Saturday, February 10, 2018

Week 22: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Another Win! And finally, my side is actually off the bottom of the table! @FantasyYIRMA had a week to forget as some of his new signings failed to come alive (Mangala, Sturridge), while a goal from Milivojevic and six saves from Nick Pope was enough to see my side over the line. In an effort to scrape enough points and in order to give my team a chance at victory, Tammy Abraham was sent to Free Agency after he failed to start another game for Swansea. Dan Gosling of Bournemouth was brought in, and he contributed an acceptable 9.8 points. Gosling may have to be offloaded this week though as I try my best to get eight players onto the pitch. My side might be off the bottom, but they are lagging well behind in fantasy points scored, if I’m tied on wins at the end of the season with someone, I’ll be in big trouble. I need to try and address this imbalance.
Every game is a relegation six pointer now it seems

Abraham might have been one of my top scorers this season, but I had run out of patience with the striker, as I can’t afford to have too many players who are not guaranteed starters in my squad. My impatience is @FuzzyWarbles gain though, as he picked up Abraham midweek for a paltry $5. He was not the only big mover midweek, as a number of teams picked up players on big fees. @TAMc10 put $100 down on Lucas Moura of Spurs. @BenDinnery hopes the $19 spend on Alex Sorloth at Crystal Palace will help fire him to promotion. @TomSunderland_ spent his money on Joao Mario of West Ham, Defender Laporte of Manchester City, and Guido Carillo who now plays with Southampton. $68 for all these players could well be a bargain. The big money though was splashed by @cjradune. In order to secure the services of Arsenal new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang he bid $176. My opponent this week is @jwl_15, and he invested his budget on Gerard Deulofeu at Watford. Spending $25 to claim him for the remainder of the season. I refused to get drawn into any transfer bidding shenanigans after being left with a terrible squad beset with injuries and woeful form after the last signing window. A philosophy of scouting the dregs no one else is interested in, is how my side will play out the next few weeks.

@jwl_15’s Team


Deulofeu will slot straight into the Forward position for Jake. If needed he could put in Brighton’s Jose Izquierdo, who has three league goals this season (none of which were scored when he was in my squad by the way). In Midfield is where @jwl_15 gets most of his points. N’Golo Kante tips along with nearly 15 points per game. His two Arsenal players have been in fine form recently. Aaron Ramsey has six goals and six assists on the season, while his new teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan has eight assists, three of which came last week. Both of these players face a tricky trip to Wembley to face Tottenham in the early Saturday kick off this week.
Deulofeu could worm his way into the Spain World Cup squad

In goals is Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski. Since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal, things have been looking up at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans have not lost in eight games in all competitions. They may only have gotten two clean sheets in that time, but Fabianski has been racking up the saves. 99 on the season so far. Now if Carvalhal would only find a place for Renato Sanches…

What I Need To Happen


This tie could go one of two ways as early as the first game of the weekend, which as mentioned is the game between Tottenham and Arsenal. If Ramsey and Mkhitaryan inspire a Gunners victory, it could be a long couple of days for my side. If on the other side of the coin Serge Aurier starts and Spurs keep a clean sheet, I could try and ride out the upper hand that gives me.
I'll be heading to bed early if Ramsey and Mkhitaryan are on song this weekend

Unfortunately, it looks like I will have five injured players this week and not a lot of room to move people around in order to get the magic eight starters playing. As I alluded to before, Gosling could be sacrificed for a Defender or a Forward if need be.  If Dan is to keep his place, I’ll need to see starts from players like Tom Ince, Marcos Rojo, Ayoze Perez and Victor Lindelof. But I wouldn’t be holding my breath on too many of those.

