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?