Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fantasy (English) Football

So, last year my friends and I started an English Fantasy Football League. It's tough to find a good fantasy league for the English Premier League, so my friends and decided to make our own. It's pretty easy. Teams are 16 players, 11 starters, 5 bench, playing a 4-4-2 system. You get points for goals, shutouts, assists, team of the week and negative for goals against and red cards.
Sunday we participated in our second live draft. Unfortunately the draft took place in St. Francis, WI and I was traveling through the mountains of Idaho at the time, but I did my best nevertheless.
Below I will assess my draft as well as the league. Hopefully you will find this interesting.

Round 1
1. Christiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)- obviously the best player in the league, no question on who to pick. I guess you could compare him to Tomlinson in his best years.
2. Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)- I had him rated as my top striker. The player with this pick loves Arsenal and obviously was going to pick an Arsenal player and this was the best choice.
3. Fernando Torres (Liverpool) - Top quality striker. Pretty risk free pick, will score goals and looked great in Euro 08
4. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) - 2nd best midfielder on my board, will produce goals as well as assists with a high scoring team.
5. Carlos Tevez (Manchester United) - Maybe a bit high. I don't see Tevez as a league leader or even challenging for the league lead in goals. Will get a lot of time with Rooney out, but we'll see what kind of rotation they will have with Berbatov coming over to Man. U.
6. Santa Cruz (Blackburn) - I don't like this pick. Santa Cruz had a surprise great year last year, scoring 19 goals and was not even drafted. But, I don't see a repeat this year. He loses one of his main servers in David Bentley and also I see Benny McCarthy having a much better year.
7. Wayne Rooney (Man United) - Due to injuries and red cards, Rooney never really puts up amazing fantasy numbers. He is a top player, don't I don't see him leading the league in goals or anything like that with such a stacked scoring team.
8.Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - Good pick. He could have went as high as #2 in some drafts. Barring injury, will be a high scorer.
9. Dean Ashton (West Ham) - Definitely a homer pick here for West Ham fan Joe. A quality striker, but team and injury history make him a second round pick at best.
10. Dimitri Berbatov (Man U)- Definitely right on at pick # 10. Move to Man U will be interesting
11. Didier Drogba (Chelsea) - Quality pick. Could lead the league in goals.

Round 2
12. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) One of the most consistent Premier League players of the past 5 years. Will get lots of points.
13. Robbie Keane (Liverpool) Good pick, scores lots of goals no matter where he is or how much he plays. Should fit in nice in Liverpool.
14. Ashley Young (Aston Villa) Great pick. I had him rated as #9 on my board. One of the best young players in England playing for on of the highest scoring teams, and he is listed as a midfielder when he is almost a striker.
15. John Terry (Chelsea) - First defender or goalkeeper taken. Nothing wrong with this pick. Should have lots of clean sheets and a few goals.
16. Vidic (Man U) - It's obvious there are only 4 teams you can count on for consistent shutouts and know they will never give up a large amount of goals (Chelsea, Man U., Arsenal, Liverpool) and each of those teams has only 2 or 3 players you can always pencil in the starting lineup. Vidic is one of those players, defenders are at a premium.
17. Reina (Liverpool) - First goalkeeper taken, maybe a bit early, and interesting to take Reina over Van der Sar or Cech.
18. Stuart Downing (Middlesboro) - Good midfielder, but more of a 4th round pick than a 2nd.
19. Yakubu (Everton) - "Feed the Yak and he will Score" Scouting reports say that Yakubu is fat, but on a team playing one striker, with such a quality midfield, he is bound to score goals.

20. Jermaine Defoe (Portsmouth) - Was the forgotten man at Tottenham, but played brilliantly when transfered to Pompey. Can he keep it up?
21. Michael Owen (Newcastle)- Seems a good pick for late 2nd early third round. Injury history is dense and plays for Newcastle
22. Michael Ballack (Chelsea) - Came on strong in the second half of last season and looked good in Euro '08

I won't go any further into the entire draft. I think the first two rounds give a good sample of how things go. Here are my picks:

