Talking Points For GW17

The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 17 is now closed. Join me in our virtual Fantasy Football world while we watch the games and hope our points rack up. Sit back, relax, enjoy the football and hang-out here with your fellow Fantasy Football managers and chat in real time as the action unfolds. Perhaps everyone else is experiencing the same “Aggghhhh” player difficulties you are, or the same “Yeahhhh” moment as your captain puts the ball into the back of the net? Talking Points is simply a chat area for us Fantasy Football First managers. Tell us about your highs and lows, and get into the match day atmosphere. Get involved.

To help you with your early transfer, these are the expected talking points for this weekend.

Good Runs

Arsenal

Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as Everton came from behind to secure their first victory since October. The upcoming game at Man City will test them but after that it’s smooth sailing with games against West Brom (H), Palace (H), Bournemouth (A) and Swansea (A). This run actually extends even beyond the next five games, all the way until February, so investing in Arsenal now or after the City game is recommendable.

Having an Arsenal defender is always a good bet but this season clean sheets have been few and far between with only four, the last one coming in gameweek 9. The injury to Mustafi disrupts the solid partnership he and Koscielny had. On the other hand it allows a cheap route in the Gunners defence, as substitute Gabriel will only set you back 4.8 million. If you want to splash out the cash then Bellerin is your man, constantly proving to be a threat down Arsenal’s right flank.

In midfield Walcott has been performing well all season and offers good value for money, but the go to guy, without a doubt is Alexis Sanchez. He has had a hand in 27 goals in his past 27 Premier League appearances for Arsenal (19 goals, eight assists). Wenger’s decision to play out the Chilean as a lone striker has clearly worked out and he looks a key part for Arsenal’s title chase.

Swansea

Swansea City were unable to build on their victory against Sunderland as they were undone by a stunning Rondon hat trick. They’ll be looking to bounce back against Middlesbrough (A), West Ham (H), Bournemouth (H), Palace (A) and Arsenal (A).

At 4.1 million Amat remains the cheapest active defender in the game and the upcoming schedule might just add a clean sheet or two to his tally. Keep him in for now but only play him occasionally as part of a rotation.

If Swansea stay up, it will be hugely thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson. He has been directly involved in eight goals in his last nine league games for Swansea. He has the form and the fixtures so if there’s ever a time to pick him up, that time is now.

Fernando Llorente gives the Swans a much needed focal point up front, and as long as he keeps getting the service and support, he will keep on scoring. At just 6.1 million he’s excellent value for money so if you can’t manage to fit in Sigurdsson, consider Llorente instead.

Man Utd

Manchester United have won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since August and Mourinho’s side are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions (W6 D3). They’ll be confident of extending this run in matches against West Brom (A), Sunderland (H), Middlesbrough (H), West Ham (A) and Liverpool (H).

In the United defence Phil Jones stands out for his price and with Eric Bailly going to AFCON next month and having various injury problems as well as Rojo’s controversial tackles, he has a good chance of staying in the team.

Paul Pogba produced an inspiring performance and scored United’s opening goal before setting up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the winner. With the wealth of options in his price bracket, we wouldn’t immediately get the Frenchman but do consider the Big Swede. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored five times in his past five Premier League games, after failing to score in his previous six in the competition. He has gone below the radar with the likes of Costa and Kane performing well, and could prove a very effective differential in the upcoming games.

Bad Runs

Crystal Palace

It is now one win in 10 Premier League games for Palace, who are three points above the relegation zone, and it is not about to get any easier for Pardew’s side. A very testing schedule against Chelsea (H), Watford (A), Arsenal (A), Swansea (H) and West Ham (A) awaits them in the next weeks.

Palace have kept just one clean sheet in their past 21 Premier League games, so stay away from the defence until they show signs of tightening up.

In midfield Zaha has been magnificent this season, scoring or assisting in seven goals in his past eight Premier League appearances. He seems to have been working on his end product and even though his crossing still lets him down from time to time, he’s a handful and any defence will find it difficult to keep him contained. At just 5.6 million he’s a great value for money and worth consideration. James McArthur has also been doing well as he scored five Premier League goals this season for Crystal Palace, more than in his previous two seasons at the club combined (four). He’s even cheaper than Zaha and could be considered if you’re short on cash. Up front Christian Benteke now has five goals in last six games and is a great option in the mid-price bracket.

West Brom

West Brom had a poor first half against Swansea but they turned it around in the second half and won comfortably. The Baggies move up to seventh in the League and will face a hard test defending that position in games against Man Utd (H), Arsenal (A), Southampton (A), Hull City (H) and Spurs (A).

