Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 23: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

The points total my side achieved in Gameweek 22 would have been enough to beat eight other sides in the league, but not @jwl_15. A Chelsea clean sheet along with a Victor Moses assist, and strangely, a Christian Kabasele goal, had Jake winning by a comfortable margin. That loss pushed my team down to fifth place, 12 points off leader @RotoZdroik, who won for the fifth week in a row. This week’s fixtures are being played over Tuesday and Wednesday, and it encompasses the end of January and the first of February. This of course means some teams could be unsettled by the moving and shaking that happens on Transfer Deadline Day.TM Most of my squad looks like it will be unaffected though. Unless Real Madrid can cough up what’s needed to prize Joe Allen from Stoke.
I bet you thought Watford had stopped scoring goals
The IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer will look to unsettle my team though by pitting my side against a team who has won their last two games; a team who would have beaten me last week; a team with two of the most inform strikers in the Premier League at the moment in Diego Costa and Andy Carroll. That team belongs to @BenDinnery. The last time we met it was a Costa brace that gave Ben the victory by less than two points. Even with all that is stacked against me, I’m hopeful of gaining some form of revenge this midweek.

@BenDinnery’s Team

Costa has 15 goals so far this season, and barring him hopping on a plane to China Tuesday morning, he will be facing a trip to Liverpool. The Reds have seemingly thrown in the towel for this year over the last few games, and are struggling to keep lower tier Championships sides out, so what hope against a fired up Chelsea. Andy Carroll only has five goals this year. I say ‘only’, but he would be joint top scorer in my side! Plus you have to consider he has only started seven games in the league because of injury.
More stellar Crystal Palace defending
Looking around his squad, most of the points have come from Midfield. Harry Arter of Bournemouth averages nearly 15 points a game and will be hopeful of doing more than that at home to a woeful Crystal Palace on Tuesday. Jake Livermore averages over 12 points a game. He is a player who has already moved during this transfer window. Moving from Hull to West Brom for a reported £10m. At the back, his best source of points will probably be Phil Jones when Man Utd host Hull on Wednesday.

What I Need To Happen

Costa and Carroll do have tricky fixtures, Liverpool and Man City, so it would be no surprise to see them held scoreless. At least if Carroll gets a goal he will be taking points off Ben’s Man City goalkeeper. Most of his midfielders and defenders will be playing at home too. So, lots of goals from the away teams here would be helpful. It is also possible that @BenDinnery could have all his players playing on Tuesday if he wished, and building up a sizable lead. Whereas most of my squad will not hit the pitch until Wednesday night. Do I leave slots open for players who may not even play on Wednesday? Lingard hasn’t featured much lately. But Mkitaryan did start the cup game at the weekend. Will he be rested?
Jack Wilshere taking one of his many goal-bound shots here
The Ibrahim Afellay Experiment will continue for another week. He has only started one game and averages 3.87 points per game over his five total appearances. At home to Everton is as good a time as any to showcase his undoubted talents though. Elsewhere in Midfield we are still waiting on Jack Wilshere to score that goal which all his good play has promised. Bournemouth, as mentioned, will play Crystal Palace at home. The Eagles have the third worst away defence in the league and are currently the most out of form team with only two points gained from the last 24 available. Wilshere has one or two goals waiting for him in this fixture if he wants them.


Amazingly last week’s prediction once again ended up six correct and three incorrect for the fourth week in a row. @RotoZdroik has a nine point lead over @SportsByGotti. But he is surely in for a tough test against @jwl_15 this week. To follow all the midweek action make sure you keep tabs on @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Let’s see how this week’s predictions go.

Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Week 22: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A really tight fixture last week against @jasonuk17, as only three points separated the teams in the end. Two goals from both sides, along with three clean sheets from each set of defenders and goalkeepers, saw most players get to their averages. Perhaps it was the clean sheet from Burnley’s Tom Heaton that helped my side come away with the three points. The victory leaves my side third in the table, still nine points off leader @RotoZdroik.
Marko Arnautovic scores as the whole Sunderland team look on

This week it seems that @THE_IEFSA and Fantrax have had enough and will pit my side against the side with the most Chelsea players in their squad. The Blues top the Premier League by seven points and this week they will face relegation threatened Hull City at home. @jwl_15 has twice as many Chelsea players as any other team. The Fantrax/IEFSA fixture computer stacks the cards against my side once again, but hopefully my players can keep up their good form as we head into Gameweek 22.

@jwl_15’s Team

Jake has Thibaut Courtois in goals. The Chelsea stopper has 12 clean sheets already this season. A whole four clean sheets better than Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, who has the second most in the league. Courtois also has seven more clean sheets than my goalkeeper. His other Chelsea players are in Midfield. Eden Hazard averages over 20 points per game for @jwl_15. N’Golo Kante averages nearly 16 points and Victor Moses chips in with over 13 points a game. Also in Midfield, Jake can select Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson. One goal and four assists already this season, sees Henderson gain over 19 points every game. All of these players have favourable home fixtures this week, as they all play against teams in the bottom three.
If Courtois can keep out the champions, what hope Hull City?

