled to a draw at Anfield as Coutinho's great strike was cancelled out by Harry Kane's belter at Anfield, delighting the Foxes whose astonishing fairy tale went on. Wes Morgan headed in a peach of a cross from Fuchs to give Leicester a bigger points lead than Bayern, Barcelona and Juventus have.

Back to the present - This is the first of three double gameweeks remaining in the season, with Crystal Palace and Everton in the spotlight in this round before the following week sees half the league play twice. On we go.

Gameweek 33 fixtures

West Ham vs Arsenal
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
Crystal Palace vs Norwich
Southampton vs Newcastle
Swansea vs Chelsea
Watford vs Everton
Man City vs West Brom
Sunderland vs Leicester
Liverpool vs Stoke
Spurs vs Man Utd
Crystal Palace vs Everton

Player Picks

Forwards

Lukaku (9.0) - After coming up short against solid Arsenal and Man Utd sides, Everton should have a much easier time of it in the matches to come. Lukaku will spearhead an Everton attack taking on the shaky Watford, Palace and Southampton defences in the matches to come. Get in.

Aguero (13.5) - The Argentine netted at Dean Court and should be expected to keep delivering as City prepare to face West Brom, Newcastle and Stoke in the coming weeks.

Midfielders

Coutinho (8.2) - As suspected, Coutinho delivered the goods against Tottenham. The schedule gets easier for Liverpool with 3 home games in the next 3 gameweeks, and the Brazilian should be at the forefront of all things good for the Reds.

de Bruyne (10.3) - Kevin de Bruyne has been an instant success following his return from injury, scoring against Bournemouth and PSG. His attacking output will be key to City's push for top four, and the schedule upto Gameweek 35 isn't untidy.

Barkley (7.1) - It has been a couple of months since any noteworthy return from Barkley, but it's worth gambling on him returning to his best form with a double gameweek against two of the league's out-of-form defences.

Iwobi (4.5) - The Nigerian teenager is making good on his chances, with two goals in the last two matches. With his FPL ownership standing at 0.6%, he is a potentially explosive differential pick for the coming weeks.

Defenders

Otamendi (6.5) - Otamendi is a sturdy choice at the back given 3 shutouts in the last 4 games and 13 bonus points over the course of the season, combined with a schedule that promises plenty of clean sheet potential.

Gabriel (4.3) - Arsenal's newfound defensive solidity means that it's worth considering Gabriel, who can pick up shutout points in the coming weeks while enabling a splurge elsewhere.

Dann (5.7) - With 5 goals and 2 assists over the season, there is plenty more Scott Dann can offer than shutout points, and is well worth considering as Palace have two double gameweeks in a row.

Keepers

Robles (4.3) - Everyone's on the lookout for bargain buys and with four games over the next two gameweeks, Robles can provide value for money with just appearance points.

Hart (5.6) - Joe Hart is back from injury and is a good choice between the sticks if you're looking for a reliable DGWer with potential for clean sheets.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 33 in Fantasy Premier League

Friday, 1 April 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 32


International breaks suck, don't they?

Unless someone interesting in FPL goes on and does something, which is what happened. Harry Kane extended his scoring run with a brace against Bournemouth followed by a goal in Berlin that sparked England's incredible turnaround. Jamie Vardy was also among the goals as he added Germany and Holland to his already-impressive list of scalps this season. Payet scored a great free kick for France midweek, while Ozil notched up a goal and assist during the break.

Now that the domestic campaign resumes, it's high time we started preparing for the upcoming double gameweeks that mark the run-in. This will be the theme of the next few posts.

Gameweek 32 fixtures

Aston Villa vs Chelsea
Arsenal vs Watford
Bournemouth vs Man City
Norwich vs Newcastle
Stoke vs Swansea
Sunderland vs West Brom
West Ham vs Crystal Palace
Liverpool vs Spurs
Leicester vs Southampton
Man Utd vs Everton

Player Picks

Forwards

Aguero (13.6) - City haven't had much luck in front of goal of late, but their fortunes could take a turn for the better as they face Bournemouth and West Brom before a double gameweek 34, and a certain Argentine should be in the midst of it all.

Lukaku (8.9) - People have been rushing to get in the Belgian en masse once it was confirmed that Everton would be playing twice in both GW33 and GW34. Ensure you get him before he gets too costly.

Welbeck (7.3) - Danny Welbeck has all sorts of arrows pointing at him - 3 goals and an assist in the last 5 games, double gameweek 34, and a very promising run of fixtures. Get in.

Midfielders

Ozil (9.7) - The aforementioned fixture list for Arsenal's run-in along with the German's general reliability this season make him the top midfield choice for the run-in.

Coutinho (8.1) - The Brazilian hasn't taken long after returning from injury to register on the FPL radar, notching up 22 points in his last 2 starts. He could be an essential addition as Liverpool's fixtures take a turn for the better.

Payet (8.3) -  Payet is in A+ form at the moment with 40 points over the last 5 matches. The Hammers currently have a blank GW35 right after their double gameweek, but you can't ignore the Frenchman if you're serious about scoring big.

