The Week Ahead - NFL Draft Edition

Doesn't get much better than writing about fantasy soccer while watching the NFL Draft and keeping track of the Phillies/Braves on text cast. That's a good Thursday night.

The big question on my mind is "are Spurs capable of running the Premier League gauntlet?" Beating Arsenal, Chelsea, and ManYoo over three successive weekends? Can Bale score against all three (sorry Jer but it would be irresponsible journalism if I didn't ask)? Do ManYoo have the money to just have Bale stick behind when Spurs head back to London? Can all of the loyal blog readers out there believe that I've focused this much on Spurs in a positive light?

Honestly, I don't have too much by way of a rant this week. I'd already prepared myself for Arsenal being close but not quite good enough for the title. I'd have preferred to have better information on Arteta starting last weekend because I gave him up at 7 and change and bought him back on the Barn Door for 13 and change while replacing him with two matches of Downing who couldn't score more in two matches than Arteta did in one. Outside of those minor annoyances and the Phillies blowing a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth to the Braves on Tuesday night, it was a pretty strong week.

So, with no further ado, lets move on to the match-ups and the players most important to you for the upcoming weekend...

As far as the schedule goes, here are the interesting notes...
  • Liverpool travel to Burnley with all the motivation in the world to win; 
  • Bolton host hopeless and otherwise-focused Pompey;
  • Sunderland travel to almost-as-hopeless Hull;
  • Everton host a Fulham team who played late in the week in Germany and had to travel by train to get to and from the match - Fulham will be looking to keep their squad intact for the return match while Everton still have motivation to keep playing;
  • Man Citeh feels like it has an advantage over a depleted Arsenal squad that really doesn't have too much to play for (remember, Citeh put a whippin' on Arsenal early in the season even when they had something to play for);
  • I'm generally staying away from ManYoo/Spurs because I don't have much of a sense of what is going to happen there;
  • Also a good idea to stay away from the most serious of local derbies like Villa/Brum - usually more cards than goals by a large margin;
  • K2 - the "revenge" factor always seems to be a big deal and Arsenal seem to be particularly susceptible (see Anelka, Nikky); 
  • DBent - Nice match-up and he's been money more often than not;
  • Drogba - He's been slumping but I expect that he'll get back on track now that the title is on the line;
  • Yakubu - how can he not start after he was more effective in 10 minutes than Saha was with the start and the majority of the playing time?  Could be wrong but we all agree he SHOULD start;
  • Ngog - I don't like him that much as a player but he should be starting in a good match-up and this is one of those cases where fantasy stats will flatter a player but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take advantage as fantasy managers;
  • Davies - if you need a cheapie who has a decent chance of out-performing his price, I'm going to go with an unlovable player on an unlovable team;
  • Campbell - Frazier's price didn't go up much despite a nice weekend last weekend;
  • Arteta - there are a lot of attractive premium midfielders this week and I'm calling Arteta as the most attractive over Lamps, Gerrard, and the (at least briefly) rejuvenated MTay but I'm going to try to get to three of those guys in a 3-5-2 alignment;
  • Maxi - has been coming on recently and his price isn't as high as the group above;
  • AJ - his price went down due to his lack of positive points last week and a YC but I like him to rebound against Arsesnal;
  • McCarthy - not sure why I have a feeling about him this weekend because Wolves have been very tough coming down the stretch but for some reason, this looks like a good pick to me for the money if you need a lower priced M;
  • Modric - I said I was staying away from ManYoo/Spurs but Modric also looks like value for the price and there's little of that elsewhere for Spurs or ManYoo;
  • Agger - decent value pick in the mid-range;
  • Hutton - he's been a great fantasy value since coming over on loan from Spurs and yet the price remains reasonable; 
  • Onuoha - came very close to scoring for a second week in a row last weekend on the scramble in front of the ManYoo net but it wasn't to be and thus his price is pretty reasonable for this weekend;
  • Salgado - reasonable price, OK match-up;
  • Ferrera - I was thinking he'd be gone before Terry saw Red but I'm guessing he's back for one more week at least; 
  • Steinsson - great match-up, OK player, decent value; 
  • Jussi - right price, right match-up and not too many other options that are extremely attractive;
  • Gordon - disappointed last weekend but still a decent bet;
  • T-Ho - a little more expensive than Jussi but not too much if you want to do something different;
  • Cech - if you're going to pay up, I like him over Reina;
  • Green/Kirkland - if you need someone for cheap, flip a coin between the two and hope for the best but know that you won't sleep well if you do;
Back tomorrow with Injuries and Suspensions.

