Friday Fantasy Forecast

9 01 2009

This week I’m not going to talk about adding players. With the transfer window in full swing, it’s important to sit tight and see how things develop with the premier league teams. You never know when a big addition will ruin your star midfielders early season surge. Of course, if you pick up on any of this ahead of time and make the appropriate roster move, you will be in great shape for the second half.

With that said, it is important to look at trends and there are a number of players you should be considering selling. The main ones reside on the Big 4 clubs. We are entering the most difficult stretch of the season for these clubs. In addition to Premier League matches, they have Champions League and FA Cup ties to deal with. In Manchester United’s case, they also have the Carling Cup – and evidenced by their 1-0 loss to Derby County in the first leg, they will likely have to play more first-teamers than they anticipated back at Old Trafford.

If that isn’t enough, World Cup qualifying is set to resume in a few weeks. So with all these matches coming up, the Big 4 suffer the most, as they are most likely to advance far into the Champions League and FA Cup and they likely have more players on national teams. Other squads like Man. City, Villa and Spurs have the UEFA Cup to contend with, so they will succumb to the busy schedule as well.

What all of this means is that substitutions for the key players will come more frequently. Injuries may also creep in. Keepers, defenders and mids are a lot less vulnerable than strikers. Reina, Ferdinand and Lampard are not going to see much time on the sidelines, regardless of the match. But strikers on bigger clubs invariably see their playing time diminished over the next 10 weeks.

The situation is exacerbated when the team has the depth to rotate star forwards. Such is the case with Chelsea and Man U. That’s why I’m not hanging on to Anelka (especially with Drogba playing more lately), Berbetov, Tevez or Rooney. Robhino or Torres have less stellar backups, so their playing time is a little more secure. Regardless, I’m happy to cast them away at this stage and pick up a hot striker for a middling club.

So my advice to you this week: if you have one of those big names on your roster, especially at forward, you want to consider moving them for a player who’s main concern is the Premier League (and maybe an FA Cup match or two).

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