Regarding Henry

Points for the week: -4.60

Current price; 1.00

Seeing Arsenal lose on that goal by (Thorton) Mellon or whatever his 5 minutes of fame name is . . .

Priceless (or at least very, very cheap to buy)

I guess the world player of the year final 3 announcements are unrelated to fantasy EPL?

What in the name of fantasy sports is going on, too many freedom fries, were there a lot of Germans on the Liverpool team? Who is doing the player valuations? Is he/she currently in a federal white collar prison for manipulating internet stock valuations for selfish gains?

Henry averages the most points of any player and yet is as cheap as possible - One fecking (irish quasi-expletive) dollar. He averages 14.80 per match, while Rocking Robben averages 14.50, yet costs 43.01 (and was in the 50's last week). I believe Henry was at 12 or so last week so he dropped over 11 - I guess those yellow cards are like kryptonite to french strikers.

Perhaps if he pronounced his name properly, as in "hen-re" (in americanese) instead of "on-re" he would recover from this downward spiral (and please pardon the hooked on phonics). And don't even get me started on Terry with the addition of an 'H" and and "I" and an extra "R"- Thierry.

There is no way on earth anyone with names like that can Cowboy Up when required (GO SOX!!!)

Sure glad I dropped him for last weekend (insert gloating emoticon here)

TheTop Three (and ManYoo) are at home...

and none of them are playing a particularly worrysome opponent. Lots of positive match-ups to choose from as a result. Also a lot of injuries to take into account. Baros is out, and that leaves Liverpool's goal-scoring ability in doubt. Saha is out and Ruud picked up a knock midweek for Holland which leaves ManYoo's strikeforce up in the air a bit. And Henry made opponents tremble with the declaration that he's been playing at about 70% for the last few months. Anyone else wish their 100% was in the same ballpark as his 70%? Me too. And with that brief intro, here are the recommendations of the week:

Henry, Arsenal - even at 70%, you might want him in your line-up.

Rooney, ManYoo - think he wants to atone for his mid-week meltdown? Think Charlton coming to OT have any power to stop it?

Have to agree with my colleague Jeremy, there aren't too many extremely appealing options at striker this week. Might be a good week for a 3-5-2 line-up as there are lots of midfielders who will be playing striker this week. If you just HAVE to have another striker the next best options are probably Eidur, Ronaldo and Reyes since Andy Johnson is still in doubt.


Lampard, Chelsea - Apparently looked like crap for England but he an EPL fantasy points machine.

Robben, Chelsea - Fast approaching teammate Lampard as a fantasy pillar. Fun to watch too.

Pires, Arsenal - Seems to have rediscovered his form even if he isn't guaranteed a start these days. Even in 30 minutes, he's been effective this season for fantasy managers

Gravessen, Everton - On a day when all of Everton's midfielders and forwards probably combined for 35 fantasy points total, the bald one had more than 25 of those. Reasonably good match-up as well being home to Fulham.

Kewell, Liverpool - Maybe I've been too reluctant to let go of past performance, but in a week where Liverpool's strikeforce is gutted, you get the feeling that Harry might be ready to break out and re-establish himself. If you're not as inclined to a little risk, Garcia might be a better choice.

Heinze, ManYoo - see all previous postings since he joined the line-up.

Hibbert, Everton - not very noticable on the field, but an excellent track record thus far and a good match-up as well.

Jaidi, Bolton - not his best week last week, but has been strong all season.

The big decision is between Cech and his superior defense against a reasonably productive Bolton team or Lehmann and a questionable defense against a WBA offense that has been firing blanks and may be without their best striker, Kanu. If you're budget conscious, the decision is an easy one as Lehmann is much cheaper.

US MNT Review

I'll begin the review with the admission that I was exhausted and possibly a little grumpy when I watched the game on TiVo (the greatest invention of the last 10 years)...

The ball just seems to find Eddie Johnson in good places. Once is a fluke, twice is a pattern, three times is a trend. Apparently on his way to train with ManYoo for a couple weeks. Nothing but great things to say about his performance other than that he could have had two or three goals.

(Side Note: Doubtful that he'd see any time with them but not much of a stretch for ManYoo to buy him and loan him out or for another team to swoop in. Could be an interesting January for Mr. Johnson.)

What happened to Landon Donovan? I forgot he was in the line-up between the 10th minute and around the 75th minute. I was shocked that he was still in the line-up. Hopefully, no one at Leverkusen stayed up late enough to watch.

Cory Gibbs was great all night, a stand-out performance.

I loved him with DC United back in the day but why are we wasting time on a past-his-prime Tony Sanneh? I don't see the upside for starting him over Jonny Spector. Tony might be a better player right now but we should be getting Jonny ready for '06 and beyond in games that don't matter for us.