Predictions


A poor five correct from nine last week, in what was a surprisingly low scoring round overall. My opponents this week, @jwl_15 were the highest scorers of course, hence why the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer ‘threw’ us together. The big game this gameweek is the clash of the top two in @TRKingston and @FuzzyWarbles. To follow all the transfers, scores, and general mayhem in the league, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone



Saturday, February 3, 2018

Week 21: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

A hard-fought victory in Gameweek 20 over @nikarg was my side’s seventh win of the season. We are still the bottom side in the table but *whisper it* we are now only a few points from safety. It was a Joe Allen goal that did most of the damage that week and hopefully the Welshman can rediscover his goal scoring touch which seems to have abandoned him these last few,  um, 18, months.
I don't need to caption a picture of Joe Allen surely. Speaks for itself.

Last weekend was a break from the hectic league action as most sides were playing in the FA Cup. That meant midweek fixtures and the return of the IEFSA Cup. We were sitting at home for those of course; but they were entertaining nonetheless and after two high scoring contests, @TRKingston and @jforquer11 will compete in the IEFSA Cup Final. My side had gone out to @TRKingston in the previous round. The round before that I did manage to beat this week’s IEFSA League opponents. Therefore, this is going to be a huge revenge game for @FantasyYIRMA. If YIRMA and my side had been counting scores for the midweek fixtures with our players, he would have squeezed past me by less than two points. On paper I’m coming into this game on the back of two victories and YIRMA two defeats. If you look closer though you’ll see that his team has actually outscored mine in the last three gameweeks. The IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer is once again out to get me.

@FantasyYIRMA’s Team


With the January transfer window now firmly shut a lot of sides were looking to strengthen coming into this gameweek. @FantasyYIRMA has brought in new Everton loanee Eliaquim Mangala. He has also brought in Luke Shaw as cover in his Defence. A couple of players in his squad seemingly got a new lease of life this past week also, as Mesut Ozil signed a new contract at Arsenal, and Daniel Sturridge opted to head to West Bromwich Albion in order to get some game time.
If he scores a hat-trick on his debut, he'll be West Brom's third highest scorer

His top scorer is Jamie Vardy with 11 goals this season. Wayne Rooney who is also in @FantasyYIRMA’s side is not far off with 10. Perhaps Vardy at home to Swansea is the better option in the Forward position this weekend. Rooney does have a good goal scoring record against Arsenal (14 goals) though, so could perhaps be a flex option. Nacho Monreal has four goals this season and is in a great run of form for the Gunners. If there is going to be a goal in the Arsenal Everton game, you wouldn’t put it past Monreal to get it. Oh he also has Dele Alli, Ashley Young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Ibe and David De Gea in goals…

What I Need To Happen


I need all those players to have an off day. No shots on target, no clean sheets, no goals. I would probably have a better change doing the lottery this weekend I’d say though. My squad has scored a total of 19 goals this season. @FantasyYIRMA on the other hand has 43. Luka Milivojevic is my top scorer with five. One ahead of Tammy Abraham of Swansea. The Swans have been playing better and scoring more goals recently. Not much of that has been down to Abraham though.
Nick Pope saves a penalty against Newcastle's Joselu midweek

Two players I could normally rely on to maybe get me 20 points, or at least double figures would be my goalkeeper and the already mentioned Welsh wizard Joe Allen. Nick Pope has to try and get a clean sheet against Manchester City this weekend though. Something that has only happened once this season in the league. The last time Burnley played Man City back in October they lost 3-0. Joe Allen has to try and work his magic away at one of the most in-form sides in the league, Bournemouth. Burnley against Man City is the early game on Saturday, this week’s fixture against @FantasyYIRMA could get ugly very quickly.

Predictions


Six correct and three incorrect for the last gameweek. @TRKingston still leads the way in the IEFSA Premier, while @BenDinnery also remains atop the IEFSA Championship. Don’t forget to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to get the latest goings on in the league. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Week 20 IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Not a massive haul of points last weekend (113) but thankfully it was enough to squeeze past @RotoZdroik. I was made to sweat towards the end though, as after a poor start @RotoZdroik had three players left to play with me thinking I was home and dry. But then, one by one, they all scored! Bellerin, Sane and Lukaku all found the net, in what I am reliably informed would have been a 44-1 treble at your local bookies.
Bellerin was one bright spot for Arsenal against Bournemouth

That win doesn’t see my side off the bottom though, as 9th placed @nikarg also won. And against league leader @TRKingston no less. He also scored the highest number of points for the week, and his second highest points total of the season. Nik is in great form having won five of his last six in the league. Why am I telling you all this? Well, because the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has saw fit to make sure the bottom two face off this week. All the way back in Gameweek 1 @nikarg beat my side by a whopping 46 points. I was able to extract some revenge in Gameweek 12 when I outscored him by 15 points.

