In our second selection guide for The Sun Dream Team, we turn our attention to the defence, casting an eye on the strategies involved in selecting a back four and the prime candidates on offer.

While the big points scorers can be found further up the field, with a quartet of defenders a pre-requisite for our lineups in The Sun Dream Team, we can ill-afford to neglect this area. As with our goalkeeper selection, we’re looking for regular starters first and foremost, although, as we’ll see, attacking instincts and the potential for goals is also key.

Before we begin looking at specific player options, let’s analyse the factors that govern our selection – including last season’s performance, the influence of cup fixtures and possible transfer window strategies.

The Strategies

Top Ten Sun Dream Team Defenders by Overall Points 2012/13

Name Team Starts 7+ Ratings Star Man Goals CS GC Points
Baines Everton 44 32 5 7 12 48 196
Ivanovic Chelsea 54 21 3 8 18 60 177
Vertonghen Tottenham Hotspur 48 28 3 7 13 59 164
Luiz Chelsea 50 18 1 7 19 55 153
Agger Liverpool 38 20 1 3 17 41 138
Shawcross Stoke City 40 22 5 1 13 44 135
Johnson Liverpool 41 20 2 1 18 46 135
Williams Swansea City 41 25 3 0 13 47 129
Jagielka Everton 41 18 4 3 11 44 129
Mertesacker Arsenal 43 14 1 3 17 43 124

Looking back at the previous campaign’s data, it’s clear that some familiar names from other Fantasy games also dominate in The Sun Dream Team. Leighton Baines’ status as the top defensive asset is compounded by his standing, here: he finished the season some 22 points ahead of his nearest rival in The Sun Dream Team, despite claiming just 12 clean sheets. Everton’s progress to the FA Cup semi-finals boosted another eye-catching Premier League season for Baines, who achieved a points per game stat of 4.5 – by far the most impressive amongst the top ranked defenders.

The Chelsea pairing of Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz benefited from a successful Europa League campaign but turned in points per game numbers of 3.2 and 2.9 respectively – emphasising Baines’ efficiency. Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen was also aided by Europa League appearances and, overall, it’s significant that these top four defenders all claimed seven or more goals over the season – underlining the importance of targeting those capable of contributing at the sharp end.

While goals are clearly an important factor, we should also consider the role played by points gained for Star Man and 7+ ratings.

Baines, Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross and West Ham’s James Collins all topped the Star Man charts for defenders with modest totals of five awards. In 2011/12, Baines, along with Shawcross, were two of eight defenders tied on just three at the top. Compare this to Juan Mata’s 15, and the 13 accrued by both Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez last season, and it’s clear that, like goalkeepers, defenders struggle to overshadow their attacking team-mates when it comes to picking up man-of-the-match status.

Points from 7+ Sun Ratings are easier to obtain, however. There were ten defenders who earned 7+ ratings on 20 or more occasions last season, with Baines registering a hugely impressive tally of 32 from his 44 starts, gathering 96 points in this area. Vertonghen also gained heavily here – he collected 7+ ratings on 28 occasions from 48 starts, while Swansea’s Ashley Williams earned the same accolade in 25 of his 41 Dream Team starts.

As a rule, aside from the obvious benefit of scoring in a match, dominant central defenders and full-backs with strong attacking impetus are the most likely to earn a 7+ rating. Baines has featured in the top five rankings for 7+ ratings over the last four seasons – emphasising the importance of a consistent attacking presence. Similarly, both Shawcross and Williams have made the top ten for 7+ ratings in the past two seasons (with Star Man awards also a factor) – it’s obvious that the duo have something to offer in this area.

Cup Campaigns

There’s no question that a Cup run and, in particular, a European campaign can be big factors behind the number of appearances, and therefore the points tallies, of your defenders. In some cases, defensive stalwarts can be less prone to rotation than their attacking counterparts.

Vertonghen was a key benefactor of Tottenham’s Europa League campaign last term, earning 41 of his 164 points in Europe. Similarly, both Ivanovic and Luiz collected 17 and 25 additional points from Champions League and Europa League matches, with Liverpool’s Glen Johnson fetching 18 additional points.

