Friday, 4 October 2013

Fantasy Football - September 2013/14

GW4, and Jon Hackett plays his wildcard! After a -8pts shake up already this season, he decides to play it early and changes almost his entire squad.

I let Wanyama go and brought in Amalfitano from West Brom. The deadline day signing won me over, despite West Brom having failed to score a single goal so far. James ditched Dzeko for Benteke and Paul Hackett sold Negredo for Benteke, while Andrew dropped Kolo Toure for Distin of Everton. That turned out a smart move, Benteke scored and picked up 2bpts; also good news for Andrew, who already had Benteke as his captain, and for whom Distin picked up a clean sheet and 2bpts.

Paul Hackett wins GW4 with 60pts (and that's without 13pts from Ben Arfa who's left on the bench). He plays a 5-2-3 formation with all three of Soldado, Benteke, and RVP for great returns. Jon and Andrew both finished second with 58pts. James, Ross and Mike all had terrible weeks. For me, Giroud scored and my back four collected 3 clean sheets between them. Plus, captain RVP scored a penalty. That gave me 51pts, and moving me up to 4th in the league.

Dzeko failed to play at all last weekend, and having only scored once in the first four games I wanted to drop him from my team. Coutinho, who had looked so great in preseason, is turning out to be not so hot for fantasy football. While crucial to the way Liverpool play, he not made an assist or scored a goal yet this season, and that's not good enough for a £9.0m midfielder. Plus, he injured his shoulder against Swansea and could be out for a while. I drop Coutinho for Ben Arfa, and then it's a straight choice between Sturridge and Benteke for who to spend my money on. Both are the same price (£9.2m) and both have scored 4 goals in the first 4 weeks. But Liverpool have slightly nicer fixtures until November, and dropping Coutinho makes me want another Red to take his place, so I go with Sturridge.

In preparation for GW5, Andrew drops Dzeko for Lukaku and Ross drops Hazard for Eriksen (and £1.1m in the bank). But the big change comes from James, when he plays his wildcard!  Having been a Benteke/Soldado/Lambert team, he swaps for Benteke/Rooney/Giroud. He lets Coutinho go and spends the money on Michu, and sells his Man City assets for Ben Arfa and Moses. This doesn't immediately work out for him however. In a low scoring week, he only gets 37pts.

GW5 was full of poor results. RVP, Walcott and Silva were all late injury calls, and Benteke came off injured early in the match. Giroud failed to score or assist, as did Sturridge, as did Soldado, and Dzeko only played 17mins. Rooney scored, but the only performing striker was Lukaku in his Everton debut. He earned 7pts playing only half of the match, as he scored and picked up 2bpts. That, along with Paulinho's winning goal for Spurs, won Andrew the week.

I came second for the week and rose to third in the league overall. I had thought I was doing badly (Giroud was my captain) but Mertesacker scored and Amalfitano earned 10pts in his home debut. Owned by less than 0.1% of all Fantasy Football teams, it was great to see him come good so immediately.

The injury news created problems for almost everyone. Walcott needed a stomach operation, and as with Benteke's hip injury, they're both out for a month. Coutinho is out for similar, and both Van Persie and Silva were doubtful for GW6.

Another week, another wildcard. This time Ross throws his into the ring. He drops RVP, finding the funds for Ozil and Vidic, keeps Dzeko, and drops the injured Walcott for the in form Michu.

Out of everyone else, Mike and James swap Walcott for Ozil, Andrew swaps him for Moses. With Benteke also injured, Andrew gets in Rooney, Paul gets Lukaku and James gets Lambert; all three take a -4pts hit. The other bit of news is that Paul drops RVP - I am now the only person in the league with RVP! So I captain him, hoping to double that advantage.

Instead, I end the month with a terrible week, staying third in the table but losing all my lead over those chasing. Having captained RVP for the home game against West Brom, for which he was fit, he was rested and only earned 1pt - the worst outcome for a captain. Everyone else had good scores for their captains. Jon earned 28pts from Sturridge, while Rooney and Soldado both brought in double figures for everyone else. It was a massive disappointment for me.

Amalfitano is proving to be a great fantasy prospect, but I had put him on the bench! Thinking he'd be unlikely to earn points away at Man Utd, he only went and scored and assisted and earned 3bpts as Man Utd suffered a shock defeat. I missed out 12 points there, with Amalfitano stuck on my bench. I've also carried an injured David Silva for 3 weeks, tying up money I could have used elsewhere. GW6 is one for me to forget.

Differentials can be very important. For example, Mike is the only one in our league to have Ramsey, the star of the month; he's scored 4 goals in 3 games, his price keeps rising, and he's clearly on top form.

The form players for September.

All in all, a thoroughly disappointing GW6. Andrew won his second week in a row with 68 points and Jon came second with 59. Lukaku was the best player this week, earning 16 pts; Andrew and Paul are the only ones to have him selected. No-one in our league has Suarez, and Jon was the only one to captain Sturridge. I was bottom for the week.

The September table. James does terribly, despite his wildcard. Andrew and myself are the only ones to still have our wildcards.

That brings September to an end. Andrew the clear winner of the month, James the clear loser, despite playing his wildcard. I climbed to third in the table overall, even with RVP being a massive disappointment.

The league table at the end of the month.

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