Author Archives: FantasyYIRMA

Written By @NiallHawthorne

You may be astonished to learn that this writer is in fact a supporter of Liverpool Football Club. I know, I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock.

I had never witnessed my team lose five consecutive league games at Anfield, until this week. All this comes just a year after I saw the greatest Liverpool team of my lifetime capture a league title with the highest points total in the clubs’ history.

That’s bonkers.

It does teach us a very valuable life lesson though: Cherish the good times when they happen.

Too often when we find things going our way, we waste that time worrying about how we can make things better. I finished in the top 20k last season in FPL, and spent weeks bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t finish higher, couldn’t crack the top 10k. This season I can’t crack the top million, and I look back now and realise how good I had it.

Whether it’s in life, FPL or following the trials and tribulations of your football team, cherish the good times because you never know when they’ll be gone, possibly for good.

Onto GW27!

Defender: Lucas Digne, Everton

Clearly you should have at least one Manchester City defensive asset this week as they play twice and don’t really concede goals anymore, so I’m assuming that you have your Pep Guardiola voodoo doll ready to stick pins into as he breaks your FPL heart with nary a thought for your mental health, the monster.

Lucas Digne is someone you should consider squeezing in alongside those City players. In just 19 appearances this season he has 8 assists and 4 clean sheets, including three on the spin heading into GW27. While his fixture away to Chelsea looks tricky, Thomas Tuchel’s men have failed to score more than once in their last three appearances.

Tuchel against Ancelotti in a Top Four tussle could mean that goals are rarer than a Covid vaccine in a EU country.

*sigh*

Midfielder: Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur

If there’s a chance, even the smallest tiniest chance, that the ‘old’ Gareth Bale is back then I defy you to give me a single reason why we all shouldn’t have him in our team immediately.

The signs are there. His performance against Burnley last week was bordering on vintage Bale. With Bruno Fernandes being deprived of penalties, and consequently Manchester United starting on one of their ‘Ole runs’ a swap from Bruno to Bale could be the masterstroke you require to win your mini-leagues and the admiration of all your peers (or be mocked mercilessly for being a damn fool).

Forward: Michail Antonio, West Ham United

Consecutive returns from fixtures against Spurs and Manchester City is ample evidence that Antonio should be firmly on your forward radar once more.

While he can be infuriatingly injury-prone (he’s missed nine league games this season) he has started eight of the last nine games.

This week he faces the ever-welcoming Leeds United defence who have conceded 44 goals this season, with only West Brom having a worst defensive record. More on that later.

Captain: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

While you know that you’re going to be uttering Pep’s name in less than complementary terms this week, you must have KDB this week, surely?

A Manchester Derby that he’s nailed on to start, followed by a Southampton side that have developed a penchant for taking a walloping, this is the week when you stick KDB in and pray to all your Gods that Pep plays ball.

Oh, and he’s owned by less than 15% of players, which is stark raving bonkers if you think about it.

Outsider: Kyle Bartley, West Bromwich Albion

Stop laughing, I’m deadly serious!

Two clean sheets in his last three and this week he faces a Newcastle United side that have all their attackers injured (except for Joelinton but does he even count?) and Steve Bruce is picking on little Matt Ritchie on the training ground.

Big Sam needs a win here and the first step to winning a crucial relegation six-pointer is not to concede.

Your move….

Fantasy Football Preview: Doubles, Doubles and More Doubles

Double Gameweek 25: Official Fantasy Premier League

FPL GW24 Preview

Written by @NiallHawthorne

This past week has been difficult as yet another lockdown drags on interminably in my part of the world, and most likely in yours too. It seems clear to me that people are getting tetchy, cranky and downright moody, not just at the COVID restrictions, but at anything and everything they see.

Be kind, people.

If you think a certain football manager is bitchy to reporters, there may be a reason behind it. If you think that dancing nurses or police officers are a disgrace because they should be working 24/7 instead, keep your scathing criticism of front-line heroes to yourself. If you think that Pep is an absolute tool because he benches your Double Game Week Captain at least once this week, then bite your tongue and…..actually, no, that’s allowed. The swine!