We’re not talking big margins here, but clearly, targeting players with the potential of regular starts in European matches is another factor to consider.

Domestic cup runs can also be considered, but these are far trickier to anticipate, with rotation in the FA and Capital One Cups likely to be rife amongst those sides also competing in Europe. Typically, we’ll see all the Champions League contenders rotate across the board in the domestic cup competitions, leading us to look to those teams outside of these four, perhaps honing in on those sides who will field strong lineups in both domestic trophies – the likes of Everton, West Ham and Norwich, perhaps.

Window Watching

Planning transfer strategies according to The Sun Dream Team Transfer Window is crucial, not least in defence where you can tailor your tactics to give yourself the best opportunity of earning clean sheet rewards.

Transfer Window 1 opens with just three Premier League fixtures played out, on September 3. You’ll have three transfers to use before the Gameweek 4 on September 14 and, with a “use them or lose” policy, it’s wise to examine the options of signing defenders with this in mind.

It’s worth considering a policy of adopting one or even two slots in your back four that can be used to rotate a defender in and out in each Transfer Window according to fixtures and cup progress. Of course, such best laid plans can be ripped up by untimely injuries, however.

The Season Ticker is your key weapon here. We can easily identify those with the easier fixtures over the first three Gameweeks and, if you’re a member, you can use the “clean sheets” filter on the interactive ticker to find those defences most likely to earn shut-outs in this spell.

Our members can also tailor their ticker to examine the next Transfer Window that opens on November 12. By restricting the full Members Ticker to Gameweeks 3-11 you can analyse the difficulty of fixtures between Transfer Window 1 and Transfer Window 2, revealing some valid strategies and targets.

As an example, Southampton face home matches with West Ham, Crystal Palace, Swansea, Fulham and Hull all before Transfer Window 2, therefore, switching in a defender from St Mary’s in Transfer Window 1 for this spell looks an option.

With the Capital One Cup reaching the fourth round by October 28, you will be able to adjust your defence according to those teams who have made progress by the time Transfer Window 2 comes into effect.

It’s not so easy in Europe, with the Europa League and Champions League both on matchday four of the group stages by the time Transfer Window 2 opens.

The FA Cup Third Round does not take place until January 4, so progress here only becomes a factor for the Transfer Window 3 that opens on January 21.

The Players

Baines and Vertonghen are obvious draws once again this season with both set to offer a significant attacking threat and assured league starts. There are caveats that might curb investment prior to Transfer Window 1, however, with Baines’ future at Goodison still not uncertain and Vertonghen looking a doubt for the opening fixtures with a pre-season ankle injury. Once settled, however, both look hugely tempting as heavy-hitter investments with Vertonghen’s price tag of £5.5m, coupled with Tottenham’s kind schedule of fixtures up until Transfer Window 2, perhaps giving him the edge once fit.

Coverage of both Man City and United will be high on the agenda given their potential to harvest clean sheets, although the fixture list suggests that initial investment should go the way of Manuel Pellegrini’s side. City have Newcastle, Cardiff and Hull before the first transfer window, while United’s defence face both Liverpool and Chelsea in the same spell.

Vincent Kompany seems likely to be the most secure option in the City rearguard with both full-backs and the Belgian’s central defensive partner set to shuffle on the domestic front and in Europe. If you’re not spending on Joe Hart in goal, the City captain looks a shoo-in, at least until Transfer Window 1 swings open and the United defence comes into play.

That will also give us time to assess how David Moyes will approach his back four. With the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones all available for the centre-half roles, the full-backs – Patrice Evra and Rafael, could be the safer routes to take. Jones, if he can cement a start, either in defence or midfield, looks the one to watch given his modest £4m price tag.

