It’s safe to say that defences were on top throughout Fantasy Premier League last week, with no fewer than nine teams registering clean sheets.
That meant that defenders from almost half of the division were raking in the points, but with a couple of heavyweight clashes and yet more intriguing fixtures on the agenda for this week, now it’s time for the forwards to step up.
One man who seems to have a perfect chance to do just that is Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko (£7.7m).
So often the fall guy in Roberto Mancini’s forward rotation at City, the Bosnian appears to have been given a huge vote of confidence by his new boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Dzeko was selected to start both of City’s league games so far this season, and rewarded Pellegrini with an assist in the 4-0 win over Newcastle and the opening goal at Cardiff last weekend – before it all started to go wrong for the visitors.
City now have the perfect chance to bounce back when Hull come to the Etihad Stadium for Saturday’s early game.
Sergio Aguero (£11.1m) and Alvaro Negredo (£9.3m) have both also been on the mark for City this season, but with Dzeko seemingly given top billing it’ll be the former Wolfsburg man who Pellegrini will be relying upon.
The forward will be supported by the likes of David Silva (£9.2m) and Yaya Toure (£8.6m) early on Saturday afternoon, and fantasy managers might find that City players are their greatest hopes at weekend given what is – and what isn’t – happening elsewhere.
Because by far the biggest storyline of Gameweek 3 is the lack of a Chelsea match.
With fantasy bosses having loaded up on Blues for their double-header on Gameweek 1, there are now giant holes in squads due to Jose Mourinho’s men skipping a Premier League weekend and instead facing Bayern Munich in the European Super Cup.
With no Chelsea – and indeed Aston Villa – players to choose from, then solace could be found in stars from the league’s other leading lights, until you find out that they are almost all facing each other.
It could be said that the players of Liverpool and Manchester United as well of those at Arsenal and Tottenham will cancel each other out when they meet in their titanic tussles on Sunday, but it is simply impossible to ignore the goalscoring form of Daniel Sturridge (£9.1m) and Roberto Soldado (£9.6m), who have each scored 100% of their team’s league goals respectively so far.
They’ll be the main men for the Reds and Spurs respectively, but elsewhere we could see some other players come to the fore.
West Brom’s struggles in front of goal so far in the league point to a good Sunday afternoon for Swansea’s defenders, and if they can create a solid platform then it could be a good time to invest in last season’s star Michu (£9.0m) to come to the fore.
As he did against most teams, the Spaniard found the net against the Baggies last season, and if you need someone to replace a Chelsea midfielder for a week then there can be few better options.
A cheaper call could be Everton’s impressive youngster Ross Barkley (£4.8m), who will be part of the Blues’ side looking to bring Cardiff back down to earth on Saturday following their terrific win over Manchester City last weekend. Man of the moment Fraizer Campbell (£5.6m) will of course have other ideas.
West Ham have started well too, and in the continued absence of Andy Carroll they’ll be looking to Kevin Nolan (£7.1m) to deliver the goals as they host Stoke City.
Modibo Maiga (£5.0m) is again likely to start upfront and could be worth a punt for those in need of a cheap forward, but Nolan is the real heartbeat of the side and should be trusted to deliver the goods in front of goal.
And after last week’s solid defensive displays, we’re all due a few of those.