Sunday, May 21, 2017

Week 38: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

My team is entering into the final game of the season on the back of a loss after they were unable to overcome the Phillipe Coutinho inspired @TomSunderland_. Tom posted the highest total of the week thanks to Coutinho earning a crazy 54.95 points from two goals and an assist away at West Ham. The 120 points my team posted would have been enough to beat 12 other sides in Gameweek 37, including this week’s opponents @EPL_MOstradamus.
An actual bubble making machine couldn't have done any worse than the West Ham defence last weekend

Chris and I will be in a straight winner takes all game for a fourth-place finish. Looking around the league, apart from winner @RotoZdroik and the two sides at the bottom, every other team can move up or down depending on their result. My squad currently hold the advantage over @EPL_MOstradamus because of Fantasy Points For (FPtsF) over the season, so if I can just avoid defeat, I can get my hands on the fourth-place trophy that everyone wants to win. Chris though will be out for revenge after I beat his side in Gameweek 19.

@EPL_MOstradamus’s Team

Minding the net for Chris is Watford stopper Heurelho Gomes. The Hornets have failed to keep a clean sheet since April 15th. That was a month in which Gomes kept three clean sheets in four games, but May has not been as kind to the keeper and Watford have slumped to five defeats in a row. They face a Manchester City side seemingly intent on finishing the season on a high. City have scored ten goals in their last three games and will be looking for a win so as to cement a Champions League place. On the flipside @EPL_MOstradamus does have Aleksandar Kolarov in his Defence, so will perhaps be looking for a nice boring nil nil draw. If there must be a goal, perhaps Chris will hope it comes from an unlikely source in midfielder Abdoulaye Daucoure of Watford. That’s if Daucoure can break into his starting Midfield.
Roberto Firmino could be @EPL_MOstradamus' Ace card this week

Lots of firepower going forward has helped @EPL_MOstradamus to 23 wins in IEFSA this season. In Midfield he can call on Lanzini of West Ham, Puncheon of Crystal Palace, and Heung-Min Son of Spurs. These three players have 20 goals between them. What’s surprising about that is Jason Puncheon has precisely none of those goals (he does have five assists). Puncheon has not gone a full season without a goal since his days at QPR and he did score on the final day of last season, so could be due a goal against a ‘depleted’ Man Utd side this weekend. Up front he has Puncheon’s Palace teammate Christian Benteke. The Belgian is Chris’s top scorer with 15 goals, but if he does find himself frustrated at Old Trafford on Sunday, he will probably get more joy from Roberto Firmino at Liverpool. The Brazilian faces a Middlesbrough side that were pretty much relegated the day they fell into the bottom three, and who have conceded eleven goals in their last three away games.

What I Need To Happen

Joe Allen had a bad day at the office last weekend against Arsenal. Stoke lost 4-1 and he contributed a paltry 5.7 fantasy points. He has gotten my side out of a number of scrapes this year, and I will be calling on the Welsh wizard once more to deliver away to Southampton. Unfortunately, his, and Stoke’s end of season form has been atrocious. They have only won one game in their last ten and Joe Allen didn’t even play in that game! To cap it off Marko Arnautovic went off with an arm injury in the Arsenal game and is a doubt for this Sunday.
Women want him. Men want to be him. Fantasy Managers  want to *******

Looking across my back-line; Kevin Long might have just started two games this season and conceded four goals, but that’s good enough for a call up to the Irish squad this summer. I’m hoping this recent good news will spark a flurry of fantasy points from Long, as it seems he will once again be playing in the place of the injured Michael Keane. Another of my defenders has a tricky away tie against outgoing Champs Leicester City. Steve Cook of Bournemouth has been solid all season and he averages 14 points per game. My final defensive spot will be a toss-up between Leighton Baines and Hector Bellerin. Arsenal play Everton at home, so if Bellerin starts, he may just get to nod.
Fabio Borini Hattrick 

