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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Fantasy Football: twice as nice on double week

There’s LOADS of points up for grabs with eight teams scheduled for a double-game week. Here’s how to win them.

FUNNY, I’ve only made the commitment to tweeting in the last 24 hours but already I feel more connected to people.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I gained a lot of Twitter followers (and thank you to everyone who decided to follow me @nealjthurman) while I was sleeping last night while our Facebook following has slowed to a small steady growth.

Don’t get me wrong, steady growth toward 3000 “Likes” is great but tripling your number of followers FEELS like a more significant accomplishment even if the number isn’t that impressive.  In any event, for those who haven’t embraced the Twitter, you should give it a try.

We now return you to your previously scheduled fantasy analysis:


Where we separate the matches that will provide fantasy managers real advantage from the ones that LOOK like they’ll provide advantage from the ones that are very unlikely to provide it at all.

NOTE: In a match week where there are many (eight) teams with double matches, we’ll list teams individually rather than calling out specific match-ups.  The latter would be really complicated.

Real Advantage

  • WBA – Granted they haven’t been playing terribly well but they’re home against two teams that have been even worse over the course of the season.  The only worry is that both Wolves and WHU have more recent momentum than the Baggies.
  • Arsenal – Great news that the Djourou injury isn’t a bad one.  Yes, he’ll still likely only get one match of the two but with both matches at home to mid-table-at-best opposition, Arsenal should be fertile ground for managers.  The only risks will be the rotation with Barca coming up.
  • Blackpool – They seem to have played about 100 home matches in a row but this match week features two more.  I’d be concerned about the defenders and goalkeeper because they leak goals but the attackers should be interesting.
  • Birmingham - Two home matches with beatable opposition.  The quandary is that Birmingham are 16th for a reason so don’t get TOO excited and put all your eggs in this basket.

False Hope

  • Newcastle – I’m sure there will be a lot of people who got on the bandwagon on the heels of the big comeback and then noted that NUFC play two matches against opponents who don’t exactly scare the pants off anyone.  Just note that they’ve only scored multiple goals on their travels once this season (against WHU at the deepest depth of their incompetence) and one of their two scorers that day (Carroll) is no longer with the club and hasn’t been adequately replaced.  Looks like a trap to me kids.
  • Stoke – Ten points and 12 goals from 12 away matches and both of them are away this match week – not saying they’ll lose both but you can hardly expect them to be exceptional.
  • Wolves – Four away points all season and both are away including Arsenal – ’nuff said (sorry Chris).

Not Sure

  • Spurs – So many factors here – injury uncertainty with Bale and VDV, prioritization uncertainty with the AC Milan match coming up, spotty recent form, two away matches.  Still, this is a top five team and the opposition @SUN and @BPL isn’t frightening.  Sorry to do this to you but I’m going to leave a very tough call up to your gut.  I got nothing here.


  • RvP – Yes, the price is pretty high but with the double week the price looks a lot better.  Yes, as I mentioned above there is the risk that he gets rotated on one side or the other of the Barca match but I’d imagine he at least gets 120 minutes.
  • Odemwingie – The price has gone down a bit and the match-ups with strugglers at home are more than you can really pass up.  Hard to say “no” here.
  • Martins – Obafemi! Obafemi! Obafemi! Just fun to say it and with two home matches and a low, low (re)introductory price he’s a solid bet if you’re buying at retail.
  • Carew – I like him more in the Yahoo format than the Premier League format where his price is higher but we all know how Arsenal are against target strikers on teams that can get the ball into the box (see Eth and Pennant).
  • Defoe – I’m not sure why but someone is going to score for Spurs and you get the feeling one of those crazy multi-goal matches out of nowhere is coming soon.  I can’t guarantee this is the match week but it certainly seems like it might be and if it is, I’d guess it’ll be the Blackpool match.


  • Adam – See RvP.  The only worry is that he’s one yellow away from an automatic suspension.  That aside he’s THE guy to have in midfield.
  • Bentley – Solid price, two home matches, point machine with a big target striker for him to aim at – how can you argue with that?
  • Cesc – He hasn’t been on the strongest roll ever but he’s the safest bet to produce in the ARS midfield.
  • Wilshere – The cheap answer in the ARS midfield if you can’t afford Adam, Cesc, RvP, and Odemwingie with the rest of your squad.
  • Brunt – Don’t love the price/recent production ratio but he’s still a great bet given the match-ups.
  • Gardner – Takes PKs and he’s been having a quietly great fantasy season.


  • Koscielny – Not a GREAT bet but a solid bet for the money.
  • Jiranek – Like Koscielny, I don’t love the pick but the math works.
  • Enrique – A bit out of left field since I’m not thrilled with NUFC’s double but it’s hard to like BPL or WBA defenders given their tendency to ship goals by the bunch.
  • Jara – If you must but I don’t advise it.
  • Sagna – He’s the more expensive one I’d choose if you’re choosing a more expensive one.


  • Szczesny – The hope is that Song and Djourou will be back for both which would be huge.
  • Foster – A bit expensive but a solid bet.
  • Begovic – Just a good keeper and when there isn’t great value elsewhere, sometimes that (and a double match) is enough.
  • Myhill – Has to be mentioned but I’d only do it as a last resort if you need a cheap option to make moves you really believe in elsewhere in your line-up.


  • Odemwingie – I like RvP more but Odemwingie is more likely to start both matches and the match-ups are just SO tantalizing.
  • RvP – He’s been on a crazy roll so you wouldn’t be shocked with two or three goals across the two matches even if he only gets a start and a sub appearance.
  • Adam – He’s been scoring consistently even as his team has been struggling mightily.

Neal Thurman and Jeremy Spitzberg  write what they believe to be the oldest-runningblog focused on English Premier League. They also believe they were the first two people ever paid real money to blog exclusively about the same.

They may be entirely wrong on both counts but that doesn’t stop them from writing or telling people that they were first.

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About the author:

Neal Thurman and Jeremy Spitzberg

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