Here we go with an abbreviated preview...
Where we try to separate the match-ups that provide real value from those that just appear to provide value.
- Chelsea vs. Wolves - Chelsea certainly aren't back to their best but I'd still count on some goals starting to flow against bottom of the table Wolves;
- ManYoo vs. Stoke - Probably the opposite of the match above in that I'd expect better from the ManYoo D than the attack against Stoke but I still expect a solid home win.
- Blackpool - Two home matches against beatable opponents for a solidly mid-table team despite the fact that they've played the fewest matches of any team in the league.
- Fulham vs. WBA - WBA have been struggling recently but I'm really concerned about Fulham's ability to score goals against any opponents at this point. Seems like it's going to be an ugly one.
- NUFC vs. WHU - I like NUFC to win but WHU are playing much better over the last couple weeks so I'm not expecting the Magpies to spank the Hammers even if Andy Carroll is back to full fitness.
- Liverpool - Two away matches for a team with only 5 road points and 6 road goals in 9 matches away from Anfield this season. Remember, they're only a week removed from a home loss to Wolves.
- Rooney - Gaining steam and the home match against a mid-table opponent should continue the momentum. Watch for news about his ankle though.
- Drogba - Slowly coming around - still might not be worth the money but not bad based on the match-up.
- Agbonlahor - His price is low and while I don't think Villa have "turned the corner" a home match against injury-depleted Sunderland seems a decent bet for a goal if not a win.
- Odemwingie - His price dipped after the PK miss against ManYoo (still bummed about that one) but I like his chances to rebound against Fulham
- Varney - The value play among Blackpool forwards with Campbell a bit pricey for my tastes.
- Torres - If you got him on the BD then yes, if you're paying retail then this is a tough trigger to pull.
- Gerrard - As you saw above, I'm not too high on Liverpool but even two mediocre Gerrard matches should return value when everyone else is only playing once.
- Adam - Hasn't gone over 8 points since Week 10 but his price has dropped into the 8s so he's a solid risk to return his value with some hope he'll return to his early season form.
- Nolan - With Carroll presumably back, I like his chances - he's best sneaking into the spaces created by defenders gravitating to his "roomie" - Barton scores better but Nolan is better value for the money.
- Lamps/FloMal - Hopefully you have one or both on the BD because they're both expensive. If I had to pick, I'd say stick with FloMal - Lamps looked OK but most of his points came on a PK and you can't guarantee one of those each week. FloMal was more productive than Big Frank despite no goals and no assists.
- Modric - I'm really not thrilled by the midfield options this week and especially at the lower price points. I keep waiting for Modric to have a strong fantasy game and maybe this will be the week with struggling Everton the opposition.
- Aurelio/Agger - Both defenders were back which really just makes life more difficult on fantasy managers - on one hand both are eminently affordable on the other hand, who knows if they'll continue on or be rotated. Seems likely each will get one match.
- Blackpool Defenders - None of them are spectacular but all should return value between the two matches with Craig Cathcart the "steady" choice and Ian Evatt the "high risk/high reward" option.
- Simpson - We featured him here last week and he returned his value and he has a reasonable chance to do so again home to WHU.
- Ferreira/Bos - Less of a recommendation and more of a discussion point. Who knows if Ferreira or Boswinga will start or if either will go long enough to get CS points if CHE can keep Wolves out. That said, with a marked lack of interesting options at the back, you might want to take a look.
- Fabio - Certainly not a sure thing but the ManYoo team report indicates that Evra picked up a knock against WBA and is at least questionable. If you're looking for a potentially strong value pick (if he starts) then he's your guy.
- Stick with who you have - If you have reasonably productive defenders at a discount (Kolarov, Coleman, Bale, etc) I'd definitely stick with them this weekend, not at all excited about the purchasing options above but I have to write something to keep you coming back.
- Reina - I know I'm not too high on Liverpool's two matches on the road but Reina isn't a very expensive risk compared to Kingson who is very expensive even after a negative against Citeh.
- Carson - WBA on the road isn't very enticing but it's only Fulham and his price is SO low.
- Stockdale - With Schwarzer gone to the Asian Cup Stockdale is a reasonable option with a home match against struggling opposition. His price is a solid 5.85.
Enjoy the matches.
Cheers - Neal