It’s been quite a ride, this past Fantasy Premiere League season, and now that the final week is here, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Rather than “What the Hell Have I Done?” I’m feeling this week a bit of “What the Hell DO I DO NOW?”
Without stats to obsess over all summer, without numbers to crunch, games to analyze and mad decisions to ponder, I won’t know what to do with my free time. So, it’s best to make the most out of the last week of the season and try to come out on top.
Sadly, last week’s move did not go so well. Picking up Patrice Evra for Johnny Evans worked out just fine, but a misplaced Captain’s armband burned me, and I find myself 16 points behind first place on the final day of the season in my most coveted league. I feel a bit like Manchester United, I think, looking more at my opponent and hoping he slips than worrying about my own efforts. But I have to put that aside and find a way to get through.
Interestingly, there are ways to get this done, I believe, and it turns out looking at my opponent is the right move after all, and should be yours as well.
Seriously, we all know who we are trying to catch on the last day, right?
Thankfully, the fantasy site itself will tell us how many moves they have made this week, and anyone in first place is likely to only have made his one free transfer this week. No one wants to give up first place by a margin of less than 4, having made two moves that week. But it’s good to look at their squad and see powerhouse players likely to sit on the bench in the final round.
Will Juan Mata see the field? Only from the sidelines is my guess.There is zero likelihood DiMatteo will risk his Spanish star for the last game of the domestic season against a relegated Blackburn side, with the champions league final just around the corner.
Clint Dempsey is also listed as injured, so that’s another player in my squad ahead likely to miss out. That squad also holds three defenders who are very unlikely to play in the personages of Danny Simpson and Johnny Evans (both ruled out for certain) and Jose Enrique.
After Daniel Agger’s performance at left back against Chelsea, I can see the Spaniard taking a seat as well this week. It’s likely my opponent made a defensive move to try and shore up his lead, and if he’s smart (and if you are in first in your league, you should do the same) he picked a defender I’m also carrying. The best way to protect a lead is to limit the number of differentials your opponent can field against you.
That’s why I have to find some differentials for myself. Dempsey’s last minute injury woes will help me here, as he’s been solid but useless to me, as he’s on both my squad and my opponent’s squad. Thus, Dempsey is off like a prom dress, but who should replace him?
My strategy this week is pretty simple, and much less mad than last weeks collection of lunacies.
To win it all, stick with the guys trying to win it all. There will be no collection of players this Sunday trying harder to win than the boys with a shot at winning it all. Manchester City squad members will literally be putting everything on the line to take home the trophy, and they’ll be doing it against a team that must win to survive in QPR. This match up should be full tilt for certain, and a 2-0 outcome is likely as City take the crown.
In the midfield, that leaves David Silva, useless due to lack of differential and either Samir Nasri or the hero and backbone of the team, Yaya Toure. Again, if you can take Silva financially, and he’s not on your opponents squad, I’d say do it. I don’t have that luxury, and I’m going with Toure on gut instinct. The heart of team wins it it’s title? We’ll see, I suppose.
And now comes the agonizing decision to spend money this week. At 16 points down, do I dare risk going to 20? Is one player worth that? To make it viable, you have to take a player who’ll put up at least 10 points? Who’s likely to do that this week? The best bets are Emmanuel Adebayor, who has had a sharp run of form lately, or perhaps Luis Suarez, though Liverpool now have next to nothing to achieve and aren’t even in a revenge match as they were last Tuesday night.
Still, I think these are the two best cash spending options this week, and worth considering.
The last move to be made is the armband. I handed it to Papiss Cisse last week, whilst my opponent went with RVP, a logical choice on his part, and possibly a fatal mistake on mine.
Will that same call burn me two weeks in a row? I still like Cisse’s chances against Everton, as they have all to play for and want some respect pretty desperately. While they’ve earned it no matter what this season, I think they have lots to play for as well this week. Sadly, so does RVP, and his match up looks better.
But the armband can make or break seasons, especially on the last day, so I may have to risk it and go with Cisse again this week. I honestly think I’ll change this about 18 times in the next 72 hours, or maybe just flip a coin.
Basically, it’s time to take a big risk and hope for the best. Sir Alex and I have something in common this week, it would seem. Just this once, on the off chance that my opponent reads these columns, I make keep you all in the dark until after it’s done…..
Naw, I’m just kidding. Of course I’ll tell you guys that I dropped Everton’s Jelavic and picked up Emmanuel Adebayor. Thus, I have what looks like possibly 5-6 differential players (depending on whether or not I start Antonio Valencia or Gylfi Siggurdson. yikes!).
Can I make up the ground? We’ll see in 4 days! Best of luck to all in the final week!