With the hype and madness that the opening week of fixtures in the Premier League normally brings, it will come as a relief to many that a return to relative normality ensues ahead of gameweek two. There are plenty of talking points going into the weekend of football too. Can Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United bounce back from opening day defeat to Swansea? Also to the game between two potential top four contenders between Everton and Arsenal. However, the fixture of the week without question is on Monday night. The teams who finished second and first last season, Liverpool and Manchester City, face off at the Etihad. Shrewd fantasy managers will look at the players at their disposal, as well as the weekend fixtures before selecting their starting XI and Captain. One last tip too; unless the majority of your fantasy football squad is injured, DO NOT play your Wildcard.
The Harry Redknapp’s of the fantasy football world will fully utilise the one free transfer that they have available every week. While it may be too early to decide upon some players, Glyfi Sigurdsson was the most commonly signed player during the week, brought in by no fewer than 257,000 managers ahead of Swansea’s game at home to Burnley.
Despite costing a hefty £9.1m, Cesc Fabregas would be another great addition to your fantasy league side. Fabregas, who was brought in by 158,000 fantasy managers during the week, got two assists in Chelsea’s opening victory over Burnley, and will look to add to his tally against another newly promoted side Leicester.
The joint highest scoring players of week one; Eric Dier and James Chester were nabbed by many teams after such an impressive first game, but Chester especially faces a tough task to keep another clean sheet against the impressive in defeat Stoke City.
A player who I believe you should look to bring in is Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle. You can rarely predict a Jose Mourinho starting XI before the league season begins as shown last season with how Juan Mata spent months on the bench before moving to Manchester United. Despite many of his German counterparts at Arsenal being deemed not fit enough to play in the opening week; Mourinho started Schurrle against Burnley – potentially showing a glimpse of things to come. Schurrle scores goals wherever he plays, and will be handsomely rewarded with 5 points for a goal in fantasy football from the midfield quarter.
There has also been a large outflow of players due to a mixture of injuries and bad early season form. Mid to long term injuries for Luke Shaw and Ross Barkley have naturally seen the pair being the most commonly removed players. Luke Shaw’s mild hamstring tear will see him miss up to six weeks of the new season, with Ross Barkley’s still undetermined knee injury potentially putting him out for up to four months according to Roberto Martinez.
After Manchester United’s disappointing start to the season, surprisingly it is Juan Mata who finds himself as a bit of a fantasy league scapegoat – being disposed of by many. With Cesc Fabregas being available for roughly the same price as Mata however, it is no real surprise to see this trend.
Despite Olivier Giroud not being fit enough to start against Crystal Palace in the opening game of the season (according to Arsene Wenger), I can only imagine that fantasy managers took that as he would be second choice for the most part of the season – with 68,000 gaffers giving Giroud the early boot.
One commonly selected player I would ditch ahead of gameweek two is Aston Villa Centre Back Ron Vlaar. Despite Villa looking defensively strong against Stoke in the first week, the pace Newcastle showed against Manchester City could cause the sluggish pairing of Vlaar and Senderos a lot of trouble at Villa Park on Saturday.
Weekly wheeling and dealing is critical to being a successful fantasy football manager. I will repeat myself however in saying that despite the temptation after a poor gameweek you may or may not have had, save your Wildcard to later in the season and do not use it after only one week of football.
Who is going to be shipped out the door of your Fantasy League side, and who will you be spending your last dime on to bring into the squad? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .
Stats and fantasy league facts via fantasy.premierleague.com. Use code 275208-73981 to join the TBR Fantasy League.