Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Mentor's Team: Pre-Gameweek 28

Ah. The sanctuary of having 10 games in an FPL weekend. Lovely isn't it? Especially when it's sandwiched in between 2 gameweeks with a combined total of 5 missing games as things stand. That's 25% - a hell of a lot. And it's going to hurt. A hell of a lot. So let's just enjoy this week, shall we?

Here's how my soldiers are lining up this week:



Ok I will elaborate a little then. Sure, Fellaini and Sturridge are doubts but I only need one of them to play, and I think Fellaini will make it while Sturridge might not, it remains to be seen. It's not a bad looking team and it doesn't require any big changes, certainly not when I could save a free transfer for GW29 when only 6 teams are playing as things stand!

I'd much rather take the chance of one of Fellaini or Sturridge play than make a transfer because if either do play, you'd expect points. I considered Fellaini out and Sissoko in but I'd rather Fellaini at home to Reading than Sissoko away to Swansea. Don't get me wrong, Sissoko could bring home a big haul of points, of course he could, but I don't mind waiting until GW29 to get him in. That's an almost certain transfer I'll be making. We'll see about any others. It would really help if City played in GW29 to be honest...


Not an easy decision. I think Bale is the obvious choice this week, which is why I've gone for Aguero. Well, to be honest I immediately gave Sergio the armband once the GW27 deadline had passed and I haven't really waivered. I like his chances against Aston Villa. Call it a hunch. It's my gut feeling so I'm sticking with it. I really like Lambert and Hernandez as other options this week - Suarez too, especially if Sturridge is out. But for my team it was always one of those two and I'm sticking with the little Argentine fella. They're usually quite good.


You might wonder why Sturridge is benched. Well I don't think he'll play. If he does and Fellaini doesn't then he comes in. I just don't want him coming off the bench to be a 1-point bandit so I'm happy enough with him as the first sub.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck for GW28.

The Mentor's Team: Gameweek 27 - Points

Maybe this should be titled "lack of points" instead...

Taking the 4 point hit to get both Cisse and Aguero in for Suarez and Cole earned me 9 points, minus the 4 leaving me with 5 points more than if I'd just left them up front. So technically worth it, no?

Yeah it was a bloody awful gameweek, as you can see. Save by Gareth Bale, and Gareth Bale alone. Not for the first time either. GW27 was always going to be tricky though after getting 4 DGW players in for GW26 but that paid off and the vast majority struggled too so I didn't lose much ground at all, plus I'm left in decent shape for GW28 now.

I'll make the most of that before the impending carnage of GW29...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Mentor's Team: Pre-Gameweek 27

I've finally remembered to screenshot my side before the gameweek begins! How thrilling.

Straight to it then:

I've surprised myself a little bit with what I've ended up doing, but it made too much sense not to do it...


Last week I took a -4 point hit in order to field 4 DGW players. It paid off with a score of 90 points. I always knew I'd likely be taking another -4 point hit, but I weighed that up beforehand, and almost everyone I'm bothered about is either being forced to do the same, or are not being able to field a full XI.

My original plan was to ditch both of the Liverpool strikers and bring in RVP or Rooney, along with Aguero. However, despite RVP being likely to start this weekend, he'll surely be rested at home to Norwich the following week in preparation for the return leg against Real Madrid. I didn't fancy that much so things changed. Plus Rooney is out injured this weekend according to Fergie (he doesn't tell lies, does he?) so that was him out of the window too.

Suarez was always going out, for 3 reasons: firstly I can't stand him and I was more than happy to accept that I had to get him in and captain him to avoid losing ground to everyone else who was doing the same. Secondly, his value - I needed to sell him to get a big money striker in. And finally, Sturridge has really impressed me at Liverpool, and I'm not the only one. He's a cracking striker and I think he'll take a few goals away from Suarez between now and the end of the season.

So that left Sturridge and Cole. Given that I had some £5m or so sitting in the bank, I was able to sell Cole for a considerable upgrade and keep Sturridge benched. No brainer. I've been wanting to ditch Cole ever since Carroll has come back from injury and this was the perfect opportunity so he's gone.

Coming in are Aguero and Cisse. Aguero needs little explanation. He's probably a keeper until May. I love the guy, he's fantastic, and Mancini has been singing his praises by saying how vital he's going to be during the run-in. With no European distractions, he'll surely start most, if not all of City's remaining league games.

The second striker was more difficult. I thought about Giroud as they play Villa at home and I think he could do some damage, but GW29 is in my mind - if Everton beat Oldham then Arsenal won't play in GW29. Yes, City aren't down to play in GW29 either, but they still could potentially. I wasn't prepared to take the risk with Giroud on that, I couldn't afford to. Plus I've fancied getting Cisse in for a few weeks now, so here he is.


Walcott, Bale and Aguero are the contenders. I have to go for Walcott at home to Villa. Aguero loves a big game so he get's the nod as vice-captain but Bale could very well make me look silly by not picking him given his outstanding run of form.

Subs? Yeah that was quite an easy decision this week :)

Obviously Demel is a pretty big doubt to play, and that's a concern but taking another -4 point hit just to field a defender is absolutely not worth it. I feel the hit to get in Aguero and Cisse is more than justified, but any others would've been questionable. I toyed with the idea of ditching Sturridge for someone but I think -4 is enough of a hit. I think I'm settled on that side to be honest, it leaves me in a decent position for GW28 too.

Best of luck!

Friday, 22 February 2013

FPL Manager of the Week - Gameweek 26

We've had 2 weeks where no one has managed to challenge @pnutslab at the top of the leaderboard. Will that change this week after DGW26?