Chelsea’s defensive assets are difficult to sift through. Jose Mourinho will surely rotate at the back and, aside from Ashley Cole (£6.0), few look assured of regular starts in the league, let alone the cup competitions. Luiz, with a significant goal threat, looks to be the crown jewel but at £6.5m, his potential comes at a price. With a difficult start to the campaign (United, Everton, Tottenham and City all before Transfer Window 2), it may be wise to look elsewhere in order to assess Mourinho’s selection pattern.

Lower down the brackets, Ashley Williams, with a valuation of just £3.5m, has attracted more interest than any other defender – he’s been selected by over 31% of managers in The Sun Dream Team so far. Swansea’s Europa League campaign is presumably a factor, here, with Chico (£2.5) finding his way into over 21% of sides. Both could be set to plummet should Swansea falter in qualifying, although arguably, the duo have merits regardless of potential European returns.

Liverpool’s Kolo Toure looks a stronger option in the same bracket. Having figured prominently in pre-season and with Martin Skrtel’s future at Anfield far from certain, Toure looks exceptional value at just £3m. As we mentioned in our previous guide to The Sun Dream Team goalkeepers, there is real merit in acquiring both Toure and Simon Mignolet given their price and Liverpool’s strong early schedule.

Baines’ team-mate Seamus Coleman (£3m) offers an interesting alternative. Classed as a midfielder last season, Coleman is expected to claim the start on the right side of Roberto Martinez’s defence, either as a full-back or wing-back. That should see him contribute regularly to attack and draw plenty of 7+ ratings should Martinez start his Goodison career strongly.

In the budget bracket, West Ham’s defence offers new signing Razvan Rat for just £1m – a hugely attractive option going into Transfer Window 1 with the Hammers facing Cardiff and Stoke at Upton Park, with a trip to Newcastle sandwiched in between. Rat could be a keeper over the season given that price tag, although a transfer out to cash in on Southampton’s aforementioned run up to Transfer Window 2 looks a good tactic.

Full-backs Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne can each be acquired for £2.5m and if Jose Fonte or Jos Hooiveld can secure at start, they can be snapped up for just £1m. Beyond those two clubs, Norwich City’s Michael Turner, at just £1.5m, looks another bargain. If he can gain continue to command starts alongside Sebastian Bassong, he should offer value, particularly if Chris Hughton’s side can translate their summer spending into a domestic Cup run.

The Sun Dream Team Scout League

The Sun Dream Team is long established as one of the biggest players in the UK Fantasy Football market, attracting a huge audience wowed by the most substantial prizes on offer. Once again, this season, there’s a huge £500,000 prize pool to be divided up. Registration for teams and leagues opens on August 1 but you can select your lineups right now.

We also have our own Fantasy Football Scout League with a £1000 top prize on offer to the winner.

Once you register and create your team or teams, simply use the following PIN and password to enter.

League Name: Fantasy Football Scout
Password: ReWOZhn1T1
PIN: 8061654

You’ll find these details on the middle column of the homepage from this point on.

About The Author

“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”

Mark

> See all posts by this author

  1. call me craZy, but am i the only one dropping Giroud for soldado once he gets here???

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
  2. I am bored to death of the Bale story.

    That is all.

    For now.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Ron, didnt recognise you there with a splash of colour !

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Yeah I just want to fit in :)

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. As an Arsenal fan I get over the burden by cracking open volume 11 in my complete set of "Who We Didn't Buy Over My Summer Vacation."

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. If Arsenal buy noone, Wenger will feel the wrath of the fans :evil:

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Is that the same wrath of fans that will buy tickets at the Emirates regardless?

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
            • 8 months, 21 days ago
  3. Evs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights

    Does anyone actually enjoy pre-gw1 team selection?

    It drives me nuts, closely followed by the Jan wildcard. Hate them both !

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Wait for the GW2 WC RMTs. ;)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Evs
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights

        I can handle the RMTs they don't bother me at all, it's selecting my own that I don't like....

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Same. At least with the Jan WC, you are trying to gain team value. Won't bother with my team until after the Community Shield.

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. I don't know why I bother tinkering with it so early. I should just wait until the week leading up to gw1.

