The Week Ahead - Transfer Deadline Edition

The first item of the day is sending our best wishes to regular reader and occasional contributor Mohamed who lives in Egypt.  With all of the insanity going on in his part of the world, we wish him and anyone else who reads our blog in Egypt the best as they try to keep themselves and their loved ones.  We're sending as many good vibes in your direction as we can.  Please check in if/when you can by email or in the comments section when the government turns the Interwebs back on so we know you're OK.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog.

I have to admit that I'm having a really hard time concentrating on the immediate issues associated with fantasy team selection with the Torres/Carroll/Suarez/Adam/etc frenzy going on all around me.  Oh yeah, it also doesn't help that I've had a plenty busy day for my real job as well.  It certainly doesn't make for the clearest of thinking as it regards my upcoming fantasy line-up for the mid-week matches but I'm going to start writing and see if that helps clarify things.  Before we get started, a few notes from the weekend's FA Cup action, the transfer market, and injury headlines.
  • Torres to Chelsea - Can't argue with his talent but I've been of the opinion that like ManYoo, Chelsea's biggest problems have been in midfield, not with the amount of attacking talent on hand.  Sure, Drogs is having bad year (for him) but that's still good for one more goal than Nando in the league.  Wouldn't a better holding midfielder than Mikel and a younger version of Lamps have made more sense for the money? 
  • Carroll to Liverpool - Outside of the money (which isn't mine) I like the move.  That said, if it were me and I knew that I wasn't going to challenge for the title or even the Champions League this season, I think I would have handled things a little differently.  Rather than pay over the odds for Carroll, I think I'd have found the "next Carroll" (see Wickham, Connor) and paid about 1/4 the price for him.  Has he proven himself in the Premier League yet? No.  But he's got exactly two fewer successful months at that level than Carroll and is pretty widely tipped to become the next "big" thing.  I'd much rather have Wickham/Ashley Young/Adam/Suarez than Carroll/Carroll's baggage/Adam/Suarez. 
  • Adam to Liverpool - Huh? How many central midfielders can one team have? I like his talent but I don't know how Carroll, Suarez, Gerrard, Kuyt, Meireles, and Adam all play together effectively.  The obvious answer is that they don't and that presumably Kuyt goes to the bench and Poulson joins the other five on the field as starters.  Still, that's a lot of players who like to play more or less centrally with with only one guy (Adam) who is well-known for the sort of exceptional delivery to a target striker that will fully leverage Carroll's skills.  This one hasn't been confirmed yet so I guess we'll see what happens.
  • ManYoo - With the deadline likely to pass without any activity from ManYoo (other than bumping up Adam's price with some well-timed praise from SAF - well played Sir), I'm wondering how United supporters are feeling about their team's chances going forward.  If it were Arsenal, I'd know exactly how the story were going to play out but United has that "it" factor that probably makes them believe that they can win the league despite looking really bad for long stretches against Blackpool and Southampton for long stretches in their last two matches.  Granted they were playing the second team against So'ton but both matches were still ugly.  So, United supporters, how do you feel about your team's chances when you're sitting alone being realistic (as opposed to when you're talking smack to your friends)?   I'm really not sure what to make of things.
  • Arsenal - Ouch, big losses with the injury to Nasri and the straight red from Squillaci.  Looks like Cesc and Theo will be getting more PT and be more critical for the next couple weeks.  Oh yeah, and that Koscielny and Djourou had better stay healthy.
  • Spurs - Feels like the wheels are coming off of this here bus and fast.  It will be interesting to see if 'arry can pull off another last second deadline coup to dramatically turn Spurs' fortunes.  It worked in the summer and appears to be much needed again now.
  • Chelsea - Hard to argue with the moves but they are really being made for next season than this one in my opinion.
  • Biggest Deadline Fantasy Winners - BFAR (that's Andy Reid) who will get a lot of Adam's fantasy points assuming Adam's move to Liverpool comes through; Ireland whose value went from nothing at all rotting on Villa's bench to at least having a chance to play a part in the post-Carroll era at St. James Park; Bentley/Birmingham/the Blog - With Obafemi Martins coming to the second city, there should be more room for Bentley to operate, more attacking sparks from Birmingham, and renewed chances for we here at the blog to say and type "Obafemi!!!!" (which we really like); O'Hara should gain value with his move to Wolves who need that sort of creative spark.
  • Biggest Deadline Fantasy Losers - Chelsea defenders - with Alex/Terry/Luiz/Ivanovic/Bosingwa now competing for 3 spots, we're pretty sure that all will be rotated even more regularly which is probably good in real life but not so much for fantasy; Carroll - if the Adam move doesn't come through, I'm not sure who gets him the ball on a regular basis;  

