Nik Argiropoulos

Weekly Picks

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AM's Week 12 Player Picks

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Tim Krul - Newcastle have a winnable home game against Norwich and Krul showed against Spurs that he is a the peak of his powers at the moment. You could've picked him up on the cheap on the barndoor, but with money not really an issue in the Yahoo Fantasy game I still feel he's the keeper pick of the week at £12million.
Steve Harper - If you don't want to spend all that money on Tim Krul then you have an incredibly cheap alternative in Hull's reserve keeper. Harper costs just a shade over £1million, should start for the injured Allan McGregor and faces Crystal Palace at home. If (as some early reports are suggesting) McGregor recovers in time, then he would then become my second choice keepers this week at a cost of £8million.
Costel Pantilimon - If we get confirmation that he'll keep his place ahead of Joe Hart then Pantilimon is very well priced for a home game against a Tottenham side who can't buy a goal at the moment. If the more expensive Hart is set to start then perhaps look at Stoke's Asmir Begovic instead.


Curtis Davies - The sixth highest scoring defender in the game and facing Palace at home, Davies has an excellent chance of a clean sheet and is well priced compared to the likes of Leighton Baines and Jan Vertonghen, who cost almost double. He'll be in my team.
Martin Demichelis - See Pantilimon. There is a very good chance of a City clean sheet in Week 12 as goal-shy Spurs roll in to Manchester, and Demichelis provides the best value in defence with Vincent Kompany still side-lined.
Branislav Ivanovic - Despite Chelsea's dodgy form of late, West Ham are one of the lowest scoring sides in the league so if you believe the Blues can keep the Hammers out then Ivanovic is worth a look. As always, the big defender will also offer a goal threat from set pieces.
Mike Williamson - Out of favour at the start of the season, Williamson has taken his chance since replacing the injured Steven Taylor and represents the cheapest way to cover the potential Newcastle clean sheet (remembering that Mathieu Debuchy is suspended for this game).
Erik Pieters - The Dutch left-back has been doing well for Stoke, picking up solid defensive points thanks to his excellent tackling ability and there is a chance of a clean sheet if "bad Sunderland" show up.
Wes Brown - He's probably too expensive now but if you were quick enough to pick Brown up before his price rocketed then he's worth hanging on to at Stoke given the fantasy numbers he's returned in his first two appearances of the season.
Joel Ward - Crystal Palace don't really do clean sheets but that hasn't stopped Ward taking his place in the Top 10 of point scoring defenders. This is despite the fact he's played two games less than many other players, and is down to his remarkable pass interception and tackles won record. Ward is likely to be on the losing side at Hull but you can expect solid points again.
Steven Reid - With Billy Jones still struggling with a hamstring injury it appears Reid will continue at right-back for West Brom's home game against Aston Villa, and he's a big bargain at just £3.7million.