      I must be on my 20th different line up.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. Any gameweek in which I have unlimited transfers I end up over thinking.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    4. At the start when the prices are released, but its got a wee bit boring now. Not long to go before things kick into gear though...

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. A few big transfers should spice it up....

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Aye, I think there are 1 or 2 left that could alter people's thoughts. For this reason I haven't put much time or thought into my own team.

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
    5. I feel like I'm stumbling blind. There's a good case for WCing GW2 :lol:

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    6. I do :)
      And the closer the 1st deadline, the more sense and joy it makes.
      Not a big fan of the January Wildcard, but for another reason: it makes teams very similar.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    7. Yeah, I wish they'd ditch the Jan w/c.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    8. I enjoy it.

      It's where you get the biggest lead over the casuals, and there is no status quo. Everybody is on an even playing field.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  4. How risky is it going with Mignolet and a 4.0 keeper.

    Should I find 0.5 for a 4.5 sub keeper?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Nope, not risky at all unless he gets injured.

      I'm doing exactly that, and did last year. Not with M1nge tho.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Ok cheers.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. Then who are you on?

        a 6.0 and a 4.0?

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Its not as bad as some make out. People take much riskier punts.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. There's more than one way to play. I prefer Ruudy/Marshall because if there is a Liverpool blank at any point though just be ready to use up a FT on your keeper. He's unlikely to be injured or suspended though so little risk really.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. I need to start reading through my posts before I click 'Post Comment' :D

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    4. Thanks guys.

      Think I'm just going to go with one keeper. I usually make the wrong choice when rotating anyway.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  5. Which would you prefer for first few weeks:

    A) Paulinho, Coutinho, Dzeko

    B) Navas, Chadli, Aspas?

    Rest of front 8 would be Hazard (c), Walcott, Wanayama, Lukaku and Benteke.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
  6. Advantages of wildcarding after GW 3:

    - Get in Rvp just before Utd's good fixtures start
    - Will know who is Man Utd midfielder to have (possibly defender)
    - Season would have settled in a bit, so you would know which players to pick
    - Transfer window would have closed. No new arrivals to disrupt your plan.
    - Gain team value
    - Lets you go all out by picking a team just for first 3 GW's, if you are sure to WC after gw 3.

    Feel free to add any more points..

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. That's the plan. Plus it allows you to load up for the DGW

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. I agree with all of this. WC'd just before week 3 last season for the same reasons (including RVP) and it was hugely beneficial.

      However, I'd still like to be in a situation where it's not a necessity, and I think it's possible to build a team that's very strong for the first 3 but doesn't back you into a corner. You can get RVP with 2 Chelsea downgrades, and avoid Villa players altogether, and you can have your cake and hopefully eat it too.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. If you're planning to WC in GW3 then i can't understand why you would triple up on Villa. Cheap fillers for one GW and field Chelsea plays v ManU and then they're gone.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  7. Is Kun injured at the moment? Why is Dzeko getting so many preseason minutes if he's going to sit on he bench?

    A brace today, is he playing his way into the managers affections?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Because Dzeko is the best striker on this earth at the moment bar Heskey ofc

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Bentdner's lawyers will be paying you a visit to discuss trademark violations.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Kun is injured, yes he is. Kun is injury prone, yes he is. Look elsewhere for your expensive striker.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  8. i like to think i started the Dzeko wagon :cool:

    http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/comment/5035704

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. And still it isn't moving anywhere.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. I have a feeling it will be derailed just like all the previous Dzeko wagons

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  9. Who will be more attacking when City need a goal, Yaya or Fernandinho? :-?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. neither?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  10. Swansea City: The Fall and Rise is on BBC1 at 11ish tonight f you're interested. Should be a decent watch

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. I despised Swansea when they were in league 1. never seen a more despicable set of away fans. now im quite fond of the team.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  11. So I'm playing poker and have FF scout opened in between hands so can't bring any more pages up.

