Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 13: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

My side’s time rocketing to the summit of the league table seems like a distant memory now, as I drop to fifth thanks to my second defeat in a row. Last weekend also saw my team post their lowest score of the season, coupled with the largest margin of defeat so far. It was embarrassing from Saturday right up until Monday night. But the pain doesn’t seem to want to stop. Almost half my team (and definitely half my goals) will be absent through suspension, injury, or just sitting out while his current side face his parent club. The fantasy gods really don’t want me to win this week, as I face @RotoWireAndrew, whose only dilemma is which players to leave out! The IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer is determined to see my side plummet down the table.

The league itself is really getting tight now. Amazingly only six points separate the top 15 sides. @jwl_15 is the current leader thanks to his overall points total. @wrigavin in fourth is the form side, having reeled off five wins on the trot. It has been relatively low scoring the last two weeks, a goal or assist either way could swing a tie. With this in mind it’s vitally important to get all your players starting for their teams.

@RotoWireAndrew’s Team

If we faced each other every week we would currently both be with a record of 6-6. This suggests a tight game. Andrew’s team does have more luck in front of goal though. 17 goals for his team compared to 12 for mine (six of which will be missing this weekend).  Charlie Austin and Theo Walcott have five goals each, and both have tasty home fixtures on Sunday. In fact apart from Erik Lamela, who is injured anyway, all his goal scorers will be playing at home this weekend. What is surprising are his assist stats. Walcott is his best provider of these, yet has only contributed two. His biggest signing Paul Pogba has taken the most shot in his side with 34. Hopefully this isn’t the week where a few of these shots start finding the net.
Paul Pogba finding space in a packed midfield here.
Andrew is sixth in the league and has had a very up and down season so far. Some weeks his players run up a high one hundred plus figure score, and others he struggles to reach 80+ points. It’s all down to getting players onto the pitch. Unfortunately for me it looks like some players who were rare starters a few months ago are now more assured of a start. Marcos Rojo at Man Utd looks like being one of their centre backs with Bailly and Smalling out injured. Ahmed Musa only got 12 minutes last week but could be in line for a start on the wing for Leicester this week. Andrew may have to slot Musa in ahead of Bournemouth’s Jordan Ibe who is still recovering from illness, in the OF spot. Ibe is playing on Sunday though; will Andrew leave a slot open for him until then? In goals he has the West Ham keeper. The Hammers head to Old Trafford in the late Sunday kick-off, so he could be in for a busy afternoon. With three possible United players in his line up, Andrew will be watching that game closely.

What I Need To Happen

The United/West Ham game is one I will be monitoring the line-ups for also. With Mkhitaryan seemingly back in favour and Jesse Lingard having scored midweek in the Europa League, I will need both to play considering the list of players that will be missing for me this gameweek. Both of my Arsenal players are out, Bellerin and Cazorla. The other Arsenal player on my roster, Jack Wilshere, will have to sit the next game out. He is not allowed play for Bournemouth against his parent club. With Joe Allen missing because of suspension, I’m struggling to get three Midfield players to play. If things go really pear shaped, I could end up with no players starting for their clubs.
Jack Wilshere won't add to his goal tally (0) this week
Tom Heaton in goals had a below average week last time out when letting in four goals. Things might not get any better when Burnley entertain Man City in the first game of the weekend. If he and team mate Michael Keane can keep Aguero and co. quiet, it would be a good start for me in the matchup with Andrew. I am worried about my Midfield though. Kevin Mirallas is not exactly assured of a start and perhaps it would be prudent to push a player into Inj. Reserve while drafting in a midfielder from the Free Agent list for one week.


Four correct from nine predictions last week. The league as I mentioned is getting really tight. When three quarters of the managers have designs on the title how am I supposed to predict the winners every week? I’ll continue in my pursuit of the perfect week in the face all this though. To see how well these predictions pan out, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 12: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

No preview last Gameweek as I was delayed during a flight from China. Was this the doing of @wrigavin as he edged out my side by 2.1 points? More than likely. Unfortunately my time at the summit of the league table was short lived and I now find myself in second place, right behind @EPL_MOstradamus, who managed to get a victory (by less than two points) over third placed @jwl_15. It’s getting tight in the scramble for the title going into Gameweek 12, as only six points separate the top 11 sides.

This week the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer tries to screw with my team again, as I’m pitted against one of the only sides in the league that is injury free, while my side is struggling to all get out on the field with all the red flags in the way. My opponent @Smokey_Loogy may have lost his last two games, but he would have beat out winners in three other matchups both weeks. He is waiting for his luck to turn so he can start moving up the table. Hopefully it won’t be this week.
All my Arsenal players are out injured. Thanks Arsene.

@Smokey_Loogy’s Team

If his players all play to their average scores, it will take a haul of 120+ points for me to be victorious this week. It is in Midfield where @Smokey_Loogy spent most of his budget and it should be where he gains most of his points. Riyad Mahrez has had a quiet start to the season, but still averages over 14 points a game. Nathan Redmond is his top scoring midfielder with three goals. Southampton have a tough fixture at home to Liverpool, but the bright spot for Redmond is that the Reds rarely keep clean sheets. His third Midfielder is only recently back from injury, but he could be playing up front for West Ham. Andre Ayew scored plenty of goals for Swansea last season; this would only be his third start this year if Slaven Bilic puts him on the team sheet.

Up front @Smokey_Loogy relies on a trio of Watford players. Deeney and Ighalo have four goals and two assists between them and they face a lackluster Leicester City at home on Saturday. If he needs he could also include Nordin Amrabat, who himself has two assists to his name. The rest of his points could come from his goalkeeper. Jordan Pickford may not have kept a clean sheet yet, but he does get lots of save points, and he surely won’t get a better chance to stop his net bulging for 90 minutes than against Hull City at home.

What I Need To Happen

When Hector Bellerin was ruled out for up to four weeks with an ankle injury it looked like I might struggle to fill all my Defender slots. Leighton Baines may be able to get the start at Everton this week though and that would solve my defensive problems. Last week it was having too many players who failed to start for their clubs that cost me any change of three points. I can ill afford this happening again this week.

Joe Allen had a below par week away at West Ham. This week he will face Bournemouth at home, and with the aid of Marko Arnautovic back from suspension, I’ll be hoping Stoke can continue their unbeaten run of form. In search of goals I will have to take a gamble on Jesse Lingard doing enough against Arsenal, or waiting until Sunday to see if Pedro can start for Chelsea away to Middlesbrough. If those two fail to score, I can always fall back on the goal that is due from Jack Wilshere.
One of these England stars will score this weekend.


As I mentioned above, the league is really tight and the games are even tighter. The team with the most fantasy points sit in eighth (@FuzzyWarbles), while the team who has conceded the least fantasy points (@SportsByGotti) are down in fifteenth. So how is anyone supposed to predict these matchups? I got seven of nine right two gameweeks ago, here’s hoping for a similar strike rate this week. Don't forget to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep track of all the action.

Good Luck Everyone