Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bantasy Football: Suggesting Sunderland (again)

I could be Captain Obvious and tell you to put in six Manchester players this week but you already know that and I like to think of my posts as somewhat useful - if largely farcical.  

If Vladimir Putin on a stick isn't a farcicle, I don't know what is


Sunderland

Enter stage left Sunderland. They may look familiar to you from my post a few weeks ago but rest assured; much has changed since you didn't read that. They now have an excellent chance of staying up - not least because Fulham couldn't beat Hull and Norwich have lost their final two games (Chelsea and Arsenal) before even playing them. 

Any game is winnable when you're in a relegation scrap. West Brom at home and even a
"Giggsified" United at Old Trafford are no exceptions. 


Connor Wickham (4.6)

Have you ever had that thing where one minute you're a totally unknown Magikarp of a player whom your relegation-bound team have squandered £8million on and the next you're single-handedly dragging them from the depths of oblivion into a position where survival isn't just possible but probable? No? Well this bloke has. Now listen all about it.  

Forget the five priceless goals Wicker chair's netted in his last three games; take a look at that bantasy points tally and you'll need to take a cold shower and conjure a mental image of Susan Boyle in a two-piece before you can leave the house without walking like a pterodactyl to cover your shame.

13, 8, 16. Only one bonus point went missing. Phwoar. 

He costs - you guessed it - practically nothing. He's owned by - wait for it - absolutely no-one (0.8%). There's no excuse to not have this boy in your team if you currently have any single GW players apart from SAS, Lukaku and maybe Giroud. I'd even swap him for Adebayscore. 

Wickam evolved into Gyarados. Sh*t subsequently got serious!


Fabio Borini (6.2)

If you like penalty takers and believe in the power of on-loan strikers to drastically over-perform like I do, Borini is your man. If, however, you also enjoy making as many fantasy points as possible for as few fantasy coins as possible, stick with Connor Wickerman. Don't try and be fancy. Borini is owned by the same number of people (0.8%) and I don't care what your Mum tells you - no-one's going to like you more for being different.

Being different: Not always beneficial

Adam Johnson (6.4)

Forget Russia - Adam Johnson is the real riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.   Between 11th January and 1st February he boshed in 51 points! In four games! It's now been five matches since he's done anything decent. Maybe there's still stardust tucked away somewhere in his boots. Maybe he accidentally shook it out along with astroturf sand. Either way he's one for the chancers amongst you. That said, at 6.4 he's the best in his price bracket given the DGW. I'd even take him over the supremely in-form Sterlings and Puncheons of this world* - THAT's how much I heart double gameweeks.

*Don't you just hate that phrase? - There's only one Jason Puncheon in this world

Jon O'Shea (4.8)

A mate of mine had a running joke with his uni mates that they would go out out every time O'Shea scored a goal. Suffice to say they all got 1sts and didn't meet many ladyfriends. Anyway point is - the boy don't score much. What he does do is play every game. He'll be playing against Swansea at home and he'll be playing at West Brom at home (let's forget about the Old Trafford game for a clean sheet shall we?). Both are must win and there's the faintest sliver of hope Sunderland could realise that keeping a clean sheet and scoring makes you three points.


For more Bantasy Football, visit www.bantasyfootball.blogspot.co.uk or follow @BantasyFootball. 



Friday, 25 April 2014

#CalledIt Differential Pick - GW36

Three more game weeks to go, no time to fool around anymore. So, let's get down to business immediately, shall we?

For starters, this week's pick has scored eight (8) goals already this season and assisted three, but his price has fallen to 7.7m from 8.5m from the beginning of the season and he is owned by far less than 5% of FPL managers. Why is that you ask? Simple, he had scored only two goals between GWs 3 to 33!

But, and the good news starts now, he has scored four goals, earned 6 bonus points and a grand total of 26 points over the past two GWs. He does not have a double game week next week (otherwise he would probably be snatched up by a bunchload of FPL managers), but he does have great fixtures coming and it would appear he has finally become a mainstay in Arsenal's team that is battling to finish the season on a high note and secure that 4th place finish that leads to Champions League next season.