Lennon (5.6) - The Everton winger is in good nick having scored 4 goals in the last 6 games. At 0.8% ownership and back-to-back double gameweeks to come, he could prove to be an explosive differential, with rotation risk as the only downside.

Defenders

Bellerin (6.3) - As stated in the last instalment, Bellerin is expensive but value for money, and he proved it again with a clean sheet and an assist at Goodison Park. You could do worse than grab him as Arsenal embark on a schedule with plenty of potential for clean sheets.

Cresswell (5.7) - West Ham have three home games in the next three gameweeks, and Cresswell is the pick of the defensive options for the Hammers having contributed 10 clean sheets, a goal and 3 assists over the course of the season.

Mangala (5.3) - The matches up to Gameweek 35 aren't too tough for Manchester City, and Mangala isn't too expensive. He is a tidy option if you're considering City's backline.

Keepers

Mignolet (4.9) - The Belgian keeper should benefit from a fixture list that eases quite quickly, complete with two double gameweeks to look forward to.

Robles (4.3) - Joel has displaced Howard as Everton's preferred keeper, and has to do little more than show up to score his price as Everton play 5 times over the next 3 gameweeks.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 32 in Fantasy Premier League

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 31

The Foxes continued their incredible assault at the title with a 1-0 victory in Gameweek 30 over Benitez's Newcastle, sealed by a fantastic bicycle kick by Okazaki. The rich array of City's attackers put in a dire performance against a defensively frail Norwich side to fall further away from the top, but Tottenham kept in touch by putting away Villa as expected.

As for the teams that didn't play in GW30, Everton and Watford progressed to Wembley at the expense of Chelsea and Arsenal. Palace ended Reading's FA Cup dream, while Man Utd and West Ham will lock horns in a replay to decide who gets the last semifinal spot.

The remainder of the run-in will see a number of double gameweeks with potential to use any remaining wildcards and chips. If you played your wildcard in an attempt to salvage your team for GW30, you will need to make some wise choices starting now to ensure your team is in prime position to benefit.

Gameweek 31 fixtures

Everton vs Arsenal
Chelsea vs West Ham
Crystal Palace vs Leicester
Watford vs Stoke
West Brom vs Norwich
Swansea vs Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Sunderland
Southampton vs Liverpool
Man City vs Man Utd
Spurs vs Bournemouth

Player Picks

Forwards

Kane (10.3) - A brace against Villa took Harry Kane to the top of the Premiership's scoring charts, and the Englishman's stock has never been higher. Ensure you are an owner as Bournemouth pull up to White Hart Lane.

Vardy (7.9) - Palace are yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet this year, so who better to pick than Leicester's chief hitman, who is looking to win back his place as the league's top scorer? The only thing diminishing his potential is the single GW34.

Midfielders

Sigurdsson (7.3) - Having notched up 7 goals and an assist since the turn of the year, there is no end in sight to Sigurdsson's remarkable 2016 form, The Icelander is a must-have until he goes cold.

Ozil (9.8) - The German has been Arsenal's shining light this season, and you have to get him at this point keeping in mind Arsenal's double GW34 as well as the fixtures that precede it.

Firmino (8.2) - Roberto Firmino has tried to live up to the comparison to Luis Suarez by delivering at 10 points per game for the last 6 active gameweeks regardless of the nature of the opposition. He's another who plays twice in round 34. Get in.

Wijnaldum (6.8) - Despite being pretty much useless away from home, Wijnaldum is still among the top 10 midfielders. With games against Sunderland and Norwich to come, this is a gamble that could pay off.

Defenders

Bellerin (6.2) - Bellerin loves to contribute at both ends of the pitch, with 12 clean sheets and 4 assists through the season making him the 4th most valuable defender. Well worth the price.

Wimmer (4.6) - With 3 shutouts in 7 games since his involvement became necessary for Tottenham, the Austrian centre back has proved to be a bargain buy, and is worth considering for some time yet.

Dawson (5.1) - Craig Dawson has been a trusty selection, scoring beyond appearance points on 12 occasions this season. The Baggies have back-to-back matches against Norwich and Sunderland, making the full back an attractive option.

Keepers

Fabianksi (4.7) - There is clean sheet potential in Swansea's next pair of games as they host Villa and visit Stoke, making Fabianski a more than useful pick in the short term.

Elliot (4.0) - Elliot could prove to be a bargain buy as Benitez looks to rescue Newcastle's season starting with a winnable pair of games.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 31 in Fantasy Premier League

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 30

Finally, some breathing space.

This would have been the emotion of FPL players and fans of Leicester City after the previous round, which ended a tight string of gameweeks and saw the Foxes extend their lead at the top following a pulsating 2-2 draw in the North London derby. Villa and Newcastle found themselves in further trouble after disappointing results against Man City and Bournemouth respectively.

Arsenal's midweek win at Hull saw their GW30 fixture chalked off, leaving us with just 10 teams to pick and choose from - Wildcards may be necessary to put out a playing XI. Building a squad would have been a truly thankless task had the fixtures not served up 3 title contenders facing 3 relegation battlers, and it is this lot that dominate this post.

