The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 15 is now closed. Join me in our virtual Fantasy Football world while we watch the games and hope our points rack up. Sit back, relax, enjoy the football and hang-out here with your fellow Fantasy Football managers and chat in real time as the action unfolds. Perhaps everyone else is experiencing the same “Aggghhhh” player difficulties you are, or the same “Yeahhhh” moment as your captain puts the ball into the back of the net? Talking Points is simply a chat area for us Fantasy Football First managers. Tell us about your highs and lows, and get into the match day atmosphere. Get involved.
To help you with your early transfer, these are the expected talking points for this weekend.
Chelsea have won eight consecutive Premier League games for the first time since the 2006-07 season, when they won nine in a row during Jose Mourinho’s first spell as manager. They will surely look to improve this record in the upcoming run against West Brom (H), Sunderland (A), Palace (A), Bournemouth (H) and Stoke (H).
The Chelsea defence came under pressure several times as City created some good chances only Gary Cahill was able to score (in his own net). Even without a clean sheet Alonso still managed to return six points as he assisted Hazard for the third goal. Get him if you don’t already have and watch those clean sheets and assists coming in.
Hazard himself was Chelsea’s most dangerous player throughout the game and he capped off his performance with a decisive goal at the end. He looks a must have right now, as does Diego Costa up front. Since the start of 2013-14, the striker has scored 70 goals in 103 league appearances (Premier League and La Liga combined). He only blanked (no goal or assist) twice this season and it’s this kind of consistency that FPL managers love. Costa hobbled off with a muscle injury late in the game however it didn’t look to be too serious and he’s expected to start this weekend. The impending one game ban is still looming too, but this shouldn’t stop you from buying him with your newfound Aguëro money.
The Swans were unable to build on their victory against Palace as they lost 5-0 to Spurs. They’ll be looking to bounce back in December as they play five of the bottom 12 teams in their next six matches. First up is Sunderland at the Liberty after which as they travel to West Brom (A) and Middlesbrough (A) and host West Ham (H) and Bournemouth (H).
A catalogue of errors from the Swansea defence led to their joint worst result in Premier League history. Even though there is potential for clean sheets in the upcoming games, especially against West Ham and Bournemouth, we wouldn’t invest in the Swansea defence right now. Keep Amat if you own him and establish a rotation with West Brom defender, but don’t get anyone else.
Offensively Sigurdsson remains a good option despite blanking against his former club. He’s playing out of position as a false nine and also taking care of set-pieces. We can see him returning a steady flow of points in December. Only get Fer if you can’t afford Gylfi.
Spurs completely smashed Swansea at White Hart Lane and now travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. After that it’s smooth sail with games against Hull City (H), Burnley (H), Southampton (A) and Watford (A).
Walker is the best scoring defender in the game and with the upcoming games there is plenty of opportunity to get more clean sheets and offensive returns. Toby Alderweireld returned from a leg injury and played the end of the game against CSKA Moscow in the Champion’s League, and his return should strengthen the defence and improve the clean sheet potential.
Harry Kane has now scored 21 goals in 28 Premier League appearances in 2016 – only Manchester City’s Sergio Aguëro (27) has more goals this year, but with him suspended for four games, Kane is one of the prime candidates to take Aguëro’s spot in your team. He’s scored five times in four league matches since returning from injury and also scored in midweek in the Champion’s League, so don’t hesitate to invest now or after the Manchester United game. Eriksen also found a bit of form after a very slow start to the season. In the last two games he scored three goals and got one assist, so if Kane is out of reach you can consider getting the Dane for some Spurs coverage.
West Brom climbed up to seventh place after a win against Watford. It’ll be a tough ask to keep that spot over the next games as the Baggies face Chelsea (A), Swansea (H), Manchester United (H), Arsenal (A) and Southampton (A).
Chris Brunt ended a run of 29 Premier League appearances without a goal, netting his first in the competition since May 2015. He is quickly becoming the preferred option in the West Brom defence as he’s actually playing in midfield and thus benefits from clean sheets and boasts better shooting and key passing stats than similarly priced defenders (see https://fantasyfootballfirst.co.uk/fantasy-football-help/chris-brunt-hidden-defender). McAuley (for both offensive and defensive returns) and Nyom (for his price) are great options too, as is Foster in goal.