@nikarg’s Team


Eriksen and Mahrez did the damage in the opening Gameweek thanks to combining for three assists, and @nikarg still has those two players in his team. James Ward-Prowse scored 18.6 points that day and the Southampton man has also remained in his side. Up front, it looks like Chicharito could be heading away from West Ham this January. Jermain Defoe is still out injured at Bournemouth. That means Nik will have to call on Shane Long to do the goal-scoring. The Irishman did score this month in the Premier League, which ended a goal drought of over 1,300 minutes. He had failed to score since February 2017, and that was against Sunderland so shouldn’t really count.
Eriksen is due on off day, or perhaps a straight up day off??

At the back @nikarg will hope the good form of Lewis Dunk at Brighton, Jonjoe Kenny of Everton, and Paulo Zabaleta of West Ham United continues. All three average a double figure points return per game. With Dunk average almost 16 points per game. His Goalkeeper is whoever gets put in between the sticks for Crystal Palace. At the moment Wayne Hennessey is winning that battle against Julian Speroni.


What I Need To Happen


Last weekend I brought in Ayoze Perez of Newcastle and Grzegorz Krychowiak of West Brom. Neither set the world on fire, they just went about their 90 minutes picking up points here and there. Unfortunately, both have tough fixtures this weekend meaning a nice 10 point haul could be beyond them. Perez has to travel to a smarting Manchester City side. While Krychowiak also has an away fixture, West Brom have to take a trip to Goodison Park. In fact, I could easily have to field a whole team (bar the goalkeeper) who will be playing away from home. Even then, my Goalkeeper Nick Pope of Burnley has to face Manchester United. Hardly a banker home fixture.
Dlaczego jest tyle spółgłosek w języku polskim?

Injuries seem to be blighting my team this new year. Maybe I will have to dip into the murky pool of Free Agency again. Zlatan is still recovering. Both of my Swansea ‘Stars’ are sidelined. Renato Sanches and Tammy Abraham. And they have been joined by Everton’s Michael Keane who has picked up a foot injury. All in all it looks like I'll need five or six of Nik’s side to have an off day, While one of my players deflects one in off his arse or something. Tom Ince more than likely. Although the smart money is on a Shane long hat-trick this weekend.

Predictions


Lots of close games last weekend. @wrigavin and @FantasyYIRMA were separated by only 1.1 pts. Games like that played havoc with my predictions as only six of nine were correct. That is an improvement on recent weeks, but let’s try and improve again this time out. To follow all these games please head over to @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Week 19: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

A battling performance in the IEFSA Cup against @TRKingston, but not enough points to score the upset. Oddly I was hanging in there in the tie until late on in the Liverpool game when Dejan Lovren assisted a Ragnor Klavan goal (both of these Defenders were @TRKingston players) against my Goalkeeper Nick Pope. That is two games in a row where Todd has got the better of my side.
As i said, if it wasn't for bad luck...

It’s back to IEFSA league action this weekend though, as I attempt to drag my side from the foot of the table. So, who has the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer saw fit to put my side up against this gameweek? Why its only third placed @RotoZdroik, who has already beaten me in gameweeks 3 and 10.

