Let’s gather evidence on the mystery that is Gameweek 18. Clues include captain picks, big hitters, clean sheets, and punts. Also, a forced investigation analogy.
Silva: With Nasri out, I reckon Silva is guaranteed a start to provide creativity from the middle of the park. Despite a quiet season so far, Silva has been creating a similar amount of chances as last year but has been let down be Manchester City’s finishing. City face Reading, the worst defensive team in the league this season, conceding an average of 2.12 goals per game. Reading should not be able to resist City so I’m predicting goals and Silva’s involvement in said goals.
Mata: Back from their loss against Corinthians and win against Leeds, Chelsea could have several tired legs. Nevertheless, Chelsea should have too much for a resurgent Aston Villa side and Mata is at the heart of Chelsea’s attacking play. The big threat is rotation, so be on the watch for Chelsea team news if you decide to captain Mata.
Van Persie: Van Persie continued his amazing run for Manchester United with a goal and assist against Sunderland. He has scored 12 goals and provided 6 assists in 15 starts for United. As far as I’m concerned, he’s an automatic captain’s pick until proven otherwise.
Cazorla’s hattrick is unlikely to be repeated against an unpredictable Wigan team. However, Wigan have not kept a clean sheet at home, conceding 1.9 goals per game, the second worst record in the league. Cazorla has 42 shots with a shot every 36 minutes in addition to having created the second most chances in the league, 47 in total. He’s an outside captain’s pick.
Walcott’s performance against Reading was promising. Playing as the center forward, he provided link-up play, penetration, and a direct threat with seven shots, four on target, and a goal. Surely Wenger will give him another shot against Wigan.
Speaking of Reading, the hiding Arsenal gave them does not bode well for their away game against Manchester City. The only reason Aguero and Tevez are not in the captain’s picks is that I have no idea what strikers will start the game against Reading. They are more likely than Silva to return an explosive Gameweek so if you believe they will start they are excellent captain picks.
Rooney gets the nod partly based on his history of goalscoring runs. Ferguson noted his goalscoring tendencies after the win against Manchester City and predicted a glut of goals. After having netted against Sunderland, who am I to contradict Ferguson?
With United’s defensive record this season I can safely predict Fantasy gains for Michu as I believe United will outscore Swansea, but not keep a clean sheet.
Ba’s consistency is impressive; there have been at most two games between goals, with a sprinkling of assists in some of those “blank” games. He’s a great second or third striker to have and looks to be a season keeper if he isn’t sold in the January transfer window.
Manchester City really should keep a clean sheet against Reading. Zabaleta provides an attacking outlet down the right flank, as witnessed by his assist last Gameweek.
Tottenham have conceded less than a goal per game after the drubbing against Arsenal and play at home against a Stoke team that score less than a goal per game away from home. Stoke’s 9th place spot is almost solely a result of excellent defending. Gallas provides the cheapest route into the Tottenham defence while Vertonghen’s attacking potential is the reason for this elevated price.
West Ham are the biggest punt of the Clean Sheets. They finally kept a clean sheet last Gameweek and with Fellaini and Mirallas out I’m predicting Everton will be missing the attacking spark to trouble Jaaskelainen.
I’m keeping faith with Berbatov, who has excellent fixtures after this Gameweek’s Liverpool game.
Dzeko could be sneaky differential punt this Gameweek as he is as likely to return Fantasy value even if he starts as a sub.
Puncheon is a great pickup at 4.8 and a decent punt to score at home against Sunderland.