The FPL Manager of the Week goes to @SaZza_Mufc who managed a towering score of 108 with his team The Mystic Devils!

So how did he manage that? Well he still had his wildcard to play, and play it he did. I'm not even going to bother trying to explain what those transfers were - but there was 18 of them between GW25 and GW26! He clearly got it right in the end though, clearing the century for the second time this season after doing so way back in the first gameweek of the campaign.

Picking 3 DGW players and having 3 of those (as well as RVP) hitting double figures put his team's score on 79 already! Just shows you how big DGWs can be (plus RVP...). A big well done to @SaZza_Mufc - always contributing to the FPL conversation on Twitter, I'm pleased for him. Very well done indeed, sir.

How does that affect the leaderboard then? Here's how:

New target to beat then! Good luck for GW27!

The Mentor's Team: Gameweek 26

At least I was able to give you a heads-up about my cock-up this week. Twice in a row I forgot to screenshot my team before the GW for my pre-GW post, so it's all-in-one again.

It's fairly obvious what I did here, I gambled on Liverpool's strikers delivering the goods, taking a -4 point hit to move out RVP and Ba for Suarez and Sturridge. Those 2 returned 40 points (or 25 without the captaincy while Ba (0) and RVP (12) returned a total of 12, so even with the -4 hit I was 9 points better off by making those moves, or 24 better off after I'd captained Suarez. A decent return, there.

I'll be honest and say I was never really considering Michu as a captain because I didn't think he'd start at Anfield. Of course there was a chance he'd do what he did against QPR but I preferred the 2 guaranteed starts from Suarez who still returned just 3 points less than Michu so it was all good.

65 is a very high GW average - no doubt everyone had filled their teams with the likes of Suarez, Sturridge, Gerrard, Michu, and Enrique for the DGW, as well as Bale being heavily invested in due to his blistering form and of course RVP still featuring in the significant minority of FPL teams. Frustratingly, Enrique (the GW's highest points scorer) was part of my original plan along with Suarez but I opted for Sturridge instead. I think it might have been a different story had Sturridge been fit for the West Brom game...

90 is a decent enough return, the gamble paid off which was nice. I like keeping an eye on how the Magic 5 do every week - 42 points this time around. They really are brilliant, aren't they?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

GUEST POST: Football Trader Now Live - Football's New Fantasy Stock Market Game

In the past weeks we have heard some buzz on Twitter about a new Fantasy Football game that is launching. In fact, we just heard today that Football Trader has just gone live with it's Beta game, meaning anybody can now play it! We ourselves were invited to try the game last week, and we really liked what we saw.

Football Trader is a new type of Fantasy Football game where you Buy & Sell shares in players on a live stock market called the PlayerDAQ. Unlike most fantasy football games, this is played in Real-time, meaning the price of players is changing constantly based on users trading on the market and also player performances. 

Every user starts with £100M budget and the goal of the game is to Grow the Value of your Players, and therefore your Team, as much as you can.

What makes the game different to traditional Fantasy Football games is that it's all about investing in players, as opposed to picking a team for the weekend. Finding good value in players is something a lot of FPL players look for, but this is always outweighed by having to look to pick players who we think will score or assist or keep a clean sheet. In Football Trader, you look to Invest in players and sell them when you think their value has peaked

You also get Match Dividend Bonus cash added to your cash balance after the weekend's matches that gives you extra money to buy more shares in players. This dividend is based on how your players performed in their matches. What we liked about the game when we tried it was the Live historical graph feature and also Breaking Player News, we haven't seen something like this before and is something that should go down well.

The Beta game is now open Live for users to play till the end of the season.

Users can play the game on the link below on their mobile or on web. Football Trader plan to launch native apps very soon.

Football Trader Game Link:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Mentor's Team: Gameweek 25

Well rather like a bit of a plonker I forgot to screenshot my side before Gameweek 25 kicked off so that I could do my Pre-Gameweek 25 piece. As a result it's all getting lumped into one along with the points as a one-off. I say one-off, I forgot to do it again for GW26 as well. So make it a two-off.

Here's what happened in picture form:

Now to try and remember what I did and why...

Ah yes. Well Gibbs got injured so I binned him for Davies who I wanted to bring back in as soon as I could and that was ideal timing as Arsenal have spent big on a fancy new left back so I liked that decision a lot. At this point in time Luiz was still injured but I preferred to get rid of Gibbs as he was going to be out for longer than Luiz plus Luiz was likely to come back into midfield for GW26 (which he did). Davies also had a DGW for GW26 so another reason to bring him in.

None of my subs played so nothing to tell there. My only other decision was whether or not I should sell Ba. I decided it wasn't worth the -4 point hit to get rid of him as he was likely to start at Newcastle and I felt he'd be well up for that one, which he was. So much so that he broke his nose and had to come off early. Well done, Demba. He was sold very soon after that... bye, Demba.

After that it was just a case of who to captain. I took the easy way out and went for RVP who did pretty much nothing yet somehow managed to pick up the 3 bonus points in a 1-0 win. I have absolutely no idea how but I wasn't complaining.

I like seeing how the Magic 5 do each week. 40 points, so an average of 8 each. Very, very good return that is. If only I'd have been a bit braver and captained Fellaini or Bale. Ah well, I had my reasons. Mostly to do with covering off a rival. I can see me not playing it so safe in the weeks to come. It's time to get a move on now. There's some serious amounts of places to be picked up over the next few GWs, mark my words.