The return of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil seems to have benefited the team and he could be a great differential pick until the remainder of the season if he manages to keep his form. The #CalledIt pick for GW36, Lukas Podolski. 


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Chief's FPL Team - Gameweek 36

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


1 FREE TRANSFER WAS AVAILABLE FOR GW36.

TRANSFERS (WITH A -4 HIT):

SILVA & LUKAKU OUT
RAMSEY & ROONEY IN

Switched my captain from Aguero to Suarez but still scored 76 in GW35...


... 4 points lost (like taking a hit!). This is how I feel.


The GW 36 Temptations:

LUKAS PODOLSKI
4 goals in his last 2 PL games and a sub £8.0M price tag speaks volumes.  Despite being listed as a striker he doesn't strictly play as one.  Could now be undermined by Rambo & Ozil.

WILFRIED BONY
Despite Swansea's somewhat rocky and indifferent season, he has been a star for them. Good home fixture v Villa.  Another sub £8.0M forward, but has nothing more to play for this season.

CONNOR WICKHAM
Sub £5.0M and has 3 goals in his last 2 games.  Only 0.3% own him.  He has a good game v Cardiff.  I will probably be tempted to buy him during DGW37 as a shock buy... or maybe not.

The GW 36 Transfers:

Silva's shock start on Monday night was a nice surprise.  But a 2 point return and serious injury proved to be a blow as I also lost out on a DGW37 player.  I decided to buy "Rambo" Ramsey after his sensational points haul v Hull.  Whilst he won't do that every GW, Arsenal will be looking to seal 4th spot.  What better way to get close to that than to thrash an abysmal Newcastle side that has lost 12 of their last 17 matches.  My other transfer incurred a -4 hit and forced me to consider DGW37.  I know Rooney didn't do well last week, but he has some cracking upcoming home fixtures.  In addition, I am hoping the "Giggs factor" may give him a bit of a boost, especially with the World Cup around the corner.  I had to get my transfers in early due to the rapid price rises.  I announced them on Twitter.  Sorry if you got short changed!

The Captain:

Rooney seems an obvious pick against a dire Canaries team.  But I am worried about his form to the extent that I won't give him the armband.  Aguero may find it tough v Palace, whereas Suarez could be hot or cold at Anfield depending on what team Mourinho fields.  This situation left me to opt for a more pluckier captaincy pick.  I haven't had much luck with #MNF captains since Barkley v Newcastle earlier this season but I have chosen Ramsey for GW36.  Here's to hoping that Rambo maintains his stellar form and gives Arsenal fans something to cheer about in their pursuit for 4th spot!

The Personal Competitive Context:

With the season almost over, I still have reason to keep focused in FPL.  As thing stand, I'm on course for a third consecutive top 1% finish #FPL finish, I took a lead in leg 1 of my Champions League semi final match and progressed through to round 2 of the inaugural  FPLH Royal Rumble!  In fairness, I was lucky to do well in both competitions as I faced stiff competition.  Nonetheless, there's all to play for.  Teams are becoming more homogenised and buying successful differentials now will be the difference between moving 1k in a GW to moving 10k.

Perch of the Pundits*:
*Bigger than usual to fit Walt in! 


PS - We are still selling FPLH Shirts (designed by @Matejp23/@CalleditFPL - The shirts are reasonably priced, come in different sizes and can be worn all throughout the year.

Click HERE to view/buy.

Bantasy Football: All about Arsenal

The Gunners haven't featured in my team of the week bantasy posts yet - and with good reason. Despite a solid season (well - remaining consistent with the same old mathematical disappointment they have become used to at this time of year), they don't have a single player in the Dreamteam, near the top of the form table or on the lips of any fantasy football manager.

Walcott's horror injury and Ozil's 'meh'ness (new word) are partly to blame but Wenger's style has always meant a spreading of the love between multiple playmakers - meaning whoever you choose has a decent chance of bringing you home precisely zero bacon.


