fantasy premier league – your questions answered

our first question and answer session and there are some good ones including one I have been asking myself more than any other as August the 18th gets closer and closer



I’m struggling with the goalkeeper position(s). I only have 9m to spend on them, so do I have a 5m, and a 4m, and just leave the 5m in goal throughout or, do I have 2 x 4.5m and alternate them. I noticed last season that when I alternated to avoid a tough match, I would have invariably done better to face top 4 teams that bottom 4 teams because of the amount of saves that are registered. Any thoughts?


My research showed that last year approximately 60% of clean sheets were at home so although not as overwhelming as you would think it still shows its worth it.  1f youre going to put a £4.0m bench warmer in then spend the extra money to get the clean sheets, go for DeGea (£6.0m)Hart(£7.0m) or   and then any £4.0m. Utd and City had the best Clean sheet record by some distance. The 4.5’s that should play are






Theres also the stoke pair although its a bit difficult to pick either at the moment.

At the moment I’m picking Davis and Green as the best home and away rotation.  The De Gea and a benchwarmer at  a total cost of £10.0m is tempting but Lindegaards presence makes me nervous especially when he just went to the olympics.




Hi quick question about weekly subs:

Do you think on the BPL site, starting first week with Torres/Chelsea to get the opening points, then swapping torres for rooney in the next game week, followed by Cech for another keeper in the following week (as cech has no game in week three)

I dont like using subs weekly but for the possible double points and the next games not looking so bad Im considering it

Any feedbakc greatly appreciated


Torres starting in GW1 then being swapped for Rooney in GW2 when Rooney has 3 easy games and becomes a must have would normally go against all my principles of using transfers carefully but I’m seriously thinking about it especially with Rooney away to Everton in the first game.  hehas even been rested for this fixture given the animosity that Everton fans hold against him.  So it is a viable option.

I would leave Cech alone though he’s just too expensive and using 2 transfers is a step too far for someone you wouldn’t use long term.  De Gea at £6.0m or Hart (£7.0m) are better options.  If youre stuck on chelsea and they do have good fixtures and the potential for clean sheets then i  would go for cole as an alternative.  hes ceratin to start and the best value   and £6.5m which is the same a Cech



What are your thoughts on Ricardo Vaz Te across the different formats esp as a back up striker?

Firstly I think he will play.  Last season showed Big sams doubts re Carlton Cole si think it will be him who suffers from maiga joining.

My only question would be especially in Sky and Telegraph (where goals from midfielders arent worth more) is do you really want to use your striker position so cheaply when there are so many good options?  I want to have aguero and rooney as a start so after that youre still left  with a smorgasboard of good strikers.  Im generally  looking at jelavic at the moment.  Vaz Te seems a big step down no matter how much you get compensated for in midfield.


Who do you think will be a better bet for Chelsea in the double GW in terms of minutes on the field??
A) Juan Mata B) Eden Hazard


I’m going for hazard without question and for the moment he is my captain choice.  I’m not sure Mata will even play with him going (albeit not playing ) at Euro 2012 and the Olympics.  Mata also is a more assist based player which doesn’t sit well with me naturally(especially with Torres’ finishing).  Disturbingly although Hazard did play on the left hand side of the front in a 4-3-3 he was quiet and RDM made some comments about needing time to adapt.  Needs monitoring but at the moment for me there’s no question its Hazard for me.


