Locked and loaded Gw 22

All set for the the next round, and for the first time in ages I have been able to save the free transfer. Hopefully Costa will start, it would be rather strange if he did not, but you never know.

All the players except Eriksen have a decent fixture although it could be argued that City are a good fixture at present. The captain is Sanchez as he is well ahead in the polls. Hazard with tempting, but with Hazard and Costa that should be enough Chelsea.

Should be a clean sheet or Two from the defenders/keeper but you never can tell.   Plan for next week is to bring in Everton cover, maybe a double swoop for Lukaku and Baines. Hopefully it is not a week too late.

Captain challenge

The bookies are currently leading the competition and Costa is the shortest priced to score this week. Hopefully they are correct.

Bonkers and the polls have all gone for Sanchez, while the form tables see the Chelsea match as having the most goals and have gone for Hazard, as have playing the worst team, which is Hull.

Team Robot

The weakest link was Sigurdsson and he was replaced by the highest ranked affordable player which turned out to be Mirallas who was in the robot’s team earlier in the season.. hopefully he performs better in this stint.

As the robot does not own Sanchez it has lumbered itself with Alli as captain who surprisingly came out ahead of Hazard on its captaincy picks.

Costa highlights FPL problems

The mass selling of Costa over the last Seven days highlights a number of problems with FPL and in a wider sense the media in general.

Just before the Gw 21 kickoff we hear rumours that Costa is off to China, has fallen out with his manager and will possibly never play for Chelsea again. All unsubstantiated of course. What followed was a mass exodus.

Problem one

The traditional media, as Donald Trump keeps telling us, cannot be trusted. They are losing circulation, and with twitter etc we now know as much as they do. They have responded by becoming ever more sensationalist in their reporting. No longer concerned with facts, only with generating the maximum amount of sales/ clicks as possible.

Reports of China, falling outs, etc were just sensationalism, and Fpl managers fell for it hook line and sinker. Even those running Fpl sites seem to welcome the chaos as it attracts more custom and provides a talking point. It all helps turn a molehill into a mountain.

It can all be summed up by the ridiculous report that Costa was training alone. Of course he was as all the other players were recovering from the match at the weekend.

Problem Two

The price system is now broken. The rate of change is ridiculously high, caused by Two factors.

1) a vast increase in the number of active players this season

2) Those active players all receiving their information  from one source, Fantasy scout. Every week one or Two players are hyped up (or down) and unlike previous seasons, that information is now pumped straight through to the game itself creating huge waves of buying and selling pressure.

I am sure many wanted to hang onto Costa to wait until more information was in, especially with Hull being the opponents this week. However the prospect of losing half a Million in a few days ment many felt their was no choice.

Clearly it is not a good situation when financial decisions have to come before points.

Problem Three

We knew on Tuesday that Costa was back training with the team. However his flag has only just been removed, meaning those of us who held onto him had to endure an extra  price drop. Having hyped up Costa as being a big sell, those responsible for flagging seemed none to keen to admit he was actually back from his minor back injury and that the whole episode was just a storm in a teacup.


Having myself been a victim of knee jerking earlier in the season, and overly worried about price I changed my strategy a few weeks ago. That strategy was to avoid places where there was incredible hype and just play my own game, and worry less about price.

The result was I kept Costa last week, waited for concrete news and just let the price falls happen. Fpl being a cruel game, that sensible play will likely backfire and he will be sent off against Hull or some other such calamity.

However, this whole Costa episode pinpoints certain problems within the game and the media, both Fpl media and the wider press. In future more importance should be given to actual facts and rumours should no longer lead to players being flagged up.

Price thresholds need to be really looked at and the Fantasy press need to acknowledge there are many more choices available each week than just the one or Two players that are hyped up, or down.

It is as if they sit down together and say “who shall we hype this week lads”?    when it pays off like Alonso we hear about it for weeks, however when it is Barkley or Gundaguy then it is quickly forgotten.

With the massive audience it is just creating ridiculous price swings and creating pressure to act too early in a gameweek.  So with all this in mind I took the unilateral decision to distance myself from the  hype, as it is all too easy to be swept up in it.