Arsenal usually finish the season strong, though, and have Newcastle (H) West Brom (H) and Norwich (A). You couldn't hope for three easier fixtures assuming Norwich are relegated by then (they will be - because maths).


Aaron Ramsey (7.4)

He's back with a bang (16 pts against Hull), although admittedly his initial return was more of a whimper (1pt against Everton, 4 against West Ham). But 90 minutes last week surely means he'll be raring to go against the Toon and some are even saying he's the best player at the Emirates now. He's certainly got the most fantasy points. Sold.


Santiago Cazorla (9.3)

Flying under the radar this season is Santi Cazorla - Saint Charlie to you and me. He's created a whopping 60 chances - practically doubling Ramsey's 31 - and has a pass accuracy of 87%. Tasty. The price is wrong but if you've already got Ramsey, you're a man for a differential (3% ownership) or, like one of those wives I've heard so much about, you enjoy spending copious amounts of money on frivolous purchases for no good reason, he's your guy*.

People who edit videos like this on Youtube neg my vibe. Cut to 0:40 for the money shot


*Sexism is for comic purposes only and does not reflect the very liberal views of this blogger, who thinks women are excellent - just excellent. Although I don't see many husbands buying £250 shoes - just sayin'. 


Olivier Giroud (8.5)

I nearly wrote a letter to FPL this year asking for a mandatory pop-up warning to be installed so that anyone attempting to transfer in Giroud would see a window that reads: "Are you sure you want to do this? The player you have selected is below average in every conceivable way."

Well I've changed my mind after that absurd chip shot he tried against West Ham - he's not below average; he's actively rubbish. That said, I've also decided he is not the worst fantasy prospect out there - as long as he has good fixtures. He hasn't scored against any of the top four but against weaker sides, someone has to score for Arsenal and it might as well be him, I suppose. He is playing as a 'striker' after all.


Per Mertesacker (6.1)

Likes: Aerial challenges, cars with extra leg room, Roald Dahl

Dislikes: Scoring goals, having to play with Monreal, the phrase "It's all gone pear shaped"

Seriously - he fucking loves Roald Dahl

He's high end at 6.1 smackeroons but you get what you pay for. Koscielny (5.4) is arguably a better shout now that he's back in the side there are only three games left so chances of him getting injured again are minimal but there aren't any photos of him doing something funny. Whadda ya want from me?



For more Bantasy Football, visit www.bantasyfootball.blogspot.co.uk or follow @BantasyFootball. 


GW36 FPL #JackInTheBox

"I blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop top; I broke my leg twice had to limp on back home......"  oh, sorry, wrong forum.  I have Jimmy Buffet on the brain.  Let me put my FPL hat on for a moment.

Yes, it's JackInTheBox time; time for my weekly pick of the player from a bottom 8 squad of the EPL table with 5.0% ownership or less who I think will provide some returns in the coming gameweek for fantasy managers.  After a decent run there for a few gameweeks my last three picks have all pretty much gone the way of David Silva; hobbling around on a bad foot for awhile before finally giving in and needing to be stretchered off.

This week will be different. I've got 3 more chances to make decent picks; 3 more chances to impress you with my unique ability to foretell the future and receive the showers of praise that can follow a carefully scouted, closely analyzed and ultimately sound, rationale choice; otherwise known as turning the crank, letting the music play and build to a resounding climax, where the JackInTheBox scares the crap out of you as he jumps out of his box and gives you the surprise of your life.  But who is going to do that this week?  This guy....


FPL GW36 #JACKINTHEBOX: Jonathan De Guzman



Swansea host Aston Villa this Saturday.  Michu's out for what looks like the rest of the season, Wilifred Bony is owned by far too many people to qualify for the illustrious armband, and De Guzman is a dangerous, hungry player with set piece duty who is going to get on the scoresheet in a match where Swansea need to show some strength and give the home crowd something to cheer about and look forward to next year. A resurgence is badly needed over there in Wales if Swansea are to be considered the tough opponent they were considered to be last year (until they won that League Cup anyway).

