Getting the band back together! I'm going to party like it's 2001-2002. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.
It's been a crazy week, hasn't it? With all of the injuries... and the fact that the injuries were to the studs of the league... and the fact that we didn't know the extent of those injuries until, well today... if we know at all. So to get my head right as I set my team for the week, here's a round up of what I'm looking at and what I'm thinking. And despite that, whom I'm choosing.
It's been all about Drogba this week, hasn't it? Ever since the Sun reported that he was out for three weeks with a broken rib. But it turns out that he's back in training but won't risk contact this weekend. Probably a smart move. Chelsea shouldn't need him against Wolves, but they may need him against Porto and Arsenal later this week. I'm keeping Drogs and taking the goose egg for the week. There are still a lot of games between now and 2010, and I think it will be worth holding on to him for those matches.
But this week... if Chelsea have enough to beat Wolves, are there fantasy points to be had? Anelka is the obvious choice. He's scored for Chelsea in the Champions League when Drogs hasn't been available. But for 9 less, I'm going to go with Kalou. There should be enough goals to go around, and I'm going to bet on the young Ivorian, who was kicked out of his national side this week, rather than the thirty-year old who just played 120 minutes of football on Wednesday.
One spot left then... I should, by all rights, get Eduardo. But it's a two-game week, so I have to do something stupid in that direction, right? No, no I'm not picking Zamora. I'm going with the Yak! We love the Yak here at blog central and he's healthy again after a long layoff. In fact, he even scored for Nigeria on Wednesday night. Now I'm under no illusions that he's a sure starter in both, or even one of Everton's matches this week. But with talk of Saha still nursing his calf injury and Cahill with a groin injury (albeit minor), I just think there will be enough minutes for Yakubu.
BFAReid is a keeper. Yes Sunderland host Arsenal, but who knows what state the Gunners will be in this weekend. Sunderland will want to get back to some sort of form, and Reid could profit.
Dunn is a keeper. I had him last week and he was half my team's production! And of course, he's a two gamer this week. A must-have as far as I'm concerned.
The other two midfield spots have to go to two gamers - or Joe Cole. I'm going for Bullard and Duff. Hull is a bit of a shambles, but with two home matches Jummy should have plenty of chances to shoot when others are better placed and thus screw Hull but benefit my fantasy team. And Duff... yes, I know that just a few paragraphs above I was dumping the "thirty-year old who just played 120 minutes of football on Wednesday." But I've always loved Duff and am looking forward to rooting for him again this weekend. Besides, I have such fond memories of he and Dunn doing the business for Rovers, and my fantasy team at the time, that the chance to pair the two in midfield again was too much to pass up.
.... As I'm writing this, I'm getting more and more upset. Yes, I like the players on this team... but I don't like this team. Hang on, I'll be back in a few minutes. I need to look at my options.
Ok... I'm back and no happier with my team. I'm just going against all my rules. But I can't pick Robbo. I just can't. Rovers have been so lousy on the road this year scoring 3 and conceeding 18 in just 5 matches. And while Robbo hasn't been putting up (down?) the negative numbers it's only a matter of time, isn't it? So...
I'm going for Schwarzer. Fulham are playing much better these days and they at least have one home game. Schwarzer hasn't been amazing this year, and I'm not sure what the extra 7 buys me other than he's not Robbo. But there you go. Another just inexplicable decision this week.
Okay, in the spirit of "not Robbo" or not Rovers defence, I'm going for Baird. Murphy isn't back in training so Baird should continue in central midfield for Fulham. I was looing at Emerton for the same reason - listed as a defender, playing in midfield - but Emerton hasn't actually put up any points. Baird seems to be of the Rodwell mode, but with the off-chance of clean sheet points.
The other two defenders are Verm and Heit. Yes, Heit is a 2-gamer this week, but honestly I don't even look at these two spots any longer. Unless there's some catastrophe, I'm happy with the price I paid for these guys and the return I'm getting.
So there you have it... I wish I had some better reasons for picking these players other than "I like them" but I don't. And you can be sure that I'm going to be looking at it for just a bit longer. But at some point you just have to call the ball, right?