Form tables Gw 22

Table one chances of home goals based on last Eight home fixtures

Some big scores look likely this week. The Chelsea Hull match has the largest total seen this season. Costa sellers may well be punished  as it looks as though a few goals will be scored.

Those considering Hazard for the armband will be encouraged by these tables. Chelsea have been scoring a goal per match more than Arsenal in their home fixtures, while Hull have an even worse away record than Burnley.

Liverpool could give Swansea a hiding although they look as if they are missing Mane, while Coutinho is yet to find form following his injury.

Owners of Phillips or Stanislas will be hopeful of some points this week as both Wba and Bournemouth could be in the goals.

Looking for away clean sheets, there appear no decent options at all. There will likely be One or Two but which ones is pure guesswork


Table Two chance of goals for the away sides based on Last Eight

Slim pickings for the away sides, they all look as if they will struggle for goals, even Man City who face a tight Tottenham unit, although the loss of Vertongen could be an issue.

Home clean sheets look very likely, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Wba looking particularly good options. However they all look to have a reasonable chance except maybe Palace and City.

Captain for the form tables this week in the captain challenge will be Hazard

Bonkers captain picks Gw 22

Plenty of good option for the armband in what could be a high scoring week.

Sanchez just comes out on top, and at home to Burnley we could be in for another high scoring match, their form away from home is not good. It also puts Giroud in the frame should  he recover from his knock.

Alli is in second, and while a tie against Man C appears a poor fixture, we have seen they are a mess at present. It has become clear that Pep and his over elaborate system is not working in the premier league, and they are a shambles at the back.

Lallana takes third spot, and with Liverpool likely to score a few goals, he looks the most likely to be involved in some capacity, either goals or assists, or maybe even both.

Hazard, Pedro and Costa all come into the frame for the visit of Hull. There will likely be goals, but the points could be well spread. Hazard does not have recent form on his side, and Pedro could be a more likely option.


Podcast Gw 22

This last weekend provided major point tallies through key Spurs and Chelsea assets (thank you very much, Mr. Alonso), among others. But big weeks like GW21 can often create more questions than answers: Kane on form or Lukaku with fixtures? Is Hazard worth the money? Wait, but where is Costa? Is it already time to bring Coutinho back in? And are we adjusting formations to accommodate the plethora of midfield and defensive options that are now, finally, showing some consistency? Always Cheating hosts Josh and Brandon respond to your tweets and emails and then preview GW22’s key fixtures, captaincy options, and likely clean sheets.

Analysis of form tables

Admittedly it is not much of an analysis, just a look at how the top predictions have worked out so far.

The first table shows several things.  The first team is the one the was predicted to score the most goals that weekend. Based on their previous scoring record in their previous Eight home matches compared to their opponents (not shown) record in their previous Eight away matches.  You can see that over the Twenty One weeks the top ranked team scored 53 goals or around 2.5 per match on average.  It was a slow start, but more on that later.

The teams in the  next Column were considered the ones with the best chance of a clean sheet that weekend, again based on their previous matches and those of their opponents. It took until week Five before a clean sheet was recorded.

Only Six clean sheets from the Twenty one matches, however we all know clean sheets are hard to find.  The teams did only concede an average of one goal per match,  Four of those were when West Ham conceded Four at home to Watford early in the season

Now for the interesting part

There is a massive dichotemy between the first Ten weeks and the following Ten. I expected the tables to take time to reflect current form although not to this extent.

It shows that relying on last seasons form to begin the season just is not a good idea.  There appears very little correlation with how a team finished the previous season and their performance in this one.

In the First Ten weeks the team considered most likely to score could only manage a measly 1.7 goals  per match,  compare that to the next Ten where they averaged over Three per game, and that does not include Arsenal’s Four at the weekend.

When we are building our pre season teams we go by Club form and Fixtures plus established fantasy assets.  This table suggests it may be best to discount the previous club form part, and to expect the unexpected in the first few weeks. Something most of us suspect anyway.

In the last Eleven weeks the tables have performed very well. Since Liverpool scored Six in  Gw 11 the top rated team has scored at least Two goals every week, including a Five and Two Four’s.

