Category Archives: Fantasy Football

Fergie’s Fantasy: Crunch Time

Little Leighton feels comfortable at home....

Toffees and the Carling Cup Champs
We are heading into the home stretch and while I never, ever, recommend spending transfer money (maybe if you can’t field a starting 11 but even then it may not be worth spending four points), you have to start maximizing your weekly returns.  If you are watching the fixture list like a hawk, as you should be, then you have a spotted an opportunity.  Everton and Birmingham City both play twice this week so you should spend at least your free weekly transfer on a player from one of these teams.

Everton
Coming off a clean sheet last week, Everton’s defenders — as well as keeper Tim Howard — are pretty good bets. The Toffees are away to Newcastle and then home to Birmingham City.  Two of the top three fantasy performers on Everton are on the back line: Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman.  Baines gets lots of offensive points by being the primary corner and free-kick taker, along with making some decent runs down the left side.  He’s pricey but worth it.

More affordable and a bit of a fantasy rule-breaking grey area is Seamus Coleman. That’s because while he is listed in the game as a defender, he’s playing as a midfielder.  This means when he scores or gets a clean sheet, your team will be credited with more points than you normally would if he was listed correctly.

Saha may light up the league this week... if he can avoid the knock...

Up front, Everton also have a couple of in -orm strikers in Louis Saha and Jermaine Beckford. Beckford notched two goals last game to give him three in his last three games.  Saha came up empty but he is always deadly as he showed in his four-goal performance a few weeks ago.

The latest injury reports have the great Aussie midfielder Tim Cahill out for three weeks so avoid him, along with the giant afro-sporting Marouane Fellaini, who is out for the season.

Birmingham
The Carling Cup winners have likely just peaked on the year, but they do have some players worth considering.  This week, they are home to West Brom and away to Everton.  Their top player this season has been goalkeeper Ben Foster who would be a solid pick this week as well.

Johnson points out how he's a solid choice.

The most in-form player on the team has to be Nikola Zigic who has three goals in his last four Premier League games, including one in the Carling Cup final.  He’s also quite affordable.  Same for Barry Ferguson who is having a solid season, but he’s a better long term investment then someone who will score big points in one week. New signing David Bentley has also impressed, though I’d like to see how consistent he is before grabbing him for my squad.

Finally, if you need a defender, Roger Johnson is a solid choice at the back.  He won’t provide a lot of offence but he and Foster have a good chance of getting clean sheets against West Brom.

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy – Rating the Transfers

Bent already has one goal to show for his kit change

You may have notice the jerseys on some of the players on your fantasy team have changed colour.   This is not because they were bored with what they were wearing.  It means your man has been transferred to a new squad in the January transfer window.

A move can be good or bad news in terms of fantasy points.  A benchwarmer on one team could be a starter on another and vice versa.  Here’s a few of the more notable transfers and what they mean for you…

Darren Bent – Sunderland to Aston Villa
Bent immediately became Aston Villa’s deadliest striker upon his arrival and he showed it, scoring moments into his first game with the club.  I don’t think he will regain his amazing form from last year, but I see more goals in his future.  Buy him if you need a striker.

This transfer is also good news for owners of other Sunderland forwards Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck who will reap the awards of more playing time in Bent’s absence.

John Carew – Aston Villa to Stoke City
Carew has struggled this year for playing time, which has resulted in the once-powerful striker having a grand total of zero goals so far.  The change of scenery might help, but a better option would be his cheaper and more proficient teammate Kenwyne Jones.

David Bentley – Tottenham to Birmingham
I’ve always thought Bentley was better than he showed in his limited playing time with Tottenham. But without a born goal scorer up front,who is going to get on the end of his crosses at Birmingham?  I’d steer clear for now.

Steven Pienaar – Everton to Tottenham
The speedy South African midfielder finds himself in a very crowded midfield with the likes of Gareth Bale, Rafael Van der Vaart, Aaron Lennon, and Luka Modric.  Again, I’d steer clear until we see whether he gets enough playing time to merit picking him for your squad.

It's like he never left...

Roque Santa Cruz – Manchester City to Blackburn Rovers
I like this one.  RSC is bound to get more playing time with Blackburn and he’s a proven goal scorer.  He can be picked up right now for a bargain price.

