December
17

The Digest – Gameweek 16

Filed under: The Digest - Posted by: Paul

Our last look at the Gameweek just gone includes Arsenal’s resurgent winger, the step up in performances from the Red half of Merseyside and the potential upturn in Fantasy prospects over at the Lane in light of Andre Villas-Boas’ dismissal.

The Player

It’s been a long time coming but finally, after 16 Gameweeks of the season, Theo Walcott is back in the Fantasy frame. While the main source of Fantasy discussion from Saturday’s nine-goal Etihad thriller centres around Sergio Aguero’s calf injury, the Gunners wide-man served notice that he’s set to offer us a timely differential prospect for our five-man midfields. Since recovering from abdominal surgery, Walcott had previously chipped in with a couple of assists over four brief sub appearances but his manager’s reluctance to hand him a first start since Gameweek 4 ensured most were happy to steer clear. Until now.

Walcott’s brace at the Emirates wasn’t enough to prevent his side slipping to a stunning 6-3 defeat but you have to put it in context – City had conceded just twice in the previous seven home games under Manuel Pellegrini. As Olivier Giroud continues to toil up top for the league leaders, with two strikes from open play in his last 10 league starts, Walcott’s eye for goal looks vital as Wenger looks to steady the ship – all the more so given that he’s set to welcome Chelsea to the Emirates next weekend.

With Aaron Ramsey finding a place in over 62% of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) sides and fellow Gunner Mesut Ozil also fourth most popular midfielder with an ownership over 27%, Walcott – currently sitting in just 4% of sides – looks an ideal alternative to a template that has barely changed over the season.

Given that both Ramsey and Ozil chipped in with an assist apiece on Saturday, their owners will be happy to hold, allowing those Fantasy managers on the lookout for new blood to benefit from Walcott’s acquisition. After the Chelsea game, it’s West Ham, Newcastle, Cardiff, Villa and Fulham for Wenger’s side – a schedule that could well see the bandwagon pick up speed as Walcott looks to belatedly make a difference to our Fantasy campaigns and keep the Gunners on course for the title.

The Team

On Sunday afternoon, Liverpool rolled up to the Lane without their skipper on board for the first time this term. Sidelined for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury, many felt Steven Gerrard’s absence would see the Merseysiders struggle – he has, after all, created more goalscoring chances than any other midfielder in the Premier League so far. The collective lack of faith was summed up by our Captain’s Poll, where Luis Suarez was no more than fifth and, with a single clean sheet in their previous 12 league fixtures, Brendan Rodgers’ side were far from favourites in the eyes of many.

What transpired was a performance so ruthless it left Tottenham without a manager by this time yesterday after Daniel Levy handed Andre Villas-Boas his marching orders. A shift to 4-3-3 saw Joe Allen and Lucas provide a defensive shield in front of the back-four and not only delivered a rare clean sheet, but also allowed Jordan Henderson to forage forward through the middle in support of Suarez and help himself to a goal and assist in the 5-0 rout. At 5.9, Henderson’s new central role has attracted plenty new suitors already this week after his season-high haul of 13 points, while Raheem Sterling (4.9) has now started each of the last four and found the net twice.

With Philippe Coutinho and Sterling supplying pace and trickery out wide, neither Gerrard or Daniel Sturridge were missed as Suarez found the time and space to dismantle yet another top-flight backline and serve up his seventh set of double figures in just 11 appearances. Averaging 12.3 points per game, the Uruguayan has taken our Fantasy expectations to a new level this season –for all his consistency, Robin van Persie managed “only” 6.9 ppg for United last time around – a tally that looks positively paltry by comparison.

It’s fair to say that providing Gerrard was fit, he’d have played on Sunday but a stroke of fate has afforded Rodgers the opportunity to tinker. Perhaps by default, he seems to have struck upon a set-up that affords his side the balance at both ends of the pitch that he’s been striving all season to achieve. Upcoming trips to City and Chelsea will certainly test that theory but it’s becoming more than apparent that Liverpool, like Suarez, are a different prospect altogether this season.

The Talking Point

The dismissal of Villas-Boas, just one day after Steve Clarke’s departure from West Brom, takes the number of clubs to have changed manager already this season to five. Palace, Fulham and Sunderland have, to differing degrees, all benefitted from their decisions to pull the plug on previous managers. Tony Pulis has made a real difference to the Eagles’ defence and has brought the likes of Julian Speroni, Joel Ward , Barry Bannan and even Marouane Chamakh onto our radars. Rene Meulensteen has reignited Dimitar Berbatov as a Fantasy force, whilst Sunderland have defeated Newcastle and City at the Stadium of Light and registered three clean sheets in the last six under Gus Poyet.

Whilst a trip to Southampton this weekend is by no means easy, the following four Gameweeks hand Tottenham the chance to bounce back from Sunday’s mauling. West Brom, Stoke and Palace all roll up to the Lane over that period and hint at a reason for optimism, allowing some of their main protagonists the chance to stake a claim for our consideration once again.

