Musings from Gameweek 30
Player vs. player
The end of the season is shaping up to include a fascinating set of dynamic duo teammates. Most Fantasy managers will hold one or the other and the matchups will prove vital to many a mini league.
The battle of the Chelsea midfielders is mostly between Mata and Hazard, although Lampard is a viable differential option. Hazard has outscored Mata by 31 to 12 in the last four games. In the meantime, Lampard has scored a respectable 18 points. However, when looking at the underlying stats the difference isn’t as stark. In Chelsea’s 2 – 0 win against West Ham both players created four chances while Hazard had a slight advantage with a total of four shots versus Mata’s three. Having watched the game, Hazard was indeed excellent, but Mata had chances to score and assist. I think this question is still open to debate and I would hold on to Mata if you own him, especially if you have other problems to rectify in your team.
Van Persie’s Fantasy “slump” has coincided with a revitalized Wayne Rooney. Rooney has scored five goals in his last games, while Van Persie has “only” found the back of the net once in his last six matches. However, Van Persie has delivered three assists and six bonus points in the same six games with only two blanks (Gameweek 24 and 30). As I’ve said before, I am hesitant in ditching Van Persie but must admit that swapping him out for Rooney is an excellent differential play. And one that has proved successful in the last six games.
While no one is denying Suarez’s brilliance the question is whether Sturridge can hold his own in Fantasy terms. On a pure player vs. player analysis, Suarez comes out on top, but there are two issues clouding the issue. The first is the price difference. For 3.6 you can make a significant upgrade elsewhere that could potentially more than cover any points difference between the Liverpool forwards. The other is Suarez’s yellow card against Southampton. He is only one card away from a two match ban which could derail a well laid out Fantasy plan.
Stoke finally rewarded the faithful Fantasy managers that have stuck with them through their recent defensive slump (that’s me). I believe they are set for a return to defensive form in the last eight games, when they face some of the teams that have little to play for.
Manchester United’s defence has delivered five clean sheets in a row. David de Gea has been the only constant in this series and provides a viable option for Fantasy managers in need of a new goalkeeper following Bunn’s red card and Szczesny’s relegation to the bench. Be wary of Ferguson’s rotation though, as he could well rest De Gea, comfortable in United’s 15 point safety net.
In the plethora of cheaper forwards delivering in the last Gameweeks, few dissapointed.
Aston Villa’s forwards, Benteke, Weimann, and Agbonlahor notched up goals and assists, Lambert scored yet again against quality opposition, Kone scored his third in three games, and Berbatov’s was arguably the most surprising as his was the game winner for Fulham away at White Hart Lane.
With the Manchester City forwards faltering and the uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea forward line you could do worse than pick up one or two of the aforementinoed budget forwards.
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 30 I recommended Van Persie, Bale, and Rooney as captain picks. Rooney was my saviour this Gameweek as the anticipated Manchester United and Tottenham goal glut failed to come to pass.
Quality of captain picks:
- Good captain picks: 56/90
- Double digit captains: 23/90