Enjoy the matches and send me a quick tweet when he scores; it's been awhile since I got something right.

And just remember..... whether he scores or not, and whether you have green arrows or not....

"Come Monday, it'll be alright" - Jimmy Buffet 

If you've never been to a Buffet show or don't know who he is....check this out. This is what I'll be doing tonight.....partying with 18,000 friends I haven't met yet....


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fantasy Football Hints - Gameweek 36

#REJECT (R):

R. v. Wolfswinkel (NOR)

Hasn't scored a PL goal since 17th August 2013.
The Canaries are in further disarray since sacking Houghton.
Norwich have only been scoring 0.65 PL goals per game on average away this season.


#PUNT (P):

W. Bony (SWA)

Bony scored 2 goals in his last PL outing.
Villa have conceded 1.31 PL goals per game on average away this season.
Swansea have been scoring 1.71 PL goals per game on average at home this season.


#HOTPICK (H):

A. Ramsey (ARS)

Back with a bang - scored 1 & assisted 3 in his last 2 PL games.
Arsenal have been scoring 1.88 goals on average at home this season.
Newcastle have been conceding 1.53 goals on average away this season.


FPLH's GW Star Picks:

de Gea

B. Davies
Koscielny
Zabaleta

Ramsey
Mata
Cazorla
Eriksen

Suarez
Aguero
Rooney

Subs:
Vorm
Arnautovic
Stones
Shaw


FANTASY FORECAST*:

SOUTHAMPTON & EVERTON TO DRAW 0-0.
FULHAM TO BEAT HULL 2-1.
TOTTENHAM TO BEAT STOKE 2-1.
SWANSEA TO BEAT VILLA 2-0.
WBA & WEST HAM TO DRAW 1-1.
MAN UTD TO BEAT NORWICH 2-0.
SUNDERLAND TO BEAT CARDIFF 1-0.
LIVERPOOL TO BEAT CHELSEA 3-0.
MAN CITY TO BEAT PALACE 1-0.
ARSENAL TO BEAT NEWCASTLE 3-0.

*NOT TO BE USED FOR BETTING PURPOSES

#FlyBuy - GW36

Just like my FPL season, FlyBuy derailed last week and was a resounding FAIL!

I predicted Loic Remy to return to the Newcastle team and go on a scoring run between now and the end of the season. This was mainly based on the fact I believe he will want to put himself in the shop window as he will have zero desire to remain with the Magpies next season.

As he was still "yellow flagged" I predicted he would be on the bench, but he got a chance of a full 50 minutes when he replaced the injured Luuk de Jong before half-time. On Twitter I confidently broadcast that Remy would "definitely score", only to be proven completely wrong. 1 appearance point later, and yet more ammunition to my detractors that I am unworthy of the label of "FPL Pundit".

However, you can't keep the Fly down - I will continue buzzing around and annoying you all (until such time as someone finds a massive rolled up newspaper and gives me a smack that is).

Swiftly on then, and an opportunity over the remaining 3 gameweeks to provide you with a decent FlyBuy pick worthy of your consideration. A quick reminder of the parameters I have to operate in:

  1. Between 3 and 20% ownership
  2. From a 5-15th placed Premier League Club
  3. A player, who, for one reason or another has not been amongst the points - but who I predict can go on a bit of a run or a return to form.
I'm not sparing this one too much thought this week. Without even looking at the fixtures (although I know they are playing at home vs Norwich), my pick will come from Manchester United.

