The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 14 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.
|Man City (A)||West Brom (H)||Sunderland (A)||Palace (A)||Bournemouth (H)|
Chelsea extended their winning streak to seven as they beat Spurs at the Bridge. In the next game they travel to the Etihad for a clash against Pep Guardiola’s City side, but afterwards they face an easy run of games against West Brom (H), Sunderland (A), Palace (A) and Bournemouth (H).
Eriksen’s goal ended a run of 601 minutes without conceding a goal in the league. There is no doubt that Chelsea’s defence has been difficult to breakdown and investing in a defender will surely pay. Alonso remains the standout option as he’s playing as a left midfielder and has been involved in a number of goals and assists so far this season.
In midfield Hazard is back to his best. He is a must have for any Fantasy Football Side. Pedro and Moses offer more budget-friendly options for those short on cash or wanting to double-up. Up front Diego Costa keeps performing as he provided an assist against Spurs. He is the best performing forward in the game and the only argument against getting him is the impending ban he will get if he picks up another yellow card.
|Spurs (A)||Sunderland (H)||West Brom (A)||Middlesbrough (A)||West Ham (H)|
Bob Bradley grabbed his first win as Swansea manager after a crazy game against Crystal Palace. The Swans will be looking to build on that victory as they face Spurs (A), Sunderland (H), West Brom (A), Middlesbrough (A) and West Ham (H) in the next five games.
The Swansea defence isn’t worth considering except for Amat, who re-established himself in the starting eleven and is still cheap. Keep him as bench fodder.
In midfield we obviously consider Sigurdsson as he’s on set-pieces and involved in almost every attack. Since his Premier League debut in January 2012, Sigurdsson has bagged six direct free-kicks goals in the top-flight, a joint-high along with Christian Eriksen and Juan Mata. If the Swans score, you can be sure that Gylfi will be in and around the action. Leroy Fer offers a more budget friendly option, perfect as fourth or fifth midfielder. Get Sigurdsson and consider Fer for the upcoming run of games.
Up front Llorente changed the game after coming on for Routledge and if he can nail down a starting spot he could prove a solid option as a third striker. Monitor the Swansea formation in the next games before making a move.
|Swansea (H)||Man Utd (A)||Hull City (H)||Burnley (H)||So’ton (A)|
Spurs have endured a difficult week as they got eliminated from the Champion’s League with a loss against Chelsea. They’ll look to bounce back and catch up with the front-runners in the league as they face Swansea (H), Man Utd (A), Hull City (H), Burnley (H) and Southampton (A).
Tottenham played a good first half against Chelsea but this dominance didn’t transform into goals. After conceding the Pedro goal just before the break they were deflated and lacked inspiration in the second half. Despite their possession in the Chelsea half, they were not able to convert their chances.
The defence hasn’t kept a clean sheet in the last four, a period in which Alderweireld hasn’t played due to injury. He should be back next weekend so hopefully that will bring back some stability. Kyle Walker remains the standout option due to his attacking contributions.
The midfield has been heavily rotated due to injuries which makes it difficult to pick a good option. Up front Kane has scored three from three since coming back from injury and he’s a great option going forward. It’s a bit of a risk given Spurs’ recent form but if anyone in the team will pick up points, it’ll be Harry. Great option to replace the failing Lukaku.
|Watford (H)||Chelsea (A)||Swansea (H)||Man Utd (H)||Arsenal (A)|
West Brom were unable to get their third win in a row as they drew with Hull. The upcoming games are of varied quality; winnable fixtures against Watford (H) and Swansea (H) and testing encounters with Chelsea (A), Manchester United (H) and Arsenal (A).
West Brom have lost just two of their last nine top-flight games, winning three and drawing four. This resilience is typical of a Tony Pulis side, so it’s not surprising that most value can be found in defence. The Baggies have kept three clean sheets so far this season, but in McAuley they have a defender who poses a real aerial threat. McAuley has scored more Premier League goals for West Brom than any other defender (12), and is the first defender to net three Premier League goals this season. Get him despite the difficult run of fixtures.
