So FPL now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
We all fall in love with the Fantasy Premier League in mysterious ways, so take us into your loving arms as we think out loud about the Gameweek 9 preview and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
Last Gameweek we were pondering Sergio Agüero’s frightening potential. This Gameweek, we are full-blown terrified following his haul against Tottenham. Already up by 0.2 million, Fantasy Manager’s have identified the lethal Argentine as the player that could derail their season. Or as Stoosher put it in his What We Learned piece, “Sergio Agüero just changed our season”. Nine goals in six starts, and four goals in one game is the reason. He’s ATFPL’s captain pick of the Gameweek.
Graziano Pellè is this season’s Little Engine That Could as the little known Italian continues to score for club and country. A part of the official ATFPL team, Pellè five goals in three appearances at home bodes well for the game against Stoke as he continues to put up fine underlying numbers. In the last four Gameweek’s he’s notched up 19 goal attempts, with 17 shots in the box in addition to 7 key passes. In only eight Gameweeks he’s become a fine captain pick.
Raheem Sterling was the only Liverpool player to show some spark in the Champions League loss to Real Madrid and the only Liverpool player to feature in this Foreplay. Despite Liverpool’s troubles Sterling’s Fantasy output ticks along with a goal and two assists in the last four fixtures. His 10 goal attempts, 13 key passes, 9 crosses, and 16 successful dribbles are fine underlying numbers and an indication that he’ll come good again in Liverpool’s home game against Hull.
Cesc Fàbregas’s impact has been bigger than most Chelsea fans dared hope for, as he’s been the creator-in-chief and even added his first goal for the club last Gameweek after a delicious set of passes. Reports that he’s finally recovered from playing with pain in his last two years at Barcelona could explain his early season form. In addition, of course, to being an excellent player and an experienced Premier League player. Chelsea visit Old Trafford and Louis van Gaal’s leaky Manchester United defence. Despite missing Diego Costa, Fàbregas is surrounded by quality in Eden Hazard, Oscar, Schürrle, and likely Didier Drogba upfront. He’ll create chances, and perhaps get them too, and is likely to be the difference in that match.
Despite his blank and substitution last Gameweek, Gylfi Sigurðsson showed some excellent play in the first half. He created a few chances and got one too, and would normally have reaped his rewards with an assist or a goal. However, things didn’t go his way and Fantasy Managers only see the sad two points in his points column in the FPL. Still, he’s a valuable Fantasy asset, priced at only 6.8 million, and nailed on as Swansea’s attacking midfielder. Show patience, young one, and put your faith in the Icelandic captain as he both entertains Leicester at home, and hopefully his loyal Fantasy owners.
Arsenal’s favourable schedule and injury list puts Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck firmly in ATFPL’s mind, as they are nailed on for a team that is back to creating chances at an elite pace. Sanchez’s four shots in the box against Hull are indicative of his willingness to shoot and directness, both useful traits for Fantasy players. Welbeck’s goal against Hull put him back on the map for many a Fantasy Manager after two blanks in a row. Given that those games were against a defensive Tottenham side and a rampant Chelsea and Welbeck starts to look a better bet, especially at only 7.3 million.
Leighton Baines is one of few defenders that has been included in the Heavy Hitters. For good reason too, as he continues to push forward at every opportunity, resulting in two assists and three bonus points as Everton hosted Aston Villa. He’s top of the pops in ATFPL’s Defenders Watchlist, due to the continued attacking prowess and a kind run of fixtures.
Dušan Tadić remains in the punts despite a ridiculous return last Gameweek, with a goal, four assists, and three bonus points for an outstanding 23 Fantasy points. An ATFPL favourite due to ranking high in all indicative categories of elite Fantasy players, we expected him to return points but perhaps not in this explosive way. Although last Gameweek’s exploit is unlikely to be repeated, he could very well continue to score and assist and could be a snip at 7.6 million.
Saido Berahino tormented Manchester United’s defence with his pace last Gameweek to continue his fine start to the season. Perhaps the budget striker of choice, he’s on six goals in eight fixtures as he faces a Crystal Palace team far removed from Tony Pulis’s defensive performances of last season.
Christian Eriksen, my pre-season favourite, is starting to show signs of his potential with goals in back-to-back league games. His output last season of seven goals and nine assists in a little under 2000 minutes was fantastic and good reason to keep your eyes focused on him as a transfer target.
The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of…
…Danny Rose as Tottenham enter a run of attractive fixtures, starting with Newcastle at home.
…Neil Taylor, the cheapest defender playing for a Swansea team facing a Leicester City team failing to trouble opposing defences away from home, as noted in Tommy’s Weekend Numbers.
…Southampton’s Toby Alderweireld, an alternative to the popular Ryan Bertrand for Fantasy Managers looking for Saints defensive cover.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
Christian Benteke, a focus of this week’s Differentials by Darsh, scored 19 goals and provided four assists in his debut season for Aston Villa. The Belgian forward is a versatile player, strong enough to serve as a target man, quick enough to latch on to through balls, powerful enough to battle for headers, and technical enough to be lethal in front of goal. He’s going to score goals this season, the only question is whether his 7.9 million price as worth it as one of your valuable three forward spots. ATFPL’s gut rumbles for the 23 year old Villan, even though he hasn’t found his way into our teams yet.