Onto GW24!

Defender: Ben Mee, Burnley

Two games this week for the Burnley centre-half, as he faces a Zaha-less Crystal Palace and a Fulham side who have blanked three times in four games. There’s a cracking chance that Ben Mee records two clean sheets and nods one in from a corner.

Owned by 4.3% of the now EIGHT MILLION teams in FPL, he could be a real differential for you. Or me. No, not Mee, me. Yes, me. Or you, with Mee. No, not with me, with Mee. Yes, you.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

So which Manchester City midfielder will play 180 minutes this week and score the most points?

Sterling? Gundogan? Foden?

This is the ultima Pep Roulette round. We’re all going to have the defensive City asset and whoever gets the midfield asset bet to pay off will be rewarded with green arrows.

I’m plumping for Raheem Sterling myself. He’s got half the ownership of Ilkay Gundogan so that could help if you go against the tide. Four goals and an assist in his last five starts, and when you see Sterling tapping in from a yard out, you know he’s the right Man City man for your team. Even he can’t miss from there.

Forward: Patrick Bamford, Leeds United

When you select a player for your side in FPL and watch him trotting around the pitch barely trying a leg, it’s a bit frustrating, isn’t it?

You won’t get that with Big Pat Bamford though. He picks himself in FPL and plays like it. That’s good enough for me.

Captain: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United

Bruno will score more points in a single game than any DGW player this week.

That’s a bold statement, but one I firmly believe. West Bromwich Albion are as weak defensively at The Hawthorns as I am when arguing with the missus at, err, The Hawthorne’s. Shambolic, nonsensical and a bit pathetic. And as for West Brom…

24 goals conceded by The Baggies in their last six home games, and they now face the deadliest FPL asset in the game. I might even Triple Captain him y’know.

Outsider: Allan Saint-Maximin

Some may say that the injury to Callum Wilson spells the death-knell for Newcastle United this season, but where some see problems, I see opportunity.

It’s now time for the other attacking Toon assets to step up, and the 2.4% £5.1m ASM could be well worth a punt for the next few weeks.

Your move…

Fantasy Football Gameweek 23 Review: And Much More Important Things

Fantasy Football Gameweek 23: Brighton, United and a Southampton Defender?!

The Fantasy Review – Lads, Poopers and Lingard

FPL GW22 REVIEW – Written by @JackAGoodwin

It’s been a minute since we spoke. Since, I’ve ventured into writing about wrestling for Inside The Ropes. I’ve been positive with Covid and then fortunately recovered. I’ve spent a couple weeks in the top 10k of FPL only for my team to collapse following a poorly timed Wildcard.

Needless to say, it’s been eventful.

But you guys, smashing through GW’s quicker than Martial can hit the deck just thinking about contact! What are we up to now? GW22? Madness.

ED: Ladies & Gentlemen… Jack’s Back

Double Decadence

No, not the fantastic, beautiful, long-lost double crusted delight from Domino’s Pizza. But Double-Digit Dudes (copyrighting that, it feels right). 8 Players bagged double figures in GW22.

A 17-point haul for United pair Fernandes & Wan-Bissaka. This was Bruno’s 9th double digit haul of the season, AWB only his first in a steady season so far for the right back.

Just behind with 15 points was United fall guy Jesse Lingard who on his Hammers debut smashed home 2 goals. For just £5.9m and a couple tasty fixtures incoming it could be a punt to take (but only do so if Niall tells you it’s right).

Also on 15 was the ever-present Leicester defender James Justin, a whopping 28% of managers owns him so this was expected. He grabbed his 2nd goal of the season after a couple of blank GW’s. Fixtures are wavy at best though.

Martial grabbed 13pts with 2 goals (after blanking the last 5 GW’s), Brighton’s Alzate oddly scored 11 (I know, who!) and Maddison with yet again more returns took home 11pts in Leicester’s win over Fulham.

Last but not least, it was Palace’s Riedewald (only £4.4m and 0.9% owned) with 10pts after his goal against Newcastle. His game time is as rare as a day without a running update from Ryan, so it’s pretty rare indeed!