With the majority of the "Class of '92" reuniting to take charge of United until the end of the season, I think they will sweep aside all before them in their remaining fixtures. Headed up by Ryan Giggs, the stars are all in alignment for me to choose from their ranks for GW36. Here's why:

  1. Giggs is older than me (by 18 months) and the fact he is still playing, gives me hope my own Premier League ambition is not quite dead in the water.
  2. Although he debuted in 1991, it is the 1992 season when he claimed the left-wing slot from Lee Sharpe for his own. I also started my current career in 1992 and 22 years later I am - like Giggs - still with the same employer.
  3. I too - given the chance - would have had an affair with my brothers wife. (LOL - I joke! He's not married! Yet...)
  4. I have also progressed in my chosen career to a position of management which involves coaching and development of younger talent.
However, I'm not going to pick Giggs as my #FlyBuy pick. Why? Because I don't think he'll pick himself to play. Will he? Hmm...he's never struck me as a player with a big ego. I think he will pick the best team to get results and try to put a "feel-good" factor back into the United fans between now and the end of the season.

The fact Manchester United have 3 consecutive home games as Old Trafford - Norwich, Sunderland and Hull - before finishing away at Southampton is also a factor in this pick. All winnable. All winnable with big scores. And that's what I think will happen.

No, my pick this week is a player who is a natural choice for me because of the following reasons (I'm going a bit overboard with lists today aren't I?):

  1. Giggs rates this guy and speaks VERY highly of him.
  2. He has recently expressed a desire to leave Old Trafford citing a lack of opportunities in his favoured central striking role. This would be bad for Utd, so Giggs will want to get him back on-board ASAP.
  3. The toe injury to Rooney is obviously affecting him, to the point where he was absolutely rubbish vs Everton.
  4. With the World Cup getting close, he knows he needs to impress Roy Hodgson (although he will no doubt be on the plane to Brazil already) and although he has scored 9 goals this season that's hardly a prolific return.
  5. He has not played 90 minutes since the 3-1 away defeat to Chelsea on 19 Jan.
You've guessed it by now, I'm opting for Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck (bet you didn't know that was his full name did you?)

Welbeck was born on 26 November 1990. Almost 17 years exactly after Ryan Giggs who was offered his first professional contract with Manchester United when baby Welbeck was only 3 days old (29 November 1990)



If that's not a final sign that my FlyBuy pick for GW36 is a guaranteed success, I don't know what is...

Good luck to you all. And give Welbeck some serious thought; currently owned by just 3.8% of managers and available at a knock-down price of £6.6m (from a season high of £7.8m). I believe a lot of these owners will be ghost ship accounts, who drafted Welbeck in following his 2 goal haul vs Swansea on the opening day of the season. Rooney is blatantly not fully fit, so I think Giggs will give Welbeck what he wants; a central striking opportunity with Rooney and Mata providing the ammunition.

One final thing, did any of you spot I managed to get through this entire article without one mention of the "M" word? I figured you'd all had just enough of hearing about him all week!

FLY

@meet_the_gadfly

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Looking back at Gameweek 35 - Chief's "LESSLINES"‏

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

"OZIL-LITE" ASSISTS SPURS TO VICTORY AGAIN AS FULHAM FALTER.

BORE SCORE DRAW AT VILLA PARK WITH 8 PLAYERS BAGGING BAPS!

PENS THE WORD AS 2 SPOT KICKS ARE CONVERTED IN DRAW AT CARDIFF.

TOON FAIL TO PICK BONY AND RECORD ANOTHER DEFEAT AT ST JAMES'.

JEDI-MASTER SEALS IT FROM 12 YARDS AS PALACE LOOK LIKE A DELIGHT!

BLACK CATS SNUFF THE WICK OUT OF CHELSEA'S TITLE PUSH & JM'S RECORD.

LIVERPOOL PUT IN A STERLING SHOW AT CARROW ROAD & GAIN 5PTS LEAD.

RAMBO'S BACK TO HIS BEST AS ARSENAL WIN CUP FINAL REHEARSAL.

IT STARTED WHERE IT BEGAN, BUT MOYES LOSES & IS DULY SACKED!

ARGENTINE-INSPIRED WIN AT THE ETIHAD KEEPS CITY IN THE TITLE RACE.

AND FINALLY...

DON'T HIRE A TROPHY-LESS MANAGER TO LEAD A TROPHY-LADEN TEAM!

*"LESSLINES" is a portmanteau of Lessons and Headlines.  They are intended to be bite-sized summations of what we learnt during the Gameweek!

