The Week Ahead (with more Baseball)

So, here I am recovering from a pretty rotten weekend.  Let's recap.  I managed to pick all around the points (Cesc instead of MPet, Milner instead of Gabby, Stuck with Bily over Kightly, etc.) and ended up with 65 points or so.  Arsenal couldn't capitalize on a weekend where ManYoo got outplayed and beaten; and the rest of the pretenders (Citeh, Villa, Sunderland, Everton, and Spurs) all dropped points.  My own footie match was canceled because the field was saturated with water from the night before even though the actual day of the match was a beautiful day for a match.  Throw in some ugly fantasy NFL results and top it off with a lackluster game from my NFL team (the Eagles) on Monday even though they won. Even worse? I have had to wait an entire week for my baseball team to get started with the World Series.

Speaking of baseball, I'm writing this during Game 1 of the World Series so you'll be getting sporadic updates from the game [Phillies loaded the bases with 2 outs in the first inning but couldn't get a run across - so far so good since the Yankees pitcher is supposed to be the second coming].

Hopefully, this week is off to a better start.  Arsenal's reserves/youth team beat Liverpool's reserve/youth team in Carling Cup action.  Not the biggest news ever but I'm hoping it means that things are about to turn around.

[3 up and 3 down for the Yankees in the bottom of the first - nice start from Cliff Lee - I like it]

The obvious highlight of the upcoming week's schedule is the extra match for Aston Villa and West Ham.  One note of caution before we jump all the way in on these two clubs - Villa - the better team of the two - have two away matches and the first one is against Everton who while not up to the standards of last season, isn't a pushover at home.  The Hammers don't have an exceptionally easy road either with Villa coming to Upton Park and a trip to the Stadium of Light and Sunderland who aren't bad.  This isn't to dissuade you from going after players from both teams but it IS to dissuade you from loading up on sub-par players from those teams (the Steve Sidwells of the world). 

Outside of the two-match teams, ManYoo host Rovers and they should be mad; Burnley host Hull; and Stoke host Wolves.  Road teams that have advantageous match-ups include Chelsea and Citeh.

[Baseball Interruption: Two innings and no score. Both pitchers had pretty easy second innings.  Top of the Phillies order coming up - time to do some damage]

[NOTE: I'm going lightning round again - my predictions were better and I'll have more time to focus on the game]

Gabby (best of the two-match strikers); Diamanti (two matches, takes kicks); CCole (two matches, two chances to score); Rooney (assuming he's healthy, he'll be looking to make up for last week's loss); Nando (will he keep up his form now that the profile of the match isn't as high? this is when he tends to fade a bit); Yayga (although his price is really high if you didn't get him on the BD last weekend); Drogs (he's been doing it all year); and Beattie (great match-up).  My overall advice is to pick your favorite "Premium Striker" and match them with Gabby and whichever of Diamanti or CCole you like more. 

If you want two guys to stay away from then I'd point out Carew (he's done almost nothing in 7 matches this season) and RvP (probably wise to stay away from hot-tempered players in derby matches).

[HOME RUN PHILLIES - Chase Utley rocks the new Yankee Stadium - 1-0 Phillies - GOOD TIMES!!]

Milner (despite his terrible match against Wolves); FBFAY (not the player he was but two matches at his current production rate make his cost worthwhile especially with double the chance he'll finally break out); MPet (I'm still wishing I'd picked him last weekend but he seems to be all the way back); Kranjcar (guys who take kicks against Arsenal seem to do pretty well); Chung-Yong (Chelsea aren't as frightening as they used to be and this guy is good); Eagles (just a hunch); and Jordi Gomez (assuming N'Zogbia is still playing left back).

If you want guys to stay away from here, I'm going with former Jeremy favorite Mark Noble (his value has plummeted since Diamanti arrived and started taking kicks); Joe Cole (he was supposedly "brilliant" in his return and it got him all of 0.50 points - this is the misery that is picking Joe Cole for your fantasy team); and Sidwell (somehow at 3.98 he STILL manages not to score enough fantasy points to justify his cost over two matches - only if you REALLY need the money elsewhere).

