Musings from Gameweek 22
Seldom does a double Gameweek go so perfectly according to the script. Mata, Hazard, Ba, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Lambert, and Puncheon all delivered. Even Lampard chipped in with a double-digit score.
Hazard, Mata, and Lambert were the top scorers and should be good picks until the end of the season.
Torres was the disappointment, with only two points in two substitute appearances while Ba started both games, played well, and scored against Southampton.
If Ba continues to start, he’s great value as a medium priced striker.
Reading’s surprise win
Don’t get carried away by Reading’s last minute win. They were pretty dire, despite clawing back a two goal deficit. If it had not been for some horrible piece of West Brom defending, this would have been the same old Reading team that struggles to score.
I would rather be late to the Reading party than too early.
Two own goals and a missed penalty from Stoke’s Walters resulted in a Fantasy score seldom seen: -4.
He gifted Azpilicueta and Mata an assist each and then kept the Chelsea clean sheet points intact when he skied a penalty late in the game.
Statistically, that is as bad is it can get. It was pretty hilarious too; that is, if you are not a Stoke fan.
Everton kept their first clean sheet in 18 games in their 0 – 0 draw against Swansea, despite ranking 5th in the league in conceded goals with an average of 1.18 goals per game.
They should be due for a slice of clean sheets and the next three games against sou, WBA, and AVL, are as good a three game streak as any.
Puncheon above his weight
Puncheon is still value at 5.0 and will likely rise again after his 12 point double Gameweek and well taken goal against Chelsea.
As you will bench a midfielder more often than not a sub 6.0 pick, like Puncheon, is a great pickup. He’s a decent shout if you need to play him and not an option you dread to bench.
Gameweek 22 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 22 I recommended Mata, Hazard, and Lambert. All delivered in style with double-digit Gameweeks.
Quality of captain picks:
- Good captain picks: 40/66
- Double digit captains: 15/66
Gameweek 23 Captain Picks
Walcott: It’s all about the double Gameweek in the captain picks. Walcott leads the pack, due to his four goals, four assists, and six bonus points in the last five league games.
Cazorla: The diminutive Spaniard has been quiet since his hattrick against Reading. His only Fantasy contribution has been an assist in Gameweek 20. His underlying numbers have also been lacking as he has created only four chances and taken only three shots in his last four games. Compare that to five shots and six chances created in the one game against Reading and his status as an elite midfielder is debatable. Nevertheless, he is Arsenal’s top scoring Fantasy midfielder this season and has a double Gameweek so in he goes.
Podolski: The pick I’m least comfortable with, but should be a good shout for at least a goal or an assist over the two games.
Gameweek 23 Heavy Hitters
If you don’t want to captain an Arsenal player your best bet is one of Tevez, Aguero, or Silva, based on who you think Mancini will start against Fulham. Wait until Mancini’s press conference and pick your captain based on who he confirms as starters. If he’s secretive, your safest pick is Silva, but also the least explosive option.
Of course, Van Persie is always a heavy hitter.
Mata is Fantasy’s highest scoring midfielder, simply because he is both devastatingly creative and also a decent finisher. With the introduction of Ba, he now has a striker in front of him that is scoring which should only give him more options up front.
Manchester United’s defence shouldn’t frighten Bale, based on this season’s form. He is one of the best, if not the best Fantasy midfielder in the League.
Suarez and Gerrard are combining well. Gerrard is delivering assists at an alarming rate for a midfielder in a supposed downturn and Suarez seems to have finally become the elite striker he promised for so long.
If you believe in Baines, this is the time to get him in. His underlying numbers continue to impress, and he has an added chance of clean sheets in the next three fixtures.
Gameweek 23 Clean Sheets
Sagna is the cheapest option into the Arsenal defence. Gibbs is the most threatening defender.
Jaaskelainen is the safest pick from the double Gameweek West Ham back line, although Reid is also a solid pick.
I have a hard time seeing Fulham getting a sniff of a goal against Manchester City. Mancini seems to trust Nastasic and he’s the cheapest option into the City defence.
Gameweek 23 Punts
Sturridge looked good in his cameo against Manchester United. He has scored in both the cup and the league since joining Liverpool. I really like him as a cheap striker option for the latter part of the season.
Joe Cole and Nolan are perhaps more than punts but with West Ham’s form it’s hard to play more than one West Ham player in the Gameweek.
Morrison and Lukaku were excellent against Reading and were unlucky to be in the losing side. They face an Aston Villa that concede goals like no one’s business.