    A question relevant to the Scouts article. Do you get a free entry in the Sun game?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. the url for the sun has "free" in the title so I guess so. Doesnt open till tomorrow anyway

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. AH Haaaaaa.! Cheers ty.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  12. No one could ever convince me that spewing a wildcard in GW2 is a good idea.

    Go on, try giving me a good reason.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Not sure if i have a reason but i use my wildcard very early every season it seems

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. I used mine GW3 last season, the earliest ever, but I felt I had a very good reason to. I'd never plan it that way normally.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. if ur gona do it then you might as well go 3x chelsea, 3 x arse, 3x city n 2 villa with 1 4m gk, 2 4.0 defs and a 4.5m mid

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. Is GW1 really that predictable anyway. United, Liverpool and Spurs all lost their first games last season and Arsenal drew 0-0 with Sunderland

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
            1. fair point, but chelsea and city will win i suspect. Arse cud be the team to feck it up. Think Pool will win too.

              • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      It not Gran. Full stop.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. You'll do crap no matter what Granville ;)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    4. GW2, no. First international break, yes.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    5. its not, but think it could work better this year just because chelsea have a great first gameweek with 2 shite weeks afterwards

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    6. It isn't, you're right. Why would people make their team with the intention of wildcarding straight after, just doesn't make sense. They could make a great team that also does well in the next few weeks and get the price rises from it. There's then TWO international breaks before GW 10 to sort any problems out. Just a massive waste. And because the winner did it last season, it seems to be accepted as a valid strategy

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. I consider it every year as my GW1 teams are always awful. I;m not suggesting its a good strategy, it just makes up for my biggest fpl failings quite well.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Hits....

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. I took two -8's last year and my team was still terrible. Didnt pick up till christmas

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
            1. I saved my transfer in GW2 and transferred in Baines, RVP, Michu and Pienaar for Rooney, Fabio, Lampard and Ivanovic for -8, completely transformed my team with only 4 transfers.

              • 8 months, 21 days ago
              1. No Fabio, but Taarabt.

                • 8 months, 21 days ago
        2. That'a fair, as you mess up with your picks from the start. But don't know why people would just plan to do it with their GW1 team without wanting to see how it fares first.

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
        3. Isn't it better to pick a GW1 team that isn't pants?

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
            • 8 months, 21 days ago
    7. hamstring injuries to Hazard,Lukaku,Benteke,Walcott,Silva,Coutinho,Miralles,Mignolet,Zabaleta,Ivan,Luiz gw1?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. ur goin coutinho? madness

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. yes :)

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. Could happen with all the International games before the season

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    8. The guy that won it last year WC in GW 2 or 3........ Can get you off to a good start. He who dares Gran.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. it's a marathon not a sprint...as I cruelly found out by losing my mini league on the last day of the season....

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. But a good start is always key...

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. Sets up your team for the season. A dgw ruins it.

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
            1. If anything, the DGW can be a big help. DGWers = points. Then you can transfer out the DGWers for those in form/value players within the next few weeks....

              • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. I didn't even know that, but I reckon if you ask him, he'll tell you it made no difference to him winning it. Course it didn't.

        One gameweek is 2.6% of the whole season

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. Evs
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights

            WTF?!

            Check out his Gw37 comments...

            '5th Place - Eves' :mad: !!!!

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
          2. He chose Hazard instead of Mata and probably every other correct decision over the whole season. Those are the reasons. GW1 was 2.6% of his whole season. He'd have still finished top10

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
    9. Absolutely agree. One may for some reason find that one needs to do so, but planning to do so seems like madness to me.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    10. I feel that a wildcard is a 'get out of jail free' card that should be played when your team is not performing and you are dropping in the leagues. Planning to WC is planning to fail

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Think of an early WC as prevention rather than cure?

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    11. Spiderm4tt did it with the Chelsea/Reading DGW. Yup, READING. Villa are better.

      By then we might know Sunderland keepers, Rooney's role, Tottenham striker/CBs/LB etc...

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    12. That's not a fair challenge. There is no good reason.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    13. SpiderMatt's successful experience sounds like a good reason, doesn't it? :)
      But to be honest, I think he lucked out in the second half of the season.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    14. here goes...

