I hope that those of you in the US enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and were properly thankful for all the good things in your lives. Today, I am looking forward to being thankful for sunny and warm weather and a short drive to the beach here in Tampa (visiting my wife's sister and her husband). A little bit of a different scene from my traditional Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic version of the holiday.
Lots of important news for fantasy managers to catch up on before making their final trades and shockingly, some of the most important news comes from Stoke (who knew)?
- Sorensen to start - It has been a while since we've had a playable keeper priced at 1.00 but this week we find ourselves with one. If you're looking for an enabler somewhere in your line-up then he might just be the guy.
- Pennant Gets More Valuable - Yesterday, I wrote that I liked Pennant over Eth in the Stoke midfield due mostly to his lower price. As it turns out, he's also not facing the dreaded "late fitness test" which Eth is. Eth hasn't been ruled out entirely but the case for Pennant only improves with this news.
- Rovers Missing - Strengthening the Stoke cause are the missing Rovers who include Samba, Nelsen, and Olsson. Dunn is also missing but since that's a fairly constant state of affairs so hardly worth noting.
- VDV's Hammy - Barely a week goes by when Rafa's hamstring isn't a question mark in this feature and this week is no exception. The rotten news is that there is nothing definite here - VDV is unlikely but not ruled out, Defoe is similarly unlikely all of which makes Pavlyuchenko a possible starter but not definite. My advice? Start Bale or K2 (or even Modric) but don't mess around with any of the question marks.
- Barn Door Watch - Boyata may be ready to make his way back to the Bolton starting line-up this weekend. The news isn't certain enough for me but I'm definitely going to be watching with an eye toward the Barn Door as he's still priced at 4.25
- Wolves Enabler - Hard to like Wolves on the road at Stamford Bridge. Even harder to like them with O'Hara and Hunt both suspended. That doesn't mean that Guedioura isn't a potential bargain as a replacement for one of the two since he's still priced at 3.38
- United Returnees - Rooney and Vidic are back for United which should help things in the key match-up with Newcastle.
- NUFC Ins and Outs - Obertan and Guthrie are back while Tiote and Best are unlikely to make it back. Bad news for Newcastle and bad news for those hoping to have some certainty on the availability of Ben Arfa as a legitimate fantasy starter/enabler. My suggestion would be to ignore HBA for this weekend.
- Larsson Back - With Wigan coming to town what more could you ask for than your best creator/fantasy bet back in the line-up after being suspended last weekend. Westwood will carry on with Mignolet and Gordon both still injured.
- Enabler Doubt for Villa - Chris Herd, who many have enjoyed as a mildly productive enabler in recent weeks is facing uncertain status for the weekend with a leg injury. This makes Guedioura even more enticing as a more certain starter among the enablers.
- Gerrard Out - Speaks for itself really.
- City Fully Fit - Balotelli was the only question and he seems like he'll recover in time to be an option if Mancini wants to start him. That leaves the better question of which of the two starters from Napoli (Dzeko and Balotelli) will get the call. Aguero seems guaranteed after sitting in Italy until a late substitution.