Save money. Live better.

Steven Gerrard is currently 21.33 and has been producing well, but there are cheaper alternatives producing better results, especially across the front line. But to get those players - Rooney, van Persie, Kuyt, etc - you'll need that Gerrard money. So as a quick experiment in lieu of the Monday Morning Manager - for now as I just don't have the time to write the MMM at the moment - let's see if we can put together a half-decent midfield for this week's matches spending no more than 21.33.

O'Hara. Great place to start. I have him at 4.23, but he'll cost you 6.26 now. Still, he's the hub of an admittedly terrible Pompey side and has averaged 9pts per week since his loan to the South Coast three weeks ago.

Everton host Stoke, and with Pienaar a doubt after being stretchered off at the weekend, let's bring in his replacement, Diniyar "Bily" Bilyaletdinov. 4.71 for an attacking middie who will take kicks... sounds good to me.

Moving on to Wolves hosting Pompey, we'll bring in Michael Kightly who got 45mins at the weekend and seems a good bet to start this match. 5.41 is a great price for a player that lit up the Championship for double digit goals and assists, if I remember correctly, 8 goals and 19 assists last season (I ended up looking it up rather than guessing) and was a pre-season tip pending his recovery from injury.

Let's do some quick math... 6.26 + 4.71 + 5.41 = 16.38.  That leaves us 4.95 to round out a midfield foursome.  That's just enough to bring in Joey Gudjonsson.  He's 4.93 and will be starting in place on Chris McCann again as Burnley host Birmingham.  I've liked Joey since his Leicester day and  Burnley at home have been a very tough side to beat.  I could see him scoring some points.

Other options?  Rodwell is still very cheap at 3.85.  You could pick him up and move O'Hara to Hunt (home to Wigan) who isn't unreasonable at 8.96.  Personally, I hate Michael Brown but he's been picking up points recently and could be 3.52 well spent if he can stay out of the referees notebook.  Or staying with Pompey KPB is 6.83 and has been given attacking freedom by Paul Hart.  Of course, any of this would eliminate the need for you to spend any money on Mokoena.

So there you go.  O'Hara/Bilyaletdinov/Kightly/Gudjohnsson for 21.31 with options should you choose to go a different direction.   Do you have a different direction in mind?


  1. Gavin1:48 AM

    Why do you have to go and give away my midfield for next week, haha. I already had O'Hara/Bily/Kightly in my lineup. I had a bit more money to play with than the last 5-7, though. Hopefully great minds think alike in this case and I get a good return. After this past week, I need it.

  2. Anonymous2:19 AM

    I managed to jiggle about my midfield and currently have the following installed;

    Fletcher (new add this week home to Sunderland)
    Rosiky (If he starts may be worth the gamble)
    Rodwell (cheap home game)
    Barry (model to score against Villa)

    At the back i have;
    Given (no brainer)
    Vermaelen (have him a while cost too much to change)
    J. Heitinga (got him for 5.8
    Sonko (got at 4.3)

    And up front i have
    Torres (have him since start)
    Drogba (Have him since start)
    Rooney (New add paid 17.65, cant score as badly as last week)

    Helps and tips needed, what do you think??

  3. I know this isn't related to the post... but can anyone seem to provide a reason why Tuncay is not starting for Stoke?? He seemed to be a decent striker last season and has potential to score so many goals! (He is also in my team for 1.00 so I don't really want to let him go...) :(

  4. Oh man.. I'm not really sure bout Hunt..He's been a good point producer for me. Should I swap him for Billy?? Is it really worth it?? Home to Wigan will not be the same thing with away to Pool.

  5. Anonymous5:18 AM got superb strikers but your midfield too risky...sonko rarely score big pts againts poor teams..fletcher not sure starter same as rosicky...rodwell you get what you pay...barry is away from home while torres n drogba are only depends on rooney and if he score as last week, you will die :P

    pDax...worth if billy play 90 minutes...hunt's pts was stolen by geovani...huhu

  6. Anonymous6:55 AM

    "Rooney (New add paid 17.65, cant score as badly as last week)"

    He is prone to a red card or two per season ;)

  7. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Why does everyone hate on Aaron Mokoena?

    I'm pretty sure I saw him with the captain's arm band last weekend, and I understand he is in line to lead South Africa in the World Cup. So I would wager he will play almost all of Pomp's remaining games.