@RotoZdroik’s Team


The two highest scoring players on @RotoZdroik’s team have more goals between them than my whole squad. Both of them have nearly three times as many assists as my whole squad too. And to cap it off, they both cost less than five players in my squad. Leroy Sane of Manchester City in Midfield averages over 15 points per game. While up front, Manchester United Forward Romelu Lukaku is just back from injury and will hope to add to his ten league goals this season when he faces Stoke City on Monday night.
Lukaku back from injury, and back on the score sheet in the FA Cup

But even if those two players misfire this weekend, he can call on several other stalwarts to get him through the fixture. Hector Bellerin in Defence is a good accumulator of points. Steven Davis of Southampton in Midfield already has three goals to his name this season, as does Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. In goals is Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, who has achieved seven clean sheets so far this season.


What I Need To Happen


It looks like @RotoZdroik will be able to get a full set of starters in his team and will be scoring points all over the field. My side on the other hand will be struggling once again this week. If Tammy Abraham, (my top scorer believe it or not) is absent this week, that will mean no scoring player for the Forward position. This will force me to look into the abyss of the unclaimed player pool for a goalscorer that everyone else has inexplicably passed by.
Will Joe Allen stay put, go to West Ham, or, retire and move to Celtic?

Mark Hughes has been shown the door at Stoke City. Hopefully this will free up the criminally underused Joe Allen. The Welshman has been a transfer target of West Ham United this January according to reports. Maybe a move to the Hammers would revitalise his fantasy scoring seeing as West Ham score more and concede less than the Potters. Wherever he ends up, his head better be right for Stokes vital clash against Manchester United this coming Monday.

Predictions


Only one from three for the IEFSA Cup games midweek. This was after a rather disappointing showing of five correct from nine during the last gameweek. Things are only going to get harder to predict as we enter squeaky bum time in the season. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter for all the latest action.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.



Monday, January 1, 2018

IEFSA Fantasy League Cup Semi-Finals Preview

An expected loss to @TRKingston in the IEFSA Premier to round off 2017. It was perhaps closer than the 40-point loss indicates, and would have definitely been closer if Luka Milivojevic had converted his injury time penalty ending Manchester City’s unbeaten run. Todd had the highest score of the week and is still six points clear at the top of the table. My side on the other hand continue to sit on the bottom with half of the season gone. Star man Ibrahimovic also got himself injured and will be sent to the Injured Reserves. The second half of the season looks like it will be a tough slog to get players on the pitch every week, never mind getting the points needed to achieve safety.
If it wasn't for bad luck...

But let’s park all that negativity to one side for a few days as we dip back into our glorious cup run. We are at the semi-final stage now after putting @FantasyYIRMA to the sword last midweek. Hopefully my players can raise their game for one more herculean effort and give all their fans (fan?) something to cheer to start the new year. So, who has the IEFSA/Fantrax cup drawing machine pulled out of the hat for us this time?...

@TRKingston

OH!..............oh….

Of all the hot and cold balls rigged pre-recorded cup draws, this surely takes the biscuit. Unbelievable! The book of evidence of IEFSA/Fantrax bias against my side gets a little thicker.

@TRKingston’s Team


I’m pretty sure he has got the same side as two days ago. Only now he can call on in-form Marko Arnautovic. Even all of his players seem to be fully fit again, apart from Victor Wanyama, who has only featured in two games this season anyway. My only hope is that, because he had so many players figure prominently so recently, perhaps a few of them will be rested this time out.
Arnautovic has five goals in his last five games

What I Need To Happen


Rotation is probably more of a danger to my players though. And unluckily for me five of my squad don’t have a game until Tuesday. Do I leave a slot open in case Serge Aurier or Renato Sanches start for their sides? Joe Allen is one player who seems sure to start though. He was missing from the starting line-up in Stoke City’s last game as Mark Hughes used the full strength of his squad when getting hammered away to Chelsea. A home fixture against Newcastle is far more enticing, especially from a fantasy points perspective. Newcastle have only two wins and 10 goals away from home all season.
Someone pass Tom Ince the ball so he can get some points

Tom Ince is also one who could be in line for more minutes after he was substituted with only 55 minutes gone against Burnley on Saturday. Was he brought off with the coming game against Leicester in mind? In those 55 minutes he gained my team 1.8 points. I’m not sure what he did in those 55 minutes, as you pretty much get 1.8 points for togging out.