It’s in the Forward position where @jwl_15 has found things difficult this season. Ashley Barnes and Shane Long have managed four goals between them, yet have failed to cement a starting spot in each of their sides. They both have only managed six starts going into Gameweek 22. Jake will perhaps look to his Defenders to get him enough points for the win. Here he has Joel Ward of Crystal Palace, Kyle Naughton from Swansea, Cedric Soares at Southampton, and Juan Zuniga with Watford to choose from. Two of these defenders play home fixtures this week (Ward and Soares), so perhaps he will pick them to start. More motivation for Jake is that fact that in Gameweek 3 my side managed to scrape a tight win against him.

What I Need To Happen

A Hull goal at Stamford Bridge is almost a must this week. If the Tigers new manager can somehow organise his team to stifling the Chelsea attack for ninety minutes, with perhaps the exception of Pedro, who is on my team, that would greatly help me in this match-up. Working against @jwl_15 though, is that the Chelsea versus Hull game is the last of the Gameweek. Does he leave all his player slots open for his Chelsea players on Sunday evening? If he does, I may need to have built up a sizable lead from the nine earlier Premier League games.
Wilshere tried to score against Hull with one arm tied behind his back

The players I’ll need in order to build up this lead have thankfully been seeing some form in front of goal of late. Arnautovic got a brace last week against Sunderland. Mirallas put one past Man City. And Pedro scored his fifth of the season against Leicester. Elsewhere, Mkhitaryan seems to have nailed down a place in the Man Utd starting eleven, and Jack Wilshere is still due a goal. For those worried about the ‘Ibrahim Afellay Experiment’, the Stoke midfielder added 2.7 points off the bench last weekend. We are still waiting for the Dutchman to break out and gain a boatload of points.


The third week in a row where six predictions have been correct and three incorrect. @RotoZdroik is still six points clear of @wrigavin, while @DFS_Hambazaza is 12 points adrift at the bottom. @nikarg has the longest winning streak in the league with six, and it’s getting harder and harder to predict winners with each passing gameweek. Let’s try and improve on six correct predictions this week though with the following predictions. Follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep on top of all the action this Saturday and Sunday.

Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Week 21: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

The Premier League is back after a week of FA Cup action. Most sides put out ‘experimental’ lineups in an effort to save themselves for the rigours of a relegation battle, title race, European campaign, or finishing 14th. (delete as appropriate) The return of league action means the return of Fantasy Football and the IEFSA Fantasy League brought to you by Fantrax. So check your sides for the latest injuries, or in case anyone of your players have scuttled off to China, and lets begin the Gameweek 21 preview.

A Leighton Baines goal helped my team overcome @TRKingston two weeks ago. This result moved my team up to fourth in the league. I would have lost to this week’s opponent if I had been playing him though, @jasonuk17. I overcame Jason in Week 2 and since then our two teams have been scoring pretty close points-wise. Six times in the following game weeks our sides would have only been separated by less than five points, twice by less than a point (0.1 and 0.35). This all points to a rather tight game, but as usual, the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer has organised it so that @jasonuk17’s Forward is in his best form of the season. While my highest priced Defender heads to the Injured Reserve list. Jason also picked up Claudio Yacob not long after he was discarded to Free Agency. This sets the West Brom man up nicely to come back and bite my side in the ass this week!

@jasonuk17’s Team

The in form Forward in Jason’s team is Frenchman Olivier Giroud. The Arsenal front-man has scored three goals in as many games and averages 24.4 points over the same period. Helping him out and pulling in almost 18 points a game this season is Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas. Stanislas faces bottom club Hull on Saturday, so should have no problem getting near his average again. Elsewhere in Midfield he has another inform player in the shape of Michael Carrick. The Man Utd player should have plenty of work to do, and therefore earn plenty of points, when United entertain Liverpool on Sunday.
@jasonuk's secret weapon: Claudio Yacob

In goals Jason has another Man Utd star, David de Gea. Rested for the League Cup game midweek, de Gea has started all twenty league games this season, keeping seven clean sheets. He will probably not be the only one looking for clean sheets this week though, as all of @jasonuk17’s Defenders have home fixtures. The toughest of these being Ben Chilwell of Leicester City who host table toppers Chelsea. Conte’s men look like they will be playing without top scorer Diego Costa for this game though, as reports out of Stamford Bridge suggest he is unsettled and looking to move in January.
Will Costa be banging in goals at a sold out Workers Stadium in 2017?

