Midweek fantasy football always feels a bit strange in my opinion as you’re not in the regular routine of trying to wake up on Saturday morning, read all the team news, and try to make an informed decision over the week’s transfer all before the 11.30am deadline. On the flip side though, I’m convinced certain players perform better in the evening kick offs than during the day. The atmosphere is better and there’s more of a sense of occasion. I’m sure this has a lot to do with big Champions League games always being at 19.45 and thus getting all day to look forward to the match.
Last week’s top performer was the mighty Robert Koren with 16 points. Approximately 0.3% of the 1.8 million players saw the benefit of those sixteen points and indeed the top scorer for the week didn’t even have Koren in his team. Van Persie and Roberts both continued their good form while our captain choice of Gerrard got his goal against Everton. On to the midweek picks.
Top 3 alternatives to Ronaldo as Captain.
1. Lampard/Chelsea – Despite Chelsea’s so-so form recently, Lampard’s has finally picked up again. He has four league goals in his last four as well as eight bonus points. Middlesbrough have slipped into the relegation places so you’d expect a Chelsea home win here. With Anelka and Drogba out of form/out of the squad, it falls to Fat Frank to do the business.
2. Van Persie/Arsenal – This is risky as Arsenal face Everton away but they are unbeaten in eight games and RVP has been the main source of inspiration this season with eight goals and seven assists. It’s not a given that the Gunners will score, but if they do it’s likely that Van Persie will be involved one way or the other.
3. Defoe/Spurs – Spurs are a poor team but Stoke are even worse. Harry Redknapp has made a few signings this week and Palacios and Cudicini should start, thus instantly makes Spurs more solid. Two thirds of Defoe’s nine league goals this term have come at home and I’d back him to score against a Stoke side without an away win this season.
Suggested transfers in:
1. McCarthy or Roberts/Blackburn – Fat Sam has been in charge for four games, they have both scored four goals each.
2. Simpson/West Brom – On loan from Arsenal, Simpson has slotted straight into the first team at the Hawthorns. The good thing is that he is very cheap at £5million and is listed as a midfielder even though he’s playing up front. West Brom’s form has picked up recently and although he’s yet to score I think he’s worth a punt as a fourth/fifth midfielder.
3. Heskey/Aston Villa – He probably won’t get that many goals but given Villa’s counter-attacking style of play, he may well get some assists and bonus points. Ashley Young misses the next couple of games so Heskey will be even more important than usual.
Players to avoid:
1. New Man City signings – They didn’t quite get Kaka, but I’m not really too enamoured with any of City’s three new signings. Bridge alone won’t solve defensive problems and lack of clean sheets while De Jong will probably sit too deep to be of any relevance for attacking points. I guess Craig Bellamy is cheap enough at £6.5m to warrant a look as he scored five times this year and also got some good bonus points but then you’ll have Craig Bellamy in your team. That’s not right is it.
2. The injured Man Utd players – Twelve players are out for the West Brom game and although many are short term injuries, there have been plenty of comebacks immediately followed by another injury again (see Rio, Evra etc). Right now Vidic, C-Ron and Berbatov are about the only players you can rely on and by typing this I’ve probably ensured they get injured tomorrow.
3. Palacios/Spurs – A prime example of a good player in real life but a useless one in fantasy football.