The festive period may be over but the real season starts now, with all the teams knowing where they stand and what needs to be done to get to the finishing line.
For all of us,the Fantasy Managers,we have made most of the right choices to get to where we are but things change very quickly as we did see in the last few weeks of December.With the African Cup of Nations,January transfers and all team news relating to injuries and suspensions we need to be aware of the changes these events could have on team selection, player's performances,roles and more importantly the value of these players in your fantasy teams.
We have here a indepth preview for the month of January which would include Week 21,22 and 23.
Lets first have a look at the next three fixtures for all the teams :
Arsenal : Swansea ( A ) Man Utd ( H ) Bolton ( A )
Aston Villa : Everton ( H ) Wolves ( A ) QPR ( H )
Blackburn : Fulham ( H ) Everton ( A ) Newcastle ( H )
Bolton : Man Utd ( A ) Liverpool ( H ) Arsenal ( H )
Chelsea : Sunderland ( H ) Norwich ( A ) Swansea ( A )
Everton : AstonVilla ( A ) Blackburn ( H ) ManCity ( H )
Fulham : Blackburn ( A ) Newcastle ( H ) Wba ( H )
Liverpool : Stoke ( H ) Bolton ( A ) Wolves ( A )
Man City :Wigan ( A ) Tottenham ( H ) Everton ( A )
Man Utd : Bolton ( H ) Arsenal ( A ) Stoke ( H )
Newcastle : Qpr ( H ) Fulham ( A ) Blackburn ( A )
Norwich : Wba ( A ) Chelsea ( H ) Sunderland( A )
QPR : Newcastle ( A ) Wigan ( H ) AstonVilla ( A )
Stoke City : Liverpool ( A ) Wba ( H ) Man Utd ( A )
Sunderland : Chelsea ( A ) Swansea ( H ) Norwich ( H )
Swansea : Arsenal ( H ) Sunderland ( A ) Chelsea ( H )
Tottenham : Wolves ( H ) Mancity ( A ) Wigan ( H )
WBA : Norwich ( H ) Stoke ( A ) Fulham ( A )
Wigan : Man City ( H ) Qpr ( A ) Tottenham ( A )
Wolves : Tottenham ( A ) Aston Villa ( H ) Liverpool ( H )
The best matchups in the next 3 weeks :
Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Sunderland and Tottenham
Man City have tricky away fixtures and Man Utd are yet to gain momentum with Arsenal to play.
Players to put your money on :
With the absense of Drogba, you would expect Sturridge(15.23) to guide Chelsea through this period.He is a good investment which wont go wrong. Still under 17 and worth every penny.Lampard(16.52) will be playing more often and will be an ideal midfielder to have through this period.
Dempsey( 16.37) is another contender to spend your funds as he has good matchups and a great record against weak teams.
If you really want to press the accelerator then the big three from Tottenham is the way to go.
Adebayor(15.44), VDV(19.11) and Bale(23.97) have good home matches against Wolves and Wigan.
Those of you having alot of funds to spend on a forward like Ba ,Suarez ( both unavailable) and RVP( too expensive) Rooney will be the first option you will think of but i wont be jumping onto this Rooney bandwagon too soon because of bad form, issues with the manager,playing too central, rotations etc.
Its a good time to bank on Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs defenders and Goalkeepers.
As they are all expensive we are calling them premium investments.
Medium Investments :
There are plenty of decently valued picks to bank on this month. Pick of the lot would be Gerrard(11.67) who is slowly and steadily gaining match fitness and form.
The Likes of Ramires(12.12),Cabaye(10.99),Valencia (12.22),Ireland(8.05), Sessegnon(12.46),Gardner(11.05),Lennon(7.49) and Pilkington (9.96) could all be brilliant investments and value for money.Not too expensive but a high potential of a good output.
Modric is another solid bet at 13.29 as he continues to take the corners and free kicks in place of VDV.
On a decent price there are a couple of forwards worth looking at. Hernandez is well priced at 11.33 and he still needs to get out of his shell and score 20+ goals (like he did last year) with just half of the season to go.Bendtner is playing in an in-form team who play easier teams over the next 3 weeks. Bent(11.18) needs to find his footing and if you think he could get back to form after seeing him back from injury, then he could be a decent pick.Bellamy(11.52) could be a good pick in the absense of Suarez and he is capable of scoring big when he gets the opportunity.
Defenders and Keepers of any of Aston Villa,Sunderland and Fulam are decently priced and worth looking for in case you dont want to spend over the top for those spots.
Dawson(7.08) is back from injury and could be a regular at Spurs defence.Rafael(7.53) could also be a starter at RB with Smalling injured for the next 2 weeks.
There are plenty of bargain picks around this time as we see alot of movement of players and new players coming in who could be picked up at a good price.
Anderson (6.04) is back from injury and if Man Utd dont end up buying a player for that spot or Paul Scholes doesnt think of coming back from his retirement, then he is the man to go with.
Westwood (4.83), Krul(6.70) and Guzan(5.02) all play easier matches in the coming weeks and if you are not willing to hold on to DDG, you could look at them.
Romeu(4.95) and Clark(5.23) are good bargains to keep for the next 3 weeks.
Carroll could be worth a look at 8.28 as he will be given the opportunity to get back in form.Torres (9.21) could be worth a look as Drogba will be absent for atleast a month and he could start producing some good results with the matchups coming up for Chelsea.
Ben Arfa(4.66) and Best(6.99) could see more playing time in the absense of Ba and Tiote.
Donovan(7.33) and Henry( Value yet be put up) could be value for money as their MLS record speaks for itself. 14 and 16 goals respectively and both have played all games in the season.It shows both are match fit and capable of playing the full 90 minutes.
The best bargain could prove to be Macheda ( 1.07 ) playing for QPR on loan from Manchester United.
He will be given lots of time and one shot on target could triple your returns.
Well thats our preview for January and the way to go with your player picks.
Good luck with your teams and the preview for Week 21 will be up on Thursday.Do watch out for that one.
Have a good weekend.