Last week was hard, really hard. Many a manager struggled around the 30 mark, and I got a mere 27. But fear not, few big name players scored well but it’s a long season and fantasy managers who have them in their teams will be rewarded in the long haul. If this gameweek had come in the middle of the season you’d take it in your stride, no one likes a slow start, but don’t let it worry you if you are down outside the top two million. If you had a good week, congratulations. Keep it up. And I hate you.
Gameweek One Review
Wayne Rooney was denied a goal against Spurs by the clinical finisher Kyle Walker but if he can get into those positions more often and with Villa up next, he continues to be a must have at this early stage. Bournemouth looked good going forward and will continue to make chances but the prowess of Gestede for Villa was eye opening. If he can gain a regular spot he could well be the new Benteke. Everton and Watford played out an entertaining draw where neither defense covered itself in glory. Ighalo and Barkley certainly would have made their ways onto some peoples watch-lists.
It was all about Leicester this weekend. Albrighton and Mahrez both scoring 15 points each. They were far more attacking than had been anticipated under Ranieri and they do have very attractive fixtures still but they won’t get to play against Sunderland and Younes Kaboul every week. Norwich were unfortunate against Crystal Palace but they don’t look like keeping many clean sheets and Cabaye has already got on the scoresheet but beware of their fixtures.
The late kick off was where it started to get interesting. Courtois’s red card hurt a lot of fantasy teams and there was nothing from Hazard or Costa but, for Swansea, Ayew was really impressive, epitomized but his little drag back before his goal. Gomis was also constantly causing trouble and is apparently on penalty duties so his appeal is growing.
On Sunday the shock of the weekend was at the Emirates as Diego Payet and West Ham won 2-0 against Arsenal. Cech was flapping all over the place and the Arsenal midfield was kept quiet by a £4.0m 16 year old defender playing in midfield – Reece Oxford. Payet though was the main man and looks like he could well keep up his highly impressive assist record.
Newcastle and Southampton drew 2-2 and Wijnaldum was very impressive for the home side whilst Southampton made numerous chances with Mane, Tadic and Pelle all causing trouble. That trio look like good investment with their strong fixtures ahead.
Liverpool stuttered past Stoke, a lackluster display saved by a Coutinho screamer – he looks like a good way into the Liverpool team – although Benteke was a good target man he just lacked the runners around him.
On Monday night we got the first dominating display by a big side came from Man City. Toure who has dropped price dramatically to £8.5m, scored two goals but Silva ran the show and will surely be worth his £10m price tag. Also, Aguero came off the bench to confuse things more.
Gameweek Two Preview
For the first time ever there is a game on the Friday night so remember that means the deadline is now Friday night at 6.45pm.
The first fixture is Man United v Aston Villa. Villa conceded a fair few chances against Bournemouth so I expect United to punish them and they could well keep a clean sheet as well. Wayne Rooney £10.5m is still the top pick.
The early kick off on Saturday is Southampton and Everton. Everton conceded twice against Watford, while Southampton were very good going forward against Newcastle. I expect Southampton to score at least two against the Merseyside Blues. The points could come from anywhere though. Pelle, Mane and Tadic are the top picks, but with Pelle £8.0m, in good form he is the main man.
Tottenham face Stoke and they started well against United before the goal so if they can play at a high tempo with some width which they have been missing then they could come out winners but Stoke are no push overs. They put up a good fight against Liverpool and now have star man Xherdan Shaqiri £7.0m, if he plays he could be a fantastic differential.
Sunderland play Norwich and I wouldn’t recommend having anyone from these teams. That said, if Sunderland are going to get clean sheets this season, this is the sort of game that they will. If you are looking to replace Courtois you could do worse than Costel Pantillimon £5.0m.
Swansea and Newcastle should be a very good game, both having exciting attacking options, Wijnaldum and Gomis being obvious ones. However, Andre Ayew £7.0m looks a class above and can score as well as supply Gomis.
Watford have had a good start to the season and their first home game is against West Brom. Don’t be fooled by their 3-0 defeat to City, when West Brom get it wrong they get it badly wrong but manager Tony Pulis threw his hands up, and they won’t make the same mistake again. Pulis teams are good value for clean sheets and this could be another of them. Ighalo and Deeney still look like good cheap options, but for a bit of a left field pick for this gameweek, it could be Joleon Lescott £5.0m.
Next up, it’s the clash of the titans in West Ham v Leicester. Both enjoyed fantastic first games and Reece Oxford is now a good option to save a bit of money in defence. Up front, Dimitri Payet will clearly be the Hammers main man this year. For the Foxes Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy look the main options for more consistent points. Both teams have really good fixtures coming up but my main pick has to be Payet at £7.5m.
Early on the Sunday, Arsenal go to Crystal Palace and will want to sort themselves out after the disappointment against West Ham. With Walcott not starting he isn’t really an option, especially with Alexis Sanchez £11.0m coming off the bench last weekend and having a big impact. Even in a team of stars, Sanchez is another level.
The big one for this weekend is Man City v Chelsea. Chelsea will be without Courtois – and of course their usual pitchside doctor – but the main picks for the game have to be City players. Toure has notched a couple of goals, Sterling’s pace could expose Terry and Cahill, Aguero could be back, but David Silva £10.0m was phenomenal against West Brom. Silva ran the game and if Matic can’t get hold of him he could well do the same this weekend.
Monday night football is the Cherries going up to Anfield. It is unlikely that Eddie Howe will allow his team to be overawed by the stadium and situation and they will cause Liverpool problems. Despite this, Liverpool should control the game even if they don’t dominate on the score sheet, I expect a clean sheet as well and youngster Joe Gomez £4.6m is my pick for the game.
There are a few options again. Like I have mentioned there is Wayne Rooney on the Friday night against Villa. Christian Benteke is at home to Bournemouth and Graziano Pelle is at home to Everton. For me, I have spent big on Rooney and if I am not to captain him against Villa who would I captain him against? Benteke was clearly the focal point for Liverpool, but it is yet to be seen if that will be a bad thing or not for his points returns. Pelle is the form choice for an attacking team against a defensively unstable team.
The main issues are of course if you are a Courtois owner with a non playing goalkeeper back up and Theo Walcott. I would say keep Theo for the weekend, see what Sanchez is like and more importantly keep yourself two transfers for the following gameweek giving you far greater flexibility. If you are a Courtois owner though and have no playing goalkeeper for the next three gameweeks you could do a lot worse than get Adrian £5.0m in. Importantly though, keep calm, trust in your selections and save your transfer; it’s just the beginning.
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