There’s no denying Tottenham toiled in attack but, despite their failings, still managed more shots than any other side in the Premier League in the first 16 Gameweeks. One look at the stats of a trio of their summer signings shows that the club aren’t lacking in firepower– Roberto Soldado scored 59 league goals in three seasons at Valencia, Erik Lamela managed 15 goals and five assists for Roma last year, whilst Christian Eriksen produced 17 goals and 36 assists in his final two seasons at Ajax. A bloated first-team squad led to continual tinkering from Villas-Boas and ultimately ensured that his numerous new acquisitions never had the opportunity to settle as first-team regulars – consistency of selection looks vital of Spurs are to improve.

At the back, it’s easy to forget that Spurs started the season with seven clean sheets in the first 11 matches, conceding just six goals over that period. The floodgates opened at City back in Gameweek 12 in a 6-0 defeat that Villas-Boas failed to properly recover from. With the Portuguese boss now banished, the slate can be wiped clean and potentially reignite our Fantasy interest in Tottenham’s potential as they look to regroup after Sunday’s humiliation at home.

About The Author

paul

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  1. so , i am not the only person wich is temped to C Rooney insated of Suarez?

    1. Hows the selling of the christmas trees going ????

      1. great ,as always

    2. Yep

    3. You're brave Forca, was seriously burnt last week for doing the same.

    4. Do it Forca.

    5. I was brave enough last week, not going to be burnt the same way two weeks in a row.

    6. Difficult, just brought him (Rooney) in for Aguero and while he didn't get much this weekend he was heavily involved - another day could be a different story. But then Suarez is on fire and I can't see anyone stopping him in this form, depends if you need a differential to gain - I'm doing ok so will probably stick with Suarez, if you're trying to catch someone with a similar team then Rooney would be worth a punt.

    7. Tempted but it's still not going to happen not after the lukaku episode last week.

    8. Don't be silly now.

  2. RP: bottom of page

    Pick 2 to play...

    A) Terry vs Arsenal

    B) Chester vs WBA

    C) Luna vs Stoke

    D) Ward vs Newcastle

    *other defender is Coleman

    1. Chester and Ward

    2. HVT

      Terry ward

    1. Expected.

    2. Predictable.

      What he didn't mention is that Hazard will feature the most ;)

    3. Time to pick up Essien!

      1. Poor Essien, 4 YC in 4 games

        :D

        1. And now it's 5 in 5!

    4. No matter...whatever happens with Hazard happens for most FPL teams...which must be high proportion of decent teams.

  3. Any news on Koscielny?

    1. French newspaper claims he will be back within 10 or 15 days max.

      1. Cheers

        1. I am benching him, arsenal fixtures are looking solid after Chelski game.

  4. Is Sterling Nailed on?

    1. Yes for the time being.good option too

    2. Yes, he has dazzled to say the least, pretty sure he has staved off Moses breaking into the team

    3. Should be after that delightful display over the weekend. Was a real live wire.

  5. Afternoon. Team for this GW:

    Howard

    Coleman Ward Chester Flanagan

    Ozil Ramsey Hazard

    Rooney Suarez Negredo

    // Brady / RMorrison / Collins

    2.6m in the bank.

    Already done a transfer. Not happy with midfield for this week but can't see any worthwhile transfers (for -4). Leave it?

    1. You're set, don't need anymore transfers. That defence has some CS pts in it and nice attack.

      I would personally play RMorrison over Ward or Chester (probably Ward), he has a point to prove vs his old club and he could be explosive. I don't fancy a Palace CS, Newcastle are gelling at the moment

      1. Interesting. Didn't really think of RM being an option this week. Thanks.

        1. Most likely is that both Ward and Morrison will get 2 pts, but RMorrison has the potential to get some attacking points.

          1. Only spark in Wham's attack
          2. United have been shaky at the back on more than one occasion this season (admittedly they looked much better last game, but vs a poor Villa side).
          3. He's back at Old Trafford after essentially being kicked out for bad behaviour despite being hailed a talent; he'll have a few eyes on him for sure.

  6. Tempted like I'm tempted to order a vindaloo every time I go in a curry house, and then common sense takes over.

    1. Reply fail to Forca above

  7. who is anti-Suarez C this gw?

    1. No such thing anymore.

    2. people who are morons

    3. Only those with balls of steel!

    4. People who hate points.

    5. I wish I was but being anti-Suarez C last week cost me!

    6. People who wants to fail intentionally.

    7. That's what you call just overthinking it. Often leads to fantasy woes whenever you don't go with the obvious.

  8. What do you guys think of Mirallas as a differential?

    Would mean no City cover though :?

    Hazard - Walcott - Ramsey - Silva/ Mirallas

    1. Great differential imo, will look into get him in next week.

    2. Silva's still a differential. Lukaku is enough Everton cover imo.

    3. I have him in hoping it'll work out. I have no city coverage either.

    4. did you sold that lil frustrated cout already?

      1. Not yet. Really considering getting Walcott for a hit. But might just wait until after CAR :(

        How's your team looking?

    5. Good differential. Only worry is it seems like he's always the first to get subbed off.

  9. Not expecting much this gw to be honest. 4 of mine facing each other - Hazard, Özil, Ramsey, Szczesny. Suarez (c) though.

