Jeremy Spitzberg

Player Analysis

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A Mathieu Debucy Appreciation

Sunday, November 03, 2013


At the beginnning of the season there were two defenders who were more popular than others. Kolo Toure was 5.65 and was looking likely to start in defence for Liverpool. A little less high-profile was Mathieu Debuchy. He was only 4.49. Cheap, having been sent off against the Reds at the end of last season.

Kolo Toure made my fantasy team, but Debuchy was at best a bench player for me. But then five points in the thrashing that Manchester City put on Newcastle in the first week of the season -- it wasn't the gaudiest stat line, but it certainly caught my attention.

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He followed it up with double-digit returns as Newcastle shut out West Ham and Fulham. There was a blip against Aston Villa, then a few good returns in a row.

However his points were tailing off and Newcastle's schedule was increasingly difficult. There was the Tyne-Wear derby against a terrible, but motivated, Sunderland, and matches against Chelsea and Spurs. So I sold him. And what a terrible decision that turned out to be.

He scored a great (if ultimately futile) equalizing goal against the Black Cats before turning in another all-action performance against Chelsea. He was raiding down the touchline, cutting infield and shooting, and most surprisingly getting back on defence - even blocking a shot inside his own six-yard box. All told, it was a great performance, and he returned a second unexpected double-digit fantasy performance.

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So hats (berets?) off to Mathieu Debuchy. A under-rated, but extremely valuable fantasy asset. And kudos to fantasy managers who have stuck with him and reaped the rewards for their bravery.

For me, I'll consider him again after the international break when Newcastle host Norwich and West Brom on consecutive weeks. But I'll be paying a premium for the privelege. In the mean time, a match-up against Spurs - who haven't been able to balance their defensive solidity with comprable attacking returns - won't hold much fear for Debuchy owners, and might even attract a few more after what the Magpies were able to do against Chelsea.

Are you holding Debuchy? Happy with all those fantasy points? Not on the bandwagon yet but thinking of hopping on? Let us know in the comments.



Jeremy Spitzberg writes about fantasy soccer (football) and is a Rotoworld contributor. You can find him on Twitter @JSpitzberg.
Email :Jeremy Spitzberg





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