Two questions.

a) With 6.5 to spend on my final defender is it viable to have Cole or Lescott in my team? Cole starts with a double gameweek but demands either a transfer for GW3 or me leaving an elite option in him on the bench.

b) Is Moussa Dembele likely to be good value for money at 6.0? Is he likely to play in a more advanced role should Dempsey leave?


a)  Firstly Cole is undoubtedly the best choice for a Chelsea defender at £6.5m the same as Luiz Terry and Ivanovic.  Lescott is the next best choice after Kompany and Mancini going for 3-5-2 makes it more likely that Lescott will cement his place.  In clean sheets last year it was 10 vs 17 to Man City but I think this year  it will be closer as RDM improves the defence after the high line fiasco that was AVB.  However City will remain the best bet in the long term and in an equal choice I would go for Lescott.  Lets also not forget this is the player who scored 9 goals for Everton in one season

However Chelsea having 2 easy games in GW1 changes everything.  Ultimately though, I think you should make a choice (if you are thinking of it)  between putting Torres in and swapping for Rooney in GW2 or Cole then swapping out for City in GW3, there will be too much going on to do both.  IF you arent planning on doing the Torres Rooney swap then go for it with Cole.  What ever you do don’t use your wildcard at this stage its way too early.

b)  Dembele is a player I love to watch but not my type of fantasy premier league player.  He doesn’t shoot enough and is far too assist based.  That is a recipe for no points when you aren’t in  a top 4 side.  At one stage last year he had made 35 chances for team mates without any being converted.  Such is the dilemma in having assist based players.



With 14.5 to spend on two midfielders which of the two options is better and why?

a) Kagawa and Taarabt

b) Y. Toure and Michu


Interesting one

Looking at Kagawa and Taarabt first.  I like the look of Kagawa lots of goals and good reports in pre-season.  Will he play though.  I think he will with Young on the left and Valencia on the right and Carrick and Kagawa in the centre.  In theory though Young could take that position.  How does Kagawa effect Rooney dropping deeper which was easy when you had Scholes in that position.  With Utds 3 easy games from 2-5 then he is worth the gamble though in my mind.  Taarabt Im not a fan of.  Shoots alot which I like but always outside the box.  This pre-season looks like he’s playing further forward in the hole behind Zamora  but with QPR having only ok fixtures and Cisse certain to play for me in a 4-4-2 then I just cant see him working out for me in the starting line up.

YYT is an interesting one.  Last year he switched between a def mid and the furtherest mid up the field.  Therefore  he’s a little uncertain for me.  The pre-season with 3-5-2 has seen him playing further up the field and involved in the action.  He seems to becoming a viable if still risky option.

Michu to me is a definite.  15 goals in la liga last year in a poor team and has had goal scoring chances in pre-season.  Swansea have the best of the opening 6 fixtures of any team and in my mind thats  going to get him in to my starting line up.

Overall I would probably do neither combination and go for Kagawa and Michu but if I had to choose it would be YYT and Michu.



What are your thoughts on using Nathan Dyer who is £5.5m from Swansea is there a better midfielder given the opening fixtures ?

If you have it I would spend the extra money and go for Michu,  Dyer is relatively good value but he’s a little too assist based for me.  Last year he started 29 games plus 5 as sub and averaged a shot on target every 2 games which is just not good enough for my liking.  However he was the highest scorer last year for that price and with Swanseas good start I think he is a viable option.  Noland and Noble of West ham are alternatives.  Just keep an eye on pre-season though as Wayne Routledge started in the last friendly rather than Dyer in what was (Allen and Sinclair apart) a team that looked something like Swansea will start with on 18 August



Love the site!
Do you see any value in Le Fondre at Reading as a 3rd striker?

Thanks for the comment.  No in short on le fondre.  The second striking position (assuming no further signings and McDermott doesn’t go to a single striker) will be between Le Fondre and Noel Hunt.  Le Fondre played less but was Readings top goal scorer, although that was very back ended. However Pogrebnyak, who scored 6 in 12 games, with Fulham last year is the same price and guaranteed to start in my mind.  Pog is definitely the best value £5.0m striker out of all the alternativesin fantasy premier league,  go with him.


Irregardless of whether Tevez starts or not, I fully expect Aguero to score more points over the season. However, IF Tevez does get regular playing time, does Aguero warrant the extra 2.5m or would it better used elsewhere?

This is probably the biggest single question troubling me in the barclays format.  £9.0m is a fantastic price for Tevez remembering that this is the guy who the season before last was a 1 man attacking force for City.  On the other hand Aguero was fantastic in his first season after 2 summers of tournaments so who knows what he will do with a rest and a proper pre-season.