    He averages more than 100% of his cost, last week he returned almost double.

    He enables me to have a front line worth market price 50, a backline worth 30, and shares midfielding duties in my squad with three guys who cost right around 8.

    If you got in on Tuncay at 1 and your team is not returning at least 100 pts, this should be your first move.

  8. Chris O.9:13 AM

    I have to agree about Mokoena, his point/cost ratio is pretty darn likely to be good!

  9. Brandinho11:13 AM

    The problem with Mokoena is that he's a card magnet. The only reason he's been useful this year is that he hasn't picked up any yet. When he does, and he will, he'll be a waste no matter his cost.

    This seems to be the year of the mid-premium midfielders, the guys in the 8-14 range. Lampard is garbage at the tip of the diamond and if he dosn't play up front, he won't score big. Gerrard has Benayoun to steal his thuner. Ditto Ashley Young with Milner. Arshavin is just comically overrated and even Cesc isn't THAT great of an option because of how spread out Arsenal's offense is.

  10. I have a dilemma. Do I drop Nando (+5) after a dire performance last night and swap him for Rooney?

  11. Brandinho12:29 PM

    Are you fucking serious? If you're even contemplating dropping Torres at +5, I want some of what you've been smoking.

  12. @Ketz, I'm contemplating that move but only picked up Torres after his hat-trick at 18.15. Your greater "discount" makes it a harder decision. But ManU's schedule is nicer than Liverpool's in October if that helps.

    As for Mok... was everyone holding their breath when his header came off the bar? I think Yahoo Fantasy Football would have melted down if he had scored.

  13. @Brandinho..must you use expletives? We shall see..but I have a choice of a front line of Drogs, RvP and Torres/Rooney...So yes I am serious. Torres is so hot and cold and I have always played the game with match ups not value. And that's why I have always finished in the top 1000 overall. Obviously with Jeremy's comment I am not the only one thinking about it. I will love it if I do drop him and he does poorly, but then again with +5 value, I really do not know!

  14. You guys seem to be rather slow this week... It's already Wednesday and the Monday Morning Manager isn't even up yet? What's going on? =)

  15. Brandinho1:15 PM

    Yes, Ketz, I must use "expletives" when you're contemplating dropping Torres at a +5 discount because he had a bad game in the Champions League. You can talk about playing matchups all you want but you don't play matchups when you're talking about one of the best players in the world. You want to drop him for Rooney, be my guest, but first answer this: when has Rooney ever displayed the goal scoring form on a consistent basis that Torres has in his time in the Premiership? Furthermore, how does it make any sense to drop Torres at your discount because of a bad European performance when Rooney just put up a big fat 0 in a game that actually counts towards your yahoo performance? As for the top 1000 overall, is that supposed to be impressive? Not trying to be rude, but I don't see the relevance.

  16. Wow Brandinho, you are a fiesty character aren't you...and I 'm sure you weren't trying to be rude, but I am pretty proud of my FF achievements that's all. We shall see what happens come the weekend. But whatever player I end up going with, I will be sure to let you know the outcome and I'm sure you will let me know too! I will continue to play match-ups and you can do whatever it is you like to do. I just want to finish with one more thing, if you study the guys that end up winning the overall league each year, (Egypt and Yoyo were a classic example from last year) they didn't hold on to players just because they have them at discount. Just sayin'

  17. Anonymous3:46 PM

    'Arry is talking about using a "bigger" team against Bolton (read: Crouch plays). Does he play at Defoe's expense, or do they line up 3 forwards as before?

    Of course, the Rule about betting on Bolton applies to their opponents for the week. Except when it doesn't.

  18. Guys, let's be civil. I think there's a legit, and interesting, debate here and I would hate to have it overshadowed by personal sniping.

  19. ... as for the MMM, I'm on a deadline for work and don't have the time to commit to it. I'm just trying to keep the blog lively for the time being. Sorry.

  20. hey guys and girls,
    giggs played the full 90 today with a goal and an assist. should i drop him or not.

  21. I'd say drop, those old legs wont be up to much this weekend even if he does get a run out, which he wont. Shame like, as he's hit some crazy form recently!