Wayne Bridge – Manchester City to West Ham United
I want to say something nice about Wayne Bridge because he’s had a tough go of it lately.  But you don’t want any West Ham defenders on your squad right now.  Just don’t trade him in for John Terry because that’s been done and it was awkward for all involved…

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy: What I Did and Why I Did it…

Barton elbows Parker out of Ferg's lineup.

So here’s where I stand.  I’m running sixth in the table right now in my fantasy league… but it’s a mere 30 ponts or so from the top spot so it’s still a very tight racel.  I’d feel great if I was Bolton trying for a Europa league spot, but I picture myself more of a Manchester United or Chelsea type when it comes to fantasy football.  After all, I need not remind all those in my pool that I am the defending champ.  The title holder cannot be satisfied with anything but a repeat… so it’s time to play my wild card. 

I figure if At the Rails allows me to give my opinions and advice on how to win your fantasy league, then you may at least want to know how I spent my wild card this transfer window.  The January wild card means you can make as many transfers as you want for one week, but it’s only good for another month.

So I made some moves.  Because really, who wants to read a fantasy column by a guy in sixth?

THE BIG SIGNINGS

First thing to do is figure out who the players are that you don’t have and feel you need, regardless of the cost.   For me, I added high-priced members of Manchester United: Dimitar Berbatov, who I think will continue to score — especially if Rooney stays healthy — and Nani, who has been one of the top point-getters this year. 

To make room, I let go of Johan Elmander who seems to have turned cold after a hot start to the season, and I dropped Samir Nasri.  Dropping Nasri could turn out to be a mistake, but I felt Nani will outscore him and Man United make a push for the title.

THE SACRIFICES

Unfortunately this left me in the hole moneywise.  My big sacrifice was dropping Joe Hart.  His high price has scared off many from picking him up but I have had him from Week One and watched as he more than earned the high price, leading all goalies in fantasy points. 

Scottish and cheap... it's like saying it twice!

But I had to save money for what I felt was a great option out there: Craig Gordon.  Gordon has been injured so his price is low. But since he’s been back, Sunderland have been regularly keeping clean sheets.  I saved some more money at the goalkeeper position by dropping the injured Paul Robinson and picking up Steve Harper who seems to back in the top job for Newcastle. (Ed. Note: I always thought he was a right-winger!  Ahahahahahaha… I’ll shut up now.)

To make it work right down to the penny meant dropping Scott Parker from West Ham for Newcastle’s Joey Barton.  Barton, like many Newcastle players, is still a little undervalued in my opinion… though I will likely keep him mainly on the bench.  And I got rid of Birmingham defender Roger Johnson (whose team I appear to have put a curse on ever since acquiring him as they stopped keeping clean sheets) for Kevin Foley from Wolves.  That move was done purely for cost reasons, but it’s good to know Foley is a cheap starter if I ever need to put him in.

KEEPERS

Rounding out the squad I kept pricey defenders Nemanja Vidic and Leighton Baines, who I think are worth paying top dollar for.  I also kept Everton’s Seamus Coleman (who is really a midfielder so a good buy since the game has him slotted as a defender) along with Fulham’s Aaron Hughes.  I also held on to the stars of the Tottenham midfield Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart along with Stoke’s Matthew Etherington. 

Up front I couldn’t part with Carlos Tevez, despite his high price and his constant snood wearing.  I also held on to Andrew Carroll hoping his current injury woes are not too serious.

Will these changes take me to the top of the table? Short answer.  I hope so.  I’ve already spent all the money I collected.

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy – Cleaning the sheets

No, this is not another column about Wayne Rooney (though did anyone notice it was the day after I published last week’s anti-Rooney rant that he came to his senses? I’m sure Wayne is a regular At The Rails reader). This column is about getting points without getting goals. And the way to do that is picking players on teams likely to deliver clean sheets. When your goalies and defenders don’t let the other team score you get four points, the same amount for a goal by a striker, so its worth the time to pick a strong back four and keeper.

The obvious choice here are players from Chelsea, who have seven clean sheets in nine games. Petr Cech might be your best bet here though because regular defenders like Ashley Cole and John Terry are pricey. Not to say they aren’t worth it, but defenders are where most fantasy managers save money in order to spend more on high priced strikers and midfielders.