Heres some stat analysis


Last year Aguero scored 23 goals plus 8 assists from 31 starts plus 3 as sub.   Tevez scored 4 goals plus 3 assists from 7 games plus 6  assists.

Its hard to compare this difference in numbers of games but in terms of shooting regularity they are about equal.  Shot accuracy is convincingly with Tevez although Aguero shoots more in the box.  In terms of involvement in play and  creating chances for others Tevez is way ahead.  So lets look at the last part of the season to get a fairer comparison.  Aguero had the edge with 6 goals and 3 assists in 6 games and Tevez 4 goals and 2 assists.  Underlying stats wise  Aguero had a slight edge in shooting regularity but Tevez was more accurate but Aguero shot more inside the box.   No clear picture on underlying stats.  Again Tevez was far more involved in the game and created more chances for others.

Looking at that there seems no reason to pay £2.5m more and in fact you could give Tevez the edge even at an equal price.  However stats are only 1 part.  Heres the reason why I am sticking with Aguero

The captain choice is crucial for fantasy premier league, home games against poorer teams, which is my formula for captain choice, Aguero is your man.  Right from his substitute demolition of Swansea on his debut.   Also in the last 6 games Tevez was subbed off in all 6 games (although he was coming back to fitness.  crucially though Tevez  seems far more likely to be rotated than Aguero given Agueros season last year.  Also Aguero has been outstanding in pre-season not that Tevez has not been playing fantastic as well but Aguero has the edge.

Im sticking with Aguero but to answer your question in its exact form if they had the same guaranteed game time I would probably go for Tevez at that price difference.  I just don’t think they will have the same game time.

overall not having aguero in my team just seems crazy.  Mind you I havent ruled out breaking my normal rules and putting them both in….


No doubting VDV’s qualities….but enormously frustrating. Up there as one of the most subbed players…always getting injured…hamstrings like old rubber bands. So often last season I was left feeling let down by his limited appearance/starts, throwing a spanner into my gameweek. So much of a risk for me…you clearly have more faith….? Is Siggy or Bale not a safer option?

This interestingly is the 2nd biggest question I have been wrestling with and it has been perefctly articulated in this question.  Let me get this straight first I am a huge fan of both bale and VDV and towards the end of the season I had both in my team.  however hazard and Chelsea’s double Game week changes that.  To me its a question of Bale or VDV not Siggy.  Siggy seems to be playing deeper in pre-season and I’m not thinking he will replicate last year. He overperformed his underlying stats for me.

lets start with the basic stats comparison on bale v VDV then

VDV (£9.0m fantasy premier league) started 28 games plus 5 sub on but subbed off in 20 games.  11 goals plus 7 assists.

Bale(£9.5m)  started 36 games  sub on plus 1 sub off. 9 goals and 10 assists

VDV has a better goal and “event” ratio but the difference in games and the amount subbed off is disturbing without doubt.

what about overall underlying stats

Shooting stats are very similar but VDV has a strong edge in accuracy even though Bale shoots marginally more and gets in to the box more. VDV has a significant edge though in chances created for others and involvement in the game.

looking at the last 6 games

Bale started 6 games.  No games on no games off.  2 assists no goals.

VDV started 5 subbed on 1 plus subbed off 4.  2 goals and 2 assists

Underlying stats wise the results were a carbon copy of the overall stats

Lets look at home games then for the captain choice.  Again its a similar pattern except for some reason VDV shoots outside the box more than Bale.

so what does all this tell us

1.  VDV has definite game time probalems and injury issues over Bale.  Will game time issues continue with AVB? maybe he is 29 and AVBs game plan is a young mans game (all that pressing high up the pitch after Euro 2012).  However AVB is talking VDVs importance up

2.  goal and assist production favour VDV especially if he can play an equivalent number of games.