1 (4) - Fabregas- I was hoping that I might be able to snag Adebayor at this pick, but that didn't happen. I had to decide between Fabregas, Lampard, and Drogba and went with Fabregas because I believed he was most consistent.
2. (19) Yakubu - I needed a reliable goalscorer and got it in Yakubu. And it doesn't hurt that he plays for my favorite team.
3. (26) Deco-Mid -Chelsea - Transfer from Barca. Transfers from other leagues always have some risk, but I see quality in Deco, especially in the middle with Lampard.
4. (41) Boswinga - Def- Chelsea - Another Portuguese transfer to Chelsea. This one was risky, as Chelsea has a lot of quality defenders, but I see him getting into the starting lineup a majority of the time.
5. (48) Theo Walcott- Mid- Arsenal- I see this guy having a breakout year. He is another midfielder on the boarder of being a striker. Produces whenever he is in the game. I like this pick.
6. (63) Andy Johnson - Striker- Fulham - Maybe a bit early for this pick, but I needed another starting striker. There were many still available, but I see AJ having a year similar to his one back at Crystal Palace
7. (7) Aaron Lennon - Mid - Tottenham - Another strong midfielder. I feel this is a very high quality pick for round 7
8. (85) Gary Neville - Def - Man U - This has the potential of being a very bad pick. I do feel he is better than Wes Brown and will be a starter.
9. (91) Ryan Nelsen - Def - Blackburn - I feel this pick was a big mistake. I could've gotten a Blackburn defender 6 rounds later. Should've taken a Villa defender and taken GK Robinson a few rounds later. This has the potential of ruining my team. Not smart drafting.
10. (107) Scott Carson - GK - West Brom - Another poor pick. I could've gotten Carson or a similar keeper much later.
11. (114) Robinho - OK. so this guy isn't actually in the league, but it rumored to go to Chelsea. Thought I'd take a stab. If he comes, great, if not, I don't feel someone I could've gotten in round 11 would be much better than players I could get in round 12 or 13.
12. (129) Tom Huddlestone - Mid- Tot - I felt at this point, there were much fewer fantasy scoring midfielders around than defenders, so I went with Huddlestone,
13. (136) Leighton Baines - D - Everton
14. (151) Ben Haim - D - Man City - hoping he starts
15. (158) Steven Pienaar- M - Eve
16. (172) El Hadji Douif- S- Sunderland

I'm feeling pretty good about my team with the exception of rounds 9 and 10. If Deco preforms, Boswinga usually starts and Gary Neville starts I will be money. If Robinho comes to Chelsea even better. I also have a few transfers in mind which will make my team even better.

A few other notable picks.
Martin Petrov was a pretty good pick in round 6 as was Darren Bent
Nicky Shorey and Luke Young both good picks as Villa defenders in round 9. I see them and Brad Friedel helping Villa's weak D
Good picks for Junkie in rounds 7 and 8 with Defenders Carragher and Richards, but questionable with Anton Ferdinand in round 5
Good picks for Serg in rounds 9 and 10 with Joe Cole and Benjani (looking much better than last year)
Joe had some good midround picks with Phil Jagielka (7), Anderson (9) who I look to break into the starting line-up over Giggs and Scholes and Croat Corluka (10)
I'm impressed with the overall quality of Dustin's line-up. GK Gomes in round 11 could be a great pick along with defender Kaboul in the final round. If he starts over Campbell, that is a very nice pick.
Worth also looks good getting Friedel and Carvalho in rounds 7 and 8.
For Tyler Samba in round 13 and McCarthy in 11 are steals.
A few interesting (bad) picks - Danny Higgenbottom, Eddie Johnson, Steven Ireland, Liam Lawrence and Freddie Adu.

Overall I like Tyler's team along with Dustin and Worth's. If Arsenal is great, BJ will do great.
I don't see Raubert and Jesse doing as well as last season.
Well, hope I didn't bore you too much with all that.
Big Dunc!


Joe said...

Like the analysis...Higgenbotham is just so fun to say, we all got a bit loopy after Worths hour long delays between picks.

Billowing Beef Curtains Football Club (BBCFC)

jUNKIE said...

I definitely did not pick anton ferdinand until the 13th or 14th round, not the 5th. I also think I picked Carragher in the 3rd or 4th round. Get your shit straight. Jobless 4 Life will see you in battle. . . fantasy battle.

Barry said...

Has anyone tried this Setanta Sports package yet? They are offering some great deals at the moment and I'm quite tempted to subscribe. I have other sports packages that I pay monthly for at the moment but they really don't seem to have a wide choice like Setanta Sports do, it might be worth me changing.