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I type these words on the final day of 2020. It can sod off forever.

I also type these words as matches are being postponed with just three hours’ notice, so Caveat Emptor and all that. (No, he doesn’t play right back for Fulham, it means buyer beware). Just rest assured that if matches are called off lastminute.com that my tip would have absolutely smashed it.

Onto GW17!

Written by @NiallHawthorne

Defender: Ezgjan Alioski, Leeds United

Casuals among you may not realise this but last year’s Lord Lundstram has been replaced by this year’s Stuart ‘JR’ Dallas, a cheap defender playing way up the pitch and delivering goals, assists and clean sheets aplenty.

However, I’m here to get you ahead of the game, so I’m pointing you towards the other rampaging defender in this hilariously fun Leeds United team, the North Macedonian international has two goals and five clean sheets since cementing his spot from GW8 onwards.

He’s £0.3m cheaper and has an ownership of 12% less than his Southfork dwelling mate.

This week they play Spurs at lunchtime on Saturday. Spurs have developed a nasty habit of forgetting that they’re allowed score more than once in a game, with Harry Kane on a run of three blanks. That’s probably because he’s now dropping so deep he’s wearing the keeper’s gloves.

Midfielder: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton

The man. The myth. The legend.

Many of us fondly remember the Gylfi Sigurdsson who plundered nine goals and 13 assists in one season, or the Gylfi Sigurdsson who romped home with thirteen goals and six assists in another season.

He may be back, and only 1.8% of FPL players own him. He also costs less than £7m and faces a West Ham side looking decidedly ‘Moyesey’ in recent weeks. Carlo Ancelotti has found a role for Sigurdsson further up the pitch.

Time to jump on the bandwagon?

Forward: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

This pick is based on the one certain rule of football and FPL:

The game after a goalkeeper has an unexpected worldie, he’s going to turn to jelly the very next game.

Karl Darlow was sensational against Liverpool, much to this writer’s chagrin, but I reckon Vardy will be off his face on Blue WKD and Smarties after being benched last time out and will haul. Bigly.

Captain: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United

Ten goals. Eight assists. Seven double digit hauls. All in just fifteen appearances. It’s outrageous really. Manchester United are in a title fight, much to the astonishment of absolutely everyone.

So, I’m doing what any principled FPL writer that supports Liverpool would do. I’m tipping him as Captain in the firm hope that my quite astonishing FPL juju this season rubs off on him. If it works I’m tipping him as Captain every damn week.

Send all complaints to FantasyYIRMA, FantasyYIRMA towers, Bite Me Boulevard, Co. Kiss My Arse. Postcode: L0 5ER

Outsider: Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal

Martinelli is the big hope down at the Emirates, and has been for quite some time. For me, he’s the undiscovered diamond in FPL. Costing just £4.9m and owned by less than 1% (including yours truly), he has started the last two matches, and is a forward categorised as a midfielder on FPL in my eyes. At the very least he’s an enabler for your squad, but I reckon he could be what many idiots (including yours truly) thought Rhian Brewster was going to be.

Your move….

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com

Fantasy Football: Liverpool, Leeds and WBA

I hope everybody had a peaceful and joyous Christmas, except Sam Allardyce.

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Onto GW16!

Defender: Charlie Taylor, Burnley

Burnley only tend to concede large amounts of goals when they feel they are the inferior team. They shipped three against Chelsea, five against Manchester City and three against, err, Newcastle United.

Apart from that they’re a solid defensive FPL option having conceded just three goals in seven league games (excluding the City game).

In short what I’m saying is Burnley are like Nelson Muntz. They can pick on the smaller kids, but can get their ass whomped by Jimbo Jones.

This week they face Sheffield United, aka Martin Prince. HaHa!

Cheer up Charlie, this is your golden ticket to a clean sheet!

Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool

On the third day of Christmas, Sadio gave to you nine FPL points thanks to his goal and bonus points against West Bromwich Albion.

This followed his nine FPL points before Christmas which ended his ‘drought’. We are truly living in biblical times, eh?

Form is temporary and class is permanent. Sadio Mane will always be class, and he likes playing at St James’s Park where he will be on the sixth day of Christmas. Instead of six geese-a-laying, I predict he’ll deliver at least 6 points-a-playing.

Forward: Patrick Bamford, Leeds United

I know that most people would be expecting to see the name of Harry Kane here as they face Fulham at home, but Fulham are undefeated in four with only two conceded. Spurs may face a harder game than most anticipate.

So, I’m plumping for Patrick Bamford against the Baggies, who have just come away from Anfield with a point. However, that’s the third game where West Brom have taken points against one of the ‘Big 6’ and after each of the previous two games, they got spanked. After a point against Chelsea, Southampton mullered ‘em. After a point against Man City, Villa mullered ‘em.

Plus, I really really want to see Big Sam’s face as Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics rip his side to shreds while he sits on a bucket and ‘posh boy’ Bamford runs amok.

Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers takes his side to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace, who have hilariously forgotten how to defend, and have now lost their best defender to injury in Gary Cahill.

That’s ten goals shipped in the last two matches and Leicester City possess one of the best away records in the division with six wins from seven trips on the road.

Vardy himself has a frankly ridiculous nine goals and three assists in those seven away matches. It’s almost like Premier League teams don’t realise that Vardy is most dangerous when the other side have the ball and lose it suddenly…

A Vardy Xmas/New Year Party is very much on the cards.

Outsider: Karlan Grant, West Bromwich Albion

Having said all the above, we live in Brexit times, and some good old fashioned British Bulldog Spirit from Sam Allardyce may well put a hole in Bielsa’s bucket.

Grant was a willing front runner at Anfield and perhaps should have scored in the second half, so the not-quite-watertight Leeds defence may get breached.

He’s owned by 0.0% of FPL players right now. You know what my record is like tipping players owned by nobody.

Your move….

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com

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Fantasy Football: Five Festive Hints

Fantasy Football GW14: Liverpool and Liverpool Apparently

Fantasy Football: Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle Make the FPL Preview

Aguero Back For Man City? Not According to Ben Dinnery or Pep

Fantasy Football: Liverpool, Wolves and Newcastle Make The Preview

Fantasy Football Review: Double Digits for Liverpool’s Matip?!

Fantasy Football: Does Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino count as an Outside Pick?

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