It’s been too long since our last Q&A, so in the build up to the festive fixtures we felt it was about time for another! Here are our answers to the weeks biggest questions.
Is Downing a solid long term option?
Nick – I never thought I’d say it but yes, absolutely. He has been absolutely instrumental for West Ham this season and really is the focal point of their attacking play. He is on set pieces and with Big Andy in the box & hungry he’s always a chance for an assist, not to mention the fact the Bonus Point System always seems to reward him handsomely. Games against Leicester, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Brom, Swansea and Hull in the next 6 are a bit of a mixed bag but West Ham are in very good form so shouldn’t really pose all that much hassle for the hammers. At 6.3m he presents great value and gives managers the opportunity to afford the pricier ‘premiums’ like Hazard, Toure, Sanchez, RVP, Costa etc. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very much on the ‘for’ side of the argument!
Baysie – I’m worried that West Ham’s form will slow down soon. Losing Song and Sakho for the ACON is a blow. Although Sakho’s loss is covered by Carroll getting back in and to form, don’t underestimate Song’s influence. That said, Downing has found his feet in his new position and is being pretty creative. Not for me, but can see the reasons why others would go there.
Matt – If Carroll or Sakho stay fit then yes. I’ve actually had Downing for 2 months now and I’m loving him! Better value than Sigurdsson at the moment. His flexibility to play in the centre or out wide makes him vital for West Ham, I can’t see any reason he won’t continue his form long term. Fixtures are a plus.
Is it worth bringing in guys like Sakho or Yaya Toure with the ACON around the corner?
Nick – I was actually planning to bring in Toure over the next few weeks but thanks to Baysie’s brilliant article, thanks for that Baysie, the ACON was brought to my attention. Being informed of this I don’t think it is worth it to be honest. Players will begin to leave the country over the next few gameweeks so you’d be banking very much on a short-term stint of good form. I’d say the only viable option would be Toure considering his great fixtures before he heads away, even then it’s probably not worth it….
Baysie – I am not even considering any of these guys. As one who hates taking hits, I just know someone’s going to get injured or suspended when I planned on trading them out and I’ll have to take one. And, if you have too many of these ACON’s then you’ll be trying to trade out multiple players at once… Too hard.
Matt – I’ve taken a massive punt on the pair, praying that it pays dividends. Having an extra starter on the bench covers me should things go array. There are straight swaps for the pair and I can’t see it being too much of an issue, especially with wildcards available. The wildcard is a whole different story for another day, but I don’t mind getting one of these blokes if you’re confident they will fire.
Is David Silva worth a punt?
Nick – With City’s great fixtures, Aguero injured and Toure off to the ACON he will very much be the focal point of Manchester City’s attacking play. He is priced at just 8.8m which is well underpriced for what he is capable of. Games against Palace, West Brom, Burnley, Sunderland and Everton in the next 5 gameweeks is very enticing. I’m looking to get on board, especially with a January Wildcard imminent if things do happen to go tits-up.
Baysie – Yeah for sure. I actually don’t see it as a huge punt… He’s as cheap as he’s ever going to be, City have great fixtures, he’ll be the man with Aguero out, could play the false nine spot and, he’s pretty good… Sure he’s on all of our “never again” lists and could get injured at the drop of a hat but weighing up the pros and cons has a decent pro bias.
Matt – Unfortunately, quality players don’t always get the returns they deserve in this game. Silva was probably the in-form midfielder in the comp to start the season, yet he only returned points in 33% of his fixtures. His points per game ratios are bettered by both Downing and Sigurdsson, which begs the question if he’s worth the 8.8 price tag. If he can become more consistent in front of goal, expect him to become a fantastic POD. So far I’ve held off.
How long do we stick with Baines?
Nick – Everton’s serious inability to keep a clean sheet is becoming increasingly frustrating as an owner of Baines. However his attacking prowess and importance in the Everton side, along with the fact he is on penalties and set pieces (at times), means he continues to stay in my side. Games against Southampton, Stoke, Newcastle and Hull in the next 4 give Everton the opportunity to redeem themselves defensively. If they don’t show serious improvements then it may be time to offload Baines with the availability of the January Wildcard, given the large percentage of the budget he takes and the fact that he isn’t on as many set pieces as he used to be.
Baysie – Not sure on this one… Personally I’m happy to keep him until after the New Year game, but only because I don’t see many outstanding options and I don’t need the money from a risky downgrade. A sideways to Ivanovic is tempting though…
Matt – The thing about expensive defenders is they usually score in bursts. I owned him at the start of the season when everyone jumped off ship, then enjoyed a colossal amount of points over the next month. He has gone quiet recently, but if you can fit him in it’s best to back him in and wait patiently for the points to flow. They will.
RVP or Rooney?
Nick – RVP seems to be the man of the moment now that Aguero is out and he is showing glimpses of his form when Manchester United won the title two seasons ago. Scores of 10, 2, 13 & 11 in the past 4 games prove he is certainly in great form. He does however come at a massive price of 12.6m which is so offputting it isn’t funny. Due to his price tag I simply cannot see RVP as a viable option, especially when you can get Rooney at 2m less. Rooney perhaps does not have the scoring ceiling that RVP does but he is consistently scoring well, returning 9, 8, 4 & 5 in his last four games. Certainly if you can afford RVP he is no doubt the ‘better’ option but the pure fact he costs so much is enough to put me off. I’ll be fine with Shrek thanks.
Baysie – Rooney, better value for money… The 2.0m difference could turn a 6-7m mid into a premium or one of your cheap strikers to someone half decent. Adding up the points of Rooney + upgraded player, compared to RVP + non-upgraded player is more likely to see you better off in the long run with the former.
Matt – Yes RVP is in-form, but I still think he’s over-priced. There isn’t much of a difference between the pair, Rooney is also in great form. The 2.0 you save could be extremely handy, I’d be opting for Wayne.
FPL aside, who do you believe will be top come the New Year? Who will make up the top 4?
Nick – As a Chelsea supporter I hope it’s us…. With games against Stoke, West Ham and Southampton before the New Year I’d expect Chelsea to maintain their position on top. If they were to slip up however then Manchester City would definitely be favourites to overtake the Blues. They face Palace, West Brom and Burnley during this time which should prove to be routine for the blue half of Manchester. In terms of top four, my tip is Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal come January 2015.
Baysie – Chelsea are all over this… I don’t see them dropping too many points to City short to mid term, especially with City’s injury woes. Top 4 will be Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal.
Matt – It’s hard to see City slipping up in any of their games, although they could run into trouble due to their striker crisis. I think they’ll keep the pressure up on Chelsea, but they should hold top spot. West Ham v Arsenal will be a crucial game for both teams, I think that will decide 4th place behind Manchester United. I think Arsenal’s form will get them over the line, from there on wards I can see it being a pretty stable top 4 to be honest.
There we have it, we hope this has helped a few with your transfer calls! I’ll be back with the captains tomorrow, before Nick leads us into GW17. Enjoy the football!
The Addicts Team