Fantasy Football First brings to you a refreshed and new look Game Week Review section to give you the best Fantasy Football advice possible. We give you our view on player and team performances and an overview of the wider mainstream media’s view. We summarise the impact of injuries and suspensions, and we finish with a view of the next three weeks and what it means for our FPL teams.
Zaid’s Suspension, Injury and Newbie Watch
In Swansea game against Chelsea, the “Kingsley is a starter” dilemma was resolved: Swansea went with 3-5-2 where Kingsley played as centre back while Naughton and Taylor played as wingbacks. Whether manager sticks with this formation and players remains to be seen, for now Kingsley’s owners can relax.
Jay Rodriguez got a start upfront in Southampton’s line-up against Arsenal which excited Chorley who thinks his historic stats are “off the chart”. J. Rod completed only 45 minutes and was not really effective (in an FPL context). Since he is classified as midfielder, one for watchlist if incase he continues upfront and shows signs of FPL output.
Seamus Coleman returned from injury and was installed directly in starting XI with Holgate dropping to bench. Holgate’s owners will have to find a replacement since Koeman is unlikely to make any change in defensive set-up. On the other hand, Coleman was involved on both halves of the pitch. Its tough to justify his inclusion considering we can get his team mate, Baines at almost same price with added bonus of penalties and occasional set-piece duties.
Wilfried Bony made his debut in Stoke city’s jersey against Tottenham. It was tough day for him as he was forced to do more defensive work in order to recover possession from Spurs energetic midfield. He managed to take four shots with 3 of them being from inside the box. One for watchlist since he will be facing WBA, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Swansea at home plus away game against Crystal palace and Hull city in next 8 weeks.
Payet, West Ham United’s key figure, and Lanzini both made their return to the starting line-up. Payet was effective and showed why he is important in West Ham’s set-up. His rabona assist to Antonio’s goal was show stopper.
- Payet took five shots and created six chances: numbers that are likely to improve as he gains match fitness.
- Lanzini took 3 shots and created couple of chances but he is not an alternative to Payet.
Only player in their attacking play who looks like matching Payet’s output at the moment is Antonio.
Jimbob’s MOTD and Newspaper Recap
Man City played so well in the first half against Man United in the derby, Pep Guardiola got his tactics spot on against United and if it wasn’t for Claudio Bravo’s error it could have been a more comfortable victory for City. David Silva was very impressive in midfield against Pogba and Fellaini. We are used to seeing David Silva further forward trying to pick the ball up on the edge of the box but this season he has been playing deeper, he is still influential creating numerous chances for the likes of De Bruyne who scored and also claimed an assist. Out of all the top midfielders in fantasy football De Bruyne could be the best.
Jose Mourinho hasn’t settled on his best eleven yet, the wide players keep changing between the likes of Martial, Mata and Mhkitaryian. Pogba hasn’t played particularly well in his deeper role and Wayne Rooney always seems to be under scrutiny these days about his position. It seems the only attacking Manchester United player worth relying on at the moment is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It’s hard to say whether Spurs looked brilliant or Stoke were really poor in their game probably a bit of both. Harry Kane rewarded the patient fantasy managers with his first goal of the season and he could go on a goalscoring run now. The forward players Alli, Erikson and Son played really well and that was without Erik Lamela who has been flying this season.
Stoke have not started the season well and have looked unusually suspect at the back the likes of Shawcross were always guaranteed to get clean sheet points but they will have to tighten up at the back to climb out of the bottom 3.
The Zaha and Benteke partnership has so much potential this year at Palace and they showed what they can do against Middlesbrough on Saturday. George Friend had a horrible afternoon against Zaha and if Zaha can just find some consistency he can be a top class player and points scorer.
Antonio Conte has preferred to play Kante and Matic in the centre of midfield together which means that there is no room for Cesc Fabregas but when he comes off the bench he is creating chances and having a huge impact on the game, he did it at Watford and again against Swansea on Sunday. Lots of fantasy managers are sticking with Fabregas and it will be worth it if he can get into the team. It will be interesting to see what Conte does with his centre-halves, John Terry left the ground on crutches so he may be a doubt for Liverpool on Friday. Gary Cahill was at fault for Leroy Fer’s goal however it was a clear foul so David Luiz could be in line to start and he may be worth considering.