Gameweek 30 fixtures

Norwich vs Man City
Bournemouth vs Swansea
Stoke vs Southampton
Aston Villa vs Tottenham
Leicester vs Newcastle

Player Picks

Forwards

Aguero (13.5) - Aguero served up a typical explosive performance, marred only by a penalty miss that denied him and his owners a hat trick. With matches against Norwich, Bournemouth and West Brom to come, the Argentine is an absolute must-have.

Kane (10.1) - Harry Kane scored a cracker against Arsenal, taking his total to 17 goals for the season. With a dire Villa side fresh from a roasting at the Etihad up next, Kane will fancy his chances of adding to his tally.

Midfielders

Mahrez (7.3) - A goal at Vicarage Road took the Algerian magician past the 200-point mark, and reminded us all about why he is essential in FPL. Newcastle will not be looking forward to hauling up at the King Power to face up to this menace.

Alli (6.0) - Alli has delivered at 5.6 points per match through the season. Any player who 'scores his price' is the definition of value for money. Get him.

Silva (9.9) - The crafty Spaniard delivered the goods with two assists against Aston Villa. He will relish a chance to pull the strings against a Norwich defence full of holes.

Defenders

Daniels (4.9) - A late strike at St. James' took Daniels' recent tally to 27 points from the last 4 games. Charlie Daniels is the gift that keeps on giving. What are you waiting for?

Alderweireld (6.4) - Toby is more than a useful player to have considering his contribution at both ends of the pitch. He has notched 3 goals and 3 assists to go with 9 clean sheets, and found the net again in the North London derby to delight his owners despite conceding. Get in.

Fuchs (4.9) - In keeping with the defender-who-also-attacks theme, the Austrian full back is the pick of the Leicester defenders given his set play duties to go nicely with playing a part in a solid defence.

Keepers

Schmeichel (4.7) - Leicester's win at Watford gave the Dane his 6th clean sheet of 2016, with the promise of more to come in the near future.

Hart (5.6) - City's fixture list merits a front-to-back mention, complete with a suggestion to consider Joe Hart, who has managed 12 shutouts this season.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 29

Leicester built on their lead despite dropping points at home thanks to the collective failure of Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham to get anything from their games. Southampton's defensive solidity looks like a thing of the past after they shipped two more at Dean Court. Chelsea's victory at Norwich saw them move to within 7 points of Europa League qualification, while Liverpool avenged their league cup final defeat with a convincing 3-0 win at Anfield over Manchester City.

The FPL blitz round comes to a close with Gameweek 29 hot on the heels of a compelling 28th round. Let's go forward. Another reminder that Gameweek 30 is blank, so keep that in mind when making your purchases.

Gameweek 29 fixtures

Tottenham vs Arsenal
Chelsea vs Stoke
Everton vs West Ham
Man City vs Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Bournemouth
Southampton vs Sunderland
Swansea vs Norwich
Watford vs Leicester
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
West Brom vs Man Utd

Player Picks

Forwards

Aguero (13.5) - Games against Villa, Norwich and Bournemouth over the next 4 gameweeks make Man City players irresistible choices for your starting lineup, which means Sergio Aguero is the frontrunner for sustained selection and captaincy.

Wickham (5.5) - Adebayor may have scored on his Palace debut, but it's Wickham with the wind in his sails following back-to-back braces. He faces a Liverpool side who don't have happy recent memories of playing at Selhurst Park.

Midfielders


Silva (9.8) - City's main creative focal point will be relishing the aforementioned fixture list. He could be the man to enable your rise up the rankings as his ownership stands at just under 5%.

Sigurdsson (7.1) - The Icelander's blistering form was halted by a tough run of matches against Southampton, Tottenham and Arsenal, but he should be back on everyone's radar now that a far more promising schedule lies ahead.

Ritchie (5.3) - Matt Richie was a popular early season pick who failed to live up to the hype, but is currently on song with a goal and 3 assists from his last 5 appearances, and will prove more than useful against a struggling Newcastle team.

Defenders

Williams (4.8) - The Swansea captain is fresh from scoring at the Emirates, an act that saw him become the top bonus point scorer among defenders. Combine that with the high chances of a shutout against Norwich at home and you have yourself a good deal.

Daniels (4.8) - The gift that keeps on giving. You would be foolish to ignore or dump him before the Cherries play at St. James'.

Morgan (4.3) - Leicester have been defensively solid in 2016, and travel to a Watford side who have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 games. With a home game against the Magpies to follow, the Foxes skipper could be a shrewd budget snare.

Keepers

Fabianksi (4.7) - The Polish keeper embarks on a run of matches promising plenty of clean sheet potential, and is the ideal choice for those looking to replace the injured Petr Cech.

Forster (5.0) - He is a lot less tempting now after conceding twice against Chelsea and Bournemouth, but remains a strong choice between the sticks over the next two matches.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 29 in Fantasy Premier League

Monday, 29 February 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 28

This is the 100th post on this blog, also published on SportsCafe.
Sincere thanks to all my readers over the last 4 years!