ED: Following a consistent knee problem, I had to take 3 days off running to try and let it recover. 3 Dark Days. I appreciate that information is not why you’re here, so if it’s of interest check out the FantasyYIRMA Running Blog over at….. nahhhh i’m not that bad (yet)

Point Poopers

The guys you love to hate. The ones who crapped all over your GW’s. The scum, FPL scum (for this GW). 7 players. SEVEN PLAYERS scored MINUS figures this GW. Yes you guessed it, Arsenal and Southampton.

Leading from the back it’s Bednarek. -7 points. MINUS SEVEN. The 10% owned Saints midfielder had one of the worst GW’s on record after he scored an own goal in the 9-0 drubbing at the hands of Man United, but that’s not all folks! Chuck in a red card! What. A. Day.

Fellow Saints defenders Ramsay and Stephens took home -3 points after the 9 goals conceded plus a yellow card each. Joined in the -3 point club by Arsenal villain David Luiz after his controversial red card against Wolves.

On level -2 we see Saints pair Bertrand and Jankewitz just behind Bernd Leno who after his red took home a cool -1 point for his 8.5% owners.

Return of The Lads

Form is everything in FPL, some pick it up, some drop it and fumble it all over the place until suddenly your in the Championship and still called Josh King.

Here’s a few select lads from GW22 who rose from the depths of poor form.

Hey lads, remember Dominic Calvert-Lewin? Last seen scoring against Burnley in GW11, he now has the baby-faced James Rodriguez delivering finesse all over the pitch again. DCL (as we love to call him because his name is annoyingly long) finally found the net once again after that 8 game barren period. United, City AND Liverpool in their next 4 matches…Unlikely you’re bringing him in.

It’s been 6 games since Marcus Rashford scored, now I know it was a weird result, but he looked sharp! A goal and an assist in the 9-0 win, they have a favorable next 3 games, but will you risk bringing him in now?

Wolves Joao Moutinho scored his first goal of the season and took home literally his first FPL returns of the season. After 7 assists last season, is this the revival of his 19/20 form? Or a blip in the Matrix. All I know is Wolves boss Nuno Santo looks a bit like Morpheus. Do with that what you will.

King of the screamers, Jonjo Shelvey is back! Scoring his first goal of the season against Palace. After his first assist last GW, is this a sign of a more attacking threat coming from Toon Dr Evil?

Form, Form & More Form

Some can’t be ignored, for good reason. Here are some of your top in-form players and how they got on this GW.

West Brom’s Matheus Pereira is arguably the most in form in the League, this apparently didn’t faze Sheffield who shut him out for the 1-point return. With Spurs and Man United up next are you prepared to keep hold of him? He scored a total of 2 points in the reverse fixtures.

Ilkay Gundogan is on a mad one. Who many thought was a defensive midfield player is suddenly cracking out FPL returns more than we see bloody syringes on our FPL timelines (thanks Bhuna). An assist this GW against Burnley which was actually his first of the season only adds to his 7 goals so far. I still believe he is related to Jimmy Carr, but that debate is for another day.

6 clean sheets on the bounce is bound to grab FPL attention, so City defenders Stones, Dias, Cancelo and Zinchenko are hot right now – only Pep Roulette getting in the way! With Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Man United in the next 6 GW’s this will be the biggest test of their defense – MOST will stick with them, the attacking returns are just too attractive.

Finally I want to focus your attentions to Leeds midfielder, Raphinha. 4 goals 4 assists this season, half of which all coming in the last 3 GW’s alone. Including a goal this past GW against Everton. Leeds have kind fixtures, and with Bamford also firing it’s a great time to invest in the attack minded Prem newbies!

Differential Potential

Those FPL players who sit under 5% ownership but still returned! Are any of them worth looking at or was it just a one off like seeing the film Tenet, which, I guarantee if you decide to watch ever again in your life after first visit you may need to reconsider your life entirely – horrendous. Anyway…

1.5% owned Jesse Lingard, £5.9m, 15 point return on his West Ham debut. Invest.

4% owned Gabriel Jesus. Yeah, 2 goals in as many games but has the worlds most punchable face. Bin him.