FPLH Battle Royal - Round 1 Stats

Through to R2 outright

Reprieved & in R2

Knocked Out

Team Member Team Score Seed GW35 points GW35 hits GW35 actual
Richie FF247 2123 18 108 0 108
Adam FF247 2172 6 93 0 93
Devesh FPL Maestro 2048 90 0 90
Dolphin FPL Hints 1989 88 0 88
Ben S Independent 1753 88 0 88
Ken FF247 2089 27 91 4 87
Callum FPL Maniac 2004 90 4 86
Darsh ATFPL 2135 14 88 4 84
Masroor Independent 1999 92 8 84
Dan M Independent 1885 102 8 94
Steve FF247 2239 2 84 4 80
FPL Player FPL Player 2075 31 84 4 80
Mito FF247 2100 24 88 8 80
Henry Independent 2063 78 0 78
Marco FPLD 2095 25 82 4 78
Marc FD 1895 82 4 78
Atik FFPB 2122 19 77 0 77
Bantasy Jake FPL Hints 1943 77 0 77
Stoosher ATFPL 2175 5 76 0 76
Chief FPL Hints 2131 17 76 0 76
FPL Help FPL Help 2015 80 4 76
Matej FPL Hints 2139 13 79 4 75
Lala's Lads Independent 2033 79 4 75
Ehsan FFPB 2005 78 4 74
Tommy ATFPL 2199 3 73 0 73
Sleno FPLD 2112 21 73 0 73
Back2Basics FPL Maestro 2095 26 77 4 73
FPL Updates FPL Updates 2117 20 76 4 72
Craig FFF 1940 76 4 72
Space Monkey Footy Stuff 2106 23 71 0 71
AK ATFPL 1992 71 0 71
Fazle FFPB 2304 1 70 0 70
Enzo* FFPB 2112 22 70 0 70
Gummi* ATFPL 2085 30 70 0 70
Walt* FPL Hints 2064 70 0 70
FPL Doctor FPL Doc 2169 7 73 4 69
Potty Footy Stuff 2048 68 0 68
Avids FPL Help 2016 72 4 68
FPL Daily FPL Daily 2145 12 67 0 67
Kiel Independent 2160 8 71 4 67
Samuel Independent 2191 4 65 0 65
Fly FPL Hints 2149 11 63 0 63
FPL Aid FPL Aid 1355 71 8 63
Shikar FPL Maestro 2133 15 62 0 62
Chris Footy Stuff 2132 16 66 4 62
Judger FPL Help 1919 70 8 62
FPL Differential FPL Maestro 2089 28 61 0 61
ParkedTheBus Independent 1945 62 4 58
FootyStuff Footy Stuff 2058 66 8 58
Arjun Independent 1991 66 8 58
Sebb FPL Help 2155 10 57 0 57
Unfantasy Football Unfantasy Football 2159 9 61 4 57
FPL Maestro FPL Maestro 2004 60 4 56
FPL Oracle FFPB 1948 62 8 54
Lllama ATFPL 2065 32 55 4 51
Jan H Independent 2087 29 54 4 50
Pathetico Morbid Independent 2029 49 0 49
Geezer FPL Hints 1896 53 12 41

*Due to an erroneous duplicate entry, the tie-breaker for the 32nd spot was waived.  Thus, 3 entries who would have otherwise crashed out have now progressed to R2 on technical grounds.

Analysis:

  • 12/32 seeds crashed out in Round 1.
  • 5/11 of the "Independents" progressed to Round 2.
  • 2/7 of the FPLH pundits crashed out in Round 1.
  • The lowest ranked FPLH pundit finished 5th in Round 1.
  • All of the FF247 pundits progressed to Round 2.
  • 4 of the top 10 seeds crashed out in Round 1 (4th was highest).
  • 17 of those that made it into Round 2 took hits.
  • 2 of the top 6 from R1 have yet to score 2000+ in FPL.

Special thanks to:
 @FPLDaily @Back2Basic5 @FPLAid