That was a fun weekend, wasn't it? The biggest story was undoubtedly 18 year-old Marcus Rashford putting Arsenal to the sword with 2 goals and an assist to seal an incredible victory for Man Utd. Leicester and Tottenham continued their title march with hard-fought home wins to pile the pressure on Pellegrini and Wenger. Fraser Forster was finally beaten by Hiddink's Chelsea, thanks in no small part to his own errors. There was also the small matter of the league cup final in which City beat Liverpool on penalties, serving as a nice prelude to this gameweek's fixture between the two.

Barely any time left until Gameweek 28 though, so on we move. Do note that Gameweek 30 could be blank for as many as half the teams, so keep an eye out for excessive blanks in the lineup and plan transfers accordingly.

Gameweek 28 fixtures

Aston Villa vs Everton
Bournemouth vs Southampton
Leicester vs West Brom
Norwich vs Chelsea
Sunderland vs Palace
Arsenal vs Swansea
Stoke vs Newcastle
West Ham vs Tottenham
Liverpool vs Man City
Man Utd vs Watford

Player Picks

Forwards

Aguero (13.4) - After what seems like forever, the Argentine bombshell is back in FPL, and will have a continuous run of games from now till the end of the season. His potential for explosive returns means that he is always in the reckoning regardless of his price.

Vardy (7.7) - The points just keep rolling in for the league's top scorer, this time with an assist against Norwich. Expect more of the same at the King Power against the Baggies.

Costa (10.7) - Diego Costa has also kept ticking along, and will fancy his chances with games against defensively shoddy Norwich and Stoke to come. The attractiveness of his purchase is diminished only by a blank Gameweek 30 enforced by Chelsea's progression in the FA Cup.

Midfielders

Alli (6.1) - With the league's top two teams guaranteed a match every gameweek thanks to elimination from the cup, Tottenham's wonderkid is among the best choices for your midfield in the long term.

Arnautovic (6.3) - The Austrian firecracker underlined Stoke's rediscovered attacking thrust with a brace against bottom team Villa, and is primed to keep his run going at home against their fellow strugglers Newcastle.

Ozil (9.9) - After a quiet start to 2016, Mesut Ozil is well and truly back amongst the premium options with 29 points over the last 3 gameweeks. That said, beware of the potential blank Gameweek 30 should Arsenal beat Hull in the cup replay.

Defenders

van Dijk (5.5) - Southampton's run of clean sheets might have ended, but the Dutchman remains a strong pick given a fixture list that sees the Saints take on Bornemouth and Sunderland over the next 7 days.

Fuchs (4.9) - The Foxes full back did not disappoint as he delivered a clean sheet and a full quota of bonus points against Norwich. He's the most expensive route into a strong Leicester defence, but is worth the money due to his attacking threat as a set piece taker.

Daniels (4.7) - Another regular name in this column delivered the goods last weekend with an 8 point haul that takes his recent tally to 22 points in 4 gameweeks, which is a good haul for a defender in his price bracket. A good choice to take you through to Gameweek 31.

Keepers

Schmeichel (4.6) - Leicester's stopper has been a reliable pick with 5 clean sheets so far in 2016, and hasn't been beaten in the last 6 home games. He also faces a schedule that promises plenty of clean sheet potential.

Boruc (4.5) - The evergreen Polish keeper came away with a clean sheet from Vicarage Road as predicted, and remains a strong pick for the upcoming weeks.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 28 in Fantasy Premier League

Friday, 26 February 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 27

Been a while.

We've had thrills and spills in knockout competitions over the last two weeks. Hull managed to take their cup tie against Arsenal to a replay, which kickstarted 180 minutes of home play without a goal for the Gunners. It was a humbling round of games in Europe's top tier for the Premiership, with Man City emerging as the only English side to have won a game in the Champions League, which came as a relief for them after they practically threw their 5th round cup tie against Chelsea. English teams salvaged some pride in the Europa League as winless first legs were all converted into home victories coupled with progression to the last 16 for Tottenham, Liverpool and Man Utd.

For some teams, the break from league football will be longer still. This is a diet version of the usual FPL gameweek as Man City and Liverpool duke it out at Wembley and their scheduled GW27 opponents Everton and Newcastle cool their heels.

Gameweek 27 fixtures

West Ham vs Sunderland
Leicester vs Norwich
Southampton vs Chelsea
Stoke vs Aston Villa
Watford vs Bournemouth
West Brom vs Crystal Palace
Man Utd vs Arsenal
Tottenham vs Swansea

Player Picks

Forwards

Vardy (7.6) - Having scored 4 goals in his last 4 games, he has put his mid-season drought well and truly behind him. The league top scorer's form will be pivotal for Leicester to put the disappointment against Arsenal behind them as they embark on a tempting run of fixtures for the run-in.

Kane (10.1) - Barely a game has gone by since mid-Jan where Harry Kane has not scored. Tottenham got by without him midweek, but will be glad to have him back as he gears up (or masks up, rather) to face a Swansea side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in February.

Diego Costa (10.6) - Costa came up with the goods in GW26 as Chelsea put Newcastle to the sword, and he also netted in the cup as Chelsea tore apart City's third string. Southampton's incredible run of clean sheets has never been under greater threat.

Midfielders

Payet (8.2) - The Frenchman signalled his return to FPL form with an explosive 13 point haul against Norwich, and had a great game at Ewood Park last weekend. It would take a brave punter to bet against him blanking against Sunderland.