What I Need To Happen

Hector Bellerin joined Arsenal teammate Santi Cazorla on my injured list this week after injuring his ankle. This leaves only three fit defenders, but hopefully they will all get the starts for their respective clubs and pick up a clean sheet or two. My goalkeeper Tom Heaton of Burnley will face Southampton. A clean sheet here, as well as keeping out Jason’s Oriol Romeu would be a good start on Saturday. Jason could also have up to three Watford players in his squad starting at three o’clock on Saturday. So, a Middlesbrough upset would be most welcomed in that game.

Another three-pm kick-off, this time involving four players from my squad, is the fixture between Sunderland and Stoke. Joe Allen has not been his usual self lately in regards gaining fantasy points, but will not get many better chances to reverse this trend than against third from bottom Sunderland. A high scoring affair with an effort or two from Fabio Borini would entertain the neutral and make me very happy. This fixture could also go a long way to seeing if the ‘Ibrahim Afellay Experiment’ will be a success. Jack Wilshere has yet to score in 2017, but should knock in one or two against bottom club Hull City, as he slowly forces his way into the England squad for the crucial game against Lithuania in March.
Jack Wilshere should open his Bournemouth account against Hull


Six correct and three incorrect for the second week in a row. Many of the managers are looking around trying to improve their squads during the January transfer window. Perhaps @BenDinnery is sweating the most as $65 of his budget is tied up in want-away Diego Costa. For the latest on this and all the other goings on in the league, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 20: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

Happy New Year IEFSA fans. If you thought the previous nineteen games of the season was intense, then you better strap yourself in for what’s coming in 2017! The transfer window is now open again. The race for the championship seems to be mirroring the actual Premier League, with @RotoZdroik taking the role of Chelsea. But unlike the three teams facing the drop, a whole ten teams in the IEFSA league will be for the chop for the start of next season. With this in mind, every single game becomes a six-pointer from now on. Also, in the second half of the season I’m sure you will see more blatant maltreatment of my team from @THE_IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer; starting in Gameweek 20 with a game against @TRKingston. The team that began the season by getting a favourable decision over my side by only 0.5 points.
Not much between the top 10 sides. It's squeaky bum time!

@TRKingston’s Team

Danny Rose and Miles Jedinak were the stars of Week  1 for @TRKingston, hauling in 35 points between them. Rose is still in Todd’s side, but that was the only game Jedinak played before heading to the greener pastures of Aston Villa. Yohan Cabaye was on the bench that day and this week should be in @TRKingston’s team when Crystal Palace play Swansea at home. The French midfielder should rack up the points against the managerless Swans team. Not that @TRKingston needs help getting points, he is one of the highest point scoring teams in the league. His team are the second highest scorers in the game and if his typical line-up all hit their average, it will take over 128.2 points to beat him.
Will Burnley give more reasons for Pep and David to feel down?
Another midfielder with plenty of scoring potential this week for Todd’s side is David Silva. Man City will be looking to bounce back after their reversal to Liverpool, and have a home tie with Burnley to take out their frustrations. Most of @TRKingston’s points in Defence come from the player already mentioned, Danny Rose. The Spurs left wing-back averages over 20 points a game. He is comfortably the best Defender in the game, averaging over three points more per game than his nearest rival, Marcos Alonso of Chelsea. Todd also has two goal, three assist, Jose Holebas of Watford in his team. On Tuesday Watford face a Stoke City side who have conceded eight goals in their last two games. And you don’t think the Fantrax fixture computer doesn’t have it in for my poor side.

What I Need To Happen

I’ll really need David Silva to be kept quiet on Monday. Even if he doesn’t play a full game, he could well do a lot of damage playing behind Aguero against Burnley. Failing that, perhaps Cabaye can be marked out of the game on Tuesday as Swansea lock things down tight in search of a positive result. Then hopefully come the Tottenham versus Chelsea clash on Wednesday my side will be a good twenty points ahead so as to negate any damage Danny Rose could do.
Danny Rose will be tested against Chelsea this week
As for my side? Well, just as things were looking up with the return of Pedro and Arnautovic from suspension, Jack Wilshere will be unavailable because he is playing against his parent club Arsenal. That’s a big no-no according to the FA. I would have had no problems with it though, as he would surely have broken his duck for Bournemouth against his old teammates. Another problem with my side is the ever changing nature of the Manchester United starting eleven. Mkhitaryan started the last game, yet scored off the bench the game before that, so will he start again? Lingard missed out against Middlesbrough, but started the game before against Sunderland. Will he start? Will either of them be subbed on if they don’t start? Also, we are two games into the Ibrahim Afellay Experiment and things are not going well (3.4 points per game).


An improvement in predictions as I called six correct to three incorrect. @RotoZdroik is still six points clear at the top, he faces a tough fixture against @nealjthurman this week though. To see how this and the other games go, remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Good Luck Everyone.