Saturday, February 25, 2017

Week 26: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

Both my top scorers scored in the last gameweek to help my side to victory over @DFS_Hambazaza. Pedro and Joe Allen have six goals each this season, and thankfully both have fixtures this weekend. With the League Cup final on Sunday, four sides don’t have a match this gameweek. Man Utd, Southampton, Man City and Arsenal. That means four IEFSA managers will be without goalkeepers this week, while a number must start looking deep into their squads in order to find eight outfield players. Some managers have been hit harder than others. @RotoWireAndrew only has five fit outfield players, with only two likely to start for their clubs. But I’m not facing Andrew this week. No, the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer made sure I was facing a side that could get a full team out, and one that scored the highest points total in the previous gameweek. That side is the in-form @SportsByGotti.
Joe Allen would be a late call up to Welsh Six Nations squad if needed

@SportsByGotti’s Team

Mike may be missing his highest scorer in Kevin De Bruyne, but he has many capable replacements. In fact, @SportsByGotti has the only team in league where every one of his outfield players has found the net. He has a very dangerous squad indeed. Outside of De Bryne, the goals have come for Mike in the shape of Matt Phillips of West Brom (facing Bournemouth at home this weekend), Willian of Chelsea (Swansea at home), and West Ham’s Michail Antonio (Watford away). Swansea and Bournemouth have the worst two defences in the league, so @SportsByGotti should be confident of returns in front of goals again this weekend.

Mike appears to have luck at both ends of the pitch. As his goalkeeper, Everton’s Joel Robles, gets to face one of the lowest scorers away from home this season, Sunderland. Everton are also the most inform team over the last eight games, and @SportsByGotti recently snapped up their exciting young Forward Ademola Lookman. The nineteen-year-old averages a shade over one goal every five games in his fledgling career, and guess what? He hasn’t scored in his last four appearances for the Toffees. I keep telling you the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer has it in for me, but no one believes me!

Lookman could deal my team a big blow by keeping Mirallas out of the side

What I Need To Happen

After all I’ve mentioned it seems like wishful thinking that @SportsByGotti will be kept scoreless. My side will just have to go toe to toe and knock in an extra goal or two. One of my top scorers, Joe Allen, has to try and get past the Spurs defence though. Tottenham have only conceded five goals at home all season, and only one goal at home in over three months. Which probably means I shouldn’t rely on Marko Arnautovic or Ibrahim Afellay to be scoring too many goals either.

Four of my squad have red flags by their names at the moment, while a further four could be considered to be questionable as to whether they will get the start for their teams. I could pull the plug on the Ibrahim Afellay experiment and draft in a player from Free Agency. Mark Hughes seems to have pulled the plug on the Ibrahim Afellay experiment too. Deploying Ramadan Sobhi in his place of late. Do I dare drop Jack Wilshere, when he is just about to find that first goal of the season? Perhaps it would be best to just get rid of Jesse Lingard? Manchester United don’t have a fixture this week, and Lingard doesn’t seem to have a fixture most weeks.
Lingard does most of his dabbing on the bench these days


More correct than incorrect was the positive to take form the predictions in the last gameweek, five to four. My tie with @SportsByGotti is clearly the glamour fixture this weekend, second facing third. Another match-up to keep an eye on is leader @RotoZdroik, trying to prevent a third loss in a row, against @cjradune. C.J. will be out for revenge in this one, having lost their last encounter by less than two points. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to see how all these match-ups pan out.

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week 25: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A squad that outscored your opponent 7 goals to 1. A goalkeeper clean sheet to two goals conceded. A defence that gave up one goal, verses a team whose three defenders gave up a total of 11 goals. Four players who outperformed their averages. A score that would have beaten 14 other sides in the league. All of this league leader @RotoZdroik achieved in Gameweek 24. Yet he still game away with the Loss, as my side put in an all-round performance that pulled in the week’s highest total, 162 pts. This keeps my team in second place, but now only nine points behind. This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer tries to throw me a potential banana skin against the side propping up the table, @DFS_hambazaza.
Lukaku nearly equaled my season top scorer in one afternoon, but ended up on the losing side
@DFS_hambazaza has scored the lowest number of points in each of the last three gameweeks. The last time we faced each other, the winning margin was over a hundred points in my favour. On paper this should be an easy three points. But as we all know, fantasy football can throw up some surprises when you least expect it.

@DFS_hambazaza’s Team

The January transfer window has not been kind to @DFS_hambazaza this year. Nathan Ake was averaging over 14 points a game before he was recalled to sit on the bench at Chelsea. Everton have had an upturn in their performance levels of late, but Gerard Deulofeu found himself surplus to requirements and is seeing out the rest of the season at AC Milan. Seemingly better news was the transfer of Robert Snodgrass from Hull to West Ham. But the Scot has yet to settle into the side, having only started one game, but did register an assist in that one start.
Robert Snodgrass is now @DFS_hambazaza's biggest weapon
@DFS_hambazaza still has a number of players who could cause my side trouble though. If they can get on the pitch. Charlie Daniels is his highest scoring defender, but he faces a late fitness test to be ready for the fixture against Man City on Monday night. Xherdan Shaquiri of Stoke City and George Friend of Middlesbrough are both nursing calf injuries and are doubts for their teams’ games at three o’clock on Saturday. The defence should not be a problem to fill, it’s the Midfield and Forward positions that will give @DFS_hambazaza the most headaches. He spent big on getting Nolito of Man City, but the Forward has not featured since Christmas.