Recently read the England Worst XI Under Sven column - if anyone ever pays enough attention to the US MNT to write such a column, you have to bet on Ramiro Corrales to make that list. Bobby Convey could use a run, why not bring him back for this game?

Look for the weekly EPL Fantasy comments early tomorrow.

Mid-season Thoughts

Larry King Style...
For my money, Arjen Robben is the best purchase by any team over the last two years...Who would have guessed that ManYoo's veterans would get so old, so fast?...Think Sir Alex is kicking himself for not packaging Giggs and Scholes last season and buying Ronaldinho with the $$...Any applicants to play striker for Pompey this weekend?...As a fantasy owner, I can't justify putting a striker who doesn't score goals in my line-up (see Ronaldo, Christiano)...If teams in our fantasy league were actual EPL teams - Toby would be Chelsea (looking strong)...Kris would be Everton (shock to all that he's still here)...Jeremy would be Arsenal (always good and lurking near the top)...Neal would be Boro (relatively new to the top but likely to be in it)...Stoltz would be Villa (currently outperforming previous track record)...Mike would be Liverpool (perenial quality not achieving usual standards)...Dan would be Newcastle (see Liverpool, but worse)...and Jon would be ManYoo (traditional power fallen on hard times)...

Just a few thoughts from mid-week while still basking in the glow of a 4th MLS Cup for United. Can't wait to see the US MNT line-up for the game tonight.

(Red) Devil's Advocate - Inagural Weekend Review

Ok. My two cents, er, pents on this weekends events:

9 goals in the arsenal match and no goals or assists for Reyes - many grumpy owners

Yakubu - nice medial ligament - more grumpy owners

Baros - now really - give me a freakin break - this little rodent has no business with a hat trick

Man U penalty - not sure about the rules of soccer since I don't actually watch the sport, but seems like it was a penalty, though shearer seemed to disagree

What is the deal with Koumas?

Deja Vouz - what is the deal with Robert? Is it an anti-french thing? Fantasy stud can't get off the bench?

Still many, many bad hair styles in the EPL - mullets, mini pony tails, corn rows and many bad long hair head band options - and don't even get me started on the gelled-up mowhawk swoop hair style so popular among english players - john terry and alan smith among others- very silly

will malcom glazer please buy man u so i can laugh at the utter distress it will cause - (insert conan the barbarian quotation here "see my enemies crushed beaneath my feet, hear the lamentation of their women, etc . . . .)

jose mourininniho is a very very silly and arrogant little european guy - though his team is ok

rooney is like an exceptionally large fetus (except with great soccer skills)

do players on teams start to look alike like married couples, is everyone on everton bald or balding like gravesen? they should be sponsored by hair club for men

that's all for now, hopefully neal will have more valuable knowledge to pass along . . .

In a week where Arsenal's youth proved better than the main squad...

Really. Should Arsene piss off the legions of fantasy players and just bench everyone for a week or two and let them get their legs back? Van Persie, Flamini, Pennant, et al. seem to be capable of beating full EPL squads. Why not rest the big boys for two weeks and run these kids out vs. a Southampton or some other struggler at Highbury? Based on recent results, it couldn't hurt.

On to the picks of the week in yet another week that doesn't feature a no-brainer match-up that will help managers stack their line-ups...


Henry, Arsenal - Granted he hasn't been at his blistering best over the last couple weeks but are you going to be the guy who bets against the Gunners coming out of their funk this weekend?

Yakubu, Portsmouth - Derby matches are always tough to call and even more so when there is managerial unrest, but the Pompey hitman has been warming up again and he generally scores in bunches.

Tough call on the last striker if you're running a 3-4-3 formation. ManYoo still can't score AND they're on the road. Palace and their sensation Andy Johnson are on the road vs. a Liverpool team that has been playing good defense. They guys who score for Chelsea are all designated as midfielders. Streaking Fulham face Chelsea's defense. Do you recall Reyes? Is it time to go 3-5-2? Is this the week JFH breaks out? Tough call. I'm leaning towards Reyes vs. a disorganized Tottenham squad.

Lampard, Chelsea - Getting tired of finding nice things to write about him. Just put him in your line-up and don't think about that spot for the rest of the season unless he gets hurt.

Robben, Chelsea - Showing that he may be the class of the offseason signings. Makes things happen for both himself and teammates. If he's starting, he boosts the value of Chelsea's strikers.

Downing, Boro - I'm still on the bandwagon even after a couple down weeks, that Boro are playing WBA doesn't hurt either.

