Games are starting to come thick and fast with four games being played in two weeks; from 17th of December to the 1st of January.
To address this, I’m combining a review of Gameweek 16 and a preview of Gameweek 17 in this post.
Thus we both prepare for Gameweek 17 and analyze the Fantasy impact of Gameweek 16 by producing captain picks, looking at notable performances, investigating heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.
Basing the captain picks on the thoughts below we arrive at:
- Aguero: Was impressive against Arsenal even though he didn’t score. I have a feeling he will not be as wasteful at home against Stoke.
- Van Persie: A blank last Gameweek shouldn’t dissuade you from betting on Van Persie against a luckless Aston Villa side.
- Rooney: Scoring in two consecutive Gameweeks provides evidence that the old devastating Rooney is back.
- Differential: Ba should thrive against a West Brom defence that had conceded in their last eight matches.
Notable Performances and Heavy Hitters
Silva scored Manchester City’s winner against Arsenal. He is scoring 6.2 points per game, the highest of all midfielders, and is as effective in the Fantasy game as he is silky on the pitch. Aguero is the main beneficiary of Silva’s penetrating passing and both of them threaten attain double digit Fantasy scores against Stoke at home.
Van Persie couldn’t find the net against City, a rarity these days. Away at Aston Villa, he’ll be facing a much friendlier defence that was lucky to only concede two against Liverpool. If you have him, it’s hard not captain him given his form.
Valencia assisted Rooney for the second consecutive week with Carrick also getting on the scoresheet. Rooney, Valencia, Nani, and Jones are all attractive prospects for Fantasy points away at Fulham. Jones more because of his attacking prowess, because Fulham could cause the United defence problems. Dempsey the most likely to punch through the Uniteds defensive line, now starting Evans. The young Northern Irish defender is a uncommonly cheap access to an elite defence. He seems to be Ferguson’s favorite to fill in for Vidic and should be good value at £4.4.
Ba has proved this season that his goal scoring at West Ham wasn’t a fluke. Newcastle are at home against West Brom who have conceded eight games on the trot.
Suarez was unlucky not to score against Aston Villa but has delivered with a goal and an assist in the last two games. Watching him play, he looks like he’s just baby steps away from a hattrick.
Tottenham welcoming Chelsea to White Hart Lane provides the most interesting battle of the Gameweek. Sturridge is on quite a run, with four goals, two assists, and seven bonus points in the last five games. Away at Tottenham will be a tougher fixture than most in the league where an attacking trio of Adebayor, Bale, and Van der Vaart are all likely to cause Chelsea problems. I find it hard to predict the results of the big clashes so I would advise against captaining a player from either team.
This season’s clean sheet surprise favorites, Swansea and Newcastle, both kept clean sheets in Gameweek 16. The Gameweek saw six clean sheets, with Fulham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City also registering a cleany.
Gameweek 17 looks to be less friendly towards Premiership defenses, with only the following a likely clean sheet.
- Manchester City are well equipped to deal with Stoke’s aerial threat with imposing defenders Kompany and Richards.
- Everton face a Swansea team that pose less attacking threat on the road with 0.75 goals per game. If you can afford him, Baines also provides an impressive attacking threat.
- Liverpool are looking solid at the moment and are likely against Wigan, even away from home. The man of too few vowels, Skrtel, is a threat from set pieces, scoring an impressive header against Aston Villa.
- Other possible clean sheets are Arsenal and Swansea against rather blunt opponents.
Tube Strike and Rotation
The tube driver’s strike could cause the cancellation of both Arsenal’s and Chelsea’s home games on Boxing Day. The news add to the importance of having playing substitutes during the hectic holiday period as they are more likely to come into play.
Also important is to pay close attention to you vice captain, should your top pick not play. It can often be better to play a certain starter, such as Larsson against QPR, rather than risking another rotation threat should your main pick be rested.
So be aware of the risks, don’t get caught out, and enjoy the football.