Steve Rothgeb

The Free Kick

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The Free Kick - Week 11

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Gameweek 11

 

Welcome to The Free Kick! The column that was once called The Danger Zone has had a bit of a makeover. It had come to my attention that the emphasis of my column was becoming more on alternative players to consider rather than popular players to avoid. Thus, a change in name was needed in order to reflect that. I do not want to convince fantasy managers out there to necessarily disregard the popular option and feel victimized when said option has a great day. The fact of the matter is, there is enough budget to use to fill your squad with the top players in the game, but perhaps you need to free up cash in one spot to afford the other ideal ten players you had in mind, or maybe you find your team is constantly similar to your rival's and you are looking for a player who is flying under the radar and could potentially make the difference in gaining some ground.

Or.......I got a call from Kenny Loggins' legal department, and have been given a cease and desist on all things Danger Zone.

Hey, I thought the man could use a push for a comeback.

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve


Goalkeeper


The Standard


Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) - After dropping a massive 63 points combined in his first three matches, Mignolet became, and stayed for quite some time, the highest scoring player in the game. Since then however, he has begun a slow decent and is now no longer even the top scoring keeper. Hugo Lloris has passed him by and Artur Boruc has caught up. Liverpool now sit at seven straight league matches without a clean sheet. If you still want defensive coverage in what is a pretty strong matchup, home to Fulham, then opt for Kolo Toure in your defense instead.  Less financial investment during a period where Liverpool have not been keeping things clean.

 

The Free Kick


Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) Villa host Cardiff City this weekend and while the Bluebirds are chirping after a massive victory against Swansea City in the Welsh Derby last weekend, consider that in the previous match when they were away from home, they could not muster a goal against Norwich City, a club who doesn't exactly exude defensive might after seeing how they were dissected like a frog in biology class by Manchester City. Villa haven't been defensive juggernauts in their own right, but they are coming off a clean sheet away to West Ham. For the price of 7.66m, this is the keeper I want if I'm looking for a cheap difference maker between the sticks.


 

Defender


The Standard


Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)  It would seem a pretty good idea to continue to beat up on Sunderland, and there is little reason to believe Manchester City can go to the Stadium of Light this weekend and do anything except destroy the Black Cats in every phase of the game. Zabaleta is a popular way into the City defense and he likes to contribute the occasional attacking returns as well. Upon closer inspection however, Zabaleta has been in poor fantasy form recently. In City's past 5 league games, Zabaleta's fantasy returns have been thus: (3, 4, 0, 4, 4) This is not the the kind of result you want for the cash you are giving up. And because Zabaleta's ownership remains high, his price is not dropping to reflect this dip in form. 

 

The Free Kick


Jose Fonte (Southampton) I know what you are thinking...."Wow, way to go out on a limb and choose a Saint defender".  I offer up Fonte as an alternative to the more popular and more expensive Dejan Lovren.  Lovren's addition to the Saint's defense this season has been the key to their shut down tendencies, barring the goal machine that is Asmir Begovic.  Lovren is a solid option going forward. But the truth is, were it not for his only goal this season being a "match-winner", these two defenders would be nearly identical in points.  Give Fonte a try.

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve 


 

Midfielder


The Standard


Paulinho (Tottenham)  Paulinho is generally a value for his price. He has a goal and two assists so far this season for a Spurs club struggling to find a consistent attacking threat, despite the fact that he plays deeper and racks up fantasy points with his midfield work, winning tackles and intercepting passes. Upon closer inspection however, you find that 26 of his 66 points earned this season came in one game, accounting for nearly 40% of his points this season.  That is not the model of consistency that I am looking for, and even though Tottenham have a decent matchup at home to Newcastle this week, I cannot feel confident with a Spurs midfielder or forward until they begin to show a bit more firepower.

 

The Free Kick


Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) This is not a typo folks.  There is a relevant fantasy prospect from Crystal Palace. Jedinak has been the clear bright spot for an otherwise suffering Eagles side, dictating things in the midfield. He has been contributing in nearly every category except the sexy ones, currently the co-leader in passes intercepted and second place in tackles won.  These are categories Jedinak can accumulate points in regardless of opponent. He may provide the consistency you are looking for and the alternative to the typical selection.  His current price is 10.25m, an extreme value for his production.

 


 

Forward


The Standard


Robin van Persie (Manchester United) Of course RVP is of the level of quality where he is capable of getting a haul in any fixture, but we need to look at the logistics here. While the game is offering plenty of money to spend to put together a dynamite XI, the fact of the matter is, managers cannot avoid the inclusions of Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero in their lineup, given the duo's ongoing form. To add RVP to that mix as a 3rd forward would require a massive amount of cash to pull off. With a matchup against top of the table Arsenal, this seems a good time to refrain from RVP, for at least another week.

 

The Free Kick


Wifried Bony (Swansea City) Of all the strikers that were transferred to the Premier League over the summer, the one that intrigued me the most is Wilfried Bony. Perhaps because of some of the footage I have seen in his days with Dutch side Vitesse, I continue to wear rose-colored glasses, salivating at his potential. 51 goals in 69 games is impressive in any league, and I thought he has the physicality necessary to translate well to the Premier League. So far, results have been spotty as Bony continues his adaptation.  Trying to split between Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth for a scoring chance is no easy task, but with Michu's absence, someone will need to step up for the Swans, and I back Bony to get it done. 

Keep in mind at the forward position, there are only a handful of relevant players for three forward spots. There are players I prefer to Bony to partner Suarez and Aguero up top, but all are established, highly owned players. You really have to have a need for a cheap third striker or a desire to go off the beaten path to opt for Bony over alternatives such as Sturridge, Rooney, Giroud, Lukaku, and Benteke. Proceed with caution.



Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for Rotoworld.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.
Email :Steve Rothgeb



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