Adam Lallana has really bought into how Klopp wants him to play and now that he has an international goal to his name he is producing more goals and assists for Liverpool. He is relatively cheap and will be a reliable man to have in midfield.
The new partnership between Koscienly and Mustafi looks promising for Arsenal and it could well lead to more clean sheets for those as well as Cech in goal and the full backs Bellerin and Monreal.
Wallace’s 3 Week Player Watch
Ownership of 10% and under three-week player watch/analysis
Kevin De Bruyne
A starlet of last season, our favorite strawberry blonde Belgian finally stepped up on the biggest stage of all, and duly performed. Still hovering near 5% in total ownership, if KDB can put together some respectable form in the coming weeks, he has the potential to represent a second dependable City attacking option. In the Manchester Derby this past weekend, De Bruyne led all players in total shots (6), including two on target, with two attempts also striking the woodwork. On top of attempts, the Belgian contributed six key passes, more than any player from either side. KDB put together an impressive statline this weekend, and showed a vast improvement compared to previous weeks in which he delivered assists, but for FPL managers, more has been expected. So gameweek 4 has been a pleasant return to reality for the FPL world and KDB, and examination of the Belgian’s play in the next three weeks will take place.
Seemingly destined for a transfer near the end of last season, a new coach and a refreshed system has helped the Brazilian return to respectable form. As Chorley already mentioned in a previous article this week, Oscar has been finding himself in dangerous positions on the right wing, and chances should continue to develop considering the emphasis opposing teams place upon Hazard’s left wing. The young attacker contributed nearly a fourth of Chelsea’s total attempts (6), and delivered three key passes. Although Oscar is not on quite the same level as Hazard, for the much cheaper price of 7.5, the Brazilian may prove an interesting second choice option. Oscar should not be an immediate “buy now”, but after investigation over the next three weeks, a more definitive advisement will be available.
A forgotten and tried player at Liverpool, fantasy managers should begin to monitor Benteke’s current performances in hopes of potentially buying a rejuvenated version of the Belgian front man. Although Benteke did score against Middlesbrough, no bandwagon should be picking up quite yet. The striker’s underlying statistics were not stellar as he only mustered a single shot, albeit it was an on-target shot that found the back of the net, but as a targetman, fantasy managers should expect more. The Belgian also had the fewest touches out of any outfield player for Palace, along with lowest passing accuracy percentage. Perhaps such low stats can be correlated with Palace’s inferior possession numbers, but regardless Benteke should warrant a watchlist spot at the moment until further examination.
Ownership of 30% and over three-week player watch/analysis
Apart from a positive opening fixture, the Spaniard import has struggled to earn substantial points. At a price under 7.0, Negredo’s ownership is so high (near 31%) due to many managers keeping their fingers crossed for the forward to find form and represent a solid third striking option. Looking at Negredo’s gameweek four performance against Crystal Palace, the striker by no means was stellar, but was admittedly acceptable. Only one shot on target is not an impressive tally, but Middlesbrough opted to attack mainly down the flanks versus Palace, and in doing so, service from wide areas was not the best. Perhaps in future weeks service will improve, providing Negredo with more penalty box chances, as the Spaniard heat maps showed promising positioning, showing little sign of dropping in too deep. Upcoming fixtures aren’t the best, but if Negredo is capable of scoring every two or three games, he will represent a dependable third striker.
Guardiola has entered the helm in Manchester in fine fashion, and in doing so, has once again given youth the chance to shine early in the season by affording Stones plenty of starting opportunities. Despite a mass exodus from teams last week, Stones ultimately held his starting role in the center of defense. It still is sensible to monitor the City defensive situation due to Kompany’s eventual return to match action. But assuming Stones remains in the starting eleven, the youngster seems to be making fewer decisive mistakes and even led all City defenders with thirteen clearances in the Manchester Derby this past weekend. A fixture next at home against Bournemouth should give City a solid chance to keep a clean sheet, so watch for Stones to reap the rewards.
Despite relatively high ownership and even higher expectations entering into the new campaign, Coutinho has failed to impress, while several of his Liverpool teammates have reaped plenty of benefits. Having not even started against Leicester in gameweek four, it is difficult to recommend a player who is not the best current option at his own club. A two goal opening weekend has so far been the peak of 2016/2017 for the Brazilian thus far, and until he plays another full ninety minutes it is difficult to gauge his future worth.