In which we separate the matches that will provide some real fantasy value from those that just LOOK like they'll provide fantasy value (while ignoring those matches that won't make much of an impact on the participants' fantasy values at all).

Real Value
  • Arsenal vs. Everton - Even without Nasri, Arsenal seem to be in a nice groove while Everton are likely to continue to struggle, especially on the road;
  • Blackpool vs. WHU - Keeping Adam PLUS landing some solid veteran depth in Reid and Beattie seems like it should give them a shot in the arm going into their meeting with bottom-of-the-table WHU.  
  • Chelsea @ Sunderland - This group needed a big shot in the arm and there's no doubt that the acquisitions of Torres and Luiz will provide one.  
I also like Fulham vs. Newcastle as a match-up for Fulham a lot more than I did 8 hours ago.  The news of the Carroll sale can't help but have deflated NUFC spirits even if he wasn't going to be playing this weekend regardless.  It telegraphs intent and with no back-up plan, you have to think the troops will be a bit demoralized.  Throw in a resurgent Fulham side and it looks like a solid home match-up for the Cottagers.

False Hope
  • ManUtd vs. Villa - I think United will win but not big and not with a clean sheet so I don't think there will be as much value in this match as there might have appeared to be as recently as two weeks ago.
  • Liverpool vs. Stoke - Interesting times at Liverpool but I don't think things will click right away for the Reds.  It will take some time for Suarez to find his footing and Carroll won't be ready for about a month. The value may come but I'm guessing it won't be this week even at Anfield.
  • Bolton vs. Wolves - Bolton's reputation is still riding somewhat high from their first half exploits but the last two months have been pretty poor really.  The opposite can be said of Wolves who started off very poorly but seem to be gaining some momentum in the sta
  • Tevez - It's been a few weeks since he had a brace but it feels like about time for another reminder from the Blue side of Manchester that Carlito has had a better season with more important goals than Berbs despite Berbs' bigger overall goal total.
  • Campbell - I like Blackpool's chances (again, assuming the Adam news and Adam himself remain constant) and Campbell is solid for the price.
  • Dembele - He looks like he's found his stride again and just in time for his price to have dropped back down into the "bargain" range.
  • Odemwingie - His price is pretty high up there but the match-up at home against Wigan seems like it is ripe for a strong day.
  • Elmander - Will Wolves be the thing that reminds him of his form earlier in the season? Will the brief transfer-to-NUFC speculation remind him that he's auditioning for a job when his contract runs out at the end of the season? 
  • RvP - Given his price, he's a hold for those who have him at a discount - tough to justify that price to buy him this week though.
  • Fab4 - With Nasri out due to his hamstring injury Cesc should be even more central to Arsenal's efforts against Everton
  • Walcott - Everyone in the ARS attack takes one step up in value for what should be a match they win by two goals.
  • Nani/VDV/Adam/Dempsey - At a discount, yes, at retail, not this week.
  • Meireles - He looked good with Gerrard - could he be emerging as Liverpool's key player in midfield over the longtime icon? Regardless, his form and his price are better than Gerrard's
  • Bentley - Tough match-up with Citeh but I like him to start producing on a regular basis - get him while he's cheap.
  • Pienaar - An interesting option while Bale is injured - I'm still not sold on him overall but he might be a solid fantasy option in the short term.
  • BD Watch - I'd wait a week on O'Hara and Reid to see how they end up fitting in with their new clubs but definitely worth keeping an eye on.
  • Poor Value - Pending the arrival of Luiz into the fantasy game, there isn't a great deal of value to be had among defenders at retail prices this week.  Here's hoping you have at least two out of three at deep discounts.
  • Kelly - His price went up quickly but he's still excellent value - especially since Warnock didn't find his way back to Anfield today.
  • Coleman - Bad match-up but he's still a strong value listed as a defender and playing in midfield.
  • Jara - He's starting at home against a bad team and he doesn't cost much - all the makings of a solid calculated risk.
  • Pantsil - Flirted with a red card and/or losing his mind against Liverpool but came out of it with 6 points to the good - an even better bet this weekend with a better match-up and at home.
  • Koscielny - Hard to believe too much in an ARS CS but again, not a great crop of options this weekend.
  • Evra - If you're paying retail price for a premium option
  • Szczesny - The new #1 at Arsenal is priced reasonably and should return solid value for the rest of the season at his current price (assuming he remains #1). And yes, I've finally learned to spell it without having to check twice.
  • Kingson - Assuming he's healthy (and I'm pretty sure he should be), he's a nice choice at home against WHU with his price hovering in the mid-7s.  That's well down from his high price for the season.
  • Myhill - If you need a bargain basement option, he's your guy.
We'll have more on the wrap up of the Transfer Deadline plus Injuries and Suspension news as it comes in tomorrow.  Sadly, no mid-week live chat but we should be back up and running for the Super Bowl weekend live chat this coming Saturday.  Enjoy the dying minutes of the window.



