Let’s freshen up on our theory on the computational problem that is Gameweek 17. Theoretical disciplines include captain picks, big hitters, clean sheets, and punts. Also, a geeky computer science analogy.
- Rooney: Manchester United’s home game against Sunderland stands out as the best source of captain material this Gameweek. Ferguson believes Rooney is starting one of his usual goal streaks which should tempt Fantasy managers to both transfer him in (especially if they don’t own Van Persie) and captain him this Gameweek.
Van Persie: What is there really left to say? Van Persie’s consistency is astounding and he is the most reliable captain every Gameweek.
Suarez: He’s back after a one Gameweek ban and should be fresh and ready to punish Aston Villa for a moment’s lapse in concentration. He leads the league in shots, with 69 in total, which means his conversion rate can be low (which it is) and he would still be a great Fantasy captain (which he is).
Reading have conceded over two goals in three of their last four games. They welcome to the Madejski Stadium an Arsenal team with a point to prove, following their Carling Cup loss at Bradford. Cazorla, despite his lack of recent production, remains Arsenal’s best hope for magic, and is likely to produce.
Defoe’s place is “under threat”, goes the discussion, because of Adebayor’s availability. I just don’t think Villas-Boas dares to drop him right away after having netted four goals in four games and nine overall for the season. If you feel he will play consistently over the festive period, he’s a great pickup for a kind schedule of SWA, STK, avl, sun, and REA.
Tevez must surely have played his way into the starting lineup after his impressive display off the bench against Manchester United. City’s game picked up noticeably after his introduction after the break, and he was credited with an assist for both of City’s goals. Of the players that have played regularly, he’s fifth in minutes per shot on target and in the top 30 for minutes per chance created, indicating his effectiveness. If he starts, he’s a good bet to deliver Fantasy points.
Michu continues to defy the odds, with 12 goals from 41 shots and an astonishing 57% goals per shots on target. Put simply, this rate is not sustainable unless you believe Michu to be a one of a kind player, so beware that his Fantasy production will decline as the season progresses. However, if you own him, he’s still a great play and Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet at home all season, in Gameweek 7 at home against Aston Villa.
Glen Johnson’s attacking statistics have improved recently, indicating that his back-to-back double-digit Gameweeks were no fluke. In the last five games he has, on average, created two chances per game and taken a little over two shots per game. For a defender with a realistic chance of clean sheet points, those numbers are impressive and make his 6.3 price tolerable. Liverpool are entering a run of attractive fixtures, including Villa, Fulham, and Sunderland at home in the next five games, and taking a punt on Johnson could yield differential benefits.
Before last Gameweek, Snodgrass had quietly gone about his business, picking up a reasonable 51 Fantasy points. However, his 16 point haul will have put his name firmly on the Fantasy radar as a potential midfield replacement for the likes of Nolan. He’s taking his fair share of Norwich’s shots (an average of 2.27 shots per game) and creates an average of 1.47 chances per match. It’s decent for a price of 5.9, but beware of the fixtures after this Gameweek, which read wba, CHE, MCI, and whm.
Rafael’s assist brace against City underlines his attacking potential in a so far defensively poor United team. However, with the return of Vidic, United could be set for a sturdier defence which is promising for Rafael’s Fantasy owners.
I’ve already highlighted Johnson for Liverpool’s home game against Aston Villa. Enrique, should he start, is also a great pickup, and enjoys the same freedom as Johnson with providing attacking width in Liverpool’s 4-3-3.
Arsenal will be eager to make amends for their aforementioned Carling Cup loss, and have a decent chance of keeping out Reading. Sagna is the cheapest route into the Arsenal defence, priced at 5.1.
Despite Berbatov’s five Gameweek blank, I believe he’s still a decent punt, especially as a budget forward. He was lively against Newcastle, creating four chances and taking four shots and was unlucky not to deliver Fantasy points.
Wigan have conceded over a goal per game in their last six Gameweeks and Holt’s physicality should be a problem for the frail Wigan backline.
West Brom’s next two Gameweeks will be a good indicator of whether the recent slump is just a bump in the road or a more realistic indication of the team’s strength than their excellent start to the season. Should West Brom prevail, Long is likely to pick up Fantasy points, as the likely lone forward.