Goals are the key to winning games, but I just can’t see where they will come from this week. Both Manchester United and Chelsea have bigger games to think of, so will perhaps not risk playing Mkhitaryan and Pedro. As I mentioned Arnautovic is an injury concern, but Stoke seem to have gone on their holidays already this season anyway. Fabio Borini is due a goal. Could he spring a hattrick to ruin Chelsea’s day and put himself in the shop window to be snapped up by one of the Champions League playing clubs? "Borini to Monaco" You heard it here first! Probably the best chance of a goal will be from the player who scored from the penalty spot last weekend. Milivojevic of Crystal Palace has two goals for the season and if , or when, Palace are gifted a penalty at Old Trafford by an error from one of the U-14 Youth team players Jose Mourinho has been forced to start because of the bias of the Premier League IEFSA Fantrax Fixture Computer (PLIFFC for short), then the Serbian is just the man to take it.


Big improvement in predictions last weekend with seven correct from nine. It should be easier to call winners in games this weekend as all the Premier League games kick off at the same time. This means managers will have very little room for blame if they end up with someone who doesn’t play any minutes in their starting roster. The problem will be putting together your strongest starting team. Now, while everyone is not as spoilt as me in choosing between Borini or Arnautovic for the Forward slot, some tough decisions will still have to be made. To follow all the action please point your internet finding…. thing (there must be a better word?) to @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

It’s been an exciting, if occasionally skewed against my team, season. Here are the final gameweek predictions.

Good Luck Everybody

Friday, May 12, 2017

Week 37: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A 20-point haul from 'Player of the Year' Joe Allen was enough to help my side to victory over @nikarg. That win means I am guaranteed a top five finish. With @RotoZdroik having wrapped up the title with a few weeks to spare, the next four teams are separated by only three points, with @TRKingston being the man in form after winning nine games in a row. That is a ridiculously good run, when you see that the second-best run in the league is only four wins, by my side of all teams!
Bournemouth players all crowd around Joe Allen asking to swap shirts

This week the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer throws my side up against @TomSunderland_. Tom would have beaten my side in the last gameweek as he posted one of the highest scores in the league thanks to a Kasper Schmeichel clean sheet and a Marcos Alonso goal. @TomSunderland_ might not be able to rise out of the bottom half of the table with two games to go, but he will be out for revenge after he lost to my side in Gameweek 18.

@TomSunderland_’s Team

Alonso of Chelsea in defence has been averaging over 16 points a game for Tom this season. Chelsea have a favourable fixture against West Brom this Friday and he should get close to that average again, and he might even add to his six goals and three assists this year. Alonso is only Tom’s second highest averaging player though. In Midfield Philippe Coutinho averages just shy of 20 points per game. The Liverpool player travels to West Ham on Sunday, as the Reds try to cement a top four finish. Coutinho has 10 goals and six assists in 29 games so far in 2016/17.
Jermain Defoe checks the year on the clock as he scores against Hull

Elsewhere on @TomSunderland_’s team you have some solid performers. In Defence, Hull’s Ranocchia and Stoke’s Bruno Martins Indi get double points every week and should be fancied to do so again this week. Patrick van Aanholt of Crystal Palace will face Hull on Sunday, and a nervy relegation battle could conceivably end up scoreless, earning him lots of points. Tom’s top scorer is Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe. He has 15 goals this season and even managed to score last week. Which was a surprise to Tom, who had left him on the bench.

What I Need To Happen

Not many goals around last weekend as sides are winding down the season, or are trying to avoid defeat in an effort to scrape 40 points and probable survival. Tom has lots of good defenders, so an improbable goal-fest would surely only help my team. Gameweek 36 saw a last minute change in my Defence as I was forced to bring in Kevin Long who played for the injured Michael Keane. Keane may return for Burnley’s game  against Bournemouth though, so Long will be sent back to Free Agency, despite a commendable 12.6 points scored last week.
Kevin Long (28) queues up to play Rock, Paper, Scissors against West Brom

Superstar Joe Allen gets to roam the midfield against Arsenal this week. But as always, it’s goals that win games in IEFSA. With that in mind, I will look to my top scoring players to perform. This could be a struggle though as both my Stoke City players are some of my top scorers and will have to crack an Arsenal defence who have kept two clean sheets in a row. Joe Allen and Marko Arnautovic have six goals each. My top scorer is Chelsea’s Pedro. He is probably a rotation risk as Chelsea have three games remaining, but only need one win to secure the title. Henrik Mkhitaryan has four goals this year, but is an even bigger rotation risk with Manchester United throwing all their eggs in the Europa League basket. United also have a tricky fixture away to Spurs, who have the best defence in the league.