  2. Anonymous5:19 PM

    I have Torres at some discount.

    Do you think he can make his debut tomorrow?

    Or I should drop him since I don't think he can play against Liverpool at the weekend due to his contract?

  3. Yankee5:32 PM

    "Blackburn have signed Argentine playmaker Mauro Formica"

    ... presumably to counter top opposing players...

  4. Torres or Nani?

    Not sure I should bother with Dzeko.

  5. Kellz7:04 PM

    @Jeremy+Neal: Uhhhg I dunno what to think really. You know I am probably the most outspoken Liverpool fan on this site (sorry), but I can't help but feeling we may have just made a big mistake.

    No doubt Carrol has amazing talent and potential, but 35mil? We could have bought 2-3 top quality established players for that, including an out and out winger like Ashley Young. I sure hope NESV know what they are doing because Carrol won't be in the 1st team for a while. Feels a bit like 20mil for Aquilani doesn't it?

    Torres form will probably "re-energize" at Chelsea, which is pathetic. He's dip in form is probably due to his desire to leave, and now he'll actually try. Sad, wheres the loyalty? He could have tried his best until he left, but he did not, only showed flashes, but thanks you Torres for your time, and ty Chelsea for 50mil.

    So fantasy question, is Tevez still a doubt? Thought I heard he had a back issue, chances you think he'll play?

  6. Kellz7:06 PM

    @EVERYONE: There is in no way shape or form that Torres cannot play against Sunderland or Liverpool in the coming fixtures due to his previous contract with Liverpool. This is not a loan deal.

    He is a Chelsea player now and Ancelotti can use him as he pleases

  7. Anonymous8:13 PM

    I have dropped Torres, I don't think he can plug in the team so quickly and I can not he will play well VS Liverpool.

  8. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Who's coming up with this, he'll not play against Liverpool talk. Sounds logical to you? How did you come up with that? If you have nothing to say, just be quiet, no one is forcing you to comment.

  9. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Torres won't play against blackcat and he may get some minutes VS Liverpool, however, I don't think he will return his value in the Liverpool game.

    I think it's good move to drop him for these 2 matches.

    But you should keep an eye on Chelsea.
    They are very crowd in the front and back.
    Rotation will happen for sure.
    The most valuable man is L8, historical cheap?

  10. Anonymous9:26 AM

    how about vela? will he play againts wigan? urmmm..