  10. Is Valencia nailed on for Utd?
    Percentage likely to start ?

  11. So you're tellin me that Gary Hooper faces the bottom (or top) 3 teams in goals against in next 4?

    Papa Likey!

    1. Aguero > Hooper

      Can buy myself a new yacht and get points (in fantasy premier league of course)

      1. I'd buy myself a nice Catalina 385 sailing yacht.

  12. Rooney C it is - no guts no glory

    when (if) Suarez goes crazy my season could be over but this is week i have to take a gamble and see what happens

    1. I wouldnt take that gamble.

      1. why not

        1. Because minimum 70% of FPL will make him captain. He smashes again and you are out of race completely.

          This is week is a no no for captain gamble in my view.

          1. prerfect week for me i think

            -everyone taking points hit

            -like you said 80% will C Suarez if he blank i could go up

            that dosnt seem likely but still....there is a chanse

            1. I recommend to take that risk on next gw, not this one.

            2. You're havin' a laugh, aren't ya?

    2. I don't think you do it, will change last minute to suarez

      1. we'll see about it

        i enjoy too doing opposit thing to everyone else , even if that means my downfail

        i am men of honuor

        1. you are men of honour but also men who goes down ranking

    3. Thats what i'm doing... So many sheep on here

      1. Seems like some of you need to take another look at Suarez's history for this season. Points everywhere. His stocking overfloweth. But, whatever. You go right ahead with your other captain while us "sheep" roam into another bountiful pasture.

        1. Sheeping for the win - from 1.6millionth to top 500 in 16 easy weeks... :D

        2. If I seem a little edgy and pushy on this topic, I'm just sick of people saying things like people who captained Suarez this past gameweek are lucky and that we're "sheep" if we do it again this gameweek. Don't be sore because you missed the boat. It's not our fault.

          1. Exactly, it's like all the "iSheep" bollocks, people make good choices for quality product and they're sheep, people make wise captain choices and they're sheep. Smacks of bitterness and resentment to me.

            Suarez is a sensible choice, Rooney is a good potential differential IF you need it.

            1. Now, this is a sensible person talking here. Refreshment for the brainage.

    4. The week to do it is when suarez is away to city or chel

      this week is plain stupid not captaining suarez

    5. Do it for one of the games 26th or 29th dec

      Alot will forget to change their captain for these games

  13. Oscar likely to start tonight?
    Etoo or Ba?
    Want to pick an anytime goalscorer

    1. Cheeky punt on De Bruyne to score ;)

  14. Got to decide which player out of Vertongan or Koscielny to change for Coleman. Any thoughts?

    1. Vert, kos is back soon.

      1. Kos isn't back soon. With the fixture congestion he will likely miss 3 gameweeks

        1. Some sources claims he will be out 10 to 15 days, 3 games is not that bad imo. If bench coverage is good, why to spend transfer on a defender?

      2. Can't find anything on how long Kos is likely to be out for

        1. So eone posted l'equipe news 3 or4 pages back.

    2. Vertonghen..he is ridiculously expensive for the state of his team at the moment. I wouldn't value him as anymore than a 5.5 player.

    3. Vert out.. Kos won't be out for long and Arsenal's fixtures until Feburary are niceee.

    4. Sounds like a bit of a gamble re who is back first, so will prob go for Kos.....better team and nice fixtures. Thanks ladsj

  15. What would you prefer: (with Rooney Suarez Lukaku up front)

    A) Hazard Walcott Yaya/Silva Ramsey Morrison

    OR

    B) Hazard Ozil Nasri Ramsey Morrison

    1. A with Yaya no brainer

    2. Tough call..but you can be sure of one thing..there's a much higher chance of injuries with Wally and Silva( rather than yaya) than the second option

  16. New Article Posted
  17. How many Ramsey owners are considering selling soon (possibly to upgrade directly to Wally/Ozil)?

    1. I'm keeping Ozil and upgrading Ramsey to Wally in 2/3 GWs

  18. Rooney for captaincy ..
    :)

    1. Suarez perma cap. It's his new name now

  19. Howard - Lewis
    TERRY - Mert - Coleman - Burner - Clyne
    JANUZAJ - Hazard - Silva - Ramsey - Ravel
    Suarez - Negredo - Lukaku

    A) Terry + Januzaj -> Evans + Walcott (-8)
    B) do A next week for a -4
    C) Terry -> Evans (-4) this week and Januzaj -> Walcott next week (hopefully for free, pending injuries)
    D) just stick and forget CS points for this week..

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 34

  • Speroni
  • Zabaleta
  • Coleman
  • Shawcross
  • Mirallas
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Lallana
  • Suárez
  • Lukaku
  • Aguero
  • Fonte
  • Puncheon
  • Lambert

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Next Six Ticker

Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £

Defenders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £

Midfielders

Last updated: 16 Apr, 2014 11:06am
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Up Ramsey ARS B, Vs
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
No Change Johnson SUN C
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £

Forwards

Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL A, £

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Ramires CHE 9
Barry EVE 9
Gerrard LIV 9
Zabaleta MCI 9
Tioté NEW 9

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style