[Baseball Interruption - this game is flying by - not much offense against either starting pitcher - the only slight advantage other than the 1-0 score is that Sabathia has thrown more pitches which means that the Phillies are likely to get to the Yankees bullpen first which is a good thing]

Cuellar (best combination of price and two matches); Dunne (better price/production combo than Collins); Mears (hard not to like Burnley's chances for a home clean sheet); Ivanovic (still a good price to likely value ratio despite having scored well last weekend - keep riding him); Richards (I don't believe in Citeh's defence but he's been scoring well for the price); and of course the usual suspects (Verm and Heitinga).

I'd avoid anyone from the ManYoo defence - the prices are high and the production has just not been there this season.  The only one you might want to consider is Rafael with GNev suspended.  His price isn't bad for the potential value.

[HOME RUN PHILLIES!!! #2 from Chase Utley on the game making it 2-0 Phillies in the Top of the 6th Inning]

Friedel (hard not to go with him if you have the cash); Given (he has to turn it around eventually and this isn't a bad weekend to bet on it); Kirkland (not a bad weekend to bet on him if you're inclined in that direction); Simonsen (if he's going to get his 2nd start for Stoke and why wouldn't he after last weekend?).

OK - going to the bottom of the 6th with the Phillies still up 2-0 and I'm going to lock in.  Wish my guys luck and we'll be back on Friday with Injuries and Suspensions.


  1. "More baseball" is the new "more cowbell"!

  2. the yankees look like there are too many ashley youngs on the team tonight.

  3. Anonymous10:41 PM

    will gabriel Obertan get his first league debut againt blackburn?

  4. Anonymous11:24 PM

    why TWA become more simple?
    no premium,best price section?

  5. Anonymous12:40 AM

    any comments on spector (whu)?

  6. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Neal, will Jensen play this week?

    •nina hartley•

  7. Thanks for the recap. I'm more excited for the games to come. Good luck to our favorites.

  8. Hi,

    Thanks for giving such information about baseball, It is not uncommon to find fantasy managers who actively participate in multiple fantasy baseball leagues every season.

  9. David3:37 AM

    Neal... won't O'Shea be considered ahead of rafael? Thanks

  10. Oh man, Cliff Lee...what can you say about him...unbe-lee-vable! What a game. That was one big win! And it shuts the NY papers up - If you can call the New York Post a paper! God they have a nerve.

  11. This is my busiest time of the year fantasy-wise. EPL, NASCAR, NFL and two NBA leagues just starting.

    I am a Met fan so I hate both World Series participants so I wasn't sure who I was going to root for. But as soon as Utley put one in the right field bleachers, I pumped my fist in the air. It answers that question. If only Hamels hadn't of been so classless two years ago when he called the Mets 'choke artists'. Look at you now, Cole. You're not on top of the world.

  12. Saw this a moment ago. I think it's relevant on the topic of picking Freidel,19528,11677_5659548,00.html

  13. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Any news on who this weekend's Stoke keeper is? Sounds like Simonsen botched at least one in midweek, and Sorensen has been solid for a long time. Don't these big-time managers have any respect for the fantasy managers' need to know???

  14. Anonymous1:23 PM

    i would like to echo comments re spector and o'shea. seems like spector could be a good value if he manages to get two starts. and o'shea should be a solid bet for a shut-out at a reasonable price. won't he be starting this weekend?

  15. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Jeremy or Neal or anyone, I need your advice -

    Not sure about choosing Gomez ove Noble, what do you think? My midfield looks really really weak but I may be wrong.

  16. Benj :D3:16 PM

    I'm gonna stick my neck out and back FBFAY this week. After a dissapointing week last week, now at 13.5 he's as cheap as he's been for a while. A majority of his points have been phantom points this season, which tend to be more consistent. Off the back of this I'd say he should return his invesment over two games, and, if he comes alive and gets some SOTs/assists/goals, then he could post a monster. He's due, and I'd say that this week was as good as any to back him.

  17. Benj :D3:22 PM

    .... or he'll lay a goose egg, in the words of his manager 'nobody knows anything' :D brilliant!

  18. Anonymous3:51 PM

    My team


    Any commment? I'm not sure Eagles or Elliot

  19. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Diamanti or Agbonlahor??

  20. I'd pick Diamanti. He's on form as well as two games this week

  21. Anonymous8:32 PM

    @K - They both have 2 games this week, but I also would pick Diamanti...he takes free kicks and penalties.

  22. No love for Hunt and OHara?

  23. more baseball sucks.

  24. cheap option is jordan henderson at home against west ham - this kid is coming into his own and had a great game against villa mid-week.