The key is that it doesn’t matter how many goals a team concedes, but how many clean sheets they keep. For example, when Wigan are bad they seem to concede a pile of goals, but they have low priced defenders who have kept three clean sheets. That’s more than Liverpool (two) and Tottenham (one). The other surprise in this category is Sunderland, tied for second in the league with Manchester City in the clean sheets stat with four. Again a team where bargains on defence can pay off (and I recommend a particular player from the Black Cats below…).

Week in Review – Top Performers

Samir Nasri – the Arsenal midfielder was the top point getter in the league last week with a hat trick of sorts. He had a goal, an assist, and his team kept a clean sheet. Nasri is increasingly becoming a bigger part of the Gunners’ offence and is a solid choice as long as he stays healthy.

Javier Hernandez – the man who rescued Manchester United from another disappointing result. Hernandez scored both goals in a key 2-1 win over Stoke City. He then came on as a sub and notched the winner in United’s League Cup victory over wolves. He’s a great choice while Rooney’s hurt, but will probably see his playing time cut back when Wayne returns.

Liam Ridgewell – a goal plus a clean sheet meant Ridgewell was the top scoring defender last week. Birmingham play a strong defensive game and have notched three clean sheets themselves so expect Ridgewell to continue to be a safe fantasy bet.

Scott’s Subs:

Last week I told you to pick up Dimitar Berbatov, Rafael Van Der Vaart, and Florent Malouda. Berbatov disappointed but the other two scored so I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. The points per game average for my recommended players was 5.3. The league average was 4. The average for players I told you to steer clear of was 2. And that would have been lower except Andrey Arshavin proved me wrong and scored for Arsenal. Here are my suggested subs for this week:

IN

Didier Drogba – Yes he’s the most expensive player in the league in fantasy terms. But 43% of all fantasy teams are paying the price. Can you afford not to?

OUT

Fernando Torres – I’m sure Torres will be a golden boot winner in the coming years (perhaps in the Championship if Liverpool doesn’t start improving) but this just isn’t looking like his year. The talent is there, but right now you can pick up someone who will score just as many goals for half the price.

IN

Ahmed Elmohamady –Do I know a lot about Ahmed “Tickle Me” Elmohamady? Not really, other than that isn’t his nickname. But numbers don’t lie. He is third in points for defenders behind Chelsea’s Cole and Terry. He is the defender with the highest value in the league when you look at his points vs. cost. And his cost has risen the most of any defender so buy now.

OUT

Tony Hibbert – The Everton defender is priced like a starter, and often plays, but rarely for the full 90 minutes. Avoid him.

IN:

Nani – Wasn’t Antonio Valencia supposed to be the one to try and replace Cristiano Ronaldo? But with his injury, the weight of scoring goals  and delivering lovely crosses from the wing has fallen on Nani, who has answered handsomely. And don’t worry, you don’t lose fantasy points for players faking injuries only to be fine moments after the ref stops the play.

OUT:

Joe Cole –I know I’ve picked on Joe Cole in the past. But not in my new Scott’s subs section! I want him to do well, I really do, but he just isn’t doing well. And you should avoid him until he starts putting some balls into the back of the net.

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy: So You Got That Promotion…

Newcastle's Steven Taylor will likely play every week

In your regular life outside of fantasy football, you probably find those who have been recently promoted rather annoying and smug.   But in the fantasy world, you need to make friends with them and bring them on to your side.

On paper, the three newly-promoted squads may look like the Premier League equivalent of the kids who always got picked last on the playground pitch. But in reality, even if the teams are getting beat up on a weekly basis in real life, Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion, and Blackpool all have players that are affordable — that will play every week — and that will even chip in points on occasion.

You want the grinders that will earn points on the cheap so you can afford the big stars. What you are looking for is someone who will give you the performances we saw last year from Wolves defender Jody Craddock — Birmingham’s Lee Bowyer — or Joe Hart, who shone in goal for Birmingham while on loan from Manchester City.

Anybody can pick Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney.  But it takes skill and guts to pick up and start the right players from the newly promoted
squads. Here are some players worth considering…

Goalkeepers:
This is a risky proposition…  but it should be noted that after only two weeks, all three keepers from the promoted sides have one clean sheet. Sure, two of the three also let in six goals in their other game (eep!)…  but let’s focus on the clean sheets.