      - maximise returns on dgw and clean-up immediately for next rounds (like batting first in cricket. runs on the board)
      - Better guide on nailed on-ness... chance to make the GW1 team you would have made if you knew who was playing where
      - Beat the price rises of the early season rush and knee-jerks
      - No hits (hopefully) needed for next 5-6 weeks after having a more confirmed 15

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. i'm not 100% doing it. trying to build a 3 gameweek clean-up plan. Do want 4 DGW'ers. Like racing from the front :-)

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    15. I'll argue for it.

      The most price changes occur after GW2 and those players tend to carry on gaining into GW3. That cash adds up over the season and gives you a much stronger team for a much longer period of time (since you're getting the cash earlier in the season).

      Should you plan to do it, maybe not. But on the other hand if you tend to WC early to get in on the next Michu/Lambert etc then it may not be a bad idea to factor that in and design a team that is more focused on GW1

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  13. Still debating my backline

    Merts+4.0+4.0=13.5

    4.5+4.5+4.5=13.5
    E.g. Collins Turner Shaw

    I want Merts but the second could very well offer more points i fear...

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
  14. Evening all,

    Is Coutinho as good as is being made out and does no Suarez effect his opening points haul? Sturbridge is decent but can't help but think Liverpool are a better defensive outfit than attacking. 9 mil better spent on michu, silva or mirallas?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. I would prefer Silva for 9m, or indeed Michu when Swansea's fixtures get better. Mirallas at 7.5m is straight in my team.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  15. What are peoples thoughts on Stoke clean sheet potential this season?

    Britannia is still a narrow pitch, they haven't lost any of their defensive assets and Hughes isn't exactly known for adventurous football. Think back to the days of Blackburn and Fulham. Fixtures aren't bad in a rotation with Palace, Norwich, West Brom, Southampton, Sunderland, Cardiff and Villa all turning up at the Britannia before the Jan WC

    Thinking Eric Pieters

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. I was looking at Turd graphs and thinking, Begovic is gonna have to do a lot of work, and no one in that Stoke team is gonna rival him for baps, so if Stoke do stay tight defensively he is gonna be invaluable. To big an if for me though.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Bego is too rich for me but at 5mil, Pieters could sneak in a rotation is my thinking

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Not arguing for or against Stoke defenders, but don't let the pitch sway you. Beginning last season, all Premier League pitches are now required to be the same dimensions.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. We always have a "Norfolk n Chance" in our work league. Hilarious.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. My ML is called that this year

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. Never seen that name before, very funny

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      3. The "No Imagination Whatsoever" comes up far too often in my MLs!

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Great read. So what are everyone's team names this season?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. VertonghenCheick

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. Call Me Wanyama!

        Pretty sure that blog writer is on this site somewhere. TEAM DENCH was me last season :D

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      3. I'm going with Schurrlely Not Again

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      4. Some play on words with 'Bony'

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. my BonyWolfswinkel, Bony and Clyne, etc

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
      5. Mertesnacker

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  16. What are people thinking in terms of City attack cover, given the early fixtures?

    Plenty of options...Aguero, Negredo, Dzeko, Jovetic, Silva, Navas, Yaya, Nasri...

    Which is kinda the problem.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. So many people pushing Dzeko that I am starting to doubt my instincts/wisdom.

        Just two more weeks and I can relax.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. City's points are usually very diluted. In Pelle's set up there seems to be one man the attack will go though. Mr. Dzeko ;)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Surely, he's going to be on the bench more often than not?

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. He said the new signings were 'squad players' because 'every position needs 3-4 players for support' and that Dzeko is his main man.
          http://www.footytube.com/video/dzeko-is-citys-main-man-pellegrini-188414?ref=tchan_ov_vidgrid

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. I'll believe that when I see it. No need to risk getting someone like that it straightaway. Lukaku to Dzeko is easy enough if needed.

