GW11 FPL REVIEW FROM @FANTASYGAFFER
There were six clean sheets kept in match week eleven and not necessarily by the clubs we were expecting coming into the weekend. Defenders on Burnley, Manchester United, Southampton, West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle were the lucky recipients of four FPL points as each side stymied the oppositions attack. The weekend was played in some poor weather and low scoring was the order of the day as only one match, the 2-2 draw at Loftus Road between QPR and City, eclipsed three total goals. Fantasy premier league managers could feel somewhat aggrieved as overall scoring reflected lower returns for those who tried to ride in-form players coming into this match. Except for those who captained Sergio Agüero.
Agüero was a dominant force once again in GW11. The Argentine talisman scored both of City’s goal, as they twice pegged back the Hoops who were ahead first through Charlie Austin and later from an own goal by Martin Demichelis. Devoid of any creativity, City’s tactics were reduced to recovering the ball and attempting to play it directly to Kun, regardless of the position on the field. (For a look inside FPL Stats Aguero has posted)
Played in a blinding rain storm, this match had a number of odd turns as Austin had a pair of goals disallowed within 1′ of the other, including one from a Joe Hart restart which the ‘keeper managed to kick with each foot before Austin intercepted a fired a long-range drive past the England #1.
Austin put in another fine shift, scoring one goal which was allowed and creating the pressure which caused the later OG. He has scored 31pts in his last four weeks and has seen his price fall from £5.8 to £5.7 in that same period. Originally priced £6.0, the QPR forward is selected in 1.9% of sides – a number which must surely rise after the international break. QPR will face Newcastle (a), Leicester (H), Swansea (a) and Burnley (H) in a stretch which could well determine if the Hoops stay up this season. Austin has no competition for his spot, has shown no signs of slowing and is a quality addition both for the low cost and low selection across FPL.
City didn’t just drop points against QPR, they also lost another player:
Edin Dzeko suffered an unfortunate injury only moments after running onto the pitch against QPR. The injury is an issue for Manuel Pellegrini as City’s schedule following the international break includes two Champions League matches which the Citizens must win. For FPL managers, however, seeing Dzeko sidelined for an extended spell would give some clarity on possible rotation. Steven Jovetic hit a brace in GW2, but has been largely ineffective since his return from injury. With mounting pressure on all fronts, Pelligrini will be left with little option but to pencil Agüero into the starting lineup each week.
While this space usually examines a couple of story lines, or touches on a handful of notable epl fantasy performances, we wanted to dedicate a paragraph to the Official League ‘Dream Team’ as it is perhaps the oddest collection of talent we’re likely to see this season. Interestingly, it’s run in a 5-3-2 which is not the preferred format of nearly any fantasy EPL player, and includes @FantasyGaffer favourite Kieran Trippier.
(For more on Kieran Trippier’s fantasy performance)
GK: Heaton (BUR 7pts)
DEF: Janmaat (NEW 15pts) Coloccini (NEW 14pts), Trippier (BUR 12pts), Baines (EVE 11pts), McNair (MUN 9pts)
MID: Chadli (TOT 10pts), Can (LIV 10pts), Larsson (SUN 9pts)
FWD: Agüero (MCI 13pts), Long (SOU 12 pts)
Interestingly, the midfield strength that has led many FPL managers to the top of their mini leagues was absent in this weekend. There are eleven midfielders currently owned in greater than 10% of Official league sides. Of that list, only the Spurs’ midfielder made the Team of the Week this week and only the Chadli (10pts), Siggy (9pts), Alexis (9pts) and Di Maria (6ts) were able to earn five or more points
While it is highly likely that this is a one-week slump for many, it’s worth noting that Cesc Fábregas reportedly dealt with injury issues ahead of the trip to Liverpool. With West Brom (H) and Sunderland (a) following the break, the Spain international may be rotated out as Chelsea chase Champions League points. Moreover, Aaron Ramsey has shown little inclination to play his managers tactics and does not appear to enjoy being deployed as a second defensive midfielder. With the exceptional form of Alexis, return to health of Theo Walcott and general competition for spots in Arsenal’s midfield – Ramsey may no longer be worth the price.
One player certainly worth the price was the youngster who scored the goal of the weekend, Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez:
It was another remarkable goal in a season which has seen a number of them. The youngster has scored in three straight League fixtures, netting six bonus points and 23 total points in that sequence. Priced £4.8 and selected in 0.8% of sides, he may not be a bad bench option in sides playing 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 formations. His real value may lie in creating points for other members of Alan Pardew’s squad. This side has been without a proficient poacher for a number of months and may now boast two with the return of Papiss Cisse and rise of Ayoze Perez. With QPR (H), West Ham (a) and Burnley (a) coming out of the international break – Pardew’s defenders may be worth a speculative add as clubs can no longer push seven forward against a toothless Magpies’ attack.