0.6% owned Leandro Trossard from Brighton is (ironically) one of the only bright sparks in the squad. At just £5.7 he is slowly picking up form with the key assist in the win over Liverpool just after the goal scored to beat Spurs last GW. Coming up he has Burnley, Villa, Palace and West Brom. Real tempting to bring him in for those, an attack minded midfielder who if Brighton are going to score, he will be involved.

Billy Sharp? McTominay? Pepe? Benrahma? If you transfer these IN this week (and got this far in the review to even see this note) and they have attacking FPL returns in GW23 I will personally mail you some exclusive FPL stickers in the post. THAT’S how confident I am that they suck (in FPL).

Jack’s Final Fort (thought, but Northern)

Manchester United and Manchester City have confirmed that they’re up for the battle of not just Manchester this season. Leaving London (and Scouseland) in the dust for now.

Will it maintain? Most likely not, the biggest test for the Blue side of Mannie is this weekend against Liverpool who themselves are teetering on being out of the race after 2 defeats on the bounce.

GW22 we had FOUR 2-1 results, FOUR clean sheets and one being a record equaling 9-0. We saw “top six” Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs drop points whilst Sheffield continue their fight to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.

Next week I predict….Villa to beat Arsenal, United drop points to Everton and Liverpool to finally pick it up a gear with a win over Man City – but I’ll leave Niall to work out how they’ll go about doing so!

Tata for now.

Written by @JackAGoodwin

Written by Mr. @NiallHawthorne

Another GW?

Already?

Oh, for the love of….alright, let’s see what sense we can make of the upcoming games which by my calculations are kicking off before the last week have finished, or that’s how it seems. I know we started the league season a bit later than before, but I didn’t realise we had to make up three months in less than three weeks.

Onto GW22!

Defender: Luke Shaw, Manchester United

Three clean sheets for Luke Shaw in his last four league starts for Manchester United, and this week he’s coming up against a Southampton side woefully out of form. I mean, really out of form. Their most in-form player is Stuart Armstrong and there are about 55 active FPL players with a higher form rating than him.

The menace has been taken out of the Southampton attack since Ings returned from his bout of COVID. Che Adams was benched at the weekend, and Theodore Walcott has picked up an injury.

This should be a straightforward home win for Manchester United as they try to regain their January title in February.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish, Aston Villa

It’s only when you study things in FPL that you realise that we’re seeing some serious anomalies that are flying under the radar.

Did you know that Aston Villa have played eight of their last eleven league games away from home? No, seriously, that’s 8/11 away from Villa Park. Obviously, that’s caused by postponements of two home games, but it may taint our perception of their form.

I fancy Jack Grealish to relish some home comforts this week as they face West Ham who have been cleaning up a massive nosebleed that they suffered after climbing so high up to last weekend. The interview with David Moyes ahead of their clash with a wobbling Liverpool was telling, as he categorically denied that his bang in-form team could even try and compete with a side shorn of every defender to don the LFC kit since Alan Hansen retired.

Villa don’t strike me as having that kind of inferiority complex, and I reckon they’ll take the fight to the Hammers from the off. Grealish has 24 and 15 points at home already this season.

Forward: Roberto Firmino, Liverpool

Liverpool will pick their side for this game with one eye on the tantalising home game against Manchester City in GW23, so this must be considered this week.

Mo Salah played the full match while destroying West Ham United so could be rested, and while the injury to Sadio Mane is described as ‘minor’, there’s a fair chance that he won’t be risked. Therefore, Bobby Firmino looks the logical choice to spearhead the attack against Brighton this midweek. He’s fresh off a goal in GW20 and assist in GW21 and Liverpool have rediscovered their swagger in recent weeks. If they can secure two home wins this week then we’re going to have a title-race on our hands.

Captain: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Bruno Fernandes is tempting, for reasons outlined above. If Mo Salah starts, he could do naughty, naughty things. However, I’m plumping for the rested Raheem Sterling as Manchester City travel to Turf Moor on a cold and wet Wednesday night.