Cheers - Neal


  1. riding pool and sunderland..ngog gerrard maxi bent campbell henderson hutton gordon all in my lineup..rounded out with alex ivanovic and matty t.

    on a side note, i like how campbell has played this year, hes a good forward and how much more productive could he have been if he had started behind rooney in the old 1-1-4-4 that fergie used to love? surely better than berbs..just a thought..

    keep the blue flag flying high

  2. Anonymous12:00 AM

    @Neil - This might discourage you from having Drogba in your player picks...

    Seems he's been playing with an injury and he states he can't go on like that...possible big risk.


  3. Anonymous12:17 AM

    Myhill's my keeper for the week, probably better than Kirkland/Green as Hull are weigh better @Home thank Sunderland are away. My team atm:


    I'll have to take that (0) for Sylvinho(filler) since that's the only way I saw fit to have Rooney and Tevez up front...problem is I didn't BD Arteta or MTay las week and only discounts are Bullard @7.xx and Bale @...well you know.

    This is the gamble I'm taking, probably not the smartest but I have to do it to separate myself from the rest. I am, by the way, still in the next round of the AM Blog Cup, Semi-Final, and I have to be a little crazy because that's how I made it this far...the part where it's gonna work this time I can't tell'll have to find out by the end of the fixture. Good luck all!!!


  4. I'd have preferred to have better information on Arteta starting last weekend because I gave him up at 7

    GLAD I WASNT THE ONLY ONE!!!! Soooo pissed, and I didnt even BD him either - PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE...

  5. Neal, Neal, Neal - now you've made my head hurt!!

    Which would be better:

    Jussi / Alex / Drogba @ 18.5 (Or Tevez/Rooney)


    Green / Gerrard / MTAY (already have Lamps, can't afford Arteta)

    any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated, thanks

  6. Anonymous4:54 AM

    I gave up Arteta @ 7 also, Dam you physioroom!

  7. I, too, was among the victims of the Arteta injury debacle. I shouldn't have made Friday trades last week. I would have ended up with about 50 more points than I got. Oh well. Lessons learned. Going a bit of a different route this week:

    Ferreira Bale Hutton
    AJ FloMa Cahill Henderson Gerrard
    Tevez Ngog

    Good luck everybody!

  8. Anonymous11:32 AM

    I think FW Adebayor will put in some good effort vs his old team + Fabianski is in goal. In case you want to differentiate a bit or don't want to stack up on 2 Sunderland FW (Campbell, Bent).


  9. Anonymous11:58 AM

    Potential back injury to Ngog...Kuyt now seems a decent option

  10. Ashley Cole is probably going to start Sunday.,19528,11668_6111610,00.html

  11. add my name to the arteta chorus. grr.

  12. I'll join the queue to the Arteta drop.

    I liked Kuyt this week. He's on my team! Going to tinker a few things to see what I come up with.

  13. Let us know where you net out, Owen. Either here on on the Facebook page.

  14. Wholesale changes for me after Ngog's suspected injury forced a rethink...Hope this doesn't come back to bite me.

    Ferreira Hutton Bale Hibbert
    FloMa Gerrard AJ Cahill
    Kuyt Tevez

  15. Jussi
    Weiss(Yes, got sucked into)/Lamps/AdamJohnson/MTay

    Got worried by Gerrard possibly being rested. Cannot risk the donut for the week

  16. Anonymous5:06 AM

    I'm taking a punt on this Watson dude from Wigan!