Fantasy Premier League Tips
Tinkering ruined my Gameweek!
Playing the Fantasy Premier League fantasy football game is all about predictions. It’s not only about predicting results, but also about predicting starting lineups. And that’s what this article is all about, because as good as you are at predicting results, you can’t always predict squad selection by Premier League managers, and ultimately, the fate of each gameweek is somewhat out of your hands.
Many fantasy football managers including myself will have again been frustrated by the tinkering of Premier League lineups following the recent International break for World Cup qualifiers, and such tinkering may have lead to some gameweek scores being much lower than expected. It’s fortunate that we all have 3 outfield players sitting on our bench in case any of our star players don’t make the starting eleven, but still, we’d all prefer not to use our subs in an ideal world.
In our gameweek 4 tips for Fantasy Premier League, we predicted that Robin van Persie would start for Manchester United, given that Luis Van Gaal took him off as a precaution in Holland’s recent game against Hungary. RvP only made the bench at Old Trafford, and although many football fans would have predicted a score in the region of 4-0 against slow starters Wigan, the pairing of Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck at the expense of RvP was somewhat of a surprise.
It’s not the first time that Sir Alex Ferguson has done this to me either. In gameweek 2, Wayne Rooney came off the bench to earn 1 point and then get stretchered off with a gash that would keep him out for up to 2 months. Rooney was my captain that day, and RvP was my captain for the Wigan game. So all my efforts to restructure my team to accommodate van Persie, given Rooney’s absence went to pot! Or did they?
I’m more of an optimist than a pessimist so I am confident that my ownership of van Persie will reap more rewards for me over the course of the season than if I owned someone else. And I’m sure that United’s tricky away trip to Anfield in gameweek 5 will see RvP resuming his starting place with Shinji Kagawa playing just behind.
But Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t the only one who caused me problems in gameweek 4. Martin Jol caused me a headache by starting Alexander Kacaniklic. I’ve owned Alex Kacaniklic since gameweek 1 and he’s proved decent value for money with a value of just £4.5m. But after his shorlived 32 minutes and 1 point in gameweek 3 I decided to let him warm my bench in gameweek 4 and play a 3-4-3 formation. Sadly, Roberto Mancini then decided to further infuriate me by starting new signing Maicon rather than Pablo Zabaleta (who I’ve owned since gameweek 1 due to Micah Richards’ injury). And then there was Sam Alladyce who further prompted me to curse the lottery of predicting starting lineups when fit again West Ham defender George McCartney didn’t play. So rather than Kacaniklic come off my bench, I instead had to settle for my other sub defender Chris Gunter from Reading earning me 1 point after losing 3-1 to Spurs.
All-in-all, gameweek 4 was a very disappointing week for most Fantasy Premier League managers. No gametime for Kagawa. Hazard having a penalty appeal denied. Torres being subbed without really contributing. Tevez only getting 60 odd minutes. Zabaleta not featuring at all. Michu getting his lowest tally since the start of the season.
My advice is not to panic too much as it’s only one gameweek, and you’re far better off having these players in your squad than those managers who haven’t. It might be worth selling Zabaleta due to the fact that Mancini’s policy to rotate his full-backs leaves us all guessing who will start, but in doing so, you could save some money to bolster your squad elsewhere. I’ve had a quick look at this option already, and swapping Zabaleta with a cheaper defender such as Joey O’Brien of West Ham means I can buy either Dimitar Berbatov or Stephen Fletcher who both look like they’ll be first choice strikers for their respective clubs this season.
My starting eleven prior to gameweek 4 looked pretty good on paper so I’ll reveal it to you now.
GOALKEEPER: Vorm (SWA)
DEFENDERS: Zabaleta (MCI), Williams (SWA), Rafael (MUN)
MIDFIELDERS: Hazard (CHE), Bale (TOT), Michu (SWA), Yaya Toure (MCI)
FORWARDS: RvP (MUN), Tevez (MCI), Pogrebnyak (RDG)
SUBS: Federici (RDG), Kacaniklic (FUL), McCartney (WHU), Gunter (RDG)
I’m sure you’ll agree that this isn’t a starting 11 that you’d expect to get a total of 36 points is it? I actually got lower than the average for the first time this season too (the average was 40 points), but I’m still on a pretty respectable 252 points overall.
Other members of the PremierLeagueTransfers.net team are doing slightly better, with total scores nearing 300 so we’ll keep you posted of the progress of several members of our team over the course of the season.
On a final note, I think that if I make the change and bring in Berbatov or Fletcher to replace Pogrebnyak and sign a cheaper defender to replace Zabaleta then I’ll be OK. At least I hope I will, unless Martin Jol and Martin O’Neil decide to start tinkering too!!!