Initially it was a tale of the unexpected, as Sunderland notched at Goodison and Oliver Girioud broke free of his Premier League shackles. With Marouane Fellaini delivering again and Stoke and Reading picking up cleanies, there looks to be some strong Fantasy scoring on offer before Robin Van Persie has even kicked a ball in anger. Here’s today’s stock check so far…
On the Up
Two goals and an assist, few would have predicted such returns for “Uncle Bulgaria” against one of the league’s “better defences”. Fulham carry a real goal threat, however, and Berbatov’s class is looking fixture proof. It’s difficult to find a better third striker option given his priced tag: huge investment and multiple price rises look inevitable.
He came off the bench to revive Fulham’s fortunes at Reading and today at the Emirates he was again outstanding. At first glance Ruiz is an unlikely Fantasy option but at 5.8 and with seven assists to his name in just six starts, Ruiz is becoming a consideration as a cheaper third forward for those who can’t stretch to Berbatov’s brilliance.
Off the bench to replace the injured Kieran Richardson, the Swede impressed again and notched Fulham’s second. At 4.7, Kacaniklic could present an excellent route to cover Martin Jol’s vibrant attack but, sadly, his starts remain far from secure, with so many options available to the Fulham boss.
A brace for the Frenchman as he, at last, delivers on the potential we’ve seen in recent weeks. Having dropped from 9.0 to 8.4 in the FPL, Giroud threatens to deliver coverage of Arsenal’s attacking potential for a decent price – he’s starting to look nailed on and confidence will surely be flowing. The question is, can we find room in our forward lines?
It’s perhaps no surprise to see Walcott’s first start of the season ignite the Gunners and, while the winger failed to get on the scoresheet, his two assists and link up play with Giroud has announced Walcott as a Fantasy option for Arsenal’s continued run of favourable opponents. A Cazorla killer?
The Belgian delivered again. An assist for Jelavic’s goal and his sixth strike of the season brought instant big returns for the 200,000 FPL managers who brought him in this week and confirmed him as a key asset. Fellaini avoided his fifth booking today – in truth, his form and fixtures are so strong, that hardly seems an obstacle to acquisition.
The Croatian had been without a goal in four league matches but notched Everton’s winner after smart work from Fellaini. Jelavic has goals in him, of that there’s no doubt, but with the big Belgian so dominant as a Fantasy option, it’s perhaps hard to find room for Jelavic’s talents.
Another clear candidate for the budget third forward spot, the Ivorian claimed a place on the Scout Picks bench and showed just why with his fourth goal of the season in Wigan’s defeat to West Brom.
It’s difficult to find a place for the likes of James Morrison in our midfields but there’s no doubting his quality. The Scot delivered his third goal of the season to confirm himself as the Baggies’ key Fantasy talent. Another fine win for Steve Clarke, who won few fans with his continued rotation.
A clean sheet against struggling QPR means that Tony Pulis’ side have now kept five shutouts this term and have conceded just a single goal in their last three league matches. The likes of Asmir Begovic and Geoff Cameron have earned plenty of investment in recent weeks and that looks totally justified given form and fixtures.
Three goals for Arsenal and yet Cazorla comes out of the game with a blank. Cazorla’s class will likely see him through over the forthcoming Gameweeks but the key factor today was the emergence of both Giroud and Walcott as potential coverage of Arsenal’s attacking intent. That will dent Cazorla’s stock and will have his owners pondering their options.
It looked unlikely that Baird could maintain the form that had seem him emerge as a Fantasy prospect in recent weeks. Three goals conceded and a fifth booking of the season today will see Baird lose his start for next weekend’s home clash with Sunderland – that looked his best hope for a clean sheet for several weeks. Expect heavy sales.
He’s started every Premier League game until today, when Tony Pulis decided to hand Matt Ehterington a start on the Potters flank. Kightly saw action with 20 minutes left but now clearly faces stiff competition for his start: a concern for Kightly’s many Sky Sports owners.
The impish winger was replaced by Nathan Dyer on the hour-mark and watched on by Dyer grabbed the Swansea goal. Routledge’s form has been strong enough for him to cement his place but, with Pablo Hernandez seemingly a fixture in the side, his start is perhaps now back under threat.