Matt Phillips has had a hand in six goals in his last four Premier League appearances (three goals, three assists) and looks pivotal to the Baggies great run that saw them win three and draw over the same period. Get him if you’re looking to replace an underperforming fourth midfielder or want to free up funds in midfield.
After taking only one point in their first five league games this season, Stoke have lost only one of their last nine. Keeping this run going will be hard as the Potters face Arsenal (A), Southampton (H), Leicester (H), Liverpool (A) and Chelsea (A).
The Stoke defence has kept four clean sheets this season however we don’t see many opportunities to add to that tally in the upcoming games. Jack Butland suffered a further setback after eight months out which means Grant will keep his place between the sticks. At 4.2 million he remains a good option but we wouldn’t recommend getting any other Stoke defender right now. You can safely keep the players you have and stick them on the bench for the away games.
In midfield and attack the options are very thin after Joe Allen lost his place to Imbula. Shaqiri and Arnautovic can occasionally turn up but are too inconsistent to be recommend at this time. Stay away and re-assess in January.
Hull lost to Boro and firmly remain in the relegation zone. The upcoming game at home against Palace looks critical as the four after that against Spurs (A), West Ham (A), Man City (H) and Everton (H) will be testing.
After a promising start to the season the Tigers look headed for relegation after their ninth loss of the season. There are really no options here at all, sell everyone you still own (including Snodgrass).
Other Talking Points
- West Ham are in freefall and Bilic sounded extremely deflated after the 1-5 beating against Arsenal. Keep Payet for the 3 fixtures after the upcoming Liverpool game (Burnley (H), Hull City (H) and Swansea (A)) and monitor if Carroll can cement a starting spot. Avoid anyone else.
- Sanchez has been directly involved in six of Arsenal’s past eight Premier League goals (five goals, one assist). His tally for the season is 13 goals and nine assists from 19 matches in all competitions. Get him at all cost.
- Defoe has scored five goals in his past five appearances at the Stadium of Light, including a goal in each of his past three games there. He has been involved in 10 (8 goals and 2 assists) of Sunderland’s 14 goals this season and is incredible value at this price. The upcoming games are a bit of a mixed bag though (Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, but also Swansea, Watford and Burnley).
- Leicester are now dangerously close to being involved in a relegation fight as they seem to have lost all grit and determination that got them the title last year. A thumping in midweek against Porto will not have helped, so sell any players you have.
- Benteke scored his sixth and seventh goal of the season last weekend and remains a good option as a third striker.
- Southampton had an off-day against Palace but with a kind upcoming schedule it is tempting to get Van Dijk or Cedric for defensive cover. With Austin out with a shoulder injury, monitor who takes his place.
- Manchester City lost a Premier League home game that they have been leading for the first time since April 2009 (1-3 v Fulham). The continuous rotation in defence and midfield, combined with the suspension to Aguëro, make City very unappealing at the moment. Find replacements and monitor if De Bruyne and / or Iheanacho can profit from his absence.
- United have won just one of their last eight games in the Premier League, with six draws and one loss. Ibrahimovic scored 4 goals in the last 4 games but he’s currently outperformed by Costa and Kane. Monitor him over Christmas.
- After a very good start, Everton have won just one of their last nine league games (D4 L4). With Bolasie now out for the season they’ll have to get on without Lukaku’s main provider (4 assists), which doesn’t bode well for attacking returns. Sell any players you’re still holding.
- Bournemouth completed a great comeback against Liverpool as the Cherries remain a great source for fantasy assets. At just 4.3 million, Aké is one of the cheapest active defenders in the game and after scoring his second goal of the season his stock will surely go up. Consider him if he keeps his place in the team.
- Liverpool were on the wrong end of a fairy tale comeback but Sadio Mané still managed to get a goal and an assist. In Coutinho’s absence he looks like the best option in midfield and should be starting despite a small knock. Up front Origi scored again making him an interesting budget option if you’re willing to take the game-time risk.