Mahrez (7.2) - Mahrez is still the FPL top scorer, has been averaging over 7 points per game over the last month, and faces Norwich and West Brom next. At home.

Shaqiri (6.4) - Stoke will be hoping that their rediscovered attacking thrust carries into consecutive home games against Villa and Newcastle. The Messi of the Alps notched his 4th league assist of the season at Dean Court, and should be in line for more of the same this coming week.

Defenders

Fuchs (4.8) - In keeping with the Foxes theme, the Austrian full back is relatively cheap and has a knack of finding a Leicester head from set plays. Get in.

Wimmer (4.6) - Kevin Wimmer remains a savvy budget pick as he will take Vertonghen's place at the heart of the league's stingiest defence for another month.

Azpilicueta (5.8) - The Spanish full back is the cheapest starter in a Chelsea defence that is yet to concede away from home in the league under Hiddink.

Keepers

Boruc (4.5) - There is clean sheet potential for the veteran goalkeeper with games against Watford, Newcastle and Swansea over the next month.

Butland (5.2) - The Englishman has been at the receiving end lately, but will be hoping that two upcoming games against dire opposition see a return to familiar territory

The Blogger's Team


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 26


Early in gameweek 25, Riyad Mahrez delighted neutrals and FPL managers alike when he put Manchester City to the sword as the league leaders issued a statement of intent. It got worse for Pellegrini's men as another FPL favourite, Dele Alli, came off the bench to set up the only goal of the game to take Tottenham to second place. City's drop from second to fourth was complete when Ozil and co managed a win and a shutout at Dean Court.

Do note that Gameweek 27 will be a blank week for the league cup finalists (Liverpool and Manchester City) and their GW27 opponents (Everton and Newcastle). Hopefully this post will help you snare players who can fill in for the likes of Aguero and Barkley when the time comes.

Gameweek 26 fixtures

Sunderland v Man Utd
Bournemouth v Stoke
Crystal Palace v Watford
Everton v West Brom
Norwich v West Ham
Swansea v Southampton
Chelsea v Newcastle
Arsenal v Leicester
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Man City v Tottenham

Player Picks

Forwards

Costa (10.6) - Going at nearly 7 points per game since Hiddink took charge, the Spain striker is among the top options up front with form and fixture difficulty both on his side.

Rooney (10.0) - Following a barren first half of the season, Rooney has notched 5 goals and 3 assists in the last 6 gameweeks. You could do worse than pick up a player on fire facing the league's worst defence.

Afobe (6.1) - Afobe has proved to be good business for Bournemouth with 3 goals in 5 games since his arrival. Select by under 1% of FPL players, he could prove to be a shrewd differential pick at home against a struggling Stoke side.

Midfielders


Payet (8.2) - The Frenchman had an explosive return from injury, but has gone cold ever since. Faith in him remains strong at 22% ownership, and it is faith that should be rewarded as he faces a defensively dire Norwich side.

Mahrez (7.1) - The Algerian firecracker is a fixture-proof choice this season. He is capable of delivering the goods at the Emirates, and the fixtures beyond are a dream.

Firmino (8.2) -This is more of a 'hold' than 'buy'. Fresh investment in Firmino would be ill-advised as Liverpool do not play in Gameweek 27, but a game against Aston Villa after being rested midweek should see him as an outside favourite for the captaincy.

Sigurdsson (7.0) - Investment in Gylfi remains thin on the ground at 4% ownership despite him taking his recent tally to 5 goals in 6 games. Probably not the best pick against Southampton's iron defence, but he's bang on form.

Defenders

Daniels (4.6) - The Cherries left back is cheap, gets forward, takes penalties and has a promising schedule up to Gameweek 30. Get in.

Dann (5.8) - The centre half found the net in Wales last weekend, and the upcoming fixtures (Watford home, West Brom and Sunderland away) look good for adding clean sheet points to his goal threat.
Ivanovic (6.6) - He spends all his time in the opposition half and has a favourable run of games ahead starting with Newcastle at home.

Keepers

de Gea (5.6) - He's a premium keeper in premium form, and the upcoming fixtures hold plenty of promise for clean sheets.

Forster (4.9) - Southampton have kept clean sheets in all 5 games since Forster's return from injury. It doesn't do well to ignore that sort of form.

The Blogger's Team


Friday, 5 February 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 25

Plenty of points for the usual suspects in the last matchday as Aguero, Kane, Cresswell and Barkley delivered the goods. Vardy and Mahrez also combined to raid Liverpool and Costa managed to pick a fight, lending Gameweek 24 a sense of de ja vu.

There's no time to dwell on happenings, however, as the weekend will shortly be upon us. Moving on.

Gameweek 25 fixtures

Man City v Leicester
Aston Villa v Norwich
Liverpool v Sunderland
Newcastle v West Brom
Spurs v Watford
Stoke v Everton
Swansea v Crystal Palace
Southampton v West Ham
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Chelsea v Man Utd

Player Picks

Forwards


Kane (10.0) - Watford have conceded in their last 3 away games and will not be relishing the prospect of facing the red hot Kane, who is a strong captaincy option once again.