A Tony Pulis side is always a good source of FPL defenders and this year is no different. Any starter will get you points over the year however Chris Brunt stands out as he’s listed as a defender but playing in midfield. He assisted twice in the game against Swansea and has 42 Premier League assists for West Brom, 19 more than any other player for the club.

In midfield Matt Phillips keeps performing well. He has had a hand in seven goals in his last six Premier League games for West Brom (three goals, four assists) and at only 5.5 million allows you to spend big elsewhere.

Chris Brunt and Matt Phillips played a major part in West Brom’s victory over the Swans, but Rondon’s hattrick of headers means it is the Venezuelan who takes the headlines. The striker had six shots in the match, four of which were on target. Rondon has scored 16 goals in the Premier League since the start of last season – 11 more than any other Baggies player. (James Morrison is on five).

Other Talking Points

  • The Chelsea defence keeps racking up the points and with clean sheets hard to come by this season, they look to be the only defence worthy of long-term investment. Alonso remains the best pick because his position on the field, while Luiz is on some of the set-pieces.
  • Promising signs for Chelsea as Willian more than made up for the absence of Eden Hazard. He was very involved against Sunderland and provided the assist for Fabregas’ goal. Pedro owners should be slightly worried as we might see some rotation over the busy Christmas period.
  • The Bournemouth defence remains a good source of cheaper defenders, after another shutout at the Vitality Stadium. Any starter is a good option, but Steve Cook excelled against Leicester making two interventions to deny clear openings and a total of 11 clearances.
  • Leicester City have conceded in each of their past 10 Premier League away games – their worst run since April 2002 (also 10). The Foxes have not won a Premier League away trip since April (10 games without a win), their longest run since October 2003 (a run of 16 away games without victory). Stay away until they pick up some form.
  • Christian Eriksen has been involved in six goals in his past four Premier League games, scoring five and assisting one. Since his Premier League debut in September 2013, Eriksen has been involved in 55 goals in the competition (28 goals, 27 assists), with Eden Hazard the only midfielder with more (60 – while Mesut Ozil also has 55). Get him and consider captaining this weekend at home against Burnley.
  • Southampton have won just one of their past eight away games in the Premier League (D3 L4). Against Stoke they had 15 shots on goal but only four on target. Consider the Saints defence, Van Dijk or Fone, but stay away from the attackers.
  • Since De Bruyne’s Premier League debut in September 2015, only Mesut Ozil (20) has assisted more goals than his 17. He’s the only reliable City option until Aguero returns from suspension.
  • Andy Carroll took part in 17 aerial duels and won more than 60% of them, and he also had six efforts on goal. Despite not scoring, he might be worth the gamble over the next weeks if he can keep up this kind of performance.
  • Lallana was Liverpool’s creative spark and his two goals rounded off a superb individual display. With Coutinho injured, Firmino off the boil and Mane soon off to AFCON, Lallana might become the preferred Liverpool midfielder. Also consider Divock Origi who has now scored in five consecutive matches.

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Lone Wolf

Taciturn and mysterious, doesn’t care for cultural rules and conventions; the rebel who blazes his own path.
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895 thoughts on “Talking Points For GW17

  1. hi guys. i have been following two teams closely as a case study, one of a seasoned professional and the other one in my mini-league (both have been doing a (-4) on a constant basis). after 17 game weeks, the former ranks at 22k (107.1m) and the later leading my league. so i wanna know of your opinion if holding your horses aint no more the strategy this year and taking sensible/ frequent hits is the new mojo or will it be a different ball game in the second half of the season?

    • @rafay If you get your transfers right, then -4pts won’t stop you climbing the ranks. Problem is, often as not they flop. There’re guys in mini-leagues with a NO transfers rule, one of them was in the top ten for a while & another had the highest gameweek score.
      What you should do is check the ‘Pro’s’ scores without the hits, look at his transfer record and see if it pays off.

    • @rafay As said above its horses for courses. Depends on the quality of the transfer as opposed to whether hits are good/bad. My no transfer team is outperforming my regular team and was top 10 k till injuries hit

    • @rafay My team’s linked, Gw11 I was 1.8m ranked, after -24pts I am 1.08m. January I’ll try to avoid any hits until the transfer window closes. But I’ll quite happily take -24pts anytime if it gets me up to 500k ;)

      • @SecretZorro you gguys ot a point there. but i feel the overall nature of the game has changed over the couple of years with unusual things happening like the likes of leicester winning the league … PL was always unpredictable and now its even more erratic ,,, anyway thats the beauty of the game, enjoying every bit of it :)

        • @Zwischenzug I was going to reply a week ago to one of your other posts but forgot. Re not taking a hit for a defender. In the main I’ve found that that old fantasy chestnut is true but it’s not the law and if you feel it’s the right thing to do, then do it (which I’m sure you would!)

