From the man who transferred out Robin Van Persie because of his injury history and Demba Ba because he was not scoring goals, I can’t say my credibility is rock-solid; however, here are tips I hope to follow on managing my fantasy roster in the New Year.
Perhaps the easiest rule to follow in using your transfers wisely is to always wait until the evening before games are locked to make any player moves. Rarely will you have a player's value go up over the span of a few days. Sir John continues to violate this principle. Why? Because I am an idiot and want to see my new lineup immediately. The most recent violation came when Phil Jones went down with a facial injury courtesy of Clint Dempsey. At first it was reported he would not return until February 2. So, Sir John immediately transferred him out and brought in Chris Smalling. Then on December 23, it was revealed Jones had made a quick recovery and would play on Boxing Day. Under the fantasy rules, Jones was worth only 6.2 million to me because that’s what I paid for him. Now his value has gone up to 7.6, but the stupid rules don’t reward managers with more budget money for having those kinds of players. I did not have enough budget money to buy Jones back at his increased salary and hope that Smalling somehow gives multiple points against Wigan.
Earlier, Sir John jettisoned Gareth Bale after picking him up the week before. Bale’s availability against Chelsea was in doubt, so Sir John dropped Bale and bought Van der Vaart. What happened? Bale played the entire match and got an assist, while VdV put in 45 minutes of crappy football and was subbed at the half, not even lasting 60 minutes for two additional points. Turns out VdV has once again messed his hammy. Fortunately, Sir John still had four transfers left. VdV is gone and now Sir John has joined the Nani bandwagon and added the Man Yoo point-producer to his starting XI (even though managers around me in my league have him, too).
1. Have patience with players you believe in. Example: Demba Ba who had a terrific close to his season last year with West Ham. At Newcastle, it took awhile for Ba to find his scoring form, but now he has rewarded his managers with outstanding point production. Sir John transferred him out a few weeks before the balls started to go in the onion bag.
2. Don’t let your heart dictate you faith in players. Example: Charlie Adam. Adam had big point-production at Blackpool and when Sir John learned that Adam used to live a block from his friend Andy Thompson on the Fylde coast, he had to have the Scot on his fantasy team. So far, Adam has not returned expected points and last week basically sent an E-mail to the Wigan goalkeeper on what direction his penalty kick was headed. Adam may not return to Sir John’s fantasy roster for the 2nd segment.
3. Be aware of what players other managers have who are close to you in the standings. If you expect to gain ground on other managers, you won’t do that if most of your players are on the rosters of other managers.
4. Consider defenders who often are used in an attacking role.
5. Identify players who are usually called on to take penalty kicks. Of course, a greater number of PK's this season have been blocked, resulting in three minus points (thank you very much Charlie Adam!).
6. Monitor Internet websites that give updates on player injuries and suspensions.
7. Check the newspapers in the cities of your players for the latest on injuries and possible starting lineups.
8. Save at least two transfers for the final week of Segment 2.
I’ll have thoughts on Segment 2 once the owners of the game release the values of players. You will need to rebuild your rosters between January 5 and before the first match on January 11.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.