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
          2. "I very much trust him and I can say that every other player that have come are a support for a squad that needs to have more than one player in every position"

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
        2. I expect City will be in the top three scoring teams in the league...and that those three teams will score significantly more tham most other teams...Rotation at a club like City is not the same as being rotated at some other clubs. The only consideration is surely that the players you choose get enough minutes to get a decent share of the points available....Dzeko scored 14 goals in each of the last two seasons playing only 1500 and 1800 mins...any improvement in his game time will render him an absolute steal but he's still decent value even at those levels.

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. I'm expecting a Silva resurgence, now that he has a more attack-minded manager.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  17. Fantasy League auction tonight and this is what I ended up with. This squad has to remain the same, except for the chance of free transfers when the window shuts. Thoughts?

    Vorm/Mannone
    Monreal/Ben Davies/Cameron/Luiz/Distin/K.Toure
    Coutinho/Mirallas/Sissoko/Noble/Koren
    Giroud/Hooper/Walters

    We use the Fantasy League.com rules so 3 pts for a clean sheet, 3 for a goal and 2 for an assist, with -1 point for every defender/GK goal conceded (first goal doesn't count).

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. You did quite well. Shame you didn't get RVP though. Good luck!

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Looking forward to CONRADS draft thing very soon :-)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  18. Best strike force for 22m? Aspas Anelka Giroud?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Berbatov Lambert and dzeko for 22.5?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Lukaku Lambert Anelka

      21.0

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. I'm not sure about Lukaku or Dzeko's game time...

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  19. whats not to like about Anelka this year?

    Gona play, proven goalscorer and a good start for WBA.
    Cant believe hes only 5.5m

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. RMT computer says "YES"

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  20. Sturridge out for GW 1?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Should be back.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. If that's the case, why doesn't everyone just get Sturridge instead of Dzeko?

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. No pre-season for starters.

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
  21. a. Dzeko and Morrison

    or

    b. Anelka and Mirrallas

    ???

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Don't suppose there's a c)?

      How much is Morrison?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Evs
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights

          On right, don't fancy Kim at caridff. 5m? Or Bellamy?

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. not really...

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  22. Analysis of migs possible extra bonus after move to Liverpool based on results from the3rd's fine work in the hot topic.

    Apologies as this is typed on a tablet (probably not quite as painful to do as the lad who did the 12 commandments but pretty sore all the same).

    Reina would have received 13 extra bonus under the new system in 2011/2012 according to the3rd fines work in the hot topic.

    In 2011/2012 pool had 4 cs and 9 wins 2-0 or less (four 2-0), they also had six 1-1 results and he made no penalty save.

    In 2012/2013 pool had 5 cs and 8 wins 2-0 or less (zero 2-0), they also had three 1-1 results and he made 1 penalty save.

    In conclusion last season I would estimate reina could have got 13-15 bonus extra under the new system.

    While juusi or bego might have got a few more each I don't think we would have benefited from them all due to three of stokes 12cs (to 2-0 or less) coming v arsenal home, liverpool home and toon away. By rotating you could have missed out (not sure how the rotation worked for these fixtures) on 18 bonus of the combined probable 25 (estimate based on krul and vorm getting circa extra bonus each for 15 and 14 cs respectively compared to stoke 12 and wham 11 last year) or so extra bps these gk would likely have got.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      LFC had 16 clean sheets last year I believe?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Sugar that should read 5 nil nils. I didn't count games higher than 2-0 due to likelyhood of gk not getting bonus

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      2. Sugar this should read 4 and 5 nil nil results. I didn't count results to nil higher than 2-0 due to likelyhood gk won't get bp in these games

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
      3. Any chance you have edit post powers evs? If you could change cs to "0-0 results" for pools results last two seasons I would appreciate it.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. No chance Dino. :(

          Good post btw. :)

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. Cheers tm took ages on this bloody tablet and a lost post due to internet dc but pure stubbornness made me stick at it till I got it posted.

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
        2. Evs
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights

          I can't edit, just remove it - sorry Dino.