  22. Brandinho5:53 PM

    Ketz, I have no interest in "letting you know" the outcome. I'm not petty nor am I sure why you seem to be taking offense. I'm blunt because I really don't see any merit whatsoever to dropping Torres at a discount, particularly for the reasons you've outlined. I do get a kick out of you suggesting that I, or anyone else, would hold onto Torres only because I have him at a discount. Perhaps you missed the part about him being the best striker in the Premiership.

  23. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Should I keep Jordi Gomez? Is Kightly better than Jarvis?

  24. kellz,
    are you politely scrappin' on this blog too?

  25. - Kellz?! Where art thou? Big game Thursday between MY Whitecaps and YOUR Timbers.
    - Great little drama. I have Nando and no intention of dropping him at +5 to grab say a Rooney, when like 50% of players have Rooney.
    - Lampard has been to ME the biggest disappointment. All hype about playing the tip of the diamond and he's gone and shit the bed. I STILL go with him because he's 'Lamps' and he's gonna get out of this slump eventually! (right?!)
    - Harry was going on about how great Kranjcar was also in that podcast. I don't think he can LEAVE Keane out now. So 3 strikers seems about right. with THudd/Palacios/Jenas? Scrappy midfield. Who knows. Friday is still wayssss away.
    - No worries JS. work is work. This blog has been WAYYYYY more lively the past few weeks than before so thats a great sign!!! We can figure/read stuff on our own (ONCE and a while...)

  26. Catlio9:05 PM

    I am quite agree with you about Gerrard. In fact, the premium midfielders have not been strong this year as compared to last year. Arteta, Jummy, StevieG and FL were all great last year. this year, the premium forwards that return many points and there are lots of cheaper midfield that give good return.

    Kightly, O'Hara and Hunt..are good. But I am still not convinced about Billy, Pienaar and Osman are still Moyes first choice. And Arteta is coming back soon, rite?

  27. on the dropping Torres question....
    i think it does seem insane to drop him. but sometimes insanity gets you huge rewards in YFF. doing what the other 50% managers don't, going against the grain, playing the odds, etc.. can be the secret of really getting ahead. i say whatever works for you go for it, everyone has their strategy.

    one thing i would say is this method mentioned that top guys last year utilized (basically changing their team every week) is really exhausting. i find myself remembering the good ole' days when i would pick a squad and stick with it for a while, long term investment strategy.. and if i picked players i would try to give them 3 games to prove their worth,only change out players if injured, etc.. life was peaceful then..

    now, trying to take advantage of any and everything each week gets to be a lot of work..
    but for me, it seems to get lots more results.

    one last thing, i have nothing but gratitude for Jeremy and Neal's work here. If they need time away from this to do their REAL work that pays their bills, fine with me. everyone should keep in mind that this is a FREE blog, a service you have not paid for, so take it for what it is: free info, advice and great analysis. thank you to jeremy and neal and everyone else's valuable comments..

    a besides, if the blog posts aren't showing up, take it as a sign that you should go outside or just get off that computer once in a while.. and when your back on your computer, waiting for an answer to the intensely stressful decision of what fantasy squad to select, have fun with this stuff! go with your hunches, do the research, watch the games, enjoy players and enjoy the game!

    enough rambling from me.

    over and out.

  28. Anonymous1:22 AM

    kudos to what bean said

  29. Couldn't have put it better myself Bean..Kudos too! And thanks for the less aggressive opinion on the Torres situation - very helpful. JSpitz and NThurm do a great job here. If they are too busy in the real world then those who don't like it will just have to be patient.

  30. Brandinho1:12 PM

    Owen, the hype about Lamps playing the tip of the diamond came mostly from uninformed fantasy players. Most Chelsea fans, like myself, were confident it wasn't the best role for him. Right now, the problem with him in terms of fantasy output is that he has Luka Modric syndrome, that is to say that he's the guy setting up the guy who sets up the play. Of course he'll take penalties and is more of a shooter than Modric so he'll still get decent points but I really don't see him justifying his price at all this year. Truth be told, I'd just avoid Chelsea's midfield unless you want to take a gamble on a fit Zhirkov.

  31. True that Bran! I don't watch much of Chelsea or follow them to the extent of others teams(Spurs). he produces on the field but not in our fantasy column!
    I'd LOVE to gamble on Zhirkov, but he ain't no sure bet to play day in/day out so I'm avoiding and waiting for an injury!