Gameweek 18 sees the first round of the Fantasy cup start. Remember that extra transfers will be deducted from your cup scores so try to avoid paying the required four points for extra transfers.
Again, because of the hectic holiday period, I’m combining a review and preview in one post. Normally, the Gameweek reviews are intended to give you a heads up on possible transfer targets for the long run while the previews focus more on optimizing your team for the upcoming Gameweek.
Thus we both prepare for Gameweek 18 and analyze the Fantasy impact of Gameweek 17 by producing captain picks, looking at notable performances, investigating heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.
- Rooney: A free-scoring Rooney at home against a Wigan defence is too tasty to ignore.
- Van Persie: There is little to choose between RvP and Rooney this Gameweek so feel free to captain RvP instead of Rooney if you have both.
- Nani: Again, a great shout for captain and you could captain him above Rooney if you feel like it. I think, over the season, Rooney will be more consistent but Nani often destroys opponents with 18 and 16 points Gameweeks. Like last week.
- Differential: Aguero and Adebayor aren’t exactly outside bets to score this Gameweek but with Manchester United and Arsenal playing at home far fewer will be picking them.
Notable Performances and Heavy Hitters
Giggs and Nani tore the Fulham defence to shreds with Rooney contributing with a belter from outside the area. While Giggs is unlikely to offer the same threat every Gameweek both Nani and Rooney are captain material this Gameweek at home against Wigan. Welbeck offers a cheap way into the United attack and Valencia got an assist for the third consecutive game.
Van Persie got a BAG (Bonus, Assist, Goal) against Aston Villa and should be a popular captain’s pick at home against Wolves. Walcott is showing consistency, mainly by providing assists for RvP.
Aguero’s devastating pace, trickery, and finishing was on display as Manchester City dispatched Stoke with ease. Considering that the other Fantasy scorers, Johnson (goal and two assists) and Nasri (assist), have been in and out of the team, Silva is still City’s most attractive midfield option. Kompany notched an assist, in addition to his clean sheet points. He is the most consistent of City’s defensive options.
Ba continues to score and would he not be departing for the African Cup of Nations, he would be an automatic purchased at this point. If you have him, play him until he has gone. In spite of Ba’s two goals Newcastle lost 2 – 3 to West Brom, with Odemwingie registering a BAG. He was the main budget striker last season and worth to have on your watchlist, should he start banging them in again.
However, there is no shortage of cheap strikers getting Fantasy points this season. In addition to the aforementioned Ba, both Sturridge and Adebayor (from a Bale assist) scored in Tottenham’s and Chelsea’s one all draw. Play both this Gameweek if you have them.
Other interesting options this Gameweek:
- Drenthe (assist) is Everton’s most dangerous player this season, despite having only started four games. He sports two goals and six assists and could prove a bargain buy at £5.9.
- Walters has been fairly consistent for Stoke and faces an Aston Villa team down in the dumps.
- Morison (assist and bonus point) is proving the bargain striker of the season, with five goals, two assists, and a bonus point in the last eight Gameweeks.
- Helguson (goal), although he is playing against the mean Swansea defence this Gameweek. He is more a possible pickup for Gameweek 21 and onwards.
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.
- Manchester United top the clean sheet list this Gameweek. Jones is likely back earlier than expected from his facial injury against Fulham and provides a possible out of position option. Evans is an uncommonly cheap access to an elite defence, now at £4.5.
- Liverpool have the meanest defence in the Premier League, having only conceded 13 goals this season. Enrique is no longer the cheap option, having risen from £5.0 to £6.0 in 17 Gameweeks. He is still the best bet from the Liverpool defence, bringing an added attacking threat.
- Swansea are strong at home, having only conceded two opposed to their 18 away from home. Caulker is back from injury and is priced at only £4.0.
- Other possible clean sheets are Chelsea at home against Fulham and Stoke City hosting Aston Villa.
A viable strategy for the looming double Gameweek 20 is to stock up on Tottenham and Everton players and use your wildcard for the following Gameweek. This would enable you to maxmize for the benefit without sacrificing the long-term setup of your Fantasy squad. The following players are worth considering:
- Van der Vaart
- Saha (a risky bet)