3.  Underlying stats are similar except VDV is by far the more accurate shooter.

4  VDV is more involved in the game and creates more chances for others (probably due to a more central position)


So who should we choose?  In the Barclays format the price is similar unlike other formats.  I’m sticking with VDV in the Barclays format as hes more of the shooting midfielder I favour but jeeez its close and I wouldn’t blame anyone for going with Bale. The question was certainly well made .


Thanks for the questions.  i hope you found it useful as the fantasy premier league season gets ever closer.



33 thoughts on “fantasy premier league – your questions answered”

  1. brilliant job.. thanks again. will hold you responsible if the Hazard move bites the dust however :P

  2. brilliant question and answer session…..
    i had yaya in mind but i think after reading this i will stick with bale or VDV…

    just have one question in mind…i have michu in my midfield and graham in front….going with 2 swansea players, do you think its a better option or should i swap anyone….

    to me the most viable option was to take pienaar or osman, but everton as everyone knows they are the slow starters….

    or taking the case of graham, i am in utter confusion to add Pog from reading or to stick with graham, because reading has a DGW..but what alerts me is that i already have guthrie from reading in midfield and also Torres, hazard and cole from chelsea…so will it be a problem with all these players not having a game in GW3…

    • I dont see a problem with 2 Swansea players at that low value, Swansea have the best fixtures to start. Im also confident about everton, good fixtures and jelavic and pienaar have revolutionised the side

  3. The question page is a great idea and thanks for the feedback. Just wondering how you chose your two keepers.

    I assume the 60% clean sheet at home is an overall statistic, so for example it wouldn’t show anomalies like derby a few years ago shipping in shed loads of goals. Would picking a newly promoted keeper actually be a risk?

    • Hi Tom, yes the 60% is an overall from last year. Yeah a newly promoted keeper is a risk but have good home and away rotation this year is difficult and there arent any £4.0m keepers to do it really cheap. davis and green are my choice but De Gea plus a bench warmer add up to £10m and had 20 clean sheets last year. Lindegaard is the worry here though. at the moment im sticking with davis and green

  4. Hi im finding your articles very useful,great work well done.ive put a team together I was wondering if you could rate it and give me any pointers in where I can improve my. team please

    • looks good. Not sure how certain Heitinga is to play and do you really want 2 defenders from Everton. keep an eye on zabaleta and kolarov with mancini experimenting with 3-5-2. also with dawson at the same price but risky kaboul may play instead. Rangel is a safer pick than all those though

      im not a big sessegnon fan. keep an eye on his injury that ive just tweeted about. they do have a reasonable start though and lack of strikers may give him an advanced midfield position. pienaar or Nzogbia are better bets for me.

      defoe will be good value if adebayor doesnt come back and adebayor is good value if he does. also if you dont pick pienaar think about jelavic as an alternative.

      hope that helps


  5. Huge Dilemma

    7.0M (Midfielder) – Scott Sinclair vs Cabaye
    9.5/9.0M (Midfielder) – Bale/Hazard vs Sigurdssonn

    Please post your replies, can’t seem to decide.
    Also, do you think that Dzeko might play this year ? seems the most worth it at 7.5 but I’m not sure Mancini will play him or sell him

    • Sinclair, better fixtures plus pardew has said he doesnt think Cabaye ill be fit for the start of the season.

      Bale or hazard above sigurdsson. I think Sigursson will play further back and wont replicate last year. his underlying stats just werent as good as his output.

      i dont think dzeko will play. tevez and aguero will start and balotelli when fit will be first rotation

  6. If I were you, I’d stay well clear of Dzeko.
    Once Mario comes back to fitness, Dzeko likely to be fourth in pecking order behind Aguero, Tevez, and Mario. If you’ve got 7.5 burning a hole in your pocket, I think the likes of Ba, Defoe or Graham are much better alternatives.

    What am I talking about?! No…you go for Dzeko! :o)

  7. I’m liking the way the QPR midfield is shaping up, especially at their prices in FPL. So if you had to have one in your team, who would you take a punt on?

