GW9 FANTASY REVIEW FROM @FANTASYGAFFER
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It was an interesting week across all formats of Fantasy Premier League (including Togga’s draft format and salary cap games like the Official league) as Diego Costa, Falcao and Papiss Cisse missed through injury while previously unheralded Charlie Austin capped the gameweek with a brace to lead QPR over the Villains. There was one star who shined bright after being touted as a Must Pick for GW9, as Wilfried Bony scored twice in Swansea City’s 2-0 victory over the Foxes; Swans moved within a win of 3rd place Manchester City with the win. Bony’s performance, as impressive as it was, still takes a backseat to the star of the weekend.
Just one week ago, in this very space, I touted the return to form of Arsenal’s mercurial Chilean, Alexis Sanchez. While Sergio Aguero and Dusan Tadic rightly claimed the headlines a week ago, this week should go down as one for the 25-year-old. Just days after showing his displeasure at the poor performance given in the Gunners’ away win against Anderlecht, Sanchez showed his class by laying the club across his shoulders and delivering three points.
His two goals captured the full 3 bonus points and gave Sanchez the highest total of the gameweek with a 16 point performance which included this sublime touch over a hapless Vito Mannone.
It would take quite a bit of fortune for a player to have better luck that Sanchez against the Black Cats, but he made a fair bit of his own luck in this one as well – pressuring Wes Brown and Mannone to create scoring opportunities for himself. The exceptional performance from the Chilean did further highlight the poor showing from Danny Welbeck who posted his fourth 1pt outing in his past eight (in which he’s twice posted 2pts). Welbeck should be performing better in FPL, but there are too many forwards in glistening form to consider riding out this fallow period for the England international.
QPR’s Charlie Austin has the dubious distinction of having net transfers out in eight weeks on the bounce, with his price falling from £6.0m to £5.7m in that period. He joined Samuel Eto’o and Wilfried Bony with 13 points following a brace and three bonus points for each. Of the trio, Austin is perhaps the most valuable in the short-term. Bony – who has hit four in his last three – has seen his price drop from £8.5m to £8.2m even has his performances have returned to 2013/14 levels. Unfortunately for the 4.3% invested in the Swans’ hitman he faces Everton (a), Arsenal (H) and Man City (a) in the next three. Everton’s Eto’o hit his second and third goals of the campaign, getting the full 90′ for the second time this term, and outstripping his season total of 8pts handily. But with Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith available, and the manager occasionally electing to run 1 forward, it is unlike Eto’o will be the beneficiary of the Toffees upcoming fixtures: Swansea (H), Sunderland (a) and West Ham (H).
Another excellent option up front plies his trade at the Hawthorns. WBA continues to be a decent source of points across the front two positions. Victor Anichebe had 11pts this weekend, with a goal, an assist and 3 bonus. His teammate Saido Berahino hit a late penalty to level the match, rescue a deserved point for the Baggies and secure 7pts for FPL managers. Berahino is only the 6th most selected forward, with a price of £5.9m, despite being second in goals scored with seven (Costa and Aguero lead with 9). The England wunderkid hit this one from the penalty spot, providing another avenue for goals (find a full list of Set Piece Takers here). Berahino may not maintain his pace, but at his price he is perhaps the best third forward in the game and one who can be safely started in the next two fixtures as the Baggies travel to Leicester before hosting Newcastle.
And he wasn’t even the only Saido to get on the score sheet as Southampton’s Saido Mane hit his second in two games, giving the Saint’s a 1-0 win over Stoke City at St. Mary’s. The midfielder hasn’t been touted much, with a starting price of £7.0m that seemed to defy logic. His selection stands at 0.2%, his price has fallen just £0.1m and, despite 23 points in his last four matches (Yaya Toure has just 22pts on the season), he is level 42nd at the position with teammate Steven Davis. But his total score should not detract from his fine form, as all of his 23 points on the season have come in these last four matches. That is the same number of points scored that David Silva has posted in the corresponding fixtures, 9pts more than Stewart Downing and 3pts more than Steven Gerrard. All three of those players boast higher – significantly higher – ownership and two of them (Silva and Gerrard) considerably higher prices. While you may not want to own him over high-flyers like Aaron Ramsey across the entirety of the season, it’s anyone’s best guess why 15.1% of FPL managers continued to leave Ramsey in their squad sheet, despite 76′ and 3 total points in the past four weeks combined. Much of FPL is knowing when to buy and with Hull (a), Leicester (H) and Aston Villa (a) in the next three – now is the time to invest in Saints.
It remains, as always, a good time to invest in Leighton Baines. Despite the schedule (having faced Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United already), the England and Everton left back remains the best value amoung defenders even as he is priced £7.1m.
28 – Leighton Baines has recorded 28 assists since the start of the 2010/11 Premier League season, 14 more than any other defender. Creator.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 26, 2014
Baines is owned in 21.9% of FPL sides, is the highest scorer at the position, is still only the fourth-most selected and his price £7.1m is £0.2 less than Zabaleta and scantly more than Seamus Coleman (£6.9m). It may be a bit boring to own him, there will never be a great differential equated with his selection and his cost is at the top of the market, but still there’s no one close to approximating his numbers. At 178, 134, 177 and 169 the past four years, he is the class of the position and will continue to rise as the Toffees face Swansea (H), Sunderland (a) and West Ham (H) before the next League break.
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.
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