Newcastle’s Steven Harper is a quality premier league goalie and with his team likely poised to avoid relegation, he is the pick of this group.

Scott Carson: Man of Constant Sorrow? Or Points?

That said, I also like West Brom’s Scott Carson.  He has Premier League experience, comes at a very low price, and is guaranteed to face a lot of shots. He may not get many clean sheets, but in most games, he will get you a bonus point for making three saves.  And he’s already played his road game against Chelsea so you don’t have to worry about that fixture.

I would avoid Blackpool’s Matthew Gilks.  I just don’t trust that Blackpool are going to have the kind of success their drubbing of Wigan in Week One would suggest.

Defenders:
Again, assuming Newcastle have a strong season, you can count on Fabricio
Coloccini being a constant presence along their back four.  You can’t miss him, he’s the one with the huge mane of curly hair.

Jonas Olsson had a pair of goals and lots of playing time during West Brom’s last season in the Premier League two years ago.

Catchart traded Devil Red for Tangerine

And if you want to take a chance on a real cheap player, there is the rock bottom price for Craig Cathcart of Blackpool.  I do think Blackpool will concede the most goals in the league this year, but Cathcart spent years training with Manchester United.  Though he played very little with the Red Devils, he has played every minute of this young season with Blackpool.

Midfielders:
I have sung his praises in previous columns — and it has yet to pay off — but Chris Brunt of West Brom is a pleasure to watch.  He signalled his intentions last weekend with a long range strike that was only kept from the highlight reel by the woodwork.  He’s the most expensive player you can buy from West Brom — but still very cheap when compared to quality midfielders on other teams.

Barton: Solid tash, solid points earner

With two goals last week, Kevin Nolan is off to a strong start for Newcastle. The Magpies boast a solid midfield that also includes Joey Barton and Jonas Gutierrez.  Barton scored a highlight reel goal last weekend, and there’s every reason to think we could see more of the same from him.  Jonas is more of a grinder but does get a ton of playing time.

Strikers:
I don’t really trust any of West Brom’s strikers to score a lot of fantasy points and I still don’t know what to make of Blackpool’s Marlon Harewood.  He’s puzzling.  He’s kicked around on a few different teams in the Premier and Championship leagues over the past few seasons, but his two goals in Week One showed he could prove himself as a player who belongs in the top flight.  At this point he is still a bit of a risk… but at least he’s a cheap one.

The cream of this crop is Newcastle’s Andrew Carroll.  I feel a bit stupid on this one, because I gave strong consideration to putting him on my team based on his strong numbers in the Championship last season. But I didn’t do it, fearing what I’ve seen from other strikers who have flopped in the Premier League after good Championship seasons (Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for example).  Nothing like a hat trick to boost your confidence though, and with his performance last week I think Carroll will continue to have a fine campaign.

And not to gloat but…

I selected five players for you to consider last week and four had huge weeks. Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Gareth Bale, and Joe Hart all
put up big numbers.  Only Marlon Harewood was a bust.

This week with Chelsea at home to Stoke City, you still can’t go wrong with Malouda or Drogba.  Fulham’s David Stockdale may be a fine bargain — he is on the road in net against Blackpool. The only risk with him is whether Mark Schwarzer returns to his starting role, but rumours persist that he will be transferred to Arsenal.

Speaking of the Gooners, Theo Walcott is looking good after his hat trick last week.  His price is rising and now may be the time to pick him up while it’s still reasonable.

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy: You’re No Man City…

Drogba was the runaway points leader in Week One

You aren’t stupid; you just do stupid things.  Words voiced by my mother over the years are ringing true once again.

After all, how did I miss him, hiding in plain sight? Golden boot winner Didier Drogba was not on my fantasy team. And how was I punished? By watching him almost single-handedly dismantle West Brom, scoring three goals in the process. I left him out off my squad because I was worried he hadn’t fully recovered from his injury. But that does nothing to soothe the sting.

Pepe ponders his lost fantasy points

Instead I put my money on Cesc Fabregas. That’s right: the apparently non-match fit star midfielder who didn’t play. Oh the humanity. I feel deep, deep, regret — like how Pepe Reina must feel when he punted the ball back into his own net last week, or how Tim Howard must have felt when he dropped the ball in the box, leading to a goal and a loss for Everton. (Oh dear, did I just poke fun at both Liverpool area teams in one sentence?)