          Defenders can be a tad unpredictable in terms of points returned.

        • @ChorleyRocks wow, that’s something different … i’m sure you would like to educate a bit on it ,,, at least with leicester winning the league doesn’t fit the theory :D

        • @Kralin Interesting read. Although I am a bit surprised that the most unpredictable score in 2012 wasn’t Wigan’s win over United after 50 years or so.

          As for the chestnut, laws are made to act as indicators. If I wouldn’t be a round peg in a square hole during my first season, when would I be?

          Last but not least, for all the statistics, the data and the bookies, a toast for Premier League, for being the best league in the world, and the most suitable for fantasy :)

    • @rafay My opinion is that if you are taking a hit as a part of a long term plan, then that could yield results. on the other hand if some one took a hit and transferred in Kane just thinking, oh it’s Hull at home or Burnley at home, then that would have been a useless cause……

    • @rafay I think a lot depends on the mini-league you’re in. If you’ve got a big lead then the occasional hit doesn’t matter. Hits are ok to sort out long-term structural problems or when you’ve too many injuries. But if it’s close, it’s a risky tactic as you’re constantly handing your opponents a 4 or 8 point advantage each week.

      Often my best weeks come when I don’t make a transfer and stick with a side I’ve planned for long-term. Maybe the league is more predictable than you think.

  2. So … been thinking since yesterday ( :rofl: I know, careful everyone LOL)
    I’ve decided to keep Hazard. I’m going to bench Costa – got 2 FT.
    Would I be mad to do Kane to Giroud and Redmond to Pogba??

    Click to enlarge image

  3. I’m really sad at the moment. I was leading my head to head league since GW1 and just this week I’ve been knocked off the top after going winless for three games.

    Going to be tough to get back on top!

    • @DantheManinaPan No worries mate……it’s just a trend…..When you start winning you keeps on winning and vice versa. A couple of good weeks and you would be back on top……

    • @DantheManinaPan I wouldn’t worry too much about it, remember you’ve got to play the long-game. You can’t be that far behind. I was trailling by 100 points this time last year and turned it round.

  4. Hi all!
    I have a question regarding the WCs. There are 2 per season. One, I think, has to be played by the 30th Dec. The other? Does it have to be played in January, like last year, or is it available for the rest of the season?
    Any ideas?

  5. Payet, Firmino and Defoe to Sanchez, Phillips and Benteke.
    OR
    Payet, Firmino and Kane to Sanchez, Phillips and Ibra??
    Any Help is very welcome, I have been losing sleep!

    • @TiDi I think you’ve got to get rid of Siggy. Swansea are not dependable in the slightest bit, and at 7.3, he represents decent funds being tied up. If not opposed to doubling up on Arsenal, I know the early transfer article suggested Walcott as an option to transfer in

  6. I have failed to qualify for the cup for the first time in seven seasons. :hurt:

    Christmas is cancelled. The remainder of the season is cancelled :cry:

    • @Zaid

      With Evans, Morgan and Williams sat smirking at me from the defence, I would get more points by playing 2-5-1.

      It also seems that there are fewer clean sheets this season. Maybe somebody who knows where to look could clarify that

      • @OldGoat Yeah, less clean sheets but big defenders have been decent. Spurs and Chelsea defenders will cover two spots, United and Southampton/Arsenal remaining two and we have a strong backline where we have less headache of rotating defenders or playing a defender whose defense is not so good.

        Evans should be fine when we need him, so not an issue. Morgan and Williams should leave with Williams being the priority to go out.

        Take some hit, sort the mess. “Not taking a hit for defender/goalkeeper” theory doesnt always work, especially when we look long term.

        • @Zaid

          0.6 in the bank. Morgan and Williams both 4.9 sell price.
          Already used my FT getting rid of Kane. I plan to bring in a Southampton defender, but I don’t think it is worth a 4pt hit when they have Spurs this week, and Kane will be looking for revenge after my selling him

        • @Zaid

          Yes, Valencia is on my watchlist.

          The 3 defenders I am fielding are – Walker (v Southampton), Lovren (v Stoke) and I cannot decide between Williams and Morgan in the Leicester v Everton fixture. Evans is an injury doubt, and would play against Arsenal, so I won’t field him.

        • @Zaid You say that but he hasn’t scored a prem goal since 2014 and only 8 assists from last two seasons. Price is cheap at the mo but not worth considering Jones who is cheaper?

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