As expected, Manchester United essentially salted away the title with a solid 2-0 victory over Everton yesterday. There was much speculation about the nature of United's line-up for yesterday's match and Sir Alex sent out the first team where the identify of sure-fire starters (Rooney, RvP, Evra, Valencia, Rafael, Vidic, and DDG) are known. The rest wouldn't have struck you as anything other than the normal rotation of a deep squad with a number of positions that don't have definitive starters.
Now that United are past the fixture that Sir Alex claimed lost them the title last season (when Everton came back from two goals down to draw with United), fantasy managers must be on red alert (pardon the pun) as it concerns United's rotation policy. They aren't going to stop playing their first teamers in the Premier League altogether but with a second "Treble" still in play you have to wonder how often some of the regulars will be rotated out of EPL matches in favor of ensuring progress in the Champions League and FA Cup competitions. Overall, the goal of fantasy managers should be to avoid plunking down big chunks of budget on United players who are at risk. Since we can all be sure that Sir Alex won't be letting us know when he's going to rotate his squad that may mean some frustrating days where you pass on a spectacular performance by a United player.
Oh yeah, Liverpool play today don't they? I'm on Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge (may he be healthy), and Luis Suarez as well as the hope that the fringe Liverpool players (Jordan Henderson, Jamie Carragher, Luis Enrique, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, etc.) don't make me miserable for not picking them.
In case you're wondering, here's my BD team for Match Week 27 as it stands right now:
With two weeks to go until the match week starts, I've obviously still got a lot of uncertainty in my line-up. Here are the highlights:
- Christopher Samba is back down to his lowest price and is facing Manchester United so I'm likely to drop him and pick him back up on the Barn Door. I'm not sure who I'm going to pick up as a replacement at this point.
- Michu pretty much ensured that I'll be keeping him through Swansea's off week but I'll at least be contemplating that spot since I really can't afford many zeroes at this point in the season.
- Lewis Holtby had a bunch of chances that he couldn't put on target over the weekend and then he was subbed out fairly early. With Adebayor potentially in the mix it will be very interesting to see how AVB mixes and matches Holtby, Dempsey, and K2. On a week where I might end up with two guaranteed zeroes it would be a hard pill to swallow if Holtby was only on the substitute's bench.
- Daniel Sturridge has two matches that may see his price climb or drop and his fate for his "zero week" will depend entirely on how he performs and what his price does as a result. I really don't want to have two guaranteed zeroes for the week but if he continues his sizzling form then it will be hard to give up such a productive player at 8.53 with any hope of equaling the value in the match weeks following Liverpool's week off.
- Robin van Persie is really there so I have the option at his BD price. I have no idea if I'm going to keep him (see "rotation risk" above).