Predictions


We have already established that if my side was to win this week it would be a cup shock to rival Sutton beating Coventry or Wrexham beating Arsenal in the FA Cup; but let’s look at the other fixtures and see if we can predict the winners.
Who will get to lift the IEFSA Cup Trophy?


Two teams in the bottom half of the IEFSA Premier meet, hoping to kick-start a run of form to climb the table. @EPL_MOstradamus has two victories over @nikarg already this season and I expect him to make it three from three here. His forward line of Firmino, Depoitre, Benteke and Son, is just too strong at the moment.


Third in the Premier plays third in the Championship in this tie. @jforquer11 might have two more wins in the lower division but @RotoZdroik has scored 275 more fantasy points. @RotoZdroik will be missing Romelu Lukaku for this game, but I think he will have too much for his opponent, who has a side struggling with a number of injures and players in danger of being rested.


Second plays sixth in the Premier, with @wrigavin on a horrible slump that has seen him drop his last five league games. He will also be sweating on the fitness of Harry Kane. Even if the Tottenham striker plays against Swansea, I don’t envisage it being enough against the players at @FuzzyWarbles disposal this week. Aguero and Mane have two winnable fixtures with their sides, and if they start, you would fancy them to score.


Normal league action will be back in a few days. Until them, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Happy New Year and good luck everyone.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Week 18: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Welcome to the last preview of 2017. And, thankfully we can sign off on a high note, as my rag-tag bunch actually followed up their defeat of @EPL_MOstradamus last weekend with a cup victory over @FantasyYIRMA in midweek. Two wins in a row is rare enough, but not as rare as a Tom Ince goal, which is what we had to thank for keeping our cup dream alive. The IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has had enough of my team scraping victories and has decided that now is the time that we should play highest scorers and table toppers @TRKingston. Todd has scored a frankly ridiculous 750 more fantasy points than my side so far this season, and has won his last eight games while opening up a six point lead at the top of the IEFSA Premier. The last time we met @TRKingston walked away with the victory by twenty points. If the teams are even that close once again, I guess I can take it as some kind of moral victory.
Joyous scenes as we knock @FantasyYIRMA out of the cup

@TRKingston’s Team


In a rare bit of good luck, the West Ham and Spurs game has been moved to Thursday January 4th. This means I will be without Serge Aurier this week, but Todd will have to make do without his hottest player at the moment, Marko Arnautovic. The Forward has five goals in his last five games. This means @TRKingston will have to rely on Richarlison or Joselu up front. He could well play both if each of them make their teams starting lineups for what looks like two favourable fixtures. Joselu and Newcastle are at home to Brighton. While Richarlison of Watford (the more likely of the two to play) has a home game against bottom club Swansea.
Every time this happens, @TRKingston gets about twenty fantasy points

His midfield has a very heavy Manchester City influence. On a good day he could put three Sky Blue players into his starting line-up. Fernandinho, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan have eight goals and 12 assists between them. The majority of these have come from Silva though and he is the only one who is an injury worry going into a game against Crystal Palace. In Defence he has another City player in Nicolas Otamendi, who he will probably pair up with two of the three Liverpool players in his squad, Matip, Lovren and Klavan.

What I Need To Happen


With facing so many Liverpool and Manchester City players this week, if both those sides could have a bad day at the office, or at least see a good chunk of their players rested and rotated, then I may have a fighting chance. Of course, I will need the players in my squad to play from the start for their clubs also. Unfortunately, the big signing of my squad looks to have wasted his opportunity to get some valuable minutes. Last time out Zlatan only lasted the first half of a game against Burnley. Even with the fixture pileup over the New Year, this looks to have been the big Swede’s last chance at getting into the Manchester United starting line-up.
Who'll get to the World Cup first? Steve Cook with England? Or Benik Afobe with DR Congo?

