Fantasy Premier League: Matchweek 18

BaleGetty

By AVI CREDITOR

By now you should know if you've qualified for the Fantasy Cup, Fantasy Premier League's massive knockout-style tournament. If you were one of the top 2,097,152 scorers in the world last week, you qualified.

For those of you new to the game, in addition to your weekly battle to climb the SBI league table, you'll also have a head-to-head matchup against a random team every week until you lose. The Fantasy Cup will run through the final week of the season, when a winner will be crowned and awarded a digital camera, MP3 player and a replica Premier League kit of his or her choice.

In terms of strategy, the head-to-head matchup may make you reconsider how many transfers you use on a weekly basis. Unless you play your wildcard or have extra transfers saved up, you'll be docked four points for every transfer over the allotted one that you make, which could wind up being the difference in your Fantasy Cup matchup. Just something to keep in mind.

Here are a few more Fantasy Premier League notes along with our captain pick of the week and an SBI league standings update:

HECTIC SCHEDULE SEASON IS HERE

This is the time of year when the Premier League schedule gets a little wild, with five matchweeks taking place from Dec. 18-Jan. 4, including the Boxing Day extravaganza on Dec. 26.

Here are the roster deadlines in case you wish to be on top of your game during holiday/vacation/travel season (all times Eastern):

  • Matchweek 18: Dec. 18, 6:30 a.m.
  • Matchweek 19: Dec. 26. 6:30 a.m.
  • Matchweek 20: Dec. 28, 6:30 a.m.
  • Matchweek 21: Jan. 1, 6:30 a.m.
  • Matchweek 22: Jan. 4, 2:30 p.m.

WHAT TO DO WITH TEVEZ

Carlos Tevez owners are in a tough spot. Manchester City has rejected his transfer request, and Roberto Mancini insists his star striker is still a big part of the team's plans. When Tevez is on the field, he's as prolific a striker as there is in the league. The problem is, will he continue to be on the field? Only time will tell. Mancini would be unwise to sit an available and healthy Tevez, and fantasy managers would be as well. Hold on to him for now (his matchup at home against Everton is pretty favorable as are the following three matches), and see how things play out. 

AMERICAN WATCH

Stuart Holden's legend continues to grow at Bolton. His game-winning goal and man-of-the-match performance netted him another 10 fantasy points last week, and he continues to look more and more comfortable in the center of Owen Coyle's midfield. At £5.0, he's an excellent low-cost option.

Jonathan Spector earned another start in the midfield, making him one of the few Fantasy Premier League players to be listed at one position (defense) while playing another. West Ham's struggles aren't necessarily going away, so his value is still limited, but he's now off the Do-Not-Touch list.

Granted, Fulham has said it's not selling Clint Dempsey, but imagine what a lights-out performance against Liverpool this weekend at Anfield would do for his name in the rumor mill.

Both Tim Howard and Brad Friedel are on the road this weekend, with the Aston Villa keeper making for the better play. He'll face Wigan Athletic, while Howard tries to silence Manchester City.

LAST WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK

Fernando Torres, Liverpool (2×2=4 points)

WHAT I REALLY MEANT TO SAY WAS…

Yaya Toure, Manchester City (13×2=26 points)

THIS WEEK'S CAPTAIN PICK

Gareth Bale, Tottenham, £7.3

Everyone's favorite winger to gush about has a stellar matchup, even though it's on the road. Tottenham rolls into Blackpool unbeaten in its last six matches, and Bale has three goals and two assists in that time.

If Rafael Van der Vaart returns from injury (which is a distinct possibility), less of the focus would be on Bale, and he would have more room to create and another option to link up with in the attack. Bale has been an overrated fantasy commodity for the majority of the season, but this week presents a nice opportunity to pad his point total.

Other options: Tottenham's Jermain Defoe; Arsenal's Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas (vs. Stoke City); Liverpool's Fernando Torres (vs. Fulham); Chelsea's Didier Drogba (vs. Manchester United); Manchester United's Nani and Wayne Rooney (at Chelsea); West Brom's Chris Brunt (vs. Wolves); Newcastle's Andy Carroll (at Birmingham); Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen (vs. West Ham)

Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. Freddie Adu's Cru…………………950 points
2. The 14ers FC………………………..947
3. SP………………………………………….947
4. Austin Killbotz!!………………………944
5. typos by ives…………………………..936
6. vonruedenFC…………………………933
7. Ft Mudge Possums……………….929
8. Cornballer FC………………………..929
9. thrylos…………………………………….927
10. scoobys doos………………………927

LAST WEEK'S SBI LEAGUE TOP SCORER

Point Loma Sundowns (69 points)

—————————–Howard(6)————————–
–Baines(9)—Elmohamady(6)—Alcaraz(6)—Vidic(6)–
–Nolan(9)——Adam(8)——-Bale(C-4)——Nani(4)–
————Carroll(10)————Elmander(1)————

——————–

Excited for the Fantasy Cup? Think you can beat the odds and win it all? Who are you making your captain this week? What's your lineup looking like?

Share your thoughts below.

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