The traditionalist in me thinks this is a real ‘put it up ‘em’ test for Pep’s men, but history and form has shown that it’s likely to be nothing of the sort. City’s last two visits to flat-cap land have seen them romp home 4-1 and 3-0 victors, and in the kind of form they are currently showing there’s no reason to see any other kind of result.

Outsider: Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has moved into Stamford Bridge and is treating his squad like we treat hotel rooms when we first drop our bags – we switch everything on, open every drawer and door, and peruse what channels are ‘free’. Ahem.

Antonio Rudiger has started the last four league games for Chelsea and has three clean sheets to show for it. 1.1% and £4.5m? It would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

Your move…

Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 21 – Arsenal, Leicester and Fulham

Written by Mr. @NiallHawthorne

If you’re like me and struggling with FPL in this madcap season, I observed something this week that made me realise that it’s perfectly acceptable to deviate from the ‘norm’ and see the game or even the world in a different way. (This does not apply to anti-vaxxers though, they’re just morons).

My son was on his school Zoom call and his teacher was running a scavenger hunt, where she would name something that the kids would need to find in their home and hold up in front of the camera. She said, ‘right shoe’ and all my son’s classmates took off their shoes to wave at teacher. My son calmly scribbled something on a piece of paper, his shoelaces remaining firmly tied. Puzzled, I stopped to see what he was doing, and then I saw it.

He wrote ‘shoe’ on his paper and held it up to the camera.

I’m still trying to work out if that means he’s going to grow up to be Albert Einstein or Danny Dyer, but either way it reminded me that we all don’t see things in the same way. Throw blueprints and templates out of the window, take a -4 or -8 if you feel like it, and leave £8m in the bank because you don’t want to spend it.

Onto GW21!

Defender: Oleksandr Zinchenko, Manchester City

As Manchester City start their cruise to another Premier League title, their defence has been sensational in recent weeks. Just two goals conceded in their last eleven games is sensational form and makes a City defender a must have.

As per my intro to this week’s column, I’m going to try and do things differently, and therefore I’m plucking for the 0.4% owned Zinchenko ahead of Dias, Cancelo and Stones. A home game to Sheffield United is a slam dunk easy home win with a clean sheet nailed on too. Sheffield United are rock bottom and absolute bobbins. No team leading the league would lose at home to them!

Midfielder: James Maddison, Leicester City

I tipped Raheem Sterling for the midweek games, and an eleven-point haul duly followed. You’re welcome.

This week Leicester City welcome Leeds United to the King Power Stadium, as they try and continue their title charge following a hard-fought point at Everton in midweek. Maddison has been in sensational form recently, and in the absence of Jamie Vardy in the short term, he’ll be looking to step up.

While Leeds have three clean sheets in recent weeks, they came against Burnley, West Brom and Brighton, so….y’know. The attacking threat posed by Leicester City should be a totally different ball game here, and Maddison will be leading the charge.

Forward: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

I do wish Arsenal would make up their mind as to what they are this season. Banter club or top four bankers? Is Arteta the man to lead them to the glory land, or a Fraudiola acolyte? Is their defence bobbins or rock solid?

While youngsters Saka and Smith-Rowe have been grabbing headlines, the oft-derided Alexandre Lacazette has been quietly notching eight goals already this season and is now leading the line in the absence of Aubameyang.

A home game against January Premier League Champions Manchester United awaits this weekend in a fixture that could answer some questions, but in all likelihood, will throw up many more.

Captain: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton

Seven games without a goal in the league for DCL, but he scored eleven in eleven before that, and he’s playing Newcastle United this weekend. Everton sit in seventh position right now but if they win their two games in hand on those above them, could be joint-third and a point behind Manchester United.

Normally even making a point like that would mean instant derision and giggling in my direction, but Everton are managed by Don Carlo Ancelotti, so they cannot be taken lightly.

DCL to bag a brace. You read it here first.

Outsider: Bobby Decordova-Reid, Fulham

Owned by just 1% of players, under £6m and away to Big Sam’s West Bromwich Albion who have a home defensive record as impressive as Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson’s handling of a global pandemic.

Shambolic.

Your move…

Fantasy Football GW20 Preview: Leeds, United and Chelsea

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