Clearly they cannot be relied upon early in the season, so if I am still blogging next season (A big if) then I shall not start the tables until around week Ten to give form a chance to settle down

Gw 21 review

The team performed reasonably well this week although as per usual some big scores elsewhere stopped it being a great week, but 75 points was ok considering I do not own the weeks big scorers, Alonso and Kane.

As predicted, Jakupovic has won his place back in the Hull side and with them winning well against Bournemouth  he should  retain his place.

The only concern in the team is Costa, I am awaiting news of his availability versus Hull before making any decisions. The Sun newspaper are  now speculating he will be available, but it is just that, speculation.  If he is out then I will be bringing in Lukaku for Everton’s strong run of fixtures.

Another potential change I am eyeing up is swapping Hazard to Pedro who at only 6.9 Million is one reason I am not particularly bothered if I lose a bit on Costa.  I will wait until after the Hull match before worrying about Hazard. He is actually potential captain material this week.

Captain challenge

We have a new leader this week. The bookies have hit the front, they now lead the polls. It still fairly close however it is becoming clear that selecting the shortest priced player to score is not a bad option.

Conventional wisdom is that there is more to picking a Fantasy captain than just his chance of scoring. Assists etc are taken into account. However the fact the bookies are matching the polls suggests it really is goals that matter.

Team Robot

There was general agreement last week that the Robot’s team was looking very good. However once again we see that having a team that looks very good does not guarantee Fantasy points.  Only 55 this week, which was pretty much the average overall score for the week.

Sigurdsson is the weakest link and will be the transfer out, for whoever is the highest available player on the Six week rankings.

Form Tables

I have had some requests for information on how the form tables have performed over the course of the season , so I will take a look at their performance so far.  The top rated match for goals over the weekend was Arsenal over Swansea and at 4 -0 it was another good prediction from the tables.

The seasons statistics from the tables will be published tomorrow

Locked and loaded gw 21

It seems the forums are all abuzz with speculation that Costa has not travelled with the Chelsea side due to fitness concerns. True or not it makes little difference to my plans for this week. If he does not start then Lovren can come in, I have a suspicion that match could be quite tight.

If there is some ongoing issue with Costa then it may not be a bad thing as I am keen to bring in Lukaku next week and any problem for Costa would make it an easy swap.

Costa is home to Hull in the next round of fixtures so I have no intention of selling if it turns out this is all a storm in a teacup

The transfer  was Hojberg to Stanislas, completing the transition to 352.  Ibrahimovic is currently yellow flagged but by all accounts he should be fine.

The keen eyed will notice Jakupovic has been installed between the sticks on the off chance he regains his place in the side for the visit of Bournemouth.

Overall the team looks in reasonable shape for this round. The captaincy is going to Sanchez who is hopefully back to his menacing best following the longer than usual break between matches.

The captain challenge

A few differences of opinion this week. Both of the polls have come out strongly in favour of Sanchez, although in some ways Giroud looked the more likely Arsenal candidate, but his low ownership probably was reflected in the voting.

Bonkers has gone with Alli, and why not? Scoring for fun and unlike Sanchez he has a home tie. It is hoped the break has not bought an end to his recent hot streak.

The bookies have come put narrowly in favour of Kane although there is very little difference in odds between the top Four candidates..

Playing the worst was tricky this week, as most of the rubbish sides are at home. Palace were probably the weakest away side, however for the competition it is on Hull.  So Bournemouth assets are chosen. I have gone for Wilson as the top option there.

The goal difference tables see Arsenal as the team most likely to be in the goals so Sanchez is the choice there.

Team Robot

The Robot’s team has Eleven green arrows in the last Twelve and after an horrific start to the season is bouncing back. The weakest link is currently Sigurdsson, however having just read all the Costa reports It looks fairly certain he will miss the match and possibly will be gone although I have big doubts about that.

As the Robot still has a free transfer it was used to remove Costa and replace with the highest ranked available player in its Six week rankings which tuns out to be GIroud.

Triggerlips – The independent voice of Fantasy Football – Telling it like it is