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Fantasy Football: Forward Buying Guide Part 2

Many thanks to @soccersaber for this great Guest Post. New on the twitter scene, take a second to follow @soccersaber and check out his #FPL site at www.soccersaber.wordpress.com well worth a visit!

If you would like to submit a guestpost contact Ryan at FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com

GUEST POST: Fantasy Football:  Forward Buying Guide PART 2

to read part 1 click here!

 

Rickie Lambert – I love Rickie Lambert.  I have owned him longer than any forward besides Luis Suarez this year.  I enjoy watching him play and am happy to finally see him at the highest level of English football.  Lambert is a safe option, with solid but unspectacular shot numbers coupled with strong assist potential.  He’s a great budget buy and a good fit for those who can’t stomach the risk of other options such as Lukaku and Giroud.  Keep in mind though he is owned by a good amount of FPL teams and is most likely not a differential for those needing to gain.  Rating: BUY for risk averse and those in solid league positions

Too much of this Olivier

Olivier Giroud – The potential here is through the roof based upon shot numbers.  Giroud gets a ton of chances from close range and one would expect better goal numbers from the Frenchmen (check out that conversion percentage).  Watching him play, it’s clear to see that he misses a bunch of clear-cut chances which must make owning him absolutely infuriating.  Still though I’d much prefer the guy who gets chances versus the one who doesn’t, especially with such low ownership.  Rating: SPECULATIVE BUY for those needing upside

Christian Benteke – That Belgian national team has some potential, eh?  Benteke is an extremely gifted athlete and should be an exceptional player in time.  However, he is very young and struggles with the nuances of the game from time-to-time (e.g., he is very prone to offsides).  More importantly though are Benteke’s teammates.  Aston Villa is not good.  I have their attack rated above only Reading and Stoke.  To put it bluntly, Villa do not generate chances and Benteke’s production is limited because of it.  Rating: HOLD although I would much prefer Lukaku and Sturridge.

Arouna Kone – A bit surprising to some I suspect, but Kone is owned by no one and represents value and upside over the remaining options.  He’s not as physically overpowering as Benteke, but he plays for a substantially more potent attack.  You could make up substantial ground with Kone especially after GW29 when the fixture list improves.  Rating: SPECULATIVE BUY if chasing

Steven Fletcher – Fletcher can score without a doubt and Sunderland’s attack has been much improved over the past ten weeks or so.  However, they are still somewhat toothless and Fletcher’s relatively high ownership numbers limit his upside.  Don’t see the logic in choosing Fletcher over Lambert as they are similar in scope but Lambert is better and cheaper.  Rating: SELL

Papiss Cisse – I have included Cisse here as he has been a popular potential speculative buy on many message boards, especially since the transfers of Sissoko and Gouffran.  As you can see, the table above should put that speculation to rest.  Cisse simply doesn’t get on the end of enough attacks, even since the transfer window.  While I think he has more upside than the numbers above suggest, his price and low assist potential make him a non-option for me.  Rating: SELL

No wonder he is so lazy

Dmitiar Berbatov – I was infatuated with Berbatov early in the season.  However, Fulham’s attack has been impotent since the holidays and shows little signs of reviving.  The numbers above, while poor, tell only half the tale; Berbatov has just four shots on target in his last six matches.  Rating: SELL

CONCLUSION

Get yourself a Liverpool man (or two).  If you are chasing the leaders grab yourself Mr. Lukaku and Mr. Giroud, or, if desperate, Mr. Kone.  Don’t expect RVP to lead the world in fantasy points the remainder of the year, but keep your eye out for alternatives elsewhere in Manchester.  If you are leading you could do a lot worse than bringing in Rickie Lambert.  Whatever you do, don’t purchase  Berbatov, Cisse, or Fletcher.

Hope you enjoyed this.  I plan on providing similar evaluations periodically, although I hope most are much more succinct!  As always, comments and criticisms are very welcomed.

Wigan: Sticking up for the little guy

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Here in Britain we love a good sporting underdog, someone we can get behind and support even in the face of tremendous adversity.

Examples include Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, a quite spectacularly bad ski jumper who competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, as well as any number of British tennis players who have tried and failed to win Wimbledon over the years. If you’re lucky and you’ve plied them with just the right amount of alcohol, you can even get a supporter of one of Liverpool’s fierce rivals to admit that a hint of a smile crossed their face when Djimi Traore, Igor Biscan and the like were parading the European Cup around Istanbul after the Reds came back from the dead to beat AC Milan in 2005. They’ll later deny it of course.

All of those were one off, sometimes once in a lifetime moments though, but it seems as though we are a little less welcoming of our more regular underdogs.

Take Wigan Athletic, a club who have only been part of the league system in England for 34 years and come May will have spent the last eight of those years in the top flight. Theirs should be a heart-warming tale of the success of a locally-backed club from a town whose population could fit inside Wembley Stadium, but for many it isn’t.

Wigan ‘don’t deserve’ to be in the Premier League apparently, with their place supposedly blocking the path of other, ‘bigger’ clubs who haven’t produced the results, consistency or quality of football that the Latics have over their stay in the top flight.

Attendances at both home and away matches are often flagged up as one of the key reasons for this belief, with the latest example of it coming last Saturday when a low amount of Wigan fans made the trip to North London for what turned out to be a terrific 1-0 victory over Tottenham.

The same jokes were wheeled out as photographs of the away end at White Hart Lane did the rounds over social media, as fans of other clubs pointed out that they would of course have taken far more fans to such a big game, thereby proving that they were more deserving of a top flight place than Wigan. Jealousy could be detected in the words.

The fact that this was occurring just a couple of weeks after a survey into the price of football which led to many proposing a potential fan boycott of matches due to astronomical ticket prices was an irony apparently lost on many, but as Wigan received the same criticisms they always do off the pitch, on it Roberto Martinez and his team pulled off another spectacular result.

Last season it appeared certain that many football fans would get their wish to see Wigan return to ‘where they belong’ – perhaps to be replaced by the yo-yoing Birmingham or West Ham – but wins at Anfield, the Emirates Stadium and at home to Manchester United and Newcastle spectacularly turned that around, with this latest win at Tottenham coming off the back of a home victory over West Ham and really invigorating the campaign for Roberto Martinez and his men.

Since Wigan’s promotion to the Premier League in 2005 only the seven ever-presents in the 20 year history of the revamped league – namely Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – as well as Fulham and Manchester City have managed to stick around in the top flight with them, with plenty of other clubs falling away, yo-yoing between the leagues or never coming back up.

The Latics have had their moments when they’ve looked like joining them of course, but the fact that they haven’t is a curiously uncelebrated underdog story which still continues; a diverse story which includes characters such as Paul Jewell, David Unsworth, Emile Heskey, Charles N’Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega and of course Martinez himself.

There might be other heroes this season – Ben Watson, Franco di Santo or Arouna Kone perhaps – but even if there isn’t then surely it is high time to acknowledge this story, and pay tribute to an underdog who can produce a pretty fierce bite.

Every dog has its day, and Wigan have had eight years’ worth of them.

Isn’t that achievement worth celebrating, no matter how many people are watching?

@Mark_Jones86

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