I still remember posting the first FantasyYIRMA.com Preview – August 17th – 2012. I still remember forgetting to tag it. I still remember not knowing how to use the wordpress platform, I still remember not knowing how to change the bloody font colour and I still remember being absolutely delighted when 20 people read the post.
There is no doubt that FPL and Fantasy Football in general has evolved across the years and to a certain extent so has FantasyYIRMA. The concept however in the beginning was to provide content about a topic I enjoyed and to create and build engagement. That concept is still the same today and I like to think that over the years we’ve stayed true to that.
I am not sure if 200 consecutive previews is technically a milestone or not, but it feels like one. I would like to personally thank regular Preview Writers Mark Jones (2012-15) Craig Hazell (2015-2017) and John Wallin (2017-Present) for their time, content and support of the project.
I am extremely proud of the fact that our content has been viewed from all corners of the Globe and provided opportunities to work with the likes of FourFourTwo, Copa90 and quite literally 100’s of other publications.
Thank you to everyone over the years for the support, engagement and interaction – Pleasure to be part of it and a privilege to have met some fantastic people along the journey.
Ryan @FantasyYIRMA #FY200
Gameweek 10 Preview: Fantasy Premier League #FPL
Written by John Wallin @FantasyGaffer
The 200th edition of the FPL Preview is finally here! This milestone doesn’t belong to any one person – with authors Mark and Craig having written the column for long stretches before I made a late substitute. The points already largely in the bag, like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain I’m just on to remind everyone what an excellent use of funds I’ve been and to try and not get sent off for anything stupid. As a lovely little reward for your near obsequious adoration of this, now officially, “time-honored tradition” we’ve included a few ‘back when I was a boy’ (BWIWAB) recollections of big-time performers from the more than five years that the column has run.
Defender: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea
Last week it was Alonso promised and Dave delivered, stretching his total point lead to 13 over his clubmate. With a goal and four assists already, Azpilicueta is on pace to best his career highs in goals (2) and FPL assists (6) while having benefitted from only three Chelsea CS in nine attempts. Let us not forget this side posted 11 on the spin just a year ago. Add to that: Bournemouth have scored just three home goals (from 4 matches) and six goals total. The only squad worse in either category is Crystal Palace. Not company you want to keep.
BWIWAB: WTF ever happened to Leighton Baines? Back in 2010/11 the Toffee defender posted a five goal, 11 assist campaign which saw him end the year priced £8.1. We weren’t around then, so how about his 2012/13 season when he hit 5g, 7a and added 11 cleansheets with 24 bonus points? His 177 pts and £7.8 final price both rate 2nd all-time for the England leftback.
Midfielder: Mohamed Salah / Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool
In fairness, I’ve had to sell Coutinho in order to keep Firmino / Kane / Jesus up front, but owning and starting a trio of Liverpool attackers is certainly possible and, likely, profitable. A preferred trio would include Sadio Mane but he’s injured (had you heard? Apparently Senegal had not). Klopp will not be shown up by his “American” doppelganger and Huddersfield will be playing the part of Maribor this weekend.
BWIWAB: There was a time when Yaya Toure’s omission from Ballon d’Or conversations was maddening for any fervent supporters of the game. In 2013/14 the Ivory Coast international was a force at Club Level and FPL managers reaped the reward. 20 goals. 9 assists. 15 cleansheets. 34 BAPS. 241 total points. And he finished the year priced £10.6 having spent all of the previous year in the low £8’s.
Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United
This is really just a pick to make 54.1% of you feel good about that £11.7 investment you’ve made. Of course, Big Rom has blanked only twice this season and those at Liverpool and home to Leicester. For all the talk of Liverpool being outclassed last weekend, and they were, it was not the Spurs defensive midfield and back four that did the trick, allowing a typically wasteful LFC forward line ample chances to keep it close. Lukaku doesn’t miss those chances. While you’ll likely favor Kane in his matchup against Victor Lindelof (and no one will fault you for it), it is Kane who is capable of being overshadowed by a team of equally skilled peers. For United, it’s Lukaku or bust.
BWIWAB: There was a time when Wayne Rooney was a staple of many FPL sides. In fact, his £12+ price tag in 2006/07 helped set the standard. When he broke the 12m plateau in 09/10 and 11/12 he justified the price with 224pt and 230pt returns, respectively. It was his 2011/12 season with 27 goals and 8 assists (as United kept 18 CS) that he set his person best with 230 total points. Remarkably, the 37 BPS he had that year are just 3rd on his list, trailing 38 in 2013/14 (17g, 12a) and 46 in 2009/10 (26g, 6a). Hit or miss now, depending entirely on his goal production, Rooney was the player the eldest among us remember trying to fit into the squad.
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
I wanted to badly to #AlwaysCaptainKun and be done with it, but the City hitman played 120′ in the midweek match with Wolves. West Brom may not compare favorably to the Championship side tbh, but the City man has to be fatigued. With Kane facing United and Liverpool already well-represented, we’re going with the aggressor-in-chief. Alexis is back. Swans are awful and now without Martin Olsson. This game could be brutally one-sided. And I’ve exhausted my hyphen quota with several paragraphs remaining. Not good.
BWIWAB: Hey remember LAST YEAR when Alexis Sanchez was unconscionably rated a midfielder then scored 24 goals with 11 assists (and 32 BPS!!). It might not have been as good as Gareth Bale being rated a defender all those many years ago, but the points came in bunches and leaving the armband on the Chile international rarely backfired.
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
Brady (2.1%) and Championship Fantasy Darling™ Matt Richie will face off in a battle of not-quite-dominant midfielders Monday Night. It is the home player who has had fewer reasons to celebrate this season, notching just two assists and no goals, and Brady owners will want him to turn on the faucet this week or show him the exit. Mixed metaphors are the cat’s knees. Not the best is that much of Brady’s promise ( as we see it) came from a campaign when he scored just three goals with four assists in 2984. You know what – I’ve talked myself right out of it. It’s Wilfried Zaha (3.8%!!!!) priced just £6.7M. Get him in now!
BWIWAB: The list of Outsiders to come good is long and storied. In fact, it’s difficult to remember all the names. Half-season wonders like Riyad Mahrez sometimes turn into full-season wonders like Riyad Mahrez. Others remain Roque Santa Cruz for the rest of their days. With his name back in the news, it seems appropriate to mention Wilfred Bony whose 2013/14 season (17g, 4a, 21 BPS, £7.3 final price) was parlayed into a lucrative job sitting on Man City’s bench. His return to Swans this season generated enough irrational FPL fervor to power a small town, but for all the commotion, his body remains, firmly, not in motion.
Draft: Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
Look sometimes these guys are the same guy in both games – you get what you pay for, so to speak. In the case of Wilfried Zaha that is simply not true. In draft you get everything you see on the pitch turned into glorious fantasy production. His take-ons, crosses, key passes, shots on target and, yes, assists and goals all factor into Zaha’s massive potential. He is likely not available in your draft league but if you’re playing in a daily format, a salary-cap game like OFPL or have the chance to get him in draft stop reading and go do it. Now!
BWIWAB: Togga is only in its fourth season and has seen some massive performances from both expected and unexpected sources. But it is Dusan Tadic and his penchant for 3-assist matches like the trio of helpers in the May 2016 win over Manchester City that secured the Saints man #legend status in the draft format. Chance creators are always favored to score big, and when they have those turned into assists your opponent’s best chance is to snatch the ball and run home. Inconsistent? Most certainly. Incorrigible? Unfortunately. Questionable? Never.