A horrible week for predictions last week as only three ties were correct. Lots of upsets at this stage in the season. Who would have though Sunderland would win? Who though @RotoZdroik would lose! Lots of interesting ties this week, so make sure you are following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep tabs on all the action. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Week 36: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A touch of drama last gameweek as the ever eventful IEFSA/Fantrax points compiler decided to reset most teams’ rosters on Sunday. For some sides this was probably an improvement! But after all the dust had settled, come Monday night my side had earned the victory. But because of other results I am still left in fifth position battling it out for a top four spot. Another significant result saw @RotoZdroik take home the title after a Sigurdsson freekick and a Jakupovic penalty save was enough to win a high scoring match-up with @TAMc10.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand...... Sunderland are relegated 

This week the fixture computer doesn’t let my side have an easy ride. My side has to face sixth place @nikarg. Nik beat my side by nearly thirty points back in Gameweek 17. He won’t have an Ibrahimovic brace to fall back on this week though. But he still has players who can do a lot of damage. Hopefully it will be a closer contest.

@nikarg’s Team

Nik needs to win his last three games to have a chance to break into the top four and take home the coveted Fourth Place Trophy. He will have to do so without Zlatan, so he will have to fall back on his next two biggest signings. Christian Eriksen and Georginio Wijnaldum play in Midfield and cost $49 and $26 respectively. Eriksen averages 25.76 points per game and will need to be in top form away at West Ham on Friday night in order to keep Tottenham’s title hopes alive. Wijnaldum averages ‘only’ 14.59 points and can surely earn a similar amount as Liverpool chase a Champions League spot in a game at home to Southampton on Sunday.
Erikson helps cancel St Totteringham's Day 2017

If these two fail to shine then perhaps @nikarg will fall back on two players who cost the minimum of $1. Ashley Barnes has been filling Zlatans boots for Nik in the Forward position. Burnley have a favourable fixture at home to West Brom on Saturday, where Barnes will get a change to add to his six goals this season. Crystal Palace travel to play Manchester City and Andros Townsend will be trying to get the Eagles enough points to avoid relegation. Man City have not been on top form lately and are vulnerable to giving up the odd goal or two. Townsend averages over 15 points a game too.

What I Need To Happen

Most of my team is playing away from home this weekend, and most of them still have something to play for. The question is though, will some of these players be playing at all? My back three has remained unchanged for a number of weeks now, but with Michael Keane a doubt for Burnley’s game against West Brom, that means Hector Bellerin could well be called from the bench. The problem there is, that Bellerin has found himself frozen out of the Arsenal first eleven ever since he came back from injury and Arsene Wenger invented something called the back three.
Sunderland and Bournemouth were charged with not controlling their players. Although, when was the last time Sunderland controlled their players in any meaningful fashion?

On the attacking front, things are not looking too good. Battling relegation did not seem to bring the best out of Fabio Borini, so now that Sunderland are actually relegated, maybe the Italian will cut loose. Or more likely, with relegation confirmed, David Moyes will cut Borini loose and play Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja up front. Henrik Mkhitaryan played for Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday night. He was subbed off with over ten minutes to go. He should be in United’s plans for their game against Arsenal, but more because of all the injuries the Red Devils must deal with, rather than any undroppable form he finds himself in.


Six correct and three incorrect predictions last weekend. @RotoZdroik will be doing his victory lap against @FantasyYIRMA this weekend. Other interesting games at the top of the table include, @FuzzyWarbles (4th) facing @EPL_MOstradamus (3rd), and @SportsByGotti against @TAMc10 with a place in the top half at stake. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter as we come to the business end of the season. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone