Monday Morning Manager

Gallagher, Andrews, Nelsen and Robinson before the match.

Counting the cost of Friday's trades, after the jump.

[I]f 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.
Well, I was half to 3/4 right. Anelka and Kalou started, and while neither scored Kalou did notch two assists. He nearly matched Joe Cole's output but Essien and Malouda were far and away Chelsea's stand-out performers on the day.
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.
In the end he got the full second half and looked lively against the Champions. And he did outscore both Saha and Cahill by half a point. The latter pair both came off and are doubts for Hull. And with Fellaini's suspension for five bookings, there's every chance that Yakubu will get minutes again this midweek.
[W]ho 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.
Again, the decision - along with the decision not to pick up Eduardo - was the right one as Sunderland beat Arsenal a goal to nil. But Reid didn't profit, returning no more than five for the second consecutive week. Indeed it was Frazier Campbell again who proved good value for money, even if he didn't quite deserve it. Sunderland travel to Wigan next so I think it will be worth keeping the Irishman, but his place in my team will be under threat if he can't improve.

As for Arsenal, they could have had several goals but just seemed off their stride. That wasn't surprising considering all the injuries and surrounding drama over the last few weeks. But Arshavin on the bench? I don't think anyone expected that, least of all us.
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.
Yup, yep and yes. This was an easy one though.
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.
Half right here as Bullard did the business but Duff was restricted to a late run-out. For those betting on Hull for the 2-game week, Bullard and Hunt were the danger men and it was Hunt who was originally trying to take the penalty (dubious!) befor Jummy pulled rank. However Hunt took all the left-footed set pieces and got an assist on Zayette's goal from one of those. Geovanni was a substitute and I would guess that would continue until Hull's fortunes change again.

And a quick note on Jozy, as were nothing if not USA-centric... I thought he looked really good. Quick, athletic and made some really nice passes in attack. He's still a 19 year old kid, and he's still learning about being a professional as he wasn't raised up in as developed a football system as a European or South American kid might have. But the physical attributes and the footballing promise are all there.

But wait, it gets worse...
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.
I knew this was a lousy decision at the time, and the weekend only proved me correct. Rovers held Bolton, whom I thought were better than that at home, while Schwarzer had his classic 1 save, 1 goal allowed in a loss performance. So there's 15 points lost, and adding insult to injury...
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.
Nothing wrong with Baird's performance except that this weekend Emerton put up 15. So these two Friday trades cost me 30 points, which would have been 1/3 again of my weeks points to date. And now it turns out that Murphy may yet make Fulham's midweek match, further compounding my misery.
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.
Another poor showing from Verm and those of you who offloaded him were vindicated, for this week at least. Heitinga was a surpring 11 points. I thought he'd be around 5, like around than half of Everton's players but he was very busy defending from midfield and earned a sizeable chunk of phantom points.

Looking forward, the two "marquee" fantasy matchups are Citeh/Hull and WHU/Burnley.  I've grabbed Given, Bellamy, Collison (whom I just love and was sick to have missed his big points this weekend), and CCole (who came down in price after the own goal against Hull).  But the more I look at those matchups, the more I think there will be goals from both sides so a bet on Blake or Fletcher might be in order.  As might taking another pass on Given.

Manchester United travel to Pompey which may prove rewarding for the Red Devils, though I could see that one being another grind.  Villa/Spurs, Ars/Che and Eve/Liv are the tasty fixtures in real life, but I think a stay away might be in order for fantasy purposes.  Though I do hope Drogba will be back as I think he'll prosper against Arsenal's fragile back line.

Dear lord, is Robinson a good bet, home to Stoke, this week?  Or will he have used up all of his karma this week?  I guess we'll wait until after Wednesday's match, but maybe a place on the barn door isn't out of line.

How did you do this weekend, and to whom are you turning for next?


  1. Dan Brown5:01 PM


    Super cheap, and simply cannot be any worse than last week. Wigan should be ultra motivated to put one over their former boss.