Anyway, Week 1 in Fantasy Football is like a friendly match except that it counts. You try some things out: some work, some don’t. Don’t worry about it too much because you’ve got Week 2 to straighten things out. Some of us will be tempted to make drastic changes, which brings us to the point of this week’s column: Don’t spend points on unnecessary transfers. Either play the wild card and change your whole team, or just make the one free transfer you are allowed.

You aren’t Man City. A billionaire owner is not going to swoop in and allow you to buy almost anybody you want. You not only have a salary cap to work under, you also have strict transfer rules to abide by. In the official Premier League pool, you can only make one transfer a week for free. The second transfer costs 4 points. If you don’t make a transfer in any given week, you bank it, meaning you can make two transfers on any week following. But you can never make more than two transfers in one week without playing your wild card.

Now four points doesn’t sound like much. But I assure you, it is. If you make ten extra transfers per season, that’s 40 points over the course of the year. Those 40 lost points would likely take you out of contention for winning any competitive pool. Plus, the player you would be transferring out would have got two points just for playing 60 minutes. To make the transfer worthwhile, the incoming player must score, get an assist, or keep a clean sheet to make it worth your while.

So if you need to make more than one change this week, just play your wild card. this will allow you to change your entire team. You can do this twice in a season. Once at any time, and once during the January transfer window which is a new feature of this year’s pool.

So make one transfer, and sit tight with the rest of your guys. You picked them for a reason. And if Marlon Harewood can score two goals and an assist in one game, then surely lightning can strike for any of your players on any given week.

Fergie’s Five – Five players you should consider for your fantasy squad…

Didier Drogba – Yes, he’s expensive. But did I mention he is last year’s Golden Boot winner and this year’s leading scorer after Week One? If you can afford him, make him your captain as Chelsea is on the road this week against woeful Wigan.

Florent Malouda – if you can’t afford Drogba, take a look at Malouda in the midfield. He finished last year on a tear and appears to continuing his fine form this season, looking strong in Week One.

Marlon Harewood?!? Seriously?!?

Marlon Harewood – Okay, so I just made fun of him, and will he score two goals and an assist in another game all season? Maybe not. But at the low price of 4.5, he is a bargain basement starting forward who was the surprise of the opening weekend.

Gareth Bale – He didn’t have a big week, points wise. But it looks like Bale will play a bigger role this season for Tottenham and will be taking his fair share of free kicks and corners. His reasonable price and lots of upside make him worth a look.

Joe Hart – The stunning saves he made against Tottenham will likely be enough to keep Shay Given on the bench. He’s making a case to be England’s #1, so you may want to make him your starter as well. This is a long term pick though, as he’ll be in tough to get a clean sheet this weekend with Man City up against Liverpool.

And one more chance for…

It was only one week, but Robin Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Steven Gerrard, Tim Cahill and yes, Cesc Fabregas all need to do much more to be worth their prices. Give them another chance, but look to transfer if they don’t start scoring by Week 4.

Scott Ferguson

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Fergie’s Fantasy

Will Rooney provide glory for fantasy owners again?

At The Rails would like to introduce a new column, Fergie’s Fantasy.  Scott Ferguson will be writing a weekly bit to help you win your fantasy pool… and make your friends look stupid.  Well, more stupid…

I feel like a kid counting the number of sleeps until Christmas. Just a few more days until a new season of Premier League football gets underway. And while I love to watch the top teams in action, it’s still not enough to satisfy my appetite. I need to watch more games and I need a reason to care about them.

Enter fantasy football. The only reason I can still leap out of my seat during a Wolverhampton vs. Wigan game. Plus you can’t beat holding the bragging rights over yer mates after your fantasy team has destroyed all those in its path.

In my opinion, the top fantasy game is the one run by the Premier League itself, at premierleague.com. Over two million football fans play each week — from nearly every country on earth. Here’s how it works: you have a salary cap to spend on 15 players. Those players earn you points by scoring goals, getting assists, clean sheets, as well as getting bonus points for good play. You pick your starting XI and then if one of your chosen players doesn’t take the field, the system automatically selects one of your subs. You can only transfer one player a week without a penalty, so you want to start off with some reliable players you can trust.

