Fantasy Files: Gameweek 28

by Chris Glover

When there’s blood on the streets, we are supposed to buy property. Well there’s revolution in the air around the world so what should fantasy football fans do? Reach for the traditionally safest assets around too: United players.

While they aren’t as gung ho as they once were, their 57 goals still lead the league and with 14 in their last 5, no one is hotter right now. From a fantasy perspective, the defending champions lack the depth of Arsenal and their line-up tails off quickly after the big three of Nani, Berbatov and Rooney but you’d be foolish not to at least to try and get three Red Devils this week.  There’s more on this trio below in the captain stats section, but before we get to that, let’s look at the team rankings for the week:

Clean Sheet Rankings
Clean sheets kept at home/away – opponent failed to score at home/away

  1. Man City (8 – 5)
  2. Man Utd (3 – 3) and (3 – 2)
  3. Chelsea (8 – 3)
  4. Stoke (4 – 7)
  5. West Ham (3 – 4)
  6. Newcastle (3 – 4)
  7. Aston Villa (5 – 3)
  8. Everton (3 – 4)
  9. Fulham (3 – 3)
  10. Liverpool (4 – 3)
  11. Wolves (2 – 5)
  12. Sunderland (4 – 2)
  13. Blackpool (5 – 2)
  14. Wigan (2 – 3)
  15. West Brom (0 – 3)
  16. Blackburn (0 – 3)
  17. Bolton (0 – 2)

 

Attacking Rankings
Predicted weekly goals scored

  1. Man Utd (2.8)
  2. Newcastle (2.6)
  3. Aston Villa (2.4)
  4. Stoke (2.4)
  5. Wolves (1.9)
  6. Chelsea (1.9)
  7. Everton (1.7)
  8. Blackpool (1.5)
  9. Man City (1.3)
  10. West Ham (1.3)
  11. Sunderland (1.3)
  12. Wigan (1.1)
  13. Blackburn (1.1)
  14. Bolton (1.1)
  15. Liverpool (1.0)
  16. West Brom (0.8)
  17. Fulham (0.5)

 

Captain Stats

Given their tricky fixtures, United players do not look like the slam dunk picks that Arsenal gave us last week, though they are still, of course, at the forefront of the rankings this week:

Nani - while the goals haven’t flowed on the road (2 in 10) compared with at home (7 in 12), Nani’s ability to contribute fantasy points from multiple sources (goals, assists and bonus points) make him a consistent performer with a relatively high ceiling. 49 points in his last 6 games rank him up alongside just about anyone else in the league and he is likely the only United midfielder who can be relied upon right now. In 3 games against opponents who concede less than a goal a game (as Chelsea do at home) he has failed to score and added just 10 fantasy points but the Wigan game looks like one in which he may prosper.

Wayne Rooney – like his teammate Nani, Rooney has 49 points in his last 6 games including three double digit performances. He too has struggled somewhat on the road (1 goal in 6) but he is clearly finding form at a good time and possibly has the highest ceiling of all United players this week. His 13% ownership is also a massive plus compared to Berbatov (34%) and Nani (45%) and Drogba owners should not think twice about making this move if they haven’t already. Rooney is probably the best United player this week taking all factors into account.

Dimitar Berbatov – Berbatov has really struggled away from Old Trafford this season with just 4 goals in 12 games (compared to 15 in 11 at home) and an average of just 3.1 fantasy points. He is also a massive rotation risk for the game with Chelsea as Ferguson tends to favour 4-5-1 with Rooney up on his own in the clashes with the other title challengers. He is course a solid pick for the week but as a captain option I think many may overrate him this week.

Nemanja Vidic – there was a time when United defenders were must own properties who would contribute clean sheets at least a couple of times a month and a player like Vidic may even add bonus points for his troubles. Away from home at least, that has been far from the case this season. Just three clean sheets have been kept on the road this year, though interestingly they were all against quality home opponents (Sunderland, City and Spurs). Chelsea have failed to score just once at home and Wigan have only had three blanks of their own but neither are firing on all cylinders right now and so United have two decent chances at a clean sheet making Vidic a good play, but not a captain option for me.

Carlos Tevez – 30 points in his last two home games makes a former United player hotter than any of his old teammates though the fixture is trickier than it looks (only Chelsea have conceded fewer on the road than Fulham this year). It’s very tough to pick against the United players this week but if anyone is worth a role of the dice it is Tevez. With solid fixtures on the horizon Tevez makes a great buy this week if you are already maxed out on United players.

Mercenaries

With so many quality players missing this week, your team might be in need for a one week gun-for-hire. Here are a few ideas:

Darren Bent – has settled in well at Villa and is always a goal threat though his ceiling is fairly low (one double digit game all season). Villa have one of the best fixtures of the week and Bent looks as well placed as anyone to benefit.

Kevin Nolan – a very streaky player who has already had four double digit gameweeks, Nolan makes an interesting boom/bust pick but has a decent fixture against his former club who haven’t travelled too well this year.

Ryan Shawcross – Stoke have been pretty inconsistent this year but they still have decent defensive credentials and welcome a West Brom side who have failed to score 7 times in 13 attempts this year away from home (including the last four). He’s been overshadowed by the goal scoring exploits of his partner Huth of late but for the price Shawcross looks like a very nice play this week.

The Missing Links

Arsenal, Tottenham and Birmingham have no league game this week and so many squads will be left a bit thin with so many quality players absent (Chaz Adam being suspended also doesn’t help). However, Arsenal project as the best attacking side for the remainder of the season and so I would advise against making wholesale changes and dumping all your Gunners for the sake of one week. Walcott looks likely to miss a couple of games and so is sellable this week while Fabregas may miss just one game and so might be worth sticking with given the lack of top line United midfielders to replace him with. I would hold Van Persie unless you are desperate to bring in Rooney for the week and can only do so by dropping the Dutchman.

Van der Vaart meanwhile looks set to return for Spurs’ next game against Wolves and so does not need to be sold if you are convinced his recent downturn in fantasy points is only temporary.

Adam remains arguably the best value player in the game and unless you are not sat on a large profit or have bags of extra cash I would hold onto Adam through his two game suspension.

Good luck for the week ahead and remember that if you’ve made it this far your team probably doesn’t need a revolution, though we may be forgiven for taking to the streets if Alex Ferguson benches any of our fantasy stars again.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply