Our first set of Watchlist rankings are now published in your right sidebar. If you’re new to these, in a nutshell, these are our short-term player recommendations based on the next 4-6 Gameweeks. Full details on the Watchlist are available here.
These first rankings are, of course, based on a small data set – we only have one Gameweek to go on and our own judgment of which players could return profit over their forthcoming fixtures.
Not surprisingly, with the form shown at Loftus Road and a fixture list that provides the platform for similarly encouraging results, Michael Laudrup’s Swansea fare well across the board. Elsewhere, the fixture list smiles on the likes of Tottenham, West Ham and Aston Villa, perhaps affording their assets the chance to challenge some of the more established heavy-hitters.
Michel Vorm is the familiar name on top of our keeper rankings. While his back four offers strong options at cheaper prices, Vorm is a reliable solution to the keeper problem – offering good save point returns when the clean sheets get sullied. With the fixture list on his side, Vorm is the obvious choice for top ranking.
Brad Friedel appears to be under threat for the number one jersey at the Lane and yet he’s hardly put a glove wrong during his North London tenancy. We’re backing him for returns in the coming weeks, despite reservations about Andre Villas-Boas’ defence.
Jussi Jaaskaleinen is our budget keeper of choice right now, again with the fixture list on his side and having pocketed a first cleanie of the season against Villa last weekend.
David De Gea looks to be a strong fire and forget option – available for 6.0, he looks nailed on given his form at Goodison and will return saves and clean sheets in the coming month, even with an injury-ravaged defence in front of him.
Swansea’s Chico is perhaps a surprising figure to head up our rankings but we were impressed enough with his threat from Jonathan De Guzman’s set-plays at QPR to install him in top spot. Angel Rangel is, of course, a strong alternative and we’ll be watching out for how Laudrup uses his full-backs when they take on West Ham at the Liberty this weekend.
Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, with his attacking threat down the right, is our choice of Spurs defender while uncertainty reigns in central defence. With West Brom, Norwich and QPR to come at White Hart Lane in the next four, Walker could fetch returns at both ends.
West Brom’s Liam Ridgewell sits sandwiched between two heavy-hitters in Nemanja Vidic and Leighton Baines, offering value for those shopping in the mid-price. Ridgewell began the season with an assist and a clean sheet and has fixtures to come which could well boost his returns further. As for Baines and Vidic: they are proven Fantasy talents and we’re relying on United shut-outs against Fulham and West Brom in the next three, while Baines can always contribute assists in an Everton outfit buoyed by their victory over United on Monday night.
There’s plenty of budget options available lower down the rankings – notably Emmerson Boyce, George McCartney and Villa’s Matt Lowton, who all look to have the potential to return in the coming weeks.
It’s no surprise to see Michu dominate here. He gets the nod from the Swansea midfield that also boasts excellent budget options in Nathan Dyer and, in the short-term at least, Wayne Routledge. With strong fixtures to come, Michu is one early season bandwagon which could well pick up speed as the next couple of Gameweeks pass.
Gareth Bale is perhaps a controversial choice for the second rank spot but, with Rafael Van der Vaart uncertain of his start and Gylfi Sigurdsson seemingly in line for rotation with the Dutchman, Bale is surely the most secure and assured route to Tottenham’s midfield returns.
Sunderland’s James McClean is perhaps a punt for a spot in our top five given Sunderland’s lack of firepower, but we’re backing him to emerge as the Black Cats’ key attacking player over the coming weeks. Stephane Sessegnon is the obvious alternative if you’re looking to go with Martin O’Neill’s side over their run of obliging fixtures to come.
Playmakers Shinji Kawaga and Samir Nasri complete our top five – both have shown glimpses of potential this season, Nasri having delivered a goal and an assist to overshadow David Silva against Southampton. While City have tough fixtures, Nasri looks a strong option for those turning their backs on Carlos Tevez up front.
As for Kawaga, it’s much the same story – those opting against Robin Van Persie or, indeed, Wayne Rooney, will surely look to get United midfield coverage and Kawaga looks to be the better option over Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young right now.
The likes of Marouanne Fellaini, Charles N’Zogbia and Kevin Nolan offer options in the mid-price, with new heavy-hitters Santi Cazorla and Eden Hazard dented by the fixture list in the next four Gameweeks. Hazard’s empty Gameweek 3 keeps him out of the top five, but it would be no surprise to see him become a regular in that select group in the coming weeks.
Carlos Tevez leads the way here, with Sergio Aguero’s injury cementing his starting role and making him almost essential if you’re looking for attacking coverage from the City camp. The Argentine holds off the charge of two players who have only this week returned to the Fantasy reckoning. Both Robin Van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor are short on pre-season pitch time but will likely lead the line for United and Spurs in the coming weeks: both have favourable home fixtures to come in the next few weeks.
Lower down the price brackets, Swansea’s form and fixtures are represented by Danny Graham – a viable alternative for those looking to dodge the Michu bandwagon. Darren Bent and Nikica Jelavic offer mid-price options, with Grant Holt and Rickie Lambert challenging Graham in the budget bracket.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“We have dynamic players with good movement, so if he can link with them fine. He can play a bit higher because his timing getting into the box is very good.”Rafa Benitez talks up the role that Frank Lampard can play in his Chelsea revolution