Friday 21 December 2012

Buying Guide: The Busy Christmas Period

Before getting started on this week's guide I just want to give a plug to my Christmas Competition this week.  Correctly guess the number of shots on target in this weekend's games to win a truly wonderful coffee mug.

I have altered the framework for this week's buying guide.  We'll soon be able to use our winter wildcards so any transfers in at this point do not need to be any longer for a few weeks.  I have altered the model to give me projected points for the next 4 gameweeks only - GW18, 19, 20 and 21.  For this reason I will not update this guide until GW21/22 although I will do the Captain Rankings and Select XI.  After GW21 is over it's open season and wildcards will come into play which will require a whole new Buying Guide.

GW19 - Postponed Games
Due to the Tube strike in London the Arsenal vs. West Ham game is called off on Boxing Day:  The way the points forecast model works  this will significantly reduce the value of players from these two teams, notably Cazoral, Walcott, et al.

Nothing crazy to add to to this week Forward picks reallly.  Berbatov is slipping down the model's rating but he's still hanging in there.  I wouldn't buy him personally at this point but I do own him and am certainly keeping hold through 'till the new year.   Van Persie and Aguero are both projected to top score out of the big hitters.  It's worth mentioning too that Torres and Rooney are only a smidge behind so I've included them both in the tables.

As an alternative pick, Benteke and Everton's Steven Naismith are interesting options - both cheapish with very low ownership.  Benteke obviously grabbed a lot of attention last week with 2 goals and an assist away at Liverpool.  Naismith will benefit from gametime for Everton with Fellaini suspended but the team may miss his presence up front, especially with Mirallas still a doubt.   

Le Fondre is Reading's top goal scorer, and whilst his benching against Arsenal may be a tactical move that is repeated against City this weekend he still has 3 good looking fixtures after that.  Weimann is in a similar boat although his place will be under threat from Agbonglahor (muscle strain, return TBC).

Top Overall Points
Van Persie, Aguero, Berbatov

Top Elite (>£9m)
Van Persie, Aguero, Suarez

Top Midpriced (£7.5-£9m)
Ba, Defoe, Jelavic

Top Low Priced (£6-7.5m)
Berbatov, Benteke, Fletcher

Top Budget (<£6m)
Le Fondre, Weimann, Naismith,

Top Differential (<5% owned)
Le Fondre, Kone, Benteke

Top Rotation (<£6.5m, 2 best fixtures)
Lukaku, Le Fondre, Lambert

Bale is not certain to return for Spurs (but is likely) in time for their home clash with Stoke in GW18 so there's no rush to bring him in this week for what it is not likely to be a high scoring fixture anyway,  With Cazorla and Walcott both missing 1 of the 4 Christmas fixtures they are excluded making way for Mata and/or Hazard to grab top spot in the forecast.  They are neck and neck in terms of the modelled parameters so I'd suggest Mata of the two due to lower ownershipp and better formMichu remains top pick, and he has now entered the elite price bracket (>£8m). 

There are not a lot of outstanding options in the mid to lower price brackets.  Puncheon is a great player at his price and is punching well above his weight (cringe).  Nasri and Dempsey make interesting differential options although both are far from offering value or any certainty. confidence.
Top Points Overall
Michu, Bale, Mata/Hazard

Top Elite (>£8m)
Michu, Bale, Mata/Hazard, Silva

Top Midprice (£6.5-8m)
Yaya, Pienaar, Lennon

Top Low Price (£5.5-6.5m)
Walters, Sterling, Duff

Top Budget (<£5.5m)
Routledge, Dyer, Puncheon

Top Differential (<5% owned)
Nasri, Lennon, Dempsey

Top Rotation (<£6.5m and 2 best fixtures)
Gomez, Walters, Sterling

Tottenham's Vertonghen got his first mention in this guide last week and duly scored and picked up a clean sheet in their game against Swansea.  He has now moved up from a outside option to one of the top three, alongsidede City pair Zabaleta and Clichy.   Baines and Glen Johnson both suffer drops down the rankings as do United and Arsenal's players, the latter due to the missed game in GW19.
Top Points Overall
Zabaleta, Clichy, Vertonghen

Top Elite (>£6m)
Vertonghen, Baines, Walker

Top Midprice (£5.5-6m)
Zabaleta/Clichy/Nastasic, Enrique

Top Low Price (£5-5.5m)
Gallas, Distin, Olsson

Top Budget (<£5m)
Clark, Cameron, Rangel

Top Differential (<5% owned)
Zabaleta, Vertonghen, Johnson



  1. Really good stuff. Why no Chelsea defenders in the model since they're 3rd in your projected defense over the next 6?

  2. That's a really good question. The answer is that these projections are over the next 4 games until GW22 when Wildcards can be played. Chelsea rank 5th over this 4wk period. Ivanovic is their highest ranked player and would be in between Distin and Enrique for points.