In midfield, Matt Phillips has been involved in five goals in his last three Premier League games (two goals, three assists). At 5.2 million, he is a great option as fourth or fifth midfielder. Up front Rondon is a threat for defenders, however we feel there are better options in his price bracket and wouldn’t recommend getting him.
|Liverpool (H)||Burnley (A)||Leicester (H)||So’ton (H)||Chelsea (A)|
Bournemouth gave a good account of themselves against Arsenal but lost anyway, and now face difficult games against Liverpool (H), Burnley (A), Leicester (H), Southampton (H) and Chelsea (A).
An injury to Daniels led to a reshuffle in defence, where Brad Smith came in at left-back, Aké kept his place alongside Cook and Francis moved to right-back. Adam Smith was pushed forward in a right-wing role that allowed him getting even further forward than usual. If this system is successful, then Adam Smith is a great option as an out-of-position defender while Brad Smith offers a budget option at just 4 million.
In midfield and attack the options are thin and there seem to be better options elsewhere. Stay away for now and re-assess in January.
|Man Utd (H)||Watford (A)||Arsenal (H)||Liverpool (H)||Leicester (A)|
Everton’s slump continues as Koeman’s return to St Mary’s ended in a defeat. The next five games don’t offer much hope of a recovery as Everton face Manchester United (H), Watford (A), Arsenal (H), Liverpool (H) and Leicester (A).
At the beginning of the season it looked like Koeman had sorted out the defensive problems that were visible whilst the Toffees were still under Roberto Martinez, but three clean sheets so far isn’t exactly a revolution. We would expect to see returns from the wingbacks but with Baines struggling with injuries and Coleman not performing to his best despite scoring against Swansea, they haven’t performed at their best so far.
In midfield it’s a similar story, with only Bolasie performing according to his price. The third attacking midfielder spot has been up for grabs: Deulofeu, Mirallas or Lennon trying to nail down a starting spot in Koeman’s side.
Up front Lukaku has been performing well but his form dropped off after three consecutive blanks. Against Southampton he didn’t manage a single shot. With Costa continuing to perform and Kane getting back to his best, we might see a massive sale of the big Belgian. Given the fixtures, we wouldn’t argue against this.
Other Talking Points
- Aguero promptly hurt the managers who dropped him last week by scoring twice against a resilient Burnley. The Argentine has now scored 10 goals in the Premier League this season, which makes him joint top scorer with Diego Costa.
- Mahrez has two goals and one assist in his last three appearances. Against Boro, Vardy had no shots and no touches inside the penalty area at all. Monitor Mahrez in the upcoming games and don’t consider Vardy.
- The Liverpool midfield dilemma might have solved itself as both Coutinho and Firmino picked up injuries, with Lallana not fit to start the game. This only leaves Mane as an option in midfield, while Origi could prove a bargain option for a few weeks up front.
- Despite Crystal Palace’s struggles, Wilfried Zaha has put in some good performances of late. He scored 34 points over the last six games, putting him sixth in the form table. At 5.4 million, he is a strong contender as a fourth midfielder. Consider him if you’re looking for a replacement for Allen or Gundogan.
- The Potters have conceded just five goals in their past eight Premier League games after conceding 18 goals in the eight games prior to that. With Butland close to full fitness, we expect to see more clean sheets in the upcoming games, starting with Burnley this weekend.
- Alexis Sanchez ended a mini-draught with his first goal in four games, while Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud also chipped in with a goal and an assist respectively. Get Sanchez or Walcott but hold on Giroud until he’s fit and nailed on.
- Ibrahimovic scored for the second game in a row but as Manchester United continue to struggle we are hesitant to put him back in our teams. Worth monitoring over the upcoming games though.
- Payet delivered an assist, his sixth of the season, putting him back on our radar. Consider him for GW16 when West Ham start a favourable run of fixtures.
- Austin strengthened his case to be included as a third striker after he scored his sixth PL goal of the season. Consider the Southampton defence as well, following their fifth clean sheet of the season and a stretch of good games. Van Dijk stands out if you have the funds.