Steve Rothgeb

The Free Kick

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The Free Kick - Week 12

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Gameweek 12

 

Welcome to The Free Kick! The international break offered all of us a bit of rest to build up our match fitness as we prepare for a flurry of Premier League games starting now and lasting through the holiday season.  Soon, we will be up against double gameweeks, and periods of three fixtures in a 7 day stretch.  For the perceptive and active manager, this can provide the best period of time to climb the rankings while the passive ones forget deadlines, suspensions or anything else that might cost them some vital points.  The purpose of this article is to highlight some popular options this week I feel can be avoided, and some low-ownership alternatives that can make a difference.  Last week, my choices netted you six points while saving you between 25-27 million in budget.  (Thanks Wilfried Bony)

 

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


Goalkeeper


The Standard


David De Gea (Manchester United)  Make no mistake, fresh off the heals of earning their first clean sheet in league play since week 4, Manchester United showed some defensive might in their 1-0 victory last time out against Arsenal. While David Moyes continues to shuffle his backline week after week, De Gea has remained a reliable fixture this season wearing the Red Devils #1 shirt. An away trip to Cardiff City has the makings of a decent shot at a second clean sheet in a row, but the most expensive keeper in the game doesn't even crack the Top Ten leaderboard in fantasy at the position.  I prefer to look for a bargain between the sticks, and De Gea is not it.

 

The Free Kick


Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) With two negative point scores in the past three gameweeks, Begovic has seen his price drop well into the single digits. If you look at a graph of his point production on the season, it is filled with peaks and valleys.  More often than not, the peaks have been at home, and the valleys away from the Brittania Stadium. Such has been the reputation for the Potters, when they are at home, they are looking to win 1-0.  With Sunderland arriving, despite showing some form with two wins in three, I think Stoke will play their typical style and keep Sunderland out.  For less than half the price of De Gea, give Begovic a try.

 


 


Defender


The Standard


Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City)  Kolarov looked like the nailed on option at left back for City boss Manuel Pellegrini when it came to league games, seemingly ousting Gael Clichy as the preferred choice at that position. In recent weeks, the two backs have been rotated a bit too much for a fantasy manager's liking, which is a shame, because when Kolarov can be trusted to start, he provides a variety of ways to rack up fantasy points. With Vincent Kompany's absence, and even seemingly untouchables such as Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta missing starts, choose a Manchester City defender at your own risk.  One does not seem crucial in a match versus Tottenham, despite Spurs struggles in finding the net.

 

The Free Kick


Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Newcastle United) Yanga-Mbiwa had a terrible game a few weeks back that saw him get sent off and miss the next match. Naturally, this works wonders for a player's buying price.  Since his return, the Newcastle defender has averaged 10 points a game over the past two matches. Fans of Mathieu Debuchy will have to make do without the high scoring Frenchman this week as he serves a suspension from accumulating his fifth yellow card of the campaign. Y.M. has slid over to the right back slot before and should do so again with Debuchy's absence. The Magpies shouldn't need the level of heroics displayed to keep Tottenham out in their last league game, but hosting Norwich City at St. James' Park seems a decent bet for production. A fair 3rd defender option for around 8m.

 

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


 

Midfielder


The Standard


Adam Lallana (Southampton) I was ecstatic about my selection of Lallana for my own Yahoo team last gameweek, as he rewarded me with a sweet 22 point haul, and helped me gain some ground on my rivals, who for the most part did not own the young English playmaker. His individual effort goal against Hull City in that game was enough to spark an official man-crush. Despite the expected reward of a hefty price rise for Lallana, I could not justify his inclusion this week, and I bit the bullet and sold.  More often than not, I will be willing to pay market value for his services, but an away fixture to Arsenal just isn't appealing enough when there are plenty of other options available.

 

The Free Kick

 

Robbie Brady (Hull City) He's baaaack. The Talented Mr. Brady finally looks fit after what can be argued as an ill-advised rush back to action weeks ago following hernia surgery. The international break is just what the the Irishman needed to fully heal and he looks set to start this weekend at home to Crystal Palace. Only Mile Jedinak of the Eagles stands in the way of Brady showcasing his creative flair in the Tiger's buildup, and his clinical accuracy from set pieces and chances from open play.  His price has dropped to a tasty 8.11m, and now would be the time to invest before the Tigers have to contend with Liverpool and Arsenal in back-to-back matches to follow.

  


 

Forward


The Standard


Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) Giroud's ownership remains high, but his production over the past several weeks has taken a significant turn for the worse. After scoring a goal in each of the Gunner's first four league games, the Frenchman has fallen on hard times, finding the net just once in the previous seven. It is nice to see that his price tag is falling into "consideration territory", but those familiar with my column already know, I like to spend BIG in the forward area.  So with that in mind, along with tough-to-crack opponents in Southampton to deal with, I am going to look elsewhere, and think of Ozil in midfield if I am still looking for Arsenal coverage.

 

The Free Kick


Loic Remy (Newcastle United) Seven goals in the past seven league matches for Remy. That is all you need to know. There are clubs wishing their entire XI could combine to average a goal a game over that long a stretch.  It took a while for Remy to find his feet at St. James' park this season, likely due to some trouble off the pitch, but he is in full form now, adding his name to the conversation of "must have" forwards for those precious three spots. For me this week, you go Suarez until further notice, one of Rooney or RVP, and make Remy your striker #3. If backing two Magpies in my four selections this week is unacceptable, there is always the legend that is Christian Benteke to consider.  His price is a kind one at the moment, and fantasy managers should act quickly to get Benteke in Saturday for the following gameweek when Villa host Sunderland. He has been quiet since his return from injury, but I believe in his skill set, which doesn't show signs of hitting bad form for very long.

 

Keep in mind at the forward position, there are only a handful of relevant players for three forward spots. You really have to have a need for a cheap third striker or a desire to go off the beaten path to opt for Remy over alternatives such as Suarez, Sturridge, Rooney, Aguero, van Persie and Benteke. Proceed with caution, but for now, Remy is looking the business.



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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