So the FA Cup third round has been and gone, leaving nothing but the memories of a few shocks, a pink football and the damage done the ligaments of Theo Walcott’s left knee.
Yes, just as the Arsenal man was beginning to hit his stride this season he’s been cruelly cut down for the rest of the campaign in what is a huge blow to a player with World Cup ambitions, to a club with eyes on the Premier League title and to plenty of Fantasy bosses who were looking on Walcott to deliver in the latter half of 2013/14.
The injury coupled with the arrival of the January wildcard – check out our experts’ guides to using that here, here and here – will have led many to scour the division for a replacement, but one could be stationed just across North London.
Since the removal of Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham, Christian Eriksen (£7.2m) has been given a new lease of life.
He’s completed the full 90 minutes in all four of Tim Sherwood’s league matches in charge, with the highlight coming with his goal and assist in the win over Manchester United on New Year’s Day.
Plenty have been aware of Eriksen’s potential for a while, but in the new attacking Spurs setup which features Emmanuel Adebayor (£7.7m) and Roberto Soldado (£8.5m) partnered together upfront, Eriksen has been given the freedom to get into the box and look to both score and create chances.
Adebayor is certainly worth considering for your team this weekend as Spurs face Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane, but it is the relatively cheap Eriksen who could shine brightest and help Sherwood’s side to three points.
Elsewhere, the respective miseries of both Manchester United and David Moyes will hardly be improved by the sight of Swansea returning to Old Trafford just six days after winning there in the FA Cup.
It is impossible to back any United player with any confidence these days, and so those in need of a forward might be tempted to look at the Swans’ Wilfried Bony (£7.3m), who scored twice against Manchester City on New Year’s Day and bagged the winner in the cup clash against United too.
Another man in fine goalscoring form is Everton’s Seamus Coleman (£6.7m), with the Irishman’s price rocketing in recent weeks as he’s become a player that you simply can’t be without.
He’ll have plenty of backing as the Blues face a winnable looking home game against Norwich, with Romelu Lukaku (£8.7m) expected to return to the starting lineup after being rested in the FA Cup and Ross Barkley (£5.3m) another who could impress.
Frequently impressing at the moment are Chelsea, and after four straight wins in all competitions they’ll be backed to beat Hull City at the KC Stadium in the weekend’s opening game.
Oscar (£8.8m) scored in the FA Cup win at Derby last weekend, but after Eden Hazard (£10.4m) started that game on the bench, the Belgian will be tipped to shine and to reproduce some of the sparkling form he showed when the Premier League left off.
The Walcott injury has furthered Arsenal’s forward problems as they go to Aston Villa on Monday night, when Lukas Podolski (£8.2m) could well be asked to lead the line. Forwards will also be the main source of interest as Liverpool go to Stoke on Sunday, when Daniel Sturridge (£9.1m) could well return to the squad after around seven weeks out through injury. It would be a surprise if he started though.
A day earlier, Southampton host a still managerless West Brom at St Mary’s, and whilst it is Adam Lallana (£7.3m) who continues to get the most Fantasy attention, his teammate Jay Rodriguez (£6.2m) has been in fine form recently and could be worth considering.