Bojan (5.0) - Stoke's fixtures take a considerable turn for the better starting with a home game against a defensively suspect Everton. Bojan could be a tidy enabler for those looking to buy Aguero, while delivering some points himself.

Vardy (7.3) - Jamie Vardy has managed largely modest hauls since Gameweek 17, but he's worth considering again after netting in the last two games as he has delivered regardless of the opposition when at his best.

Midfielders


Firmino (8.1) - He may not have delivered against Leicester but he's well worth buying (people already are, as evidenced by his price rise) as he gears up to face Sunderland and Aston Villa, two of this season's most dire teams.

Wijnaldum (7.1) - A return to St. James' Park for the Dutchman should put him back on the radar, and he can hardly hope for a better chance to impress than against a West Brom side who haven't managed a clean sheet away from home since October.

Sigurdsson (7.0) - The Iceland midfielder has scored in 4 of the last 5 games, but remains surprisingly under the radar with an ownership just over 3%. Worth considering for a spot in your midfield with two home games to come.

Arnautovic (6.5) - The aforementioned schedule could work in favour of Marko Arnautovic, someone whose strong home form is worth considering as Stoke play host thrice in the next four.

Defenders

Wimmer (4.6) - He has started the last two games for Tottenham on the back of Vertonghen's injury, and could prove a bargain should you opt to line him up as he hosts a Watford side that have blanked in 3 of their last 4 games.

van Dijk (5.4) - The Dutchman has been averaging 7 points per match in the last four gameweeks as Southampton managed shutouts in all of them, including trips to the Emirates and Old Trafford. West Ham at home is a far easier prospect.

Zouma (5.4) - Kurt Zouma underlined his importance to the Chelsea defence as he helped Guus Hiddink maintain his perfect away defensive record, and he'll have a role to play should the Blues decide it's about time they solidified at home.

Keepers

Butland (5.3) - Having been at the wrong end of a storm at Old Trafford, Butland should embark on the road to recovery with three home games and a trip to Bournemouth in the horizon.


Courtois (5.2) - The Belgian came away from Vicarage Road with 7 points and is the cheapest route into a Chelsea defence that faces Man Utd and Newcastle at home in the next two games.



The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 25 in Fantasy Premier League

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 24

Gameweek 23 seems like such a long time ago, doesn't it?

With both English cup competitions providing some entertaining respite from English football's bread and butter, this midweek sees the return of the Premier League.

On we move.

Gameweek 24 fixtures

Arsenal v Southampton
Leicester v Liverpool
Norwich v Spurs
Sunderland v Man City
West Ham v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Man Utd v Stoke
West Brom v Swansea
Everton v Newcastle
Watford v Chelsea

Player Picks

Forwards

Diego Costa (10.6) - The controversial Chelsea hitman is well and truly firing for Guus Hiddink, with a goal at the Emirates underlining his fixture-proof nature when he's on song. Well worth having with Chelsea set to face Watford, Newcastle and Norwich in the next 5

Kane (10.0) - Spurs don't exactly have an untidy fixture list, but Kane will be relishing this week's opposition in particular and will be a popular captain choice travelling to a Norwich side who have shipped 10 goals in their last 3 games

Aguero (13.5) - Aguero has seen his score and ownership soar on the back of some explosive performances in recent weeks after racking up a mammoth 39 points in 4 gameweeks. However, one has to be wary of: (a) the price, and (b) Man City's blank Gameweek 27

Midfielders

Payet (8.2) - His return has seen an upturn in West Ham's attacking potency, and while the Frenchman has blanked for two gameweeks, a home game against Villa is the perfect platform for him to go on his next run.

Firmino (8.0) - The Brazilian, who has been starting games up front for Liverpool, underlined his attacking potential with a brace and assist at Carrow Road which took his 3-game average to 11 points per game. Get in if you haven't already

Mahrez (7.1) - Mahrez will be high on people's 'to-drop' lists given Leicester's upcoming schedule, but he's worth sticking with for the visit of Liverpool, who haven't kept an away clean sheet since Gameweek 9.

Dele Alli (5.8) - This season's revelation came up with the goods against Palace, and how. The teenager will never be this cheap again.

Defenders

Cresswell (5.6) - The Hammers full back has gone a bit cold recently, but a home game against Villa should be the perfect launchpad for a revival ahead of a schedule that also sees West Ham face Norwich and Sunderland in the next 4.

Dawson (5.1) - West Brom are generally resilient at home and as expected, the Baggies full back did not fail to deliver. Expect more of the same this time.

Zouma (5.4) - The French youngster appears to have displaced Gary Cahill as Terry's partner at the back. Hiddink is yet to concede an away goal as manager, and the fixtures ahead of this week hold potential for shutouts too

Targett (3.8) - Koeman has shifted to a 3-5-2 to effect an upturn in fortune for the Saints. The budget-priced Targett has been occupying a wing back position in this system, making him a great out-of-position bargain.

Keepers

Hennessey (4.2) - Plenty of clean sheet potential for the cheap Palace stopper as they host Bournemouth and Watford in the next three, with games against West Brom and Sunderland also in the horizon.