My search for goals will have to come from some unlikely sources to have any chance of victory this weekend. Tom Ince has finally gotten off the mark, so could this be the start of a run where he gets so many goals he propels himself into the England squad for the World Cup?? Speaking of the World Cup; What if Tammy Abraham also starts scoring so many goals that he will have to on the plane to Russia also! And what if Steve Cook started defending so well that…….. I think I need to lie down…..

Predictions


Five correct and four incorrect last weekend, which is an improvement on the week before, but nothing to get too excited about. The midweek cup fixtures saw two correct predictions from three games. I surely would have had a clean sweep if @FPL_MNOP had put in two goal ‘difference maker’ Jesse Lingard like I had told him! I’ll be hoping to improve on these figures this weekend. To follow all the action don’t forget to hop on over to Twitter and @THE_IEFSA. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

IEFSA Fantasy League Cup Quarter Final Preview

My side comes into this midweek cup fixture high in confidence after defeating @EPL_MOstradamus in Gameweek 17. For once it wasn’t my side that was struggling to get numbers onto the pitch, and thanks to having an extra player earning points I came away with a 25-point victory. That win doesn’t move my battlers off the bottom of the table though, as both the sides in eight and ninth also won. The two of those sides are on a bit of a win streak, as the IEFSA/Fantrax computer proves itself to be trying to keep my side rooted to the table.
A Joe Allen goal and assist helped was crucial for all three points last weekend

The quarter finals of the IEFSA Cup has thrown up the following interesting fixtures.





Let’s have a look at each match-up.

@FPL_MNOP is the lowest ranked team still left in the competition, currently sitting in ninth in the IEFSA Championship. @nikarg is ninth in the IEFSA Premier and has one win more than his opponent this season, and has scored 140 more fantasy points. @nikarg will be relying on Eriksen and Mahrez, but @FPL_MNOP has the talents of Hazard and Wijnaldum in his team. He also has in-form Jesse Lingard. So, I’m going to back @FPL_MNOP to cause an upset here and reach the semi-finals.
Lingard could be the difference maker in this tie

@BenDinnery is top of the Championship and looking good for a promotion spot. He has been hit by injuries lately though, with both Ryan Bertrand and Wilfied Bony sidelined. He will have lean on the scoring of the West Ham United trio of Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Pedro Obiang. @wrigavin is currently in fifth in the IEFSA Premier but suffering through a four-game losing streak. He does have Harry Kane in his team though and with all the injuries to Ben’s side I expect @wrigavin to pick up the win.
Kane is chasing Shearer's goals record. How many this holiday season?

@jforquer11 is fifth in the IEFSA Championship with ten wins this season and is firmly in the hunt for promotion in what is a tightly contested league. He has lots of good players in his squad, but the problem he has is that many them are never assured of a starting spot for their teams. Willian has featured in 19 games this season but only for 967 minutes. Anthony Martial has 815 minutes in 18 games. While Bernardo Silva of Manchester City has only 480 minutes in 17 appearances. @jwl_15 (fourth in the Premier) has the same issue, with Okazaki, Gabbiadini and Mkhitaryan not getting as many minutes as he’d like. Looking at this weekend’s fixtures, I would give @jforquer11 the nod in this one, but only just.
If Okazaki plays he could win it for @jwl_15

My side and @FantasyYIRMA feature in the only all IEFSA Premier clash. (further proof of a bias against my side?) YIRMA is lying in fifth in the table with seven wins. He has also scored almost 400 Fantasy Points more than my side this season so far. He has the strongest side left in the cup. In fact, he really should be higher up in the league table with the squad he has! Rooney and Vardy have 18 goals between them. In Midfield he has Mesut Ozil, Ashley Young and Dele Alli. A group that has 10 goals and 12 assists between them. In reality, @FantasyYIRMA should walk this one. But being the cup….. you never know….
Jamie Vardy scores against Manchester United at the weekend


Good Luck Everyone, and Happy New Year wherever you happen to be celebrating it.