  2. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Will Wigan repeat their 0-8-2 formation?

  3. With Edman it was seemingly a 0-7-2. Though maybe Scharner fancies himself a bit of Two-Face from the Batman comics/movies, which would bring them back up to a full complement of outfield players.

    Here's a photo of his ridiculous look

  4. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Perhaps it would help to ask the Wigan players what positions they THOUGHT they were playing ("I thought you had him!"). Better yet, ask poor Captain Kirk.

  5. Anonymous7:39 PM

    I too like Kirkland @1.6 something, but fancy Robbo better...has more saves than kirkland and defence isn't so leaky. Don't know yet which one of the 2 since Wigan are no pushovers at home...i.e. they beat Chelsea. Frasier Campbell should be a good choice for that match though, if he's playing from start.

  6. I picked up Bellamy and Valencia. Bellamy's price didn't do much though. I like CCole as well and BD'ed da Costa just for the hell of it.

    I like Robinson better than Kirkland as well. Stoke aren't that strong away.

    Glad to hear Jozy looked good in the EPL because he was the opposite of that against Slovakia and Denmark

  7. - I have NO idea how that Wigan team beat Chelsea. I was watching the Spurs thrash them wondering that. Wigan's defense was horrendous. My commentators were saying how Edman would have his hands full all day. Nail on the head.
    - I don't feel sorry for Kirkland. I didn't see him once yell at his defense for such a porous job. His confidence must be at an all time low. I wouldn't pick him. no matter how cheap.
    - Bd'd Defoe and Lennon BEFORE the game so it worked out well. Tough match Vs. Villa coming up though.
    - Anyone else miss Arteta for this double week?! Would have been a nice pick.
    - Scharner looked directly at the linesman after his 'goal'. Talk about deer in headlights. He knew it shouldn't have been a goal.

  8. Anonymous10:06 PM

    @owen, i also BDed lennon and defoe. cant decide whether to keep one, none or both tho. Im trying not to be fooled by the massive discount, as they definitely arent worth that much.

  9. Anonymous4:24 AM

    one question here.. will bilya play this weekend? wonder why geo is up playing after the game with burnley while bilya seems not playing after so many games.

  10. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Just a word of advice, I've had Defoe for most of the year and dumped him after his 5 goals..He is a good, quality striker and his 63 points were great for me but I doubt he will do much away to Villa and 22+ (even though I had him at 12+ or whatever) is rediculous...I'll pick him up again when he has a good matchup and his price comes down to 14 or so..Man City players are lookin' great for next week!

  11. Anonymous5:01 AM

    Bily is on a 3 game suspension and Geo was only a late sub...

  12. i am at 67 points with 7 double gamers coming, dunn, nelson and roberts got me through the weekend. i will be happy with 100, really happy with 110, duff's return at home should be huge.

    i am happy with my team for next week and will see if any champion's league or europa league injuries happen.

    given's last chance, i have had too much faith in him and more notably the city defense. if he doesn't perform he is gone.

    verm./ nelson/ da silva
    verm. is staying. i dropped heitinga 3 games ago and have done really well in his spot. ryan nelson did great, in heitinga's former spot, with 18 from his 1st game. i had zayette, but dropped him for bridge, then dropped him for da silva, from sunderland. i am no longer looking for defenders with the chance for a clean sheet. i made the phylisophical change 2 weeks ago. i am going for players who will get their cost with or without clean sheets. i am sick of going for defenders with great matchups and their team gives up a late goal or worse gives up 3. i want someone like roger johnson, who i can't afford. da silva finally is starting and has 5.5, 8.5 and 11.5 in his 3 starts. i will take that for 6.74.