SWP, Man Citeh - Playing home to Blackburn who may be better but still aren't good. Generally the most dangerous player on the field.


Jaidi, Bolton - He's been great on offense and Bolton have a reasonable shot at a clean sheet since apparently, Villa's strikers don't travel with the team.

Heinze, ManYoo - See Lampard above.

Anyone from Chelsea - take the 5+ points that almost seems to be guaranteed and hope that the one you choose gets involved in the offense a little bit.

Cech, Chelsea - Not sure when I'm going to learn that Cech should be in the same category with Henry, Lamps, and Heinze. Not much reason to change him out.

As a follow up to Neal's post, the final tally for MLS Fantasy sees me retain the Transformer trophy for another year. I finished the season with 11995 points. Second place went to Procrastination FC with 11295 points and hot on his heels was The Albatross, just 55 points off second with 11240 points.

It's a small consolation, but I'll take what I can get these days.


PS. Yes, that is Landon Donovan's signature on the soccer ball. I'm waiting for him to head back to Europe and start scoring Champions League goals. Then I can put that thing on eBay and send my daughter to college. ;-)

It May Be The Minor Leagues...

But it was sweet...

In a week where New England has lost its mojo...

Here's the inside scoop.

The Red Sox win seems to have sucked all the good fortune from the Northeast part of the country. The Patriots fall for the first time since mid-last season. Hockey is a no-go for the season. John Kerry lost to a guy that the country really didn't want to elect. The Celtics gave up a big lead to lose their home opener. And Mike Langlais of Vermont had his first weekly victory in the Bad Ideas Teams table wrapped up until Nicky Anelka and SWP snatched it from him on Monday. We can only hope that this continued lack of good karma carries DC United to the MSL Cup as they face the Revs on Saturday night. What does this have to do with EPL Fantasy advice? Nothing that I can think of. Lets get to it. Gentlemen, this is the week I'm jumping on the Norwich fantasy bandwagon. And if ever there was a week to do it, its the week they play Blackburn. Always a good time. Arsenal appears to be in some sort of a midseason slump so even a match-up away to newly promoted Crystal Palace isn't as enticing as it might have appeared earlier in the sesaon. Chelsea's new goal scoring prowess will be tested by a visit from Everton in one of the most difficult games of the week to call. Liverpool hosts futile B'ham in what promises to be a home win but probably a low scoring one. All that said, there aren't a ton of inspiring match-ups so this would appear to be the week to revert to a) class; and b) the rules Big Daddy Spitzberg so kindly made available recently...


Henry, Arsenal - Yeah, they're slumping but even on a day where they didn't play well and he missed a penalty (huge negative points). He hit for more than 8 fantasy points.

Huckerby, Norwich - Quietly having an excellent fantasy year and they're hosting Blackburn - good times.

JFH, Boro - Two goalless games in a row for Jimmy. Time for the scowl to turn into, um, the "I-just-scored" scowl. Bolton are playing well, but they give up goals and Boro tend to score them at home.


Duffman, Chelsea - Finally in form and playing well enough that the careful fantasy manager can be pretty sure that he'll be in the starting XI.

Lampard, Chelsea - Nothing specific to say here, ya gotta have him.

Downing, Boro - A bit of a clanker last weekend. Don't expect two in a row.

Garcia, Liverpool - Not spectacular vs. Deportivo in midweek, but still the best bet for some points on this squad.

Robben, Chelsea - Three Chelsea midfielders vs. an in-form Everton squad? Robben is really playing at striker, and playing well. The big question is "will he get the start?".


Heinze, ManYoo - Gets easier and easier to recommend this guy each time I see him play. Air tight defense, moves into the attack well, and just combative enough to throw strikers and wingers off their game. Manages not to get carded.

Jaidi, Bolton - Check the injury reports before starting him. Went out towards the end of last week with a broken nose.

Terry, Chelsea - Keeps racking up the points as Chelsea keep the sheets clean.

Kirkland, Liverpool - Birmingham isn't scoring much. Liverpool is defending surprisingly well. Better bet for a win/clean sheet than Cech vs. Everton.

Sticks & Stones . . .

Tough weekend for the medical staff. Reyes has some uncertain wrist damage (out of the match), Jaidi broke his nose in the cause of getting me an assist (out of the match), and last and clearly not least, Cisse - tib-fib Joe Theiseman leg break (out of match, season, and maybe career) - ouch. Of course I had all three unfortunate players. Though having 6 screws and a titanium plate in my leg definitely makes me understand how my fantasy woes are not as important as such things (well, maybe).

As a side note - what on earth happened to arsenal and man u - was arsenal worrying about chelsea? was man u just, ok, i really can't think of an explanation for that one.