As always, Friday evening closes with some overlooked alternatives for your consideration. Our trio of protagonists all have favourable home games on their respective agendas and while a couple of them are looking to maintain their impressive displays, our final selection will be hoping for a return to the form that ripped apart Premier League defences in the latter part of the previous campaign:
With many Fantasy managers opting for Dimitar Berbatov as a route into Fulham’s attack, the Costa Rican has been significantly overlooked. The statistics, however, highlight just how consistent Ruiz has been for Martin Jol’s side this season – he has scored or assisted in eight of his 12 appearances so far and averaged 4.8 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points per game. Indeed, his pivotal role for the Cottagers is summed up by their goal returns – Fulham have found the net 25 times in the 12 games with Ruiz in the side in comparison to seven goals in the 10 games without him.
Having recovered from a recent hamstring injury, Ruiz has made an immediate impact, producing a goal, an assist and a couple of bonus points since returning to the starting XI in Gameweek 20. Tucked in behind Berbatov, his creativity makes up for the fact he has found the net just twice – Ruiz has eight assists to his name, a tally beaten by only two other forwards; Robin Van Persie and Carlos Tevez, with 10 and nine respectively. Coming in at just 5.4 in FPL and 7.5 in the Sky Sports game and with an ownership of around 1% in both games, he looks a strong differential for tomorrow’s home clash with Wigan and looks a real alternative for those Fantasy managers eyeing up a 3-5-2 first choice formation with their winter wildcards.
The summer signing from Wolves has been key to Sunderland’s attacking forays this term. Since making his debut in Gameweek 3, Fletcher has played a part in 11 of the Black Cats’ subsequent 19 goals, finding the net eight times and supplying a trio of assists. The Scot has been something of a talisman for Martin O’Neill’s side this term – Sunderland have yet to lose a game in which he has scored and, as a result, Fletcher has also picked up 20 bonus points; only Van Persie, with 25, has collected more.
Coming in at just 7.0 in FPL, he’s the seventh top scoring forward, having racked up 94 points so far – an average of 4.9 points per game. While a home clash with West Ham affords him the chance to further his appeal, Fletcher has a favourable schedule over the next few Gameweeks which could see him continue to rack up the points. Priced at 7.7 in the Sky Sports game and with an ownership of 5% in FPL, he may prove a canny acquisition in the mid-price bracket as O’Neill looks Fletcher to provide the goals to engineer a scramble up the table for the Wearsiders.
Demba Ba’s departure to Chelsea brings his former Newcastle team mate back on the radar after an admittedly disappointing 2012/13 campaign so far. Arriving at Tyneside in last season’s winter transfer window, Cisse took the Premier League by storm, grabbing 13 goals and a pair of assists in just 14 appearances as the central forward in a 4-3-3.
Alan Pardew’s decision to shift Ba into the middle, either in a 4-4-2 alongside his compatriot or as the lone striker in a 4-3-3, proved hugely detrimental to Cisse’s prospects, with the former SC Freiburg man mustering a mere four goals over 19 appearances so far. Tomorrow’s trip to Norwich offers Cisse the chance to finally return to his favoured role and with the Canaries conceding in each of their last nine, he looks an enticing option, with a home game against Reading to follow next time out. Coming in at 8.8 in FPL and 9.3 in the Sky Sports game, Cisse’s lowly FPL ownership of 3% is understandable given his exploits so far, but he could be a different proposition altogether if he comes anywhere close to replicating last terms displays.