Thursday, 27 March 2014

Bantasy Football: Milking Manchester City

The mere suggestion of GW 32 feels like the sort of stomach-churning comedown Nathan Barley might pretend to endure, after the dizzying heights of GW 31 (highest point score was a ball-tingling 205) recede into the mists of fantasy time.

Fun Gon' Come

More fun is still to come, though - and only one team are the bacon butty to soak up your depression hangover and get the serotonin pumping again after your 150pt wonder-week.

Don't be fooled by the Mourinho bandwagon. His unconvincing attempts to convince everyone Chelski aren't going for the title have somehow convinced everyone they'll actually win it. I beg you not to fall for it - at least from a fantasy perspective.

Man City

Whoever you think will top the league come the end of the season, do not be a slave to the rhetoric. Remember the three Fs of fantasy football - fixtures, fixtures, fixtures.

City have two more left than anyone else. By the process of maths, anyone who doesn't have three of them in their side by GW 34, their first of two remaining double GWs before the end of the season, is - as Kanye puts it - bat sh*t cray.

Yaya Toure (10.3)

Top of must-buy-ometer is Toure Yaya. Spenny for a midfielder I grant you but third highest scorer in the Prem and a fearsome combo of pace, silky soft touch and advanced technology (the new 'supreme tekkers') creates goals from absolutely nowhere. 48 points in his last four is just filthy. So let's get dirty. Don't be worried by trips to Arsenal and Liverpool - neither can defend and both could have nout to play for if Liverpool come unstuck against Spurs and/or Wham.

Let's get... dirtaaay

David Silva (9.4)

David Silva, or Dave Wood as he'd be known en Ingles got a paltry 9 points from DGW 31 - hardly what I was hoping for. I've been plugging this geezer all season and have him in every team - but he just plays so well every game. Creative players like Silva tend to drift in and out of games but he doesn't  - he's always the creative spark and usually their best player apart from Yaya.  

Samir Nasri (8.1)

Samir has returned from four games out to be a solid and consistent performer. Neither his spell on the sidelines nor the embarrassment of riches in City's midfield have stinted his playing time - and three assists in his last two is indicative of his play-making impact. He's still worse value than Silva and Toure but if you're hamstrung by a toight like a tiger budget, he's your man. 


"I'm not sure why so many people have Man City defenders. I took a punt on Lescott this week because he's super cheap but the cost-to-clean sheet ratio is just off the charts. Zabaleta's propensity to attack makes an argument for him enticing but 6.1 is such a horrendous amount to pay for a defender who has kept two clean sheets in 11 games."

This is what I would have said to you on 3rd February - just before Man City went on a record-busting run of five consecutive clean sheets. The thing is, though, if I could play my wildcard now, I still wouldn't have a City defender in my team - because the attacking points Silva, Toure, Nasri et al. can make you are so much more valuable.

You can only have three City players so you should be choosing which ones carefully. There are plenty of cheapo defenders who can bag you a CS every now and again and if you rotate cleverly, you can efficiently pick up two or three clean sheets a GW without much bother.

Be careful when rotating Cleverley
Why spend more than 5% of your budget on a player you're never going to captain, who will get 12 pts at the most IF he unpredictably scores one of his two or three goals per season. "What about Zabaleta?", I hear you cry. "He's always getting in the box". Well yes, and he has five assists - but 0 goals. Those five assists are 15 points over the whole season - just two points less than intermittently present Dzeko got in one game at Old Trafford. Even if you add his 12 clean sheets, that's 48+15=63, which is just one more than Toure as captain would have made you in the last two weeks alone.

Obviously you can't make everyone skipper but upside (the handy American word for potential) has to be considered - a defender scoring 20 points is a freak occurrence. When was the last time you were surprised one of their front six got two, three or four goals?

America - re-inventing words since 1776