The Manager would like to apologize for the relative lack of blogging. He's been scouring YouTube looking for new talent to sign. Well, actually he's just been stuck at work for 12 to 14 hours a day. But with tonight at home to catch up on football (and soon, sleep) we'd like to give you the first part of the weekend review early. So here is a look at Saturday's Premier League matches, after the jump.
Manchester United 2 - 2 Sunderland
This match only served to highlight the quality of the players not on display. Namely van der Sar, Ferdinand (Rio) and most problematic for fantasy managers, Giggs. After having played large parts - and a large part in - the last two matches, Giggs didn't even make the bench. That's just the way it's going to be, and to be honest the way it's been for a year or so now. Giggs won't play two matches in a week or certainly not three in 10 days. Fantasy managers, this isn't a surprise any longer.
That being said, of those on the pitch, Andy Reid, Darren Bent and John O'Shea showed their worth and their value to fantasy managers despite the opposition. Credit to DBent. He doesn't seem to do too much, but when given a chance he takes it. Eight goals (should be seven as his 2nd last week was a Mancienne own goal) on 12 shots. And today O'Shea gave him way too much time and space and got 'megged for his failure of positioning. However, O'Shea is making his bones going forward adding an assist to his goal last week.
Rooney was a very popular pick-up this week with many, like me, trading in Torres as ManU has an easier October than Liverpool. Today he didn't score, but he had shots, won and took corners and did enough to earn 11.5 points. Not great, but you have a like a player that will return double-digit points even on an "off" day. He even outscored DBent who only got the 10 points for his shot and goal.
Elsewhere in the ManU side... well there's not much there. Berbatov is quietly, though costly, having a pretty good season. And you have to like the goal of the week contender! And just to note that this time O'Shea benefited from being given too much time and space by the defender. However the midfield is stil a fantasy black hole - save for Giggs, and we already went over that, didn't we class?
And on the other side of the pitch, what's the opposite of a do-no-harm (DNH) defender? That's right, class... Anton Ferdinand. Yikes! And KJ scores another. He doesn't look big and strong, but sure plays it. He's a bit too boom and bust for me, especially as he's getting pricier. But that's mostly because he's scoring goals.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - 1 Portsmouth
Hooray for Pompey. First points on the board, but very few points for fantasy managers as Yebda isn't on a lot of radars. Kevin "Ghetto" Prince Boateng is, and he returned his average 8.5 points. Not bad for 7, or 6.53 if you got him before his price rose. He's on a terrible team, but there are points there none-the-less. Especially for players like KPB who have been given license to support the attack. And next game week O'Hara will miss the match against Spurs as he's just on loan from the London club. That may give KPB even more attacking responsibility and may even see him taking kicks.
Speaking of O'Hara, he returned 3.5 this week, which is disappointing until his price is factored in. At just 4 and a quarter, I can't really afford to sell him. I could move for Kightly (more on him in a bit) but Pompey have a nice run now - Spurs, @Hull, Wigan, @Rovers, @Stoke - especially compared to Wolves who face @Eve, Villa, @Stoke, Arsenal, @Chelsea. I'm thinking that it will be worth it to keep O'Hara in the side for the next, dead fixture and that having two Pompey midfielders might not be a crazy fantasy choice. After all...
Hull City 2 - 1 Wigan Athletic
I had two Hull City players in the line-up today. Though that didn't turn out too well for me. Hunt is cold after starting the season so hot. And Sonko didn't earn but a point thanks to Sinclair's late consolation goal. Myhill still returned another home 9 points. Though remember, that will invariably lead to a road loss of double-digit points for him.
A big kudos to the 3% of fantasy manager who had Geovanni in their lineups. He's quietly been averaging 10 pts per game (save for an early blip in week 2) and double that this week. Anyone wondering where Hunt's points have gone just need to look infield. And listed as a midfielder this season and not as a forward, I think he could be value for money. I just wish I had noticed him before this match and not because of it. These are the blind spots that can make, or really break, fantasy seasons.
Sorry, but I'm not one to let a good segue go by unused. However, I want to go back to Pompey/Wolves to touch on the home team. Kightly was another popular pick, and well touted on the blog as well. However he was once again only a 2nd half substitute and a corner won and yellow card were his only two "contributions". Meanwhile it's Jarvis who is doing the business. A 12point week to drag his average points per game just under 8. Interestingly enough that's just his price as well. No goals, just one assist but tons of crosses, corners, etc. All hail the new king of the phantom points! Again, I'm going to shy away from Wolves players because of their upcoming schedule, but that being said, 8 on Jarvis could still be money well spent.
Burnley 2 - 1 Birmingham City
Burnley at home win by a goal. So normal service. However, they did score two and conceed one, so that's a bit of a change of pace. The consolation goal was a free kick from Larsson on virtually his only touch after coming in as a substitute. So if you had him in your fantasy team 1) your not paying very much attention and 2) you probably shouldn't start because it's working for you. (Hi, Jon!)
Bolton Wanderers 2 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Don't look now, but Cohen and Lee (Chung-Yong, and yes I had to look that up) are good bets in midfield. Not that we bet on Bolton, especially when they travel to Old Trattford. And their schedule doesn't ease up afterwards.
Of course, if you are going to play Bolton and you make accomodations to match their big, physical style then I think you've already lost. Well, drawn. Spurs actually scored their goals from a knock-down by Crouch and corner kick. So they did fine in the air. But Bolton were kicking Spurs around and ran most of the match. For Spurs, Kranjcar finally got off the mark for them and was their star scoring the first and creating the second. However he didn't do too much else and 'arry seems to think that Modric could be back for the Pompey match in two week's time. That seems really quick for a broken leg to heal, but the uncertainty will upset fantasy managers. Lennon was okay, but again didn't justify his price tag after such hot early season form. Defoe and his broken hand were rested for most of the match so his price comes down to under 13. Perhaps a pick for the Pompey match next game week?