    cesc/ joe cole/ dunn/ dempsey/ lennon
    cesc is a no brainer. he gets way more production, at home. dunn, like for everyone else, is staying on my team. i want him for a long time. dempsey, unlike everyone else, is staying at the expense of duff, whom i have as well. duff will be great for a while, but i think that consistency, for me, has become more important and duff misses games and has underperforming ones, as well. i want dempsey's consistency to stay on my team for a while. his 8 points sat. without a goal shows that. joe cole was a great pick this week, but he would never have made my midfielder with 3 double gamers. i am most skeptical about this pick for next week because he may not play. his matchup is ok and i feel i may be chasing the points. i will give him, one week, and will be gone for nasri or bily. lennon, i have been harping all season and have pick up, many times, to mixed success. i have been waiting for his return to fantasy production. he is a favorite, like mtaylor and i always like when i can pick him.

    drogba/ roberts
    drogba will stay, duh. at the beginning of last, week when i picked up zamora and roberts, i thought they would be gone for benitez and eduardo, for the following week. now i may have to rethink. i barndoored bellamy from zamora and love that pick, but i am going long term and want a midfield heavy lineup, so i traded him for lennon. i am switching from a forward heavy lineup to midfield. the forwards were carrying the day early on, now i think it is midfield's turn. i haven't done well with my forwards for 4 weeks. i can afford to change out roberts to ebuardo, benitez, kalou, ngog, owen, etc. but roberts may stay. he has had 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games and i have him for 6.43. very few forwards can say that.
    sorry for my ramblings it is a raining morning so i am in the mood.

  13. Anonymous8:00 AM

    I got rid of baines/bullard/roberts/zamora for givet/bowyer/rooney/adebayor. Thinking of taking Dunn out and putting Bullard back in though, what do you think?

  14. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Or I could keep Dunn and Bullard by taking out Bowyer and changing Rooney to Bellamy...?

  15. Anonymous9:48 AM

    You should do something completely different, but still good at the same time.

  16. Anonymous1:46 PM

    reckon robinho will start? at 11 thats very good

    Also, kirkland for worst score ever? (-20)

  17. Considering all of the moves I made while scrutinizing my team at length over this international break, I sold off 100 points. Had Defoe until Wednesday and almost talked myself back into him after selling Fab and contemplating a switch from Schwarzer to Robbo. Didn't do it so there's 76 points right there (Defoe and PROBlem). Had Kalou but talked myself out of him for Eduardo in the hopes that EdS would be the focal point of the Arsenal attack with RvP out, while Anelka would take a lot of Kalou's points. There's 9. Had Emerton but didn't like the fact that he's done nothing all year and I can a lot of left over funds. So based on my hopes for Schwarzer, I switched Emerton out for Hughes for some possible CS points. 15 points there.

    Because of this I'm trying something new for this weekend. Barring any injuries that would force me to make a move, I'm staying put with what I picked yesterday and throughout the barndoor.

    Verm, Heit, Bassong
    Jummy, Bily, Collison, Dunn
    Drogs, Bellamy, CCole

    I'm leaving myself the option to switch out Bassong because I have a little cash left and I think I may like Wilkinson this weekend instead. If this plan bears fruit I will (try to) stick with it. I really like that this will be my first week all season without featuring an enabler in my starting 11 too.

    No more shooting myself in the foot!

  18. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Man, you guys gotta go for consistency over using an enabler (Mok, Sonko) to get a great player...Everyone should have been on Heitinga and Verm at 5+ and 3 consistent middies with one star or another depending upon the matchup is what you need. The people that don't have Drogs at 10.76 and dumped him, well, that was just stupidity and I'm not using hindsight 20/20 as an excuse. EVERONE and their Uncle who knows anything about FF advised to hold onto him until at least the night before...I'm glad I have the best striker in the world, yes the world at 10.76 instead of 16. Anyways, hold onto 4 or 5 key players, take a cheap keeper when the matchup warrants and fill in your Rooneys, Fabs, Arshavins, Torres and load your team with consistency...It seems like people are always putting up their team then begging for help and advice...This is Fantasy Football and you are the Mgr, make up your own team, you don't see Ancellotti calling Wenger and asking him if he should start Lampard with Deco or J. Cole...?

