By AVI CREDITOR
Another season, another quick start for the top four teams in the league. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and…Blackpool?
The recently promoted Tangerines are off to a dream start in the Premiership, amassing two victories by shutout and securing seven points through their first four games. What do we make of this? The schedule has played in their favor, without question. Although the 4-0 thrashing of Wigan at DW Stadium on opening day was impressive, their other victory was over also-promoted Newcastle. They've also already been shut out by Arsenal, 6-0.
The Seasiders look to be akin to last year's Burnley. After a surprising start, the schedule should catch up to them at some point (next four games are Chelsea, Blackburn, Liverpool, Manchester City), with their players being useful in fantasy circles strictly on a matchup basis. While Charlie Adam, Marlon Harewood, Matthew Gilks & Co. might have stolen you some fantasy points early on, be wary of fully relying on them throughout the season.
Here are a few other Fantasy Premier league notes along with our captain pick of the week and an SBI league standings update:
FEEL THE BURN
Are you a planner looking for the best buys? Look no further than Blackburn. Sam Allardyce's men have a pretty light schedule over the next four games. With a home game against Fulham, road tilts at Blackpool and Stoke City and a home match against Sunderland, Blackburn's players could be an unassuming mine of fantasy gold for the next month.
Keeper Paul Robinson (£4.5), defender Christopher Samba (£5.0), midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen (£5.9), and forward Nikola Kalinic (£5.5) are players to target at each position if you are looking for an under-the-radar source of points at a very low cost.
Tim Howard might have yielded three goals to Manchester United, but he delivered perhaps his finest performance of the season in helping hold off the Red Devils' attack so the Toffees could have the chance to secure a miracle, stoppage-time comeback. Feel very safe starting him this week, considering the matchup (at home against Newcastle).
Brad Friedel was close to his third clean sheet of the young season before disaster struck and Stoke City hit for two goals in the final 10 minutes of their match last week. Don't worry about Friedel. Start him with confidence as he tries to shut down Stuart Holden and Bolton.
Marcus Hahnemann faces a pretty stern test, facing Tottenham at White Hart Lane. He's probably better off as your backup keeper this week.
As for Clint Dempsey, Deuce should be in line for more minutes now that Bobby Zamora is on the mend likely until February. Dempsey has a nice matchup at Blackburn and should be considered for a fourth midfield spot in your roster.
INJURY QUICK HITS
Manchester United's Antonio Valencia suffered what should be a season-ending ankle injury in Champions League play this week. Feel free to transfer him out and use that £8.1 elsewhere…Arsenal's starting lineup will be a bit depleted with both Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) and Abou Diaby (ankle) being ruled out of the weekend's match against Sunderland…As stated above, Bobby Zamora is out for the foreseeable future with a broken leg. Moussa Dembele figures to benefit the most… Chelsea's Frank Lampard missed last week's match after having surgery for a hernia, but reports suggest that he is expected to return this weekend…Blackpool defender Alex Baptiste is a doubt with a hand injury, but you'd be living on the edge to start him at Chelsea anyway…Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric is questionable with a leg injury. He was held out of Spurs' Champions League match this week.
LAST WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK
Didier Drogba, Chelsea (6×2=12 points)
WHAT I REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS…
Michael Essien, Chelsea (15×2=30 points)
THIS WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK
Drogba. I can almost certainly promise that he won't be the pick again next week, but Chelsea's schedule has been so cushy early on, and Drogba is in fine form. He's also rested after not playing in Chelsea's Champions League opener (not by choice, he's serving a two-game European suspension for picking up a red card in last year's Champions League), and regardless of if Blackpool is in fourth place right now, it's still Blackpool (playing at Stamford Bridge no less). Expect Chelsea to pad its goal differential this weekend.
Other options: Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda; Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Andrey Arshavin (vs. Sunderland); Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Nani (vs. Liverpool); Stoke City's Matthew Etherington (vs. West Ham); Everton's Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill (vs. Newcastle); Manchester City's Carlos Tevez (at Wigan); Tottenham's Gareth Bale (vs. Wolves)
Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. The 14ers FC………………………..278 points
2. Austin KillBotz!!……………………..263
3. Angel City Rovers…………………262
4. Sloppy and Careless……………259
6. typos by ives…………………………256
7. scoobys doos……………………….251
8. camp bergkamp……………………250
8. sounders fc…………………………..250
10. Tottenham Hotspur…………….246
LAST WEEK'S SBI LEAGUE TOP SCORERS
Desmet FC (70 points)
ManUnited4life (70 points)
GalaxyGooner (70 points)
Do you think Blackpool can maintain it's hot start? Who are you making your captain this week? What's your lineup looking like?
Share your thoughts below.
Hey I was surprised to notice that over 206,000 signed up to join the soccerby ives fantasy league. You guys should get some kind of kick back from FPL for that. almost 10 percent of the people on the sight are Ives readers?
Yet it is also mysterious that no one posts their teams or anything on this sight. Anyway, here is mine.
I need to use my wild card cause I have too many players who aren’t actually starting on my team from the beginning, and I keep thinking that Martin petrov is going to start scoring again. Maybe in vain?
2: Johnson 3: Ferreira 4: Jagielka
5: Bale 6: Malouda(C) 7: Kalou 8: Petrov 9: Johnson
10: Rooney 11: Chamakh
FYI: Lampard is out this weekend. Ancelotti already said so.
You know what? I love it when newly promoted sides don’t just take the added revenue that comes with a year in the EPL, but actually stand their ground and try to slug it out with the regulars. I loved it when Wigan did the same the year they were promoted.
So go Blackpool! They’re playing fearless, possession-oriented soccer (which is even more impressive, given their newbie status and tight budget). For the time being, they’re my second-fave EPL team after Arsenal (and to be fair, their thrashing at the Gunners’ hands came after a dubious red).
Mike Bradley should have signed with Blackpool. He could have been the anchor of the midfield.