I thought it might be time to give an update on our Fantasy Football progress. Kevin is dominating our league so far;
He took an early lead and although I've managed to close the gap he keeps edging away. It's fair to say that we are all not doing particularly well.
Here's my current team with some additional ponderings;
Ben Foster Manchester United £3.0m (20 points - for my team)
The Foster experiment hasn't gone particularly well. Especially for Ben Foster. His reputation as the great hope of English goalkeeping has nose dived considerably after some high profile howlers. Van Der Sar's return to fitness will probably result in another one year contract extent ion and Foster will be kicking his heels and playing understudy to both the Dutchman, and at international level, to David James.
Alternatives - Foster provided excellent value for the period he was in the first team and only Petr Cech scored more points from 'the big 4' teams. Still I need to use some of those precious transfers and looking at who is doing well elsewhere, discounting Thomas Sorensen (Stoke City) as top points scorer an extra £500,000 gets me the reliable Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) from a team who should do better until the end of the season.
Glenn Johnson Liverpool £4.0m (20 points)
The Liverpool right back is a safe choice for any FF manager. His attacking instincts have provided 30 points for those who have stuck with him all season and he'll only add more. If only he could be more consistent. Still doesn't look worth £18m though.
Thomas Vermaelen Arsenal £3.7m (6 points)
Those who registered Vermaelen's uncanny knack for popping up with a goal early on have been rewarded with a mammoth 36 points. I said in my season preview that Vermaelen settling down quickly at the Emirates would be integral to any success that Arsenal might achieve this season. So far so good.
Stephen Warnock Aston Villa £3.5m (14 points)
Warnock's transfer from Blackburn to Aston Villa didn't surprise anyone who has followed the talented full back. It did mean missing a couple of games and settling down into a new team. Still I think he's one worth persevering with.
Graham Alexander Burnley £3.0m (6 points)
I don't think anyone outside Burnley celebrated when they got their first penalty more than me. But Bunley are shipping goals at an alarming rate away from home. I need to stop being stubborn and change this one.
Alternatives - It looks like Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), on 37 points, is this seasons must have defender, although that's going to mean a lot of changes if I'm to stick to my 2 players per team rule. Abdoulaye Faye (Stoke City) is scoring well and offers good value at £3.5m. And on Merseyside Leighton Baines (Everton) and Emiliano Insua (Liverpool) are on 28 and 27 points respectively, a note of caution though, Everton aren't getting the results lately and officially have 128 players on the injury list. Aquilani may mean Aurellio being accomadated at left back, it shouldn't happen but it's Benitez, so who knows?
Wild Card - Might be Roger Johnson (Birmingham City) who although he has only scored 16 points is a bargain at £2.8m and has popped up with a few goals in past seasons.
Frank Lampard Chelsea £7.0m (42 points)
Expensive yes but reliable always, the news that Fat Frank is back amongst the goals and Gerrard's injury means most FF players are scrambling to get him in.
Cesc Fabregas Arsenal £5.0m (46 points)
I read some nonsense questioning the Arsenal captain's form this season. His assists alone stand at 9. His value to points ratio is 0.5 ahead of anyone else. I guess that's why he's in 42% of people's teams.
James Milner Aston Villa £4.0m (4 points)
Milner is a classy midfielder and has been getting some people very excited (see Number 4). I've not long moved him into my team and so I'm hoping his excellent delivery, occasional goals and push for berth in the World Cup squad reap rewards for me!
Marouane Fellaini Everton £3.7m (17 points)
Despite playing 6 times for Everton this season Fellaini has only picked up 17 points and I might be carrying a player here. No doubt his actual real performances have been good in a poor Everton team but this is Fantasy.
Alternatives - There are a couple of Bolton midfielders who are doing well, Tamir Cohen's 3 goals have propelled him up the points to £ ratio but I'd plump for the perennially underrated Matt Taylor, 9 league starts and 3 goals. Another favourite of mine is Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur) although Modric has been the catalyst for Spurs' successful start to the season and Lennon has provided the sparkle, Huddlestone's unexpected rediscovery of the form that got us so excited when he burst onto the scene at 16 as has been the highlight for me.
Wild Card - Kevin Prince-Boateng's (Portsmouth) 26 points for £2.5m looks outstanding value.
Didier Drogba Chelsea £6.4m (14 points)
Despite being a goal behind Torres in the race for the golden boot his extra start has yielded 7 more points than the Spaniard. Drogba can be a conundrum at times but when he's motivated he's unplayable.
Craig Bellamy Manchester City £5.2m (9 points)
I shoe horned Bellamy in to the team, not to complete the most odious front line you could imagine, but due to a Monday night game to bag some extra points. He duly delivered that night and has 4 goals for the season. As a Coventry fan it's impossible not to hate our former player with the rap sheet as long as your arm - but on the pitch he's doing the business.
Alternatives - From Fernando Torres (Liverpool) I've bagged 66 points of his total of 73 this season and I'll try and get him back in my team soon. Darren Bent (Sunderland) is enjoying his partnership with Kenwyne Jones and provides the best points to £ ratio currently (will he hit a drought).
Wild Card -This year's biggest surprise for me has to be Hugo Rodellega (Wigan) he has 5 goals, a couple of spectacular ones too, but I'm getting a touch of the Zaki's about him, maybe.
3 days ago