  19. This blog is a mindspill for FF ideas and no one would read it in the first place if they weren't, at the very least, looking for some advice. I'm not sure why this bothers you so much, Beau, but since it does I have good news for you. You are in complete control of what you do or do not read on your computer. If some of the comments on here bother you, don't read the comments section. It's that simple. People have been replying to posts on here by asking advice for a very long time and I don't think that is ever going to change.

    Btw, I have Heitinga and Verm at around their entry prices as well as Drogba at 10-whatever and still use an enabler. A lot of people do. It's a personal preference and, like you said, we are the managers. I'm sure people who made those mistakes that you mentioned are very much aware of this and don't need you to tell them about it.

  20. Lot of great thought and analysis here. You guys angling for our "job"?

  21. Anonymous10:50 PM


    keep up the good work jeremy..


  22. Anonymous9:16 AM

    good points Nick, I agree...I look at the blogs too an ask occasional questions so I'll retract some of what I said. I just see so many blogs with people asking what they should help me with my entire lineup , give me an entire lineup, etc... and I think people are capable of being their own managers...(with the occasional asking of Good points though...=)

  23. Like your blog a lot. Keep up the good work!

  24. J-son5:45 PM

    huhu .. 2 gamers save me this week... jump from 64 points to 139 ...

  25. 103 for the week after today's matches with Schwarzer and Baird leading the way. Not great, but I'm not complaining. At least kept pace... or close to it.

  26. Anonymous11:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Anonymous12:05 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Anonymous12:07 AM

    171.5 points and kept Drogs at 10.76...thank you Defoe...=)

  29. lbarroso12:14 AM

    Finished the week with 113.5 Could've been worse. Still first in my mini league and 121st in the Fans of other group. Where was Bullard today? That was a real downer....

  30. Syafiq4:26 AM

    49.5 points only.. sigh..

  31. Anonymous6:08 AM

    this week taught us a lesson, if u looking for a low risk team and well assure for points, take all two gamers and ignore all other potential "defoe" players, but dont expect spectacular points...

    in contrast, if u r looking to outscore other managers, u should have go for the good match-ups as usual, chelsea & spurs r classic instances for this week...

    of cos, a balance selections between the above two approaches will definitely pay off...

    i scored 184 with spurs, chelsea, hull, rovers, fulham n everton in my team, topped every leagues including Beat the bloggers 3 (i mean weekly points)...

    however my total points still deemed unconvincing... looking forward to another two gamers week...

  32. Anonymous6:40 AM

    @Anonymous, everyone dog has their day... you lucked out by picking Defoe + chose the right 2-gamers (i.e. Dempsey over Duff).

  33. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Yeah I am sure some of the braggers here know exactly that Defoe would bag 63+ points before the game starts. Get over yourself, you lucked out with right pick. You could have picked Eds and end up with 0, they are good match up too, and Arsenal was scoring for fun before that game. God braggers are always awesome arent they. If you are so smart and good in this, maybe you would have won the first place last year and be at it right now too.

  34. kurniawan9:46 AM

    how to join "beat the bloggers" group??
    right now i have 1266 pts on the #1208 overall ranks... thx jeremy...

  35. harout11:33 AM

    It's surprising how you guys couldn't get point this week, it wasn't that hard..

    I got something close to 180 points.. Could have done much better if I hadn't dropped Dempsey in favor of Duff at the last minute; and dumped Fuller for Altidore...

    But it was a good week overall...

  36. Anonymous1:01 PM

    its fun to see ppl envying my luck (i mean my 184 as i mentioned)... 1st of all, yea luck played a role bcos i was unsure to go for crouch or defoe as i'm pretty sure spurs will crash wigan, 2ndly i did have eduardo & drogba in my team, and jussi gave me minus 4... 3rdly i hated duff and he played 120 minutes for his country... yea my total points still suxx (at least i topped my freinds league) but i'm still proud with my weekly points...

  37. Anonymous1:59 PM

    its not really about envious, if I do it would have been that guy with 209 instead of you. Its just annoying to see people trying to brag about one good week and talk as if they got it down to sciene when its really just about luck given the information most people visit this blog have.