Here’s how you do that…

Wait, how am I qualified to show you? Well first of all, my last name is Ferguson. This already shows I’m closer to sharing genes with the greatest football manager of all time than you are. (Ed. note: Oh for the love of God…)

Second, not only am I the defending champion of my local fantasy pool but more importantly, my overall score put me in the 99th percentile of the two million people who play this thing (sure that means only finishing in the top 10,000 but it’s not as easy you think). It requires guts, luck, and a good internet connection. So here is your guide to taking that first step to fantasy football glory…

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TEAM

Lampard was the highest point earner last season

PAY ANY PRICE FOR YOUR CAPTAIN
Your captain earns double points so you need to make sure he is one of the league’s top point getters. Don’t worry that they cost twice as much as most of the other guys on your team. This high-scoring player is normally a midfielder; last season, it was Frank Lampard. However, the second and third spots were taken by strikers Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney. Basically, to win, you are going to need to have at least one of Frank Lampard, Cesc Fabregas, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, or Didier Drogba on your team (though check on Drogba’s health as he came on as a sub in the Community Shield). You could do worse than adding Carlos Tevez to this list as well.

EVERYBODY MUST PLAY
To succeed in the Premier League, a team must have depth. Same is true for your fantasy team. You will be tempted to choose 2-3 players for the lowest possible price so that you can put all your money into your starting XI. Trust me, it’s not worth it. For a variety of reasons — including injuries, schedules where occasionally a team may play twice in a week or not at all, or players getting an unexpected rest in real life — you will need guys who can be substituted for your stars and still earn points. Also, players that come on regularly as subs in real life are no good to you because they have less playing time to earn points. Make sure you have 15 players who will start every game, or nearly every game, to give yourself the maximum flexibility when setting your weekly line-up.

GOALKEEPER
Don’t overpay for your keeper. Netminders get points for saves so while Peter Cech or Edwin Van Der Sar may rack up the clean sheets, they often don’t have to make as many saves… as say Heurelho Gomes from Tottenham, or Thomas Sorenson from Stoke City. The top fantasy goalkeeper last year was Pepe Reina from Liverpool, but you could have spent less and got nearly as many points from Gomes, Sorenson or Aston Villa’s Brad Friedel.

BARGAINS
You need players who cost very little, but still chip in with a lot of points. My gem last year was Wolverhampton’s Jody Craddock, a veteran defender who headed in more than his share of expected goals. This year, I’m taking a hard look at West Brom’s Chris Brunt and Wigan’s often overlooked Charles N’Zogbia as ways to get the most from the least. Remember: bargain shopping is not a true science. You have to just look around and go with your gut.

AVOID NEW SIGNINGS
It’s a long season so there’s no need to risk buying a brand new player until you see how he fits in with his new team. Javier Hernandez has looked strong for Manchester United in pre-season, but how much playing time will he really get? I’m sure Joe Cole will get plenty of touches with Liverpool…  but I don’t want him on my team until I see it with my own eyes. Same with Arsenal’s new striker Marouane Chamakh.

Keep an eye on these players and get ready to jump on their bandwagon… but there’s no need to be first one aboard. One amazing strike from Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega on the opening day last year was all I needed to see to grab him last year for a decent bargain, but it wasn’t worth the risk to start him right away.

RESEARCH THEIR VALUE
The Premier League fantasy league site keeps all sorts of statistics that are useful for selecting your team. You can look at total points, minutes played, goals, assists, etc. For me, the best stat to look at is the Value stat, comparing the points a player earns against the price of obtaining them; basically, who gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Here are the top three in terms of value at each position from last season, all of whom should get some consideration for your team this year.

Goalkeepers: Robinson (Blackburn), Sorensen (Stoke City), Schwarzer (FulhamDefenders: Craddock (Wolves), Dunne (Aston Villa), Givet (Blackburn)

Midfielders: Etherington (Stoke City), N’Zogbia (Wigan), Ferguson (Birmingham…and yes it’s true, check the stats, he’s not just listed here because he’s a Ferguson)

Forwards: Bent (Sunderland), Rodallega (Wigan), Doyle (Wolves)

That’s all for now. I promise not to be so long-winded in the future… but you have to put the time in the beginning if you want results at the end!

Scott Ferguson is the Foreign Assignment Editor for CTV National News. He is also a die-hard Manchester United fan… and somehow won the office pool that he runs.  Shocking…

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