Fantasy Football Insider
Fantasy Football Insider - Gameweek 34: Make the most of minimal resources
There are only 12 teams in action in Gameweek 34, but with two double gameweeks to follow immediately afterwards, careful squad management is required.
Gameweek 33 review
Is the title race over? If that’s the case, nobody told Sergio Aguero, who’s far more reliable than Mario Balotelli and far more consistent when it comes to totting up points in the Fantasy Football stakes as well.
Thanks to a dip in form and dipping his foot in some mystery ointment in an effort to treat his dodgy foot, Aguero had been quiet enough of late but responded with a 19-point total this week – his best of the season – after he was involved in every single goal (two goals and two assists) against West Brom on Wednesday night.
If the title race is unpredictable, an end of season surge from Everton is becoming as regular as clockwork in recent seasons and that is reflected with the presence of three Toffees in the Dream Team this week. Good showings by Leon Osman (13) and Steven Pienaar (12) are hardly a surprise, but where the hell did Magaye Gueye come out of?
The Frenchman had scored a measly 14 points all season until Monday, when he more than doubled his tally with a goal, two assists and three bonus points for a 15-point haul overall. That was one better than two-goal Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez and two better than Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.
Honourable mentions must also go to QPR duo Adel Taarabt (12) and Anton Ferdinand (9), Stoke defender Robert Huth (9) and Wigan skipper Gary Caldwell (8).
Top for most of the season, Neil Kelly is in danger of seeing his season collapse with a whimper as he desperately clings onto a place in the top five after another terrible week. Top spot now belongs to Eoin Groarke’s Sure Now after a mighty 76 points, enough to give him a six-point lead over Conor Sheehy’s A Great Bunch’a Lads in second.
Matt Light’s Mamelodi Sundowns are five points further adrift in third, with Brian Duffy’s Fergie’s Fledglings and Conell Cashell’s Cashmachines joining the poor unfortunate Neil amongst the top dogs.
I’ve given him enough grief in this column to date, so at this juncture it would be remiss of me to ignore the sterling work of my colleague Emmet Purcell, who has steered Joe’s Journeymen to seventh place in the Champion J-League, only 48 points behind Eoin Groarke at the top.
Seeing as Emmet’s own team are top of the pile in JOE’s in-house league, he’s got all the bragging rights for now, but I don’t think it’ll be long before the natural order is restored and he’s the brunt of the jokes for all the wrong reasons yet again.
Champion J-League Top 5:
1. Sure Now – Eoin Groarke: 1,968 points
2. A Great Bunch’a Lads – Conor Sheehy: 1,962 points
3. Mamelodi Sundowns – Matt Light: 1,957 points
4. Fergie’s Fledglings – Brian Duffy: 1,944 points
5. The Wet Bandits – Neil Kelly, Cashmachines – Conell Cashell: 1,931 points
Make the most of minimal resources
If having to react to two deadlines in four days over the Easter wasn’t confusing enough, there’s bound to be more Fantasy Football induced mayhem this weekend. The fixture pile-up in the last few days and upcoming FA Cup semi-finals means that there are only 12 teams in action in Gameweek 34, with Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea, Fulham, Bolton, Stoke and Newcastle all missing out.
As a result, the subsequent two gameweeks are pretty chaotic with two teams – Aston Villa and Bolton – having two games in Gameweek 35 and all eight teams listed above making up for their lack of action this weekend in Gameweek 36.
Consequently, there seems no point in making wholesale changes for this gameweek, merely some careful squad management to cope with the mass absence as best you can. Clint Dempsey and Papiss Cisse, for example, are two players who come to mind that you won’t want to get rid of, so simply bench them and put your subs to work for once.
Man United, Man City and Arsenal are all in action, so most managers should have the majority of their teams intact and as long as their bench isn’t stocked with the cheapest players who haven’t played a minute all season – and we’re sure there are some managers out there to whom that applies – then most will be able to cope.
JOE’s Fantasy Football Picks:
Top Dollar: Sergio Aguero (£10.8 million). As mentioned above, he was involved in all four goals against West Brom and will be key if City are to revive their title aspirations.
Mid-Range: Adel Taarabt (£5.8 million). He’s not exactly a player to set your watch by, but a goal, two assists and six bonus points in his last three games indicate an extremely belated surge of form.
Bargain Basement: Shaun Maloney (£4.5 million). The Scot has scored two huge goals against United and Liverpool in the last three weeks. What chance of him completing the hat-trick against the Arsenal this weekend?
Irish Pick: James McClean (£5.0 million). He’ll be playing against Wolves on Saturday. Do we need another reason?
Captain’s Pick: Robin van Persie (£13.6 million). Van Persie ended his four game ‘drought’ with a goal against Wolves in the week, which helped him increase his overall total to a whopping 240 points, 49 ahead of anyone else in the league. An in-form Wigan side won’t lie down at the Emirates, but we can’t see RVP not scoring.