Musings from Gameweek 22
Another double Gameweek pays off
Arsenal’s demolition job against West Ham meant that Fantasy managers’ faith in Arsenal paid off. The popular captain picks, Walcott and Cazorla, chipped in with a goal each and giving both a double-digit Gameweek.
Managers replacing Ba with Podolski for the double Gameweek were relieved to see the German start after missing out against Chelsea. He turned in a man of the match performance, scoring and assisting three goals.
Oh, how I wish a would have had the balls to make the switch myself.
Three of the next four games are at home and the way Walcott was always involved and has been chipping in regularly makes him the best pick of the Arsenal bunch.
Are Sunderland worth it?
Sunderland has four wins in the last six, including games against Manchester City, Tottenham, and Liverpool. O’Neill’s men have an attractive set of fixtures coming up (SWA, rea, ARS, wba, FUL, qpr, NOR), until their back-to-back matches against Manchester United and Chelsea in Gameweeks 31 and 32.
They seem to finally have found some fluency in their attack with three goals in consecutive games and more involvement from Sessegnon, Johnson, Larson and McClean.
Steven Fletcher is the most intriguing Fantasy prospect, highlighted by his brace against Wigan this Gameweek.
Fletcher is averaging 2 shots and 0.8 key passes per game and has delivered consistently since Gameweek 16. His only blanks since that time have been Manchester United and Liverpool, both away, which are perfectly acceptable fixtures to fail to return.
I’m considering him for my wildcard reshuffle and you should too. If you want to pursue a strategy focusing on expensive midfield options Fletcher is a fine addition to a less expensive strike force.
Le Fondre has three goals in 47 minutes in his last two games for Reading. Both have been impressive comeback wins inspired by the substitute.
Exercise caution with Le Fondre, as he hasn’t started a game since Gameweek 16. Should he regain the confidence of McDermott he is surely an interesting budget option, especially if he is on penalties, but for now he isn’t a viable.
Southampton’s new manager, Mauricio Pochettino, set up his team in an attacking way as they overran Everton in the first half.
The popular Fantasy picks Lambert and Puncheon both started and were lively as Lambert hit the post and had an effort cleared off the line. Both players are still viable budget options but it is worth monitoring Pochettino’s effect on the team in the next few games.
A tale of two strikers
Sturridge scored again for Liverpool in their 5 – 0 demolition of Norwich. That’s a goal each in both of his league games as Rodgers started with Sturridge up top with Suarez in a more supporting role.
The former Chelsea striker is an exciting option into the Liverpool attack and a much cheaper option than both Suarez (10.5) and Gerrard (9.4). Based on his early form for Liverpool, he could be a hit at Anfield.
Picking him instead of Suarez enables you to spend your money on teams that don’t offer cheap access to goals, such as Manchester United with Van Persie and Chelsea with Mata and Hazard.
On the other end of the spectrum this Gameweek was Demba Ba, who started on the bench against Arsenal despite his goal-scoring heroics since joining from Newcastle. Benitez signaled his intent of rotating his strikers by starting with Torres, who had another torrid game.
The rotation makes both players bad options and your money would be better spent on Mata or Hazard at Chelsea and perhaps picking up Sturridge or Fletcher at a discount.
Look out for City
David Silva seems to found his consistency from last season with four assists and two goals in his last seven games. His brace against Fulham is sure to spike interest in the Spanish playmaker as City battle to catch up with Manchester United.
With Aguero back from injury I can see these two swooping up Fantasy points for the remainder of the season. There is always the issue with Mancini’s forward rotation but Aguero is their best forward and should start most games.
Gameweek 23 Captain Picks
I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double-digit Gameweek scores.
In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 23 I recommended Walcott, Cazorla, and Podolski as captain picks. All returned double-digits in the Gameweek.
Quality of captain picks:
- Good captain picks: 43/69
- Double digit captains: 18/69