What I Need To Happen

Hector Bellerin is still a doubt after the head injured suffered last week. He may have a tempting fixture at home to Hull City, but surely Arsene Wenger won’t risk the Spaniard before the big Champions League clash midweek. This will leave me with an unchanged backline of Leighton Baines, Steve Cook and Michael Keane. These three conceded a combined eleven goals last weekend, so any improvement on that would be a plus.
Henrik Mkhitaryan scored against the champions, so will hold no fear of Watford
On the attacking front, Mkhitaryan got on the scoresheet against Leicester City and will be expected to carve out as many chances at home to Watford. Kevin Mirallas missed out when Everton scored six goals against Bournemouth, so I don’t expect him to get back into their starting line-up any time soon. Sunderland also scored a lot of goals last weekend without the talents of Fabio Borini. But with the Black Cats missing a few midfielders through injury and suspension, perhaps he could make his way back into the side. Elsewhere in Midfield, Jack Wilshere will get a chance to help his Arsenal buddies by scoring a goal or two for Bournemouth against Man City on Monday. Also in Midfield, The Ibrahim Afellay Experiment has shifted up a gear with the Dutchman forcing his way into the Stoke starting eleven of late. I expect him to have his best points haul yet when the Potters host a free-falling Crystal Palace side.


After a slight dip in predictions midweek, an improvement to seven correct and two incorrect for Gameweek 24. @RotoZdroik has seen his lead cut to nine points, with two teams on 45 points to his 54. There is a cluster of five teams a further three points back. One of those teams is @SportsByGotti, who @RotoZdroik will face this week. To follow all the action make sure you check out @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Here are this week’s predictions.
Good Luck Everyone

Friday, February 3, 2017

Week 24: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

My team responded to defeat in Gameweek 22 with a big victory midweek against @BenDinnery.  Along with scoring the highest total of the week with 133.7 points, the victory also saw my side move up into second place in the league. A Tom Heaton clean sheet for Burnley, as well as his teammate Michael Keane adding an assist. Marko Arnautovic chipped in with an assist too. Ben only had a Darren Fletcher assist and a one save Willy Caballero shutout in response. My rise was because of a number of upsets, as four of the top eight lost. One person who didn’t taste defeat was leader @RotoZdroik. His side has a league best six wins on the trot (the next best has two!). Adam also had the second highest score in midweek with 132.5. This after he had been nearly sixty points adrift going into Wednesday night.
All Tom Heaton's six clean sheets have come at Turf Moor
@RotoZdroik is now 12 points clear of a group of four teams. He is in danger of being out of sight before we enter the final third of the season. Our clash will also be a revenge game for him, as I managed to beat him in Gameweek 5 by a measly 2.6 points. It was one of only five defeats for him this season. He has only lost three in eighteen games since. While most of the league will be cheering me on in this clash of the top two sides, I have a feeling the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has thrown up this fixture now in an attempt to undermine my side’s rise up the table. Only three of my players have home games this week. While Adam’s two top scorers, Defoe and Lukaku, have a combined goals total (24), just two shy of the combined goals total of my whole team (26).

@RotoZdroik’s Team

Oh did I mention he has eight goal Fernando Llorente and seven goal Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea in his squad too? Or that his Hull Goalkeeper gained more than twenty points in a game away to Manchester United last time out. If his players simply hit their average for the season, I will need 131.7 points to beat him. A score I have only managed six times this season. Adam can only play two of Lukaku, Llorente and Defoe though, so he will have a few choices to make this weekend. Lukaku and Defoe are the obvious picks, but Llorente did score two goals away at Liverpool recently and the Man City backline does tend to have the odd car crash game, even at home.
Sigurdsson spearheads a resurgent Swansea side
The three Defenders he is likely to go with all have home fixtures. Cahill, Maguire and Sagna. While two out of his three Midfielders will be playing at home, Gueye and Sane, the other being Sigurdsson. The Icelandic international has already scored against Man City this season in the League Cup though, and averages over twenty points a game. Unlike the Forward and Defender positions, Adam has no alternative options in Midfield with his Arsenal pair Granit Zhaka and Aaron Ramsey, suspended and injured respectively.

What I Need To Happen

Goals win games. I will need all of his top four scorers to have an off day this gameweek. The last time none of these players scored in a gameweek was back in mid-December in Gameweek 17. But even in that week, Leroy Sane scored for @RotoZdroik. With goals almost guaranteed, maybe I should just worry about my side scoring goals.

With most of my players playing away from home, and my only Forward playing at home is up against Arsenal. Pedro may have five goals this year, but he can’t seem to nail down a place in Conte’s Chelsea side. This London derby is the first game of the weekend, so as least I will know early if Pedro is in or out of my team. If he is out, Arnautovic or Borini will occupy the Forward position. Elsewhere in my team, Joe Allen and Henrik Mkhitaryan have had dips in form recently, and Jack Wilshere is still making me wait for his first Bournemouth goal. It may come this weekend, and if it does it would take cleansheet points away from my Defender Leighton Baines.
Afellay will take his gloves off soon and storm the fantasy scene
In better news, the Ibrahim Afellay Experiment is seemingly improving. He started Stoke’s last game and managed ninety minutes, but only 7.75 points. A trip to West Brom is not the easiest game to gain points in, so perhaps I will hold off on unleashing him to the fantasy football world just yet.


With a few upsets last week, the predictions finally saw a dip from a run of six correct in a row over the previous three gameweeks. Five correct and four incorrect. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to not only keep track of this weekend’s scores, but also to see if any side has dipped into the transfer market. A number of teams are looking to get players in order to improve their fortunes. No one has made a bid for Ibrahim Afellay or Jack Wilshere yet. But when that happens, follow @GarryIrwin and you’ll be the first to know.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone