Written by @FantasyGaffer
The story Saturday was the superb play of Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck as they led Arsenal to an 0-3 away victory at Villa Park. Ozil (2.2%, £9.0m) had recorded 2 pts in three on the trot, showing little sign that he was capable of more. While his underlying numbers (7 chances created entering the weekend) were positive, he failed to pass the eye-test. Three more chances created, a goal and an assist later, he earned two bonus points – 13 total – and the unwavering support of his manager. For his own part, Welbeck (£7.1m, 11.1%) earned the full three bonus points – 12 total – with his incisive pass to Ozil sparking the first of the Gunners’ goals. Welbeck’s had 237936 and 49614 net transfers the past two weeks and will certainly see his price rise again this week. You can read this for the EPL Fantasy Draft perspective on Welbeck and Ozil.
On Sunday – it was the dawning of a new era at King Power Stadium as Juan Mata was inexplicably dropped from the Red Devil’s starting XI., which saw Louis van Gaal start using 4-3-3. The early returns were good, as Falcao provided the assist for Robin van Persie’s opener. Angel di Maria scored to cap a superb flowing move and it was di Maria’s shot which Ander Herrera cheekily flicked past Kasper Schmeichel to make it 3-1. Wayne Rooney, together with Robin van Persie and Falcao, managed a goal and two assists between them but should have had so much more. Rooney (36% selected) leads both Falcao (9.3%) and van Perise (2.1%) but none of these players inspires much confidence despite what should have been an easy run of fixtures. The defensive half of United continues to flounder and none posses enough offensive potential to offset the damage done by goals allowed.
As managers flee the United forwards, it could start the mad rush for Papiss Demba Cisse. Entering the week without having played this season – a broken kneecap hampers one’s fitness – he came off the bench to play 22′ and spare Alan Pardew additional wrath. Cisse took two shots and scored with both – unsurprisingly earning the full 3 bonus points despite the limited pitch time. There is no forward with a better potential to lead “Transfers In” following this gameweek. Before the week started his ownership was 0.1% and his price had fallen to £5.9. He scored just two goals (3 assists) in 1385′ a season ago – but FPL managers will be buying for his low price, the Magpies upcoming schedule – Stoke (a), Swans (a), Leicester (H) – and the hope that he can recapture the blistering form he showed upon his arrival in England – 13 goals, 2 assists in 1106′ (2011/12).
Using the funds saved from wise investment on Tyneside, you can splash the cash where it is deserved – not only Manchester United’s Angel di Maria (293409 net transfers GW5 – now 21.7% owned) – on quality attacking midfielders. Manchester City’s David Silva remains on of the most under appreciated talents in FPL. Across his four seasons in Manchester he has scored 144, 184, 147, and 151 points – having assisted on 9, 17, 12 and 12 goals in those seasons, respectively. Silva (£9.0, 10.1% owned) is less expensive and less selected than Alexis Sanchez (£10.4, 13.8%) or Eden Hazard (£10.0 m, 13.8%). All three are worth consideration – as are other high-cost midfielders Cesc Fabregas (£9.4) and Ramsey (£9.1), but those two players are owned in nearly 50% of FPL teams. Cesc is 46.9% selected and Ramsey not far behind at 40.8%.
Quick notes: Hull’s Nikica Jelavic has hit three goals in the opening five matches. Priced £6.0, he has managed 8, 6 and 6 FPL points in the matches where he has scored and 3 total points in the two where he hasn’t. The main culprit is his low EASPPI and corresponding BPS (Bonus Point System), which does not attribute much influence to his performance and, therefore, few bonus points – he has only 3 bonus points this term.
With four of the Top 10 defenders in FPL this season, the Burnley back four should be owned in many, many more squads. The foursome of Michael Duff (£4.1, 7.6%), Kieran Trippier (£4.9, 1.2%), Jason Shackell (£4.5, 0.3%) and Ben Mee (£4.5, 0.1%) have each scored no fewer than 21 FPL points this term. They have recorded three consecutive clean sheets (all 0-0 draws) and travel West Brom next weekend. Despite fewer points and higher cost, Trippier remains the best value due to his attacking prowess. Read more on theFantasy EPL impact of the Burnley defense by this author.
Everton’s Romelu Lukaku was one of the Top 5 players to pick heading into GW5. He didn’t disappoint, and netted the opening goal in this one. Everton were ultimately undone by poor defending which, combined with a goal for teammate Leighton Baines, cost Lukaku precious bonus points. He has now scored in two on the bounce and faces Liverpool’s porous defense in next weekend’s Merseyside derby at Anfield. We prefer Baines to secure more points – Liverpool have been poor on defending set-pieces yet again – but Lukaku is a good bet keep his fine run going against the Toffees local rivals.
Finally, with 5 points in four matches entering this weekend, Peter Crouch (1.7%) exploded with a goal, assist, 3 bonus and 12 total points. The
Stork Stoke City forward hit 7 goals, 6 assists in two consecutive seasons and looks good value to return 115-125 points on the season. His short term schedule – Newcastle (H), SAFC (a), Swans (H) – makes him interesting for the price, but we prefer Cisse at just £0.2 more and greater potential to see that figure rise.
To read Fantasy Premier League draft stats and analysis, please visit the Togga Blog where you can find the sister post to the one you’ve just read. You can follow the author @FantasyGaffer on Twitter.