Courtois (5.2) - If you're rich but can't find place for a Chelsea defender in your team, you could do worse than snap up the Belgian keeper who has the benefits of the aforementioned schedule.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 24 in 2015-16 Fantasy Premier League

Friday, 22 January 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 23

Gameweek 22 was a darn good week for owners of Harry Kane and Petr Cech, while those who placed their faith in the Cherries back line saw reward as well. Otherwise, however, it was another dry day for this season's favourites.

There was also the small matter of Southampton signing Charlie Austin, which should provide food for thought in the near future.

Moving on.

Gameweek 23 fixtures

Norwich v Liverpool
Crystal Palace v Spurs
Leicester v Stoke
Man Utd v Southampton
Sunderland v Bournemouth
Watford v Newcastle
West Brom v Aston Villa
Wast Ham v Man City
Everton v Swansea
Arsenal v Chelsea

Player Picks

Forwards

Lukaku (9.2) - It's not often that Everton score thrice without Lukaku having a hand in any of them, but that's exactly what happened at Stamford Bridge. This is likely to be rare in the near future as Gameweek 23 marks the begin of a great run of fixtures for the Toffees, starting with two home ties against Swansea and Newcastle.

Ighalo (6.4) - The Watford hitman has gone a bit cold in the last 3 gameweeks, but he and his owners should be relishing the prospect of hosting Newcastle and Chelsea in the next couple of games, sides who are far from defensively assured.

Midfielders

Eriksen (7.8) - Mauricio Pochettino moved Eriksen back to a central role against Sunderland, and was rewarded with a brace which moved the Danish magician ahead of Dele Alli for points scored. The schedule promises plenty of potential for similar returns.

Barkley (7.3) - Everton are another side who will now be relishing the upcoming fixtures after negotiating visits to City and Chelsea without defeat. Ross Barkley was a midfield goldmine during Everton's previous favourable schedule, and is ripe to go on a similar run.

Firmino (7.8) - Liverpool are a side who disappoint when you expect much and hit hard when nobody thinks they can. This can be frustrating, but you could do worse than select Firmino, who has been the focal point of the Reds' attack, till Liverpool host City in March.

Wijnaldum (7.0) - The Dutchman is red hot at the moment with 2 goals and an assist in the last two games. This week he makes a trip to Watford, who haven't kept a clean sheet in over a month.

Defenders

Moreno (4.9) - With games against Norwich, Leicester, Sunderland and Villa to come, the Spanish full back is an enticing prospect. The lack of returns in January can be attributed to the difficulty of the opposition, and you should expect him to deliver as he was towards the end of December in the weeks to come.

Dawson (5.1) - Didn't go well for his owners at St.Mary's, but with Villa and Swansea set to visit the Hawthorns, the Baggies full back remains a trusty option.

Baines (6.2) - An old favourite in the premium bracket came up with two assists at Stamford Bridge, underlining his famous attacking potential even with a dearth of clean sheets.

Keepers

Cech (5.8) - After a heroic performance against Stoke that earned his delighted owners 10 points, Cech gears up to host former club Chelsea, who have failed to net at the Emirates in 3 of the last 4 matches. The schedule afterwards also holds good potential for shutouts.

Lloris (5.2) - Palace haven't scored in 5 games, and the Frenchman is hardly Tim Howard. Also, there is the aforementioned fixture list.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 23 in Fantasy Premier League

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 22

Well that wasn't very nice.

Gameweek 21 was a low-scoring affair in FPL with an average global score of 35 - yet another example of reliable players proving to be a let-down, en masse. While there was joy for owners of Ramsey, Giroud, Payet and Ayew, the rest of us were largely starved of points despite all the goals that went in over the last two nights.

There is no time to dwell, however. On we march to the weekend fixtures.

Gameweek 22 fixtures

Spurs v Sunderland
Bournemouth v Norwich
Chelsea v Everton
Man City v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v West Ham
Southampton v West Brom
Aston Villa v Leicester City
Liverpool v Man Utd
Stoke v Arsenal
Swansea v Watford

Player Picks

Forwards

Lukaku (9.3) - Everton prepare to face a still-porous Chelsea defence that is yet to manage a league shutout at home in 3 attempts since Mourinho's departure. The Belgian striker should be among the goals should the Toffees render a 4th attempt unfruitful.

Diego Costa (10.7) - He is back among the goals, netting 4 times under Hiddink, and has largely avoided the sort of antics that marked a frustrating first half-season. When in this sort of mood, the Spaniard is generally fixture-proof.

Vardy (7.3) - This is more of a 'hold if you have' than a 'buy' suggestion. The Englishman deserves a chance against Villa away and Stoke at home before his owners decide he has to go for good.

Midfielders

Payet (7.8) - His goal-and-assist performance at Bournemouth is yet to inspire a significant price rise, and with a trip to Newcastle this weekend followed by games against shaky Man City and Aston Villa at Upton Park, the points won't be stopping any time soon.

Arnautovic (6.7) - His 22% ownership would have been pleased as he came up with an assist against Norwich. With Shaqiri set to miss out the visit of Arsenal, the onus is on the Austrian bombshell to produce the fireworks, just as he did for the visits of Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd.

