With the 2012-2013 Premier League Fantasy competition about to end, managers who have conserved transfers can adjust their lineup to take advantage of favorable match-ups. Several late season injuries and suspensions have taken key players out of contention or made them doubtful for Sunday's games. The players and their value include: Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm, Swansea, 6.1 Robert Elliot, Newcastle, 4.0 Defenders: Ronnie Stam, Wigan, 3.7 Daniel Agger, Liverpool. 6.7 Rafael Da Silva, Manchester United, 6.
Sunday, May 19 Tradition and precaution to keep competition fair have all ten matches the final day of the season beginning at the same time on Sunday. Fantasy managers can see the announced lineups for all twenty teams thirty minutes before Gameweek 38 locks. Chelsea (21-9-7) vs. Everton (16-15-6) After looking gassed and no goals or assists in his last four Premier League games, Juan Mata had two assists in the Europa league final victory. Eden Hazard is doubtful. Frank Lampard's new one-year contract should see him start in front of the home faithful hoping he'll add to his record career goal count.
The final Sunday of the Premier League season offers several possibilities for the best starting XI. Chelsea will be coming off a Europa League final in which they won dramatically in the dying seconds of stoppage time. They have also nearly clinched a Champions League berth for next season. (Lineup subject to change before kickoff) Goalkeeper: Pepe Reina, Liverpool (QPR home) Reina has done well for the Reds and could get his 14th clean sheet of the season. Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham (Sunderland home) The Belgian came close to scoring against Stoke.
The Premier League returns to a 10-game week played over four days. Sandwiched in the round will be the FA Cup Final at Wembley Saturday between Manchester City and Wigan. Both teams have regular PL games on May 14, so there will likely be rotation questions that fantasy managers need to consider. You will only have one match to check announced lineups: the early game between Aston Villa and Chelsea May 11. Saturday, May 11 Aston Villa (10-10-16) vs. Chelsea (20-9-7): Aston Villa is fighting for survival, while Chelsea is in roster-rotation mode having played Wednesday and looking ahead to the Europa League final in Holland on May 15 and final PL game May 19.
There are just two weeks remaining in the 2012-13 Premier League season. What great excitement, controversy, accomplishments, and failures we have seen unfold since last August. And this week, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement. There is still the FA Cup final to be played Saturday night at Wembley. This will follow the lone Premier League match that day between Aston Villa and Chelsea. With Chelsea preparing for their Europa League final on the road on May 15, league game line-ups will be hard to predict and we will see how Roberto Mancini rotates his squad for the final and the game against Reading Tuesday night.
Saturday, May 4 Fulham (10-10-15) vs. Reading (5-10-20) The Cottagers are scoreless in three straight losses. Dimitar Berbatov left injured against Everton and has not scored in five matches after five goals in four games. Steve Sidwell is suspended. Reading's Premier League obituary has been written. The Royals have given up 65 goals. Norwich (8-14-15) vs. Aston Villa (9-10-16) Norwich, with 14 draws hosts a team on a survival mission. Christian Benteke comes off a hat trick. Sebastien Bassong is out for the Canaries.
The best fantasy XI for Gameweek 36 features only players on the six teams that play two games in the week (subject to change 30 minutes before kickoff): Goalkeeper: Joe Hart, Manchester City vs Swansea (away) and WBA (home) A back concern made him a question mark, however, announced lineups can be checked before a final decision on Saturday. Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham vs Southampton (home) and Chelsea (away) The #5 ranked fantasy point producer for defenders should have an easy game at home and a tough one at Stamford Bridge.
Round 36 offers potentially huge rewards for fantasy managers who have saved players and can maneuver their transfers and budgets. There will be 13 matches in the week with Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Wigan, Swansea, and WBA all having two games. Six of seven matches on opening day start at the same time giving fantasy managers a 30-minute sneak peek at the announced lineups before the week locks. Recommended players for consideration and teams with two games are as follows: Saturday, May 4 Swansea City -- Manchester City This will be the first of two games for each team.
Saturday, April 27 Manchester City (20-8-5) - West Ham (11-9-14) City's concentration will be on the May 11 FA Cup Final since a league runners-up spot seems almost certain. Carlos Tevez is in fine fantasy form. Sergio Aguero is available; David Silva is out and James Milner may return. City has given up the fewest goals (30) of any team, so defensive fantasy points look good against low-scoring West Ham that is secure in mid-table. West Ham's amazing Jussi Jaaskelainen is leading the goalkeeping ranks for fantasy points.
With an unlimited budget and no transfer restraints, you should be able to have big fantasy point totals each week; however, as you will read at the end, Sir John's regular team came close to his Best Fantasy XI for Gameweek 34. Here are the picks for Gameweek 35: Goalkeeper: Tim Howard, Everton (Fulham home) Three clean sheets in the last five matches for the American and road-weakling Fulham make Howard the best choice for the week. Defenders: Leighton Baines, Everton (Fulham home) The number one fantasy point defender, Baines will be out to atone for his error that led to Everton's shock loss at Sunderland.
After Luis Suarez tried to make an afternoon meal out of Branislav Ivanovic, the Liverpool forward will receive a lengthy suspension. Fantasy managers holding the infantile Suarez who have transfers left have several options to replace him. Suarez carried a value of 9.1 and that is likely to drop by .3 when values are adjusted. There are many attractive forwards to choose from, including Christian Benteke of Aston Villa, Manchester United's Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. However, Sir John recommends replacement forwards who will have double games in Round 36.
There are two marquee matches on Sunday: Tottenham-Manchester City and Liverpool-Chelsea. Fantasy managers can get a sneak look at announced lineups for 14 teams 30 minutes before kickoff as seven matches on Saturday all begin at 10:00 ET. Saturday, April 20 Fulham (10-10-13) -- Arsenal (17-9-7) After five goals in four matches, Dimitar Berbatov has gone three without a score. The Cottagers are safe in mid-table mediocrity and don't need the result as much as Arsenal. Other than the Bulgarian, Fulham is a bad fantasy team for points.