advent-calendar-1863407_960_720With cards, gifts and mince pies seen in shops at the start of October, plus Wham! and Mariah Carey heard on the radio in mid-November, the advent period leading up to Christmas is in danger of lasting longer than the football off-season! Before fantasy football managers begin getting ready for the festive period, there are four rounds of Premier League fixtures to be played before Christmas Eve. Might it be one of the Christians (Eriksen or Fuchs) that appeals? Will we be singing the praises of Tom or Andy Carroll? Or will Jesus come into our teams at this appropriate time of the year?

With fixtures coming thick and fast, it is imperative for #SkyFF players to be on the ball when it comes to planning and preparing for the busiest time of the year. Which players will be welcomed into our sides from the opening windows, and who will we be firmly closing the door behind as soon as they have they have left our teams?

My take on transfer strategy for the Sky game is to use the vast majority of my trades on attacking players. These articles will be based around transferring midfielders and strikers, as they score the most points and are almost exclusively chosen as captains.

Sunday/Monday/Friday Teams

The pre-Christmas rounds of Premier League games are spread over nine Matchdays. However, there are 30 matches set to take place on Saturdays or Wednesday, with only 10 fixtures occupying the other available days.

Liverpool, with a trio, have the most shifted matches, three teams (Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United) have a pair, with eleven more having just a single moved game.

This leaves the remaining five clubs, Tottenham included,  not playing any offset matches in this four Gameweek period.

Sun-Mon-Fri Matches 3

 

Fixture Ticker

Based on best win odds available: Dark Blue < 1.5 > Light Blue < 2.5 > Yellow < 3.5 > Orange < 10 > Red

Fixture ticker 2

There are only a brace of single games: Monday in Gameweek 17 and Friday in Gameweek 18:

  • Everton v Swansea
  • Arsenal v Liverpool

Should we be looking to anyone from this quartet, in addition to Manchester United, for possible transfer routes? Well that depends on a couple of things:

  1. Do you have someone currently in your team playing on the same day?
  2. Does their club have a player that you would trust with the armband?

Midfielders Ownership

Midfielders by ownership 3

Strikers Ownership

Strikers by ownership 2

As can be seen in the charts above, there are numerous players from these five sides already in the Top 25 owned Midfielders and Strikers: most managers are likely to have more than one already in their teams, as well as holding one or more Manchester City and/or Tottenham asset. In fact, from the other 13 Premier League clubs only Watford’s Richarlison has a higher than 10% ownership in the Sky game. Those that have already used more transfers than  they might have wanted, could be in a position to save a few early this month ready for the hectic festive fixtures.

The most popular current attacking line-up, deployed in a 3-5-2, is something like:

Salah, de Bruyne, Matic, Eriksen, Alli

Lukaku, Kane

 

Options

Ashley Young was the third highest scoring midfielder over the last month, and could be a good value selection at £7.8M. His Manchester United team mate Paul Pogba is now fit and back in the side. If he gets back to his early season form, then he will soon be on many people’s radar.

Mesut Ozil is another big hitter rising up the scoring charts, whilst both Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are amongst the top ten strikers for November. With Arsenal having a Sunday match in Gameweek 16 as well as playing in the standalone fixture on Friday December 22nd, then transferring a gunner into your team early in the month could well appeal.

Having discarded David Unsworth in favour of Sam Allerdyce, Everton showed a glimmer of pre-season expectations in their destruction of a poor West Ham side last week. Wayne Rooney scored a hatrick to bring him into captaincy contention for Monday night football in Gameweek 18.

My TeamTeam

Having already used three transfers in November to bring in Kane, Morata and Bong, I am now down to under 30 transfers remaining for the season, so need to tread carefully in the next few weeks!

In readiness for the back-to-back standalone fixtures in Gameweeks 19 and 20, I might sacrifice an Arsenal striker for the cheaper midfield option offered by Aaron Ramsey. If I do make this move it will most likely be done on Sunday December 10th.

The money saved by choosing Ramsey would allow me to bring Andreas Christensen into my defence. Having started the last 5 matches for Chelsea and priced at £6.4M, the Dane is looking like he could become a great value player for the second half of the season.

Other than these two possibilities, I am likely to keep my powder dry in the run up to the Christmas and New Year period. Having said that, if Everton continue their resurgence of the last couple of games, then Rooney could tempt me into a maverick move.

How many transfers are you planning to make before Boxing Day?

 

PlanningFlow chart

The key to being able to maximize your scoring potential is being at least one step ahead of everyone else.

I have updated my handy spreadsheet designed to keep you abreast of these crucial details:

Your overall budget, remaining transfers available, plus – just as importantly – who is playing who and when!

 

Ian Parrin’s Sky Transfer Toolkit – December Fixture Update

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I will be preparing regular articles designed to guide you through who to bring in and out of your Sky Fantasy Football team.

Next month – Yuletide!

As we make our plans for the hectic festive fixture schedule, which players will we be bringing into our teams at the same speed as children unwrapping their presents on Christmas morning, and who will we be looking to see the back of at a similar rate to any leftover turkey on New Year’s Eve!