Sigurdsson (7.0) - Those who missed the Ayew tip from last gameweek could do worse than pick him up now or snap up Sigurdsson, who has scored in the last two games and has a decent schedule ahead.

Yaya Toure, Man City midfielder

Yaya Toure (8.7) - The team and the player himself have come under criticism lately. The Ivorian has been silently consistent in FPL however, delivering 40 points in the last 6 games. One of the best players to own in the premium range at the moment.

Willian (7.1) - Having added an assist to his tally against West Brom last night, the Brazilian should continue his purple patch against the 7th worst defence in the league.

Defenders

Dawson (5.1) - With a trip to Southampton followed by home games against Villa and Swansea to come, the West Brom full back looks like a solid option for the coming weeks.

Smith (4.1) - Adam Smith is cheap and provides decent attacking threat. With trips to Sunderland and Palace following the home tie against Norwich, the schedule could be worse for the Cherries full back.

Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea full back

Ivanovic (6.5) - If you have money to spare, look no further than Branislav Ivanovic to get you the points. The Chelsea full back is back to his marauding self with a goal and 2 assists helping the Serbian rack up 34 points in the 5 games post-Mourinho.

Keepers

Fabianski (4.7) - The weekend visit of Watford should be a far calmer affair than the midweek game, while the schedule upto mid-February isn't too untidy for last season's top saver (is that a term?).

Boruc (4.5) - With the Payet storm behind him, the aforementioned favourable schedule for Bournemouth makes Artur Boruc an attractive proposition between the sticks.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team for Gameweek 22 of Fantasy Premier League

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Fantasy Premier League 2015-16: Gameweek 21

It's been a crazy half-season in Fantasy Premier League where many experienced players have had their expertise taken for a ride as the underdogs have torn down conventional FPL wisdom by scoring points on an incredible basis, while traditionally reliable premium players have been a real let-down.

But fear not, for help is at hand. The Blogger will try to navigate the rest of this mysterious season along with you.

Gameweek 21 fixtures

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v West Ham
Newcastle v Man Utd
Chelsea v West Brom
Man City v West Brom
Southampton v Watford
Stoke v Norwich
Swansea v Sunderland
Liverpool v Arsenal
Tottenham v Leicester

Player Picks

Teams playing host this gameweek will have home advantage again in GW22, so if you hold two transfers, this is a good time. Good time to get in some of this lot.

Forwards

Harry Kane (9.8) - It's tough to look beyond a certain set of forwards at the moment, and Harry Kane is one of them. He's premium but not (yet) prohibitively expensive, is well among the goals and has a fantastic schedule to boot.

Odion Ighalo (6.4) - With Leicester cooling off and Vardy having surgery on his groin, the Englishman's 46.5% ownership could do worse than to look towards Ighalo, who is cheaper but no less effective. He doesn't exactly have an unkind fixture list to contend with either.

Sergio Aguero (13.1) - His returns have been pathetic given his price but he is a streaky player, and he followed up his winner at Watford with a goal and assist at Norwich in the cup. There is logic in getting in a player who hosts the porous Everton followed by another home game against Palace.

Midfielders

Alli (5.4) - The teenage signing from MK Dons is this season's breakthrough player and is red hot with two goals and two assists in his last 4 games. Get him in and enjoy the returns now, he is not going to be this cheap next season.

Payet (7.7) - The Frenchman returned 74 points from 12 starts before getting injured and was a firm selection favourite as evidenced by a 0.8 rise in price until the point of injury. He is back and is currently held by just 8.7% of players, offering us the opportunity to grab him while he's cold and cheap.

Andre Ayew (6.8) - The Ghanian had returns similar to Payet until Gameweek 13, but has faded away on the back of a tough schedule. The upcoming fixtures could be the ideal launchpad for him to get back on track.

Willian (7.1) - Chelsea have enjoyed renewed thrust post-Mourinho and with a goal and 4 assists in this period, Willian has had a major impact on the scoreline. He offers threat from open play while also hogging set piece duty, making him a promising differential as Chelsea host West Brom and Everton.

Defenders

Cresswell (5.5) - Aaron Cresswell has been consistency personified. His last 5 outings have yielded 6, 6, 6, 10 and 9 points, something this blogger has gleefully benefited from. There is nothing to suggest he will stop racking up the points.

Williams (4.8) - Swansea aren't having the best season, but they host Sunderland and Watford on the back of 3 clean sheets in the last 4 games. Snapping up their captain, who has scored 28 points in this period, could prove a wise choice.

Walker (5.2) - If there is a Tottenham theme to this post, it is only as a salute to their performance so far and their upcoming fixtures. Kyle Walker is guaranteed a place in the Tottenham backline, and is significantly cheaper than Alderweireld (6.1).

Keepers

Lloris (5.1) - A mid-February game against Man City aside, the Spurs stopper has a schedule that promises plenty of returns until March

Adrian (5.0) - A mid-January game against Man City aside, the Hammers stopper has a schedule that promises plenty of returns until March

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's team for Gameweek 21
Someone's missing. Guess who?