Yohan Cabaye - Before I'd started my analysis this week I'd decided Cabaye would be in my team for Newcastle against Norwich. It came as a slight surprise to see him priced as high as £17million, but that hasn't put me off. It's worth noting he's also been picking up decent defensive points, which is a bonus as I'd expect to see a big attacking haul this weekend from successful crosses / shots on target which will hopefully lead to an assist / goal.
Yaya Toure - With five league goals already, Toure has become Manchester City's most dangerous attacking midfielder, especially at the Etihad, with his bursts from midfield back to the levels we saw in the title winning season. Add to that the fact he's taking the majority of direct free-kicks (and doing a superb job) so he should be high on your list for City's game against Spurs.
Aaron Ramsey - Far and away the top scoring midfielder in Yahoo Fantasy Premier League, Ramsey has to be included in the list. Whether you pick him up at full price with a tough game against Southampton is up to you, but if you're holding at discount it's a no-brainer, you keep him.
Robbie Brady - Hull made a mistake rushing Brady back after his hernia surgery, as a reaction to it caused him to miss more games than necessary, but the two week international break should mean he's ready to start. As set piece and penalty taker he's in my thoughts for the home game against Palace.
Philippe Coutinho - Returning from injury with a fine performance in Week 11, he's currently still in my team for Week 12 as I think his scheming between Everton's midfield and defence could cause the Toffee's problems, but his place is not nailed down at this stage.
Adnan Januzaj - With Michael Carrick and Phil Jones injured one would expect a reshuffle of Manchester United's midfield, which should mean Januzaj returns against Cardiff after sitting out the game against Arsenal. The young man has been a consistent performer this season and is the only United midfielder worth considering.
Nathan Dyer - The Swansea winger changed the game against Stoke after his introduction from the bench, with some excellent wing play and the equalising goal, so he's surely done enough to deserve a start at Fulham. Worth a look in my opinion.
Morgan Amalfitano - After missing a few games through injury the Frenchman returned against Chelsea and should be fully fit after the international break. He faces Aston Villa at home and will take the majority of set pieces for the Baggies as well offering a goal threat cutting in from the right wing.
Stephen Ireland - Four seasons ago, Ireland was named Manchester City's player of the season and was a thoroughly useful Yahoo FPL points provider, before Mark Hughes was sacked as City's manager. Ireland's career spiralled alarmingly, but since re-uniting with Hughes at Stoke he is starting to show signs of a recovery, playing just behind the main striker. An interesting alternative option at home to Sunderland.


Loic Remy - Getting Remy on loan must be regarded as one of the deals of the season, as the striker grabbed his seventh league goal against a usually solid Spurs defence. It could be a big week for the Frenchman at home to Norwich and I'm considering handing him the armband.
Luis Suarez - As mentioned during the fixture run-through, Suarez has been travelling all over the place with Uruguay but he is set to be back in time for the Merseyside derby. As we know, he's a big game player, the joint top scorer in the Premier League (despite missing five league games) and is averaging 21 points in his past three matches, so if anyone is going to put up a score in this fixture it will be him. If I don't go with Remy as captain then it will be Suarez.
Sergio Aguero – Tied with Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at the top of the scoring charts, Aguero is showing his very best form and is especially deadly in front of goal at home. As a Tottenham fan I am dreading facing him and it shows by the fact he’s in my Week 12 team.
Robin van Persie - Are we starting to see signs of last season's van Persie? He's not quite there yet but has moved to seven goals in ten league games and he's still reasonably priced considering his match-up against Cardiff. I have a hunch a massive score is only round the corner, so prefer him to Wayne Rooney this week.
Wilfried Bony - Fresh from his double striker against Stoke, Bony is starting to look the part and will lead the line again against a leaky Fulham defence.
Eden Hazard - The Belgium winger is my pick of the Chelsea forwards if you think Mourinho's men will do well at West Ham, but at a price of almost £17million there are better options above.
Yannick Sagbo - You can expect Sagbo to lead the line for Hull against Crystal Palace and he's the striker to go with if you're looking to something crazy-different compared to your fellow fantasy managers.


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So those are the players I'm considering for my Week 12 Yahoo team. For now I have the following saved on my own team page:


Starting XI: Krul, Pieters, C.Davies, Demichelis, Ozil, Yaya, Coutinho, Cabaye, Remy (C), Suarez, Aguero
Subs: Bardsley, Barkley, Spence, Harper


The balance is good, but the likes of Ramsey and Brady are still in my thoughts and I'm considering moving Ozil to the bench until we see an upturn in his form. The main issue is trying to fit van Persie in somewhere, as I'm pretty happy with the front three as they are.


Check back here on Rotoworld on Friday for all the team and injury news coming out of the manager's press conferences to assist you with your final decisions. There is likely to be a fair amount of information to process after an international break with a lot of travelling, which adds jetlag to the list of reasons one of your players may miss out unexpectedly.


How's your Week 12 team looking? Who's your captain choice? Would you consider dropping Aguero for RvP this week?

Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos

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