    Taarabt (6.0m) Park (6.0m) Hoilett (6.5m) or even W-Phillips (5.5m). Taarabt has the advantage of being the usual penalty and free kick taker, Park often seemed to make a difference at Man U, Hoilett may be pushed into a more attacking role, and I’ve read W-Phillips has been scoring a few in pre season…..

    • if I had to pick one it would be Taarabt. Thats by process of elimination

      park – will play but doesnt shoot or score enough for me
      SWP – will he play Im not sure despite good pre-season form
      Hoilett – I like him as a player but not sure whether he will play or what his role will be

      Taarabt Shoots alot but always outside the box which is why his goal return is so poor. I still think QPR will play 4-4-2 so Taarabt wont line up in the hole or the support striker so this will continue.

  8. Btw, I’m thinking of not going for Hazard, given how disappointing Chelsea’s pre-season’s been and RDM’s recent comments about him. Instead I’m planning to buy Ramirez who’s much cheaper and that way I can have Kagawa, and I can also swap Torres for Rooney after GW1. What do you think about it?
    Also I have A. Cole & Lescott with Clyne, Mariappa & Barnett in def. who I’m planning on rotating acc to fixtures. Should I go ahead with that?

    • I wasn’t so much worried about Chelseas pre-season form but RDMs comments are very worrying. my main motivation for going for hazard was my lack of faith in Torres as a captain choice given his terrible form last year which was also mirrored in his underlying stats.

      Im not ready to give up on hazard yet but Im certainly keeping a close eye. Im very reluctant to put the armband on Torres thats for sure but i dont see another option should I ditch hazard. Ramires doesnt fit the captain bill for me.I think Kagawa is a good choice given Utd’s 3 fixtures

      remember Chelsea and reading dont play in GW3. so be mindful of having a full compliment for that.

      I dont think Barnett will play now turner has arrived go for tierney instead. fonte is safer than Clyne but without the attacking potential. monitor Mariappa as there are 3 CB’s in to 2 positions. you may need all of these players to play come GW3 which is why it needs close monitoring.

      hope that helps

  9. On the sky format looking for a mid under 6 mill that isn’t Noble or Michu as have them, Who would you pick out or Pienaar Or Mclean? Or are there any others that will get a decent points return?

    • McLean overperformed his underlying stats last year. he very rarely shoots and as a target for assists wickham and campbell do not excite me. piennar all the way on that choice.

      other options which arent better than Pienaar in my view are

      NZogbia – good fixtures but lamberts rotation is a worry for Sky. taaarabt cheaper at £5.2m not for me as shoots too much outside the box but another option who should play everygame

      do prado of saints could be a very cheap option at £4.7. has attacking potential and should play.

  10. Hi,

    Whats your feelings about keeping some money free at the beginning to trade players in the first two weeks?

    For example, my starting front free would ideally like you be Augero, Rooney and Jelavic. However for the first week im looking to put in Torres (two games, chelsea not signed a striker yet) Graham (scored a hattrick preseason and swansea have a good record of games) and Augero. Keeping the spare money in bank and swapping torres for rooney in gw2 and graham for jelavic in gw 3. do you think with this monye being sat in the bank its a waste?

    • I’d go with 3 and put in a defensive mid to pick up bonus points. Lucas is only around £4.6 or Allen is £5. 8 and both will be busy in the first few weeks and since there’s no clean sheet bonus you don’t need to worry about conceding goals. Song is also relatively cheap. Hope that helps.

    • Its a tricky one in the short term. if silva had the same pre-season then it wouldnt be an issue he would be ahead of nasri. however i dont think he appeared at all in pre-season so he could just come of the bench in the opening game. especially so after nasri was so devestating in the CS. they could even both play.

      sorry to not be so definitive

      have you got aguero or tevez. if so I wouldnt double up on City atack as theie fixtures after saints arent that easy. have you got bale/VDV?

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