          I can delete it if you like and you can repost ?

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
          1. Probably a few too many replies now...

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
          2. Leave it for now evs I'll copy and edit it on work cpu tomorrow and repost for others. Decent info on migs a lot should find it useful.

            • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Ps this is partly for you ginkapo as I don't know if you got my reply on the3rds post

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. I replied to said reply...

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        1. Cheers gink I'll have a look

          • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. Yeah, rotating Begovic was a nightmare last season. Caused a lot of moaning on here, most of which was coming from Daniel if I remember correctly :)
      I'm not a fan of rotating goalkeepers and that epic analysis only convinced me to go with Ming.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. With mig at 5.5 I agree however I wouldn't like to be shelling out much more tbh

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    4. Certainly looks like more keepers are going to be getting BPS this season compared to last.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Looks like it taff and looks like rotation game could be dangerous

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  23. Is Dzeko really finding a spot in peoples squads?

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Check the last 20 pages of RMT Tommy :shock: !

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. All liars me thinks ;-)

        Come on it's sub bench, disappointment, Edin Dzeko. Belongs in the Kolarov hopeful brigade

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        • 8 months, 21 days ago
        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. worth the risk at 7.5..easy swap to lambert/aspas/jrod/anelka :)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. Yes, he's in mine.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  24. ah feck it time to part with 12.50

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
  25. Hmm, Sturridge - Soldado - JRod looks like a tasty pro GW 1 strikeline to me..

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Sturridge going to be fit? Soldado done deal?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Believe so. Not yet, but I'm confident it will happen.

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  26. Second draft taking bale out, £97m:

    Mannone (boruc)
    Toure Collins (sh
    Hazard (c) coutinho Walcott Sessegnon (mirallas)
    Anelka Giroud lukaku

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Mert(Shaw!! Mcnaughton)

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Isn't it amazing how much better a team looks without Bale or RvP? until they score a bucketload of points that is ...

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
  27. Going through a panic moment - RMT to calm the nerves please!

    Migs

    Rat Coleman Ivan

    hazard valencia silva sess

    dzeko lambert giroud

    bench - brunt garrido figueroa boruc - 2.5m in the bank.

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. thinking of dzeko -> soldado eventually..

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  28. Dzeko bandwagon in full steam I see, as expected...

    Might work the first week or two but we all know he won't play enough to lock down a spot, could always hope for a sneaky Negredo injury though ;)

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. Don't understand the bandwagon... he surely won't play alongside Negredo they'll just steal gametime from each other.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
      1. Happens every year these kind of things. He looks oh so tempting at 7.5 though :)

        • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. August 1 – Bayern Munich or Sao Paulo (2013 Audi Cup)
      August 10 – Arsenal (in Finland)

      Still a couple more games to go.

      Arsenal game should give the best indication on his preferred 11.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. If he scores I reckon Pellegrini won't be silly enough to drop him. That's the difference between Mancini and Pellegrini, last season, Mancini dropped Dzeko after a brace at Norwich, did he not?

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
  29. Folks, I've had no Internet for the past couple of weeks, so I was just wondering if anyone would be kind enough to round up some recommendations/band wagons/must have players etc?

    Thanks!

    • 8 months, 21 days ago
    1. dzeko

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    2. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Just look at last few pages... You'll catch up.

      Re. dzeko, Lukaka, Thomas, parr, Chester.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago
    3. Today's RMT favourites include Dzeko and Kolarov.

      • 8 months, 21 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 35

  • Adrián
  • Zabaleta
  • Ivanovic
  • Skrtel
  • Salah
  • Gerrard
  • Mata
  • Eriksen
  • Suárez
  • Adebayor
  • Aguero
  • Caulker
  • Ramsey
  • Lambert

Comments

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Next Six Ticker

Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £

Defenders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £

Midfielders

Last updated: 17 Apr, 2014 2:45pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI B, Vs, Inj
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Up Ramsey ARS B, Vs
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
No Change Johnson SUN C
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £

Forwards

Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL A, £

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style